Cove Rock Country Estate - ... Cove Rock Country Estate Cove Rock Country Estate Grapevine October 2011

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  • Cove Rock Country Estate

    Cove Rock Country Estate Grapevine October 2011 - Number 016 “The Cove Rock Grapevine” is a newsletter for residents of Cove Rock Country Estate. It is published every month and your input is welcomed. The aim of the newsletter is to: * Inform residents of happenings around the estate * Share advice and general information * Talk about wonder of the environment we live in * Get to know fellow residents through residents profiles – a resident will be featured in each edition. If you have some input or would like the newsletter emailed to other residents or family, simply send an email to Werner Illgner at or call him on 083 6020296 / 043 736 8980/011 787 2953. Website:

    Know your neighbour Cove Rockians – Through and Through Well-known residents, Tony and Dawn White built their home at 33 Coral Crescent way back in 1998. Their decision to join the then small Cove Rock Country Estate was based on Tony having spent many happy holidays on the nearby Fothergill‘s farm. Dawn, too, comes from an old East London family, the Goldschmidts, so she also experienced the magic of Cove Rock when she first met Tony.

    Tony went to Selborne College and stayed at the hostel. His grandparents lived in East London. His mother had worked at Selborne College during the war and this influenced his parents to send him to Selborne. Tony matriculated at Selborne and was very active in all forms of sport at school. After school he joined Whiting and Griffin as an articled clerk and qualified as a CTA. During this time he met Dawn at a Church Youth guild dance and they married in 1965. Dawn worked as a secretary, firstly at the EL Board of Executors and then at CDA. Tony then joined the Southern Building Society which, over time, transitioned to become part of the giant ABSA.

    Tony and his brother, sister and, we believe , Nevelyn Van der Walt (Fothergill), bathing in the Kalashe.

    There were many moves between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth over the years for Tony and Dawn. During this time Tony served as Branch Manager in Randburg, Sandton and Port Elizabeth. Of course the couple were not idle and produced three sons – Gary who lives in America and was active in the IT industry; Jody who is Deputy Headmaster at a private school in Johannesburg, while their youngest son Brad, an ex-provincial and professional cricketer, is now a cricket coach and umpire based in Johannesburg.

  • Tony himself is a talented sportsman, having played cricket and hockey at provincial level and first league rugby and tennis. Today golf is his passion. Dawn was no slouch at sports either and played provincial hockey. In fact, her father played rugby and soccer and on one occasion represented Border in both sports on the same day. Dawn is also a keen golfer. Tony and Dawn were President of the West Bank Golf Club women‘s and men‘s sections respectively at the same time. Dawn also enjoys playing bridge. The Whites love Chinese food but don‘t entertain as much as they used to. Of course a delight for them is the frequent visits of their children and grandchildren. Tony maintains that living at Cove Rock is like being on a permanent holiday with their actual holidays being spent either visiting their children in the USA or Johannesburg. Tony has served as one of our Estate‘s two Executive Managers for some ten years, focusing on the financial management side. As a family the Whites have such a long association with Cove Rock that they have even identified a certain rock and pools as being family favourites. They like the fact that children are safe to play on the Estate and love being close to nature. If he could change anything, Tony would upgrade the fence to make it more substantial – but admits that this would cost many millions. Tony believes that ―the way you treat people is the way they will treat you‖. He admits that he is prone to ―call a spade a spade‖ and he sometimes gets carried away, but he does not mean any harm. A thoroughly nice and talented couple – the Whites.

    All about our environment The Cape Bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis, is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is an endemic resident breeder in coastal bush, open forest, gardens and fynbos in southern South Africa. This species nests mainly in the southern spring from August to November. The nest is built solely by the female in about 2-10 days, while the male watches intently. It consists of a sturdy but messy cup built of twigs, grass stems and rootlets, built on a foundation of larger twigs and lined with finer planter material. It is typically placed on a horizontal branch near the edge of a bush's or tree's foliage.

