Athlone Bird Count May 2014

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

May 2014 – by Doug Harebottle.

Our group today about to start the count.

photograph by Doug Harebottle.

On 22 May, eight Cape Bird Club members joined Doug Harebottle for the monthly CWAC count at Athlone Waste Water Treatment Works. It was a perfect winters day, cool and warm, with hardly any wind.
We split into two groups initially to count the birds in the southern and northern settling ponds.

Highlights here included over 250 Hartlaub’s Gulls, 70 Black-winged Stilt, 50 Egyptian Goose, 30 Yellow-billed Duck and a handful of Greater Flamingos. Three Water Thick-knee were also recorded as well as a hybrid Mallard x Yellow-billed Duck which was concerning – the Cape Town Alien Invasive Species Group has been notified of this sighting.

We then all moved on to count the section of the Black River that runs parallel to the works on the northern boundary. Although choked with invasives, there were some nice open spots with mudbanks and shallow water. Here we found another 50 odd stilts, a few Common Moorhens and a Red-billed Teal. A Black-shouldered Kite nest site was also found when one bird was seen flying into a Port Jackson tree with a small branch. The main part of the works had the usual Cattle Egrets and Hartlaub’s Gulls feeding in the large settling or sedimentation tanks.
The Four fork-tailed Drongos (incl. 2 immatures) were seen towards the end of the survey near the main office building, a species that has only recently colonised Cape Town and the southern Peninsula.

Overall we counted 739 waterbirds comprising 19 species. The total number of species recorded for the site was 37.
This data is submitted to the Animal Demography Unit’s CWAC and MyBirdpatch, projects.

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