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Fire at the Rooiels birding site

Mariana Delport was at Rooiels yesterday morning. A fire engine was parked alongside the track just beyond the gate. She asked the guys in the truck what was going on, and they told her that a fire had burnt part of the mountain the previous day (Friday). Here is Mariana's story. . .



They were on stand-by in case of a possible flaring up of the fire. As we went around the bend we saw that the slope below the first buttress had burnt to about 10 meters from the track. Fortunately the fire could be stopped, otherwise a much larger area could have burnt. See the attached picture. No houses were damaged. The firemen did not know what (or who) had caused the fire.

The birds did not seem to be bothered about the effect of the fire. Red-winged Starlings seemed to enjoy grilled insects in the burnt area. Lots of Orange-breasted, Southern double-collared and Malachite Sunbirds, as well as Cape Sugarbirds were seen in the unburnt vegetation. Some of the SDC sunbird males were in full breeding colours. I only heard a brief call of a Cape Rock-jumper but we could not locate it. Other birds seen included a pair of very vocal Cape Rock Thrushes, Familiar Chat, Cape Weavers, Grey-backed Cisticola, Neddicky, Grassbird and a sub-adult Jackal Buzzard. No calls of Victorin’s Warbler were heard.

Click here for more information on the Western Cape Birding route.

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