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West Coast NP: INFO

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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Jay
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West Coast NP, Geelbek and birdhide

Unread postby Jay » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:37 pm

I did a morning trip to the WCNP, went to Geelbek first for tea and cake and would just like to comment on the wonderful food served at the restaurant, friendly service, and the devinely clean cloakrooms 8)

also the newly "renovated" boardwalk to the birdhide is a vast improvement, doesn't even creak :wink:

another interesting thing was the amount of cyclists in the park, nice to see!

and saw the tiniest tortoise I've seen there, looked like a pebble on legs :lol:

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Obelix
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Unread postby Obelix » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:38 am

Glad you had such a good time in WCNP, Jay. We've also been there for a quick visit about three weeks ago and can definitely second your compliments re the clean cloakrooms and the number of cyclists in the park (the one cyclist was not scared at all to venture within a few metres from a beautiful cape cobra in the road :shock:).

Anyways, maybe we've just missed it all the while, but how long has the 'new' birdhide at Geelbek been there? Sorry, I can't remember its name now. I'm not talking about the 'old' one where you park next to the road and then walk on the 'renovated' boardwalk till you get to it (and BTW, yep we also agree that the new boardwalk is a vast improvement). I'm referring to the one just to the back of the restaurant area. Its huge, very comfortable and still looked brand new to us when we were there about three weeks ago.

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:42 pm

Obelix wrote:Anyways, maybe we've just missed it all the while, but how long has the 'new' birdhide at Geelbek been there? ...


unless all of us missed it, it is new, hubby and I also suddenly spotted the new hide :lol: , didnt have a chance to go there though. BTW, where is the path to the that hide?

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Unread postby Obelix » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:20 am

Hi Jay. After walking through the restaurant as you enter, turn right. Then go past that wooden zebra thinghy that's normally on the lawn to the right and keep on walking right till you reach the end of the big field of lawn. Right at the corner, the road starts.

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:24 pm

thanx Obelix! tell me, did you see much from the new hide?

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Unread postby Obelix » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:34 am

Jay wrote:thanx Obelix! tell me, did you see much from the new hide?

Oops, sorry for only responding to this now, Jay. My time on the forum is very limited at the moment - work taking its toll. Our lists are at home, so can't give you any detail on sightings (also, we're still doing the birdwatching thing in Afrikaans, take some time to translate all the names), but in general we had a very fruitful time at the new hide.

On that specific day we had lots and lots of different waders at the new hide (and very few birds in general at the old hide). Also, in our opinion, although this may just be as a result of the time of day / status of the tide at that stage, the waders were much closer to us at the new hide, compared to what we've gotten used to at the old hide. We got the impression that the new hide was built deeper into the water, resulting in the shallow part of the water (where the waders are feeding after the tide has gone out) to be much closer to the hide. Maybe WestCoaster can make more informative comments on the new hide.

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:24 pm

that's exactly what I wanted to know Obelix :) I have never seen anything other than the odd gull at the old hide(also felt maybe it was the deep water), I am now very keen to go to the new hide....probably this weekend 8)
Thanks for taking the time to reply and you're welcome to post the list in Afrikaans, I have an Afrikaans book on water birds :wink:

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:04 pm

Image
Image
Image

the first pic is looking down to the ground from the new bird hide (at the Geelbek restaurant), those are tiny crabs, literally hundreds of them, no bigger than 3cm :shock: ...plenty wader food :wink:
the other 2 pics are the view from the hide, awesome 8)

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Unread postby WestCoaster » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:52 am

Hi Jay and Obelix.

The new hide was completed about two months ago, and was fully funded by the Cape Bird Club.

Jay, if you go to the old hide while the tide is in, all you will see are gulls! You will find certain waders there on the outgoing tide and others on the incoming. They work in relays, so it is good to time your visit to the tides. If you go there at low tide, you will see why the hide was built so far out into the lagoon. Also, any closer to dry land, and the hide would have been in the rushes!
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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:34 pm

the new birdhide is a winner WestCoaster :wink: Think it will become a regular haunt for me!
and ja I know the old one is better at certain tides, but I just have never managed to get there at the right time :roll: :lol:

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churchhaven - when founded?

Unread postby lagoonboy » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:36 am

Hi - I have conflicting info on when churchhaven (on the langebaan lagoon) was founded. Some sources say 1905, some say 1863. All mention George lloyd, and scant info on him absconding off a merchant vessel. Can anyone help with more info?
lagoon boy

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Unread postby MarkWildDog » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:57 pm

Hi Lagoonboy,

Sorry I'm not sure when Churchhaven was formed, but if you e-mail or PM WestCoaster he might be able to help you. He is a Honoary Ranger in the West Coast National Park.

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:34 pm

Was there on Sunday.

The nosh at Geelbek was very pleasant and the service efficient.

The hides gave us the opportunity to go on a couple of flat hikes. It would be nice if the new one was signposted from the restaurant, as Capeys are notoriously poor for giving directions. Saw European curlews among others, but too far away. Maybe you should put some rails into the lagoon floor, Westcoaster, and wheels on the hide legs, and Jay could be hired to row the hide up and down the lagoon towards where they aer feeding:twisted:
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Hide on rails

Unread postby WestCoaster » Fri May 04, 2007 8:06 am

Hehehe @ Bush Baptist!

Actually, with all the revamping going on at CTIA for SWC-2010, we are pleased to announce that we are first in the queue to make an offer on the old concourse-to-aircraft link access tunnels on wheels when they replace them. The plan is to install these in place of the final 40m of boardwalks on both lagoon hides. We won't need Jay to drive or row them as they are fully motorised, and the limit of their reach is governed only by their extensible length. Rails won't work as the unit's wheels are pneumatic, so a suitable concrete base in place of the mud will have to do instead. I can just see the EIA justifying this!

Extract from EIA:

34.3.17 (g).
An electronic ultrasound device mounted in the vicinity of each wheel that protrudes down into the lagoon waters will suffice to scare away small crustaceans and other marine life that would otherwise be threatened with life-threatening crushing forces as the tourists above maneuvre the hide to get a better scope view of the honeymoon couple tenants behind them through the guesthouse bedroom window.


That should satisfy the purists amongst us who are concerned about protecting marine bio-diversity in the lagoon's C Zone! By the way, does anyone have a good rust preventative treatment product?

Why, we could even radically extend the boom for easy access from Geelbek to Churchaven - should help nicely with foot patrols, and save on fuel bills!
Almost everything comes from almost nothing.



Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)

Philosopher and writer

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:20 pm

saw the eland very close to the road, 1.2km form the Langebaan gate Saturday morning, the first time I have seen them outside of Postberg 8) ...will post pics later in the week.


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