Walk at De Mond


At De Mond

Chris Cheetham, assisted by Ronnie Hazell, will lead an outing to De Mond on Thursday 6 December.  Participants should meet at Fernkloof at 7:00 am and will only return at about 3:30 pm, so make sure that you take enough food and drink for the day.

Chris says, “..if there is time, the group may come back through the Agulhas National Park to chase the Chestnut Banded Plover and Augulhas Long billed Lark ..plus others”

Birding Big Day 2018 – Final Results


The final results are in and I can confirm that (sounds like Strictly Come Dancing!) we scored 155 species and came 77th out of 304 teams.  There were four teams that scored over 300 birds, all from Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, with the winner achieving 323 – a really magnificent number for a 24 hour period!  Our local competition, team Rockjumper, achieved 122 species.  All the results can be viewed at


and individual team maps can be accessed by clicking on the team names.  These maps show the locations of every bird recorded and zooming in on them adds detail.  Clicking on the symbols on the map will show the name of the bird seen at that point.

Birding Big Day – A great Outing for the Walker Bay Warblers!


Giant Kingfisher with prey

The Walker Bay Warblers, Ronnie, Renee, Barbara and Mike had a great day of birding yesterday, notching up no less than 155 species in a fifteen and a half hour spell of intensive birding!  This is 20 species better than our team achieved last year, probably due to the inclusion of Mike, who was, as usual, in top form.  It was a wonderful team effort and everybody contributed hugely.  Preliminary results suggest that we came joint 75th out of 304 teams – a great achievement, considering that most teams have far more species at their disposal.

Our best bird was probably a Buff-spotted Flufftail, heard in Fernkloof Gardens.  Needless to say a good number of common species were not sighted, much to the frustration of the entire team, but that is the way it goes in these competitions – we see some rare birds and miss some very easy ones!

Carin Malan in the Kgalagadi


The club meeting last night was amazing!.

We had over 90 attendees to last night’s club meeting. I counted 94 and there were others in the Wine lobby.

Many of our Swallows were back. We also had a small group from a Cape Town BirdLife group visiting Stanford who decided to pop in and we gained a new member.

Guy managed to find some more chairs and benches and there were still people standing.

Carin’s talk was excellent. She and her husband have been going to the Kgalagadi regularly for over twenty years.

She gave a comprehensive travelogue on how to get there, where to stay andwhat you need to take with you, but best of all was her SUPERB photography.

Her photographs covered all of the bird species plus the big cats and all the other wild animals, reptiles and insects that you expect to see in the Kgalagadi Park.

You need to book the camps a year in advance and to plan your trip carefully.

A fascinating place for the avid off-track birder, but you definitely need a 4 x 4.

John Saunders

Cruising down the river – Again



The demand for a river cruise on the Lady Stanford is such that Craig has arranged a second outing which will take place at 7:00 am on Friday 1 February.  There are still six places available at the reduced rate of R125 per head.  This is an opportunity to see some of the region’s best birds under ideal conditions – before the south-easter picks up – so contact Craig – pcsholmes@telkomsa.net – asap if you want to be included.  First come, first served!

November Meeting



Please be reminded that our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 21 November at Fernkloof at 6.00 for 6.30 pm.  Our guest speaker will be Carin Malan, who is an avid birder.  She will take us on a photographic journey, with lots of practical tips en route, through the beautiful Kgalagadi Transfontier Park and southern Namibia.

Don’t miss this presentation which promises to be spellbinding!

Outing to Gifberg


A three night outing to the Gifberg Holiday Farm gave 19 keen birders an opportunity to see a good selection of birds and enjoy a beautiful part of the Western Cape.  Arriving on Monday afternoon, we ventured out for a hike up the Gifberg river, unaware that the trail was soon to become quite rugged.  John managed to get his foot stuck in a crevice and it was only good fortune that allowed him to escape with nothing more than some cuts and bruises.  The outing did, however, give us a good chance to appreciate the beauty of the rock pools and potholes that abound in the area.

On Tuesday an outing across the highlands eastwards and down to the Waterval Resort, provided another fine birding opportunity with a good number of species being identified.  Sadly, the waterfall had all but stopped flowing, but it was a good trip and the drive to Vanrhynsdorp impressed with the burgeoning viticultural development of the area.


