The walk on Thursday 4 April will be at Meerensee and Flamingo Bay, and will be led by Ian Glenn. Please meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 7:00 am in order to consolidate transport, after which we will drive to Flamingo Bay to meet with Ian. Challengers, this could be an opportunity to tick some good waders!
Please remember that in a team of 4, three people must see and agree on the bird, whilst in teams of three or two, two people must see it. A single sighting will not be allowed.
We have only 4 teams entered so far, but we are hoping for lots more!
Please remember the Mini Birding Big Day (MBBD) scheduled for Saturday 13 April, when teams of up to four members are invited to participate and see how many birds they can identify in a 12 hour period – from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm, in the area of their choice. It will be followed by a ‘bring-your-own-picnic’ at Fernkloof. Participants will be required to bring everything, including chairs and tables to celebrate the success of their day and compare notes with the other teams. Please send me your team – participants and team name, asap. Let’s have a good turn-out for a fun-filled day!
Ronnie Hazell firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to maximise our opportunities on MBBD, new starting and ending times are now 6:30 am and 6:30 pm. This means that teams need only be back at Fernkloof by 6:30 pm in order to qualify, at which time each team will be asked to name its best bird and best experience of the day. Please remember to submit your team name and members to me (Ronnie Hazell – email@example.com ) by Saturday 6 April. So far I have;
“Chaetops frenatus” (Ronnie and Renee Hazell, Barbara Swart and Margie Ogston)
This year’s MBBD will take place on Saturday 13 April. Teams of between 2 and 4 members are invited to participate. The competition will run from 6 am to 6 pm and the area will be open, i.e. participants can choose their own area and go as far afield as they wish, however, all teams must be back at Fernkloof at 6 pm when we will compare results and experiences and have a bring and braai. If you have previously seen a bird, then you may identify it by its call. Any team not back at Fernkloof by 6 pm will be automatically disqualified from the competition.
Please bring everything you need for the braai, including all food, drink, crockery and cutlery.
Please let me know by Saturday 6 April if you intend participating, who will be in your team and what your team will be called. Let’s have a good turn out for what is always a fun filled and enjoyable birding experience.
Please will all entrants for the new Southern Africa Challenge please confirm their participation with me so that I can send you the list we will be using, and also so that I will know which Section you will be entering. The latter is particularly important!
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2018/2019 Challenge ended on a high with some great numbers from Lester and Peter who secured first and second places, respectively. Both achieved more than 210 bird species and they managed to pull in some rare birds, so that they also had good scores. Well done – you have both earned serious bragging rights!
Detailed results can be seen at 2018-9 HBC Challenge Combo Feb -final
The weather forecast kept changing, but this morning everything suggested that we would be able to get in a good few hours of birding before the rain set in. We were wrong! On arrival everything looked good, so we walked along the lagoon edge towards the flocks of waders that could be sen in the distance, only to have a strong wind come up and then along came the rain! We hurried back to shelter and had our coffee and snacks (Lester stayed out, which explains why he gets more birds than the rest of us!) and compiled our bird list. It wasn’t bad, given the circumstances and we achieved a total of 76 species! Our drive back across the Agulhas plains was unproductive, but certainly contributed to dirtying our cars more than might have been wished for!
Bar-throated Apalis; Southern Red Bishop; Yellow Bishop; Bokmakerie; Southern Boubou; Cape Bulbul; Cape Bunting; Denham’s Bustard; Common Buzzard; Jackal Buzzard; Brimstone Canary; Yellow Canary; Grey-backed Cisticola; Levaillant’s Cisticola; Red-knobbed Coot; Reed Cormorant; White-breasted Cormorant; Black Crake; Blue Crane; Cape Crow; Pied Crow; Cape Turtle Dove; Laughing Dove; Red-eyed Dove; Fork-tailed Drongo; White-backed Duck; Yellow-billed Duck; Little Egret; Western Cattle Egret; Common Fiscal; African Paradise Flycatcher; Fiscal Flycatcher; Egyptian Goose; Spur-winged Goose; Sombre Greenbul; Common Greenshank; Helmeted Guineafowl; Hartlaub’s Gull; Kelp Gull; Black-headed Heron; Grey Heron; African Sacred Ibis; Hadeda Ibis; Black-shouldered Kite; Blacksmith Lapwing; Crowned Lapwing; Red-capped Lark; Common Moorhen; Speckled Mousebird; Common Moorhen; Speckled Pigeon; African Pipit; Common Ringed Plover; Grey Plover; White-fronted Plover; Karoo Prinia; White-necked Raven; Cape Robin-Chat; Terek Sandpiper; House Sparrow; African Spoonbill; Cape Spurfowl; Common Starling; Pied Starling; Red-winged Starling; Little Stint; African Stonechat; Southern Double-collared Sunbird; Barn Swallow; Greater Striped Swallow; African Swamphen; Caspian Tern; Spotted Thick-Knee; Cape Wagtail; Cape Weaver; Capped Wheatear; Whimbrel; Cardinal Woodpecker.
Photos – Ronnie and Lester (who is confusing De Mond with De Hoop)
Since publishing the first notice of our new Challenge, I have had a good response from a number of people. This has prompted me to sit down and set out the rules that will apply to the new competition.
As previously stated, the competition will apply to the Southern Africa Birding Region; i.e. all of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique south of the Zambezi river. Since we are talking about the whole region, pelagic birding will be included.
The period will be from 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020 (you get an extra day with next year being a Leap Year!)
There will be an entry fee of R25 per participant, payable by EMT to the Club account with your name and Ch as reference. (e.g. R Hazell Ch).
In order to cater for all levels of birder and degrees of anticipated travel, there will be three sections; The A Section which will aim to achieve 450 species or more; The B Section which will aim for 300 species or more, and; The C Section which will aim for 150 species or more. Once you have entered a section, you will not be allowed to alter your choice. There will be winners in each section, e.g. if a person enters C and achieves 350 birds they will probably win that section, but will not be eligible for the next section up even if the winner of that section has only 300 birds.
Birds may be identified by sound provided the entrant has previously seen the bird in question.
Members wishing to participate (and who have probably started their lists already) must please let me know, either via this site, or by email to email@example.com asap stating their choice of Section. I will publish a list of participants on this site.
Please keep your own bird lists, either on the list previously supplied, or elsewhere. I am still undecided as to exactly how we will collate the results, as with 950 species we will be dealing with a very large dataset. In the meantime honesty must prevail. We will report our totals on a quarterly basis.
Since there are so many birds, there will only be one point per bird, so the highest number of species will win, irrespective of rarity.
THIS IS A COMPETITION DESIGNED TO GET ALL CLUB MEMBERS INVOLVED. YOU ARE BIRDERS OR YOU WOULD NOT HAVE JOINED OUR CLUB, SO PLEASE ENTER AND ENJOY THE STIMULATION AND LEARNING THAT THE EVENT IS INTENDED TO ACHIEVE. ENTERING WILL GIVE YOU THE INCENTIVE TO KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA, AND YOU WILL BE SURPRISED HOW MUCH YOU WILL ENJOY PARTICIPATING ONCE YOU START!