With regret, we must inform members that there appears to be little appetite for the MMBBD which was to have taken place on Sunday.  A number of participants are no longer available and the Quarter-Final Rugby match between the Springboks and Japan is really what most people want to watch, so we will try to re-schedule this event for 2020.

In the meantime, do keep up your birding for the Challenge, which is no doubt getting hot with the return of the Summer migrants.  Our next reporting date is at the end of November and we look forward to some good numbers!

Challenge Results


After six months there is a clear leader in the Southern African Birding Big Year Challenge and that is Peter Dagg with 438 species.  Well done Peter!  He is followed by Ed Meyer and then John and Irene Saunders.  See all the results at August Combined Challenge Results

An impressive total of 670 species has been seen by the combined Challengers so far. Perhaps we can exceed 700 by the end of the event.  What a team!!

Quiz Night – 21 August


Our Quiz Night is a special and entertaining event for the club, so please come along and support it.

The evening starts with the choice of sherry, the normal red and white Stettyn wines and for this special event we also have mulled wine on offer. All for the usual R10 donation per glass.

Later in the evening, normally half way through the quiz, there will be a short intermission when a choice of seven delicious soups with French bread will be offered. Mugs for the soup and spoons will all be provided.

The Quiz questions were prepared by Mike Ford in 2018 when the quiz unfortunately had to be cancelled. He will also be away on this occasion, so Club Chairman John Saunders will be presenting the Quiz .

It is teams of four per table and if you cannot find a team to join….don’t worry we will find one for you on the night.

As usual, the doors open at 6 pm for a 6.30 pm and we look forward to seeing you all there.

Agulhas National Park Event


Dear fellow birder,

The Agulhas National Park is celebrating its 20th ‘birthday’ to celebrate this the Agulhas National Park and the SANParks Honorary Rangers: Agulhas Region are co-hosting a 24 Hour Birding Bash on the 06/07 September 2019 in partnership with the Agulhas Plain Birding Project.  The brochure is attached herewith.

All funds raised go towards projects in the Agulhas National Park.

The online entry form is available at the link below as well as some information on the event and the competition rules:

SANParks Agulhas 24-hour Birthday Birding Bash

For more information on the Birding Bash please visit Western Cape Birding events page or the Honorary Rangers Webpage.

Please do share the 24 Hour Birding Bash information with your fellow birders and Like and Share the Facebook advertisement.

Should you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to your participation in support of the Agulhas National Park.

Kind regards,

Klaas and Linda Steyn

+27 82 320 1198 (Klaas)

+27 82 940 4304 (Linda)

Quiz Night


Mike Ford will once again entertaining members with the Annual Bird Quiz which will take place on Wednesday 21 August in the Fernkloof Hall.  Soup and Sherry will be served and we call for volunteers to contact John Saunders  028 316 2302 /  if they are prepared to make a pot of soup for this event.  We are looking for around 8 pots, each capable of serving 8-10 persons.

Participants will be required to bring mugs (for the soup) and wits (for the quiz).  You are welcome to arrange teams of 4, but if you don’t them we will arrange teams on the night.  It is time to start swotting up on your birds!! This promises to be a fun-filled evening!




You are hereby invited to participate in BirdLife Overberg’s fourth charity golf day by sponsoring a four-ball of players on the day at R 2,500.00 and get the opportunity to entertain your clients or friends. This is for a four-ball of players in an Alliance Bogey Plus format. The green fees, snacks and drinks at halfway & snacks and wine at the prize-giving ceremony are all included in your entry. Members of the Hermanus Golf Club who are pre-paid and swipe their cards on the day get R 165.00 discount per player.

The members of BirdLife Overberg are proud to have been the first bird club in South Africa to present such golf days  and as a result having contributed research funding to a variety of conservation projects. Your contribution to this worthy cause would therefore be appreciated.

With appreciation and kind regards.


