Hacking Team at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 12 August 2023.

This is a voluntary working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Cape Bird Club since 1974.

A westerly breeze was blowing with high cloud cover and some lower clouds around the mountain tops. The sun shone through occasionally making very pleasant working conditions on a late winters afternoon.
Bert and Barry went off to the large Black Wattle tree over hanging the Keysers River to see how it can be cut up. Robin and I went down the railway line clearing copsed Port Jacksons and then making our way into the reserve. He found a pelargonium longifolium which he is surprised to see growing in this area. We cut down a Manatoka tree growing under and through a gwarrie bush. Barry came to call me to see what the issue was with a resident in Norfolk Park/Frogmore Estate by the name of Margaret Holton who was complaining about Bert cutting down the large wattle tree and disturbing the weaver bird nests. She had the neighbourhood watch and a riverside resident in attendance too. I identified myself and Bert and also explained what we are doing and how many years we have been busy doing what we do in the Zandvlei Nature Reserve. We also invited them to come and join us to no avail. Eventually Bert carried on and they went away.

The photos I took today show some of the vegetation density and diversity and in its spring colours and new seasonal growth. The open vistas across the river and reedbeds towards Lakeside and Steenberg and Muizenberg Mountains were were not visible from this area a year ago. We cut down the forest of Port Jackson trees blocking that view. This illustrates what we set out to achieve and is always very rewarding to stand back and take a look and remind ourselves “we have made a difference for the local indigenous diversity of plant species and the habitat for all the creatures who live here for future generations”.

The birds were active and we saw 22 species, the Purple Heron circling low over where we were working was a highlight. I found a recently killed Cape Spurfowl, difficult to tell if it was a cat or dog kill or a bird predator. It was taken about 10 metres from the kill site where a bunch of feathers were seen, left where where I found it.

See this link for the past reports of what we have done.

photographs by Gavin Lawson.

Gavin Lawson.


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