News from Nylsvley

Friends of Nylsvley and Nyl floodplain

News from Nylsvley

Edition #100

September 2018


I hope we find you well?

So here we are presenting the 100th edition of ‘News from Nylsvley’, what a ride it has been…..The first newsletter was circulated by post in August 1991, 27 years ago and we are still here! The most important innovation was the introduction of e-mail communications, and coloured pics. Julia’s drawings are classic and I plan to reuse a lot of them! I have learnt a lot but not how to get a new ipad to send e-mails! I had hoped to find a more modern font and update the 2 duck logo for this edition….

We thank the hardy souls who helped set up and man the stall at the BirdLife South Africa Bird Fair. It was a great networking event. The weather was either very cold or very very windy, I had to vacuum the felt notice boards before I stored them away!

We recently purchased a spotlight (thanks to a special offer on ‘Takealot’ which included delivery directly to the reserve!) for the staff members that have banded together to do night patrols as a preventative measure to protect the reserve and their families. What they have discovered is that the spotlight picks up damage or deliberate cuts in the fence much more easily than daylight patrols!

News from the reserve is that Marabou Stocks have been seen frequently at Vogelfontein, not the handsomest of birds, nor the nicest. They are predators and eat fish from drying up pools. Red billed Queleas attract opportunists and Marabou hang around them picking up scraps as they do in KNP on elephant carcasses. They also catch live rats and mice and have been known to attack, kill and eat Flamingo’s!

Natasha is very pleased to announce that the Working for Water project will be removing Bankrupt bush, have you noticed how it is expanding in the Jacana hide area? The Grey Poplar that needs regular attention and the Spanish Reed are also to be dealt with. One of the jobs we are offering at the upcoming work party weekend, 28 -30 September, is to do a walkabout of the campus and remove Cacti, Syringa and Lantana.

Other jobs include: re-waxing the Crake and Jacana hides…nice job but messy! Lowering the shelf in the Jacana hide, carpentry skills needed, and repainting the road signs at the railway crossing. The tree labels need loosening and to list the ones that need replacing. The Monument recording a Boer war the skirmish nearly opposite the Shumba’s Rest gate also needs tidying up. The group camp long drop walls require some attention if someone could carefully measure what is needed and do a ‘shopping list’ the reserve staff will complete the repairs. Salome Beeslaar from Imerys Refractories has delivered a sign for the Stemmerskop hide; a really nice job to walk or cycle there and screw the sign up? Please let me know ASAP if you will be attending and which job you would like to do? The group camp is also available if you would like a short holiday weekend at Nylsvley. The accommodation will cost R200 per person per night (children half price). Except that I will put out the tea station, the weekend will be self-catering. We plan to go to the Spoonbill for supper on the Friday evening.

An exciting development has been the expansion of wild dog packs in the Waterberg. Some Ranchers are not so impressed as some stock animals have been killed. EWT have a project going where you can visit them and make a donation towards supplying meat. Take a look at: for more information.

Joseph Mokoka a bird guide and staff member at Nylsvley sent this very sad pic of his binoculars that broke while he was guiding a tourist, if anyone has a pair looking for a good home, please let me know.

We welcome new member Barbara Brown and thank our ‘renewees’:  Hedley & Lainey Herring, Pierre Reinecke, Francois Dubb. . elman, Ann Banfill, and Carol Taylor your support is much appreciated, a new batch of reminders will be sent soon.  A donation labelled ‘Paradine’ was received on 3 August? We do not have a member of that name????

I hope you will enjoy the article from Africa Geographic originally published in August 2008 by Ian McCallum telling us why we love our Wild Areas.

An article by our esteemed treasurer Liza Walls about her trip to Lesotho is published in the September edition of Go! Magazine, charming reading….enjoy

Do we have a member who would like to advertise his/her company in the gate brochure?

We need a reprint and would like to include a sponsor’s logo? The Nylsvley Bird Quick guides have proved very popular, the first edition is nearly sold out, that too will need reprinting very soon.

Cyril Ramaphosa recently quoted that South Africa’s biodiversity can create 1000’s of jobs. I firmly believe that one of the ways ordinary people can help care for our precious environment is by securing/helping to look after as many small and interrelated nature areas especially within towns / suburbia as possible.

For many years, as well as being project co-ordinator of Friends of Nylsvley and chairlady of Friends of Smuts I have been Friends Groups adviser for the WESSA Friends Groups all around the country. The

Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) is busy restructuring and the small honorarium I used to receive has fallen away????

The Owls course in October is fully booked, I will be sending more info out soon and we are thrilled to announce that a bird photography course is being negotiated with Robbie Aspeling for early March next year. Did I tell you that a Green-winged Pytilia and Pearl-spotted Owlet were seen near the Dabchick hide?

It was a hot, busy and sometimes hectic 3 weeks in the UK. My family in the UK are well; I loved spending time with sisters (x3) nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. I did not enjoy seeing Verbena brasiliensis being sold in the plant nurseries; it is one of our problem plants!

Since my return at the beginning of August I become a granny for the fourth time, have run a FoN team building weekend and a stall at the Bird Fair hence the delay in sending news.

We congratulate my son Malcolm and Tammy on the birth of their second daughter Kate Sarah on 21 August; 4 year old big sister Rose is so excited!

Cheers for now, God Bless, with love Marion xxx

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