Gauteng Tourist AttractionsCumberland Bird Sanctuary
Where? Angus Road, Bryanston, Sandton, Johannesburg, 2191
How? Call +27 (0)11 712-6731
Just opposite the Bryanston Country Club is a bird sanctuary; an official 5.2 hectare 'protected area' with its entrance on Cumberland Avenue, hence its name.
Most of the time it is kept under lock and key, but at certain times it is open to the general public. Try and take advantage of these times, as, despite the high number of exotic trees in the reserve, there is an incredible bird life – 82 different species – particularly well known for the pair of black sparrow-hawks that breed in the sanctuary.
In the middle of Cumberland Bird Sanctuary is a little dam (you cross a stream to reach it) where you may sight crested barbet, African hoopoe and weavers and sunbirds; warblers in the thickets and the odd mousebird, thrush or tawny-flanked prinia.
The thick forested area of the sanctuary is good for Cape robin-chats and a harrier-hawk has been known to nest in the trees.
The bird hide is at the little dam (there is no clear path to the hide and it is sometimes difficult to find). The reeds may produce a little rush warbler, whilst common moorhens, thick-billed weavers, mousebirds and even red-eyed doves and southern red bishops make their presence felt whilst you are in the hide.
There is a picnic spot with tables and benches in the sanctuary that is also a good place to spot white-rumped swifts, laughing doves, turtle doves, crested barbet and southern boubous.
Look out for Sanctuary open days on Sundays on the Bryanston Community News pages on the web.