Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter September 2002
From the Hide
Birding around the Hide is ideal at the moment, as water levels have not yet peaked, so it's a great time to see the large flock of Flamingos. The hide is still easy to reach as no flooding of the pathways has yet happened. All the Lesser Flamingos seem to have moved on and the flock consists of only Greater Flamingos. The Shelduck are still around, and the first waders such as Greenshank and Marsh Sandpipers have started arriving. I've not had much time to visit the hide recently, so can't report on much, but if any of our members see anything they would like to share, do let us know, and we will put it in the newsletter.
 
Evening Talk
Have you visited Bird Island in Lamberts Bay recently? Thousands of Cape Gannets breed on Bird Island and an innovative hide has been constructed on the edge of the breeding colony. There have been other major changes over the past few years to this special area, and Tony Williams of Cape Nature Conservation has been very involved in making some of these changes. He will be telling us about the area at our next meeting.
Date Thursday 26th September 2002
Time: 7.30p.m for 8p.m
Venue: MAC clubhhouse, off Pentz Drive, Table View
Topic: 'A Visit to Bird Island' by Tony Williams
Please do make an effort to join us, as our very interesting talk during August on the responsibilities of an Environmental Site Officer, was very poorly attended.
 
Two Spring Outings!
We have arranged two outings for Spring, and are telling you about both now, as the October newsletter might be a little late.
Blouvlei (Intaka Island)
First, we have arranged a visit to Blouvlei (Intaka Island) for Sunday 29th September. Some of our members will have been on our previous visit, but there have been many improvements that are worth seeing. The Heronry has been redesigned and at the moment hosts about 50 nests, including that of Grey Heron and Reed Cormorant. In late September, there should be even more nests and many plants will still be flowering. We meet at 2.30p.m. at the parking area adjacent to the bridge. Drive all the way up Montague Drive, (past Makro), cross over Bosmansdam Road, through the security boom to the traffic circle. Go around the circle and through the gates, and along the sand road to the parking area. Phone Pat on 557-3748 for further directions.
Food Chains in Wetlands
Our second outing will be on Saturday 19th October at 2p.m. We will be visiting the West Coast Field Study Centre in the grounds of the Brooklyn Chest Hospital. Frank Wygold recently resigned from our Committee to devote more time to this centre which he started last year. He has stocked it with equipment such as microscopes and tanks containing frogs and other organisms so bring the children and let them get involved. Frank will be taking us on a walk to the Paarden Eiland wetlands (wear comfortable shoes) and then help us discover what the birds eat with the help of his equipment. To get there, turn off Koeberg Rd into Stanberry Rd (there is a Moth Hall on the corner). Drive down to the Hospital gates and inform the gateman of your destination. Once through the gate, drive to the end of the road, turn right, and then follow the left turn to the building on the left hand side. The entrance is on the vlei side, and the field study centre is on the first floor. You may bring refreshments for later. Phone Pat on 557-3748 for further directions.
 
Coastal Clean Up
We will be joining Friends of the Liesbeeck in a beach clean up on Saturday 14 September. We meet at 3.30p.m. in the car park south of the Lagoon mouth. To get there turn towards the sea at Otto du Plessis/Boundary Rds. If it rains, it will be held over the to Sunday. Please phone Liz Wheeler on 671-4553 if you would like to join in.
 
Report Back
Our bush planting and walk to the hide on 1st September was held in wonderful weather, and about 10 members enjoyed both activities. Visitors to the hide saw Flamingos and Glossy Ibis and an enjoyable afternoon was had by all.
This newsletter comes to you with the kind assistance of Caltex.
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