Mini Birding Big Day – The Results


This evening I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with 14 of our wonderful members who had spent the day – most kicking off at 05h30 – in a howling gale to participate in the Mini Big Birding Day. They were all exhausted but truly satisfied that it had been a day well spent. Most were club stalwarts – please join in next time!!

In these terrible conditions – the wind did not abate all day – the team with the most species sighted on the day got 125 species. A great achievement in the conditions considering the best ever score for one of these days is 136!!

To all who participated – thank you for putting in this great effort.  To ALL the members of our club please consider joining in on these days when next we have one. This is a great opportunity to learn about the birds and their habitats – this is a really fun day where you will learn a lot and make great friends in the wonderful Hermanus Bird Club community.


Christmas Photographic Competition


This year we will again hold our annual Photographic Competition at the same time as the Christmas Party.  Members may submit up to three images in the following categories;  Best Bird Picture,  Best Title, and Most Amusing Picture.

Images should be no greater than A4 size and, if smaller, should be mounted on an A4 mount.  Larger images will not be allowed.  All images must display titles and have the photographer’s name out of sight on the back of the image.  Voting will be by members present and each member will have one vote per category.  All images must be handed in at the Fernkloof Hall by 5:30 pm on 12 December, so as to allow time for hanging.

We look forward to a good turn-out and a stunning display of great photographs!

BirdLife SA’s Birding Big Day 2018


In case you are not aware, BirdLife SA’s Birding Big Day event takes place on Saturday 24 November.  Teams from all around South Africa will be taking part in this exciting event. For details of how it works and registration, please see

Participants who take part in our own MBBD will have a head start as they will have sussed out the best birding spots and should know where to spend their time.

HBC will support any teams made up of our members by paying the registration fee of R300 per team.  Let’s put HBC on the map this year by doing well!

Mini Birding Big Day (MBBD) 2018


This year’s MBBD will take place over 12 hours (5:30 am to 5:30 pm) on Sunday 4 November, within a 40 km radius of Central Hermanus.  Teams will comprise 4 members and the usual rules will apply;  at least three members of each team must confirm each species identified and identification can be by sight or call.  You can only use bird calls if you have the relevant bird on your life list, i.e. you cannot use a bird call for something you have never seen.

Please submit your team name and members to me at by the end of October.

All participants (who by now will be thoroughly exhausted!) should meet at Fernkloof at 5:30 pm to compare notes and celebrate the winning team.  Bring along a drink or two as you are likely to be thirsty!

2018 MBBD Area

MBBD 2018 Competition Area


Happening from the 15th February 2019 to 17th February 2019


The SANParks Honorary Rangers West Coast Region in conjunction with the West Coast National Park (WCNP) invites you to participate in the WADER BASH 2019.

The SanParks Honorary Rangers are a group of passionate unpaid volunteers who give freely of their time and skills to support conservation in South African National Parks. This event serves to promote the WCNP and also improve knowledge of birding and conservation in general.

Here is your chance to experience birdlife in the WCNP which includes the Langebaan lagoon, a RamsarSite – a birding hotspot for migrant waders of international importance. All levels of birding experiences are catered for and your team of 4 accompanied by a bird expert will try to identify as many birds in a 24 hour period as possible. This fun-filled weekend offers you excellent birding, camaraderie, closer access to the Lagoon and a gentle competition in a beautiful setting.

The Wader Bash starts with a briefing and meeting your fellow participants on Friday afternoon at 17h00, followed by the 24 hour period from 17h30 on Friday afternoon until 17h30 on Saturday afternoon. You will then be a guest at the special prize-giving dinner at Geelbek on Saturday evening, and at Sunday morning’s entertaining talks by two prominent ornithologists.
All proceeds from this fun-filled weekend are used directly for SanParks Projects.

WHEN?? 15, 16 & 17 FEBRUARY 2019


COST?? Only R950 per person for a fun-filled Birding Weekend

Beverley Moll ( or phone/sms/Whatsapp 084 505 8967


A letter from Barbara


What a battle to get members to participate and educate themselves!

