Amazingly, we are heading towards Public hols, School, University hols and religious hols sooooooooo I have been asked to doan Easter hol Eco Walk. Please diarise Wednesday 23rd. March 2016 at 8.00 outside The Drummond Arms. If, the weather is awful then we will try again on 26.3.16 - even though a crayfish day. There will be LOTS of "flora" help and for anything that MOVES !! Also, our beaches still NEED us, so do wander along collecting any rubbish on them and in particular the "tiny" bits of plastic. This is all VERY therapeutic and perhaps that spare 30 minutes can be used on a regular basis to help our sea and bird life. Even get those children and grandchildren to help out - very educational !
1. a pair of Common Sandpiper at the rocks on The Point.(4633 - awful photograph but it does show the breast band !)
2. The Egyptian Geese have still got nine eggs with the female doing all the incubating and the male on guard. They ought to hatch within the next twelve days and they are precocial with the parents taking them down to the sea almost immediately which is where they become even more vulnerable.
3. If, you are missing the numbers of the Cape Sugarbird in your garden that is because the White Sugarbush - protea repens has started flowering (early).
Gardeners: From Annies Annuals website " Birds & bees swoon over this spectacular, super easy, extremely reliable & long lived 8’ x 6’ shrub. Way back in the late 1600’s, European settlers in South Africa collected the abundant nectar from the flowerheads, which they boiled down into a thick red syrup used as a sugar substitute and cough medicine - thus the common name “Sugarbush”. Blooms Fall through Winter with ivory flowerheads. Cut flower rockstar! As blooms dry out and brown, seedheads bear resemblance to upside down ice cream cones. Sweet! Free draining, acidic soil is best. If you have clay soil, amend with rotted pine needles, or something else that is both nutrient poor & acidifying. Avoid feeding with anything with phosphorus, as this is a sure fire way to kill the plant. Once established, it is a drought tolerant, low care, disease free beauty – tolerant of sun & wind & impervious to deer. From South Africa, of course. Hardy to 25 degrees." (4636 & 4637)
4. From Alastair :- There was frenetic activity in front of us this morning.(12.3.16) A shoal of maasbankers came in close and into the long pool. No gannets, but hundreds of cormorants and a flock of hardworking terns of all the usual kinds being harassed by those layabout gulls (although one gull made a clever catch of a falling fish dropped by a tern). One immature gull was so gorged that he/she took several minutes to get a fish down the throat. The fish were so plentiful that all except the terns needed to have a pause to digest. Of course, the cormorants had to hang themselves out to dry now and again. Further out were seals and a whale. In the bushes was a flock of bulbuls, a pair of fiscal flycatchers and (I think) a few canaries. Wonderful crowd to watch. We eventually came in for breakfast at 10.30!
5. Look out for the early Cape Gannets which have probably come from the West Coast looking for fish gorging on the red bloom, ours is NOT toxic but on the West Coast it is toxic.
1. A fisherman showed us these on the main beach - he had never seen the like before. I checked them out and they are a member of the Janthinidae Family and this one is Janthina janthina - the common violet sea snail. From Shells of Southern Africa by Deidre Richards "these delicate molluscs live a drifting life on the surface of the warm water oceans, suspended by a float of bubbles. they feed on plankton and are often washed ashore after stormy weather in the summer months, particularly on the Muizenberg beaches of False Bay." Ed: it had been stormy weather with wind from the north west. (4632)
1. Cape Clawless Otter - they are still with us although I have had no reports of any sightings since November 2015 (4632 - taken at the bottom of Bonny Banks steps)
1. This wonderful Amaryllis belladonna (4631) - the March Lily, photographed at 147, Rocklands Road.
Gosh, this was meant to be a quick report mentioning the ECO WALK and the therapeutic participation of collecting beach and sea rubbish !!
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, there is just sooooooooooooooooooooo much to see, hear, find and observe here. Keep all the sightings coming. Definitely time for a Sunday lunch glass of wine ! Hope to see you on the 23rd.