Skulls and Bones


Please remember to let Pat Redford know if you have any bird skulls, bills or skeletons that she might be able to use for the HBC stand at the Fernkloof Flower Festival in September.  She can be reached at

This is an urgent appeal!!

August Walk at Vermont


Twelve members of the Hermanus Bird Club participated in a most enjoyable and productive morning walk, along the Vermont Coastal Path, led by John and Sheelagh Bowman. The late winter weather was perfect for birding, starting off crisp and clear, but soon warming up. Not a breath of wind. The birding got off to a great start, with a Subantarctic Skua spotted out to sea, from our meeting point. The walk along the Coastal Path to Brekvis Bay produced an interesting collection of bush and coastal birds. At the Bay, we saw both a Common Greenshank, and an African Darter. Mike Ford, who has been birding in the area for some nineteen years, had never previously seen these species along this bit of coast!

We continued the walk to Aas Baai, where more species were added to our list. These included a male Giant Kingfisher, several African Black Oystercatchers, and Swift Terns. On the way back we were rewarded with a magnificent close up view of a Southern Tchagra. Also, early returning migrants in the form of Little and White-rumped Swifts. And, as a bit of variety, offshore a Hump Backed Whale. Also good to see evidence of Cape Clawless otters living in the area.

From the parking area we drove up to Vermont Salt Pan, where with water in the Pan again, we added usefully to our bird list. Good to see a couple of Pied Avocets back. Altogether, a lovely morning. Thanks to all the hawk-eyed members who were able to help us find the birds: 55 in total!  And to Ronnie Hazell for taking the great photos.

The list of birds seen or heard was as follows:

Subantarctic Skua, Bar-throated Apalis, Bokmakierie, Pied Avocet, Southern Boubou, Cape Bulbul, Cape Canary, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Cape, Reed, and White-breasted Cormorants, African Darter, Red-eyed Dove, Yellow-billed Duck, Cattle and Little Egrets, Common Fiscal, Fiscal Flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Harlaub’s and Kelp Gulls, Black-headed and Grey Herons, African Sacred and Hadeda Ibises, Giant Kingfisher, Blacksmith Lapwing, Rock Martin, Common Moorhen, Speckled Mousebird, African Black Oystercatcher, Speckled Pigeon, Three-banded and White-fronted Plovers, Karoo Prinia, White-necked Raven, Cape Robin-chat, Cape Sparrow, Cape Spurfowl, Common Starling, Black-winged Stilt, Southern Double Collared Sunbird, Little and White-rumped Swifts, Southern Tchagra, Cape Teal, Swift Tern, Olive Thrush, Cape Wagtail, Common Waxbill, Cape Weaver, Common Whimbrel, Cape White-eye.

John and Sheelagh Bowman

Secretarybird Appeal


From: [] On Behalf Of ‘Melissa Whitecross’ [sabirdclubforum]
Sent: Wednesday, 01 August 2018 1:02 PM
Subject: [sabirdclubforum] Secretarybird Breeding Database [1 Attachment]

Hi SA Birders,

BirdLife South Africa’s Secretarybird Project would like to request your assistance in locating breeding Secretarybirds across Southern Africa. If you have any historical records of nest localities that you would be willing to share with us, or if you come across a nest while out birding please can I ask that you submit this information to Dr Melissa Whitecross (Raptors & Large Terrestrial Bird Project Manager) via email

The key information required is the date of the sighting and the GPS location of the nest to within 20m. Any additional information that can be obtained without causing unnecessary disturbance to the birds such as the number of eggs/chicks present will also be appreciated.

To stay up to date with the Secretarybird Project please like the Facebook page (

Kind regards,

Dr Melissa Whitecross        
Threatened Species Project Manager: Raptors & Large Terrestrial Birds
Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme

Isdell House, 17 Hume Road, Dunkeld West
Private Bag X16, Pinegowrie, 2123, Gauteng, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 789 1122 / 0860 BIRDER
Fax: +27 (0)11 789 5188
Cell: +27 (0) 82 452 6021

Monthly walk at Vermont



John and Sheelagh Bowman will lead our August walk along the Vermont Coastal path on Thursday 2 August.  Participants are asked to meet at the parking lot adjacent to the Jan Rabie Tidal Pool at 8:00 am.  After the coastal walk there will be a visit to the Vermont Pan, which, once again, has water in it, so there should be some good birds.  See previous notice for directions.

Important News Concerning all of us


We have recently been notified that an application has been made to the Overstrand Municipality to build a whisky/gin distillery on the dirt road between the villages of Rooiels and Pringle Bay.  This is currently a pristine, highly sensitive ecological area, accessible only on foot (and by car on a dirt road to only a handful of small-holding owners).  It is a prime birding area, attracting many local and international birders, who come to see the Cape Rock Jumper and Ground Woodpecker, amongst others.

The application touts the merits of attracting vast numbers of tourists to the area to visit the distillery, and of course, service vehicles will be necessary for the operation of the distillery, as well as other impacts caused by an industrial activity.  Distilleries also represent very significant fire hazards.

This area is also a buffer zone for the 51st (Kogelberg) Biosphere.​

The Overstrand Municipality has invited interested parties to lodge comments concerning the application.  Comments and objections are due by 3 August 2018.

Please respond!!

TO LODGE AN OBJECTION, please e-mail Overstrand Municipality Manager via




“Really Good News”


Truly Incredible photos have been provided by our truly incredible members, so our call for “Bills, Bills, Bills” was a great success! Thank you so very much to all! Received over 100 pix!! Very hard to choose!

Very excited about the theme this year for the HBC stand at the flower show.

“dem bones” is the follow up begging campaign, and it would be great if we could ‘borrow’ any bird skulls or bird bills which may be lurking in your garages or on your shelves.  We never know what members have in store!  Perhaps look out on your next walk or just in the garden one may find a little surprise.

We will take special care to display them carefully and keep them safe for the duration of the show.

Thank you once again.

Kind Regards

Pat Redford

Quiz Cancelled


The committee has decided to cancel this year’s Quiz, as it is very difficult to reschedule it, given the fact that key people will be away, events clash if a new schedule is chosen and all our monthly meetings are already committed one way or another.  We apologise and hope you will understand the reasoning behind this decision.

Quiz Evening Postponed


Sadly, we must postpone the quiz which was due to take place on Wednesday evening, due to the ongoing rioting which is taking place in and around Zwelihle.  We do not want to put anyone at risk by their having to drive through the area.

Members will be notified as soon as the security situation is resolved.  We apologise for the change of plans, but it is better to be safe than sorry!

To all those who have agreed to prepare soup, we hope you will be able to put your cooking schedule on hold until a new date is decided.

Plastic – The Scourge of Modern Living


An Albatross killed by ingesting plastic

Most of you are aware of the environmental damage caused by plastic, especially insofar as it affects our birds.  The HBC is concerned and asks members to keep this in mind and to contribute to the overall effort to reduce plastic in our daily lives.  April has been set aside as the month to cut plastic use, but we should actually make it our mission to do this all the time.  Birdlife Overberg has some projects underway and you may wish to peruse their web sites listed below with a view to participating in the good work they are doing. line bins for the overstrand coastline overberg coastal clean-up on 14 july