What do you expect on an Easter Weekend? Yes, rain.

Nine of us met at Paardevlei despite rain overnight, hoping it would stay clear. We were treated, on the way to the vlei side, to a display of Fork-tailed Drongo aerobatics – half-a-dozen of them having fun around the trees and moving at speed.

In between was the occasional House Sparrow and Southern Double-collared Sunbird. This set the mood and we sauntered down to the gate where we stopped dead in our tracks. Out came the binocs and we spotted Red-knobbed Coots, and Egyptian Geese of course, but also Caspian Terns, African Shelduck, an Intermediate Egret – (or was it a juvenile Little Egret?).

Despite using a spotter scope, it was too far away to be sure – but exciting nonetheless We stood for three-quarters of an hour before moving a little way down the path – and then the rain came and we scurried back to shelter under a large Brazilian Pepper Tree.

The heavy rain turned to light rain but it was clearly unpredictable so in the end we decided to call it a day. After all, it was the Easter Weekend and we had already spotted 33 birds. And seen that Paardevlei is still a thriving home for a large number of birds – when there is water! We’ll keep Macassar for another day.