Lowveld – Friedenheim Grasslands
About the Birding
Start birding immediately after turning off and this is therefore a good idea to open windows wide and turn off the engine to hear birds. Along this road drive very slow and make frequent stops. Also alight from your vehicle at intervals. Check the ARC property on your right and the boundary fence, as well as the young orchards on the left, between the road and the fence. This area has given us some really good records for this pentad on occasions. These include European Roller, Red- backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Plain-backed Pipit, Red-capped Lark,Dusky Lark, African Quail-finch, Common Buttonquail, Black-bellied Bustard, White-winged Widowbird and Orange-breasted Waxbill, amongst others.
About the Birding Site
This could be done as a combination of walking and driving and it is recommended to stop the car and walk a bit and listen as one will see and hear more birds. Early morning is best. Open grassland is a scarce habitat in Mbombela and the area described below probably offers the best site for this habitat.
Other Related Information
There is no entry fee charged to bird this area. To get there drive towards White River on the R40, passing Riverside, and shortly after driving under the N4 highway turn right onto the Friedenheim road. There is a sign here for ‘University of Mpumalanga’. Drive for 3.8km and turn right onto an unmarked gravel road, immediately after the entrance to the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). Most of the area has now been planted with macadamia trees but some good birding is still possible
GPS: -25.443, 30.995
Text prepared by:
Extracted from Birds of Mbombela – A Comparative Study by Duncan McKenzie and Peter Lawson. Published by BirdLife Lowveld (2019).