Birdathon at Cape Flats nature reserve

The fifth annual birdathon will take place at the City’s False Bay Nature Reserve over the weekend and will include a festival and family fun walk.

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with BirdLife South Africa and the Cape Bird Club, will host the annual birdathon, along with a festival and family fun walk on Saturday May 6 at the False Bay Nature Reserve.

All residents, especially communities surrounding the False Bay Nature Reserve, are invited to come out and enjoy a family day outdoors celebrating some of Cape Town’s best wetlands and the diverse birdlife they support.

This will be an opportunity for residents to discover a nature reserve right on their doorstep.

The False Bay Nature Reserve is regarded as the most significant natural asset in the Cape Flats District and in 2015 was declared a Ramsar Site, which is a wetland of international importance.

The reserve has various sections including Zeekoevlei, Rondevlei, the Strandfontein birding area, Pelican Park and the coastal strip.

Eddie Andrews, the City’s mayco member for area south said the False Bay Nature Reserve was an important multipurpose open space.

“Through this event, we hope to encourage greater use of the area and create awareness about the importance of this park and the birds, animals and plants that it supports. Protecting our natural resources is a team effort. The City, working together with partners such as BirdLife South Africa and the Cape Bird Club, actively conserves these important areas, but we ask communities to support our conservation efforts in return,” he said.

Saturday’s event aims to bring people of all ages together to introduce them to the area and its incredible natural resources by letting them experience the area in a fun way, while learning about the importance of such a project to the City of Cape Town.

Participants can take part in a 4km, 5km or 6km walk through the Strandfontein Birding Area section of the False Bay Nature Reserve, which includes a fun environmental quiz relating to the area. There will also be a lucky draw with prizes on offer at the end of the walk.The festival component, on the banks of the eastern shore of the Zeekoevlei, will include interactive activities such as a live bird display by the Eagle Encounters Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, a reptile show and display, as well as other exhibitions and activities.

Melomed, a key sponsor of the event, will also provide a facility for basic health screening and information for adults.

The entry fee for the event is R5 each (a maximum of R20 a family). All profits will go towards conservation activities at the site. Registration will take place on Saturday May 6 from 7.30am to 9:30am at the picnic area on the eastern shore of the Zeekoevlei.

Participants in the fun walk will be able to start walking any time from 8am to 9:30am. The festival component will start at 9am at the Zeekoevlei eastern shore picnic area. The venue will be signposted from the access point off Strandfontein Road.

Contact Dale Wright via email to birdathon.falsebay@gmail.com for details.