The Cape Bird Club
Projects to improve bird habitats at Strandfontein.
This is a working partnership with the City of Cape Town and the Cape Bird Club.
Contact the Conservation Manager - Erica Essig office 021 396 4281.
Emergency phone number - 083 499 1717.
Beware this is Bob Marley the hippo.
See what we did this month..... updated 01/05/2013.
Intaka outing for the volunteer students from Germany and Norway.
This month we started off the month with a trip to Intaka island as a farewell present to the volunteers! The 5 German and Norwegian volunteers that assisted with alien clearing, maintenance and building in the past few months have sadly fledged the nest and are back to their home countries. I treated them to a trip to intaka and a farewell meal.. they really deserved it!
This month has been super busy! We currently were given some new EPWP staff and Strandfontein now has 16 extra helpers. They have been split up into teams and we now have:
Having the extra hands has really helped on site, as we are finally getting round to the tackling the terrestrial invasive species that are endangering the indigenous flora and fauna species.
We got lots of outside help from the Cape Flats Waste Water Treatment Works and Stormwater and Catchment department, fixing our roads and helping to remove the hyacinth with an excavator.
We have also employed 3 Strandfontein Birding Area Rangers - These individuals are currently going through a WESSA training programme and are being taught about Ecology and Conservation principles. They are in charge of the regular bird counts and seem to be fitting in very well.
That's all for this month.
Pelicans coming over while on hippo watch.
This month our staff numbers have climbed and we really are starting to get a lot of work done!
The staff numbers as of 27/02/2013 - Introduction of new
The main tasks have included alien invasive species removal specifically Canna sp. From entrance, Acacia cyclops at the Pump station, and Lavetera arborea. Echorinea crapsis weekly follow ups where also conducted and we used a boat to follow up all the pans as well as the usual bank patrol.
The Birding Information Centre Garden and Picnic Area is going through a makeover and we are busy in the beginning maintenance phase.
We have had some problems with Hippos this month, and thus have spent a lot of time fixing fence lines and planning operations!
Myself and Ryno participated in a Brush Cutter and Chainsaw Training Course. A big Thanks to the CBC for funding the training. This will be a highly beneficial for Strandfontein as we will now have 3 small plant operators and can really start tackling the woody terrestrial invasive.
We have also reconstructed the Heronry 1. It is currently the 'Perching' Heronry, and we have tried to add features just to accommodate the birds for perching and preening, and obviously for photographers to get a nicer shot. We will commence with Heronry 2 the 'Nesting' Heronry next month.
We have finished maintenance of the Baden Powell fence line. It's looking nice and sharp now!
We have also started removing the water hyacinth from the Zeekoevlei / Strandfontein canal with aid of an excavator.
Potholes and dongas in the roads were fixed with assistance from CFWWTW.
Species spotted this month:
06 x Pied Kingfishers at once,
A sunset just before we went on hippo watch.
We unfortunately got a terrible case of botulism occurring around P2, it is 'that' time of the year, and the Kelp Gulls and Egyptian Geese got the worst of it. We lost 25 birds, and the SPCA ended up euthanizing another 5. P2 has since been flushed, and the we hope the outbreak is behind us.
We had a busy month rescuing many birds, the Wildlife Unit at the SPCA was getting pretty sick of us. I found a couple of injured birds that had clearly been knocked by fast vehicles. Please can everyone remain under 20km/ph whilst driving on and around the pans. We also found many abandoned juveniles, which also took a trip to the SPCA and are dually being taken care of there.
Chevonne Reynolds, a Phd student from UCT is currently undertaking her research project at Strandfontein. Chevonne has 3 traps located around the pans, these are monitored, so please do not approach them or fiddle with any of the equipment.
Ryno and the volunteers have been working very hard to fix fence lines this month. We assisted Rondevlei and Zeekoevlei Nature Reserves with their fence line maintenance and erection. We have also started to redo our own fence line along Baden Powell Drive. The rusty broken fence wire is being replaced with new fence wire, and new poles are being planted.
As per usual we have been tackling the invasive alien species. We have finally tackled the Lavetera arborea (Tree Mallow) at the back of the pans by S8, and we have been keeping up to date with our Water Hyacinth follow ups!
Birds spotted this Month :
Previous years activities.