Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good beach weather - Stress for breeding Oystercatchers

XXXXbaai, Cape, 06 December 2008

It is a lovely sunny hot day in Cape Town today.

We spotted two pairs of Oystercatchers and three pairs of White-fronted Plovers on one of the beaches between Blouberg- and Melkbos Strand.

The oystrcatchers are endangered but not protected in our area. We saw a man with two large dogs on a lead, but they were let loose once they reached the beach. I do not have a problem with a dog roaming free, but many people do not realize the potential harm these dogs cause when they chase endangered animals, either breeding or with vulnerable chicks. Crows and other predators are often nearby waiting for an opportunity to swoop down on unprotected nestlings.

I have, on more than one occasion, watched a predator bird circling around someone walking through a protected nature area. The birds have learned that people disturb birds so that they leave their nests and hatchlings unprotected.

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