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News from 2017

"At last it is that time of the year again when we all start looking... Read more on News 2017

News from 2016

"It has been very dry and the level of the dam has dropped a lot... Read more on News 2016

News from 2015

"Can you believe it, suddenly we are at the end of another year, there... Read more on News 2015

News from 2014

"Just a short note to close off the year. It is amazing how quickly... Read more on News 2014

News from 2013

The below report and three pictures are from visitors Dr Kate Morgan and Ida Bailey from the UK.

"Dear friends of Die Oog, You may have met us by the Lubbe Lookout in September or October. We were studying variation in the nest building behavior of the Cape weavers. Many scientists think that birds choose their nest materials and the shape of their nest based on genetic rules only. We are using the data we collected from Die Oog to see if learning is also important for nest material choice, just like it is in humans' choice of appropriate tools. Thank you for making us so welcome in your lovely park, Kate Morgan and Ida Bailey"

(They can be contacted at : School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, St. Mary's Quad South Street, St. Andrews. KY16 9JP)

Interesting facts about weaver birds

  • In Die Oog there are two species of weaver bird, the majority of birds are the dominant cape weaver but there are also southern masked weavers nesting here.
  • Females do not destroy the nests built by males. Rather, females lay their eggs in their favored nest and males destroy nests that have not attracted a female.
  • Practice makes perfect! As a weaver bird becomes more experienced his nests become smaller and tighter.

More news from 2013

  • A donation box was installed near the gate and an automatic gate lock was also fitted
  • A terrapin was spotted near the gate and a porcupine was seen one night in the road outside Die Oog. (Apologies for the poor quality of the night shot).
  • Anne and Mark Shaw have taken over the leadership of Die Oog.
  • The island was cleared and replanted.
  • A Lesser doublecollared Hummingbird and a female Malachite Sunbird were spotted in the Sanctuary.
  • With the large amount of winter rain, the dam level was higher than normal into summer.

News from 2012



Leopard Toads migrated to Die Oog in August 2012. Below is a toad sending out its call.

News from 2011



November 2011 - tadpoles, toadlet, island restoration, dikkops and dam wall repair.



March 2011 - Weed clearing transforms Die Oog.





March 2011 Report by Chairman Malcolm Pearce - After a couple of years of seeing a motionless mat of weed, with waterfowl struggling to move through it, we now have clear rippling water and beautiful reflections - and smiling ducks ! To Johann who got it all under way, and to Pete and his team who were unfailingly helpful and constructive in getting the job done, THANK YOU - not only from FODO, but from the visitors, whose numbers are already increasing. Bird numbers are increasing too : 14 new yellowbills by today, and regular visits from herons and blacksmith plovers. Hopefully we shall see successful breeding by leopard toads again this year too , after 2 barren years. The next goal must be to ensure that Die Oog is never again allowed to degenerate to the state it was in , and which required what has clearly been an expensive restoration process. The aquatic weed is still there, though below the surface. It is common cause that some residual weed is necessary to ensure water quality, but we all know that that weed grows like wildfire and needs to be regularly controlled, by whatever means.






News from 2010

April 2010 - This Marsh Terrapin was found crossing Lake View Road and here it is being released into the water at Die Oog.



This sparrowhawk is local and is often seen chasing smaller birds, mostly doves.



African Openbill storks arrive in January 2010

Four African Openbill storks were spotted at Die Oog at the end of January. It is reported but not confirmed that their known African distribution is in Kenya and further to the west in the Caprivi strip. They are reportedly not known for being sighted this far south.

Click here to see a short clip of an African Openbill roosting on the island at Die Oog              

One of the first shots taken. Even with a low res camera, the opening in the bill can be clearly seen.



Circling the island and about to land. There is a pteradactyl look about this view.



An atypical African bird look, note the long claws.



This one was rather damp when it arrived.



A front passing Cape Town created a dramatic storm cloud effect with interesting lighting.



While photographing the African openbills, 4 spoonbills circled overhead but did not land.





With the Galaxias fish experiment having been successful in October 2009 it was decided to see if Kurper are able to survive in Die Oog water. Three Kurper have survived in Die Oog water for more than 30 days. This means that we have two potential indigenous fish species to stock Die Oog.

January 2010 - The weed growing at Die Oog is an ongoing problem. Discussions are underway with the Die Oog Partnership on how best to manage the weeds into the future. One of the options to remove the weeds is to introduce Grass Carp, a species of Carp that removes the grass over time, does not procreate and are rather costly to purchase. An interesting debate is raging on whether they are appropriate to Die Oog. An alernative to the Grass Carp is the option of clearing the weeds manually.

