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Friday, August 5, 2016

August 2016

Wow my first visit in months,the sanctuary is really flooded with water almost everywhere.Lots of waterfowl,ducks and flamingoes.My first sighting of a black crowned night heron in over 18 months and two African Purple Swamphens which is also a new sighting this year. Since the problems with the water the sanctuary has taken time to recover hence the excitement of the sightings mentioned above.Lots of Hottentot teal,Southern Pochard and the normal suspects.Blach Throated canary made an appereance and the yellow billed ducks are mating.With so much water around i was unable to access the back part of the sanctuary.Did spot a pair of Common Swifts and also White Throated Swallows.Not sure if the latter have over wintered or if they are new arrivals.

Photos to follow.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 2016

After 8 months of devastating drought conditions due to broken water pipes the sanctuary has water again. The sanctuary has been devastated with a huge loss of bird life, specials i would see on most visits have disappeared.Black Crowned Night Heron, Purple swamp-hen,Black Heron,Striated Heron,African Rail,Flamingo's and Little Bittern ,

Hopefully the birds will return and the sanctuary will recover,A lot of weeds everywhere and a surprising number of Curlew Sandpipers,at least a flock of 50 birds.A Rondebult lifer for me.

Curlew Sandpiper

Also got quite a lot of Ruff and a single Marsh Sandpiper.

Little Stint

 Spur Winged Goose

 Three Banded Plover

 Yellow Crowned Bishop

This breeding pair gave me an endless view of their mating ritual.Buzzing around in front of hide number 2 he flew from perch to perch displaying and puffing continuously as he tried to attract this lovely female. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Weather incredibly nasty today,After driving Eendracht and Blesboklaagte Roads I popped in for a visit. A very quick visit given the conditions. Not much to talk about a few Flamingos, a single little Grebe,Coots and a few White Breasted Cormorants.Water levels are perfect for waders right now which we can expect to start arriving in 6 weeks. How ever on the Wider Gauteng Challenge page on facebook i see reports of waders already starting to arrive at Mkombo Dam.The sanctuary is really ugly this time of the year and a lot of litter is lying around.

The picnic area is undergoing a major face lift. The grass which battles to grow under the White Stinkwoods and the grazing by the animals in winter is been replaced by slate paving with large flower beds. I notice Clivia and Iris are been planted so it should be awesome in a couple of years.

Hide number two has a broken door,a lot of burning has taken place which is a reason for such a low bird count yesterday besides the weather being ugly.As you come in the entrance on the left hand side a eco gym has been erected similar to the one at Walter Sisulu Botantical Gardens in Roodepoort.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


A disturbing mail from Brian Colahan an Ornithologist from the Free State about Mallards had me rushing off there this morning.A very grey and overcast day indeed. No Mallards to be seen thankfully but a Hybrid Egyptian Goose/Mallard was. Have seen one before ,but a Yellow Billed duck/Mallard Hybrid which is the more common hybrid.

The really good news is that the old security company has been replaced and my nemesis security lady is there no more. What a pleasure. A huge thatched lapa has been erected ? Not sure why. A fitness class of some sort was been done in the picnic area,at least 50 folk doing calisthenics to some loud high powered 180 beats to the minute music blaring from a golf with it's boot open.Water levels are good right now and the water is also clean.

Black Crowned Night Heron,lots of Thick Billed Weaver,Hottentot Teal, Red Billed Teal,Greater Flamingo,Yellow billed Duck , a huge flock of Egyptian Geese,Little Grebe,where among the sightings.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 2015

Have not been to the reserve since December 2014.I suppose that the state of the sanctuary has put me off a little. I also have a problem with the lady security guard who always tries to hit me up for money or food or whatever. I also do not like her attitude and to be quite blunt i do not trust her at all.
I will make an attempt to get there in the next couple of weeks and post a more substantial post.I have also found that it is mainly photographers who are visiting now .I have over the last 5 years seen a huge increase in birders which is awesome and I as well as many well known birders have felt this is due to the relatively cheap level entry digital cameras available now.

I have no problem with photographers as i am one myself, however when one chap has two cameras setup simultaneously and hogs the hide i do get a little upset.

Anyway happy birding and if any of you want to add to the blog please do so so we can keep this updated and running for all those folk who want to visit. I have had over 5400 visits to something i started mainly as a hobby and because there was no other site dedicated exclusively to Rondebult. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Hi all firstly a great birding 2015 for all. I visited the sanctuary today and was greatly disappointed. Although the walkway in front of hide 3 has been repaired water levels have dropped dramatically leaving vast expanses exposed.The dam in front of hide 1 is completely dry.This has a huge impact on the birds. Right now most birds are in the middle of there breeding cycle.No water means the birds will most probably abandon there nests and move on.Not sure what the reasoning is behind the drop in water levels as there is no one to ask right now.

Some poor photographer left a Nikon teleconvertor in one of the hides and the lady security guard found it and is trying to sell it to who-ever arrives. I have asked her to hand it in but not sure if she will do that.

Sightings for the short time spent there included Black Heron,Little egret,wattled lapwing,african reed warbler, willow warbler,red throated wryneck,stone chat, tawny flanked prinia,reed cormorant.little grebe and marsh harrier. 

Friday, September 26, 2014


Good news on todays visit,water levels are coming down and a big clean up has taken place.The walk way in front of hide three has been replaced.All the weeds in front of hides 1,2 and three have been cleared, giving good views.The area on the right of hide number two is flooded opening a whole new area to waders,ducks,herons and teals.Today i managed to get hottentot and red billed teal,yellow billed duck,squacco and black headed night heron,african reed warbler,greater flamingo,grey headed gull,little grebe,pied kingfisher,spur winged goose,common swift,white throated swallow and a Rondebult lifer for me African Marsh Harrier.I have been coming here for over ten years and never seen one. Work done here since my last visit is heart warming although still a bit to do. In saying that there s a marked improvement of the general standard of cleanliness that has been missing for the last year.