One of the birding hotspots covered in Birding Gauteng is Norscot Koppies and Kingfisher Nature Reserves (chapter 7, page 28). It is really close to our home in Johannesburg, but is only open on the second weekend of every month so we had not gotten around to visiting it. We had a gap in our weekend yesterday, so my son, Drew (Little Birdman) and I visited it yesterday afternoon for about 2 hours. It is actually two reserves joined together by a small corridor between two town house complexes.
We explored the southern section first (Norscott Koppies Nature Reserve) and immediately were surprised at the numerous Spotted Thick-Knee that we saw. The up close sighting of Green Wood Hoopoe were special as was the only resident Common Ostrich:
There is a small dam with a great hide in this section of the reserve as well:
We then passed through the narrow corridor to explore the northern section (Kingfisher Nature Reserve). At the stream that leads into the dam in this reserve we spotted a Green-backed Heron. It was a a bit far from us and had the sun behind it, and our efforts to sneak up on it were fruitless as it flew off shouting at us for disturbing it's early afternoon sun-tanning session!
We wandered down to the dam and the second bird hide - here are some scenery pics that we took:
On the dam we saw Little Grebe, Yellow-billed Egret, Grey Heron, African Black Duck.
On the way back up the hill towards the Norscott NR we saw: Southern Red Bishop, Common Fiscal, Crested Barbet, female Cardinal Woodpecker and Cape White-eye:
By the time we were finished we had seen 32 different bird species, three species of buck, rock hyrax and a giant tortoise. We will definitely visit the spot again in summer.