From the Hide
The water level is
dropping rapidly but birdwatching is still rewarding on the
back pan. Large flocks of flamingos and pelicans finally
arrived, and we have had the highest number of Avocets (450)
for many a year, while Spoonbill numbers of at least 40 per
day must be a Rietvlei record.
One area of Rietvlei that has improved dramatically is the
Diep River section, from the Blaauwberg Road bridge down
past the sewage works as far as Hopley Rd. Koos Retief, our
Environmental Site Officer, and a small staff were
determined the keep that river section free of Water
Hyacinth this summer and they have succeeded beyond all
expectations. Once again, birds are back and I have seen the
Pied Kingfishers hovering over the water, as well as many
Cormorants, Herons and even a few Black Crake. Now that the
water hyacinth is gone, the Azolla is proving a bit of a
problem, but at least the water is once again flowing.
Please visit this area soon and tell us what you think - and
congratulations to Koos and his staff. Our January bird
count totalled 2,943 birds, with 937 Egyptian Geese taking
the prize. 646 Curlew Sandpipers were counted, as well as 79
Hawk takes 'Hof' as
Eagle gets a birdie off the 'Fairway'
My husband Dave and I
were driving slowly up Hof Street towards Athens Road early
on Saturday, December 22 last year.
We spotted a small dove on the left-hand side of the road,
fairly close to the gutter near the corner of Fairway Road.
We were not too sure if it was very young or very tired or
both, but it remained still as the car trundled noisily past
it. By the time all this registered we had travelled a short
distance, so we reversed the car to draw parallel to the
bird in case it needed help.
Alas it was not to be.
As we drew parallel with the dove, we caught a flash of
feathers plunging to the ground. We watched in stunned awe
as one of Rietvlei's resident Fish Eagles hit the dove with
incredible speed and powered rapidly upwards.
Within a few seconds, a fairly brave (or perhaps suicidal)
Hawk started harassing the Fish Eagle for it's prey,
reminiscent of a World War 11 aerial dogfight. As far as
could be ascertained, the Fish Eagle dropped the dove and
the two rivals continued their squabble in the air. We can
only hope the stunned dove lived to tell the tale.
Like a flash, the duelling birds disappeared from sight,
making it impossible to see who won the day. Aren't we all
so fortunate to be living in a built up area, but have our
own National Geographic going on right in our own back
gardens! (Jenny Thorpe)
A great contribution from one of our members - thanks,
Annual General Meeting
|Our AGM will take place on Thursday 25th April and although
we cannot give you details yet, there will be a speaker and
a presentation. Further details will follow in our April
newsletter, but please diarise this date in the meantime.
|Your membership renewal forms are included with this
newsletter, and we have decided to increase subscription
fees by R5 per individual and per family, and Life
Membership goes up to R200. Postage rates have increased
since last year and we need to cover this. You can return
these forms by post or bring them to the AGM, which will be
on the 25th April. If you joined after December 2002, you do
not need to renew your membership.
|Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works Expansion
|The Committee has joined a group formed to protest the
process regarding the above project. This group includes the
Table View Residents Association and Councillors Liz Berry
and Buddy Odendaal. We are concerned that no alternatives to
the expansion were explored and that the Final Scoping
Report was sent to DECAS before consultation with any I & A
P's. Some expansion is needed as Table View extends more and
more to the north, but we are all concerned with the
increased effluent flow into Rietvlei and the resultant
increase in reed growth and water hyacinth as well as odour
problems. This group intends presenting its case to DECAS
and issuing a Press Release and we will keep you informed on
|Blaauwberg Conservation Area
|The public is invited to an open meeting at Bloubergstrand
Library on 18th March at 7.30p.m. to discuss the formation
of a Friends group to become involved in the above area.
Other concerns are the proposed developments at Big Bay and
the protection of the coastal area north of Bloubergstrand.
A speaker will be present to talk on the background to the
formation of this group and we urge all interested members
to attend. Please contact Louis Raubenheimer on 554-2221 or
Pat Titmuss on 557-3748 (Home) for further details.
|Fishing at Rietvlei
|Fishing on a trial basis for a period of six months has
begun at the North Lake, Rietvlei. This takes place from
8.30a.m. till 5p.m. daily and payment must be made at the
gate on entry. No fish other than carp may be removed from
the vlei. Please phone the water ranger on 557-5509
for further details.
|Welcome to the following new members
|Magriet & Rowan Karstel of Melkbos
Lawrie Tonner & family of Table View
Koos Retief of Bellville