Birding in the ashes of Marievale

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10 years 5 months ago #4837 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Birding in the ashes of Marievale
To get away from a gloomy house in the midst of the 7-day power outage I went to Marievale on Sunday and was horrified to see >90% of the grassland and maybe 20% of the reeds in all of the reserve beyond Duiker Hide totally incinerated - not just burnt, brutalised!

However, this made for some interesting birding, as there has been an invasion of Capped Wheatear, Pied Starling and Buffy Pipit (might be Plain-backed - check my photo in the Photo Forum) into the unique conditions. These were my first records for all three at Marievale. The Wheatear were spread out over most of the burnt grassland, while the Starling were in the area beyond the Blesbokspruit at the northern end of the reserve and the Pipit in the area west of Shelduck Hide.

There is a large group of Greater Flamingo in the area just inside the beyond the picnic site, behind 2-3m high reeds, so you'll have to stand on the roof of your bakkie or get your feet wet parting the reeds if you want to see them!

For the 3rd consecutive visit I found African Rail just to east of the Blesbokspruit crossing inside the old entrance. It is presumably now resident in this area.

I have never found Hadeda Hide so quiet - 2 Moorhen and a Cape Wagtail!!!!!!! Conversely, Duiker Hide had Goliath and Purple Heron, as well as Hottentot Teal, Reed Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe and Pied Avocet all close to the hide (I'm ignoring the couple of hundred Coot! - why none at Hadeda Hide?).

Neil Gray

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