2017  Mini Birding Big Day (MBBD) – 2nd April


This year’s MBBD was a bit later in the year, so the start time was a bit later; 12hrs from 06:30 to 18:30, with a 40km radius in which to do the searching.

5 teams of 4 birders entered, plus an extra pair too busy to spend the full day!

We had good weather to start and not too hot through the day, but the wind came up a bit in the afternoon, which kept the birds under cover.  Most teams reported many more sightings in the morning than the afternoon.

These are the teams with results.

The Twitching Darters:  Bowmans & Daggs; 121 birds – winners

The Rocky Jumpers: Hazells & Palmers: 117

The Lazy Birds: Saunders, Ann Philip and Lee Burman; 93

 The Bird Brains: Francks & Southworths; 93

The Stoopers: Sterns & Hoopers;  75

The Pair:  Margie Ogston and Barbara Swart. 91


The wining total is the lowest since 2006 ( 121 three times since then) and 15 less than 2016 which was the highest since 2006.  The 10 year average is 131 birds.

Total species seen was 158 (2016 – 179, 10yr avg  – 168)

Species seen by all were 48 and single sightings 32. The drought conditions, windy afternoon and later time of year were probably the reason for the low numbers – it could not have been poor birders!

We met at the Fernkloof hall for a braai after sunset and many stories of the day were exchanged.  The incident of the day was seen by the Stoopers who watched two Secretary birds fighting a long shiny snake. At the end of fight one bird swallowed the snake whole “going down like a cold beer on a hot afternoon”.

All in all a good birding day and looking forward to next year!  Hope to see many more club members involved.

Graham Palmer