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AFRICAN FINFOOT AT KEURBOOMS & NATURES VALLEY

Posted on the 29th June 2015

(This report first appeared in the May 2015 club newsletter on BidLife Plett and is posted with the permission of the Editor. Images will be added later. - Ed.)

African Finfoot – Mike Bridgeford and Bruce Ward-Smith – 2 May 2015
The African Finfoot is a rare water bird, not often seen - but present on both the Keurbooms River and Groot River in Nature's Valley. It is an extremely shy bird and swims quietly along the sides of a river taking advantage of the overhanging vegetation.
Bruce Ward-Smith and I sat for five hours on the banks of the Groot River and managed to see a female bird - the female has white on its neck whilst the male has a grey neck and head. The bird clearly had seen us sitting quitly on the river bank, and would only show itself briefly, before darting into cover on the river banks.
I managed to get a couple of reasonable photos - but must still try for some better shots in open water. The bird is easily recognized and has bright orange/red feet and bill. I have now seen the African Finfoot three times on the Groot River - twice from the bridge. It is well worth a visit to Nature's Valley to look out for this rare bird. It has also been reported by the Ferry owner last week on the Keurbooms River. 

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