Arrived at 09.45 am this morning, felt lazy so slept in. Besides it was still cold when I arrived and there was frost on the ground in some places still. The trees have lost all there leaves and the frost has made everything that Highveld tan colour. The reeds have all died of for the winter. Work has been done in front of hide number three. The island has been cleaned so all the weeds and grass has been removed and some of the reeds have been cut back. The seeds on the dams have turned a dark rust colour. Dam number three has no more seed on it today and dam no one is completely covered with two lonely common moorhen the only birds in sight. Dam number two has a little seed still lying around on the surface of the water. The water levels are still very high.
Ambient temp: 8 degrees celcius 09.45am
Ambient temp: 21 degrees celcius 12.45 pm.
Water temp: 8 degrees celcius
African Darter Grey Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron Little Bittern
Billed weaver Masked Weaver
Dove Cape Turtle
White Breasted Cormorant Reed Cormorant
Feral Pigeon Laughing Dove
Ostrich Common Peacock
Red Knobbed Coot Dabchick
Grey Headed Gull Egyptian Goose
Lesser Swamp Warbler Yellow
White Faced Duck Spur Winged Goose
African Stone Chat Dark Capped Bulbul
Fiscal Shrike Black Smith Lapwing
Speckled Pigeon Masked Weaver
Common Moorhen African Rail [Rondebult lifer]
Giant Kingfisher Hamerkop [Rondebut lifer]
Wattled Lapwing [Rondebult lifer] Three Banded Plover.
I bumped into Percy on the 17/06/2011. We had a great discussion about the fact that a lot of birds that had disappeared from Rondebult where back. He felt that it was because they had put in about 8000 fish about 18 months ago. A lot of work has been done and is reflected in the fact that I have seen darters, white breasted cormorant, grey heron, giant kingfisher and reed cormorant. Hides 5, 6 and 7 are still closed to the public due to the fact they need to cleaned out and the areas around the hides need to be cleared so the pans can be seen. Hide number 5 has been burnt out so is not usable at all.
Most of the seed that was covering all the pans is gone except for hide number 1 which is completely covered and will be for some time to come. I noticed algae for the first time at hide number 3 so I will keep an eye on that and update if it gets any worse. Water levels are still very high so a lot of the waders like Avocet and black wing stilt are not around currently. I have noticed an increase in the number of camera clubs visiting Rondebult which is great. I have found that a lot of them are not birders at all but need to do bird photography to progress in the clubs. I am not sure what this means but it is great never the less and who knows maybe I can convert some of them into becoming birders.
LESSER SWAMP WARBLER