Duinepos – Even Singles can Apply

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We have one room left to fill at R1290 per person sharing (a couple or singles if same sex please!) for the October 06 to 09 outing to Duinepos.  Remember that if you take this, not only will you get the benefit of two wonderful days with club members, but also the opportunity to stay free for two extra nights!

This is your last chance to qualify, so contact John Saunders asap if your want to join!

Last Chance for Duinepos Outing

Greater Flamingos

We need one more couple to join us on the trip to the West Coast National Park staying at the Duinepos cottages 06 – 09 October plus 2 extra nights free of charge if you wish to stay for that time.

We will stay at the ECO Cottages – Duinepos and braai there each evening.

The cost is R1290.00 per person for the trip. Once your name has been included for the trip a 50% deposit of R645.00 is required and the remainder to be paid by the 30th August 2019.

Also available for an extra two nights away at no extra cost to any HBC member who may wish to take advantage of this and stay Wednesday and Thursday nights. If you wish to do this please mention in your reply.

We haven’t been to Duinepos for several years and it will be nice to return.

It is a superb birding area with several bird hides along the lagoon.

For reference see -www.sanparks.org/parks/west_coast

If you wish to join the trip contact John Saunders via email antares@hermanus.co.za or 028 316 2302 or 078 955 9785

Ebb n’ Flow Outing

 

A trip to Ebb n’ Flow near Wilderness & Natures Valley has been arranged for Monday through Wednesday Thursday 11 – 14 November  (4 nights i.e. 2 nights in Ebb ‘n Flow and 2 nights in natures Valley) for Bird Club members.

We will stay in  and braai each evening.

The cost is R1120 per person for the trip or R2240 for a couple. Once your name has been included for the trip a 50% deposit of R560.00 per person or R1120 for a couple is required and the remainder to be paid by the 30th September 2019.

The accommodation at Ebb n’ Flow consists of Forest Lodges and the Forest Cottage for four members of the group.

At Natures Valley the accommodation is in Forest Huts for two people in each hut. This accommodation is basic and toilet facilities are communal and close to each Forest Hut.

It is a superb birding area with several bird hides along the river and Natures Valley speaks for itself.

For reference see – www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route/camps/wilderness/

and wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature%27s_Valley

If you wish to join the trip contact John Saunders via email antares@hermanus.co.za

Outing to Duinepos

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Marshes at Geelbek

A trip to the West Coast National Park – Duinepos has been arranged for Sunday through Wednesday 06 – 09 October (3 nights) for 20 Bird Club members.

We will stay at the ECO Cottages – Duinepos and braai there each evening.

The cost is R1290.00 per person for the trip. Once your name has been included for the trip a 50% deposit of R645.00 is required and the remainder to be paid by the 30th August 2019.

Also available for an extra two nights away at no extra cost to any HBC member who may wish to take advantage of this and stay Wednesday and Thursday nights. If you wish to do this please mention in your reply.

We haven’t been to Duinepos for several years and it will be nice to return.

It is a superb birding area with several bird hides along the lagoon.

For reference see -www.sanparks.org/parks/west_coast

If you wish to join the trip contact John Saunders via email antares@hermanus.co.za

Leeuwenboschfontein

 

John may not be able to pronounce the name of this delightful Karoo farm, but he was there, along with eighteen other HBC members enjoying a day and a half of excellent birding, despite the recent drought and our expectation of relatively few birds.  We arrived on Monday afternoon and birded on the farm, around the gardens and camp site, and on to the nearby dam.  We saw very little on the day, but the presence of a Goliath Heron on the dam in front of our accommodation more than made up for this!

Well, after a good dinner and a comfortable night (the new owners have expanded considerably and there was plenty of accommodation, with more on the way, judging by the amount of building in progress) we set out on Tuesday to drive the Bloutoring route.  Graham advised that this should take around four hours, but we took no less than eight!  Birding along this route was excellent with literally hundreds of birds at most locations.  Perhaps there were fewer species than usual, but the sheer numbers of some species, such as Black-headed and Yellow Canaries was exceptional!  Of course, we also recorded some good Karoo birds, enhancing our combined list and no doubt pushing up the numbers for the Challengers who were present!

Barbara regaled us with stories of past achievements at this location and we once again enjoyed good food and company before settling in for our last night.  A slow puncture saw yours truly departing early today, avoiding the possibility of having to change a wheel and also getting home to vote.

