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  • Mikeli Bass

Twitching A Slaty Egret

Yesterday I received a message on a birding group saying that there was a Slaty Egret seen at Gnu Valley Farm, which is located 22km away from my house in Johannesburg. I was so happy that it wasn’t too far and it is a very rare bird in South Africa, so I had to twitch it. On the morning we left home at about 9:15am to get to the location. Let’s just say the drive was worth it, as the moment we drove in, standing on the green grass was a magnificent medium sized blackish blue egret.

Slaty Egret

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt that the trip was already complete. Moreover, we did a little more birding at this wonderful place. We crossed a river and sitting there was a huge water monitor lying peacefully on the grass. He seemed a bit nervous about something so quickly moved into the reeds.

Water Monitor

Now onto the birding. We saw 27 species during this short trip including the Slaty Egret. Another highlight was a Whiskered Tern flying non-stop much like a swallow does.

Some other decent ones were a Pin-tailed Whydah as well as an African Pipit. And last but not least, the beautiful Malachite Kingfisher which had been flying from reed to reed.

Whiskered Tern

Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures of the Malachite Kingfisher, African pipit and Pin-tailed Whydah but I’m determined to get decent ones next time.

Overall, it was a really great trip and I had fun spending time with my family and obviously the birding was great. I would definitely recommend birding at this awesome place and I would definitely visit Gnu Valley again. See you next trip!

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