Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter February 2004
From the Hide
There has been some wonderful birdwatching during December and January as the fairly shallow water receded. All the usual migrant waders were around - there was also a sighting of a small flock of Blue Cranes! There is only a film of water left on the back pan, which is attracting Swallows, Martins, Avocets and Spoonbills amongst others. The Greater Flamingos are still on this pan but will probably leave very soon and move to Rondevlei or Strandfontein. Some of my own sightings over the Festive Season included a somewhat confused Forest Buzzard as well as a very dark Steppe Buzzard. Low winter rainfall and a windy New Year will probably lead to the usual February/March dust problems in Table View again this year, so be warned.
 
Evening Meeting
Our first meeting of 2004 will take place in our new Education Centre. We will be serving tea, coffee and wine for a small charge. So if you were unable to attend our official opening on the 27th November, take this opportunity to come and see the Centre and, at the same time, hearing a fascinating talk on the Frogs of the Cape Peninsula. James Harrison, who is with the Avian Demography Unit at UCT, will be presenting this slide show accompanied by actual frog calls.
Date: Thursday 19 February 2004
Time: 7.30 for 8p.m.
Venue: Rietvlei Education Centre, just past MAC clubhouse, off
Pentz Drive, Table View.
Topic: Frogs of the Cape Peninsula
Enquiries: Margaret on 557-4990
 
Potsdam Group
As you may be aware, the expansion at Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works will now go ahead. The Potsdam Group, under Rob Robertson, has been assessing their gains and losses. Unfortunately the struggle against bureaucratic planning was lost! Gained is a requirement that once construction is complete around the end of 2006, an Environmental Monitoring Committee will be set up on which communities adjacent to the works must be represented. Another plus is the undertaking that instead of the intended 200% expansion, it will now be capped after the present 50% expansion. Sewage from future new developments will now be routed to the Melkbosstrand Works. The Friends of Rietvlei wish to thank member, Rob Robertson, for his sterling work in establishing and running the Potsdam Group.
 
New Conservation Students
Jeremy, Bronwen and Kelly qualified at the end of last year and have now left to pursue their conservation careers elsewhere and we have three new students who will spend 2004 working with Koos at Rietvlei.
Nikki Louw from Table View is interested in marine and coastal management as well as wetlands. Nikki will take on the task of education at our new centre and continue the fish surveys started last year.
Andrie van Niekerk from Parow will undertake projects relating to prawn population surveys, prickly pear control and water monitoring. She will also be looking into the dust problems local residents experience in Feb/March each year!
J.P. Grobler of Table View will also be assisting with education at the new centre and hopes to complete a frog survey at Rietvlei.
 
Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area (BCA)
Our nearest Friends Group will host a coastal bird walk through their Conservation Area on Saturday 13 March, led by Cliff Dorse, Conservation Officer for the area. The walk will take place in the morning and further details re meeting place and times can be obtained from Cindy at 557-0740. We urge our members to support this new Friends Group.

I will be away during March, so the next newsletter should be in early April. This will include your renewal notices for year April 2004 to March 2005.
This newsletter comes to you with the kind assistance of Caltex.
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