Call for Help

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The club needs to transport a load of branches from Kwaaiwater to the Heronry at Vermont next week and also to collect around 20 stacking chairs from Somerset West.  If anyone has a bakkie and is willing to assist, please call John Saunders at 028 316 2302,  or mail him at  antares@hermanus.co.za  Thank you!

Walk at Jessie Walton’s Farm

 

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African Darter with catch at Jessie’s dam

Thursday 6th June we will be visiting Jessie Walton’s farm in the Elgin valley. We will visit a series of ponds on the farm (one with a large Bird Hide) and the surrounding paths. After this we will make our way to the plant nursery area that has a nice range of Garden birds, and then finish at their lodge which overlooks a dam, where we can have our coffee and ‘sandwiches’ on the veranda.

Specials in the area include Little Bittern in the ponds, White-faced and White-backed Duck, and a variety of other water birds. There is also a good chance of seeing the ‘Mystery Buzzard ’ which could still turn out to be a new species. A Squacco Heron has been hanging around the dam below the lodge – uncommon in the Western Cape.

We will meet and depart from the Onrus Trading Post on Thursday 6th June at 07:30am., where we can consolidate transport and travel together to the farm. Please bring you own refreshments / picnic lunch.

Regards

Lester

A Morning in Walker Bay

 

There can be few pleasures that top a morning spent birding out in Walker Bay.  Walter took four of us out this morning and we had a really wonderful trip in his fishing boat.  When we set out there wasn’t a bird in sight, and pretty heavy swells and quite a bit of chop were the order of the day.  We wondered if we were on a wild Albatross chase!

Then we stopped about 3,5 km offshore and drifted. Walter had some sardines which he threw about and it wasn’t long before a Brown Skua appeared.  Within a short time there were about four of them around the boat and we had excellent sightings.  Then a couple of White-chinned Petrels appeared – also enjoying the chum.  Later they were joined by a few Sooty Shearwaters , whilst the odd Kelp or Hartlaub’s Gull dropped by.  Terns, both Common and Swift, were occasional visitors, and then what we had been waiting for – a Shy Albatross.  It swooped in and landed near the boat and we had the most amazing views of it.

Sadly we did not see much else, but it did not matter – what we did see was amazing and we all felt very privileged to have been able to enjoy this experience.  Thanks to Walter for being a great skipper and allowing us to use his boat as an observation platform, albeit a very unstable one!  We bobbed around in the choppy water, but nobody had any ill effects and we are all raring to go on the next trip!

Sold Kit

 

Rather than write to all the applicants individually, I am taking this opportunity to advise you that all the kit advertised here for sale has been sold, with the exception of that still shown on the post below, i.e. the Monopod and the Fuji camera.  Thank you for your interest.  I am sure that the buyers are very satisfied customers!

Pelagic Birds at New Harbour

 

A quick visit to the New Harbour this morning revealed a number of pelagic species foraging nar the Abalone Factory water outlet.  These included Shy Albatross, White-chinned Petrel, Southern Giant Petrel and some unidentified Shearwaters.  It seems these birds come closer inshore during stormy periods, so one could do worse than to spend a while there on days like today.   Ronnie

Don’t Miss This Talk on Zimbabwe

 

Last year John & Shelagh Bowman spent time exploring the wild and wonderful , but little visited, Gonarezhou National Park.

This was followed by a visit to the beautiful, and bird rich, Eastern Highland region of Zimbabwe. They entered Zimbabwe via Mozambique, crossing the Limpopo River from the Kruger National Park.

As we know John & Shelagh’s presentations are always fascinating and this will also be no exception.