St. Kitts

Saturday 11 April 2015

Roy Cowgill, Steve Davis and I visited St. Kitts – a private farm inland from Amatikulu on the North KZN Coast.

The sugar cane farm has a number of dams which we birded. Waterbirds included numerous African Purple Swamphens, Common Moorhens and Spur-winged Geese.

African Purple Swamphen
African Purple Swamphen

Black Crakes, Yellow-billed and White-faced Ducks, White-breasted Cormorants – nesting, Reed Cormorants, Little Grebe, African Darter, Hamerkop, Hadeda Ibis, Malachite Kingfisher, Egyptian Geese, African Jacanas and their young were among the many waterbirds we found.

A juvenile African Fish-Eagle flew overhead and another, an adult, was seen perched overlooking the main dam.

Juvenile African Fish-Eagle
Juvenile African Fish-Eagle

The main dam at St. Kitts seems to be a reliable spot to find two special species -White-backed Ducks (we saw 12) and African Pygmy Geese.

The other two large dams were by comparison very quiet – the odd Common Moorhen and Reed Cormorant and several Blacksmith Lapwings. A Giant Kingfisher (male) also made an appearance as well as a Diderick Cuckoo.

Unusually there was only one Heron – a Grey – and no waders and no Pied Kingfishers. In all 57 bird species were identified. A full bird list can be viewed – click here.

Butterflies and Dragonflies were everywhere and Steve and Roy made a list of them which can also be seen by clicking here.

One of the highlights was a rather large reptile which I had heard about but never seen there.

Paul Bartho

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