Haka Park

Miombo Tit

Green-capped Eremomela

Tree Pipit

Haka Park is an area similar to the Mukuvisi Woodlands and is higher up the same stream that runs through Mukuvisi. This is quite a large area comprising the Cleveland Dam – with reedbeds, eucalyptus and exotic conifers plus a public picnic area with granite – and Haka itself, which is a fenced off game area with a large miombo woodland, vlei, the upper reaches of the dam, grasslands and a drier mixed woodland area recently reclaimed and incorporated in the northeast. There are entrances off the Mutare road on the east side of the city, with another off Harare Drive; the latter is easier as there is less traffic.

The miombo birds are similar to Mukuvisi, but comprise a bigger ‘island’ of woodland. You will find all the other miombo specials here: Spotted Creeper, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Miombo Tit, Red-faced Crombec, Whyte’s Barbet, Brown-backed and Green-backed Honeybird, African Golden Oriole, Southern Hyliota, African Yellow White-eye, etc., as well as seasonal Broad-billed Roller, nightjars, cuckoos, bee-eaters, Tree Pipit and many others. It is worthwhile checking out White-crested Helmet-shrike flocks as they often form the focus of exciting bird parties. Meyer’s Parrots can sometimes be found here, as can Miombo Blue-eared Starlings, though the latter are more common at Mukuvisi.

In the rainy season it is worth checking the vlei for Streaky-breasted Flufftail, Red-chested Flufftail and Corn Crake and the spring area for Locustfinch where the grass has been opened up by game. Pale-crowned and Croaking Cisticola are found here and flocks of Orange-breasted Waxbills are common. The upper reaches of the dam and the stream below the dam hold Senegal Coucal and Rosy-throated Longclaw is sometimes around the western arm of the dam. Various waterbirds can be found on the dam but there is no real wader habitat. All the smaller raptors occur and flocks of Amur Falcon are common in the rainy season, there being a nearby roost of 20-25,000 in the township close by.

The dam wall area can be checked for Copper Sunbird and Black-throated Wattle-eye and various swallows and martins favour this area.

Image credits: Landscape by Ian Riddell; Miombo Tit, Green-capped Eremomela & Tree Pipit by Piet Zwanikken

Keeping Common Birds Common