Hacking Team at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 13 January 2024.

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

It was forecast to be a hot day today. It was about 35 degrees C and the wind was blowing from the SW, so we were in the lee of the mountain receiving very little wind to help cool us down. The sky was partly cloudy and it was humid too.

We are back at the Old Boyes Drive section again. It is interesting to be back working on a steep slope with different soils and plants. A few inspections showed we had done good work previously as the main regrowth of invasives are from seed stock which show a few years growth since we were here in March 2018, so the records tell us.
Bert went to tackle the bigger trees above the Traffic dept buildings on the lower slope. Barry, Robin and I worked on the upper side mainly in the “first forest” we found here in August 2009. There is plenty of regrowth in this area, as seed banks had started to re-sprout and grow.

I took a few photos from different vantage points as a reference of how the vegetation looks on the site today. I did not go up to the top to photograph down, when reecing the area a couple of weeks ago there was no invasives sticking above the wonderful vegetation on the upper slopes. The section next to the Colona Castle up to Boyes Drive is clear of invasives. The water culverts down Old Boyes Drive are pretty clean and free of debris and plant growth which was good to see.

Grass hoppers and ants were the dominant insect species seen today, there was the odd Dotted Border Butterfly. This last winter was a very wet one, but looking at much of the vegetation and soil it is bone dry and the grasses and small plants have dried and withered during the last 3 months with no rain. One of the very few flowering plants was this pretty magenta/purple Polygala garcinii in amongst the dried grasses.
The estuary mouth was closed and the water level was low as one can see in the photos. The Muizenberg Landfill site seems to have grown taller since we were last here in 2018.

There were very few bird species seen total 6, probably dew to the temperature, heat and time of day.This last week has also been very hot every day.

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

photographs by Gavin Lawson.

Gavin Lawson.


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