Mt. Moreland Roost

The Mt. Moreland Roost is situated North of Durban approximately 2.6km's from the end of the runway of the King Shaka International Airport. The Roost is regarded as the largest Barn Swallow Roost in South Africa and hosts approximately 3 million Barn Swallow.
 
The site consists of 2 reed beds the first being Lake Victoria covering an area of 35.5 hectares and Froggy swamp covering 23.3 hectares.
 
It is unfortunate that the site is close to the end of the runway to the new King Shaka International Airport and only time will tell if the air traffic will have any negative effect on the roost.
 
On a personal note it is my belief that the swallows will leave the Mt. Moreland roost due to the disturbance of the airport. At the start of the 2010 season (the first time the airport and swallows have both been together) my observations were that while the swallows were gathering of an evening and a plane flew overhead the swallows would let out an alarm call and then scatter in all directions, even the swallows that had decended into the reeds would then fly up and scatter as well, before returning to the reeds after a few minutes. The roost may be used at the begining and the end of the season during the migration period for the birds moving further south or north depending on the time of year. These birds only stay over for a maximum of a few days at a time before continuing on their migration.