Athlone Bird Count June 2014

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

June 2014 – by Doug Harebottle.

The special sighting at the count today.

photograph by Jessie Blackshaw.

A CWAC and MyBirdPatch survey took place at Athlone WWTW on Thursday 19 June. We were glad to have a break in the weather and it was a superb winter’s day in Cape Town for a bird survey!

We counted a total of 596 birds comprising 22 waterbird species with 237 Hartlaub’s Gulls and 142 Black-winged Stilts. These two species definitely dominate the waterbird community at the Works. 41 Blacksmith Lapwing and 31 Cape Shovelers were the next abundant species. A single Grey-headed Gull, in breeding plumage, was also recorded. Overall we recorded 40 species for the site which included a blue variety of a Rose-ringed Parakeet (no doubt an escapee) which was also seen last month. The Fork-tailed Drongos that were recorded in the previous two months were not seen but we may just have missed them.

But the highlight (and surprise) was not a bird but a mammal – a Cape Clawless Otter which was photographed in one of the ponds. A real special find. The record has been submitted to the Mammal Atlas at the Animal Demography Unit.
Thanks to Margaret MacIver, Jessie Blackshaw, and Fay Linder for assisting with the count and to Enver Manuel (Works foreman) who kindly explained to the group the ins and outs of the WWTW during our walk around the site!
It’s amazing to see how clean the water is that finally exits the Works into the Black River.

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