noticed red tide in Gordons Bay on Thursday 25th Feb but didnt see evidence here until today 27th Feb
"At noon driving down the hill on Clarence Drive the swathes of red tide in the sea are very obvious -- but it is further out; not right along the shoreline. I dont know if it is the is the toxic red tide or if it is benign - but thought it may be worth alerting people through Tweet that they should enquire before taking mussels."
2. the Egyptian Goose nest on the Point now has nine eggs.
3. Giant Kingfisher on our upper stoep this morning at 6.45 making a tremendous noise and frightening all the smaller birds.
Have GREAT evening,
** WHERE is this RAIN - gardens are deserts, helped along by the Cape Molerat (georychus capensis), the Cape Francolins and Guineafowls (4601/4603), "our" river has dried up which is TWICE this year the first time in eighteen years (4613)
And a sole has been found in the lagoon (by Ral Meredith) unable to get back to the sea.
Heteromycteris capensis - the ‘Cape Sole’ - RooiEls - 7. 2. 2016
Message from Ral Meredith: “During the 1980’s Bruce Relly, who is a resident of RooiEls, told of an event which had taken place in about 1983, when he was walking along the beach,and saw a Cape Clawless Otter running across the sand carrying an object in its mouth. He decided to give chase, and the Otter then dropped the item, which, upon inspection, was found to be a Sole ! Being rather partial to Sole, Bruce took the prize home and cooked it for breakfast ! This was an astonishing story, but clearly accurate. What it did, was (a) establish that Soles were present in the RooiEls estuary, (b) establish that Otters , include Soles as part of their diet, along with many other fish and shellfish. For the first time since August 1986, and up to 6th Feb 2016, the RooiElsriver was seen to have stopped flowing into the sea. The `lagoon ‘ was now a still stretch of water cut off by about 50 meters of sand to the shoreline. The water in the lagoon was warm and contained a great deal of aAlgae. One of our family members, Richard Berg, mentioned that he had seen a Sole ,motionless, in a puddle adjoining the still water of the lagoon. The writer collected the Sole, placing it in a plastic bag before putting it into the deep freeze. There was no hint of decay .This fish weighs 250 grams, its length is 27.5 cms, and its width, with pectoral and dorsal fins not extended is 10.3 cms. It is brown in colour on its upper side, but with fine darker dots which resemble dark sand. It is near white on its underside. This record suggests that the Cape Sole is an inhabitant of the RooiEls estuary. Professor Charles Griffiths of the Department of Biological Sciences at UCT, has suggested that the fish possibly succumbed due to high levels of fresh water in the lagoon. He explained that if fresh water was still flowing in from the catchment area of the RooiEls river, the accumulating fresh water forces the saline water out towards the sea lowering the salinity to a point where marine fish die. The CSIR Report 1982 Griffiths “Estuaries of theCape ,” number 8. CSIR report 407 part 2 report no 8 ( CSW10)”.
This report contains many interesting observations. In one instance: December 1979- ` During the ECRU survey in Dec 1979, no water was flowing out to the sea at low tide.’ [ It would be interesting to know how many times the river has ceased to flow into the sea in the last 100 years ! ].
What is of particular interest is the listing of aquatic fauna found in the river. One specimen ofHeteromycteriscapensis- the Cape sole - is listed. The only other fish mentioned in the table was Lithognathusmormyrus, the `Sand steenbras.’
In 1968 GF van Wykaslo netted White Steenbras, Gobies and Harders. In 1978 S.Grindley recorded Psasmmagobiusknysnaensis (Knysna sand-goby) Heteromyteriscapensis (Cape sole) Lithognathusmormyrus (Sand steenbras) and Hepsetiabreviceps (now Atherinabreviceps – the Cape silverside). The CSIR report is worth reading , especially for those who may be interested in the finer points relating to RooiEls, its fauna , flora and all the scientific information of the area that has been presented. There will, hopefully, be more information in regard to the status of the Cape Sole in our estuary in due course.”
Click here to link to the CSIR Report 1982
Then even the Praying Mantis are thirsty (4580).
The sea quarris(Euclea racemosa) have "gone mad" wth MILLIONS of juicy berries with our resident Kay even making jelly with them (2994, 2997, 2001, 3013, 3020) and an absolute treat for the Baboons but NOT for the trees !!
1. "Have had a very "wildlife" morning - with a seal very active right here close to the rocks, the usual visits in my lounge from the chat, an unusual one from a panicking, messing, starling and then for first time a dassie came right into the house and I dont even feed them. He wasnt shy - but Kira did come up from my office and that sent dassie scuttling!
2. This year has seen a real profusion of flowers and fruits on all the plants. The pink everlastings or sewejaartijies (Syncarpha canescens) make the fynbos from Kleinmond to Arabella look as if cans of paint have been splashed from above.
The Sea Guarri (Euclea racemosa) (also known as the Dune Guarri), has seen the baboons thinning the hedgerows. And our walls, decks, railings and roofs are painted purple from the continuous starling banquets.
So why should we be left out of this bounty .......... they are sweet, rich, beautiful berries. But dont eat too many in their raw state or your tummy will know about it. As jam they have far too many pips. So the only thing is to make jelly -- and it is lovely. Boil the fruit up with some lemon (juice and rind), drain it and then add sugar and simmer until it will set. They are quite sweet so about half the weight in sugar - but depends how much lemon you used.
** Moving on to other sightings :-
a) Black Oystercatchers are having a torrid time. They lay one egg at the side of the lagoon(found by Sandra) and then it disappears, they lay another egg (found by Duncan) and it disappears. Another pair lay two eggs in the rocks on the Point - great spot they thought (thank you Sandra) but alas they have also disappeared - these probably taken by the White-necked ravens or baboons, who are very active at present because of the berries.
b) but the good news is .......................... that three metres from that nest an Egyptian Goose has laid six eggs
c) Grey Heron flying in (for email.jpg Sandra Yeo) - a constant Rooi Els visitor.
d) The number of Hartlaub Gulls has been increasing annually particularly with all the small fish around.
e) a Greater-striped Swallow nest destroyed by baboons in Hotel Crescent - one egg shell was found at the base of the nest (4622). This is another nest of longevity (min 8 years), being taken over by White-rumped Swifts then back again and rebuilt by the Swallows. Next season, perhaps even Rock Martins !!
f) "our " Greater-striped Swallow is now on to lining their nest - even helped by putting cotton wool down and looking like Father Christmas (4622) !! Are they practising for next season or are they just late breeders - watch this space ..................................
g) The Paradise Flycatcher is still with us(this morning), but still only a female - ahhhhhhhhhhhhh !! Sorry no photograph as yet. Has anyone else seen one or two ?
h) A Laughing Dove has been in our garden on and off for a couple of days.
i) Lynne telephoned to say that she had over 30 Cape Wagtails on her roof and in her garden just having a chat, so quoting from Roberts 7 (by the way 8 is in the making) "occurs singly, in pairs or family parties, or in loose flocks of up to 50-100 birds, confiding with each other "
** to Flora
a) Unfortunately, I have heard nothing from THOSE BOTANISTS out there - but here is something for YOU - an April Fool and a Candelabra -Haemanthus coccineus/Brunsvigia orientalalis flowering really early – these taken in late February in Rooi Els. Our data "firsts" are mid March to mid April !
And Exciting news Follow the action on Facebook about the Tsitisikama Marine Reserve
Minnows can WIN !!
The Friends of Tsitsikamma are pleased to announce a victory in their court case against the Department of Environmental Affairs and South African National Parks.