WEEKLY FEATURE 23 - THE LOWER SILVERMINE RIVER WETLANDS
Posted on the 5th June 2015
The Lower Silvermine River Wetlands is situated between Clovelly and Fish Hoek, and features a rehabilitated floodplain. The Silvermine River is unique, as its natural state is almost intact, running from its source in the Silvermine Mountains to the sea in False Bay. The Friends of the Silvermine Nature Area (FOSNA) are very active in clearing alien vegetation, reintroducing indigenous plant species and managing pollution and littering. The area features a self-guided trail for the blind and the entire 1.8 km path around the wetlands is wheelchair-friendly.
The area is a breeding ground for the endangered WESTERN LEOPARD TOAD and also supports ARUM LILY, CAPE RIVER and CLICKING STREAM FROGS. Birds are prolific and most species associated with garden, fynbos, wetlands and coastal habitats in the Western Cape occur. Thickets support CAPE BATIS, KLAAS'S CUCKOO, SOMBRE GREENBUL, AFRICAN OLIVE-PIGEON and OLIVE WOODPECKER. Wetlands habitats hold species such as PURPLE HERON, GLOSSY IBIS, GIANT, MALACHITE and PIED KINGFISHERS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON, GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE, AFRICAN SNIPE and SPOTTED THICK-KNEE. WHITE-BACKED and WHITE-FACED DUCKS, SOUTHERN POCHARD, CAPE SHOVELER and all three teals are also present.
The Silvermine Wetlands is, however, best known for the appearance of a LITTLE CRAKE during March 2012. This was the first time that this palearctic vagrant had been seen in South Africa – birders from all over South Africa and further afield flocked to the area to see this bird in the two weeks that it was present. Most birders agree that the LITTLE CRAKE at Clovelly was the biggest twitch in South Africa's birdwatching history!
DIRECTIONS AND CONTACT DETAILS:
DIRECTION: The Lower Silvermine River Wetlands is situated between Clovelly and Fish Hoek and is reached by travelling along Main Road from Muizenberg to Simon's Town. Free parking is available just off Clovelly Road at the traffic lights on Main Road.
Friends of Silvermine Nature Area (FOSNA):
PHONE: +27 (0)21 782 6144