The dam and associated wetland just before the entrance to the reserve is home to a number of waterfowl and is well worth spending some time at. Mornings and late afternoons are the most productive.
Egyptian and Spurwing Goose, White-faced whistling Duck, Yellow-billed Duck, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Black Crake, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, White-breasted Cormorant and African Darter are common.
Malachite Kingfisher frequent the area where the Reitspruit Stream flows into the dam and from time to time Squacco Heron and African Spoonbill can be seen in the shallows. African Fish Eagle often perch in the surrounding trees.
Blacksmith Lapwing and African Pied Wagtail are generally seen along the dam wall as well as on the jetty. Brown-throated Martin spend much time skimming insects off the waters surface.
Scan the reeds around and below the dam for a number of Warbler species such as Dark-capped Yellow, African Reed, Lesser Swamp, Little Rush as well as visiting migrants such as Marsh and Sedge Warblers during the summer months.
Below the dam wall is a wetland with extensive reedbeds. During the summer months, Grey Crowned Crane nest in this area. The wetland also supports Red-chested Flufftail and African Rail which can often be heard calling. Both these secretive species are difficult to see and some patience is required if one wants to stand a chance of a visual - the best place to achieve this is at the pump house in the early morning or late afternoon.
Thousands of Barn Swallows make use of the reedbeds below the dam to roost at night, during their stay in South Africa. The best time to view this spectacle is between November and March, in the evenings between 5pm and 7pm, when masses of Swallows return to roost for the night.
Coming Up Next Week... Part 3 - The Horseshoe Walk, Cottage & Usheleni Trail