North West – OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary

About the Birding

OPM Prozesky provides relaxed birding on foot. Paths lead to different birding spots and two hides.

Many species of waterbirds can be observed, often at close quarters. Interesting birds almost always seen include African (Purple) Swamphen, Black Crake, Black-winged Stilt and Goliath Heron. In the reed beds different warblers can be heard, weavers are prolific in summer and in the grassveld waxbills, Zitting Cisticola, African Pipit, Cape Longclaw and African Stonechat can be seen.

The odd Sand Martin and Common House Martin can be spotted among the many swallows, swifts and martins that feed above the pans. Several species of duck occur, with White-faced Whistling Duck and Fulvous Whistling Duck typically common. Red-billed Teal, Cape Teal and Hottentot Teal, Cape Shoveler, Southern Pochard can often be seen as well. Maccoa Duck and White-backed Duck occurs occasionally. Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron and Black Heron can be seen with patience. African Rail and Red-chested Flufftail are often heard and sometimes seen in open clearings as is Baillon’s Crake. Several seedeaters, including Orange-breasted Waxbill, Long-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Thick-billed Weaver, and Pin-tailed Whydah also occur. The extensive reedbeds and thickets can also be good for Levaillant’s Cisticola, Lesser Swamp Warbler, African Reed Warbler and Little Rush Warbler. Migrant species include Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Marsh Warbler. Waders to look out for include Three-banded Plover. Other birds typically seen over the water include Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, African Darter, Glossy Ibis and Malachite Kingfisher. Unusual sightings at times is that of African Openbill.

**A road transects the pans and can be travelled by vehicle to the most southern hide on the western side of the reserve. After rains however, one should be careful when traveling on this track, so one doesn’t get stuck. The smell in the reserve can sometimes be a bit strong being next to the wastewater treatment plant.

Key species:

South African Shelduck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, African Rail, Sand Martin (summer), Orange-breasted Waxbill, Little Bittern, Cape Shoveler, Whiskered Tern, Purple Heron, African (Purple) Swamphen

About the Birding Site

This 72-hectare bird sanctuary was established in the 1980s and is situated in Potchefstroom. The bird sanctuary is named after the well-known ornithologist, Dr O.P.M Prozesky of the Transvaal Museum who championed its establishment. About 200 species have been recorded over the years and it is a haven for waterbirds in particular.

Key species:

South African Shelduck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, African Rail, Sand Martin (summer), Orange-breasted Waxbill, Little Bittern, Cape Shoveler, Whiskered Tern, Purple Heron, African (Purple) Swamphen

Other Related Information

Access and facilities:
OPM Prozesky lies just south of Potchefstroom along the banks of the Mooi River: 26°44’51.2″S 27°05’46.8″E
Visitors can enter the reserve during daylight hours, no permit is needed and no entrance fee is levied.

**OPM Prozesky: Due to a lack of maintenance, a lot of the trails and roads are overgrown, so is most of the viewpoints to the pans. Safety might be a concern and some of the hides are used at night as shelters. Birding from a vehicle is therefore recommended.

Other related information:

Recommended accommodation nearby:
Many guesthouses and self-catering options can be found in Potchefstroom.
There are no BirdLife Recommended Accommodations in the area.

Local guide information:
No BirdLife Recommended Tour Operators or local guides are currently available in the area.

Text prepared by:
Martin Benadie | Specialist Birding Guide
Johan Viljoen

Key species:

South African Shelduck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, African Rail, Sand Martin (summer), Orange-breasted Waxbill, Little Bittern, Cape Shoveler, Whiskered Tern, Purple Heron, African (Purple) Swamphen

Contact details:

Potchefstroom Tourism Association
Website: http://potchefstroom.co.za/pta/

Download Checklist