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ECOLOGY

Fynbos

Whale Rock Ridge is privileged to have two unique types of Fynbos biomes present on site.

  1. South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos with an ecological status of vulnerable
  2. Knysna Sand Fynbos with an ecological status to critically endangered

Whale Rock Ridge has made a conscious effort to continuously remove alien vegetation and rehabilitate the natural vegetation in the public open spaces.

An article that appeared in news 24 on 26/08/2014 stated that a new rare species of Fynbos was found in Plett on a 16 km strip of land between Robberg and Harkerville.  It must be noted that some 1700 species of plants in the Western Cape are currently threatened with extinction.

 


 

BIRDING ON THE ROCK
Bob Forbes

The resident birds on Whale Rock Ridge have gradually adjusted to the changes that were directly and indirectly brought about by the ravages of a fire that passed through the Estate in 2017. This traumatic event caused the destruction of vast tracts of fynbos habitat that had been considered desirable to an impressive variety of birds that are pictured and identified on the Estate’s birdlist. The fire impacted negatively on both breeding and feeding facilities for the avian population that called the Estate “home” but interestingly, some persevered while others have since returned and all are busy eking out a living on the small tracts of remaining fynbos. Their determination to stay is no doubt greatly enhanced by the continued supply of a variety of food that would satisfy any bird’s culinary requirements.

In addition to the Excel list which allows the reader to view and identify the 72 species of birds that occupy the Estate’s ground and air space and can be easily pointed out to interested visitors, there are other birds that drop in from time to time to assess the desirability of living here. Recent sightings have recorded a Dusky Sunbird which had popped over the mountains from the Little Karoo; a pair of Namaqua Doves have been observed on several occasions and a Pied Wagtail spent some time inspecting the surrounds of a dam on the Estate. The list is compiled with the help of residents who are encouraged to report any new sightings or interesting bird behaviour.

  • Black = Resident  (the stalwarts that breed and feed on the estate)
  • Blue = Peripheral  (birds that use our airspace to either feed on the Estate, or simply pass over en route to other attractions such as fresh water and tall trees to nest or roost in.
  • Green = Seasonal or regular visitor
  • Red = Irregular visitor

Click here to open an Excel spreadsheet of Birds at Whale Rock Ridge