By the close of play on Wednesday evening our combined list totaled 77 species:

Bar-throated Apalis;  Acacia Pied Barbet;  Southern Red Bishop;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Southern Boubou;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Bunting;  Black-headed Canary;  Brimstone Canary;  Cape Canary;  White-throated Canary;  Yellow Canary;  Ant-eating Chat;  Familiar Chat;  Karoo Chat;  Grey-backed Cisticola;  Levaillant’s Cisticola;  Blue Crane;  Long-billed Crombec;  Cape Crow;  Pied Crow;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  Yellow-billed Duck;  Karoo Eremomela;  Common Fiscal;  Fairy Flycatcher;  Egytian Goose;  Spur-wingd Goose;  Pale Chanting Goshawk;  Black-headed Heron;  Goliath Heron;  Hadeda Ibis;  Rock Kestrel;  Black-shouldered Kite;  Karoo Korhaan;  Blacksmith Lapwing;  Cape Clapper Lark;  Karoo Lark;  Karoo Long-billed Lark;  Large-billed Lark;  Red-capped Lark;  Spike-heeled Lark;  Mallard;  Rock Martin;  White-backed Mousebird;  Speckled Pigeon;  Three-banded Plover;  Karoo Prinia;  White-necked Raven;  Karoo Scrub Robin;  Cape Robin-Chat;  South African Shellduck;  Cape Sparrow;  House Sparrow;  Southern Grey-headed Sparrow;  African Spoonbill;  Common Starling;  Pale-winged Starling;  Pied Starling;  African Stonechat;  White Stork;  Malachite Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Barn Swallow;  White-rumped Swift;  Cape Penduline Tit;  Layard’s Tit-Babbler;  Cape Wagtial;  Rufous-eared Warbler;  Common Waxbill;  Cape Weaver;  Southern Masked Weaver;  Capped Wheatear;  Mountain Wheatear;  Cape White-eye.

Leeuwenboschfontein Opportunity

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We have had a last minute cancellation for our outing to Leeuwenboschfontein in the Little Karoo.

The outing is from Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th May (2 nights) at a cost of R699 per person.

Accommodation will be in a cottage a little distance away from the main group and you will have to take own linen and towels.

This is your chance to add species like Karoo & Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Penduline Tit, Rufous-eared Warbler, Karoo Korhaan, Pririt Batis, Fairy Flycatcher, etc. to your lifelist or challenge list.

Please contact Barbara on barbaravoelklip@gmail.com or 028 314 1167 / 083 659 3303 if you would like to join us on this outing.

Outing to Vrolijkheid Reserve

 

There will be a full day outing to Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve on 2nd May 2019.

Meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 06:30 (we need to get away early as it is about a 2 hour drive).

We will spend 3 to 4 hours birding the Reserve. There is a lovely picnic site near the entrance so bring whatever you need to enhance your experience!!

Birds: The special birds to look out for: Fairy Flycatcher, Grey Tit, Layards Tit-babler, Rufous-eared Warbler, Namaqua Warbler, Aghulas Long-billed Lark, Karoo Korhaan, Long-billed Crombec and many others!

There are two options to return to Hermanus (Each party to decide for themselves):

Go back via Robertson, Worcester, Villiersdorp (ie returning the way we arrived)

Take the back (dirt) roads to the R317 and on to Stormsvlei, and Riviersonderend.

Both options have potentially good birding opportunities along the way.

Directions from Hermanus: (Probably a good idea to check out the route on google maps!)

Take the R43 to Bot River, then N2 towards Caledon for a few Km, then turn left off the N2 onto the R43 towards Villiersdorp, Turn right at the ‘T’ and continue through Villiersdorp on the R43 to Worcester and before reaching Worcester turn right onto the Road sign posted to Robertson and the R60, and then turn right onto the R60 towards Robertson. Once in Robertson take the turn off towards Mcgregor and the Reserve will be on the left hand side. Overall distance is about 160 Km.

Contact: Lester van Groeningen 078 593 8977

Pelagic Birding from Hermanus

 

Four couples, the Maphams, Meyers, Planes and the Turners set off from the New Harbour at 03h30 on Friday 30th January for the pelagic fishing grounds 50kms off Cape Point. Our small unique tailor made trip arranged by Walter Mapham on the “Majestic” was an unforgetable birding experience.

Once the fishing trawlers were located we were able to get up close to view  these beautiful pelagic seabirds.  Gavin and Cynthia were able to capture the most amazing photographs, which we hope he will soon be able to share with our HBC club members.  A few of us were privileged to have a preview presentation after our fish braai at the Boat Club on Thursday 7th.

Gavin was able to identify, aided by his photos 4 species of Albatross,  two Giant Petrels , four other Petrels including two small Storm Petrels, three species of Shearwaters and the Subantartic Skua.  A few more familiar seabirds like the Cape Gannet, Cape Cormarant, Cape Gull and Artic Tern were also seen.

We eventually returned safely to Hermanus after 20h00, after a magical sunset at sea, a very tired, but happy bunch with some memorable birding experiences. Our thanks to Walter for selecting a perfect day and doing all the planning for our full day at sea.

Ed Meyer.

Cruising down the river – Again

 

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The demand for a river cruise on the Lady Stanford is such that Craig has arranged a second outing which will take place at 7:00 am on Friday 1 February.  There are still six places available at the reduced rate of R125 per head.  This is an opportunity to see some of the region’s best birds under ideal conditions – before the south-easter picks up – so contact Craig – pcsholmes@telkomsa.net – asap if you want to be included.  First come, first served!