On Tuesday 25 February Joe Grosel, Charles Hardy and Bruce Goetsch set off to count the water birds at three sites around Polokwane as part of the biannual CWAC counts administered by the Animal Demography Unit. Unfortunately due to the low water levels and ongoing human disturbance the Sterkloop wetlands didnít produce much with only five species and 29 birds recorded there. This is the lowest tally ever counted at this site. On the contrary the farm dams and natural pan on the farm Rondepan (also known as Vencor) was very productive. At this site 1722 water birds were counted comprising 32 species.
Notable records were 570 Sacred Ibis, approximately 300 Marabou Stork, 217 Cattle Egret, 164 Abdim's Stork and 140 White Stork. Uncommon species recorded were Cape Teal, Cape Shoveller and Yellow-billed Stork. Further up the road towards Dendron lies the Kalkfontein Farm with two large earth dams. Here 32 water bird species were counted with 1147 birds in total. The most prolific species here were Egyptian Goose (437) and Marabou Stork (287). The most significant find at this site was a single Black Heron a species not often seen in these parts.
Thanks goes to Bruce Goetsch and Charles Hardy for their unfailing support of this project and a particular word of thanks to Bruce for collating and submitting the data year after year.