3-5 February 2008
The flamingo breeding event is progressing very well. It is extremely difficult to count the chicks from the mainland, as only the front portion of the island is visible and the island is jam-packed with adult Lesser Flamingos, inquisitive subadult Lesser Flamingos, and a few Greater Flamingos. Our maximum count between 2 and 5 February was c. 1500 chicks, with the morning counts revealing larger numbers of chicks (there are then fewer adults on the island, which makes the count of chicks easier). On 5 February Peter Hohne did a helicopter flight over the dam and I took a series of images, and we will enlarge these images and count the chicks. We caused absolutely no undue disturbance to the breeding flamingos, mainly because we flew at a sufficiently high altitude. Many of the chicks are now aggregating in crèches, and there were large crèches in the ponds (each comprising up to 500 chicks) and a very large crèche (perhaps 1000+ chicks) in the bay on the south-eastern end of the island. There are still many birds incubating eggs.
The island from the mainland on 3 February. The large number of adults makes an accurate count of the chicks virtually impossible.
The island from the air on 5 February. The chicks are aggregating in crèches. Incubating adults and even a few eggs are visible.