Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve
Main walkway in Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve
Pigeon Valley is a small nature reserve situated in the heart of Durban. It is a great place to take a walk and get lost in nature but, unfortunately, you can't escape the car noises as there are busy roads nearby.
The reserve is popular amongst birders and it has a reasonable list of birds despite the habitat being predominantly forest. As you enter the reserve there is normally a number of birds to be seen, or heard, including Black-collared Barbet, Red-capped Robin-chat, Southern Black Flycatcher, African Dusky Flycatcher, Olive Thrush and Spectacled Weaver. If you stick to the main walkway, up the middle of the reserve, then look for Purple-crested Turaco, African Paradise Flycatcher, Thick-billed Weaver, Cape Batis and many more. Black Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk are often seen or heard. Other, more elusive, birds to look for include Buff-spotted Flufftail, Green Malkoha, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Spotted Ground-Thrush. Click the link to see some of the birds.
The reserve is a remnant of coastal forest that used to cover large areas of Durban so it is no surprise that there are plenty of trees and, fortunately, many of them have been identified and labelled. Some of the trees to be seen are Broom Cluster Fig, Natal Elm, Thorny-rope Flat-bean, Giant-leaved Fig, Fluted Milkwood, Forest Natal Mahogany and Copper-stem Corkwood.
Near the entrance there is a small pond which normally has various dragon-flies in attendence and is a good place to photograph them.
Entrance to the reserve is free and there is little in the way of facilities.
Above - A clearing in the forest
Above - Female Lucia Widow dragonfly
Some birds that may be seen in Pigeon Valley
References and further readingReader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 162
Self-guided Trails in Durban - Author: Durban Corporation - Year Published: - Page: 27
Where to see Birds in KwaZulu-Natal - Author: Bennett and Herbert - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 22
Where to see Birds in Natal - Author: Gordon Bennett - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 10