Athlone Bird Count July 2014

A working partnership with the City of Cape Town and the Cape Bird Club.

July 2014 – by Doug Harebottle.

Our group today.

photograph by Mapula Mokwele..

A CWAC and MyBirdPatch survey took place at Athlone WWTW on Thursday 16 July.

I am glad we changed the count to 16th. On the 17th July my rain gauge says we’ve had about 60mm over night (17th July the planned count day) plus a few broken branches!
It was good to have a few new observers – Mapula Mokwele, Bradley Thorne (and his six year old daughter Hannah) and Peter Sumner.
Bradley responded after the article in The Argus about the Cape Clawless Otter that was recorded last month – no otter this time I’m afraid!

Overall, the waterbird numbers were down – we counted 593 birds from 19 species. Hartlaub’s Gulls dominated yet again comprising 60% of all birds counted. Black-winged Stilts numbers were a quarter of what we counted last month (32 birds counted). The overall MyBirdPatch list was 30 which included a Purple Heron, Black-shouldered Kite and a flock of about 30 Cape Canaries. A lot of waterbirds have presumably left to explore surrounding seasonal wetlands which have filled up due to the good winter rains in the greater Cape Town area.

Thanks to WWTW staff Enver Manuel for arranging the logistics once again and providing insights into the operations of the plant for our new observers, and thanks to Mapula, Bradley, Peter and Ian Cranna for their time and assistance with the count. I also gave Enver a spare copy of an old Newman’s Field Guide to keep at the works as a reference.

This data is submitted to the Animal Demography Unit’s CWAC and MyBirdpatch, projects.

Counts take place on the third Thursday of every month and start at 13:00.
Anyone wanting to assist should contact;
Dick Bos on 021 423 2546 or alternative