Rocky Wonder Aloe Nursery.
Weekend and Sunday Outing 22 – 24 May 2015
Rocky Wonder is near Ashburton. It is an aloe nursery. The property is 22 acres of virgin Bushveld. Peter and Heather, the owners, have opened it up to nature lovers and birders. They have built 7 camp sites and a few self catering suites.
Our party of 7 were the first ever to camp at Rocky Wonder and we were not disappointed.
On Saturday we set off at 7:30am, the morning turned out to be perfect weather. We saw roughly 55 birds – Red Billed Quelea, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Amethyst Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Lazy Cisticola to name a few.
We went to Darvill Park on Saturday afternoon and saw another 50 great birds. Mike spotted a Purple Heron flying away which miraculously become an African Marsh Harrier!! After that the excitement died down and there were no more unbelievable transformations.
At first we came across a field full of Blacksmith Lapwings _ or Lapsmiths as Paul likes to call them. Among them were four Grey-crowned Cranes – two adults and two immature.
The African Snipes were a lifer for me so I was over the moon!
Also seen were Southern Pochard, Cape Shoveler, African Spoonbill, Hottentot Teal, Red-Billed Teal, Squacco Heron, South African Shelduck and a Yellow Billed Duck.
There was even action in the sky as an African Fish-Eagle was bombed by a Pied Crow. And an African Marsh Harrier made an appearance.
For our Sunday outing we were joined by 9 other members totalling 16 for the outing. The weather was very good to us once again.
Click here to see he bird lists for both Rocky Wonder and Darvill.
The morning was spent exploring other well pathed areas of Rocky Wonder. It was enjoyed by all ending with a picnic / tea at the camp site. Much the same species were seen as we saw on Saturday.
A number of people also took advantage of the nursery and bought Aloes to take home for their gardens.