This birding spot refers to the Baakens Valley upstream of Settlers Park. A trail, the Guineafowl Trail, stretches from Settlers Park right up to Hawthorn Avenue in Sunridge Park. A shorter and more popular trail is from the bottom of Alcock Road to the 3rd Avenue dip in Newton Park.
The birds are much the same as in Settlers Park though probably less in numbers and diversity. The Dodd's Farm area is probably the richest area. Habitat comprises of bush, forest, river, reedbeds and grassy fynbos.
Two interesting birds recorded between Alcock Road and Dodd's Farm are Red-chested Flufftail (heard from the reedbeds) and Buff-spotted Flufftail (heard from forest patches).
Records for Dodd's Farm include Dusky Indigobird, Great Reed Warbler and once a Corncrake that was resident for a week. Also once off Red-collared Widowbird. The dam at Dodd's Farm is good for water birds.
Owing to development a lot of the grassy fynbos is gone. Birds like Orange-breasted Sunbird and Red-winged Francolin don't occur any more. Cape Sugarbird can still be seen in the valley at Fern Glen.
A separate area of the Baakens Valley is the catchment area near Rowallan Park and Sherwood. Here it is still possible to see Red-winged Francolin and Rufous-naped Lark among other birds. The building of Baywest Shopping Centre has destroyed a patch of grassy fynbos where African Grass Owl was known to breed. Even a Black Harrier nest was found here prior to the development.
Downstream near Dodd's Farm again a tributary of the river winds upstream from the bottom of 9th Avenue, Walmer. A trail here produces Karoo Scrub Robin, Cape Grassbird and Yellow Bishop.
Security is dodgy in the Baakens Valley so go in a group and be aware.
Cape Grassbird – Gregg Darling
Yellow Bishop – Gregg Darling