Anton Odendal has asked that we publicise the following;
# Monday 31 August at 19h00: Andre Botha will highlight latest research and conservation trends regarding our vultures as part of International Vulture Awareness Day to be celebrated on 5 September. Andre is very well positioned to inform us on the latest news on vulture conservation. He is Programme Manager: Vultures for Africa, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Project Officer: Endangered Wildlife Trust/Hawk Conservancy Trust/University of Reading Partnership. Co-chair: IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group and Overarching Coordinator: CMS Multi-species Action Plan for African Vultures.
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Meeting ID: 895 5908 7407 Passcode: 988897
This is a Zoom presentation not to be missed. Contact us if we can help you to participate in Zoom meetings.
# We will be presenting the online ‘Flying Higher’ Garden and Local Birds course between 1 and 8 September and we attach the flyer with all details. This is the introductory course to be followed by the five specialised courses on our birds to be presented between September and November – details of this will be released shortly. Kindly forward this information to your friends and colleagues in view of getting them involved in bird-watching as a wonderful hobby.
# The Secret Worlds of Birds of Prey online appreciation course (Part 2) is being presented on 5 and 6 September in support of International Vulture Awareness Day. The contents of the course had been adapted after consultation with regular participants in previous courses and will now also include a session on the Ground Hornbill as BirdLife South Africa’s bird of the year and a celebration of the birding delights of the Elephant Coast in northern KZN – view the programme schedule and other details in the attached flyer. Join us for this fun celebration of raptors in general and vultures in particular.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THESE TWO COURSES: For more detail or to register contact Anton at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp at 082 550 3347 or Elaine at email@example.com or WhatsApp at 082 455 8402.
We are running a challenge which will last for the month of September. Participants must identify (by sight or, of you have previously seen the bird, by sound) within the area depicted on the map below. Send your answers on the attached spreadsheet by the 2nd October. You will need to insert your name on the spreadsheet and also rename the file to include your name before returning it with your sightings. Good luck!
There are no prizes, but the winner will have bragging rights.
Sept 2020 Challenge
Please note that only bird club members will be allowed on the forthcoming outing at Vermont. Further, all participants will be required to wear masks and to observe normal social distancing procedures. Please assist us by ensuring that you conform to theses guidelines. Should Covid conditions change for the worse, then the walk may have to be cancelled, but you will be informed, via this platform, should that be the case.
John & Sheelagh Bowman will lead the Bird Club’s first “Birding Walk” on Thursday 10th September since about March and COVID Lock-Down
It will be along the Vermont Pan and then drive to Jean Rabie Car Park for a walk along the coast.
We will meet at the RockHopper Car Park, Vermont at 08.00
There are a lot of different species on the Pan including a good number of both Greater & Lesser Flamingo’s and with luck we might see one or two Night Herons plus lots of Grey Herons, Cormorants and other waders.
We will then drive to Jean Rabie Car park and walk along the Onrus/Vermont path.
It promises to be a really good morning birding. The walk/s should last approx. 2 – 3 hours. Bring some refreshments if you wish.
Mike Ford has asked me to put this out;
Whilst out walking this morning I recorded my first Yellow-billed Kite sighting of the season. Spring is on the way!!!
Over the years I have noted the return dates of the various migrant species coming to this region, and it occurred to me that this would be an interesting exercise for the club members to participate in.
Would you therefore like to put out a note with the attached schedule so that we can between us collect these arrival dates, and I will later pass the info to my friend at UCT who monitors this type of data for his climate change studies.
John Bowman submitted the following
Sheelagh and I often take a stroll up the road to check out what’s happening on the Vermont Salt Pan. The pan had been dry for much of the past winter, but is now full of water again. There’s usually something of interest to have a look at. At present not a huge number, or variety, of birds, but plenty to see. Notably, the Flamingoes have returned – both Greater and Lesser. There are about 50 present at the moment, with a goodly sprinkling of Lesser, including youngsters. Often they are on the South side of the pan, quite close to the edge, where the path runs, thus providing quite nice opportunities to view these striking birds at close quarters.
Also interesting is the behaviour of the Herons and Cormorants. The White-Breasted (and a few Crowned) Cormorants have taken over ‘our’ Heronry, booting the Herons off. At present there are a couple of dozen Grey Herons perched precariously on rocks scattered around the pan, building nests. They have been joined by a number of Black-headed Herons doing the same. Some photos of these attached. Interestingly, a couple of days ago we saw five Black-Crowned Night Herons also perched on rocks in the middle of the pan. Quite unusual, as this species is often difficult to find in the middle of the day, but they have now disappeared.
Not a lot of other species, other than some Cape Shovellers, Teals, Red-knobbed Coots and, recently, Pied Avocets. But the selection is always changing, so it’s well worth popping in from time to time.
12 August 2020
Hope this finds you well and safe. The ‘Flying Higher’ online bird identification and celebration courses are very popular and due to the demand it was decided to adapt the courses in line with the latest partial lifting of Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions. Two courses focusing largely on birding opportunities in National Parks in the Western Cape have been developed for this time of year. The West Coast National Park talk (as an example) focuses on the terrestrial birds and flowers and not the waders – the latter will be done in a talk later on in the year.
We attach the flyers, as well a document reflecting some comments made by participants in these courses. Herewith the schedule of our bird courses for the next month.
# 15 & 16 August: Launch of the “Getting more out of Birding” lecture series
# 19 to 26 August: Celebrating our Summer Migrants
# I to 8 September: The second course in the “Getting more out of Birding” lecture series
# 5 & 6 September: The Secret Worlds of Birds of Prey (Part 2) to coincide with International Vulture Awareness Day.
We have been reasonably successful in signing up new members to bird clubs through these courses. It will be appreciated if you would kindly forward this information to your members, friends and colleagues. Keep in mind that gift vouchers for these courses are also available – an ideal gift for those interested in our feathered friends.
All enquiries and requests for registration forms to Anton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 550 3347 or Elaine at email@example.com or 082 455 8402.
Your support of this is appreciated.
Warm regards and be safe.
Dr. Anton Odendal
Manager: CleanMarine campaign
(c): +27 82 550 3347
The Flyers are
Flyer Birds of Prey 2
Flyer National Parks – Copy
Flyer National Parks 2
Flyer Summer Migrants