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Home Explore KMRRA Newsletter Feb 2020

KMRRA Newsletter Feb 2020

Published by monica, 2021-02-02 11:47:20

Description: KMRRA Newsletter Feb 2020


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KMRRA EVENTS -Announce new events or dates of annual events to help event organizers avoid date clashes. Kei Mouth Ratepayers & Residents Association While we wait for updates on COVID regulations it is difficult to advertise February 2021 Newsletter 4 upcoming events. From the Chair: There are, however, some Valentine’s Day specials on offer: I trust that everyone is in good health and I hope that our members had a Die Agterplaas is offering a wonderful festive season in spite of the restrictions placed upon us and the Valentine’s Brunch cruise down the Kei sad losses some of us have experienced. River on the Fish Eagle. 2021 has started with as much uncertainty as last year, however, KMRRA For those who prefer to stay on the remain committed to serving the community in a way we believe will add value ground, Kei Mouth Guest Lodge has a special offer for the Valentine’s to your property. weekend for 2 nights B&B with full Amid the many hours of frustration in terms of unanswered phone calls and English breakfast. letters not answered, some of the highlights from last year include our limited And for those who prefer to keep things simple, Tracy’s Place is success with the transfer station; being part of the WESSA Green Coast offering a Valentine’s picnic hamper Award; building better relationships with GKM, including meeting with the new full of delicious treats CFO with regards to the valuation process and supporting local GKM staff in a In addition, when it comes to eating, desperate attempt to prepare the caravan park, albeit too late, too little. we are spoiled for choice with many This improved relationship with GKM has led to a tender going out to surface weekly specials worth noting: some of our village roads. Tracy's Place is currently open for We joined the collective of Ratepayers Associations to seek legal opinion on takeaways on weekends, including a pizza special on Friday nights. ways to address lack of service delivery. We are still waiting for the She also offers a “platters\" menu and information. We are also waiting for legal opinion regarding by-laws with an different array of frozen meals regard to zoning and the structures allowed in the village. I am told that law is each week. a slow process. The River Cafe at KMCC is open from We had a brief moment where we thought we might be successful in getting Tuesday morning to Sunday lunch for the library re-opened, however, COVID restrictions put paid to that. \"eat in\" or takeaway with exciting On a more positive note, we were instrumental in initiating the establishment specials on Wednesday and Fridays, as of an NSRI station in Kei Mouth and we are very encouraged by the support well as Pablo’s Pizza on Saturday. from all members of the community in this regard. Die Agterplaas is open daily (Mon-Sat A special thank you to Roz Sarton for driving the recycling initiative. She has 8am - 6pm; Sun 8am - 3pm) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and worked tirelessly and thanks to her efforts, over the festive season, we everything in between. Their specials managed to recycle a tonne of rubbish! We are looking at ways to involve the include Stella's Magwenya famous wider community to ensure this initiative is supported and grows. vetkoek & curry mince on Friday. Looking forward, we are starting the year with a membership drive. The Deck at Morgan Bay Hotel offers a change of venue with affordable The more members we have, the more power we have, the louder our voice and Thursday night specials. the more funds we have available to supplement the work or the services The Kei Mouth Bowls Club offers fish provided by GKM which we hope to upgrade. and chips at bargain prices on Friday The positive support at the AGM and the re-election of the committee nights renewed our commitment to working with GKM rather than against them. Other projects we hope to develop or support include the WESSA Green Coast monitoring, the acquisition of a first response fire-fighting trailer and the eradication of invasive alien vegetation. In addition, we will continue to place pressure on the authorities with regard to the on-going issues and provide support for members who are struggling with the Accounts Department. Each one of these is a time-consuming and often frustrating task, however, we celebrate any small victory and recognize any move towards compliance on the part of the authorities. Take care and be safe. Kim Roberts Newsletter 4 Page 1

Local News Better communication with members: We have set up a members only group for quick announcements and feedback. It is not a chat group as only admin can post on this group, however, we encourage you to email us at [email protected] if you have concerns or comments. In addition, we are in the process of setting up a webpage, so our members have easy access to information and relevant documents. Meetings with GKM: The lockdown made the task of setting up meeting with GKM and ADM officials almost impossible last year. However, towards the end of last year, representatives from the Collective of Ratepayers, including Chintsa East, Haga Haga, Morgan Bay and Kei Mouth met with the new GKM CFO. He admitted that the valuation process was flawed and that the valuators had been given till the end of February to respond to all the objections. KMRRA is in the process of setting up a follow up meeting. In January, we met with Mr Mambile, the municipal manager and Mr Mnkile, the Community Services Director, to put forward an extensive proposal to manage the local assets, including the caravan park, town hall, library and museum. While we are not holding our breath, we will be happy with any small part of our proposal being accepted. We have also met with ward committee and SANCO representatives from Cwili to see how we can assist one another. We need to work with all stakeholders if we are to succeed. Closed beaches and other lockdown regulations: This definately had a severe impact on accommodation providers as well as local businesses. On a positive note, the visitors who were here, made better use of other activities offered. I think a record number of fishing licences were sold. One serious concern, however, is the queues of people outside the post office to collect grants. We have drawn the municipal manager’s attention to the appaling state of the public toilets and he has set up a team to clean and manage these facilities. Rare bird sighting The lockdown restrictions did not stop the influx of bird watchers when news broke that a “Sooty Gull” had been spotted at the mouth on New Year’s Day. See more on this in the attached article by Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson We can only hope that by Easter, the restrictions will be eased and that our businesses that cater to tourists can make up some of their losses. Submissions or comments can be emailed to [email protected]. The KMRRA Newsletter is “Proudly SA\" and we won’t circulate material that is derogatory, negative or discriminatory. While we do our best to avoid errors, KMRRA cannot be held responsible if any occur. Newsletter 4 Page 2

