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Korsman Bird Sanctuary

 

Korsman Bird Sanctuary

This 49hectare bird sanctuary, little more than a kilometre from the centre of Benoni, encompasses a small natural pan which occupies over half the total area. It is considered one of South Africa's best urban bird sanctuaries. The GPS coordinates are 26°11' 36" S and 28°17' 36" E.

The Sanctuary is fenced and access to the public is not generally allowed. There are no hides. It is completely encircled by The Drive. A 2,5 kilometre grass sidewalk allows views from all sides. Raised benches allow good views over the pan. The fence is generally no more than 20 or 30 metres from the edge of the pan, depending on fluctuating water levels. With access being restricted the main attraction is inevitably the birdlife.

The Sanctuary is regarded as relatively safe, located in a boom controlled access area (with no entry fee). The grass verge between The Drive and the fence lends itself to picnics though there are no toilet facilities or shops in the immediate vicinity. However there are a number of restaurants immediately to the east, in Western Extension.
141 species of birds have been recorded. Ones which are not commonly seen in urban and suburban areas but can be seen in the sanctuary's aquatic setting include the Cape Shoveler, African Spoonbill, African (Purple) Swamphen, Hottentot Teal, Red-billed Teal, Reed Cormorant, White-breasted Cormorant, African Darter, Maccoa Duck, White faced whistling duck, Greater Flamingo, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Goliath Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Lesser Flamingo, Little Bittern and Black Crake.

The sanctuary is looked after by Korsman Conservancy, a non-profit company of volunteers, in conjunction with the city council, dedicated to maintaining its natural state and indigenous fauna and flora, free of aliens. This includes collecting litter and regular burns.

More details on the Conservancy, its history, fauna and flora listings and how to become a member can be seen on the website at http://www.korsmanconservancy.com/ while coming events, recent sightings and other topical issues can be seen on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/korsmanconservancy/. The Facebook page is also used by the public to report unusual sightings, ask questions etc.


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