REPORT ON THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG CLEANMARINE MONTHLY COASTAL CLEAN-UP ON 29 FEBRUARY 2020
Posted on the 1st March 2020
Nineteen members and volunteers participated in the monthly BirdLife Overberg CleanMarine coastal clean-up, this time along the second section of the Hoek van de Berg Nature Reserve shoreline – it is now called the Whale Coast Nature Reserve. This is certainly one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline along the Cape Whale Coast shoreline and needs to be experienced. The group started from the “Plankieshuis” and worked eastwards towards what we had dubbed “Tern Bay” for obvious reasons.
The south-easterly wind was pumping initially, but gradually calmed down leading to a beautiful warm and sunny morning. Species heard calling continually from the coastal thickets included Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Bulbul, Southern Boubou, Sombre Greenbul, Karoo Prinia and Cape Robin Chat. There were coastal birds flying about with several African Black Oystercatchers and Whimbrels being prominent. Others that we were able to identify included many African Sacred Ibises and vast numbers of Cape Cormorants resting on the rocks. A huge tern day roost that included the common, sandwich and swift variations also caused a lot of interest. The highlight however was the Candelabra lilies that are in full bloom at this time of year.
The clean-up was interesting and very rewarding. We hereby merely highlight an estimate the coastal litter collected. We collected about 20 meters of fishing line from the rocks, together with 40 pieces of rope. Very few plastic straws were collected, compared to the huge numbers found when we initially started cleaning here some eighteen months ago. The same applies to plastic balloons. This certainly indicates that the campaign against such items that we ran in the past is showing dividends. Other prominent items collected today included plastic bottle caps, plastic beverage bottles, plastic shopping bags, lollypop sticks and more than 1,000 small pieces of plastic. In the end 22 bags filled with litter were collected on the day. Keep in mind that this was the first clean-up along this stretch of coastline after the summer holiday period when one would normally expect an increase in “recreational litter”. Also consider that more volunteers participated today and that a larger area was covered. Most significantly it should however be noted that the regular participants agreed that there had been a consistent decrease in the number and weight of litter collected during the four clean-ups since this stretch of coastline was first cleaned. The dramatic reduction of litter collected is most encouraging and serves as strong motivation to continue with these efforts.
The bags of litter will be delivered to the municipal refuse collection plant. We all agreed that this is a very satisfactory and rewarding exercise and we are looking forward next month’s clean-up along the third section of the Whale Coast Nature Reserve shoreline. We would like to encourage all our members and volunteers to participate in this one. This will be done on Saturday 28 March, when we will again get together at the parking area of the OK in Onrus at 08h00.
Our appreciation goes to everyone who had participated and we are looking forward to welcoming those members who could not make it today to next month’s clean-up. We are still negotiating with two youth groups regarding their possible participation in future clean-ups. We appeal to all to become involved in this campaign and see how many friends and other interested parties you can involve. Also let us know if you want to clean a specific section of coastline close to where you live on a regular basis and we will assist you to get going. Contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 455 8402 to volunteer your support.
As always our thanks go to Plasticsǀ SA for supplying the bags, gloves, thongs and support and the People n Planet campaign of Pick n Pay for sponsoring refreshments. Michael and Justine are also thanked for their hospitality and the provision of coffee, tea and eats.