Outing to the Kirstenhof Wetland Nature Walk.

12 January 2023 – Led by Daryl de Beer.

cbc outing kirstenhof wetlands 05 GigiL 12 jan 2023

The Kirstenhof Wetland was a new venue for a Cape Bird Club outing. We had 35 attendees join us for this walk in nature. The group included CBC members, residents of Kirstenhof and members of various environmentally conscious groups.

Louise Kinrade, a member of the Kirstenhof Ratepayers Association and co-founder of the Friends of Kirstenhof Wetland (FKW) addressed us on the aims and actions of FKW.

“The Friends of Kirstenhof Wetland was started by a group of residents in 2008 concerned about the amount of alien vegetation along the river channel plus the generally neglected ‘green’ condition of the area. We joined WESSA as a Friends group and developed a wetland management plan. We then approached the City of Cape Town’s Parks as well as Stormwater (hard engineering) departments seeking their approval to become active citizens/ river wardens and work collaboratively with them to improve our greenbelt. The City was happy to form this partnership and it remains a long standing successful collaboration.

A donation of R15 000 enabled FKW to arrange to have alien and invasive ‘forests’ of Port Jackson, Stinkbean, Black Wattle and Sesbania removed from the Westlake River bed. A second donation allowed for further clearing and indigenous replanting of shrubs and flowers to attract birds, bees, butterflies and even chameleons

The latest significant flora sighting was the Psoralea Fillifolio (long leaved fountain bush) by resident Tim Kirsten last year – a riverine species last recorded in the Valley back in 1830! We have 3 plants onsite, but samples have been taken for future repopulation of the species along our Valley river courses. It is listed on iNaturalist via Tim Kirsten.

The City’s Living Urban Waterways project will be coming onsite from 2024 to redevelop the greenbelt into a more environmentally functioning seasonal wetland. The current regrowth of alien invasive plants onsite will be removed and the area will be made more recreationally appealing – good for birding! So please keep our greenbelt on your future bird-sighting venue map. Porcupine, water mongoose, caracal and otter have been seen in the Wetland. There is a diversity of bird life, and the Wetland is a significant breeding site for the Western Leopard Toad.”

We thank Louise Kinrade for sharing this interesting information with the group.

We saw 27 different bird species, including Levaillant’s Cisticola, Masked Weaver, Yellow Billed Kite, Brimstone Canary, Red Faced and White Backed Mousebirds and a fleeting glimpse of a Little Bittern.

After a very pleasant, easy walk, we tucked into coffee and snacks under the trees on the banks of the Westlake River. Everybody agreed that the Kirstenhof Wetland was an enjoyable venue for a mid-week outing.

Thank you to Dennis Laidler for the full bird list.

Pentad: 3400_1825, Start: 2023-01-10, End: 2023-01-10, Species: 27, Observations: 29
1. Pied Crow, 2023-01-10 09:58
2. Lesser Swamp Warbler, 2023-01-10 09:56
3. Hadada Ibis, 2023-01-10 09:54
4. White-throated Swallow, 2023-01-10 09:38
5. Yellow-billed Duck, 2023-01-10 09:15
6. Reed Cormorant, 2023-01-10 09:09
7. Common Moorhen, 2023-01-10 09:08
8. Lesser Swamp Warbler, 2023-01-10 09:06
9. Levaillant’s Cisticola, 2023-01-10 09:06
10. Little Rush Warbler, 2023-01-10 08:59
11. Brimstone Canary, 2023-01-10 08:53
12. Hadada Ibis, 2023-01-10 08:52
13. Cape Canary, 2023-01-10 08:52
14. African Sacred Ibis, 2023-01-10 08:46
15. White-backed Mousebird, 2023-01-10 08:46
16. Red-faced Mousebird, 2023-01-10 08:46
17. Cape Bulbul, 2023-01-10 08:46
18. African Harrier-Hawk, 2023-01-10 08:44
19. Southern Fiscal, 2023-01-10 08:40
20. Common Waxbill, 2023-01-10 08:39
21. Southern Masked Weaver, 2023-01-10 08:37
22. Cape White-eye, 2023-01-10 08:31
23. Common Starling, 2023-01-10 08:29
24. Red-winged Starling, 2023-01-10 08:28
25. Ring-necked Dove, 2023-01-10 08:28
26. Cape Sparrow, 2023-01-10 08:11
27. Cape Robin-Chat, 2023-01-10 08:11
28. Laughing Dove, 2023-01-10 08:11
29. African Darter, 2023-01-10 08:10


Photographs by Gigi Laidler and Lynette de Beer.

Report by Lynette de Beer.