From the Hide
Member Gerrie Horn
recently contacted me to report a strange duck he saw at the
hide which he decided was probably an escaped Mandarin Duck.
Water ranger Wally Wolhuter has been observing a pair of
Giant Kingfishers excavating a nest hole in a sand bank and
we are eagerly watching this as Giant Kingfishers are not
common anywhere, and not often seen at Rietvlei, and to have
a breeding pair would be really special. A pair of Banded
Martins also appear be nest excavating somewhere near the
Members driving along the R27 towards town must have noticed
the beautiful Senecio elegans (all those purple flowers)
growing on the west bank all the way to the model-flying
club. This stunning flower show is due to the diligent
efforts of our alien hackers who removed so much Port
Jackson along these banks a few years ago! It's such a
pleasure to drive along this road at this time of the year.
Please remember our Play
Evening on Thursday 7th October, at Milnerton Playhouse.
"Same Time, Next Year" is a fund raiser for Friends of
Rietvlei, so please phone Nelis Visagie on 557-4094 if you
would like to purchase tickets.
Our next Open day at the Education
Centre will be on Saturday 16 October 2004. The Centre will
be open from 9a.m. and at 10a.m. there will be a walk to the
bird hide. We are looking for a knowledgeable birding member
will turn up to lead the walk, as I will be away. If we
cannot find anyone, I am sure everyone will have fun using
our bird identification cards to assist! We are also
offering all walkers the use of our own new binoculars
(bought for school groups to use) and we have 20 pairs so
there will be enough for everyone. Hoping to see many of our
members and friends. After the walk, join us for tea and
coffee and bring a snack.
As our members are now aware, the approval of the upgrade of
the existing Wastewater Treatment Works was granted last
year and a meeting was recently held to initiate the
establishment of the EMC. The Record of Decision requires
that an EMC be formed. The initial meeting including
establishing the Terms of Reference, an overview of the
Environmental Management Plan and a history of the entire
process from 2000 to 2003. The upgrade will not be totally
finished before 2008 and the Committee will meet every six
weeks until completion. Friends of Rietvlei are represented
on the EMC as we need to be involved in all matters
Adopt a Beach
This nation-wide program is aimed at getting local people to
adopt and look after their local beach. In the case of
Friends of Rietvlei we have two stretches of beach within
the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve, viz. Milnerton Lagoon Mouth
and the section between Sunset Beach and Dolphin Beach.
On the third Saturday (18th) of September, (another wet and
cold third Saturday of the month!) a brave band of Friends
arrived at the Rietvlei Education Centre. After a warming
cup of coffee and snacks we sat down to discussing the
Adopt-a-beach program and investigated the "trommel", or
blue box, of goodies. This box is packed with a most
comprehensive array of items needed for monitoring the
beach. There is everything there from a pencil to a file of
reports, from a secchi disk to a backpack.
After discussing possible actions to be undertaken it was
agreed that litter was a problem on our beaches and that a
clean-up combined with the analysis of the litter would be
an informative way to start. Most of the people attending
the morning were retired and in the fortunate position of
being able to visit the beach on a weekday. It was agreed
that a Tuesday morning should be tried for the first litter
So….EVERYONE WHO CAN please meet on Tuesday 12th October at
09h30 at the parking area on the seaward side of the R27
between Sunset Beach and Dolphin Beach. This is opposite the
South Vlei. If possible please come dressed in blue
trousers/shorts and a white shirt/jersey so that we will
look like a crew of workers. We are going to try and get
badges for people to wear. Please bring gloves, a black
refuse bag and any other items you think might be useful for
the job. A camera or two to record the event would be great.
We will probably spend an hour on the job and then have time
for a picnic and chat about what we have collected.
The following enthusiastic members can be contacted if you
wish to get more info about the discussions we had or
perhaps band together for the drive to the beach:
Ruby Briggs 551 3187, Gary Van der Merwe 083 271 6365, Ann &
Peter Lane 551 3457, Isobel Hutchison 557 1486, Don & Diane
Bedford 975 8331, Roland and Pat Desmarais 554 5831, Pat
Titmuss 557 3748
We look forward to seeing you at the beach - all friends,
relatives and neighbours are also most welcome.
|This newsletter comes to you with the kind
assistance of Caltex.