The birds that were roosting on the island have suddenly disappeared with one of the reasons being the bamboo perches splintering. Weaver numbers on the island are on the increase, nesting in the lower shrubs.



News from 2009
2009 AGM

The Friends of Die Oog annual AGM was held at the Bergvliet Sea Scouts Hall on Thursday 15 Oct 2009. The meeting was well attended and Russell Stevens from the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town gave a talk on "The Ark" project which is affecting toads and frogs globally. The "Toads roaring" section on this website was also demonstrated for those who have not had the pleasure of hearing this unique sound.

Click here for the 2009 Chairman's Report in PDF format

Click here for the 2008 - 2009 Financial Statement in PDF format

Click here for the 2009 - 2010 Committee members list in PDF format

Leopard toad breeding season August 2009 - It was again the breeding season for Leopard Toads in the Western Cape and they moved through our suburbs in what appeared to be lesser numbers. The toadlets should leave Die Oog around December. Please be aware of them if you can and if you would like further information regarding the protection of the Leopard Toads, please contact Mark Day on 082 516 3602 or leopardtoad@gmail.com.

Frequently asked questions on the Leopard toad

Introducing fish to the dam project - June 2009 - A project is underway to determine if it is feasible to introduce indigenous fish to the dam at Die Oog. Previously 300 indigenous Galaxias were introduced, and the first task of the project was to determine if any of the Galaxias are still in the dam.

           

Sean Marr from the University of Cape Town's Freshwater Research unit in the department of zoology, laying a catch net to determine if fish are resident in the dam. Two nets were left in place overnight. After 24 hours, the harvest was one irate crab, a common platanna frog (Xenopus leavis) and no Galaxias.

           

The project moved to stage two to harvest Galaxias from the Keyser river below Die Oog. None were caught in this phase and the project will now move further afield for harvesting. Once we have samples, and in order to determine if they can survive in the Die Oog dam, they will be monitored in a tank with water from the Die Oog dam.

October 2009  The Galaxias survived 30 days in a tank with the water being refreshed from Die OOG weekly. The next step will be planned with Sean Marr once he is again available. It is also planned to test if indigenous Cape Kurper can survive in a tank with Die OOG water.

           

September 2009 - 12 Galaxias have been translocated from a wetland at Kenilworth Cape Town and placed in a tank with Die Oog water which is refreshed once a week. The test is to see if they can live in the water which has a large nutrient content from the bird life roosting on the Die Oog island. The photo here shows the size of two Galaxias in the tank. They are about 1 cm in length and can grow up to about 6 cm. They are well camoflagued as you can see.

Repairing the dam wall - The dam wall on the south side is eroding and will be reinforced with pre cast bollards. The bollards are around 25cm in diameter, 1,5 m long and are designed to lock together for stability.

    
What happened January - June 2009
Click here for the March 2009 newsletter in PDF format

Die Oog Arbor Day - 30 April 2009 17:30 at Die Oog - A ceremony marking the planting of shrubs in recognition of the generous Luger family donation was held. Guest speaker Clifford Dorse gave a short talk followed by the shrub planting, drinks and snacks.

Mid March 2009- A set of dabchicks with their prominent nest provided much delight to visitors to Die Oog.

   


December 2008 - The Luger family who lived on a property adjacent to Die Oog left SA and settled in Australia. All the family were passionate about Die Oog and gave a tremendous amount of time and effort in getting Die Oog to what it is today. We thank you all and wish you all the best Down Under.

                                         

26 November 2008 - This terrapin was spotted climbing from the water onto the island. There were a large number of tadpoles in the south west corner of the dam.




19 November 2008 - The Leopard toadlets started moving from the water into the gardens of the houses surrounding Die OOG. Please view the Leopard Toads page for further detail. A white feathered guineafowl arrived and it's origin was being investigated by a bird expert.

       
What happened July - September 2008

Leopard Toad Breeding Western Leopard toads migrated to Die Oog in the 3rd week in August and then again later in mid October. Special "tunnels" were installed in the fencing around Die Oog to allow easier access for the toads. At the end of October a small new batch of tadpoles has appeared. The young toads will be leaving Die Oog at the end of the year.

Birds Cape Weavers are in bright breeding plumage and are busy building nests in the trees around the edges of Die Oog. Reed cormorants have returned to the island and are noisily raising their chicks at present. The yellow bill, coot and Egyptian geese chicks have grown substantially.

Water The water level is still high after the substantial winter rains.

As an additional fund-raiser, the Friends have produced a series of blank letter cards featuring beautiful colour photographs of the flora, fauna and views of Die Oog. These are being sold in packs of 8, with envelopes, for R 50 and can be ordered by phoning Pauline or Malcolm Pearce 021 715 8666.

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