Chairman: BirdLife Overberg Golf Day organising committee

E-mail: Mobile: 082 550 3347

Challenge – First Quarter Results


Potential Winners


The results for the first quarter of our Birding Big Year Challenge are in.  Unfortunately, 4 participants did not submit any results, so there may be a discrepancy or two, but what we have is pretty good.  Ed is in the lead with no less than 289 species recorded.  He is followed by Barbara and Margie with 241, Johan and Imogen with 240 and Jenny with 236.  Obviously, the ladies are putting in a good run and things are competitive at the top!

The total number of different species recorded by the entire group is 546, which is really excellent (especially with 9 months still to go) and attests to some of the entrants already making forays into the hinterland to see birds that do not occur in our area.  Of these 546, 140 are single sightings!  It all goes to show that multiple eyes are better than 1, and this would make a fair life list for many birders.  Only 10 species have been seen by all of the 24 entrants who have submitted lists. This is a surprisingly low number considering how many common species occur in our local area.

The detailed results are available on the following attachment:  Challenge list Combined Sorted

There have been a few anomalies, i.e. birds that have been reported, but that are extremely rare and have only been seen once or twice in the region.  These have been corrected where possible, but you are asked to check your lists very carefully!  I know that we are all honest birders, so let’s keep it that way.

I notice that some of you are still not using the latest spreadsheet sent to you all. This means that I have to do a lot of work getting your numbers on the compilation sheet.  Please try to conform to the requirements stipulated!

Happy birding!

Ronnie  (your birding Gopher!)

MBBD – A great Day’s Birding


It was a great day’s birding, but sadly, it was enjoyed by only a few.  Thanks to those who made the effort and took part.  They all agreed that it was very worthwhile and most enjoyable.  Barbara Palmer wrote, “Please HBC committee, never cancel our MBBD!!”  Sure, it rained a bit, but this did not impede us unduly and we all achieved good counts and even had some really spectacular sightings!  The prize in this respect must surely go to John and Roy, who visited Genadendal and saw a Narina Trogon!!  What an amazing bonus for them to find this spectacular bird so far out of its range.

By mid afternoon the weather had cleared and our day ended with a fine, if cold, picnic in Fernkloof when we swapped stories and compared sightings.

The scores were;  Chaetops frenatus (Ronnie and Renee Hazell, Barbara Swart and Margie Ogston) 118 species;   G(r)abar Goshawks (Barbara and Graham Palmer, Chris Cheetham and Jenny Fynn) 113 species;  Bowmacs (John and Shelagh Bowman, Mike and Helen MacNaught) 107 species; and Dozy Darters (John Saunders and Roy Whitaker) 97 species.  By taking a road less traveled and going to Genadendal, the latter added quite a few one-off sightings.

Lady Birds (Anne Philip and Margaret Loesch) could not make Sunday, so went out in the rain on Saturday anyway and achieved 64 species.  Well done for making the effort!!

For the Challengers, it was a good opportunity to add some birds to their Big Birding Year score and we are looking forward to the first set of results which are due at the end of May.

