Driftsands Nature Reserve – 17 April 2016
Before deciding to go on the outing, I consulted Google Earth. It looked like a dodgy place to visit and I had trouble finding a traveling companion until Beryl Riley opted in.
We were both amazed and enjoyed it immensely.
The road there was safe and direct it is only about a kilometer on the R300 and then onto an almost dedicated supply road to the Medical Research Centre facility that shares the secured environs with the Driftsands Nature Reserve Environmental Centre. To access the area one has to show ones drivers license which is then scanned with a handheld device before entry. The parking area and toilet facilities are all part of a lovely environmental centre. To enter the reserve itself, one is escorted by several members of Cape Nature staff. (This means that it would be a better venue as a midweek outing to avoid staff having to work overtime.) It is not open to individuals and groups need to book in advance.
The Reserve is huge. It has high dunes and a large dam hosting many water fowl. Bush birding is also very good. We saw in excess of 50 species and I would love to see it after the rainy season.
Our party of 12 had an enjoyable outing and we thank Felicity Ellmore for introducing us to a new and exciting venue.
Comment from Natalie Haywood the Ecological Coordinator;
“We do want to thank the Cape Bird Club for the visit to DRFS. It was a real pleasure. It was a super day in terms of the weather, the veld was recently burnt so it did open up areas allowing glimpses of the more cryptic species such as Cape Longclaw.
A special thanks to Felicity for organising the outing and for infectious enthusiasm.
The Reserve is approximately 500 ha in size, and was declared a Provincial Nature reserve in 1983. Driftsands Nature Reserve represents one of the largest remaining remnants of intact Cape Flats Dune Strandveld which is a threatened ecosystem.
The Kuils River with associated floodplain wetlands, dune strandveld depressions and seeps are representative of a wetland type that has been subjected to high cumulative loss as a result of transformation through development and agriculture”.