BIRDLIFE
FLOURISHES
AT KYALAMI

LOCKDOWN ATTRACTS RARE BIRDS
TO TRANQUIL KYALAMI CC IN GAUTENG

Published by : Stuart McLean - 19 May 2020

Golf courses around South Africa serve as natural habitats for wildlife, and the lengthy lockdown has proved an unexpected boon for those resident animals, birds and insects left largely undisturbed for almost two months.

White-faced Whistling Ducks prepare to splash down in a water hazard at Kyalami.

Golfers are no longer tramping around, invading sensitive areas in search of golf balls; only basic maintenance is being done to keep fairways, greens and tees mown; and there’s minimum use of chemicals and fertilisers.

A pair of Long-Crested Eagles are Gauteng residents.
A rare European Honey Buzzard in flight at Kyalami.

Kyalami Country Club course superintendent Etienne Coetzee has seen a significant increase in the number and variety of birds visiting one of Gauteng’s more rural layouts, situated in an equestrian belt. Gauteng’s many parkland courses, with their enormous number of trees and wetlands, attract a kaleidoscopic variety of bird species.

A Green-backed Heron in breeding plumage, and a Malachite Kingfisher.

Coetzee is a keen photographer and arrives at the club early on work days armed with his camera. “With less activity I’m seeing new visitors to the course, including a European Honey Buzzard for the first time. It’s a rare visitor to this country,” he said. “We tend to attract raptors at Kyalami, which is exciting. We have a resident pair of Long Crested Eagles, and I’ve seen an African Harrier Hawk.”

Clockwise, from top left, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black-shouldered Kite, Klaas’s Cuckoo and Masked Weaver.

Coetzee, who works for maintenance contractors Golf Data, is enjoying being back at Kyalami after a short stint outside the golf industry. “It’s a great club to be involved with, having this beautiful and tranquil natural environment, and a wonderful membership,” he says. Much of his career, 19 years, was spent at Killarney Golf Club, and he left the central Johannesburg club to work for Golf Data on the landscaping projects at Steyn City. He then replaced long-serving John Hammond at Kyalami when he retired.

Last year, Coetzee provided the Top 100 Courses website with magnificent course photographs of Kyalami, which can be seen on the club’s page, and now we include a selection of his bird images.

PHOTOS BY ETIENNE COETZEE

Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
An exciting project in Mpumalanga is the… Read more
We’re seeing five key changes to the… Read more
The Eastern Cape has been included as… Read more
Of all the great tournament venues that… Read more
The Alfred Dunhill Championship is one of… Read more
Royal Johannesburg’s newly renovated West Course was… Read more
Durban Country Club’s iconic short par-4 18th… Read more
Composite courses could become fashionable locally in… Read more
Blair Atholl is an exciting new addition… Read more
Veteran East London Golf Club member Denis Jones… Read more
How would you react if you learned… Read more
Blair Atholl has the longest stretch of… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club suffered the most devastation… Read more
Durban Country Club will next year be… Read more
Bryanston Country Club head teaching professional Leigh-Jane… Read more
Work has started on the refurbishment of… Read more
Golf Digest magazine in the United States… Read more
The Sunshine Tour visited 17 of SA’s… Read more
TOP 20 GREENS 1 Fancourt Links, 2… Read more
No 1-ranked Fancourt Links claimed more honours… Read more
Links courses were the big winners in… Read more
Gauteng is endowed with wonderful golf courses,… Read more
Today’s announcement of 20 courses ranked between… Read more
Anyone who has played at Plettenberg Bay… Read more
Woodhill is one of 17 courses in… Read more
Four courses – Reading, Eagle Canyon, Centurion… Read more
Two new entrants to the Top 100… Read more
Such has been the huge amount of… Read more
The new year ushered in great excitement… Read more
The 2022 Top 100 Course Rankings will… Read more
It was 30 years ago this January-February… Read more
Christiaan Burke, this year’s scoring sensation in… Read more
In recent years golfers have experienced more… Read more
Ian Leach, a doyen of golf club… Read more
They do not count as criteria when… Read more
Following the oddest year in major championship… Read more
From Plettenberg Bay in the east to… Read more
Veteran Western Province golfer Greg Woodbridge gave… Read more
In a high-profile appointment, Meyer du Toit,… Read more
Fancourt in the Garden Route is acknowledged… Read more
After an innovative, lengthy and suspenseful week… Read more
Golfers in the greater Gauteng region are… Read more
South Africa’s collection of bushveld courses are… Read more
Big positional swings are a feature of… Read more
Three of the new entrants into the… Read more
My 61-day Road Trip visiting 70 courses… Read more
Cash prizes for holes-in-one are being offered… Read more
The design of the standard golf cart… Read more
Zimbali Lakes has been an anticipated golf… Read more
Highland Gate was a popular venue for… Read more
It’s not fashionable today but there was… Read more
The Humewood links in Port Elizabeth has… Read more
A countdown has begun to the announcement… Read more
Irene Country Club elected its first female… Read more
The Top 100 Courses website has a… Read more
I’m on a road trip around South Africa aiming to complete visiting… Read more
The PGA of South Africa announced its… Read more
Pinnacle Point have done it again and… Read more
Gary Player Country Club will become the… Read more
St Francis Links has introduced a great… Read more
Big changes are taking place at South… Read more
Colin Nel at the weekend became the… Read more
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD FOR ST FRANCIS LINKS During… Read more
The golfing members at Irene Country Club… Read more
While golf has happily resumed, with most… Read more
One of South Africa’s iconic golf courses,… Read more
GolfRSA today received the green light for… Read more
Golf courses around South Africa serve as… Read more
The golf industry will need to adapt… Read more
GolfRSA is making every effort to ensure… Read more
South African golf courses today are increasingly… Read more
PGA professional John Dickson spends most of… Read more
One of the stated 10 keys to… Read more
The national lockdown over the coronavirus has… Read more
David Melman is the Golf Manager at… Read more
Golf clubs have been issued with lengthy… Read more
There are a handful of golf courses… Read more
When the idea of a Top 100… Read more
Silver Lakes Golf & Wildlife Estate in Pretoria has been named one… Read more
Golf participation in South Africa would appear to be increasing, with Handicap… Read more
Serengeti Estates in Ekurhuleni has created one… Read more
Intimidating and challenging closing holes help create… Read more
Umhlali Country Club in Ballito on the… Read more
Erinvale Country Estate & Golf Club is… Read more
The Links at Fancourt and Leopard Creek… Read more
It’s a magical scoring barrier everywhere in… Read more
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington will make history… Read more
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE