Knysna features numerous habitats which are ideal for bird life and great for bird watchers with abundant walks, picnic sites and natural areas to spot our feathered friends.
The lagoon, estuary, temperate evergreen forest, rivers, south coast Renostersveld, beaches, cliffs, flood plains, pastures and dams in the surroundings are a haven for birds and some of the ‘specials’ which you can hope to tick off your list are the:
• Knysna warbler
• Knysna woodpecker
• Victorin’s warbler
• Narina trogon
• Orange-breasted sunbird
• Cape sugarbird
• Chorister robin-chat
• African emerald cuckoo
• Red-chested flufftail
• Buff-spotted flufftail
• African finfoot
• White-backed night-heron,
• African cuckoo hawk
• Eurasian hobby
Some of the better spots to visit with your bird book and binoculars may be found at:
Woodbourne Pan: Water birds and waders frequent this spot during low tide in summer. Pied avocet, African spoonbill, marsh sandpiper, curlew sandpiper, ruff, common greenshank, Kittlitz’s plover, common sandpiper, African snipe, African rail, black crake, Caspian tern and even the pectoral sandpiper have been spotted here.
Leisure Island near the small boat harbour: Common whimbrel, grey plover, common ringed plover, common greenshank, sandwich tern and common tern prefer this area. African fish eagle breed here and are often seen on the oyster bed poles near Lake Brenton. Osprey visit in the summer.
Pledge Nature Reserve: This pristine reserve is home to blue-mantled crested-flycatcher, Knysna turaco (Loerie), olive bush-shrike, Knysna woodpecker, olive woodpecker, African emerald Cuckoo, and swee waxbill.
The Heads: Take the walk from the restaurant, toward the sea and you may spot Knysna Warbler among the indigenous bush along the way. Cape cormorants are often seen on the Western Head during the breeding season.
Knysna river: Jump into a canoe at high tide and you can paddle into the realm of the African black duck, giant kingfisher, half-collared kingfisher, malachite kingfisher, black saw-wing and the secretive African finfoot and white-backed night-heron.
Kranshoek: located 22km east of knysna, the viewpoint here is great for spotting 6 species of sunbirds darting amongst the fynbos as well as victorin’s warbler and cape grassbird. Narina trogon, blue-mantled crested-flycatcher and black-bellied starling forest buzzard frequent the woods in this reserve.