The Christmas Party

 

Our Christmas party was held last evening.  It was a fun-filled affair and was enjoyed by 64 members who filled the Fernkloof Hall.  Craig kicked off the proceedings by announcing Honorary Life Memberships for the Palmers and the Bowmans, in recognition of the huge amount of work these two couples have put into the club.  It was a well-deserved accolade!

Then there was the annual photographic competition, with all participants invited to vote for the Best Bird Picture, Most Amusing Picture and Best Title. Jill Eckstein won the first category, and Winnie Pybus took both the other awards with her only entry!  Well done!  The competition attracted 29 entries in all!

Ronnie ran a short Anagram quiz.  With complicated anagrams of local bird names, it was good to see that our birders were quick off the mark in identifying the species listed, despite anagrams like Conspire Damn Mop (Common Sandpiper).

A good time was had by all!  We look forward to seeing you all next year.  Happy Birding!

Season’s Greetings

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The Hermanus Bird Club wishes all its members and readers a very happy and blessed holiday.  If you are on the road, travel safely and enjoy your time with friends and family.

Remember to keep your eyes peeled for those special birds which may occur in your area.

We look forward to seeing you again in 2019 and hope that somebody with some minimal accounting skills will step forward and take on the position of Club Treasurer. This is a serious request, as the club will be without a Treasurer next year.  Come on – do your bit for the HBC!!

Beach Clean-up

 

Birdlife Overberg will be conducting a beach clean-up at Onrus on Saturday 8 December and HBC members are welcome to join them.  Plastic bags and gloves will be provided and participants should meet at the Onrus beach parking lot at 7:00 am.

Walk at De Mond

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At De Mond

Chris Cheetham, assisted by Ronnie Hazell, will lead an outing to De Mond on Thursday 6 December.  Participants should meet at Fernkloof at 7:00 am and will only return at about 3:30 pm, so make sure that you take enough food and drink for the day.

Chris says, “..if there is time, the group may come back through the Agulhas National Park to chase the Chestnut Banded Plover and Augulhas Long billed Lark ..plus others”

Birding Big Day 2018 – Final Results

 

The final results are in and I can confirm that (sounds like Strictly Come Dancing!) we scored 155 species and came 77th out of 304 teams.  There were four teams that scored over 300 birds, all from Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, with the winner achieving 323 – a really magnificent number for a 24 hour period!  Our local competition, team Rockjumper, achieved 122 species.  All the results can be viewed at

https://www.birdlasser.com/events/bbd2018?id=zonkeinyoni&id=hamerkop&id=watkykjy&id=soaringisuzu&id=markaslisha

and individual team maps can be accessed by clicking on the team names.  These maps show the locations of every bird recorded and zooming in on them adds detail.  Clicking on the symbols on the map will show the name of the bird seen at that point.

Birding Big Day – A great Outing for the Walker Bay Warblers!

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Giant Kingfisher with prey

The Walker Bay Warblers, Ronnie, Renee, Barbara and Mike had a great day of birding yesterday, notching up no less than 155 species in a fifteen and a half hour spell of intensive birding!  This is 20 species better than our team achieved last year, probably due to the inclusion of Mike, who was, as usual, in top form.  It was a wonderful team effort and everybody contributed hugely.  Preliminary results suggest that we came joint 75th out of 304 teams – a great achievement, considering that most teams have far more species at their disposal.

Our best bird was probably a Buff-spotted Flufftail, heard in Fernkloof Gardens.  Needless to say a good number of common species were not sighted, much to the frustration of the entire team, but that is the way it goes in these competitions – we see some rare birds and miss some very easy ones!

Carin Malan in the Kgalagadi

 

The club meeting last night was amazing!.

We had over 90 attendees to last night’s club meeting. I counted 94 and there were others in the Wine lobby.

Many of our Swallows were back. We also had a small group from a Cape Town BirdLife group visiting Stanford who decided to pop in and we gained a new member.

Guy managed to find some more chairs and benches and there were still people standing.

Carin’s talk was excellent. She and her husband have been going to the Kgalagadi regularly for over twenty years.

She gave a comprehensive travelogue on how to get there, where to stay andwhat you need to take with you, but best of all was her SUPERB photography.

Her photographs covered all of the bird species plus the big cats and all the other wild animals, reptiles and insects that you expect to see in the Kgalagadi Park.

You need to book the camps a year in advance and to plan your trip carefully.

A fascinating place for the avid off-track birder, but you definitely need a 4 x 4.

John Saunders

Cruising down the river – Again

 

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The demand for a river cruise on the Lady Stanford is such that Craig has arranged a second outing which will take place at 7:00 am on Friday 1 February.  There are still six places available at the reduced rate of R125 per head.  This is an opportunity to see some of the region’s best birds under ideal conditions – before the south-easter picks up – so contact Craig – pcsholmes@telkomsa.net – asap if you want to be included.  First come, first served!