Our route on Tuesday

The following day there was an outing to Nieuwoudtville.  The drive across the Knersvlaklte and up the pass onto the escarpment displayed the different biomes that exist within a short distance of each other.  First we went to the waterfall on the road to Loeriesfontein.  It too, was virtually dry, but there were many birds around.  From there we visited the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve.  By the time we arrived it was midday and pretty warm, so most people abandoned the idea of a rugged 5 km walk and returned to Gifberg.  The change of habitat did allow us to see many species that were not found around Gifberg, so it was a worthwhile outing. We saw our first waterbirds and some waders.


Wednesday Route

Evenings were taken up with the usual communal braais and the ladies excelled themselves with a fine spread of delicious food.  We had made new friendships and were sad to have to return home this morning, but well pleased with our tally of 107 species for the trip!  Thank you John, for arranging this fine excursion!

Trip List:  Acacia Pied Barbet;  European Bee-Eater;  Southern Red Bishop;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Southern Boubou;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Bunting;  Lark-like Bunting;  Ludwig’s Bustard;  Jackal Bustard;  Brimstone Canary;  Cape Canary;  White-throated Canary;  Yellow Canary;  Ant-eating Chat;  Familiar Chat;  Karoo Chat;  Grey-backed Cisticola;  Levaillant’s Cisticola;  Zitting Cisticola;  Red-knobbed Coot;  Blue Crane;  Cape Crow;  Pied Crow;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Laughing Dove;  Namaqua Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  Yellow-billed Duck;  African Fish Eagle;  Booted Eagle;  Verreaux’s Eagle;  Common Fiscal;  Fiscal Flycatcher;  Grey-winged Francolin;  Egyptian Goose;  Spur-winged Goose;  Pale Chanting Goshawk;  Little Grebe;  Common Greenshank;  Black Harrier;  African Harrier Hawk;  Grey Heron;  African Sacred Ibis;  Hadeda Ibis;  Greater Kestrel;  Rock Kestrel;  Black-shouldered Kite;  Yellow-billed Kite;  Karoo Korhaan;  Blacksmith Lapwing;  Cape Clapper Lark;  Grey-backed Sparrow-Lark;  Karoo Lark;  Long-billed Karoo Lark;  Large-billed Lark;  Red-capped Lark;  Banded Martin;  Rock Martin;  Speckled Mousebird;  White-backed Mousebird;  Speckled Pigeon;  African Pipit;  Long-billed Pipit; Plain-backed Pipit;  Three-banded Plover;  Karoo Prinia;  White-necked Raven;  Karoo Scrub Robin;  Cape Robin-Chat;  Namaqua Sandgrouse;  Marsh Sandpiper;  Streaky-headed Seedeater;  Cape Shoveller;  Red-backed Shrike;  Cape Sparrow;  House Sparrow;  Southern Grey-headed Sparrow;  African Spoonbill;  Pied Starling;  Red-winged Starling;  African Stonechat;  Cape Sugarbird;  Malachite Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Barn Swallow;  Greater Striped Swallow;  White-throated Swallow;  African Black Swift;  Alpine Swift;  White-rumped Swift;  Cape Rock Thrush;  Karoo Thrush;  Olive Thrush;  Grey Tit;  Cape Wagtail;  Rufous-eared Warbler;  Common Waxbill;  Cape Weaver;  Southern Masked Weaver;  Capped Wheatear;  Mountain Wheatear;  Cape White-eye;  Cardinal Woodpecker.



Mini Birding Big Day – The Results


This evening I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with 14 of our wonderful members who had spent the day – most kicking off at 05h30 – in a howling gale to participate in the Mini Big Birding Day. They were all exhausted but truly satisfied that it had been a day well spent. Most were club stalwarts – please join in next time!!

In these terrible conditions – the wind did not abate all day – the team with the most species sighted on the day got 125 species. A great achievement in the conditions considering the best ever score for one of these days is 136!!

To all who participated – thank you for putting in this great effort.  To ALL the members of our club please consider joining in on these days when next we have one. This is a great opportunity to learn about the birds and their habitats – this is a really fun day where you will learn a lot and make great friends in the wonderful Hermanus Bird Club community.


Outing to De Hoop

DeHoopRon 271

We have arranged another outing to one of our favourites – De Hoop. Dates 18-20 February 2019. As usual we will be sharing cottages – 4 to a cottage – and of course will have our catering teams to look after the starters, salads and potatoes and desserts each evening. Need of course to bring own meat for the braais each night and you own breakfast and lunch food. And of course your own beverages, but if you forget they do have supplies at De Hoop.

