Birds of the Magaliesberg 2023

Members of Birdlife Rustenburg in action. PHOTOGRAPH:WYNAND SAUERMAN

BOONS AREA This road is one of the most productive Highveld birding areas in the Rustenburg – Magaliesberg area. It is probably the only known local area for Rufous Eared Warbler, found in dry areas, arid and semi-arid shrublands. It is found where there are abundant Bankrot Bossies (Bankrupt Bushes). Take the R509 tar road from Derby to Magaliesberg. Coming from Derby, turn right at the Boons silos, approximately 20km from Derby, Goedgedacht – Molotecity. 2.2km from the tar road, one will approach a low bridge. In wet seasons there are small wetlands on both sides of bridge. This is excellent for SA Cliff Swallows, in summer. Also look out for Blue Crane, Secretary Bird, White-bellied Bustard (more often heard than seen), African Marsh Harrier and Orange River Francolin. Black Crow which is not common, may be seen on both sides of the road.The Bustard is more easily seen when the grass is short. Co-ords for the low bridge – 25.99, 27.232. 3.5km from the tar road, one will find two small quarry dams one on each side of the road. These dams can be good for Namaqua Sandgrouse which fly in to drink between 7am- 9am. Also look out for Quail finch at the edge of both dams. Whilst in the vicinity of the dams, look out for Eastern Clapper Lark and Melodius Larks (more common overhead), Ant-eating Chat & Spike-heeled Lark. Marsh Owls have been seen next to the road, early morning, and late afternoons. Recently Pink-billed Larks have been seen just past the 2 quarry dams, one on either side of the road and also on the Mathopestad road which runs parallel to the Boons rd., turnoff before Boons on right, coming from Derby. Recently, a Red Phalarope has been seen at a small dam on the left, just past the 2 quarry dams, coming from Boons Silos side. One will also now start seeing the Bankrot Bossies on both sides of the road.The Warbler is often seen in the same habitat as Black-chested Prinias and is best seen in the early morning. Look out for the Warbler in these bushes all the way until 5,8 km from the tar road where there is a T- Junction, Mathopestad.This is also good for Spike-heeled and Red



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