Trading Places offers a number of resources for birders.
From the two verandah suites guests have a view of the trees where Lesser Kestrels roost during the South African summer months. The sight of hundreds of kestrels circling high above this part of the town at sunset is fantastic.
The verandah is also an excellent place to set up a ‘scope with which to watch birds on the mountain behind Smithfield. We are happy to help birders with their needs in terms of meal times and to arrange a packed breakfast if you should want to go out early. We have birding reference material as well as information about the different habitats in the district and where you might look for particular birds. We have an up to date bird check list available (see download below) as well as lists of the specials in our district.
In the Trading Places gardens the indigenous plants attract a number of bird species and we regularly see a Spotted Thick-knee family, several Pale Chanting Goshawks, all three of the South African mousebird species, African Harrier-Hawks, White-browed Sparrow-Weavers and Bokmakieries among others. But step out into the veld just two blocks away and the number of species increases dramatically and you can find the Blue Korhaan, Secretarybird, and Kimberley Pipit, not to mention Verreaux’s Eagle. A flock of flamingoes is often found browsing in the town dam that is richly populated with other water fowl.
If you are involved in the South African atlasing project, which records the species of birds found in a demarcated area, there are several pentads near Smithfield that have never been done and we would love your help!
If you have been birding in Smithfield, whether staying at Trading Places or elsewhere, please feel free to leave your comments below.