06 January 2022 – Leader Simon Fogarty.
On a warm, slightly overcast day, we met at the Julie te Groen Information Centre for January’s Strandfontein outing. We set off in shared cars and as we drove between pans P1 and P2, many ducks, coots, pelicans and a few waders in between could be seen on the right. We then got out and observed the pan.
We watched Yellow-billed Kites and African Marsh Harriers flying by. Not long after this three Ruffs were seen and then three waders were spotted behind some Cape Teals on a small grassy island. To our delight, they were Pectoral Sandpipers! Several Blue-billed Teals were also seen on this pan.
Having started on this high note, we continued through, seeing a number of different tern species, Greater and a few Lesser Flamingoes, ibises and gulls. The list goes on…
At pan P6, we came across many Little Stints on a semi-dry pan, with plenty of water hyacinth on the edges. Common Ringed Plovers and Kittlitz’s Plovers were also present. Barn and White-throated Swallows were active, with a few Brown-throated Martins here and there.
We then got out again at pan P4, viewing a few Southern Pochards and South African Shelduck in the distance. A juvenile Southern Pochard was nearby and a pair of Maccoa Ducks too.
Then we had a short drive back to the visitors centre for refreshments, which ended an enjoyable outing.
Our species total was 60.
My thanks to Zoe for writing the report and for her photographs, particularly the one showing the Pectoral Sandpipers. Thanks also to Lee Kruse for sending some photographs at short notice.
Finally, my thanks to Daryl de Beer, Gillian Barnes, Dennis & Gigi Laidler and Mel Tripp for all the help they gave. It really is invaluable when birding in a line of cars. I hope everyone who came on the outing enjoyed it as much as I did.
photographs by Zoe Lunau-Johns, Lee Kruse.
Article by Zoe Lunau-Johns.