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.
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,
Pentz Drive, Table View.
Topic: Frogs of the Cape Peninsula
Enquiries: Margaret on 557-4990
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.
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
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.