We met @ 07h00 at the Simbithi main gate and, then drove to the Heron Centre to park. The two Simbithi residents then guided us on a trail which passed along a well covered section of riverine bush, through some open grassland to a valley with two dams on a perennial seep. The top dam had a Fulvous Duck swimming on it and the lower one had been the favourite haunt of a White-backed Duck the previous week, but which was not evident when we were there.
After the walk of about 3km, we arrived back at the Heron Centre to have a very comfortable breakfast on the veranda of the centre overlooking a large dam.
Photos of some of the birds seen, courtesy of Rex Aspeling:
In total we saw about 70 different birds of the estate which lists nearly 200 species.
The group then headed for the Mbona estate through the back entrance and birded all the way to Mike’s cottage at the end. Again many specials were seen including African Crowned Eagle, Bush Blackcap, Forrest Canaries, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Red-necked Spurfowl, Dusky Indigobird, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Giant Kingfisher and Red-throated Wryneck. And then on the way out, a few of us were treated to a viewing of a Narina Trogon. Others an Olive Woodpecker and 3 Wattled Cranes at the Karkloof Conservancy.
The day before at Karkloof Conservancy 8 Grey Crowned Cranes and 30 White Storks were seen at one hide. And at the other hide a juvenile Red-knobbed Coot had us all confused for a while – see poor photo.
Attached are some photos of Mbona and its habitat as well as some of the birds we managed to snap!
Many thanks to Mike White for letting us use his cottage after the outing to have our refreshments. The views are superb.