Cruising Down The River ….

 

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The Lady Stanford

We have negotiated with the Lady Stanford to do a cruise on 25th January 2019. Departing at  17h00 or 17h30 (time to be confirmed)  we will spend a couple of hours cruising on this beautiful recently built vessel. Glasses and ice is provided so all our member need to bring is the beverages and snacks. The cruise will sail to the end of the channel and park at the site of the proposed bird sanctuary. The Lady Stanford also has a chemical loo! From a birding perspective we all know that this stretch of water is rich in birdlife and its always a joy.

The price is R125.00 per head and is based on us filling the boat with 26 members. If we can’t get the full 26 and can only get 20 the price would increase to R160 ph. The going rate is around R225.00

First come first served – please advise me on pcsholmes@telkomsa.net

Call For Nominations

 

HBC will lose a couple of committee members at our AGM next year and we are calling for nominations for new members, or volunteers to step up and become part of this dedicated team that keeps the wheels turning.  It is an enjoyable experience and we are looking for new blood to ensure that the club continues to grow and provide a stimulating hub for Hermanus birders.

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Potential committee members?

Without people who are willing to give a little of their time to the club, it will not be able to function, so please give this matter your urgent attention!

Please send your nominations to Craig at   pcsholmes@telkomsa.net

Christmas Photographic Competition

 

This year we will again hold our annual Photographic Competition at the same time as the Christmas Party.  Members may submit up to three images in the following categories;  Best Bird Picture,  Best Title, and Most Amusing Picture.

Images should be no greater than A4 size and, if smaller, should be mounted on an A4 mount.  Larger images will not be allowed.  All images must display titles and have the photographer’s name out of sight on the back of the image.  Voting will be by members present and each member will have one vote per category.  All images must be handed in at the Fernkloof Hall by 5:30 pm on 12 December, so as to allow time for hanging.

We look forward to a good turn-out and a stunning display of great photographs!

Christmas Party

 

On the 12th December the Hermanus Bird Club will hold its annual byo Christmas Party at the Fernkloof Hall at 18h00.

Numbers are sadly limited and will be on a first come first served basis.

We will have a gas braai available for those wishing to braai but if you prefer to bring along a picnic, that too would be great. You will need to bring along cutlery, crockery and glasses and of course your own beverages.

It’s always a fun evening and we look forward to spending time with you amongst our birding friends.

Please RSVP to pcsholmes@telkomsa.net by 15 November.

BirdLife SA’s Birding Big Day 2018

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In case you are not aware, BirdLife SA’s Birding Big Day event takes place on Saturday 24 November.  Teams from all around South Africa will be taking part in this exciting event. For details of how it works and registration, please see http://www.birdlife.org.za/events/birding-big-day

Participants who take part in our own MBBD will have a head start as they will have sussed out the best birding spots and should know where to spend their time.

HBC will support any teams made up of our members by paying the registration fee of R300 per team.  Let’s put HBC on the map this year by doing well!

Mini Birding Big Day (MBBD) 2018

 

This year’s MBBD will take place over 12 hours (5:30 am to 5:30 pm) on Sunday 4 November, within a 40 km radius of Central Hermanus.  Teams will comprise 4 members and the usual rules will apply;  at least three members of each team must confirm each species identified and identification can be by sight or call.  You can only use bird calls if you have the relevant bird on your life list, i.e. you cannot use a bird call for something you have never seen.

Please submit your team name and members to me at corylus@hermanus.co.za by the end of October.

All participants (who by now will be thoroughly exhausted!) should meet at Fernkloof at 5:30 pm to compare notes and celebrate the winning team.  Bring along a drink or two as you are likely to be thirsty!

2018 MBBD Area

MBBD 2018 Competition Area

Liuwa Plains – Zambia, Birding through the Seasons

The next meeting of the HBC will take place in the Fernkloof Hall on Wednesday 17 October at 18h30.  It will be preceded by the usual drinks at 18h00.  Our speaker will be Gavin Turner.  Be sure to attend what will be a most interesting presentation!  Gavin and Cynthia Turner are old hands at the Liuwa Plains.  They write,

“Liuwa Plains is a remote National Park in Western Zambia best known for its

wildebeest migration, but has a wide variety and large masses of birds, which

for us is its main attraction.  As such it has become one of our favourites.

We have been there 4 times, in both the wet and dry seasons, which are quite  

different, and the presentation will cover these visits.”

Tierhoek Outing

 

Sixteen HBC members enjoyed a great three day outing to the Robertson area in early October, an ideal time of the year with the fresh green in the vineyards and fruit orchards and the birds chirping happily with the joys of spring.  This also meant that most of the males were in their most colourful breeding plumage.  We were based at Tierhoek Cottages on an organic fruit farm, surrounded by majestic  mountains and with great views down the beautiful Tierhoek Valley.   Our birding around the cottages and on the farm yielded some 35 or more species on the first day.  Birding specials were the Verreaux’s Eagle, Jackal Buzzard and Pale Chanting Goshawk, White-backed Mousebird, and the sunbirds and more common flycatchers and Robin Chats.

On Day 2 we moved down to a privately owned wine and fruit farm on the banks of the Breede River.   We enjoyed the privacy of a lovely grassed picnic site  and were able to bird in the vineyards, where we were lucky to see the fairly rare Cinnamon- breasted Bunting, African Stonechats, White -browed Robin chats,  sunbirds and other Karoo species.  On the Breede river banks  there were a variety of waterbirds, Swee and Common Waxbills and a Lesser Honeyguide.   Many colourful birds were enjoyed, but without doubt the most colourful and unusual sighting we had was of a swimming ‘Puffadder’, which swam across the wide river and came ashore at our picnic site!   By the end of the second day our bird count had increased to 76 and it was a contented bunch of birders who enjoyed their sundowners and braai in a great and tranquil setting at Fig Tree Cottage.

Day 3 we left the comfortable Tierhoek cottages a bit reluctantly to get down to the Cape Nature Reserve ‘Vrolijkheid’ near Mc Gregor to do some birding in the Karoo and Renosterveld habitat, which was very colourful and supported a number of different bird species.   We walked along the ‘Agama trail’ to the two bird hides and two separate dams, seeing many challenging LBJ species, which taxed our identification skills!  Specials that we saw here were displaying Clapper Larks, Fairy Flycatcher, Grey- backed Cisticola and the spectacular Red Bishops and Weavers at the dams.  Most of us returned to Hermanus via Stormsvlei where the count cut-off.  We ended the three day outing with a fairly respectable count of 99!  Thanks to Anne Philip for keeping the record.

Many thanks also to all the ladies for their contributions to the evening meals, to the men who braaied and to our two main photographers John Bowman and Jill Eckstein, whose excellent images accompany this report.

Ed Meyer