COASTAL CLEAN-UP ON 23 JUNE
BirdLife Overberg’s monthly coastal clean-up that was to have taken place along the first section of the Hoek van de Berg Nature Reserve was cancelled due to stormy and gusting winds. We were fortunately able to prevent most of the volunteers from arriving, even though Dr Vic Hamilton-Attwell and Chris did arrive. With others sanity and common sense prevailed and they did not come out.
Narina Howard and her little heroes from the Recycle Swop Shop, together with Shirley Mgaboza of Whale Coast Conservation were however on their way and we decided to just have a picnic at Davie’s Pool. Helé and Elaine prepared hotdogs and hot chocolate and also had apples and fruit juice in supply. Vivie donated beanies knitted by ladies from Hemel en Aarde Village and the kids were really chuffed with their new head gear. The eats and drinks also went down very well.
A hotdog & hot chocolate picnic with new beanies
Narina & Hele watching proceedings
We fortunately had copies of the four BLO bird identification brochures on the common birds of the Western Cape in the car. Shirley and I explained these brochures to the children and concentrated on the newly updated brochure on coastal birds that also describes the African Black Oystercatcher as bird of the year, as well as our conservation campaign. And off they went to look for birds along the Harderbaai rocky shore.
Shirley & I explaining how the brochures work
Birding along the Harderbaai rocky shore
Elaine and Helé felt that it was very encouraging to see how quickly the children were able to pick up birds and relate it to the illustrations on the brochure. The yellow feet of the Little Egret were apparently a hit and caused great excitement and cheers from the kids. The biggest joy however was caused by their identification of the African Black Oystercatcher! We will turn them into real birders yet …….. It is also interesting that several people passing by asked them what they were on about and came away with brochures for their children or grandchildren.
Vic and I looked after the equipment while the children were birding and met up with Norval Geldenhuys who was on his daily rounds cleaning up dog pooh and litter in the area around Davie’s Pool – certainly a candidate for a future BirdLife Overberg Oystercatcher Hero of the month award. We agreed that every little contribution helps and that people should be encouraged to take responsibility for some form of clean-up along their home patch. We also discussed the possibility of Vic, Shirley and I start doing more public talks and demonstrations on the negative impacts of plastics on our environment. News on this will follow shortly.
Illustrations in the coastal birds brochure
Brochure on the common birds of the seashore
In the end it was a highly successful event as great fun was had by all. Keep in mind that the revised brochure on coastal birds is available from us at R 2.00 per copy for bulk distribution to schools and youth groups. Also, kindly assist us with donations for our Xmas in July fundraising dinner as funds raised will be used in support of the BLO CleanMarine conservation campaign.
The next BLO coastal clean-up will be on Saturday 14 July and details on this will be released in our general circulars and local media and on our website and Facebook page. (It is assumed that one should add “weather permitting”.)
Many thanks and appreciation to Vivie, Hele and Elaine for their ongoing support and dedication.
Crockery from our touring days donated to the Recycle Swop Shop kids
Beanies knitted by the ladies from the Hemel and Aarde Village