Umzumbe Roost

The Umzumbe Roost is a large roost that hosts in excess of 1 million Barn Swallows. It is situated 2.5km inland from the Indian Ocean and approximately 750m from the Umzumbe River. It has the unusual state of having a second roost approximately 10km further inland, and the result of this situation is that the swallows can split between both roosts or use one of the two roosts depending on the weather conditions.
 
During the 2010/11 season the main reedbed was seldom used due to the reeds being burnt during the winter months and then no rain fell afterwards until the Barn Swallows arrived. The reeds never had a chance to regenerate from this and the swallows used the inland roost during the season. 
 
The 2011/2012 season has seen the swallows using the main reedbed and they are also using a smaller reedbed about 250m closer to the ocean. The numbers have been in excess of 1.5 million Barn Swallows coming to roost of an evening. The sight of this has been awe inspiring and definately well worth seeing, although this is not the best viewing site the swallows can be seen feeding low over the neighbouring sugar cane fields just before sunset and before they head to the roost for the night.
 
The first foreign ringed swallow was recaptured at this site on 30 November 2011. The bird was ringed in Retford, England on 26 September 2011 by the North Notts ringing group.