Fish River – Bedford and surrounds
About the Birding
The village of Bedford, situated roughly 96Km to the north of Grahamstown, is surrounded by rich grasslands supporting several notable endemic species. Several unpaved public roads lead from the town itself, suitable as day trips from Grahamstown. Time spent along any of these should deliver most targets, though some occur in low density and require knowledge of specific habitat requirements.
About the Birding Site
The Great Fish River is the Eastern Cape’s largest river system, running 644Km from source to mouth and draining a basin of some 30 366Km2. Originating to the east of the Karoo town of Graaf Rienet, the river runs past Cradock and Grahamstown before finally entering the Indian ocean near Seafield. Its main tributaries include the Groot Brak, Tarka, Kap and Little Fish Rivers with supplementary input from the Orange River through the Orange-Fish River tunnel system. The river itself flows permanently across much of its length and supports one of the Eastern Cape’s largest agriculture production areas.
Other Related Information
Two routes are recommended as follows:
1. From Bedford, travel south-west along the MR0635 from -32.6844, 26.0811. Keep to the left at -32.7220, 26.0335 and continue south through the extensive grasslands until you reach -33.0257, 25.8989. Melodious Lark is best seen along this stretch of road. From there, you can either scan the Great Fish River or continue east through Sibuya Private Game Reserve to reach the M350.