BirdLife South Africa’s staff have been working remotely for almost 12 weeks and, very pleasingly, our team remain hardworking and productive.
The future is not going to be easy, but we’re planning for how we adapt and how we are innovative, especially in terms of fundraising. We need to continue to support our important bird conservation work and, with the world’s current and predicted future economic difficulties, it will certainly not be easy!
One of our 2020 fundraising initiatives is a raffle. The prize was going to be an all-expenses paid birding trip for two to Brazil, but Covid-19 put paid to that prize. We therefore changed it to a R100,000 cash prize.
We’re selling 1000 tickets at R500 each and thus far we have sold just under 500 tickets, so we’re halfway there. We would like to sell the remaining tickets as our organisation needs this funding to support our important work.
I am hoping that each of our 41 affiliated bird clubs would sell 10 tickets, which would mean that we’d then reach our target. I am therefore writing to ask whether Hermanus Bird Club would assist with ticket sales.
The details of the raffle are at https://www.birdlife.org.za/jackpot-birding/ and in the attached. Note that the entries close at midnight on 12 July 2020, with the draw taking place three days later.
We’d be grateful for your bird club’s assistance.
Mark D. Anderson
Anina Lee says,
“Those who missed last week’s great talk by Steve Benjamin on the beauty of birds can catch it on YouTube. It really is worth watching. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/TFfdr3vR-6k And it’s ‘live’ on the WCC facebook page as well.”
Thanks Ed Meyer for all that you have said about our enjoyable stimulation during lockdown.
I too, would like to thank Mike Ford and Ronnie Hazell for the very enjoyable daily quizzes we have had, endeavouring to identify all the photos Mike has sent us during his time ringing over many years.
The Garden Bird Challenge has been equally enjoyable. Irene and I sit in our garden every afternoon, binoculars at the ready and looking out for yet another species to add to our list.
Well done to all the participants and let’s hope that it won’t be too long before the Hermanus Bird Club will be back in business.
Cheers. John Saunders
Ed Meyer submitted the following article:
‘Lockdown’ has become a frustrating reality for those of us birders , who usually love to get out regularly with our binoculars to our favourite birding spots in and around our lovely town. We have to thank most sincerely our proactive Bird Club, in particular Ronnie Hazell and Mike Ford for keeping us so stimulated birding wise, in this time of our restricted freedom and mobility.
Firstly, our LOCKDOWN CHALLENGE of birding in our own gardens has produced the most amazing results in terms of total number of species (116) at the last count. It has made us all so much more aware of the sightings and bird calls in our own environment! A variety of bird orientated Quiz challenges followed to keep us thinking ‘Birds’, but the latest “ Bird in the Hand” Quiz, which has run for the last three weeks has been really fantastic for the 20 or so members who participated. It is a great pity that more of our members did not join in, because it has been an amazing learning experience in bird identification.
Credit must go to Mike Ford for conceptualising the Bird ID Quiz and supplying the excellent bird photos from his bird ringing experiences over many years. I had the privilege a few years ago when we farmed in Mpumalanga to host Mike and Val in our farm cottage for a week , while Mike ringed a variety of species on our bird- rich farm, with its abundant aloe habitat. He is a very passionate and dedicated, rising each day well before dawn to set up his mist nets in the birding areas to capture the sleepy, unsuspecting birds on their first flights. Then came the meticulous procedure of measuring and recording all the birds vital statistics, before the numbered ‘ Safring ‘ is attached and the bird is photographed ’in the hand’ and released.
Black headed Oriole, Greater Double-collared Sunbird and Amethyst Sunbird
A handsome Grey-headed Bushshrike or ‘Spookvoel’
Mike Ford in his ‘field office’ recording details of a feisty Grey-headed Bushshrike, which had nipped his finger.
The current Quiz has introduced us to photos taken by Mike during his ringing experiences, when he has been able to photograph the ‘Bird in the Hand’. We were sent two photos a day to identify and there were 3 sets of bird categories with 10 photos in each group of Passerines, Near-Passerines and Non-Passerines. Key diagnostic features were often needed to identify the bird (or part of the bird) in the photo, so many of us were dusting off our seldom used Bird Guide Books to see different cryptic aspects of the bird to help get to the correct answer. The whole exercise was very challenging and a great learning experience in bird identification on bird morphology and not just on the ”GISS” or bird call. A big thank you to Mike for his clever selection of the photos we were sent and for setting up the Quiz to extend our bird identification skills. I personally hope there will be more of this type of quiz in the future as it seems we will be in Lockdown for a while to come.
The normal club activities may have been suspended during the Lockdown, but you have to admit that the club is certainly doing it’s best to keep the members busy and thinking about birds. Thanks to all those who have contributed with ideas, photographs, quizzes, etc. I wonder what we will come up with next.
Phew! I managed to get a very kind computer expert to repair my aging machine – it seems to be having a mid-life crisis! – and hopefully the problem is now solved and I will be able to complete the Challenge.
Good afternoon HBC Members
How are you coping with the Covid-19 virus?
Staying at home
The lock-down has certainly given birth to lots of comic emails and WhatsApp messages to cheer us up in these worrying times.
Ronnie Hazell, Ed Meyer & Barbara Palmer’s quizzes on the Blog have certainly given us something to think about and the Garden Bird Lockdown Challenge is also keeping us busy.
Normally the feeling of the need to go shopping is a chore but now getting out for shopping takes on a different aspect.
Not being able to see your friends and families has certainly made things difficult and particularly so over the forthcoming Easter weekend.
As you know we have closed the club until the virus threat is over and hence our forthcoming meeting next week when the Speaker was due to have been Gavin Turner will no longer take place.
Very best wishes to you all for Easter from myself and my fellow committee colleagues.
At our last committee meeting I proposed, and the others heartily agreed, that we should thank Craig for all his Bird Club activities…arranging several away trips before his chairmanship and then club Chairman from I think 2013 to 2019 and award both him and Sue Honorary Membership of our Society.
The Hermanus Bird Club wishes all its members and readers a very happy and blessed holiday. If you are on the road, travel safely and enjoy your time with friends and family.
Remember to keep your eyes peeled for those special birds which may occur in your area.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2019 and hope that somebody with some minimal accounting skills will step forward and take on the position of Club Treasurer. This is a serious request, as the club will be without a Treasurer next year. Come on – do your bit for the HBC!!
Sadly, your editor will be a away for most of May, so the blog will be silent for that period. I shall be birding in Botswana and Zimbabwe, so hope to bring back some interesting stories about the birds encountered. Craig assures me that he will keep members up to date via their email, so you should not miss out.