Posted on the 12th October 2011

(Carin Malan forwarded this great report and check out the pics below.  It seems that you'l need flippers to go and bird at the Rooisand bird hide for some time to come. - Ed.)

After the devastating rugby match on Sunday morning, my husband needed some fresh air, so off we went to the Rooisand Birdhide.

I was particularly interesting in the water level and if the Osprey would be present.

Arriving at the car park, we were quite surprised at the very high water level. As we progressed to the first lookout point we could see that the water level must have dropped as it was quite evident that the water at one stage came over the board walk.

Walking down the boardwalk we immediately started picking up the normal residents and also some of the summer arrivals, but surprise surprise, the OSPREY PAIR was busy hunting. For the next 2 hours we watched the Ospreys making at least 14 attempts to hunt, ending up in the water and only twice did we spot them taking fish. Ospreys hunt by diving into the water from 9 to 30m up. They have gripping pads on their feet to help them pluck fish from the water with their curved claws and carry them for great distances. In flight, they will orient the fish headfirst to ease wind resistance.

What a superb bird! I read that they have an average life span of 30 years in the wild, with a wingspan of between 1.5 and 1.8 m, and that they are one of the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every continent except Antartica.

We also spotted this kayak coming from Meerensee, rowing all the way to the bird hide and launching themselves to get off at the bird hide – how’s that for Zero carbon footprint birding. The pathway to the bird hide is still under water and you will have to get wet to get into the hide !

A wonderful morning of birding with particular good sighting of the Osprey and the Long-billed Crombec. We got 56 species from the car park to the 1st lookout point, 300m of walking in total !

Regards, CARIN






















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