22 October 2022 - Rietvlei NR and Glen Austin
Although Rietvlei is relatively close to where I live, I had never previously visited this reserve near Pretoria. I had heard, that there was a chance of finding Serval here and since I had no luck at Pilansberg, I decided to have a go at Rietvlei.
As always, I was at the gate shortly after opening times and elected to drive a circuit around the reserve. African Stonechat's were numerous in the grasslands
|Probable juvenile African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)|
|Male African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)|
I was still a little too early in the season, as not all the Widowbird's were in summer plumage yet - I did find one, but it remained some distance away.
|Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne)|
I had more luck with Plain-backed Pipit, which is relatively easy to find in this reserve.
|Plain-backed Pipit (Anthus leucophrys)|
I spent quite a bit of time with this young Black-winged Kite, as it dispatched a small rodent
|Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)|
|Almost dropped it..|
|Down the hatch|
Levaillant's Cisticola was pretty widespread across the reserve.
|Levaillant's Cisticola (Cisticola tinniens)|
Of course, no luck with either the Serval or the Cheetah that is supposedly easy to see..
Heading back to the gate, I passed a small wetland where a two Little Grebe were sitting quietly at the base of the reeds
|Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)|
By mid-morning it had warmed up considerably, so I headed home detouring past Glen Austin Pan where I had a couple of Southern Pochard close by. It was interesting to watch them feed - just skimming and filtering below the water surface
|Southern Pochard (Netta erythrophthalma)|
However, whilst walking along the boundary fence, I inadvertently flushed a Little Bittern and managed to grab a few frames as it flew off. My first record of this species at the Pan - so that was pretty awesome..
|Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)|