Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve

Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve is a Natural Heritage Park in the heart of Glenwood, Durban, and is one of the best local birding spots for rare forest birds in particular

KwaZulu Natal Game and Nature ReservesThe Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve

One of the best local birding spots for rare forest birds in particular, Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve is a Natural Heritage Park in the heart of Glenwood, in Durban.

The 10 hectare reserve has its entrance on Princess Alice Avenue and is open daily to locals who walk the reserve's trails and explore the over 110 species of trees, almost all of which are indigenous to the area.

Pigeon Valley is one of the few places where the endangered spotted ground-thrush, a forest bird that enjoys scratching in thick leaf litter, is reliably spotted well into winter, arriving in late March and staying until September. It is also the site of two of South Africa's rarest trees: the Natal elm and the forest loquat.

Other birds often spotted in the reserve are the Narina trogan, green twinspot and buffspotted flufftail.

In early 2014 Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve was selected as a role model for other similar natural areas in the city of Durban, due in no small part to the role played by Friends of the Pigeon Valley who use their own funds to pay for alien clearing and other work in the park.

The much-needed attention began with an agreement that the city mows only those areas that really need it, allowing grassland to grow to full height. As a result new birds seldom seen locally moved into the reserve, like the red-backed shrike and little bee-eaters.

The nature reserve has cut back some of the trees and shrubs on the southern slope to attract seed-eating birds and the Friends have established a second tree labelling exercise to help visitors to the reserve understand the species in the park. A series of indigenous planting along the road islands of Lena Ahrens Road will develop a natural link between Bulwer Park and Pigeon Valley.

To learn more about the reserve, attend one of The Friends' monthly walks on the second Saturday of every month at 7.30am at the entrance to the reserve. Or you can become a Friend of Pigeon Valley (contact WESSA).

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The Amble, also sometimes referred to as the Albert Falls Amble, is a complementary route to the Midlands Meander and Boston Beat.

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