CWAC at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 16 July 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.

Before sunrise it was cold to start with at the flood plain near the Zandvlei Main gate with mist hanging low above the ground, (see the photo). The forecast was for a warm winters day and it became so. The main waterbody was like a mirror (see Gerald Starkes photo), there are very few windless days at Zandvlei. Thank you to Barry and Val Cleveland going out in their canoe to count the northern canals of the Marina and the night heron roost area. See the Barry Cleveland photo of the Cape Cormorants in a Marina canal following fish shoals. There were many funnel web spider nests shining like jewelled nets in the early morning sunlight along the pathways we followed. The Naval Cadets were out training in their long boats too. We met up with the Village Heights volunteers in their green T shirts (see the photo) who were planting a local indigenous plant garden following the BOSSIES (Biodiversity On Suburban Sidewalks [for] Indigenous Ecosystem Sanctuaries) programme, reintroduced at Zandvlei recently.

Linda spied a Cape Dwarf Chameleon (see photo) in some reeds less than 2 metres from the waters edge at about 10h00 when it had warmed up considerably and clothing layers had to be peeled off. We stopped to inspect the rubbish monster (see the photo) at Thesens bridge, it is an educational tool and a litter bin for clean litter which can be recycled or disposed of responsibly. The water flowing out near the Thesens foot bridge was flowing quickly with the odd Water Lettuce plant bobbing by and the colour still dark stained with plant tanins. In the reed beds near the Royal Road bridge there were many Clicking Stream Frogs calling which is always a pleasant sound. The mouth of the estuary has been well scoured at the beach. It was full moon during the week and there was good rain which fell in the catchment to help the outflow.
There was no help from the Nature Reserve staff today, so the Caravan Park, the Park Island and the southern Marina canals were not counted, which reflects in the species and count number totals.

There was a good outflow under the railway bridge of 1 metre per 6 seconds. The water was dark brown with tanin and silt. Pieces of water lettuce were still being flushed down from the Keysers River into the confluence and into the main waterbody. The estuary mouth is open for the winter period as per the Nature Reserve management plan. While we were there a canoeist (see photo) came along the waterways and flushed some birds for us as he went up the Westlake River. Also a Black Sparrowhawk flushed about 30 to 40 Hartlaubs Gulls in the Rutter Road Pond. As an incidental note a Brown throated Martin and a White throated Swallow were flying under the railway bridge and looping back again.
There was no help from the Nature Reserve staff today, so the Westlake Wetlands and the Rutter Road Pond were not counted, which reflects in the species and count number totals.

Bird List supplied by Gigi Laidler.

Trip: 2022_07_16 CWAC
Date: 2022-07-16 to 2022-07-16
Observations: 50
Species: 50
Species (heard only): 1

Pentad: 3405_1825, Start: 2022-07-16, End: 2022-07-16, Species: 50, Observations: 50

1. Spotted Thick-knee, 2022-07-16 11:38
2. Red-winged Starling, 2022-07-16 11:29
3. Common Waxbill, 2022-07-16 11:21
4. Cape Robin-Chat, 2022-07-16 11:08
5. Little Rush Warbler, 2022-07-16 11:06
6. Crowned Cormorant, 2022-07-16 10:50
7. Rock Dove, 2022-07-16 10:47
8. African Spoonbill, 2022-07-16 10:43
9. House Sparrow, 2022-07-16 10:35
10. Red-knobbed Coot, 2022-07-16 10:08
11. Great Crested Grebe, 2022-07-16 10:07
12. Cape Wagtail, 2022-07-16 09:47
13. Cape Sparrow, 2022-07-16 09:41
14. Cape Weaver, 2022-07-16 09:41
15. Malachite Kingfisher, 2022-07-16 09:32
16. Common Tern, 2022-07-16 09:31
17. White-throated Swallow, 2022-07-16 09:20
18. Grey Heron, 2022-07-16 09:10
19. African Sacred Ibis, 2022-07-16 09:06
20. Grey-headed Gull, 2022-07-16 09:04
21. Black Sparrowhawk, 2022-07-16 09:04
22. Spur-winged Goose, 2022-07-16 09:04
23. Lesser Swamp Warbler, 2022-07-16 09:03
24. Karoo Prinia, 2022-07-16 08:58
25. Purple Heron, 2022-07-16 08:56
26. Common Moorhen, 2022-07-16 08:55
27. Little Egret, 2022-07-16 08:55
28. Black-crowned Night Heron, 2022-07-16 08:54
29. Pied Kingfisher, 2022-07-16 08:48
30. African Darter, 2022-07-16 08:48
31. Little Grebe, 2022-07-16 08:47
32. Brown-throated Martin, 2022-07-16 08:47
33. Levaillant’s Cisticola, 2022-07-16 08:43
34. Hadada Ibis, 2022-07-16 08:42
35. Blacksmith Lapwing, 2022-07-16 08:41
36. Egyptian Goose, 2022-07-16 08:40
37. Hartlaub’s Gull, 2022-07-16 08:38
38. Caspian Tern, 2022-07-16 08:35
39. Reed Cormorant, 2022-07-16 08:34
40. Yellow-billed Duck, 2022-07-16 08:30
41. Kelp Gull, 2022-07-16 08:25
42. Cape White-eye, 2022-07-16 08:24
43. Southern Double-collared Sunbird, 2022-07-16 08:22
44. Common Starling, 2022-07-16 08:21
45. Speckled Pigeon, 2022-07-16 08:19
46. Southern Masked Weaver, 2022-07-16 08:19
47. Cape Bulbul, 2022-07-16 08:18
48. Laughing Dove, 2022-07-16 08:15
49. Red-eyed Dove, 2022-07-16 08:15
50. Southern Fiscal, 2022-07-16 08:14


photographs by Gavin Lawson, Barry Cleveland and Gerald Starke.

Gavin Lawson.


Below are the count datas for 16 July 2022.

Zandvlei upper count.

Zandvlei lower count.

Zandvlei Westlake Wetlands and Rutter Road Pond.


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