A short visit to Tala Game Reserve

Sunday 25th August 2019

On Sunday 25th August we visited Tala Game Reserve near Camperdown with Sally’s step daughter Michele and her son Matthew. We arrived around 09h30 and spotted some White Rhinos in open grassland near the entrance. We drove towards them and on the way Matthew spotted  a Black-headed Heron hunting for frogs and we also saw some Lapwings, Black-winged and Crowned next to the road.

We had to stop while one of the rhinos crossed the road in front of us and noticed that he had three Red-billed Oxpeckers on its back.  The Rhino was intent on reaching a waterhole to have a wallow where a lot of game were concentrated. There were Impala, Zebra, Blesbok and Warthogs sharing the area around the waterhole along with numerous Black-headed Herons.

We then drove on towards the reception and restaurant area hoping to see some Giraffe but missed seeing them. It was extremely hot and dry so we did not see as many birds as usual. We had to cross a dam wall to reach the picnic site and watched some waterbirds on the way.

When we reached the picnic site it was exciting to spot a Yellow-billed Kite which had just returned from its winter migration. There were a lot of weavers in the Picnic Site along with some Drongos with their forked tails. A Black-winged Kite also made an appearance.

A sad looking Blesbok was photographed on the way to have a good look at the Rhinos.

After Michele and Matthew left, Sally and I spent a bit more time focused on birding. We took a drive down to the dam where the hide used to be (now gone). On the way we had a splendid sighting of some special birds all together – White-backed Ducks, Cape Shovelers and Southern Pochards among Cormorants, Little Grebes, Egyptian Geese, Red-knobbed Coots and the occasional Common Moorhen.

Other species seen and photographed included a Fiscal Flycatcher and a Cape Rock-Thrush.

At one place where we could exit the car we startled a raptor and it flew from the tree we were parked under. It landed some distance away before circling above us. It put us to the test as to what it was.

Sally compiled an Atlas list while we drove around. Click here to see the bird list.

Paul and Sally Bartho

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