Graham and I went out this afternoon and thought maybe the following short account of our birding might enthuse one or two more members.

Day 1 of the HBC Challenge

Graham and I decided to kick off the 2018/19 Challenge with an afternoon’s birding on day 1.

Our first stop was the Vermont Salt Pan, which has quite a lot of water in at present.

Apart from all the usual species, we ticked off Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Greater Flamingo, Moorhen, Little, as well as Great Crested Grebe.

We then spent a leisurely 2.5hours along the Swart Rivier Road where specials identified included Burchell’s Coucal, Namaqua Dove and White-faced Duck.

Our total came to a respectable 54 species identified.

We are not participating in the Challenge to win, but to keep our eyes and ears tuned to the birds in our area, to enjoy the beautiful Overberg in its green and gold splendour and to support a club initiative.

The committee arranges these activities to help members to learn about our feathered friends.

Why don’t you challenge yourself and at the same time improve your birding knowledge?

Where are the Challengers?


Our annual Challenge starts today and we have had only 10 entrants so far.  Considering our membership of over 200 birders, one can’t help but wonder why there are not more of you wanting to participate in what is, after all, a fun event which encourages you all to do some local birding and improve you local knowledge.

Come on – if you consider yourself a birder, then at least show some interest!  The committee and certain members put a lot of work into this event and we do it so that the members can have an interesting project in which to participate.  The map and details of the Challenge appear in a previous post on this site.



Please be reminded that any requests for the 2019 calendars (see previous posting) must be submitted to Mike Bryan before the cut-off date which is Friday 21 September.

Please also remember that the Challenge starts on 1 October and entries need to be submitted as per the previous notice in this respect.


2018/2019 Challenge

2018 Challenge Area

The New Challenge Area

Here are the rules for 2018/19 Challenge. The idea is to challenge yourself to see what species you can identify in the four months from the 1st October 2018 to 28th February 2019,  excluding the month of December 2018.  This is to allow for holiday makers (who cannot look after grandchildren and bird at the same time!).


The Challenge is to be run within the boundaries set out in the map.

There is one area only – as is marked on the map.

The map is considered sufficient for participants to be able to identify the area boundaries without any further description.

The club outings will be arranged within the area, so it’s in your interest to participate if you can in the monthly walks.

As many species of wild birds as possible must be positively identified by sight or sound by participants, which can be individuals or teams. In the latter case, only birds seen by every member of the team can be entered.

There is an entry fee of R25 per person payable to the Club’s account at FNB Hermanus, Ac No. 62107045892 by EFT.  Please remember to add your name for reference purposes

Species have been given different values to encourage members to look for the more elusive species. Please note that in this regard a new table of values has been drawn up. Where a sighting is a vagrant or out of range bird please try to photograph where possible and submit these with your monthly lists. Any ID problems with photographs should be referred to the Chairman who will get the sighting verified. any bird not shown on the lists should be added at the bottom and not within the list Graham has provided.  These lists will be provided to entrants before the end of September, or as they join the Challenge.

Birds seen from the shore are eligible – no offshore or pelagic boat trip sightings are eligible.

Each month end you need to submit your lists to Graham Palmer at who will complete the score sheets.

There will be an overall winner announced at the end. A small prize will be awarded to the overall winner.

Upon completion of the competition all those having submitted results to Graham every month will have their names placed in a hat and one of those participants will receive a year’s free membership to the Hermanus Bird Club.

Challenge Enters its Final Month


With only April left to compete in the Annual Challenge, Lester and Cheryl van Groeningen have emerged as the clear leaders for the top position.  By the end of March they had no less than 902 points (690 species) followed by Ronnie Hazell with 810 points (646 species) and then John Bowman with 565 points (499 species).

Well done to Lester and Cheryl.  They are proving to be very dedicated birders and will be a hard act to follow!