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Salmonsdam Nature Reserve Bird Count

On Wednesday 19th March members from Birdlife Overberg and staff from CapeNature joined forces to gather data from Salmonsdam Nature Reserve.

This was a huge privilege as the reserve is currently closed to the general public due to development and maintenance plans. The data collected from this Birds in Reserve Project (BIRP) will contribute to the management plan CapeNature is currently revising. In total, 55 bird species were recorded despite the rather windy and overcast weather conditions.

In order to start the day, a small introduction was given to the group about the reserve and organize ourselves in order to achieve maximum results. It was decided that the 13 keen birders be divided into 2 groups to cover as much habitat as possible.

 

The one group covered the mountainous areas leading to the waterfall. A great and exciting sighting was that of the endemic Ground Woodpecker.

The second group covered the areas surrounding the house and leading up to the mountains. Luck was on the side of this group, as threatened as well as endemic species were spotted. The near threatened Knysna Woodpeckers call of “skree” got everyone excited. The distinct call of our national bird, the blue crane, could also be heard.

The highlight of the day for many was the sighting of two owls, namely the Spotted Eagle Owl and the Barn Owl. The Barn Owl was perched on an outside light of the previous reserve managers’ house. It was evident that this was its residence due to the vast amounts of pellets found underneath the perch site. It was also a great opportunity to site the many swifts and swallows, such as barn swallows and white rumped swifts, before they migrate.

After the 3 hours of birding, the group came together to compile the list of bird sightings. It was also decided that this activity be carried out twice a year in order to keep the bird list updated. To wrap up the day, everyone enjoyed a picnic under the fig trees.


 

 


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