Hacking Team at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – May 2011.

This is a working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Zandvlei Trust.

More butterflies this month. Cape Autumn Widows were in flight over the grass areas near the intersection of Old Boyes Drive and Main Road. The weather was unusual it was a very pleasant, grey overcast cool day, with no wind. Seldom is there no wind on the slopes of the mountain.

We cut down a number of Rooikrans, Port Jackson and Manatoka trees opening up more areas for light and air movement. A very large Leucospermum conocarpodendron (Pincushion) was found and we cleared 3 large Rooikrans trees away from its eastern side, which had stunted its growth. The invasives blocked out the sunlight with their towering canopies. Bert also went back to the corner on Old Boyes Drive and cut down 3 remaining Spanish or Yellow Broom plants.

Bowen saw what he identified as a Chinspot Batis. He had brief views with binoculars while it was flitting from shrub top to top, and by its actions was a male displaying. Another suggestion, it was a Cape Batis or could it have been a Bar throated Apalis? Anyway the sighting was a first for us in 2 years working this site. The others present could only see it without binoculars. Catherine found a Koppie Foam Grasshopper crawling around where she was working. Also a large pupae case of some unknown insect.

There is evidence of numerous bulbs species starting their winter growth. It will be interesting to see what they develop into. We came across another small shrub not seen on this site before covered in cream coloured berries.



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