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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Managed to get here early today 6 am. Ambient temp was a chilly 8 degrees c and the water temp is starting to rise which was 15 degrees c.Caught up with the ladies from Sandton camera club. The dam at hide number one is completely empty now and the water levels at the other pans are starting to drop. Was not a bad two hours birding espicially at the back pan near the willow trees.How long this water will still be here remains to be seen. There is still a lot of animal dung lying around in the picnic area which is ugly but otherwise spring is making the BS pretty with the reeds growing back at an alarming rate. I reckon a foot of growth in a week.
                                                                          BIRD LIST
Wood Sandpiper,Marsh Sandpiper,African Purple Swamphen,Malachite Kingfisher,White Throated Swallow
Cape Reed Warbler,Grey Headed Gull, Black Winged Kite,Red Knobbed Coot,Egyptian Geese,Spur Winged Goose,Thick Billed Weaver,African Stonechat,Capped Wheatear, all the Ibis,pigeons and doves,Levaillant's Cisticola,Southern Masked Bishop, Wattled Lapwing,Dabchick,Red Billed Teal,Yellow Billed Duck,Reed Cormorant and Little Bittern.i was only here for two hours this morning as i moved onto the EENDRACHT ROAD near Suikerbos for some good roadside birding.
                                                                       red billed teal
wood sandpiper
                                                               Egyptian gooslings
                                                                      Juvenile grey headed gull
                                                                  marsh sandpiper
                                                                 wattled lapwing

Sunday, September 18, 2011

18/09/2011 two

As i said in my earlier post i had visited other sites to bird.At the time of my last visit the BS had looked shabby but spring has arrived and the green shoots are coming through and the reeds have shot up to just under knee height.Spring doe's make everything look better but i think this is a just on the surface. Still large amounts of animal dung lying around in the picnic area.Water levels in the main pan are still high.The pan at number 1 hide is half empty, not sure if this is too get rid of the green seed which had choked it over winter or because water has stopped running in.Water levels at hide number two have receded but are still a little high but the water is clean. I managed to get around to the grassland via the walkway next to the eastern fence. I have been coming here for ages and never knew it existed.Walk down to hide 1 go left through the veld to the fence,turn right and walk up,a nice small dam is situated on the right and ruff,sandpiper,snipe,plover,waterfowl are all seen here.Walk up past the willow trees and the whole back of the reserve is accessible with herds of antelope and zebra which are pretty tame.A good visit which produced some spring specials.

Spur winged goose                                                             Red knobbed coot
Dabchick                                                                             Common moorhen
Yellow billed duck                                                             Hottentot teal
Sacred Ibis                                                                          Hadeda Ibis
Glossy Ibis                                                                          Cape Reed Warbler
Levaillant’s cistacola                                                          Long tailed widow bird
Fiscal shrike                                                                         Southern masked weaver
Egyptian goose                                                                    Reed cormorant
Ruff                                                                                     Marsh Sandpiper
African Stone Chat                                                              Black smith Plover
Three banded plover                                                           doves and pigeons


I have been visiting other sites during the late winter and getting good siting 's of grassland birds as the veld is burnt back many specials are around. Did a short trip to the southern cape, had a really good photo op with a female African Marsh Harrier and quite a bit of time at Marievale,Suikerbos and the surrounding farm lands.Good siting's of Larks,Pipits and various other winter specials. Today I went back to a favourite birding spot which most time produces really good pictures. A favourite has returned in the white throated swallow. A friendly little bird and is photogenic as well. This intra-africa migrant will breed here through our summer and although very common now produces some really good practice for all levels of photographer.The challenge is catch them in flight. The best i have got is not great but many more opportunities are still out there.