Paarl Bird Sanctuary
Like many other sewage works in southern Africa, the Paarl Bird Sanctuary, managed by the Paarl Municipality, attracts a wide variety of waterfowl. Together with the waterfowl the reserve is also home to a number of species associated with the thicker vegetation growing on the northern and western sides as well as a number of local and national rarities.
A heronry on the eastern side of the Sanctuary holds breeding African Darter, Cattle Egret and Grey Heron. Birders present in the early morning or late afternoon might be rewarded with views of Black-crowned Night-Heron returning or leaving their roosts.
Check the skies above the ponds for Brown-throated Martin, White-rumped Swift, Greater Striped Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow and a number of birds of prey including African Fish-Eagle, African Goshawk and Black Sparrowhawk.
Paarl Bird Sanctuary has had its fair share of rarities and local vagrants in the last few years. The Sanctuary has played host to both local and national rarities such as an American Purple Gallinule, Goliath Heron and Greater Painted-snipe.
From Cape Town, take the first turn off into Paarl, follow Main Rd, and then turn right into Berg River Blvrd. Follow the road through 2 traffic circles past Paarl Hospital. At a T-junction with Optenhorst Street, turn right. Over the bridge the road becomes Oosbosch. Turn Left into Drommedaris and follow the signs to the sanctuary.
Or from N1 from Cape Town take 3rd off ramp onto Jan van Riebeeck Drive (R303). Continue through the traffic circle, and then turn left into Oosbosch Street, and right into Drommedaris Street (almost opposite a BP Garage). From here follow the signs to the sanctuary.
Andrew Hester 2001.
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