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Umwinzi River Hharare Zimbabwe (1 Viewer)


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Umwinzi River Harare Zimbabwe

Umwinzi River 2008/08/08

The Umwinzi River Valley rises just about in the center of Zimbabwe, on the northern outskirts of the capital, Harare. The head-waters, my local Patch, pass through about 10 km of hilly country, dropping about 200 meters before leveling out in open farmlands. The habitat is primarily hilly miombo woodland, with some riverine woodland still in situ. Patches of wetland, small dams, and reed beds are alternative habitats. The extreme south of the area is mostly residential, with large well developed gardens. A lot of unregulated stream-bank cultivation, poaching, and illicit wood cutting is decimating the area.

August is still winter here, with a lot of early morning frost, and with ice on the bird bath. The birds are very quiet in the early mornings, but have become very active by warm mid-day. Yesterday early the Black-breasted snake eagle was sitting on his usual vantage tree preening and waiting for the thermals he would use later to soar to his low to midlevel patrol height. Heughlin's robin as always puts on a grand songfest in mornings and evenings, but is seldom seen. The doves are getting more active and vocal as spring approaches. We have Red-eyed dove, Cape Turtle dove, Laughing dove, Emerald-spotted wood dove and Tambourine dove. The Tambourines have only been seen and mostly heard in an isolated area where clearing is still restricted, but sadly their days are probably numbered. A very busy pair of Crested barbet is feeding an early chick. Wattled flycatcher are very rarely seen in the riparian woodland. Miombo rock thrushes can be found in some of the still pristine hillside woodlands.

Some wild life is still able to survive in the valley. Fresh Clawless otter scats are evidence that these reclusive creatures are still active in the river. Yesterday I rescued and released a female Duiker from a snare. My reward from its razor sharp hooves was a ruined tracksuit, and a gashed leg, and a good sense of satisfaction. Droppings from a large wild cat are puzzling. Could it be a small leopard still surviving in the city? Sooner or later I will find its tracks.
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