Strandfontein Sewage Works: Important Bird Area


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Pelikan Park, Cape Town, 7941

The Strandfontein Sewage Works are a functioning wastewater purification treatment plant. The settlement's ponds have become world-renowned for the numbers and diversity of bird species that can be seen here. This area is rated as one of the top five birding areas in South Africa.

A good variety of waterbirds inhabit the pans, among them Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Great White Pelican, Greater Flamingo, South African Shelduck and Maccoa Duck (the latter particularly in the central, deeper pans on your right as you approach the plant buildings from the Zeekoeivlei entrance).

In summer the usual selection of Palaearctic migrants occur, including Wood Sandpiper and large numbers of Little Stint and White-winged Tern. Most of the ponds are fringed by reedbeds, which are inhabited by African Purple Swamphen, Black Crake and Purple Heron. The coastal pans, adjacent to Baden-Powell Drive, usually have small numbers of African Black Oystercatcher, and there is a vast roost of Cape Cormorant, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands. The vegetation surrounding the pans consists largely of alien acacia thicket, with an unremarkable bird community. Over the last few years there have been a number of interesting vagrants, including Garganey, American Purple Gallinule, American Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Phalarope, Franklin's Gull and Grey Wagtail.


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