Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #4530

Zululand Birding Route – Richards Bay District, Zululand, Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The Mhlatuze River meets the Indian Ocean in a extensive lagoon. It provides an excellent habitat for waterbirds, both freshwater and estuarine, as well as several coastal dune and swamp forest species.

• Harbour (Berm Wall). Proceed along the John Ross Highway. Take the Harbour turnoff opposite the Bay Crocodile Sanctuary. Proceed to the Customs post and search all of the mudflats, especially at low tide.  Uncommon waders include Mongolian and sand plovers, Eurasian curlew, bar-tailed godwit, red knot and terek sandpipers.  Also look for lesser crested tern and breeding red-winged pratincoles.  Examine the poles sticking out of the water for osprey.  African fish eagle are also found here. A permit is necessary, which is obtainable from the Port Captain, Box 181 Richards Bay 3800; +27 (351) 905 3984. Best birding time 3 hours before high tide. Suggestion: take a telescope.
• Thulasihleka Pan. Pass the turnoff to the Richards bay Boardwalk complex and turn right at the next traffic light.  Continue over the canal for about the next 1.5-km until you see a line of cement poles (which used to support a fence). Turn right along a dirt road next to the poles and proceed for 1.5 km. Here you might see Baillon’s crake, African and lesser jacanas, pygmy goose, brown-throated weaver and red-winged pratincole. In summer, look for blue-cheeked bee-eater.
• Bay Hall Area. Before your reach the suburb of Meerensee, take the last right hand turnoff. Bear left, continue through a small pocket of coastal forest, and then take the first turn to the right.  Continue to the parking lot that overlooks the Bay. Here you might see sand, common, Mongolian and grey plovers.  Also look for little, Sandwich, Caspian, lesser crested, swift and common terns.  If you are very lucky you may see crab plover in summer. Best birding time is at mid-tide.

Richards Bay is on the R34 east of Empangeni, which is on the N2 northeast of Durban, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N3. AUZurich.

Contct:   Hamish McLaggan
Box 266 Eshowe 3815
+27 (3547) 41234 telephone office
+27 (3547) 42531 telephone home
e-mail: zulubird@iafrica.com
web: www.birding.co.za/zulubird/


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Last update: 2014-05-30 12:49
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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