Serious Admin Matters

February is the month for our AGM, but Covid is preventing any form of gathering, so we will have to make do virtually. Sadly, we have lost our Secretary, as Monika has resigned from the committee. Our most urgent business is therefore to appoint a new committee. At this stage it looks as if we need two new members, one to be Secretary and one to handle Walks and Talks. Obviously neither will be very onerous with the ongoing shutdown, but things may pick up as the year progresses. We are looking for volunteers or nominations for these two posts, to be confirmed once we have our virtual meeting on or around the 19th.

Please forward your suggestions and/or comments to John at or at 0789559785. Failure to find these positions will compromise our Club and we ask that you seriously consider getting involved. Running a successful club should be an enjoyable and stimulating exercise!

Alan McLennan-Smith

Christine Wakfer sent this image, taken in 2001, showing both Alan and Kathy. It must bring back happy memories!

It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of Alan. He was a founder member of the HBC and its first Chairman. We all owe him a great deal in terms of what he created and the joy that it has brought to so many of us. He will be greatly missed and out thoughts and condolences go out to Carol and the rest of his family and friends at this sad time.

I am sure that once we are again able to meet and conduct our business, we will all want to have a moment’s silence to remember this wonderful gentleman, as well as other members of our society who have recently passed away. Rest in peace, kind friend!

Guineafowl in my Garden


Three adult Helmeted Guineafowl and their fifteen young chicks are frequent visitors to our garden in Prestwick Village. There were originally 21 little chicks, but many succumb to various predators and it is unlikely that most will survive. Amongst them is a very small white chick, obviously the runt of the litter and it has a hard time keeping up and getting food amongst all its stronger siblings.

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Kathy Dolpire

It was with great sadness that we learned, today, of the passing of Kathy Dolpire, another victim of the rampant Coronavirus. Kathy was a founder member of the Hermanus Bird Club and will be remembered by her friends for her happy, outgoing love of nature, and birds in particular.

The club and all it’s members extend their heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this sad time. She will be greatly missed by the many people who knew and loved her.

Walking on the Hermanus Golf Course


Most mornings find us going for a brisk walk around the Golf course. Of course, we are privileged to be able to do this – it is one of the perks of living in the Fernkloof Golf Estate. We normally set off at around 6 a.m. as we are not allowed to interfere with the golfers. Needless to say we are often alone at this time – except for the wildlife!

As we leave home we hear the Speckled Pigeons cooing and billing on the rooftops. We could do without them, but there have every right to be here. Of course, there are also Laughing and Red-eyed Doves. Perhaps a Cape Wagtail or two are on our lawn, strutting around looking for insects in the grass. As we leave Prestwick Village, we normally see the resident herd of Springbok, comprising around 75 of these graceful animals. Mostly they are just…

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Subs Now Due

John says,

  1. The Bird Club membership fee for 2021 is now due, at R150 per single member and R250 per couple, unchanged from 2020

HBC banking details (use your Surname as reference.)

BANK :-   First National Bank,   Hermanus,   Branch Code  200 412

Account Holder :-  Hermanus Bird Club,  Ac. No. 6210 7045 892

Please send completed application form (which is available under ‘About the Club’ on this site) and confirmation of payment to the Clubs treasurer Johan Groenwald – and, if possible, a separate email to Club Chair John Saunders –

  1. I have one spare copy of the superb Tygerberg Calendar for sale at R100

Anyone interested please contact John Saunders either on 078 955 9785 or via email to   

Letter from the Chairman

To all Hermanus Bird Club members.

2020 has been a very sad and difficult year for all of us and also the Hermanus Bird Club as, apart from three meeting in the first three months, we have had to curtail all of our monthly meetings.

We have recently been able to arrange some walks and other activities, which included:-

A walk around the Vermont Salt Pan on the 10th September led by John & Shelagh Bowman.

On the 8th October thirty members had a very enjoyable cruise down the Klein River from Stanford on the Lady Stanford and the River Rat travelling in convoy.

Our walk on the 5th November with Ronnie and Renée at Caledon Gardens had to be postponed due to bad weather.

Twenty-two birders went on a superb three days away trip to Tierhoek farm arranged by HBC member Ed Meyer.

On 28 November Ronnie and Renée, and Coerie (on his own) took part in the Birding Big Day arranged by BLSA and recorded 123 and 135 species respectively.

On the 3rd December, Irene and I led a walk at Rooisand with twelve members.

On the 9th December eighteen members enjoyed a lovely evening picnic at Fernkloof.

At this time we have no current plans for 2021, but we hope to resume our walks early in February with maybe one or two away trips later in the year.

Our monthly meetings can only begin once we reach Level Zero of the COVID-19 virus.

Our annual membership fees will begin for 2021 early January. They will remain at their present level of R150 per person and R250 per couple. More information including our bank details will be sent out during the first week of January.

In the meantime, on behalf of myself and my committee, we wish you all the very best for Christmas in these difficult times and a brighter New Year.

John Saunders

Outing to Rooisand

Eight club members attended this morning’s outing to Rooisand led by John Saunders. It was a beautiful day and, despite the very low level of the lagoon and the fact that we had to walk considerable distances through the mud to get near the waders, we managed to record 52 species. The horses also put on a good display for us. It is always a pleasure to see these animals running free – and to see the flocks of Little Stints and Common Terns wheeling and diving in close formation!

The list comprised: Bar-throated Apalis, Bokmakerie, Southern Boubou, Cape Bulbul, Common Buzzard, Reed Cormorant, Laughing Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Yellow-billed Duck, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Fiscal Flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Common Greenshank, Hartlaub’s Gull, Kelp Gull, African Marsh Harrier, Black-headed Heron, Grey Heron, Sacred Ibis, Hadeda Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kite, Blacksmith Lapwing, Red-capped Lark, Brown-throated Martin, Red-faced Mousebird, Neddicky, Common Ringed Plover, Kittlitz’s Plover, Three-banded Plover, White-fronted Plover, Karoo Prinia, Cape Robin-Chat, Cape Shoveler, Cape Sparrow, African Spoonbill, Cape Spurfowl, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Barn Swallow, Greater Striped Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow, White-throated Swallow, Alpine Swift, White-rumped Swift, Cape Teal, Common Tern, Swift Tern, Cape Turtle-Dove and Cape Wagtail.