Special Birds to Look for at Likweti

Special Birds to Look for at Likweti

The bird count for Likweti has only just started but some ‘specials’ have been encountered. No doubt there will be more in the months to follow with more frequent visits.  Two birds that are usually targeted by keen birders that I have found are Mountain Wagtail and Half-collared Kingfisher. Both are birds that frequent fast flowing streams and rivers but normally at higher altitude than Likweti in forested country.

The dam that is a continuation of Primkop Dam adjoining the property near the Likweti Gate is where the old agricultural irrigation canal starts. The dam overflow cascades into the river below and creates ideal habitat for these two lovely birds. You can find Mountain Wagtails feeding from rocks in rapids and fast-flowing streamlets. It is a lovely bird with a long tail which continuously wags, hence the name. It has a blue-grey back and head and black and white zebra stripes on its wings. It always strikes me as being immaculate and neat.

Half-collared Kingfisher is a striking bird with bright blue upperparts and buffy breast and belly. Its habitat preference is clear, fast flowing streams and rivers, well vegetated along the banks, normally at higher altitude than Likweti. The river below the dam wall is perfect, even though it normally occurs at higher altitude on the escarpment. Often the only sighting one has of this lovely bird is when it flies at fast speed along the river, but at Likweti I have found it actively fishing small fish where the dam overflows.

Peter Lawson



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