Posted on the 27th February 2018


Members of BirdLife Overberg decided to prioritise the spending of available funds and future fund-raising and conservation efforts. For this reason it was decided to focus our efforts on the Overstrand region’s coastline and estuaries. A workshop on this was presented on 2 and 3 September 2017 in collaboration with the Nature’s Valley Trust. Funds to present this workshop were generated through the presentation of a Xmas in July event. Many of the region’s role-players showcased their projects at the workshop and Dr Mark Brown conducted a brainstorming session on the Sunday afternoon. The six projects discussed herewith were identified during the brainstorming session. The projects will be done as case-studies that will be reported to the Western Cape Birding Forum regularly in view of other clubs possibly implementing similar actions in their regions. A presentation on the projects was done at the monthly meeting of the Somerset West Bird Club earlier in January and already they are considering getting involved in coastal cleanup projects in their area. These matters were also discussed at the Western Cape Birding Forum meeting on 17 February and some other clubs also expressed interest.

The identification of key breeding spots of African Oystercatchers & White-fronted Plovers along Overstrand beaches went well during the summer of 2017/ 2018 and we have a fair idea of key breeding sites along our coastline. It was decided to appoint “Oystercatcher Champions” before the next summer – these will be individuals at specific spots along our coast who will take responsibility for applying the educational campaigns at their home patches. Training on this will be done by September.
Several members have also taken photographs of breeding birds and adults rearing chicks. These images will eventually be collated to illustrate how the chicks develop until they fledge.
The educational campaigns (posters, brochures, media releases, etc) developed by the Nature’s Valley Trust will be adapted for our purposes and implemented at the key breeding sites during the summer of 2018/ 2019. Quotations for the development of these resources have been received and sponsors are now being sought.

Some members have participated in the regular summer CWAC count along the Botriver estuary in collaboration with the Tygerberg Bird Club. The undertaking more regular Co-ordinated Waterbird Counts along the Uilenkraals-, Klein- and Bot River estuaries is still under investigation.

Fishing line bins will be set up at 50 sites to be identified along the Overstrand coastline. Several sites have already been identified and John Kieser of Plastics SA has committed to assist us in this regard. 

The setting up of cigarette butt bins along our coastline is under investigation and consultations in this regard are in progress with Whale Coast Conservation, the Overstrand municipality and the Onrus Litter Ladies. We obtained permission from Annual General Meeting to make a R 500.00 donation to the Litter Ladies. They will also be the recipients of our monthly Oystercatcher Hero award in March (See explanation below).

Huge progress has been made with the clearing of marine litter at specific problematic hotspots identified by Antonio de Sylva-Swart of the Coastal Cleanup Conservation Trust. Five monthly coastal cleanups have already been undertaken and are being managed by Elaine Odendal and Helé Oosthuizen. Reports on these monthly cleanups will be published on a regular basis.
A collaborative partnership had been forged with Narina Howard of the Recycle Swop Shop and a group of their children will be participating in these cleanups on a regularly. A budget of R 400.00 per month for refreshments for these children is in place.
A decision was taken to create an “Oystercatcher Hero of the Month award”. This will be for community members who make a significant contribution to the conservation of our coastline and estuaries. Narina Howard of the Recycle Swop Shop is the first recipient of this award and a certificate was handed over to her at the AGM. She also receives a year’s free membership of BirdLife Overberg.

The BirdLife South Africa Bird of the Year 2018 material & resources on the African Black Oystercatcher will be distributed to as many schools as possible in our region. The posters have been developed by Dr Mark Brown and these are beautiful, very educational and practical. We have submitted a request to BirdLife South Africa to receive large numbers of these posters. The four BLO identification brochures on the common birds of the Western Cape will also be disseminated to children at these schools and budgets for the reprinting of these brochures have been obtained.

The budgets for these various projects represent a minimum total of R 50,000.00 per annum, excluding the fact that a person will have to appointed to manage this process – a budget regarding the latter issue will be discussed by the committee and feedback will be given to members at a later stage.

Good progress was made with the identification of potential sponsors. An interview was undertaken with John Kieser of Plastics SA and this resulted in the provision of plastic bags for coastal cleanups, as well as the production of fishing line bins. An interview was also undertaken with a representative of the environmental division of the Overstrand municipality regarding future collaboration. An application for funding has been submitted to the IBA division of BirdLife South Africa. A request for a presentation to Rotary Hermanus has been sent.. The possibility of presenting workshops as fundraising events is also being considered.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to members and others who had supported our efforts until now and request all members to become involved in some aspects of the projects. Any ideas and recommendations regarding individuals and organisations that we could approach regarding the possible financing of our campaigns will be appreciated.
27 February 2018.























CHERRY RONBECK (posted: 2018-02-28 15:49:46)
We were at Milkwood Restaurant today where there is a sign saying no straws will be used .
However 8 patrons and 6 straws were provided to the other 6 patrons. Talked to waiter (no manager available) and she knew nothing.

What is the point of these notices if the Restaurant owner does not train her staff.

I will call tonight when maybe owner will be on duty.