(I was guest speaker at the Somerset West Bird Club’s monthly meeting on 11 January where I reviewed progress with our conservation campaign on our coastline and estuaries. The talk was entitled “The African Black Oystercatcher as Bird of the Year and other stories”. We just received “Batis”, their quarterly newsletter, in which they gave a comprehensive summary of my talk, as well as published our report on our last coastal cleanup. Most encouragingly the following was also published. It’s not all in vain! - Anton)
You will see from Dr Anton Odendal’s talk (summary given elsewhere in the newsletter) that some clubs are intimately involved in beach and other cleanups. We know some of our members are but we do not do anything on an organised basis at this time. In the meantime, be aware that there are beach cleanups from 09h00 to11h00 on the first Saturday of every month at Strand (Lifeguard Centre) and Gordon’s Bay (opposite Old Cape Mall). If you have the time, go along and see what it is like. As Anton reported in his talk, for some people once is enough and they never go back while other people get hooked and turn up time after time. So read Jessame Malan’s Chick Chat – and the article which follows (The report on our last cleanup – Ed) – its stirring stuff!
CHICK CHAT by Jessame Malan
After Anton Odendal’s compelling talk on the African Black Oysterctatcher I propose that we as Somerset West Bird Club get involved in this coastal cleanup project. Now before you all claim too hectic a schedule, I’m not fit/strong enough, can’t bend, too scared to be there alone, clashes with my knitting group etc please read what I’m proposing. Firstly, on the first Saturday of each month there are formal beach clean-ups. There are 2 meeting places from 9 - 11 – the life savers building at the Strand and the Old Cape Mall in Gordon’s Bay. I propose that we make it a date. I’d suggest taking gloves, a bag for gathering items and how about that wonderful grabber that you had when you had your hip op? Just the ticket for picking up and saving your back. Let’s wear our badges and do some marketing while we’re at it. For a long time we have attended excellent speakers in the evenings, gone on outings to wonderful places, but that has all been fairly passive. Your committee has worked hard at keeping things going, but we as members have not done much to give back. Here is the ideal opportunity to leave a legacy we won’t be embarrassed by. Many members have children and grandchildren and this is our chance to do something positive about improving their lives. And if you don’t have offspring, think of all the poor Oys out there trying to raise families. But not only for our bird of the year, but all wildlife.
There are a host of environment related national and international days which I propose that we give the due recognition and activity by way of celebrating what we still have. The first of these are 2nd February – World Wetlands Day;
3rd March World Wildlife Day