Birds of the Magaliesberg 2023
White-bellied Korhaan/ PHOTOGRAPH: SHAUN MCGILLIWIE
capped Larks. Carry on straight, right will take you to Mathopestad which is often a busy road. After the Mathopestad T-junction, look out for Pied Starlings which are also not common in the area.At 8km the road winds uphill through trees, look out for White-backed Mousebird and Acacia Pied Barbet. At the top of the hill Proteas will be found on the right side which can be good for Sunbirds and Coqui Francolin. At 11km from the tar road there is a T- junction, right to Nooitgedacht and straight to Leeufontein. One can proceed straight and at approximately 12km there are more Bankrot Bossies which is also a good spot for the Rufus Eared Warbler. Depending on available time one can carry on or turn around at this spot. The road is fairly quiet from here, Little Bee-eaters, Bokmakierie, Black-chested Prinia, Garden & Marsh Warbler can be found at approximately 16km. Swallow-tailed Bee eaters may be found in winter on this stretch of road. At 18km there is a T-Junction to Syferbult and Carltonville. The first 2km right to Syferbult can also be good for the Rufus Eared Warbler. One can proceed straight and head back to the R509 or turn around birding back the same way. Or turn left at Nooitgedacht which is a good road for Banded Martin, Cisticola’s, Pipits and Amur Falcons during Summer. This road will lead to another T-junction with a tar road left to Potchestroom and right to the Derby –Ventersdorp Intersection. These roads can deteriorate drastically & become flooded after heavy rains so one will have to take wet conditions into consideration.
The roads are normally quiet but the first section from the tar road to Mathopestad can become busy. The area is fairly safe as most of the birding can be accessed from your vehicle. However it is necessary to take all the normal precautions. Both sides of the road are private property and fences may be missing or damaged resulting in livestock walking in the road. Specials Rufous-eared Warbler, Pink-billed Lark, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, White-bellied Bustard, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Orange River Francolin, Secretary bird , Blue Crane, African Marsh Harrier, Marsh Owl & South African Cliff Swallow. For accommodation consult the Magaliesberg Meander website.
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