Karkloof Conservancy

27 July 2020

Eventually we got round to book an afternoon 15:30 slot at the Wattle Crane hide at Karkloof Conservancy to observe the cranes coming in to roost. We were not disappointed.

The first hour we spent watching the South African Shelducks and their 3 chicks, African Spoonbills, the odd Blacksmith Lapwing, a Grey Heron, Egyptian Geese and a number of Sacred Ibis with their various antics. in expectation, we waited knowing that the Cranes were likely to come later.

A Marsh Harrier quartered the field beside us and around the dam. Even a jackal Buzzard made an appearance.

To our surprise at 17:00 a pair of wattled Cranes flew straight towards us. If they had not decided to land in the dam they would have come into the hide. An unbelievable sight. A pity the light was too poor for my photographic skills but I managed to capture the moment.

Then as time progressed the birds started to arrive. Sacred Ibis to start with, then a flock of Grey Crowned Cranes flew over, more followed.

Meanwhile the opposite bank was filling up with Sacred Ibis – approximately 150. More Grey Crowned Cranes flew past and eventually a few settled in the dam.

A flock of about 11 Wattled Cranes appeared and decided to join the fun in the dam.

At this time it was getting late and we left before the gate locked us in. Quite a spectacle.

Paul and Sally Bartho

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