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

Outing to Grootbos

The HBC was well represented at the Grootbos Outing yesterday, with no less than 28 members present.  We were met at the lodge by our host and guide, Mike Fabricius, who led us on an enchanting trail through the milkwood forest and a very colourful section of fynbos in the area surrounding the “Growing The Future” project.

Birding in the forest was difficult as the birds were hard to see in the dense vegetation, however, we did hear a number of forest species.  What was really fascinating, though, was the wonderful shapes assumed by the milkwood trees and to see how they ‘walk’ by growing branches close to the ground that then re-root and become new trees.  We were also thrilled to see the plentiful fresh leopard tracks and the evidence of their scratching on the tree stems.  Mike did a great job as guide and was able to point out these and many other interesting features.

Our walk ended at the “Growing The Future” farm where we were shown around by the local manager, Pontsho.  This is a project which aims to train local farmers and also supplies the lodge with all its fresh produce.  Greenhouses and shade tunnels had every kind of fruit and vegetable and there were even sections for hydroponic cultivation and micro-herbs (which are so loved by modern chefs)  There is also a chicken section for fresh eggs and a piggery, and the whole complex is aimed at sustainable farming, using organic fertilisers and minimal local water.

Our bird list was not much to write home about, but the lack of birds was more than made up for by all the other interesting sights and stories.  Lester, our serious birder, who would not be distracted by all the peripheral goings on, kept the list and even photographed a most unusual Bulbul, which he termed a Snowy Bulbul!

We were treated to a fine tea at the end of our tour.  Well done Grootbos for a most enjoyable morning!

Bird List:  Bar-throated Apalis;  Cape Batis;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Southern Boubou;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  Fork-tailed Drongo;  Common Fiscal;  Fiscal Flycatcher;  Sombre Greenbul;  Hadeda Ibis;  Red-faced Mousebird;  Speckled Mousebird;  Karoo Prinia;  Cape Robin-Chat;  Cape Sparrow;  House Sparrow;  Cape Spurfowl;  Cape Sugarbird;  Orange-breasted Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Common Waxbill;  Cape Weaver;  Cape White-eye.



August Walk


Directions to Jan Rabie Tidal Pool

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.

Outing to Gifberg in November


At Gifberg Farm

A trip has been arranged to Gifberg, near Vanrhynsdorp by John  Saunders who will lead the outing.

12 – 15 November 2018

We will stay at Gifberg Holiday Farm.

Previous visits have proved that this is a very popular venue. Surrounded by mountains just over the Gifberg pass, this is a beautiful setting and we should have some excellent birding.

The accommodation that has been reserved consists of two four bedroom cottages (two bathrooms in each cottage) plus one two bedroom cottage (one bathroom)

The planned itinerary is as follows:-

Day 1 – Monday, 12th November.

We travel up the N7 towards Vanrhynsdorp (approx 4 hours drive) and then 3 km before you reach Vanrhynsdorp turn right following the Gifberg Farm signs (a further 30 – 45 minutes drive)

Meet at 15.30 and do the Pot Hole 2 km walk, with a few ups and downs.

Day 2 – Tuesday, 13th November

We have three options.

1.The Gifberg Trail – 9 km    (This trail is more strenuous, taking 4 hours to complete. It takes you through some spectacular rock formations about midway. It is suggested that you wear long trousers as the bush scratches your legs severely.)

2. The Hamerkop Trail – 4 km   (This is an easy trail and takes about two hours to complete. This trail is ideal for the less experienced hiker. A natural pool, in which you can take a cooling swim, forms part of the trail).

3. The 4 x 4 trail   (The 11 km long route will take you to the Doring river. The same route will get you back, but the scenery and magnificent view will give you a whole new perspective of the area.)

Day 3 – Wednesday, 14th November

Meet at 0800. Drive to Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve (R30 entrance fee per person)  – 10 kilometres outside of the little town of Nieuwoudtville, situated between Van Rhynsdorp and Calvinia.

Day 4 – Thursday, 15th November

After breakfast drive home after a very exhilarating and enjoyable trip.

Prices per person will be R875.00 per person. R1750.00 two people sharing ( Double or Twin beds). Bookings will be on a ‘first come first served’ basis.  A  50% deposit is required for us to secure this unique, quality accommodation, so if you are keen to join this Hermanus Bird Club outing please confirm your booking as soon as possible. The required deposit can be paid into the HBC bank account once your place has been secured.

This is a self-catering trip as usual with evening braais together.

Please book with Craig at



Please make the following changes to your diary for forthcoming events at the Hermanus Bird Club – changes affect the July and August meetings.

 18 July .   Our Annual Quiz takes place. Mike Ford will be the Quizmaster – Soup and sherry will be served at mid-way and we will have our usual donation wine available. Quiz starts at 18h30 and as usual the wine bar will be open at 18h00

 15 August    Pinky Ngewu from the Dyer Island Trust will talk to us about what they are doing to preserve our precious Seabirds. Wine bar opens at 18h00 and the talk starts at 18h30.