Kgomo-Kgomo and Borakalalo yesterday

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10 years 2 weeks ago #7031 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Kgomo-Kgomo and Borakalalo yesterday
Gordon and I arrived a couple of minutes after sunrise at the start of the Zaagkuilsdrift road and drove slowly through to the Moretele floodplain at Kgomo-Kgomo. There is still a lot of ponded water standing in the veld at various places, especially along Crake Road, but at Kgomo-Kgomo the Moretele River although flowing strongly is down to "normal" levels.

We did not see or hear any of the "advertised" specials like Thrush Nightingale, Common Whitethroat, River Warbler, Lesser Moorhen, Allen's Gallinule, etc. but did get a single Yellow Wagtail below the bridge at Kgomo-Kgomo.

We went on to Borakalalo where the roads beyond the dam are all closed due to the water levels, as well as the road around the southern edge of the dam. Water is pouring over the dam (See photo) and the river below the dam wall is at the highest level I have ever seen. From the debris and flood damage to the vegetation, at its height the river must have been flowing over the bridge on the Pitjane Camp road at the height of a double-decker bus!

One sighting both along the Zaagkuilsdrift road at two places and at two spots in Borakalalo was Pearl-breasted Swallow, a bird that I have only seen once before. At all four sites they were perched and in the company of Barn Swallow (+/- Greater Striped, Lesser Striped). Conditions must be favourable this summer.

Despite arriving at Borakalalo at 12:30 on a hot, and partially (and decreasingly) cloudy day, with half of the roads closed, we still managed a creditable total of 53 species in the next few hours. Our day total of 135 was a personal best for me, so I can honestly say that it was my best day's birding ever.

The Klipvoor Dam at Borakalalo, Saturday 9 February 2008

Neil Gray

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