Letter from the Chairman

To all Hermanus Bird Club members.

2020 has been a very sad and difficult year for all of us and also the Hermanus Bird Club as, apart from three meeting in the first three months, we have had to curtail all of our monthly meetings.

We have recently been able to arrange some walks and other activities, which included:-

A walk around the Vermont Salt Pan on the 10th September led by John & Shelagh Bowman.

On the 8th October thirty members had a very enjoyable cruise down the Klein River from Stanford on the Lady Stanford and the River Rat travelling in convoy.

Our walk on the 5th November with Ronnie and Renée at Caledon Gardens had to be postponed due to bad weather.

Twenty-two birders went on a superb three days away trip to Tierhoek farm arranged by HBC member Ed Meyer.

On 28 November Ronnie and Renée, and Coerie (on his own) took part in the Birding Big Day arranged by BLSA and recorded 123 and 135 species respectively.

On the 3rd December, Irene and I led a walk at Rooisand with twelve members.

On the 9th December eighteen members enjoyed a lovely evening picnic at Fernkloof.

At this time we have no current plans for 2021, but we hope to resume our walks early in February with maybe one or two away trips later in the year.

Our monthly meetings can only begin once we reach Level Zero of the COVID-19 virus.

Our annual membership fees will begin for 2021 early January. They will remain at their present level of R150 per person and R250 per couple. More information including our bank details will be sent out during the first week of January.

In the meantime, on behalf of myself and my committee, we wish you all the very best for Christmas in these difficult times and a brighter New Year.

John Saunders

Outing to Rooisand

Eight club members attended this morning’s outing to Rooisand led by John Saunders. It was a beautiful day and, despite the very low level of the lagoon and the fact that we had to walk considerable distances through the mud to get near the waders, we managed to record 52 species. The horses also put on a good display for us. It is always a pleasure to see these animals running free – and to see the flocks of Little Stints and Common Terns wheeling and diving in close formation!

The list comprised: Bar-throated Apalis, Bokmakerie, Southern Boubou, Cape Bulbul, Common Buzzard, Reed Cormorant, Laughing Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Yellow-billed Duck, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Fiscal Flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Common Greenshank, Hartlaub’s Gull, Kelp Gull, African Marsh Harrier, Black-headed Heron, Grey Heron, Sacred Ibis, Hadeda Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kite, Blacksmith Lapwing, Red-capped Lark, Brown-throated Martin, Red-faced Mousebird, Neddicky, Common Ringed Plover, Kittlitz’s Plover, Three-banded Plover, White-fronted Plover, Karoo Prinia, Cape Robin-Chat, Cape Shoveler, Cape Sparrow, African Spoonbill, Cape Spurfowl, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Barn Swallow, Greater Striped Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow, White-throated Swallow, Alpine Swift, White-rumped Swift, Cape Teal, Common Tern, Swift Tern, Cape Turtle-Dove and Cape Wagtail.

Fernkloof Confirmed as Venue for Picnic

The availability of Fernkloof has been confirmed for the HBC Xmas Picnic (see previous post) but so far only 8 people have indicated that they will attend. Please let John Saunders know if you are interested in attending, failing which, the event may have to be cancelled. Obviously the fear of infection is holding many people back, and no one can blame you if you feel that way.