A diary of a retired South African Water Ranger.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Some Notes from my old iblog blog

17 August 2008

One White-Throated swallow arrived

I spotted:

  • two Red-billed Teals,
  • Two Cape Shoveler

Two Great Crested Grebes were seen in a mating dance.

They were facing one another,

beak to beak, and shaking their heads.

15 August 008

Swallows were swirling around in the air over Rietvlei.

11 August 2008

Peter H brought a little dead bird, found in his garden, to the vlei for our interest.

He correctly identified it as an Orange-breasted Waxbill.

It possibly escaped from someone's aviary.

10 August 2008

Birds spotted

One Black Sparrowhawk and a March Harrier were spotted behind McPherson plant nursery.

6 August 2008

Birds spotted

  • One Black Sparrowhawk
  • Ten Yellow-billed ducks flew passed

5 August 2008

Birds spotted

  • Four Red-billed Teals
  • Six Yellow-billed ducks

4 August 2008

The vlei is very quiet.

Birds spotted:

  • One Black Sparrowhawk
  • Three Pied Kingfishers

2-August 2008

Birds Spotted

  • +- Fifty White-breasted Cormorants. Some of them are sitting on the jetty and some feeding in the middle of the vlei. There must be lots of small fish.

29 July 2008

Another wind-free day

Birds seen:

  • Two Yellow-billed Kite soaring on a thermal - just gliding and enjoying the trip.Later
  • A pair of crows was doing the same.
  • Four flamingos flew passed. Lost maybe?
  • Burchell's Coucal

24 July 2008

It is another pleasant day.

Went for a walk to the bird-hide.

Mother goose has seven eggs to date.

Birds seen:

  • One Grey Heron,
  • One Purple Heron,
  • One Black-shouldered Kite,
  • Four Great Crested Grebe in mating plumage.
  • A Bird identified by sound: Burchell's Coucal

20 July 2008

Mother goose is building a nest on commodore's point. Will go and count her eggs when I get a chance.

Friday 18 July

Bird count

  • One Black Sparrowhawk
  • Two Hadedas building a nest
  • Four Darters

  • Four Cape Shoveler
  • Six Crested Grebes
  • Eight Yellow-billed Ducks
  • Fourty White-breasted Cormorants
  • Two hyndred and fifty Pelicans

11 July 2008

  • One Fish-Eagle is back and perching on the last remaining branch on the island.
10 July 2008

The Fish-Eagles seem to have left.

It must be all the activity, on the island, starting at 7.30 am and continuing throughout the day that drove them away.

They are busy with cleanup work.

Hope they return when tranquility returns

7 July 2008

The Hadedas are still building nests.


Birds spotted:

  • One pair of Fish-Eagles just fifty meters away.
  • One Pair of Black-shouldered Kites.
  • Thirty seven Avocets
  • Fivehundred Flamingos (LESSER)

There are signs that the grysbok has been feeding on the young Port-Jackson bush shoots.

At 1400 soft soaking rain came down. We are experiencing some real winter weather.


A fossil was found at Rietvlei today.

It appears to be the fossilized remains of a tooth of a large animal.

I shall give it to my friends at the museum for identification and dating.

Perhaps it can add another paragraph to the history of the aria.

I shall post more information about it after it has been examined properly.

Visit my photo album to see larger views of the fossil (http://s224.photobucket.com/albums/dd264/gardenbird/Rietvlei/fossil%20find/)

14 June 2008

OTTER PAW MARKS at the fishing spot

Monday May 19 2008

Rietvlei (North vlei) Bird Count

It is a super morning.

There is no wind and the vlei looks like glass

  • 3200 Kelp Gull
  • 150 Flamingos
  • 70 Pelicans
  • 30 Coots
  • 26 Oystercatchers
  • 23 Hartlaub's Gulls
  • 15 Cape Shovelers
  • 10 Blacksmith Plover
  • 10 Egyptian Geese
  • 8 Yellow-billed Ducks
  • 6 Spotted Dikkops
  • 6 Darters
  • 4 Water Dikkops
  • 3-Pied Kingfishers
  • 2 Grey Heron
  • 2 Great Crested Grebes
  • 2 African Sacred Ibis
  • 2 Fish-Eagle (at the point)
  • 1 Dabchick
  • 1 Reed Cormorant
  • 1 Little Egret

14 June 2008

Walking the dog Saturday

This morning while taking Onesock for a walk, a Peregrine Falcon swooped down and strikes a Racing Pigeon.

The Pigeon fell to the earth.

I ran up to it and found it still to be quivering.

The only mark on it was a little blood on the inside of the wing.

After examining it I left it on the grass and watched the Falcon diving down to claim it's prize about 20 min later.


I saw otter paw marks at the fishing spot.

  • The Fish-Eagles are still very prominent
  • The Hadedas have increased in numbers and are very noisy.

I went for a walk around the vlei, as per usual, this morning. Some large carp were feeding near the shore and coming close to land and I like to sneak up to them and prod the fish with my finger.

The fish startles into a panic and with a sudden swish of it's tail attempts to escape with water splashing and turmoil '

It was toss-up for who got the biggest fright the fish or me.



With winter on our doorstep most of the migrating birds left our shores for greener pastures, although, I still saw about

  • fifty little stints on the shores of the North-vlei.
  • About thirty PELICANS seem to stay all the year round. They sit and sun themselves on a small island, in the South-vlei near the West-coast road and at sunset they come and feed in the shallow waters near the club.
So all water users please leave the water at sunset sharp.

The water level of the lake is very high for his time of the year and if we have a long cold and wet winter get ready for a flood or two.

There are signs of otters all around the shores of the vlei. These creatures are mostly nocturnal and can be seen very early in the morning or just after sunset.

  • The white DOMESTIC GOOSE'S ten goslings have left and in the meantime she has adopted Mother goose's four goslings and is still flying to and fro.

Every time before it rains

  • about a thousand Lesser Black-backed / (Kelp) Gulls fly in and just about cover the whole body of water.

A reminder to all fishermen: Fishing is only allowed from the designated Municipal sites, and every fisherman has to pay R55.

Birds seen in the area:

  • Egyptian Geese (many),
  • Sand Martins (30),
  • Fish-Eagles (2),
  • Sacred Ibis (8),
  • Blacksmith Plover (20),
  • Caspian Tern (3),
  • Flamingos (3),
  • Spur-winged Geese
  • Hadedas
  • Herons
  • Oystercatchers
  • Darter
  • Yellow-billed Duck
  • Three-banded Plover
  • Kittlitz's Plover

Other Animals

  • Steenbok,
  • Grey Mongoose,
  • Water Mongoose,
  • Chameleon,
  • Marsh Terrapin,
  • Angulated tortoise

No comments:


Birds eye view from the island at Rietvlei. Photogrash taken 2002