by Bryan Butler

Saturday morning, 21st July saw a bevy of motor cars arriving at the Cheetah Outreach parking at Paardevlei.

The time was right – 08h00 and the outing close by. Close to 20 members were looking forward to a walk round Paardevlei. There was a mist over the lake, but it lifted in perfect time and soon we were off.

Red-knobbed Coots by the hundred floating through the veil of mist – Red Bishops just showing early signs of red and Masked Weavers mixed together.

Members soon spread out around the dam, the experienced helping the inexperienced, the regular members helping the new in a wonderful co-operative manner. Eventually the group made it all the way round the dam and two hours later made it back to the cars for coffee, a much needed snack and a chat.

At this stage a number of folk headed home but 8 continued to the Macassar Water treatment plant. For some this was a first. As a birding spot Macassar is a real treat. Even though the bird count was relatively low it is still a great place to go.

Black-winged Stilts dotted the edges of the settling ponds. There was a Cape Shoveler with her chicks gliding through the water. On the river we could see Three-banded Plovers and Kittlitz’s as well. A Pied Kingfisher caught the eye and then a flock of twenty or so Terns – Swift Terns with their yellow bills –and a solitary Caspian Tern on the opposite bank among a flock of White-breasted Cormorants. An occasional Hartlaub’s Gull flying overhead – and a few Greater Flamingoes in water so deep they almost looked like Swans, gliding elegantly by. Great to see new birders on this outing, which was enjoyed by one and all.