Pigeon Valley is a Natural Heritage Park in Durban, South Africa. It is a magnificent example of a small urban reserve with very high levels of biodiversity. It was established to provide protection for our vanishing coastal climax forest. Only about 11ha in extent, it overlooks Durban Bay. Its south-facing slope is covered in canopy forest, while the north-facing slope has thorny thickets. An adjoining reservoir provides a tiny rectangular patch of coastal grassland – also a vanishing habitat. It’s a special place and is well worth a visit. see wikipedia.
There are over 110 species of trees occurring in Pigeon Valley, almost all of which are locally indigenous, including the rare Natal Elm, and the Natal Forest Loquat. Large stands of Buckweed (Isoglossa woodii) grow in forest glades.
The park is home to red duiker, blue duiker, large-spotted genet, a troop of banded mongoose, slender and water mongooses, vervet monkeys and the local mamba No.5 Dendroaspis polylepis subsp. hemsonii.
Beautiful forest birds found here include:
Rarer sightings include European Nightjar, Knysna Warbler, Lemon Dove, Mountain Wagtail, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Common Scimitarbill, Palm-nut Vulture, Nerina Trogon, Village Indigobird and Knysna Turaco. The current bird list for Pigeon Valley stands around 161 species. Summer migrants can include Black Cuckoo, Red-chested Cuckoo and Red-backed Shrike – find the full list at wikipedia –
Friends of Pigeon Valley, led by tireless stalwart and asp whisperer Crispin, ensure that the park is largely free of unwanted plant species – in fact, way better than most people’s gardens! They (that’s Crispin) also liaise with the municipal managers of the reserve to address relevant issues, and guide a monthly walk open to the public at 07h30 on the second Saturday of each month. For some spectacular photos find Friends of Pigeon Valley on facebook.
Pics by Crispin Hemson, Sheryl Halstead, Jonathan Hemson, Roger Hogg; and when my point-and-shoot grows up it’s going to take pictures like these . .
Meantime I point at and shoot things that will stand still for me:
It’s a lovely place for a picnic. But you must watch out who you picnic with. There sometimes be weirdos and champagne-guzzlers. And people who adulterate champagne with fruit juice.
We really should try and preserve more areas in a natural state. Don’t you think?
Assorted pics – mostly of Pigeon Valley, but some by Friends of PV taken elsewhere: