A work of art for those wanting more


Faansie Peacock will have about an hour, perhaps a little more, to present “The weird and wondrous world of waders” to the audience at the Club’s first monthly meeting of the year tomorrow.


The latest book.

But there is a lot more to the subject, as is demonstrated by the book on waders that he has just published.

“More than two years of full-time writing and painting went into the production of ‘Chamberlain’s Waders’,” he says on his website.

The book “thoroughly covers the 80 species of waders found in Southern Africa – these include the usual suspects, as well as sheathbills, buttonquails, coursers and pratincoles,” he says.

“In addition, the book features 21 species of potential vagrants that are likely to be seen in Southern Africa in future (if you see one, please call me!). This total of 101 species represents more than 40% of the world’s wader species.

“‘Chamberlain’s Waders’ has a very strong visual component, subscribing to the principle that a picture is worth a thousand words. The book includes more than 600 new colour paintings.


The juvenile male is Christian Regulus Peacock, accompanying his dad on a birding trip. Image from Faansie Peacock’s website.

“The colour plates form the main component of the book, and each wader, is lavishly illustrated, with 5-10 images per species.

“Illustration would typically take me about 3-5 hours per image, and involve a gradual build of some 30-40 layers. Colours are matched to hundreds of reference photos.

“Perhaps because they require so much more time and effort, I viewed the paintings as the main component, and the accompanying text only as supportive.

“Both are attempts at capturing birds’ lives and characters, and I hope that my excitement for waders shines through.”

Faansie says more than two years of full-time writing and painting went into the production of ‘Chamberlain’s Waders’. “The book follows the formula of my previous book, ‘Chamberlain’s LBJs’.”

Faansie will bring both books for interested members of the audience to buy for cash or by card.

The meeting, in the Fernkloof Reserve Hall, will begin at 19:00 tomorrow (Wednesday 18 January). Liquid refreshments will be available, as usual, from 18:30.

Club’s first speaker of 2017 is a Peacock


Faansie Peacock likes to describe himself as a professional birder. He is one of Southern Africa’s best known birders and most talented bird artists. And Peacock is his real name.


Faansie Peacock (image from his website)

Faansie will be the Club’s first speaker of the new year, doing a presentation on “The weird and wondrous world of waders” at the first monthly meeting, on Wednesday 18 January.

He should know a thing or two about waders. His latest bird book, “Chamberlain’s waders – The definitive guide to Southern Africa’s shorebirds” – came off the printing press in December.

That follows on his “Chamberlain’s LBJs – The definitive guide to Southern Africa’s Little Brown Jobs”, a must-have for anyone struggling to identify any of these birds that make up almost a quarter of Southern Africa’s bird species.

Faansie painted all the illustrations for both books.

The meeting, in the Fernkloof Reserve Hall, begins at 19:00. Liquid refreshments will be available from 18:00.

First Chirp of the new year


Here we are, facing the challenges of a new year, says Club Chairman Craig Holmes in his first Chirp of 2017.

“Most plans are in place for the coming twelve months,” he wrote. “We have some excellent and different speakers, we have a schedule of walks in good birding areas, which will be fun, and we will have some away outings. The first will be launched very soon.”

He also looks back on the highlights of the past year, such as “excellent presentations from Marius van Rooyen on the birding at Cape Town Airport, Wolfgang Schenk on taxidermy, and Odette Curtis on the Renosterveld”.

Read more about the past year and the one that lies ahead, as Craig sees it, by clicking on “Craig’s Chirp” above.