eThekwini’s IBAs


Important Birding Areas (IBAs) in eThekwini

BirdLife Port Natal has been involved with monitoring two Important Birding Areas (IBAs) in and around eThekwini, namely:

  • Mount Moreland (SA 123)
  • Umvoti Estuary (SA 073)

    A full list of all IBAs in South Africa can be found on the BLSA website. Click here.

Mount Moreland:

31°05.2E     29°38.7S

Mount Moreland is important because of the number of Barn Swallows which roost there – usually on the “Lake Victoria” wetland, sometimes on “Froggie Pond”. Numbers in the millions have been recorded.

The Lake Victoria wetland and Mt Moreland where the Barn Swallows roost in summer.

There are a number of Red Data species which have been recorded in the area including:

  • Orange-breasted Waxbills
  • Black Coucals
  • Southern Brown-throated Weavers

Some of the millions of Barn Swallows gathering at dusk before roosting in the reed beds.

More information on these species is required. It is imperative that all visiting birders do a complete bird list of the area including bird counts for any of the Red Data species listed above. This information is necessary to help conserve Mount Moreland as eThekweni’s only IBA. All data should be sent to ADU as either an Atlas card or BIRP report and importantly to BLPN (write “Mount Moreland” in the subject line please).

Directions: At N2 off ramp Umdloti/Verulam turn towards Verulam. Go just under 1km, turn right at white pillar saying Umdloti Estate, Mount Moreland. Follow the road, the rest is signposted Mount Moreland /Swallow View site.

Contact details: Click here to view Mount Moreland Conservancy’s web address. Please visit this site to find out more information about the Barn Swallows and the locations of the different viewing sites.

Donations are always welcome to help conserve the habitat for the Barn Swallows.

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Umvoti Estuary.

Umvoti Estuary was proclaimed a Natural Heritage site and is an IBA. It was granted this status due to the large number of Terns and Waders seen there. It also incorporates a strip of coastal forest that is host to a number of coastal forest specials, such as Green Malkoha, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and Grey Sunbird.

Panoramic view of the Umvoti estuary with Blythedale Beach in the distance.

Collared Pratincole has bred on the fallow land and other specials that have been recorded include Yellow Wagtail, Caspian Plover and Red-headed Quelea.

The estuary lagoon where numerous waders and waterbirds may be seen.

Please note that after rough weather this may be an excellent site to spot albatrosses, White-chinned Petrel, Skuas, Cape Gannet (in winter) and other seabirds.

The mouth of the Umvoti River, with the sea beyond and coastal forest on the south bank.

More information on these species is required. It is imperative that all visiting birders do a complete bird list of the area including bird counts for any of the species mentioned above. This information is necessary to help conserve the status of Umvoti Estuary as an IBA.  All data should be sent to ADU as either an Atlas card or BIRP report and importantly to BLPN (write “Umvoti Estuary” in the subject line please).

Directions: Travel north on the N2 until the Umvoti Toll Plaza. Take the Groutville turn-off just north of the Toll and turn right across the freeway. Follow the Telephone Lines until the entrance gate is reached. There is a conservancy fee which is used for the eradication of noxious weeds.

Should you wish to visit Umvoti Estuary, please contact BLPN to request the owner’s contact details.

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