Marievale, a whistlestop 2 hour tour!

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12 years 2 months ago #240 by Doug
Doug created the topic: Marievale, a whistlestop 2 hour tour!
I popped in at Marievale this morning very early to look for Phalaropes and Godwits!

Sadly no sighting of either. It was, however, quite a nice trip.
As I arrived I was greeted by all the usual stuff, Black-winged Stilts, Pied Avocets, various Duck species and a few African Spoonbills.
Also present were a reasonable number of white-winged Terns. The herons were nicely represented by Grey, Goliath and 2 Black-crowned Night Herons.

I progressed into the main sanctuary and headed for the Phalarope site.
I didn't get too much but there was a nice closeup sighting of a Juvenile Goliath Heron. Waders were very thin on the ground here and I only got 2 Marsh Sandpipers, one Ruff and one Little Stint.

I took a walk along the boundary fence at the back and added about 30 Greater Flamingos, a few Curlew Sandpipers and rails and crakes were heard calling in the reeds as 2 White-rumped Swifts circled overhead. Also seen swimming in the water on the other side of the fence was a lone White-breasted Cormorant.

Heading back over the concrete causeway, I stopped to get a nice close-up view of a nice first winter Common Greenshank and also disturbed 2 African Snipes from their hiding place.

I went into the "new" section to see what I could find and not too much there, although at the section where the powerlines cross the spruit after the hide, Ruff were represented in very large numbers, probably 200 or so.

I also saw a few Pintailed Whydahs, including a perfect breeding plumage male that had lost its long tail feathers. The highlight of the day would then have to go too the Juvenile Red-backed Shrike I saw, which was already starting get the lighter head one would see on the male and also was showing clear signs of the development of the black "face mask" seen on adult birds.

I completed the morning with a quick trip over the road bridge on the R42 but only managed to add Black-chested Prinia and Three-banded Plover.

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