Barberton Bird Watching
Purple Crested Lourie
Paintings obtained from Newmans Birds of Southern Africa
The town of Barberton and its surrounds (Umjindi Municipality) contains such a variety of habitats that it holds a wide diversity of bird species. We can break the area into a number of distinct habitat types: 1. The residential areas, with its well established gardens with large trees, shrubs and flowers, exotic and indigenous. Falling into this area is the cemetery and garden of remembrance, both good “birding” spots. These areas support such species as the Purple crested Lourie, sunbirds, seedeaters, thrush, and robins. 2. The surrounding dams and other stretches of water with the various water associated species of herons, waders, reed-bed and migrant warblers, etc. 3. There are open stretches of grassland and farmlands where we can find many of the seedeaters, widows and wydahs. 4. The typical bushveld which is home to the woodpeckers, shrikes, hoopoes and honeyguides. 5. Then perhaps the most exciting and challenging areas the thick forested gorges or ravines. One of these is the Rimer’s Creek, starting from the Museum, this is an excellent area rich in bird life. The secretive Narina Trogon can often be spotted also the Knysna Lourie, Olive Sunbird, Olive Woodpecker and Yellow throated Warbler. 6. Perhaps not the most productive of “birding” areas, but nevertheless worth a visit to the surrounding mountains. Here one can expect to see some of the raptor species such as Crowned Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Mountain Buzzard, Rock Kestrel, etc. During a survey conducted by 20 residents of the town over a 12 month period within the municipal boundary some 250 different species were recorded and some 10 extra ones have been added since. The various bush and mountain trails have spots for bird watching. Therefore, for the casual bird watcher, bird ringers or the serious twitcher the town of Barberton is well worth a visit.