Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Early mornings are always the best time to get good photos, and images of birds are no different. The early morning light can make for some great images, however a lot of patience is required, wild birds dont always appear on cue!

Some of these little guys are so non-descript that its difficult to ID them! If u can help, please do 😉


This little guy seems to be using the reeds as his launchpad!

Cape longclaw

Cape long claw, keeping a watchful eye on everything around him!

Malachite kingfisher

We waited almost half an hour for this beautiful Malachite kingfisher to make an appearance – well worth the wait! But we had to be fast, as he settled in for only a few seconds and was gone again!

Lesser striped swallow

Lesser striped swallow. These birds are so fast, but when they settle in, its the perfect opportunity for photos. What we only realised after about 10 minutes is that the hide we were in, also housed their nest, so the photo-shoot opportunity was really only due to us invading their territory! Once we vacated the premises, they were quick to fly home!

Masked weaver

Resplendent in their summer colours, the Southern maskedweavers were stripping the reeds, bit by bit, to build their nests

Forest buzzard or Augur buzzard?

By the markings on the under-wing, this could be either a Forest buzzard or an Augur buzzard, of which there were plenty hovering about in the fields adjacent to Marievale

Southern Red bishop

The red of his head and back ensure this Southern red bishop stands out starkly against the green of the foliage

Red knobbed coot

red knobbed coot are plentiful at Marievale

Red knobbed coots

Red knobbed coot all landing at the same time makes landing space a premium!


The grasses and reeds surrounding some of the dams may not be as bright in colour as the birds but they certainly make for a great image!

Egyptian goose

This Egyptian goose was standing so still, almost as if on guard, like a lonely sentinel

Squacco heron

Watching…….waiting…….some unsuspecting fish will pass by at some stage….and wham, that’s breakfast done for this Squacco heron!

Wild grass at the Marievale Bird sanctuary

Cats Tail or Nine Awned grass

African darter sunning itself

African darter sunning itself

So pretty in bloom, so plain when its over

So pretty in bloom, so plain when the bloom is gone

Watching and waiting patiently, this Squacco heron is eyeing the waters for any unsuspecting fish that may become dinner!

Watching and waiting patiently, this Squacco heron is eyeing the waters for any unsuspecting fish that may become dinner!

Stone chatThese Stone chats flit about so quickly, you have to be fast “on the draw” if you want a photo!


This Tern was trying so hard to fall asleep, basking in the sun, but the other birds around would not let it be

Bull (Cotton) Thistle

Despite being pretty, these Bull (Cotton) Thistle plants are noxious & invasive in many areas

Bull (Cotton) Thistle

Once the flower of a Bull (Cotton) Thistle dies off, the seeds, attached to tiny white feather like stems, are dispersed by even the lightest breeze

Cats Tail or Nine Awned grass

The light colour of this Cats Tail or Nine Awned grass (not sure which), with the sun on the feather like bristles made for a good contrast against the greenery in the background

Cats Tail or Nine Awned grass

Such soft, pastel colours in the early morning

Wild grasses

Such soft pastel colours


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