TRIP REPORT: OUTING ON THE LADY STANFORD, FRIDAY 3rd JANUARY 2020
Posted on the 7th January 2020
The Malans and Baughans took an 8 a.m. trip down the Klein River on the Lady Stanford with the skipper Peter Hochfelden, himself a birder and chair of the Stanford Bird Club. What an idyllic morning – still and clear, with the most amazing reflections. There were so many birds at times it was difficult to decide which way to look. We were entertained by dozens of coots, chasing – and fighting - so viciously that we were half expecting a ‘kill’! We saw both the Little and Great Crested grebes, Black-headed, Grey, Purple and – a pair of Squacco herons. The Giant, Pied and Malachite kingfishers were all fishing. We spotted Cape, Red-billed and Hottentot teals and Common, Caspian and Sandwich terns. Several Common Buzzards were seen and an African Fish Eagle kept us fascinated when it flew into a heronry and sat there along with the other residents – mainly herons and cormorants. We even saw a Yellow-billed Egret as well as well as the more common Cattle and Little egrets. An African Marsh Harrier was seen briefly flying along the river.
The trip lasted 2 hours and went so quickly – we can’t wait to go back – though doubt we could be so lucky a second time – we saw a grand total of72 different species along this amazingly beautiful river. The land either side is private so to see these birds you must take the river trip.
(Text by Barbara Baughan. Images by Dawid & Carin Malan)
African Fish Eagle
One of the heronries
African Purple Swamphen
Intermediate (Yellow-billed) Egret - notice the yellow upper legs