Things To Do in Thesen IslandThesen Island Bird Watching
Where? Varuious spots around the Island, Thesen Islands, Garden Route
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Free
Thesen Islands may primarily be a residential and holiday estate, but it certainly boasts an impressive array of birds, which make it particularly popular amongst those that love spotting exciting avian species. In fact, the bird-watchers of Knysna and even further afield on the Garden Route, know that the wetlands and lagoon attract a wonderful collection of terrestrial and marine birds.
To date, there are 103 recorded species here. These are seen peacefully making their way around the homes, gardens and waterways of the island; as well as in reeds and waters of the parks, and where the bird hide can be found. This hide has been strategically and unobtrusively perched next to the park area, but away from the playful sounds of children and dogs; giving the birds the peace and serenity that they require to breed, feed and live most comfortably.
The water birds of Thesen include the likes of the pied avocet, a few cormorant species, little grebe, African darter, yellow-billed and white-faced ducks, African fish eagle, Egyptian goose, sacred ibis, grey and black-headed heron, a number of kingfishers (malachite, giant, half-collared and pied), the African black oystercatcher, sandpipers, five different plovers, the African spoonbill and the Cape teal, amongst many others. The terrestrial birds include the commonly sighted doves, shrikes, crows, starlings, Cape white eye, Cape weaver, and fork-tailed drongo. However, there are also spotted eagle-owls, African goshawks, harrier-hawks, yellow-billed kites and four sunbird varieties.
Of course, not all of these are seen from the hide, and avid bird-watchers should remember to stroll around the island with binoculars on hand so as not to miss out on exciting findings. If you’re lucky, you may even see a Eurasian curclew, flamingo, black or purple heron, painted snipe or sanderling.
Indeed, staying on Thesen Islands is all about variety and abundance, and those visiting will doubtless revel in the sheer diversity of the birds that share this exquisite habitat with their human counterparts.