HBC 25th Annual General Meeting

A very well attended 25th Annual General Meeting of the Hermanus Bird Club took place at the Fernkloof Hall on 15th March 2023. There were 58 members attending and 17 took the trouble to tender their apologies. Before the meeting started, members enjoyed a cheese and wine buffet and some convivial fellowship. The Chairman, Ed Meyer, conducted the meeting with his usual aplomb and no time was wasted as the important reports had all been sent to the members well in advance, so he was able to introduce our guest speaker after a short discussion of the submissions.

Our guest speaker was the well-known birder and veteran HBC member, Mike Ford, affectionately known as “Lord of the Ringers”. He is one of only about 200 qualified bird ringers in South Africa and has travelled far and wide, ringing birds, recording photographing  the results of his endeavours. Bird ringing is one of the few ways to tell how long birds live in the wild, and provides information about travel and migration (provided you catch them again!). Mike had returned the day before from trip to the North West of Zambia, on the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s border where he took part in bird ringing, bat capture and insect collection. A major part of the job was collecting bird faeces which he described as a crappy job, but necessary as analysis of the samples provide valuable information regarding feeding habits and the effect of pesticides on the birds. His talk was beautifully illustrated with photographs of some of the beautiful and rare birds which has been trapped in the mist nets and ringed. Here are pictures of a “mystery bird”, eventually identified as a Black-collared Bulbul, and the magnificent Gorgeous Bushshrike.

A word of thanks to Mike was offered by our Treasurer, Johan Groenewald, who presented him with a bottle of top-rated Cape wine.

Ronnie Hazell was thanked for his contribution to the HBC by running the blog for many years. Ronnie has sadly decided to resign from the HBC Committee, but has kindly offered to assist whenever called upon to do so. The results of the January – February HBC challenge were announced (now published in the blog) and members were informed about a new challenge. This covers birding in the whole of the Western Cape and runs from 20 March to 31 December 2023. We look forward to Ronnie running the challenges as only he can.

The Chairman thanks his committee for their services over the year and appealled to members to volunteer their services – we really need at least one more member to help run the club activities.

Posted by Michael Kokot

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