This weekends birding took us to Delta Park, in the suburb of Linden here in Joburg.
It was a last minute decision after reading a bit about the birding in the park. The reports seemed to suggest it was a good spot for birds, with well over 200 species having been recorded there. I found this so hard to believe because it’s right in the middle of Joburg. However, I was to be happily surprised by the mornings results.
We started off at a bird hide which produced the usual suspects Egyptian Goose, Yellow-billed Duck, Blacksmith Plover and Hadeda, but also a couple of African Black Ducks, which are always great to see. Then, a ‘big bird’ flew out over the hide for a brief view. Ooh there are raptors in these parts!
We continued our walk to the next hide. There it was, the raptor, sitting in a tree across the field and easily identifiable as a Long-crested Eagle. Who would have thought?! Right here in Joburg. It then took off and gave us a nice flight display and I got a good look at the markings underwing. That spot also produced some nice grassland birds – weavers, bishops and even that bossy little Pin-tailed Wydah. A large group of European Bee-eaters were also around, and performing beautiful aerobatic displays!
Just as we were finishing up our walk I spotted another raptor, got one ‘decent’ shot and then it was gone. This bird is still yet to be confirmed and I’m not sure we ever will confirm it. The pic shows the patterns under the wings but is actually quite blurry when you zoom in, so it’s very difficult to tell. I asked on a Facebook group for help, and there were suggestions of Crowned Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Jackal Buzzard, European Honey Buzzard and even a crow?! Haha, so if anyone who happens to read this blog has an opinion on this bird, I’d love to hear it!
I was very happy with the mornings results, and quite impressed with the quality of the park. Safety was a concern going there, but on weekend mornings it is extremely busy with runners, cyclists and dog walkers that I felt very safe being there.
And they have raptors!
Total: 26 species