Enjoy some awesome springtime bird sightings along the mid-South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
The mid-South Coast is warming up and calling for more outdoor excursions. For birdwatchers, the Rocky Bay Aaea boasts some of the best bird sightings in KZN due to its coastal forests and subtropical climate.
‘There’s no doubt that this area is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, but for the twitchers out there, it’s an absolute must-visit,’ said Annien Koulountis, Resorts Manager at Rocky Bay Resorts.
Rocky Bay offers some of the best hiking, biking, and birding trails. Extensive work has been done on the 111km Rocky Bay trails that wind through sugar cane fields with ocean views, and into cooler indigenous coastal forests.
Sandy Olver, an Umdoni Village resident and member of BirdLife South Africa and South Coast Trogan’s Bird Club, has vast experience in spotting local bird species. She has shared some local insight to make this a really worthwhile experience.
‘If you don’t want to go too far then it’s worth a walk down to the folly on the ruins of the old railway bridge overlooking the estuary,’ commented Olver. ‘When the mouth is closed and the river full, you should see kingfishers – giant and malachite – cormorants and even a black-crowned night-heron. Check under the existing bridge for nests of the little swifts and, in summer, the lesser striped swallows. The most common sea bird on the beach is the swift tern, but in Sardine Run season watch the flocks of beautiful cape gannets perform death-defying dives after the shoals.’
She added that other good birding sights could be found on Rocky Bay Trails at a nominal fee, with entrance to these trails at Rocky Bay Resorts.
‘Bush birds can be difficult to see so if you can recognise the calls of the migrant cuckoos, honeyguides, the mournful buff-spotted flufftail, or Narina trogon, then you know what to look for and where. Remember to look up to the skies for raptors.’
Other bird species to look out for include:
- White-faced, white-backed, yellow-billed, and African black ducks;
- Little grebe;
- Grey-crowned cranes in the grassland or tree-tops;
- Red-capped robin chat or scrub robins in the bush;
- Weavers, waxbills, widows or woodpeckers, sunbirds, shrikes and starlings, doves and drongos in the riverine bush and grassland;
- Scarlet-chested sunbird;
- Grey cuckoo shrike; and
- Scaly-throated honeyguide.
Rocky Bay Resorts has accommodations ranging from one-bedroom log cabins to a six-sleeper, three-bedroom log cabins, and a Caravan Park with many sites offering sea views. To put a little extra ‘spring in your step’ Rocky Bay Resorts is offering 20% off all new reservations received for log cabins and campsites (T&Cs apply).
For more information visit rockybay.co.za.
To book accommodation at the Rocky Bay Resorts log cabins or Caravan Park, call +27 39 976 0336
Pictures: Rocky Bay Resorts
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