Tshwane and Environs – Rooiwal Water Treatment Works

About the Birding

This site has been birded regularly by local bird club BirdLife Northern Gauteng, who have been visiting Rooiwal since 1971 and have recorded an excess of 258 species. Birding is mostly limited to waterfowl, however on early summer mornings the lawns between the lower settling ponds often produce several Western Yellow Wagtails.

Winter and summer regulars are Knob-billed Duck, large flocks of White-faced Duck, Red-billed Teal, Little Grebe, Reed Cormorant, Black-headed and Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Sacred Ibis, Yellow-billed Duck, African Black Duck, Southern Pochard, Red-knobbed Coot, Crowned and Blacksmith Lapwings, Black-winged Stilt, Cape and African Pied Wagtails, Squacco Heron and Brown-Throated Martin and White-throated Swallow. Long-crested Eagle, and Black-breasted Snake-Eagle are also regular visitors. Birding is best during summer with a variety of waders as well as flocks of White-winged Terns and Barn Swallows. A large number of Amur Falcons may also be spotted sitting on the power lines. Winter birding is also excellent as many waterfowl species frequent the dams during the winter months.

Key species:

Western Yellow Wagtails (summer), African Pied Wagtail, Knob-billed Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, Long-crested Eagle, Sand Martin, Black-winged Stilt, Grey-headed Gull, African Purple Swamphen, African Rail

About the Birding Site

This water purification facility offers excellent birding for waders and water birds. It consists mainly of settling ponds and dams, but adjacent irrigated grassveld also offers good birding. Water purification works usually provide ideal habitats for waterbirds and the permanent dams and settling ponds ensure that water birds are present throughout the year.

Ploughed fields and grasslands, adjacent to the purification plant, are regularly irrigated with treated sewage water from the works and provide excellent habitat for waders and lapwings.

Key species:

Western Yellow Wagtails (summer), African Pied Wagtail, Knob-billed Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, Long-crested Eagle, Sand Martin, Black-winged Stilt, Grey-headed Gull, African Purple Swamphen, African Rail

Other Related Information

Access and facilities:
A permit must be obtained in advance. Contact Mari Wolmarans during office hours at Pretoria: +27 (0)72 190 3474 or 27 (0)72 190 3474 for a permit to be emailed. Advanced booking is required. Standy operator: +27 (0)82 320 1701.

Other related information:

Directions:
Rooiwal Water Treatment Works are situated north of Pretoria. From OR Tambo International Airport, take the R21 north to Pretoria. After approximately 40 km on the R21, take the N1-North off-ramp to Pretoria/Polokwane. Remain on the N1-North and take the Pyramid / Wallmannsthal off-ramp and then turn to the left. Continue on this road for 6.5 km until you reach a T-junction with the R101. Turn right onto the R101 for 1.5 km. Turn right onto the Rooiwal / Mabopane road (this turn off is directly opposite the power station). Follow the road as it circles left, taking you onto a bridge, crossing the R101 and wetlands. Turn right at the t-junction. Continue past the entrance to Rooiwal Power Station until you reach the entrance gate to Rooiwal Water Treatment Works on the left. The site is approximately 80 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport.

Times: No specific closing or opening times. Specific time to be arranged when booking your trip.
Entrance Fees: No entrance fees.

Text prepared by:
John Kinghorn and Toni Geddes

Key species:

Western Yellow Wagtails (summer), African Pied Wagtail, Knob-billed Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, Long-crested Eagle, Sand Martin, Black-winged Stilt, Grey-headed Gull, African Purple Swamphen, African Rail

Contact details:

A permit is required in advance for access, contact:

Mari Wolmarans
Tel: +27 (0)72 190 3474 or
+27 (0)72 190 3474
Standy operator: +27 (0)82 320 1701

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