Marievale today

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6 years 1 month ago #58701 by Gerrie Horn
Gerrie Horn created the topic: Marievale today
Hey guys,
Headed off to Marievale today for the first time (time to tick some of those commoner wetland birds) which has been a highly anticipated trip for a while now. We left from jo'burg at 6:45 arriving an hour later through the new entrance by the lodge. Scanned the water here and saw Pied avocet (a bird i've wanted to see for a LONG time, even in the UK), Cape shoveler, Hottentot Teal, Ruff, African Snipe, Glossy Ibis, Fan-tailed Widow-bird, Levailents cisticola,Long-tailed widow-bird,Blacksmith Plover, Three-banded plover and Pin-tailed whydah. A few pics from this area:



After this we drove to the Flamingo picnic site and checked out the hide. Unfortunately no flamingos but there many other species which included Red-knobbed coots, Masked weavers, Ruff, Reed and White-breasted cormarants, African Jacana, Common Moorhen, Whiskered tern, Cape wagtail, Stonechat and White-rumped swift. The weed here is so thick and dense even largish birds such as the ruff were able to walk along it without sinking a bit. The seemed to be collecting it, possibly for nesting material. Some pics:




From then on we decided to walk from the picnic area to the Bus-stop hide, we past the Duiker hide deciding we'd stop there on the way back. Half way between the bus-stop hide and the duiker i spotted a brown owl 150m off in the rank grassland approaching the bend in the bend between the two hides. It landed in the grass out of sight and crazy as i am i ran into the marshy/thorny/snake-infected grassland (you've got to exaggerate sometimes) to flush the bird. The first things that we flushed however were about four buck not far from me (damn their camo is good) and that scared the sh*t out of me. Then after what seemed like ages i moved into some really rank grassland and the bird was flushed. You can imagine my excitment because i thought it was a Grass-owl at the time! <!-- s:banghead: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/banghead.gif" alt=":banghead:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:banghead: --> But anyway a lifer in the form of a Marsh owl.



Well that was an awesome experience as it waited for me to be in about 8m before flying away
allowing great views. There was a point were it looked at me telling me it had had enough so i decided to head back to the track, my parents were following the action through the binocs (there definately not as crazy as my, well at least in that respect). That to the prise for sighting of the day.

The stretch to the Bus-stop hide was very productive with many Little stint, Ruff, African snipe, Black heron, Glossy ibis, Blacksmith plover and Coot. The bridge over the spruit was a beautiful place to watch the otters playing and peer into the clear water which is VERY clean to our surprise not being strict on entry rules. It was like a little bit of okavango <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->



On the walk back to the car we visited the Duiker hide were we saw the usuals along with White-winged tern,Squacco Heron,Goliath Heron and White-throated swallow




On the way out we saw all the usual plus African-Marsh Harrier. All in all a great trip, seriously impressed by this place; very clean, well preserved and excellent birding to boot. <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->

Lifers:

Pied Avocet
Cape shoveler
Hottentot Teal
Fantailed Widow-bird
Ruff
Little stint
African Jacana
Whiskered Tern
White-winged Tern
Marsh owl
African Marsh harrier
Squacco heron

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6 years 1 month ago #58747 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Marievale today
Marievale is still one my favourite birding destinations. Glad you had a good morning there!

Cheers,
Gordon

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6 years 1 month ago #58759 by taustin
taustin replied the topic: Re: Marievale today
Wow what a wonderful place, great stuff on picking up all those lifers! :D Would love to go there some time in the future!

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