13 April 2024

A stroll along the Jukskei River

15 December 2023 - Waterfall Estates

I caught up with an old friend Ron Searle who has retired in Waterfall Estates for a morning walk along the Jukskei River. The walk brought back memories, as I used to mountain bike this rich highveld grassland area long before Waterfall was developed. Most of the grassland species have now been lost as a result of the development, but there is still a reasonable green belt along the river.

Driving into the retirement village, I noted quite a few Mountain Wheatear's. They used to occur occasionally in Kyalami Estate, but have all absconded to Waterfall

Mountain Wheatear (Myrmecocichla monticola)


There were big numbers of Black Duck on the river - more than I have seen in a long time

African Black Duck (Anas sparsa)

The male on the right



Along with Glossy Ibis - amazing how their plumage varies, depending on the light

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)




Common Reed Warbler were vocal in most of the reed beds

Common Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus baeticatus)




Willow Warblers were calling and a few seen in the riverine habitat

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)


However, the bird of the morning and a good Gauteng record was a single Painted Snipe foraging in the shallows of the river. Each time I got close, it ran under the overhang on the steep bank only to re-emerge when it felt danger had passed

Male Greater Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)


It was an enjoyable morning's walk with great conversation.



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