13 April 2013 – a quiet day at the sewage works…
This morning I decided to go and work Strandfontein Sewage Works. It is a particularly good time of the year for possible reverse migrants, so secretly, I was hoping to find some mega to report on. There had also been a Franklin’s Gull reported from there recently which we still needed for our challenge list, so that was another determining factor for the visit.
Arriving reasonably early, the light was good, so I spent some time photographing, but there wasn’t really anything that was posing particularly well for me. I had also started a pentad list for the atlas project, so I worked through the area carefully adding a number of common species to the list. The first part of the morning was spent looking for suitable habitat for waders, but there wasn’t a whole lot of it around. Other than the usual Blacksmith Lapwings, Three-banded Plovers, Pied Avocets and Black-winged Stilts, one small group of Curlew Sandpipers was all that was seen!
I also scanned through the flocks of waterfowl in the hope of finding something out of the ordinary, but it was not too be. There were lots of ducks around, but only the regular species. In amongst the many Little Grebes, I also picked out a handful of Black-necked Grebes, but that was about it.
As it turns out, careful working of the area over the course of a few hours turned up nothing unusual. It has been decidedly quiet recently in terms of rarities, so one can only hope that it is the “quiet before the storm”. Nevertheless, it was nice to be out in the field and I suppose at least I had put the effort in. If I had just stayed at home, I would have stood even less chance of finding something special…:)