BIRDING IN THE GREAT FISH RIVER NATURE RESERVE

The dry winter is not the best time to observe birds in the Great Fish River Nature Reserve – certainly not from within the confines of one’s vehicle over very rough roads which jolt one from side to side, along with having to be extra vigilant about avoiding being scratched by the Vachellia thorns on the branches that protrude well into the road in places. Birding is often an adventure waiting to happen.

This is the reed-lined entrance to the Kentucky Bird Hide overlooking the Khwalamanzi Dam.

Given the prolonged drought in the Eastern Cape, we should not have been surprised to be greeted by this:

In February 2015 the dam looked like this.

Then we saw a flock of Yellow-billed Ducks.

And a pair of Egyptian Geese were nesting on a mound in front of the bird hide.

At least there was a small herd of kudu to see this time!

A careful scrutiny of the surrounds and much patience revealed a Brown-hooded Kingfisher waiting to catch – who can tell what?

I later spotted another one at the picnic site adjacent to the Great Fish River.

On our way out, I saw a Cape Wagtail posing on a fence.

My bird list for this visit is as follows:

Bar-throated Apalis
Black-eyed Bulbul
Bokmakierie
Boubou
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Cape Glossy Starling
Cape Robin
Cape Wagtail
Egyptian Goose
Emerald-spotted Wood-dove
Fiscal Shrike
Fork-tailed Drongo
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Ostrich
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Pied Wagtail
Speckled Mousebird

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6 thoughts on “BIRDING IN THE GREAT FISH RIVER NATURE RESERVE

    • It gave me a ‘lift’ to see them – I readily associate them with the Kruger National Park, although I occasionally see them at Addo too.

  1. Gosh Anne. This drought is so concerning. We were in the Eastern Cape in October and it was shocking then. A long time to wait for possible spring rains. Tough times for animals, birds and humans alike.

    • Yes, the national focus has been on Cape Town – yet smaller places, like our town, are also battling with a water problem. Even the indigenous trees are curling their leaves and there is little by way of grass cover in the Great Fish Nature Reserve.

  2. More months of hardship seem likely, which is hard even to contemplate. Here in KZN we have been fortunate to have some respite at least in our region, though dam levels not great. And now the severe storms and fires in the Cape.

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