Greeted by 1º C and a Giant Kingfisher


Text by Mike Mac Naught, images by John Bowman

Despite earlier misgivings about the weather, it actually turned out to be a glorious winter day. A bit chilly, though! We were greeted by a temperature of 1º C on arrival in Stanford for our Club’s monthly walk on Thursday 7 July.

African Swamphen

African Swamphen (Groot-koningriethaan)

Ten intrepid birders met in the parking area above the bend in the river, intending to walk down the stairs and then along the river, returning via the houses.

We were dismayed to find that the stairs and the area below them had been fenced off because of the construction of a new pump station.

We made a plan and, with some fancy footwork, bypassed the obstacle and proceeded on our walk.

White-backed Duck

White-backed Duck (Witrug-eend)

On our return to the cars we drove to Appel dam and welcome cups of hot coffee.

Despite the cold conditions, the birds cooperated and did their bit. We ticked off a really respectable 47 species.

The best bird of the day was arguably a Giant Kingfisher (Reuse-visvanger) that posed patiently in the open on a branch just in front of us.

A close second were two African Swamphens (Groot-koningriethane) on the dam, also in the open. We also saw a solitary White-backed Duck (Witrug-eend). They had been missing from the dam for a while.


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