Garden Route – Coney Glen, The Heads and Woodbourne Pan salt marsh

About the Birding

A fantastic morning’s birding can be had by following George Rex Drive (-34.0392, 23.0669). The first stop is the Woodbourne Pan salt marsh adjacent to the turn off to Leisure Isle. Park in a safe position on the side of the road and the birding is all on the eastern side of the road, and is from the road. The offerings depend entirely on what the tide is doing and is generally poor at high tide.

With an incoming or outgoing tide, the marsh really comes alive, with Red-billed Teal, Cape Teal, Cape Shoveler, Yellow-billed Duck, Pied Avocet, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint, African Fish Eagle, Western Osprey.

The thickets surrounding the marsh on either side are good for Cape Canary, Knysna Woodpecker and Olive Bushshrike.

Continue along George Rex drive and take the Coney Glen turn off. Follow all along until you reach the ConeyGlen car park (-34.0805, 23.0634). The Milkwood thicket between the car park and the beach is a good spot for Knysna Warbler amongst the thick underbrush. Peregrine Falcon also make use of the cliff nests as vantage points.

The car park at the Knysna Heads is a good spot to try for Half-collared Kingfisher, Africa Oystercatcher and large numbers of Cape Cormorant.
You can take a drive around Leisure Isle and stop at the Steenbok Nature Reserve for a short walk and check the small boat harbour for waders and water birds. Pied Kingfisher, Little Egret and Western Osprey may be seen.

This route is particularly well suited for mobility impaired birding.

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Scaly-Throated Honeyguide, Half Collared Kingfisher, Cape Sugarbird, Victorin’s Warbler, Orange-Breasted Sunbird

About the Birding Site

Three different bird species, a Warbler, a Woodpecker and a Turaco, all point to the town of Knysna and the diverse birding it has to offer. Wrapped around a magnificent lagoon and separated from the Indian Ocean by the dramatic Knysna Heads, it has something to offer for the whole family including the offer of pelagic birding.

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Scaly-Throated Honeyguide, Half Collared Kingfisher, Cape Sugarbird, Victorin’s Warbler, Orange-Breasted Sunbird

Other Related Information

Recommended accommodation nearby:
Pumula Lodge (Birder Friendly accredited)
Reflections Eco-Reserve 071 683 4133 (Birder Friendly accredited)

Local guide information:
No BirdLife South Africa Birder Friendly tour operators in the area.
Tim Carr
Cell: +27 (0)71 683 4133
Email: reflectionsreserve@gmail.com

Other related information:

Text prepared by:
Tim Carr

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Scaly-Throated Honeyguide, Half Collared Kingfisher, Cape Sugarbird, Victorin's Warbler, Orange-Breasted Sunbird

Contact details:

N/A

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