Our first outing for 2022, and what a treat!

Ten birders left Fernkloof just after 7:30 and drove to Stanford for a stroll along the Klein River. We were entertained by three beautiful African Hoopoes, a Giant Kingfisher and a small squadron of Pied Kingfishers. Thereafter we stopped at Appel se Dam and, despite Ronnie’s misgivings, did see a couple of water birds: Yellow-billed and White-faced Ducks, as well as a Purple Swamphen spotted by bright-eyed Renée.

Then off to Danger Point. Our highlights along the rocky coast included Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstones, White-fronted Plover, Swift, Sandwich and Common Terns. But the best sight of all was an undulating banner of thousands of Cape Cormorants flying over the sea (perhaps from Dyer Island?) towards the Point. We had our coffee and rusks and shortbread while watching this incredible visual.

At the Uilenkraalsmond bridge we spotted a Little Egret and a Grey Plover. Thereafter we turned inland and drove along the Papiesvlei road. This is a lovely road with some beautiful fynbos, trees and pools of water. We noted Cape Batis, Dusky Flycatchers, Black Crake, Red-billed Teal, Pin-tailed Whydah, Large-billed Lark, Cape Grassbird and Paradise Flycatchers identified by their calls …

Those of you who couldn’t join us  − eat your hearts out! See you at the next outing.

(Barbara Swart) 

We saw a total of 87 species. RH

Below the High Water Mark Challenge

Just to clear up some rules for this competition which you have hopefully started already, please note. Birds can be included if seen below and/or beyond the high water mark, but not around lagoons. Thus a bird seen flying over a bay, for instance, can be included even if it is not a pelagic species. Birds on offshore rocks can also be included, however, these must be within 50 km of the SA coastline.


Please note that, because of the fire in the Kleinmond area, the walk to Harold Porter will not take place on Thursday 13 Jan. We will, instead, be meeting at Fernkloof parking area at 7:30 am, whence we will proceed to Stanford for a walk along the river. This will be followed by a visit to the coastline between Klein Baai and the Danger Point lighthouse, where we should see some interesting sea birds. If time permits we will then look for waders at the Uilenskraal Bridge, before returning via the Papiesvlei road to Stanford and Hermanus.

Please bring your snacks for tea. We hope to be back by 1:00 pm.

January Meeting

At our monthly meeting on Wednesday 19 January, Pinkie Ngewu will be talking to us about the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. The meeting will be held in the Fernkloof Hall at 7:00 pm. Please remember that only vaccinated members may attend and that you will be asked to sign the register and have your temperature taken on arrival. Please wear your masks throughout the meeting.

We will be serving wine before the meeting (at 6:30, with a R10 per glass donation) but you will have to bring your own glasses please.

Outing to Harold Porter and Stony Point

On Thursday 13 January, Ronnie will lead an outing to the Harold Porter Reserve and the Penguin colony at Stony Point. This will provide a good opportunity to members wishing to add some species to their ‘Beyond the High Water Mark’ challenge, as well as a chance see some of the Fynbos species that occur in the Harold Porter Gardens.

We will meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 7:30 am, thereby allowing time to reach Stony Point by 8:00 am, when they open. Please remember to bring some money as both venues charge an entrance fee. Bring your morning tea and snacks for a stop in the gardens.

Happy 2022

Your committee wishes you all the very best for 2022 and remember, you are a birder, so good luck with your hobby in the new year. May you find many birds and may many of them be lifers!! Remember the January Challenge (Birds beyond the high water line) starts tomorrow. We are hoping to get many entrants.

Stay well and healthy!!


A merry band of birders gathered around at the Country Market to celebrate … just being. Being together, being alive, being at peace.

The Bird Club banner was flying proudly, and Barbara P and Graham had decorated the tables with golden and silver pine cones, and swatches of pine needles. Bottles of wine and other bubbly drinks were opened, and the food hampers unpacked. Cold meats, olives, salads and sushi soon covered the famous paper bird club tablecloths.

We all had a lovely time chatting and sharing stories. Thank you to the committee members who organised the end of year gathering! We are looking forward to an action-packed 2022.

Submitted by Barbara Swart

January Challenge

Our Challenge for the month of January will be “Birds Below the High Water Line”

This will entail identifying as many birds as possible on the seaward side of the high water line, but within a 50 km range from the coast. i.e. pelagic birds are definitely included. The birds can be in the sea or flying above it, or merely walking on the beach below the high water line. The latter can be easily identified as the highest point to which sea debris is spread by wave action.

The challenge will run from 1 to 31 January and you have the entire South African coastline to work with.

Please make your own lists and I will compile the results sheet on the basis of what is submitted to me at corylus@hermanus.co.za

Let’s see if we can get more participants than in the Migrant Birds challenge!

2022 Membership

Please remember to renew your membership for 2022. Subscription fees remain unchanged at R250 per couple and R150 per single member. Payment can be made to;

Hermanus Bird Club,  First National Bank,  Hermanus,  Branch Code  200 412,  Ac No. 6210 7045 892,  using your name as reference.

Please also let Barbara know if you are a BLSA member.

Many members left the club, or failed to renew their subs this year, probably because the club was in virtual lockdown for most of the time. Since this is now changing, please consider coming back on board. We will endeavour to make 2022 a more interesting and inclusive year!