CWAC at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 21 April 2012.

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.

There was a major canoe activity (car registrations from all over RSA) on the upper and lower Zandvlei starting 09h30 which did not disturb the birds too much, which was interesting to observe. The cool wind from south west, the high clouds were dense around the mountains for 2 hours during the count, clearing later to bright sunshine.

Zandvlei is in the process of a golden algae bloom. First observations of the smells and discolouration was recorded late February and early March 2012 from various locations in the Zandvlei. There were plenty of dead fish 1 week ago along various shorelines near the mouth of the estuary. The water clarity is very good today considering the position, still brown in colour but not excessively so. In places clarity to the bottom in 0.5 metre depths was clear. There was cut water weed washed up along the banks in places with a little white residue trapped in the weed which was wind driven onto the shores. We found no dead or stuggling birds or any other dead or struggling aquatic life. Cape Cormorants were coming in and leaving the estuary at a later stage. Coots were nest building, a Great crested Grebe was on a nest being attended by the male.
The Westlake River and the tributaries in the reed beds observed from the railway bridge were clear of invasive waterweed held back by the booms. The reedbed to the south and on the western side of the railwayline had burnt 4 days prior to the count. This opened vistas not seen before in more than 25 years. It helped define the landscape and levels down to the waters edge of Rutter Road Pond.
The southern section of the Marina da Gama canals were not counted today.

 

photograph by Graham Pringle.
photograph by Greg Morgan.
photograph by Gavin Lawson.

Gavin Lawson.

 

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