An afternoon on the Lady Stanford

Graeme Hatley and Richard Masson had the opportunity to travel down the Klein River on the Lady Stanford.

The afternoon was off to a good start. Before we even launched a Burchell’s Coucal was spotted in the reeds. African Darters, Red-knobbed Coots and Little Grebes were in abundance. The ever-popular African Swamphen was plentiful. The mouth of the Klein River had opened just a few days before and many of the birds were still trying to find their way in the vastly changed habitat.

Giant Kingfisher (Graeme Hatley)
African Darters (Graeme Hatley)
Cape Shoveler and ducklings (Graeme Hatley)
White-faced Whistling Ducks (Graeme Hatley)
Purple Heron (Graeme Hatley)
Pied Kingfisher (Graeme Hatley)

Meanwhile, others were taking advantage of the newly exposed muddy areas. Black-headed, Purple and Black-crowned Night Herons were frequently encountered as the boat made its way downriver. African Harsh Harriers swooped low over the reeds. Two African Fish Eagles surveyed a pool created by the rapid drop in water levels.

A Spotted Eagle Owl rested peacefully in a tree on the bank watching the activity unfold.

Western Cattle Egret (Graeme Hatley)
African Fish Eagles and a brave Southern Fiscal (Graeme Hatley)
African Swamphen (Graeme Hatley)
African Marsh Harrier (Graeme Hatley)
The sun sets over the Klein River (Graeme Hatley)

The highlight of the trip was a good sighting of an Overberg rarity, an African Jacana. The bird was obliging and cameras were clicking as it trotted across the weed.

African Jacana (Graeme Hatley)

A good tally of bird species was seen, but the wonder was in the sheer numbers. A good outing was had by all.

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