When? September - June
A shallow, seasonal basin close to a major intersection, Manguo Pond can be viewed from roads on two sides. The water level fluctuates, but there is usually water enough to attract freshwater and marshland birds – sometimes in astonishing numbers.
Look out for...
Maccoa Duck, White-backed Duck, Lesser Moorhen (in wet months), Madagascar Pond Heron, palearctic migrants
Of the many and varied ducks that visit Manguo Pond, Maccoa Duck is the rarest – and most interesting. Breeding pairs of White-backed Duck are often seen amid the floating vegetation. Migrant ducks are plentiful over the northern winter months.
Whiskered Terns breed on the rafts of vegetation, which at times also harbour Swamphen and Lesser Moorhen. African Jacana stride across floating tangles of waterweeds, and on occasion the rare Lesser Jacana has turned up here. The open water is usually alive with Red-knobbed Coot and Little Grebe. There are Spoonbill, ibises and various herons, often including (from June to September) Madagascar Pond (Squacco) Heron. The abundant potential prey attracts both resident and migrant raptors.
Smaller birds such as wagtails and Red-throated Pipits are common migrants to the swampy margins. Flowers in the bordering scrub lure Sunbirds (Golden-winged, Malachite), African Stonechat and various seed-eating species. In the mornings, feeding swallows swoop over the pond’s surface, but during a prolonged dry season, the water level shrinks, and in very dry years the pond may disappear altogether.