From the Hide
I visited the hide late
July after good rains and walked across the boardwalk out
over a vast lake. Wonderful to have Rietvlei full again. The
water level is already dropping so we live in hope of plenty
more rain. Hundreds of birds had responded and flocks of
Ducks, Gulls, Ibis and Plovers were enthusiastically going
about their business.
Good birding areas at the moment are the Dolphin Beach ponds
and the river below Blaauwberg Rd Bridge. I saw three
Painted Snipe in the Dolphin Beach north pond, also known as
Waves Edge pond a week ago. Two pairs of Grey Herons are
attempting nest building in one of the reed beds right in
the middle of the water - not a good idea, if water levels
rise too high. The recent bird count at Rietvlei produced
large numbers of Shelduck, which are recorded as uncommon at
Rietvlei. One of the Fish Eagles put on a wonderful display
for us, frightening hundreds of Ducks and Ibis out of the
reeds just in time for us to count them. Due to low water
levels at the time of the count, count results were also
We hear a lot about
Environmental Management Plans when large constructions
works are underway, but have you ever wondered what an EMP
is, and what an Environmental Site Officer actually does?
Construction at the Milnerton Racecourse is under way and
Guy Musson of Mpangu Environmental Services is the
Environmental Site Officer and is going to be our Guest
Speaker at our first evening meeting of this summer. He will
also tell us about the Racecourse development.
Date: Thursday 22nd August 2002
Time: 7.30p.m. for 8p.m.
Venue: Milnerton Aquatic Clubhouse, off Pentz Drive, Table
Speaker: Guy Musson on Environmental Site Management.
Welcome to New Members:
Jack & Marie Mangan, Piet & Joy Slabbert, Tony Hill
& family all of Table View.
Walk and Work Party
Set aside Sunday 1st
September 2002 at 3p.m, for a get together, work party and
walk to the hide. We meet at the Amphitheatre and hope to
plant a few bushes for Arbor Week, have a picnic tea and if
the weather is good, take a walk to the hide. Hopefully, we
will see plenty of birds and some spring flowers. Please
bring garden tools, refreshments and binoculars. Remember to
bring your Membership Card to allow you free entry. This is
a great opportunity for new and old members to meet and if
you have not yet been to our bird hide, this alone is a good
reason to join us.
We have some very
exciting plans which will be detailed in later newsletters.
At present we can say that we hope to have our long-awaited
Education Centre up and running by the end of the year. One
of our Corporate Members has expressed an interest in
sponsoring a small wooden cabin-type structure behind the
amphitheatre to be used for the purpose of educating school
groups visiting Rietvlei. Such a structure falls within the
Rietvlei Management Plan and will be a boon to those
educators (and pupils) who battle with the elements! The
structure (about the size of a double garage) will provide
shelter from the rain and wind and we may even use it for
our evening meetings. We are still in the process of
applying for plan approval and further details will follow.
We will need plenty of help furnishing and fitting the
interior and hope that many members will want to become
involved. We are also in the process of designing and
printing some beautiful posters of birds specific to
Over 300 school pupils have already visited Rietvlei this
year in the care of Natasha Deare, the Nature Conservation
Student working at Blaauwberg Administation and some schools
have cancelled due to adverse weather conditions! If you
know of any school who would like an educational outing to
Rietvlei, please contact Natasha on 550-7564.
Intaka Island (Blouvlei)
Your committee is
represented on the Blouvlei Environmental Committee and has
been involved in this area since its sandy beginnings.
August is a great time to visit, flower season is in full
swing and the birds have followed suit and started breeding
in the heronry area earlier than previous years. At the
moment there are over 30 nests, including those of Grey
Heron, Blackheaded Heron and Reed Cormorant. A R5 entrance
fee will buy you a map and trail brochure. You can get to
Intaka Island by travelling up Montague Drive and across
Bosmansdam into Century City grounds. Go through the
security boom, round the traffic circle and turn left into
the gates on the opposite side of the circle. We will
organise another outing to this area during October for
those unsure of the way.
|This newsletter comes to you with the kind
assistance of Caltex.