Thursday, 22 August 2013

Green Machine back in action!

In lieu of my trip to Cape Town I managed to check on all of the colonies, including a trip with Mark to the Keurbooms peninsula colony. During previous excursions I had gone solo on the paddle-ski, but now with a second person we had to use the Green Machine. She had been resting under cover at home and hasn’t been used since much earlier this year. I went and did my counts at various foraging sites and then went home to pick up the Green Machine and Mark. I thought my paddle-ski was heavy, the canoe is even worse! Wow! But finally we managed to get it onto the roof racks and tie her down. Unfortunately, we arrived at low tide, which really isn’t too much of a problem, but there is a choice to make: carry the canoe and then paddle the short bit to the peninsula, or take a long circular paddling route to arrive at the peninsula. I enjoy paddling so I always go for option 2! Mark and I set off, a leisurely paddle relatively in sync with each other, not like the last disastrous paddling experience! We made land on the opposite side of the peninsula that I usually arrive at, after an entertaining rip-current experience. It is probably a very good thing that I usually stop on the other side, not because of the rip-current that should be avoided but because of the treasure trove that one can find there! After some heavy rains and big swells oh what a happy place that can be! So we spent some time wandering the shore picking up all sorts of really awesome stuff! Then we got down to business and headed for the colony. Besides bringing all sorts of marine treasures to the beach, the bad weather flooded the river and washed away part of the peninsula, along with the sign declaring it a protected beach! So no nests there, but we did find a nest in the area just before the flooded section, the first in that semi-vegetated area. The first stop after that was the Caspian Tern nest, which held a surprise! No, no chicks yet, but they have a second egg! Which hopefully means two chicks, one for me and one for Mark, no ching chong cha battles to determine who gets to ring it! Along with a second tern egg we found a second goose nest, which brings the current total to 3 nests in the area, lots of cute goslings! Otherwise it was business as usual, checking the existing marked nests and marking new ones. No gull eggs yet, which is a relief for me, but soon they will be welcomed, after the trip to Cape Town!

Green Machine ready for another voyage, not much water though..
The vagrant Black Swan.
Floating with the family.
Caspian Tern eggs.
Egyptian Goose nest.
Water Thick-knee.
Blacksmith Lapwing.

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