Zandvlei Trust

Task Team - invasive vegetation removal (hacking).

This is a working relationship with the City of Cape Town and the Zandvlei Trust.

 February 2015.

Thank you to Robin Burnett for the plant identifications.

Thesium frisea of the SANTALACEAE family, which was attracting the Greater-striped Swallows.

Flowering Monopsis lutea - LOBELIACEAE.

Trevor cutting the a Brazilian Pepper tree.

Ronnie cutting down a large Poplar tree in the reed beds next to the railway line.

The leaves of this highly invasive species in a wetland area.

Initially I was excited that there may be a Milkwood tree
growing under the canopy of a Brazilian Pepper and the reeds.
On closer inspection after clearing away the over growth
it turned out to be an Indian Hawthorn shrub, altready
carrying berries. So it must have been bird dispersed seed, which brought it here.

A strong SE wind blowing, on a hot afternoon with a high cloud cover over the mountains.  Over the Cape Flats it was clear with bright sunlight. The estuary mouth of Zandvlei was closed and there was no flow rate under the railway bridge.
The water in the canal east of the bridge and into the main waterbody was black in colour with a distinctive "mineral oil smell in the air". The visibility in the water was possibly 2cm. This murky water had been reported by a fisherman on the past weekend in the upper reaches of the main waterbody of Zandvlei. Tests were being done on water stamples.
There is just about every species of invasive plant
We worked in Management Block 27 with mainly Brazilian Pepper and European Poplar trees being cut down. It was very hot working down in the reedbeds 4 - 6 metres below the cool wind.
Robin spent the afternoon getting rid of some very invasive Hibiscus diversifolius regrowth near the railway bridge where we had worked in Sept 2013. It's is known as Black-eyed Susan.

Robin with some of the creeper he has removed.

Hibiscus diversifolius flower buds.

Hibiscus diversifolius flower, it's known as Black-eyed Susan.

Hibiscus diversifolius stems and leaves.

The bird count was 24 species for the MyBirdPatch block. The predominant bird species seen were Greater striped Swallows. They were hawking and settling on a low growing seasonal wetland plant which was in flower and attracting many small fly species which the birds were after. A few Barn Swallows also joined in from time to time.

Barry stumbled out of the reeds where he had been cutting down Brazilian Pepper trees all afternoon.
The wind was blowing here and helped cool us down.

An old scat from a Cape Clawless Otter beside the railwayline where barry was sitting.


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