Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport

  • John Young
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7 years 1 week ago #35580 by John Young
John Young created the topic: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
Hi,

I'll be passing through Jo'burg in about 10 days time, and have the best part of a morning to do some birding before catching a connecting flight to Polokwane. (Don't ask why I'm flying?? <!-- s:banghead: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/banghead.gif" alt=":banghead:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:banghead: --> If I had my way I'd be driving and paying Nysvlei a visit en route). Anyway, to put the morning to good use, I'd be grateful for your pointers to some hot spots reasonably close to the Jo'burg International Airport. Less drive time ='s more birding time. <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->

regards,
Dave

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7 years 1 week ago #35581 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
Hi DaveR,

Probably the best formal reserve in the area is Korsmans (about 20 mins from Johannesburg International):
Have a look at our resources section for a map:

http://www.simplybirding.com/shop/produ ... ts_id/1022

Hope that helps!
Gordon

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7 years 6 days ago #35645 by marktittley
marktittley replied the topic: Re: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
What about considering Rietvlei Nature reserve? It is on the south side of Pretoria on the R21 which leads from Pretoria to Jhb. It will give you a lot more than just a bird hide around a dam - there are a couple of bird hides, but some variety to bird on the plains and two major dams. Here is what I saw there on my last trip there: African Darter, African Purple Swamphen, African Reed Warbler, African Stonechat, African Wattled Lapwing, Ant-eating Chat, Arrow-marked Babbler, Banded Martin, Bittern Little, Black-shouldered Kite, Cape Longclaw, Cattle Egret, Common Ostrich, Crowned Lapwing, Grey Heron, Hamerkop, Heron Grey, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Little Bittern, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Widowbird, Malachite Kingfisher, Melodious Lark, Northern Black Korhaan, Pied Kingfisher, Red-billed Quelea, Reed Cormorant, Sacred Ibis, Southern Masked Weaver, Southern Red Bishop, Spotted Thick-knee, Thick-billed Weaver, White-fronted Bee-eater, White-throated Swallow, Yellow-billed Duck and Yellow-billed Egret. I was more focussed on game on that trip and it was before I learnt to recognise bird calls which has significantly increased my ability to see and record bird sightings.

Here is their website for more information: [url:3nklrvd6]http://www.rietvlei-reserve.co.za/[/url:3nklrvd6]. I stand corrected, but I think that it would take about 20 minutes to get there from the airport.

Personally I was a little disappointed with Korsman Bird Sanctuary in that it hard to get close to the action (obviously it is a bird sanctuary so we want the birds to be unhindered, but you have to walk around a perimeter fence which is a bit frustrating). I did see a decent amount of water birds however - but all from a distance. There is a spot on the opposite side to the bird hide (which was a bit sad in terms of location due to reeds and water levels) where there is a pump house - and I got on top of it to get some decent pics. Hey, just my thoughts to add to the mix!

An outing to Marievale would be idea!!!! But it would take about an hour to get there from the airport so that may be out of your reach, time wise. Regards, Mark

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  • Dave Shedman
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7 years 6 days ago #35651 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
Mark's probably the guy to ask, he's birded just about every spot in Gauteng other than my garden! And I'm sure Mark would recommend you buy a copy of his 'bible', the Chamberlain Guide To Birding Gauteng. That will give you a good idea of locations and what species you can expect to find there. It's worth having anyway as it does cover some venues outside Gauteng too.

It's a shame you can't get a flight from Lanseria which is less than an hour's drive from my personal Gauteng favourite, Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve and even less from WSBG.

Ô¿Ô

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7 years 6 days ago #35658 by marktittley
marktittley replied the topic: Re: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
Dave, thanks for the vote of confidence. I am about to post my trip report for Roodeplaat Dam that I did on Monday this week - and in fact, it is not that far from Jhb International - about 40 minutes max! Yep, buy that Bible!!!! And it seems that I saw European Honey-Buzzard there on Monday - so I am walking on cloud 9 right now!!! Here is a page with my pics: [url:3aeg26s5]http://globalbirdtrekkers.org/index.php?option=com_agora&Itemid=99999999&task=viewtopic&id=1702[/url:3aeg26s5]

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  • John Young
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7 years 6 days ago #35673 by John Young
John Young replied the topic: Re: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated and looking forward to birding on different turf,

Cheers,
Dave

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7 years 6 days ago #35675 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: Birding spot close to Jo'burg International Airport
Mark, just read your posts and looked at your pics and I'm insanely jealous! I wouldn't have known it was a European Honey Buzzard but I could tell immediately that it wasn't a Brown Snake Eagle. We've had some memorable lifers at Roodeplaat, including Black Cuckoo, but nothing as special as this. We saw the Black Cuckoo on a telephone wire of all places, just to the left of the dirt road that leads to the entrance and we also failed to get a photo before it flew off. Thankfully it was calling quite loudly so that confirmed the ID. Well done!! :D

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