    Egg-laying season is from August to March, peaking from September to November. It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 11-13.5 days. It leaves the nest about 20-40 times a day to go foraging – in fact, it only spends about 60% of the day incubating. For the first few days the chicks are mainly fed arthropods, but thereafter fruit dominates their diet. Both parents feed the chicks, who leave the nest before they can fly, at about 10-13 days old. They fledge a few days after leaving the nest, but remain dependent on their parents for food for at least two weeks more after leaving. They eventually become fully independent at about 50 days old, at which point they start to sing and call.

  • Identification

    The Cape Bulbul is 19–21 cm long, mainly dull, blackish brown with a diagnostic white eye-ring, and yellow undertail coverts. The head has a small crest. The short, straight bill, legs and feet are black and the iris is dark brown. The sexes are similar in plumage.

    This species is much darker than the other South African bulbuls, and differs in the eye ring colour and brown lower belly, whereas the other dark bulbuls have a pale lower belly. The dark belly helps to identify juveniles, which lack the distinctive eye ring of the adult.


    The Cape Bulbul is a common and conspicuous bird, which tends to perch at the top of a bush. It is active and noisy, usually seen in pairs or small groups foraging for fruit, nectar and insects.

    The most typical call of this species is a liquid whistle of two or more varied notes pit-peet-pitmajol, piet- piet-patata.

    In part of its range, it gets parasitized by the Jacobin cuckoo.

    For your Information Harpephyllum caffrum (Known locally as the umGwenya tree) Family: Anacardiaceae (mango family) Common names: wild plum (Eng.); wildepruim (Afr.); umGwenya (Zulu, Xhosa); Mothekele (Northern Sotho) South African Tree No.: 361 This is an attractive evergreen tree that is useful as an ornamental garden tree and for attracting birds and butterflies into the garden. It is popularly planted as a street tree in a number of South African towns and cities. With its thick crown and somewhat drooping leaves, the wild plum is a good shade tree in the garden. Description The wild plum is a large, evergreen tree that grows up to 15 m tall, and is usually found in riverine forests. The main stem is clean and straight, but the forest form often has supporting buttress roots. The bark is smooth when young, becoming rough, dark grey-brown as it grows older. Branches are curved bowed upwards, with leaves crowded towards the ends, forming a thick crown at the top of the tree. The shiny dark green and glossy leaves are pinnate with sickle-shaped leaflets, and are sometimes interspersed with the odd red leaves. The whitish green flowers are borne near the ends of the branches with male and female flowers on separate trees, throughout summer (November to February). The tasty plum-like fruits first appear green and then turn red when they ripen in autumn; they contain a single seed and are enjoyed by people, mammals and birds. The wild plum may be confused with the Cape ash (Ekebergia capensis) but is distinguishable by its sickle- shaped leaflets and the leaves that are crowded towards the end of the branches.

  • Distribution The Harpephyllum caffrum grows from the Eastern Cape northwards through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, southern Mozambique, Limpopo and into Zimbabwe. This is a popular tree in frost-free areas. Derivation of name and historical aspects The generic name Harpephyllum is of Greek derivation, meaning sickle-like leaves, referring to the shape of the falcate leaflets. The specific name caffrum is derived from its place of origin, Kaffraria, now part of Eastern Cape. This word also means 'indigenous'. H. caffrum belongs to the Anacardiaceae (mango family), which is the fourth largest tree family in southern Africa, boasting approximately 80 tree species and many shrubs. Commercially grown members of the family include mango (Mangifera indica), cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale), and pistachio nut (Pistacia vera). Locally, the fruit of wild plum and marula (Sclerocarya birrea) are well utilized and the latter is well commercialized. Some species that belong to this family are considered to be toxic, for example the rainbow leaf (Smodingium argutum). Uses and cultural aspects The fruit of H. caffrum is widely utilized by birds, animals, insects and humans. They are commonly used for making jams and jellies. With their sour taste, they are also good to make rosé wine. The tree has some poten