Hacking Team at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 10 February 2024.

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

Today we were fortunate that a fresh to strong SE wind was blowing to keep us cool on the side of the mountain, in the cloudless sky and bright sunlight. When behind the tall dense shrubs it was very hot.

Another month has gone by without any significant summer rain and the vegetation in places is very dry with some shrubs having died and others dying. I noted a small Port Jackson seedling in the open was also dying through lack of water.
What is interesting to see is that there are also lots of new growth of various plant species in patches as well. This is why biodiversity of plant species is so important in landscapes which helps the conservation of habitats for many other living species. Some of these plants are pioneer species which only last about 10 years others are much longer lasting species of small trees and large shrubs. I photographed a large shrub in blossom, species unknown.
This area we are working in is a transition zone between the Cape Flats soil types and the different mountainous soils make up. It is called granite fynbos and sandstone fynbos and is a geographic link from the Table Mountain chain down to the Cape Flats running in a east – west direction.

Bert carried on in the lower section and had an interaction with the traffic dept staff who told him he was on private property and he could not cut down trees there. Robin and I continued on the upper section in the old “forest section” where there is a lot of seedlings and saplings. This is the 3rd time we are working in the “forest area”, which was very dense in infestation when we came here many years ago. There is a photo with saplings where we shall start next month.

We saw various size grass hoppers when moving about, there was the odd butterfly and I got a photo of a mountain cockroach sunning itself up in a shrub. We could see that the estuary water was very low even with the mouth open. There were large patches of sand almost block the water flow and the darker blue water channel wound its way through the “cookie cutter” towards Thesens bridge.

Again this month there were very few bird species seen also a total of 6, as like last month.


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

photographs by Gavin Lawson.

Gavin Lawson.


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