The price per person  is R935.00.

The group size is limited to 16 and is on first come first served basis.

The rough itinerary of the short stay is as follows:

18 Feb.  Leave Hermanus and plan to get to De Hoop by 14h00 when we can check in to the accommodation.

At 15h30 meet outside the cottages and consolidate transport and drive down to De Mond in the hope of finding some interesting birds. Upon returning to Opstal, we can meander around the edge of the vlei which is often very rewarding.

At 18h30 meet at a location to be advised, where we will have a braai going and where we will have seating provided as well as cutlery and crockery.

19 Feb.  This morning we will drive to Koppie Alleen – the birding is always good along the way. We can meander down to the water’s edge and see what we can find along the shoreline. On our way back let’s try our luck at De Mond again.

We will be back by noon and have a little time to relax and catch our breath.

In the afternoon let’s explore other parts of the reserve.

Back to Opstal where we will meet again at 18h30  – venue to be confirmed –  tables, crockery and cutlery all set up for us. We will also do the formal bird count before dinner.

20 Feb. At leisure – we need to be out of the cottages by 10h00 but you are welcome to spend time in the reserve and leave at your leisure. Don’t forget we have the club’s AGM this evening!

Don’t forget your Wild Cards – if you don’t have one, you will be charged a Conservation Fee of R40.00 per person per day at the gate.


A cruise is available on each evening – take your own drinks and snacks and the cost is R295.00 pp –again subject to 10 persons wanting to go.


Bookings or enquiries to Craig at pcsholmes@telkomsa.net


De Bos Wetland Trail


Yesterday’s walk along the De Bos Wetland Trail with Frank Woodvine was thoroughly enjoyed by a total of 31 HBC members.

Frank, as always was an excellent guide pointing out a number of interesting features as we moved along.

The sun came out and we enjoyed a lovely walk, albeit a wee bit vigorous up the steep hill to the edge of the reservoir.

A total of 39 species wereseen. Lester van Groenigen’s bird list is given below.

  1. Cape Crow, 2018-11-01 08:50
  2. Cape Weaver, 2018-11-01 08:51
  3. Cape Canary, 2018-11-01 08:51
  4. Karoo Prinia, 2018-11-01 08:51
  5. Cape Turtle Dove, 2018-11-01 08:52
  6. Cape Robin-Chat, 2018-11-01 08:52
  7. Cape White-eye, 2018-11-01 08:53
  8. Olive Thrush, 2018-11-01 08:53
  9. Fork-tailed Drongo, 2018-11-01 08:53
  10. Cape Spurfowl, 2018-11-01 08:53
  11. Yellow Bishop, 2018-11-01 08:54
  12. Little Rush Warbler, 2018-11-01 08:56
  13. Egyptian Goose, 2018-11-01 08:56
  14. Southern Boubou, 2018-11-01 08:56
  15. Speckled Mousebird, 2018-11-01 08:57
  16. Cape Bulbul, 2018-11-01 08:57
  17. Malachite Sunbird, 2018-11-01 09:02
  18. Cape Grassbird, 2018-11-01 09:03
  19. Familiar Chat, 2018-11-01 09:03
  20. Levaillant’s Cisticola, 2018-11-01 09:04
  21. Bar-throated Apalis, 2018-11-01 09:05
  22. Common Waxbill, 2018-11-01 09:06
  23. Red-eyed Dove, 2018-11-01 09:07
  24. Jackal Buzzard, 2018-11-01 09:10
  25. Hadeda Ibis, 2018-11-01 09:18
  26. Southern Fiscal, 2018-11-01 09:21
  27. Yellow-billed Kite, 2018-11-01 09:24
  28. Blue Crane, 2018-11-01 09:53
  29. Bokmakierie, 2018-11-01 09:56
  30. Diederik Cuckoo, 2018-11-01 09:58
  31. Red-chested Cuckoo, 2018-11-01 10:06
  32. Burchell’s Coucal, 2018-11-01 10:14
  33. African Olive Pigeon, 2018-11-01 10:18
  34. Helmeted Guineafowl, 2018-11-01 10:24
  35. Common Starling, 2018-11-01 10:24
  36. Sombre Greenbul, 2018-11-01 10:24
  37. Greater Striped Swallow, 2018-11-01 10:25
  38. Black Saw-wing, 2018-11-01 10:25
  39. African Dusky Flycatcher, 2018-11-01 10:40

Cheers. John