Chickens, Hoots and Naughty Nightjars in Oystercatcher

Why would chickens lying tied up at a market, waiting to be sold, receive any attention in a presentation on birding in Namibia and Angola?

Who are the Hoots, and what did they do to the Naughty Nightjars, the Hermanus Harriers, the Hemel-en-Aarde Hawks and the Titbabblers?

Read all about these, and about the non-stop 2 735 km flight of a songbird no bigger than a sparrow, in the latest Oystercatcher. Just click on the “Oystercatcher” link above.

New committee meets

The 2015 Committee, which had been elected at the annual general meeting in March, met for the first time this week.

To see the members’ responsibilities and contact details, click on “contact us” above.

Front: Peta McAdam, Craig Holmes (Chairperson), Margie Ogston and David Watson. Back: Guy Redford, Petra Hoeben and Charles Naudé.

Front: Peta McAdam, Craig Holmes (Chairperson), Margie Ogston and David Watson.
Back: Guy Redford, Petra Hoeben and Charles Naudé.

Meeting earlier to avoid power cut

The Club monthly meeting in the Fernkloof Reserve Hall will begin half an hour earlier tomorrow (Wednesday 15 April) to avoid a power cut due to Eskom load shedding scheduled for 20:00 to 22:30.

The meeting, where Luke and Machteld Horsten will do a presentation on Birding in Namibia and Angola, will now begin at 18:30.

Namibia and Angola made easy

Luke and Machteld Horsten had a wonderful Southern African nature and birding adventure last year. But Africa can be a difficult continent to explore, even in a Landrover Discovery, as they discovered through some misfortunes. But that is another story.

The Horstens have a lot to share, and will do so at the Club’s monthly meeting on Wednesday 15 April. They have so many photographs that they will confine their presentation to Birding in Namibia and Angola.

You can experience the highlights of their trip through these two countries in the relative comfort of your chair, without having to worry about tyres, suspension and whatever.

The meeting, at Fernkloof Reserve Hall, will begin at 19:00. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits in the kitchen afterwards. Visitors are welcome.

Great escape – thanks to Club walk

A Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Rooiborssperwer) can probably thank a group of Club members that it is still alive, and was not killed by an African Goshawk (Afrikaanse Sperwer).

It all happened on the Club morning walk in Fernkloof yesterday, said Margie Ogston, as they were led up and around Lemoenkop by Mike Ford. Those in front saw all the action between the two raptors.

“I’m convinced that our timeous arrival on the scene saved that sparrowhawk’s life, as the goshawk had it pinned down and only released it when we approached,” Mike said. “The sparrowhawk flew up, circled above our heads and flew to a protea sapling about 40 metres away – giving us very good views.

“Once it had regained its composure after its escape it flew off towards the Mossel River side. It all happened so fast it took some time to piece together what was going on.”

An African Goshawk is on average about double the size of a Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk.

The group of 26 birders on the overcast outing counted 39 species.

Committee reorganized

The three new Club Committee members have been given their portfolios.

They were elected at the annual general meeting in March.

Peta McAdam and Guy Redford, two of the three new Committee members

Peta McAdam and Guy Redford, two of the three new Committee members

Peta McAdam takes over the portfolio of Secretary, Environment and Teas from Lee Burman, who retired after serving many years on the Committee. Similarly Petra Hoeben takes over Public Relations and Catering from Cherry Mills, while Guy Redford takes over the vacant portfolio of Projects.

The other four Committee members were re-elected – Craig Holmes (Chairperson), Margie Ogston (Vice Chairperson and Newsletter), David Watson (Treasurer and Membership Secretary) and Charles Naudé (Digital Media and Images).

You can find their contact details by clicking on “Contact us” above.