Birding Gauteng, Johannesburg

Birding Gauteng, Johannesburg

When:  June 2018                   Weather:  cool  10C

Leica Q  Nikon P900

 

Returning from my Amazonia escapade in Brazil, I had a 6.5hour layover in Johannesburg and considered leaving the airport and doing some sightseeing but was discouraged from doing so as traffic conditions can be challenging around OT airport and Joburg isn’t the safest city in the world.  But the idea of spending 6 hrs in the airport was unappealing and I found a birding company on line called Bustard Birding which had good reviews.  They were very responsive and arranged to pick me up at the airport for a 4 hour birding trip in the East Gauteng area near the airport….

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Our first port of call was to head out to the East Rand Pans and the Korsman Conservation area in a gated community…..just about 15 minutes away

 

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as we arrived a flock of scared Ibises flew overhead to welcome us…

 

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and we started birding on the fringes of the ponds which are enclosed by a wire fence all round

 

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First bird up close, a dark-capped bulbul; a little like the yellow vented bulbuls we see so often in Asia, but without the dark cap

 

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An olive pigeon

 

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olive pigeon

 

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helmeted guinea fowl

 

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helmeted guinea fowl

 

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the quaintly named Grey Go-away bird!

 

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grey go-away bird

 

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Laughing dove

 

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Spur winged goose

 

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spur winged goose

 

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Sacred ibis

 

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The under surface of the Sacred Ibis’ wing has these wonderfully bright red chevrons!

 

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pied crow

 

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The beautiful Hadeda Ibis with its iridescent pink wings

 

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Hadeda Ibis with pink wings

 

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thick billed weaver

 

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thick billed weaver

 

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male southern masked ewaver

 

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female southern masked weaver

 

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african stone chat

 

We then proceeded to Bullfrog Pan about 15 minutes away…

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Bullfrog Pan

 

 

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On the way, these colourful birds appeared on rooftops…

 

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Green wood hoopoes, we can just see the green on the backs here

 

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good sightings of the blacksmith lapwing which makes it’s typical metallic tinkling sound from which its name is derived

 

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crowned lapwing

 

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crowned lapwing

 

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Hottentot teal

 

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Hottentot teals

 

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The adorable and vulnerable Maccoa Duck

 

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grey headed gull

 

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black crowned night heron

 

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Egyptian goose

 

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Coots are common in Asia but these are Red knobbed coots

 

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Red knobbed coot

 

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coomon moorhen

 

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African swamp hen, resplendent in the morning sun

 

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african swamp hen

 

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Cape shoveler

 

So all in all, I birded from 830 till about noon and made it back to OT International Airport at 1230 in plenty of time for my 1345 flight; and saw lots of lifers…certainly beats an airport lounge for 6 hours or shopping in Sandton!  It’s doable and I would highly recommend Bustard Birding for a thoroughly professional job…of and did I mention we even had hot coffee and cookies midway through?   highly recommended!

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