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Peddlars Bush is a small spot of indigenous forest located in the Twelo Bosbou area above Barberton, being particularly good for forest birds. The route described below is a very pleasant morning outing from Newsprint, but it is advisable to check weather conditions with people in Barberton first, as this area is often closed with mist and light drizzle. There are no ablution facilities available and no camping or fire making is allowed either.



1. Taking the main road from Barberton to Kaapmuiden, just outside Barberton turn right on the tarred road marked Havelock. Proceed slowly up the Saddleback Pass, stopping at various intervals where the road allows, scanning the rock-strewn, protea rich hillsides for specials such as Gurney's Sugarbird, Cape Rock-Thrush, Malachite Sunbird, Buff-streaked Chat and Wailing Cisticola. In the sky overhead, look out for Jackal Buzzard, Rock Kestrel, White-necked Raven and Alpine Swift.

2. At the top of the pass, turn left onto a dirt road marked Shyalongubo Dam. This road can be very treacherous after heavy rain as it is used continuously by heavy forestry trucks. There is a lot of bracken fern growing alongside this road which winds through the pine forest, with Swee Waxbill, Cape Canary and Drakensberg Prinia being seen regularly. Look out for Forest Buzzard during the drive.

3. About 10 kilometers along this forestry road, one reaches the start of the indigenous forest, and from here it is advisable to stop at frequent intervals, climb out of the car being careful to avoid any forestry trucks and walk and listen. Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon and Trumpeter Hornbill are usually heard first, and as one descends to the bottom of the forest plateau, other forest birds such as Olive Bush-Shrike, Square-tailed Drongo, African Emerald Cuckoo and Chorister Robin-Chat soon join in the chorus. The bottom of the forest stretch is a very good place for Bush Blackcap and Barratt's Warbler to be seen, and a tape recorder with these and other forest bird calls is invaluable.

4. Another dirt road turns to the right at this point and if one keeps to the right, skirting the bottom of the indigenous forest at all times, one enters another patch of forest, this area being particularly good for White-starred Robin and Brown Scrub-Robin, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Orange Ground-Thrush and Grey Cuckooshrike. Lemon Dove are regularly chased up at one's feet and Scaly-throated Honeyguide and Olive Woodpecker are easily heard.

Duncan Christie 1997.

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