Hacking Team at Zandvlei Nature Reserve – 08 June 2024.

This is a voluntary working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Cape Bird Club since 1978.

This past week brought the most rainfall in a recorded month for the last 9 to 10 months, which is very welcome. The vegetation does not seem to know what the season might be! We are just 2 weeks away from the winter solstice and the Port Jackson trees and indigenous Wild Olive trees are in bud and early blossom. There is a band of Wild Olive thicket running north south on the lower slopes which looks particularly good. They have probably thrived since we cut down the many gum trees above them (about 12 years ago) and they now receive the ground water runoff which the gum trees took further up the slopes. The weather was sunny with very high cloud and a SE breeze blowing up on the slopes where we are working.

Bert and Barry were working near the fence line above the Solid Waste property in the Main Road. These Port Jackson trees are new growth and not copsed regrowths. So they are about 10 to 12 years old. I was working a section near the Old Boyes Drive and Main Road intersection where many copsed regrowths have sprouted from some poor workmanship about 2 years ago by contractors. The stumps are visibly marked with blue dyed herbicide which was incorrectly applied. In the old quarry near Main Road there is a spread of the morning glory, cape honey suckle and plectranthus ecklonii all garden escapees. The morning glory has established an approximate 1500sq metre area.

There were surprisingly a number of insects species about this afternoon. Grasshoppers too quick for me to photograph. The light is at a low angle now with long shadows. There were flies and bees present on flowering Bitou shrubs. There were a few Common Geranium Bronze Butterflies present on the lower ground cover plants. The estuary mouth is open for the winter season and the large sand spit is visible between the 2nd bend and Thesens foot bridge.

We saw 13 species of birds today with a large flock of White backed Mousebirds being the most birds seen. There were a few Red faced Mousebirds with the group as well.

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

photographs by Gavin Lawson.

Gavin Lawson.


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