The Silvermine Wetlands between Fish Hoek and Clovelly is a conservation asset as well as a valuable recreation area. It is also the most natural river system in the Cape Metro. Evanne Rothwell updates us with what has been happening in and about the wetlands this year.
An otter watch has been running for about 2 years now, and we were thrilled when a female gave birth to 3 pups in the bottom pond, and visible to a few lucky people early this year. One drowned pup was washed up on the beach and we suspect it was one of “ours” as there is no other recorded family of otters down here. Although we have a camera up, they are proving to be very camera shy, and only a few pictures have been recorded. Several spoors have been seen at the estuary and there are many scats around the wetlands, showing that they are moving up and down the river. Fresh scats are being collected for research purposes.
Working for Water have been active and removed at lot of alien vegetation and help with the removal of litter. We are very grateful for their help.
A Little Crake was spotted in the top pond by 2 of our local bird watchers, and this caused a lot of interest as it was a rare sighting, with bird watchers catching planes from as far afield as Gauteng to view and photograph it. Little Crakes are a European bird that winters in N Africa, so she must have got her GPS really screwed up. She was here for 2 weeks and it really put the Silvermine Wetlands on the birding map.
Our new Info boards are up and the information sheets are changed as necessary. Please check them for pictures and information on the Spring Flowers, otters and Leopard Toads. There is also one at the entrance to the beach at the Clovelly beach parking area which shows interesting estuarine objects.
Thanks to our local Councillor David D’Alton, we received funds to do an extensive path rehabilitation, which must be huge relief to the many people who walk around.
We had 2 sewerage spills this year into the river, and this kept us on our toes helping the City to monitor the damage and clean-up. The resultant death of many fish enabled us to do a much needed fish audit. There are already signs of fish returning to the ponds.