Birding and Exploring the Eskom Track, Westville with BE KZN

22 May 2021

Editor: This is one of the last BE KZN formal walks before lockdown! Don’t give up we will be starting these up again as soon as it is safe…this is one of the major advantages of belonging to a bird club – exploring new and unknown areas and broadening your knowledge of the areas around you.

After rain overnight and with the morning looking like more was threatening – it was already raining at Isipingo and moving our way – 12 of us set off along the track from the end of Carlton Avenue. Despite the weather we had a very pleasant walk.

The track takes one down towards the uMbilo River and then up stream traversing thick valley bush, sections of both pristine and “damaged” grassland and good riverine habitat. After about a 2.5 km walk through this wonderful and ecologically important valley, we reached the banks of the sadly often seriously polluted, uMbilo River.  There is, however, a wonderful stream (a tributary of the uMbilo) passing through the high value habitat below the Westway Office Park which is immediately west of the Pavilion. Rob’s assessment was that the area is in a very healthy state supporting many water mongoose with evidence of otter and endangered frog species.

Our total list for the walk was 33 species with highlights including Black Sparrowhawk, White-browed Scrub Robin, African Firefinch, Green-backed Camaroptera, African Dusky Flycatcher, Bar-throated Apalis, African Palm Swift, Cape Batis and Cardinal Woodpecker.

We then retraced our steps and reached vehicles just after rain started. Not ideal conditions but we will do more excursions and explore this area more deeply when the situation permits.

Report text by Rob Jamieson 

Bird List and all photographs supplied by Elton-John Bartlett 

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