The African Darter which has a long snakelike neck, (Afrikaans name – Slanghalsvoel) is busy breeding at the moment and the males are in their lovely breeding colours, the neck is showing a rust colour with a long white stripe running from the eye to the neck. Non breeding colours are pale brown on face and throat.
We were lucky enough to observe them at Intaka Island at Century City and caught these photos of the male bringing up sticks from under the water, emerging with them and flying back to the heronry where they were then offering the sticks to their mate for the nest. It was quite fascinating to watch.
Apparently last year they all abandoned the nests even with eggs in them, so this season looks off to a good start. Hopefully we will be able to get some photos of the chicks later.
The Afrikaans name for the African Darter is Slanghalsvoel.
The African Darter is common in most of the South African waterways and is often seen in the company of other waterbirds.