A MEGA Wild Coast Twitch. Despite the lockdown and closure of beaches, Kei Mouth and Morgan Bay have been a buzz with twitchers. Thea Jenkins Twitchers are by definition person or thing that twitches, or in this case birdwatchers. The origin of the term “twitcher” refers to the nervous, twitchy behaviour of well-known British birdwatcher, Howard Medhurst, who frequently travelled long distances on short notice to see rare birds. The term came into common use for birders in the 1950s and 1960s as the popularity of birdwatching increased and individuals sought to outdo one another in the numbers of birds they had seen. Twitchers are willing to go to great lengths to see any bird species they have not previously recorded, even traveling extensive distances at great expense to see a new lifer. Thus, the spotting of several rare birds in Kei Mouth this last month has resulted in many twitchers coming to our shores. The star of this show is the Ichthyaetus hemprichii or Sooty Gull The Sooty Gull was first recorded in the St Lucia Estuary in Northern KZN on BirdLife South Africa's 36th Birding Big Day held on 28 November 2020. As this is only the second record of this bird in South Africa, it is being labelled as a MEGA-find on all social media, encouraging twitchers to travel from far to see it. After the November sighting, several people travelled up and down KZN trying to find it with no success. Kei Mouth received a fantastic New Year’s present with a sighting in Kei Mouth on the 1st of January and the bird is still here! The bird moves around the mouth with respect to the tides. At high tide, it is on the northern sand bar in the mouth and has also been seen in the Tern roosts. At low tide, the bird has been seen further upriver towards the ferry. There are stories of twitchers traveling from all over to see the bird. Another sighting that deserves a special mention is the Broad-Billed Sandpiper (Calidris falcinellus) which has been spotted on the salt marsh on the northern bank near the ferry at low tide. This sighting is only

the second for the Eastern Cape. This bird is identified by the bent tip on its bill and the white strip over the eye. Not to be outdone, the Pectoral Sandpiper, which was spotted pretty much in the same place as last year, has returned almost a month earlier and is to be found on the north bank of the Kei River about 300m upstream of the pont landing. The number of sightings of this bird in South Africa have increased in the last decade. The species breeds from eastern Siberia to Alaska and Canada, and winters mostly in South America, with smaller numbers in eastern Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Local vagrants are likely to be a mixture of trans-Atlantic immigrants from the Nearctic, and birds moving south from the western Palearctic, where the species is a regular vagrant. Changes in migration routes and timing, as evidenced by the growing number of local records, may be the result of global climate change. Back to the MEGA Sooty Gull (Ichthyaetus hemprichii). The gull is a native of the Red Sea and East Coast of Africa, with a range extending as far east as Pakistan, and as far south as Tanzania and Mozambique (although equally rare there). The Sooty Gull is a species of gull in the family Laridae, also known as the Aden gull or Hemprich's gull. The scientific name Larus means \"large seabird”, while Ichthyaetus means \"fish eagle\" in ancient Greek and the species name, hemprichii, is in honour of the German naturalist, Wilhelm Hemprich. This species is mainly coastal and seldom travels more than 140 km from land. It is generally found within 10 km of reefs, harbours and settlements. It usually nests on islands and on the ground and is found either alone or in small colonies with other seabirds. This gull is a predator and a scavenger. It feeds on dead fish, offal, eggs and chicks of other seabirds, turtle hatchlings, prawns and small fish. It is very opportunistic and has two unusual feeding behaviours. It steals prey from other seabirds and it drops shells from a height onto rocks to break them open. The Sooty Gull is vulnerable to oil spills and egg-collection by humans in Pakistan, which has resulted in a decline of the population. The population is roughly estimated at 150,000/500,000 individuals, but the species is not globally threatened for the moment. The unique identification features are the sooty head, with white neck and the white crescent above the brown eyes, as well as red and yellow (at the extreme end) tip to the bill. The wings are dark brown, both above and below, and show a white trailing edge, except on the primary flight feathers. Its long legs and webbed feet are yellowish-olive. The male and female are similar. And it is smaller than a kelp gull. So grab your binos and see if you can develop a twitch or three. Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson Kei Mouth

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