CWAC at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 15 October 2022.

This is a working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Cape Bird Club.

Alan Morris started the co-ordinated bird counts in December 1974 and they still continue at Zandvlei.

The preceding days were very windy from the SE. Yesterday it was near gale force so generally the birds would seek shelter out of the wind. Today there is very high cloud blocking out the sunlight and it rained from 08h30 to 10h30 with large drops of rain falling vertically but not enough to wet one. At times it became cooler as the showers passed over head from the SE. There was intermittent wind blowing at ground level from the SE. Unusual weather, almost high veld thunder storm conditions with no thunder or lightning. We noted 2 dead flat head mullet one in the canal entrance at the railway bridge the other on the north western shore both about 1 kg in size and weight. A general note the main water body was clear of any birds while counting and the shoreline appeared to be very clean of litter and debry. The water level was very high as of a high tide. The estuary mouth was closed we established later on when at the entrance at the beach. The water flow under the railway bridge was 1 metre per 6 seconds (fast) against the SE wind when we made the observation.
Note: the northern Marina canals and the night heron roost were not counted, there was no help from the Nature Reserve staff.

The spotting rain was a little heavier at about 10h00 and the sky was quite gloomy as can be seen in the photos of us near the yacht club basin. The canoeists also appear to be in a grey rainy squall. Again the waterbody appeared to be clear of birds and there was very little debris along the shoreline the water level was high. Yesterday the wind was very strong from the SE. The sand has filled up the canals which were dredged last year and the birds can stand on slightly exposed sand bars when the estuary is full of water. See the photos of the Caspian Terns. The estuary mouth was closed with the dozer still on the beach. The sun came out from behind the clouds at about 10h45 and brightened the day up.
Note: The Caravan Park, Park Island and the southern Marina canals were not counted as there were no Nature Reserve staff available to help. We saw 2 pairs of Spotted Thick knees one at the yacht club the other near the estuary mouth.

The Westlake and Keysers river canals and the confluence were clear of invasive waterweed which was good to see. Also further back in the canals which lead into the Rutter Road Pond were clear. The weather was quite gloomy with big spots of rain falling vertically when we were on the railway bridge.
Note: The majority of the Westlake Wetlands and the Rutter Road Pond were not counted as there was no Nature Reserve staff available.


Bird List supplied by Gigi Laidler.

Trip: 2022_10_15 Zandvlei CWAC
Date: 2022-10-15 to 2022-10-15
Observations: 45
Species: 45
Species (heard only): 1

Pentad: 3405_1825, Start: 2022-10-15, End: 2022-10-15, Species: 45, Observations: 45.

1. Cape Weaver, 2022-10-15 11:28
2. Sandwich Tern, 2022-10-15 10:49
3. Cape Teal, 2022-10-15 10:49
4. Cape Canary, 2022-10-15 10:35
5. Hartlaub’s Gull, 2022-10-15 10:28
6. Rock Dove, 2022-10-15 10:26
7. Spotted Thick-knee, 2022-10-15 10:17
8. Red-winged Starling, 2022-10-15 10:12
9. Greater Flamingo, 2022-10-15 10:01
10. Cape Wagtail, 2022-10-15 10:01
11. Water Thick-knee, 2022-10-15 09:58
12. Egyptian Goose, 2022-10-15 09:49
13. Speckled Pigeon, 2022-10-15 09:48
14. Cape White-eye, 2022-10-15 09:40
15. Cape Sparrow, 2022-10-15 09:40
16. Southern Double-collared Sunbird, 2022-10-15 09:39
17. Common Waxbill, 2022-10-15 09:35
18. Red-knobbed Coot, 2022-10-15 09:29
19. Great Crested Grebe, 2022-10-15 09:27
20. Blacksmith Lapwing, 2022-10-15 09:26
21. African Darter, 2022-10-15 09:26
22. Levaillant’s Cisticola, 2022-10-15 09:25
23. White-breasted Cormorant, 2022-10-15 09:13
24. Cape Robin-Chat, 2022-10-15 09:06
25. Brown-throated Martin, 2022-10-15 09:06
26. Reed Cormorant, 2022-10-15 08:58
27. Caspian Tern, 2022-10-15 08:58
28. Pied Kingfisher, 2022-10-15 08:56
29. Malachite Kingfisher, 2022-10-15 08:54
30. White-throated Swallow, 2022-10-15 08:53
31. Lesser Swamp Warbler, 2022-10-15 08:51
32. Red-faced Mousebird, 2022-10-15 08:46
33. Grey Heron, 2022-10-15 08:45
34. Southern Fiscal, 2022-10-15 08:43
35. Common Moorhen, 2022-10-15 08:40
36. Yellow-billed Duck, 2022-10-15 08:39
37. African Sacred Ibis, 2022-10-15 08:38
38. Purple Heron, 2022-10-15 08:38
39. Kelp Gull, 2022-10-15 08:33
40. Hadada Ibis, 2022-10-15 08:33
41. Southern Masked Weaver, 2022-10-15 08:23
42. Red-eyed Dove, 2022-10-15 08:19
43. Common Starling, 2022-10-15 08:19
44. Cape Bulbul, 2022-10-15 08:19
45. Little Egret, 2022-10-15 10:50


photographs by Gavin Lawson.

Gavin Lawson.


Below are the count datas for 15 October 2022.

Zandvlei upper count.

Zandvlei lower count.

Zandvlei Westlake Wetlands and Rutter Road Pond.



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.