Protect Our Owls

Spotted Eagle Owl

For the last 4 years we have had an Owl come and nest in front of our house, the Cape Spotted Eagle Owl nested on the ground as she had for the past 4 years. She had a lovely  spot at the base of a gum tree with a small aloe in front for protection.  I have been watching her for 5/6 weeks, Daddy Owl was always in one of the trees watching her.  On Tuesday I went out and Mommy Owl was gone, there were 2 little fluff balls, one I think was dead the other was moving, so  presume it was alive, but with Daddy in the tree watching I was not going to go too close. The next morning there were 2 little dead chicks, Daddy still watching.  On the Thursday I went looking for Mommy, I found her dead, not far away, Daddy had changed his position to be able to watch the nest and the dead Mommy.  My thought was that she could have been poisoned.  On Friday morning I took her body to Hermanus Animal Hospital, the verdict is that it was more than likely poison, and they disposed of the body in the right way.

My plea to everyone is not to use rat poison, poor Daddy must have fed her a rat that had been poisoned….so sad.

Sue Holmes

39 Hillside Village,

Fernkloof Estate

Hermanus

Your Committee – or Lack Thereof

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Not for the first time, we are calling for volunteers to serve on the HBC Committee.  From the previous lack of response, one gets the impression that there are too many members who just want to be entertained, but who aren’t prepared to assist with the running of the club.  We really are in need of a treasurer (Keith has done this job for years and is only helping out in the absence of somebody new) as well as someone to run the ‘Walks and Talks’ portfolio.  This is not arduous work, but something that is needed in order to keep the club afloat.  Without committed members, we will simply fold.  There can be no doubting the fact that members enjoy our monthly walks and talks, but someone has to arrange them.  We cannot just expect John to take on everything!  The same goes for the finances!

Come on, people, let’s see some enthusiasm and commitment!

Subscriptions

 

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Keith advises that if members want to pay cash, please do so directly to him.  If, on the other hand, cash is paid into the bank account, it attracts a charge of around R40, so if that is your method of choice, please pay in the extra amount!  I doubt there will be many takers for the second option!

MMBBD is OFF

 

With regret, we must inform members that there appears to be little appetite for the MMBBD which was to have taken place on Sunday.  A number of participants are no longer available and the Quarter-Final Rugby match between the Springboks and Japan is really what most people want to watch, so we will try to re-schedule this event for 2020.

In the meantime, do keep up your birding for the Challenge, which is no doubt getting hot with the return of the Summer migrants.  Our next reporting date is at the end of November and we look forward to some good numbers!

SUBS FOR 2020

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Members are reminded that 2020 subscriptions will soon be due.  Fees have been marginally increased to R150 for a single person and R250 for a couple.  This increase takes account of our commitment to ring-fence an amount of R10 per member towards our fund for the rehabilitation of injured birds, and will be paid to help offset veterinarian’s costs should they be called on to treat birds brought in by the public.

Please make your payments by EFT to;

Hermanus Bird Club

First National Bank

Account No.  62107045892

And use “Subs – Your Name” as the Beneficiary Reference

Antarctica

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Our Speaker for this coming Wednesday evening Hermanus Bird Club meeting is committee member Monika von Oppell.

She will be presenting a talk about her journey in Antarctica from Porto Madryn on the northern coast of Patagonia in Argentina through the Drake Passage to the Falklands and the islands of South Georgia and the birds she encountered along the way.

As usual entrance if free of charge, from 6 pm where a glass of wine will be available for the contribution of R10  per glass.

The meeting will then start at 6.30 pm and I hope to see you there.

Duinepos Outing

 

It was a super trip. The weather was kind and we took full advantage of the Birding Experience that the Park has to offer.

The staff at Duinepos couldn’t do enough for us and were as always very helpful.

On the afternoon of the 6th Oct we visited the Bird Hide at Geelbek. The tide was just right and many waders were there to be seen including Bar Tailed Godwits, Eurasian Curlews, Kittlitz’s Plovers, etc. etc.

The following day we drove to Seeberg Point and down to the Seeberg Hide. Again, excellent birding and many, many waders. In the afternoon we visited Abrahamskraal Waterhole and saw African Rail, Purple Swamphen, Black Crake, European Bee-Eaters and a pair of White-throated Swallows that had nested in the rafters of the hide and were constantly and patiently waiting to feed their young in the nest.

We then drove up the west coast and visited Kraalbaai.

On our last day we drove to Veldriff and visited the Jan & Malani Kotze “Kuifkop Farm” along the Berg River where we were allowed to drive along the Salt Reservoir in search of the Red-Necked Phalarope and “Yes” we found the little bird. It was a super day and I am sure I am speaking for all of the attendees, a day to be remembered.

Many of the group stayed on for the two extra nights and we await to hear their story with their photographs…particularly of the Phalarope.

Cheers. John

Photography by Frank Hallet

The bird list can be accessed at

Duinepos Trip Birds Check List 06 – 09 Oct 2019

 

A Note from Mike Ford

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Things are going well here in Turkey. Thought you and the members might like to see a species I’ve been hoping to catch and ring for 11 years, and this morning just before dawm, we caught this beautiful female Long-eared Owl – Asio Otus. It breeds in the northern part of Europe and Russia and winters down here in the Mediterranean region. This is a very early arrival.