A Birders Paradise
The Kingfisher Lodge is situated on a portion of the farm aptly named ‘Farm Waterval’. Being on the escarpment, the farm has a diverse range of habitats which is home to a vast number of resident birds as well as attracting many migrating visitors.
The terrain of the farm consists of sheer cliffs formed by the waterfall which attract a number of birds such as the rare Bald Ibis. Although some of the farm is a working farm, there are large areas of natural environment such as grasslands, bush, riverine woodland, scrub, surface water (attracting many waterfowl) and marsh / reed wetlands which attract reed and marsh nesting birds.
It is estimated that more than 180 species of birds can be found here over a period of a year. 148 species have been identified and many more are yet to be identified. From the lodge itself, look out for Fisheagles, Swallows, Kingfishers, Wagtails, Weavers, the Southern Bald Ibis and more. Wander to the wild dam for waterfowl and marsh birds. Walk up the hills for grassland and ground dwelling birds. Look out across the valley to see raptors circling and wander into the trees to see the many woodland birds.
If you visit The Kingfisher Lodge and have identified birds at the farm or have taken photos of birds please send them to us. We will add to our list, upload them to our website and will credit you for the photos. When informing us of the sightings or pictures, please included the date and the type of habitat where the bird was sighted. This will be a great help for us and other birders to keep track of the birds visiting patterns.
We would love to have your feedback and your comments as we’re sure that many of the visitors to the lodge will learn and enjoy the interaction with likeminded birders.
Birding on arrival
The moment you turn off the R36 (Schoemanskloof) towards Kingfisher you have 5 k’s of relaxed driving and potential bird spotting.
Once on the gravel road look out for raptors.
Shortly, on the right is a small dam. The water level varies during the year from dry to overflowing across the road. The birds that might be present at the dam depend on the time of year and the water level. Often seen are, Black stork, Coot, Moorhen, Hammerkop, Yellow billed duck and Lapwings.
Further down the hill the road kinks to the left and is bordered by long grass. Look out for grassland birds, weavers and red bishops.
Once through the first electric gate and heading down hill look for Ant eating chats.
At the bottom of the hill the road crosses a stream. In the small dam on the right Egyptian geese, Spurwinged Geese, Lapwings, are often seen and an occasional Spoonbill.
Once through the second electric gate and heading down hill, through the trees listen to the sounds of woodland birds. As the road turns right look for ground birds such as Guinea Fowl, Spurfowl and Francolin.
On the left you approach the wetland reeds. Various wetland birds occupy the reeds throughout the spring and summer including different species of Weaver and also Red Bishop.
Once past the reeds the dam opens up and you can look for a variety of waterfowl. These include, resident birds such as Coot, Common Moorhen, Lesser Moorhen, Yellow Billed Duck, Spurwing Geese, Egyptian Geese various Lapwings and Herons. Occasionally you may see migrating birds visiting the dam such as, Pelicans, Storks, Cranes, Spoonbills, Hammerkop and Flamingo. Look at the tree on the island as Fish eagles often perch there when hunting.
Once at the lodge you might see, Red winged Starlings, different species of Dove and Pigeon, Geese, Kingfishers, Lapwings and Fish Eagles