Colbyn Wetland Nature Reserve

About the Birding

The total number of bird species recorded in the reserve stands on 178 species. The species recorded also include birds that were seen in the residential properties directly on the perimeter of the reserve. Of these 140 is resident species with 40 species considered as vagrants.

As the main habitat in the reserve is a wetland, it hosts many bird species associated with wetlands such as Malachite and Half-collared Kingfisher, many warblers, bishops and weavers. Orange-breasted Waxbill sometimes can be seen in the wetland.

You always stand a chance to see an interesting raptor, especially Black Sparrowhawk, which sometimes hunts or displays over the reserve. Other interesting raptors include Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, and Little Sparrowhawk. A pair of Marsh Owls also occur here, but they are difficult to see as they hide in the grasses.

The site hosts some woodlands next to the wetlands, and many more common to uncommon woodland species can be seen. Brown-backed Honeybird is always a highlight. Many aerial feeders, like swifts and swallows, will also be recorded during a birding walk. During summer, European Bee-eaters can be seen in large numbers, especially in the morning when they leave a roosting tree next to the reserve.

Please see MS Excel spreadsheet with a detailed list of species recorded.

During a morning walk in summer, you can expect to see between 70-90 species.

About the Birding Site

The Colbyn Wetland Nature Reserve (previously Colbyn Valley Nature Area) was declared as a protected area on 25 June 2014. It is 60 hectares in extent and consists of wetland, peatland, grassland, and adjoining quartzite ridges. It is part of a “green corridor”, together with adjoining areas such as Meintjieskop, the Pretoria National Botanical Garden, the University of Pretoria’s LC de Villiers sports campus, and the experimental farm. The Hartbeesspruit flows through the reserve and is later joined by the Moreletaspruit before draining into Roodeplaat Dam. The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality manages the reserve through its Nature Conservation division. The Friends of Colbyn Valley was reconstituted in 2013 and is registered with WESSA as a Friends Group. They assist with the management of the reserve and hold regular birding walks.

Other Related Information

The main access gate is at the Scout Hall on Kilnerton Road. GPS Point: -25.738926 28.253090. Access to the reserve is strictly controlled. Please contact Philip Calinikos to obtain access. Although walking in the reserve is relatively safe, joining a birding group when visiting is best. Please note that after rains, the ground can be extremely wet, dress appropriately. Access is free.

Key species:

Black Sparrowhawk, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Brown-backed Honeybird and Half-collared Kingfisher

Contact details:

Philip Calinikos:
Facebook: Friends of Colbyn Valley