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Paarl Bird Sanctuary Paarl, Cape Winelands, Western Cape

Paarl Bird SanctuaryPaarl Bird Sanctuary is found in the heart of Paarl. A sewage works is set on 45 hectares and attracts a mixture of wetland and mountain species.

On the open water of the ponds, there are large numbers of waterfowl including Cape Shoveler, Maccoa Duck, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, African Black Duck and Black-necked Grebe. On the edges, check for the diminutive Malachite Kingfisher darting from reed beds. The largest pond holds Greater Flamingo and Lesser Flamingo as well as breeding Hartlaub’s Gull and Grey-headed Gull.

Reed beds surrounding the hides shelter Levaillant’s Cisticola, Cape Weaver, African Reed-Warbler, Little Rush-Warbler and Lesser Swamp-Warbler, African Purple Gallinule, Black Crake, Little Bittern and African Rail. Spot the Malachite Kingfisher in the reeds.

At the heronry on the eastern side of the Sanctuary, breeding African Darter, Cattle Egret and Grey Heron are to be found. Birders present in the early morning or late afternoon might be rewarded with views of Black-crowned Night-Heron returning or leaving their roosts.

The shoreline of many of the ponds hold a number of wading species including Three-banded Plover, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper and Water Thick-knee.

The higher ground and its scrub hold interesting species such as the ground woodpecker, jackal buzzard and the often difficult to find Protea canary.

The thicker alien vegetation on the western and northern sides of the reserve holds species such as Swee Waxbill, African Dusky Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher.

Check the skies above the ponds for Brown-throated Martin, White-rumped Swift, Greater Striped Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow and a number of birds of prey including African Fish-Eagle, African Goshawk and Black Sparrowhawk.

A good gravel road allows access to all parts of the Sanctuary.

Directions: From the N1, turn towards Paarl on the R45 and on reaching Optenhorst Street, turn right and continue to Drommedaris Street. Turn left into Drommedaris Street and follow the signs to the sanctuary.

More info on the town of Franschhoek More info on the Cape Winelands

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