Greater Johannesburg and Environs – Northern Farm Nature Reserve

About the Birding

The Jukskei river runs along the western boundary of the reserve. The reserve has a number of reasonably well-maintained dirt roads suitable for sedan motors. The dams and irrigation canals are the main attraction of the reserve and birders have the opportunity to view, study or photograph numerous waterbirds for example Great Crested Grebe, African Purple Swamphen, Common Moorhen, African Black Duck, Comb Duck, Egyptian Goose, White-faced Duck, Yellow-billed Duck, Blue-billed Teal, Red-billed Teal, Cape Teal, Spur-winged Goose, Cape Shoveler, Southern Pochard, Red-knobbed Coot and Little Grebe.

Herons, cormorants and egrets are also extremely common and this is a good place to see the massive Goliath Heron. Always listen for warblers and flufftails in the reedbeds. Lesser Swamp-Warbler, Little Rush-Warbler, Great Reed-Warbler and Sedge Warbler are all possible as well as Red-chested Flufftail. Northern Farm is well-known for the number of raptor species that occur here for example African Fish-Eagle (breeding), Long-crested Eagle, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Black Sparrowhawk (breeding), African Grass-Owl, Marsh Owl, Amur Falcon, Steppe Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel, Greater Kestrel, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Yellow-billed Kite. Yellow-wagtail is an uncommon summer visitor to the Gauteng area but year after year they come to Northern Farm and can be found in the cattle kraals or the short grass surrounding the cattle kraals. Other interesting species that you can hope to find include Black-crowned Night-Heron, Little Bittern, Cape Longclaw, Red-capped Lark, Green-backed Heron, African Spoonbill, African Stonechat, Cape White-eye, Cape Grassbird, Arrow-marked Babbler, Kurrichane Thrush, Green Wood-Hoopoe, Orange-breasted Waxbill and a number of kingfishers including Giant Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher and the beautiful Half-collared Kingfisher. Lapwings are very common and Blacksmith Lapwing, African Wattled Lapwing and Crowned Lapwings occur in the area. Also look out for swallows and swifts including Sand Martin.

Key species:

Western Yellow Wagtail (summer), Long-crested Eagle, Black Kite (summer), Amur Falcon (summer), Northern Black Korhaan, White-fronted Bee-eater, South African Cliff Swallow, Cape Grassbird, African Yellow Warbler, Cape Shoveler, Blue-billed Teal, Goliath Heron

About the Birding Site

This 2500ha reserve has become one of Gauteng’s most visited reserves with more than 270 species recorded. The reserve has a wide variety of habitats including some grassland, reedbeds, agricultural fields, cattle kraals and lots of wetland areas consisting of dams and irrigation canals and is extremely popular as both a birding and cycling destination.

Key species:

Western Yellow Wagtail (summer), Long-crested Eagle, Black Kite (summer), Amur Falcon (summer), Northern Black Korhaan, White-fronted Bee-eater, South African Cliff Swallow, Cape Grassbird, African Yellow Warbler, Cape Shoveler, Blue-billed Teal, Goliath Heron

Other Related Information

Directions:
From Johannesburg Airport take the R21 towards Pretoria. Before reaching Centurion take the N14 towards Krugersdorp. Continue on the N14 till you reach the R511William Nicol turnoff and turn left onto the R511 at the bottom of the off-ramp. Pass under the freeway and immediately turn left onto the R114 Muldersdrift road. Travel on this road to the NorthernFarm entrance (+- 5.4km).

Other related information:

Access and facilities:
GPS coordinates: S 25° 56′ 15.00″, E 27° 59′ 2.00″
Times: Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays: 06:00 – 17:00
Entrance Fees: R60 per person

Text prepared by:
John Kinghorn and Toni Geddes

Key species:

Western Yellow Wagtail (summer), Long-crested Eagle, Black Kite (summer), Amur Falcon (summer), Northern Black Korhaan, White-fronted Bee-eater, South African Cliff Swallow, Cape Grassbird, African Yellow Warbler, Cape Shoveler, Blue-billed Teal, Goliath Heron

Contact details:

N/A

Download Checklist