Boardwalk Bird Sanctuary – 9 November 2013

A duck mother and her broodAngry father keeping an eye out for dangerMasked Weaver building a nestRed Bishop branching outRed Bishop hiding in red branchesRed Bishop in the reeds
The many bird hides at Boardwalk

I visited the Boardwalk Bird Sanctuary today.

Masked Weaver building a nest SM

This bird sanctuary can be found in the suburb of Valley Farm Agricultural Holdings, Pretoria, on the corner of Solomon Mahlangu Dr (Hans Strijdom Dr) and Haymeadow Crescent.

On the city’s website for this sanctuary, it says that there are at least 2 hides, since they use the plural instead of the singular “hide.” However, there is only one hide and it is out of commission currently while they are upgrading the wooden walkways to the hide.

When you get to the hide there are reeds on the left and right, and water in front of it. While I stood there, I saw no birds on the water, and the small birds, such as the Red Bishops and Yellow Masked Weavers, were too far to really enjoy.

BoardwalkBirdSanctuaryIn the image of the bird sanctuary above you will see the one single hide marked with the red circle. The green line on the right marks an area that carries a lot of water just under the walking surface of the grass, and every now and again your foot will sink in completely. So, you cannot walk too close to where the reeds are, and the birds.

On the left is a yellow line where you can walk comfortably and dry next to the water line and the reeds. You will find many birds here, but mostly the Red Bishops and Yellow Masked Weavers.

When it comes to water birds, I only saw two ducks and their brood of four. That is it!

Although there is no cost to access this sanctuary, it certainly will not make it into my current top three places to visit for photo opportunities.

GPS: 25°47’47.30″S
28°19’27.23″E
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Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary – 26 Oct 2013

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On this day the birds were very mellow, and so I didn’t get many birds in flight. Access to the sanctuary is free and the GPS coordinates are 25°46’11.32″S – 28°13’39.31″E. It is on the corner of Roper St and Boshoff St, in the suburb of Bailey’s Muckleneuk.

It is a very popular spot for bird photographers, and there are guys with lenses that they can hardly pick up. [envy][drool]

There are a couple of guys that I now recognize when I arrive there. I really do not have to travel far to get to this spot, so it fits very well into my budget. I go there fairly often, perhaps once a month. That may change, as I may have discovered some more places for photography, but I will check them out and report back on them.

Judging photographs is not easy

At the start of this year I decided to take photography a little more serious than I had up till then. So, I decided to join a photography club. I joined the National Photographic Club of South Africa here in Pretoria.

As a newbie in photography I had to start as a 1 Star photographer. There are 5 star levels for photographers. Once you become a 5 Star photographer, you need to move up the 5 Star ranks of 5 Star Master Bronze to 5 Star Master Platinum. And, of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. To move from 1 star to 2 star a total number of 30 judging points have to be accumulated and at least 7 gold or certificate of merit (COM) awards, where COM = 5, gold = 3, silver = 2 and bronze = 1. This is explained in the table below:

 

photographer_star_grading

 

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