(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.