The combined list of 159 species is as follows:  Bar-throated Apalis;  Pied Avocet;  Cape Batis;  Southern Red Bishop;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Southern Boubou;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Bunting;  Denham’s Bustard;  Common Buzzard;  Forest Buzzard;  Jackal Buzzard;  Brimstone Canary;  Cape Canary;  Yellow Canary;  Familiar Chat;  Grey-backed Cisticola;  Levaillant’s Cisticola;  Red-knobbed Coot;  Bank Cormorant;  Cape Cormorant;  Crowned Cormorant;  Reed Cormorant;  White-breasted Cormorant;  Black Crake;  Blue Crane;  Cape Crow;  Pied Crow;  Klaas’ Cuckoo;  African Darter;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Laughing Dove;   Namaqua Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  Rock Dove;  Fork-tailed Drongo;  African Black Duck;  White-backed Duck;  White-faced Whistling Duck;  Yellow-billed Duck;  African Fish Eagle;  Verreaux’s Eagle;  Little Egret;  Western Cattle Egret;  Peregrine Falcon;  Common Fiscal;  Greater Flamingo;  African Dusky Flycatcher;  Fiscal Flycatcher;  Spotted Flycatcher;  Cape Gannet;  Egyptian Goose;  Spur-winged Goose;  African Goshawk;  Cape Grassbird;  Great Crested Grebe;  Little Grebe;  Sombre Greenbul;  Common Greenshank;  Helmeted Guineafowl;  Grey-headed Gull;  Hartlaub’s Gull;  Kelp Gull;  Hamerkop;  Black Harrier;  African Harrier-Hawk;  Black-crowned Night Heron;  African Hoopoe;  Black-headed Heron;  Grey Heron;  African Sacred Ibis;   Hadeda Ibis;  Rock Kestrel;  Giant Kingfisher;  Malachite Kingfisher;  Pied Kingfisher;  Black-shouldered Kite;  Yellow-billed Kite;  Blacksmith Lapwing;  Crowned Lapwing;  Large-billed Lark;  Red-capped Lark;  Brown-throated Martin;  House Martin;  Rock Martin;  Common Moorhen;  Red-faced Mousebird;  Speckled Mousebird;  Common Moorhen;  Neddicky;  Fiery-necked Nightjar;  African Black Oystercatcher;  African Penguin;  African Olive Pigeon;  Speckled Pigeon;  African Pipit;  Common Ringed Plover;  Grey Plover;  Kittlitz’s Plover;  Three-banded Plover;  White-fronted Plover;  Karoo Prinia;  White-necked Raven;  Cape Robin-Chat;  Cape Rockjumper;  Cape Rock-Thrush;  Curlew Sandpiper;  Marsh Sandpiper;  Black Saw-wing;  Secretarybird;  Streaky-headed Seedeater;  Cape Shoveler;  Cape Siskin;  Cape Sparrow;  House Sparrow;  Southern Grey-headed Sparrow;  Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk;  African Spoonbill;  Cape Spurfowl;  Common Starling;  Pied Starling;  Red-winged Starling;  Black-winged Stilt;  Little Stint;  African Stonechat;  White Stork;  Cape Sugarbird;  Amethyst Sunbird;  Malachite Sunbird;  Orange-breasted Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Barn Swallow;  Greater Striped Swallow;   African Swamphen;  Little Swift;  White-rumped Swift;  Cape Teal;  Red-billed Teal;  Common Tern;  Sandwich Tern;  Swift Tern;  Spotted Thick-Knee;  Water Thick-Knee;  Olive Thrush;  Narina Trogon;  Ruddy Turnstone;  Cape Wagtail;  Lesser Swamp Warbler;  Little Rush Warbler;  Common Waxbill;  Swee Waxbill;  Cape Weaver;  Southern Masked Weaver;  Capped Wheatear;  Whimbrel;  Pin-tailed Whydah;  Cape White Eye;  Cardinal Woodpecker.

MBBD Final Notice!!


The prevailing mood is that we should proceed with the MBBD tomorrow, weather notwithstanding.  We will all be under the same handicap and the skill will be in trying, not only to find birds, but to keep dry!!

Kick off will be at 6:30 am (or whenever you choose) and we will meet at Fernkloof at 6:30 pm for our picnic.  Please remember to bring a funny story of the day!  We certainly won’t be expecting any record breaking scores, but at least we will be participating!

To those who unfortunately cannot make it, we apologise and look forward to the next occasion when we may get better conditions.  Please drive carefully!!

Of MBBD and Rain…


Predictably, when one arranges something that requires good weather, it rains, and tomorrow’s MBBD is obviously no exception!  There is an 80% chance of all day rain tomorrow, so we are postponing the event until Sunday  –  however, Sunday doesn’t look all that good either, so we will look at the forecasts again tomorrow and confirm in the afternoon.  Sorry to be a wet blanket, but it won’t be much fun birding in the rain all day and we will be better off waiting for a good day.