The Cape Bird Club
Outing to Macassar Waste Water Works - August 2011.
We met our leader, John Carter, on the bridge at the entrance to the Macassar Waste Water Works on a glorious winter morning which felt like mid summer. After spotting a few common bush birds including Cape White-eyes, Cape Bulbuls, Southern Masked Weavers, Grey-backed Cisticolas and others we drove down to the Works buildings where we parked our cars. Our group of 18 then walked to the ponds where a number of water birds were seen, including Cape Shoveler, Yellow Billed Duck and Cape Teal, one of which had a young, indicating that the breeding season was well on its way.
Cape Teal and chick.
Also nearby was a Levaillantís Cisticola, carrying nesting material and being very anxious about our close proximity, as it obviously wanted to get on with its nest construction without being disturbed. Flying overhead were Cape Teal, Brown-throated Martins and a Barn Swallow, which may have been an early arrival.
Birding on the banks of the ponds.
Overlooking the river we saw a Pied Kingfisher dive and catch a small fish.
Pied Kingfisher about to dive.
There was a large flock of Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilts and a small group of Pied Avocets feeding in the shallows of the river.
On the sand banks there were two African Black Oystercatchers, one of which had a metal ring on the left leg. The river then spreads out to form a small lagoon which is tidal and has a number of sandbanks, which made the perfect resting place for Terns, Gulls and Cormorants.
Overlooking the river and sand banks.
The majority of the Terns were Swift Terns, but we also saw a Little Tern, a Sandwich Tern, Caspian Tern, and Common Terns.
Caspian, Little, Common and Swift Terns.
On a distant water edge we saw two Little Stint, one of which was in full breeding plumage.
While watching the Little Stint three Pied Avocet flew down in formation and made a spectacular landing on the water.
We did not keep a list of the number of species for the morning but it certainly was excellent for this time of the year. It was a most enjoyable morning and is a venue which we should frequent more often, and we would like to thank John Carter for his enthusiastic and competent leadership of the outing.