A diary of a retired South African Water Ranger.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mother Goose Died

Mother Goose, our resident Egyptian Goose, started making her nests on Commodore's point, about eight years ago.

Every year she would delight us with the antics of her chicks. We loved watching them grow up and move on. Mother and Father Goose remained to breed on the same spot every time.

Their nest often got flooded after heavy rains. Sometimes her eggs would disappear either through human or animal interference.

This year her first attempt to breed failed because the eggs got stolen. The next two nests got washed away after heavy rains.

Out of desperation she decided to build her nest higher up for a change. We all thought it was a good idea.

They got so tame that they used to come right up to the gatehouse asking for food. The guys at the access control gate would put some food out for them in the mornings.

Last Thursday 9 Oct. she did not come for her food, which was not unusual when she is on the nest, but Clinton, my co-worker, noticed that Father Goose was behaving strangely. He was not guarding the nest. He went to investigate and made the gruesome discovery. Mother Goose fell prey to a predator.

Photographs by Wally (Oct 2008)
  • Mother Goose on her last nest.
  • Mother Goose fell prey to a predator.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bird Activity 1 October 2008

1 October 08

Bird Activity:

I spotted a Grey-backed Cisticola,

Two Hartlaub's Gulls have been squabbling all day long.

Mother Goose (Our resident Egyptian Goose) is on the nest again. She chose a better spot for her nest this time.

She has about five eggs at the last count and has been sitting since 27 October

Sparrowhawk upset gulls

29 September 2008

Noticed the Hartlaub's Gulls all in flight and squawking. I looked around for the reason for this disturbance, and saw the Black Sparrowhawk sitting in the grass. I ran for my camera and got a quick snap of it.

Working away from the vlei 23 Sep 2008

23 September 2008

At the Diep River corridor, (on the Tableview side) most of the invasive alien vegetation has been removed, leaving a wonderful carpet of wild flowers and fynbos.

Our job today was to burn the dry branches of the invasive Port Jackson trees previously chopped down.

Among the birds spotted there were:

Golden Bishop

Cape Robin


Fiscal Shrike

I also saw a mole snake.

At Atlantis dune fields we burned some more Port Jackson branches.

This area has a few dams and the fynbos flowers are in abundance but there is so much to work here to do still.

Birds spotted:

Jackal Buzzard

Egyptian Geese,

White-breasted Cormorant


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