Rondevlei Nature Reserve
Rondevlei, one of the Western Cape’s remaining wetlands, still fulfills its wonderful role as a sponge, filtering and cleaning water through its layers, and providing a perfect environment for all forms of life.
The December, January and February outings each had about 16 people and totals of nearly 60 species, including some special birds, were seen on each outing.
Most of the waterbirds were there and, as the water level decreased, migrant waders were sighted as well :- Ringed Plovers, Greenshank, Marsh and Wood Sandpipers and a Three Banded Plover with three chicks. The SMS., (Swifts,Martins and Swallows), were also abundant : – Barn, White-throated and Greater- striped Swallows, African Black, Little and White-Rumped Swifts, Rock and Brown-throafed Martins.
The Raptors were swooping, gliding and harrying around :- African Marsh Harrier, White-necked Raven, Rock Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, as well as the Intra-African migrant, the Yellow-billed Kite. Caspian, Swift and Common Terns also appeared, as well as the Sunbirds:- Southern Double-collared, a Malachite just coming into breeding plumage, and an exciting sighting by Joel, a young birder, of the Amethyst Sunbird.
Unfortunately, we never saw the Painted Snipe, European Honey Buzzard, Western Osprey or the Spotted Crake that had been spotted by others during the previous weeks, but we had a perfect view, a couple of metres away, of a pair of African Snipe.
Another exciting sighting at Rondevlei during February 2017 was a Baillon’s Crake that was seen by several birders.