BirdLife SA’s Webinars


Barbara advises as follows:

“Good Afternoon Gentlemen  (this is addressed to John Saunders and me)

I know I am being a pain, but I do not understand your reluctance to inform the HBC’s members about the weekly webinars offered by BLSA, especially as you encourage them to join BLSA.

Since April 14th they have had interesting talks every Tuesday evening and this will continue till 22nd September.

All the members have to do is go to this website:  where they will get all the info about Zoom, how to register for upcoming talks and to get to know the various speakers.   It could not be simpler. 



Barbara, you are not being a pain at all!



HBC Keeps it’s Members Entertained


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.

Final 2019/2020 Challenge Results


The Birding Big Year Challenge is finally over.  For those who took part, I would like to think that it lived up to its name and was a challenge in the true sense of the word.  For those who didn’t, well, I can only say that you missed the opportunity to do something really oriented to improve your birding skills and enjoy the thrill of the chase.  It really doesn’t matter whether one saw 100 birds or 400 birds – what counts is that you did it and enjoyed it.  I personally felt stimulated to go birding as often as possible and enjoyed every new bird as much as I could.

The participants have really excelled themselves and the fact that no fewer than 761 separate species were seen, speaks to the fact that many kilometres were covered in very diverse areas and habitats.  The number of individual sightings, i.e. birds seen by only one person, was also a revelation.  Those who visited the more remote areas recorded the most and Peter Dagg was way out in front with no less than 46 species, followed by Mike Ford with 21.  In all 14 participants recorded single sightings, and there were no less than 117 of these for this group.

Regrettable illness or operations interrupted a few of the participants’ opportunities to complete their lists, whilst some of the entrants never submitted any results at all!

In the final analysis, Ronnie identified the most birds – no less than 544, closely followed by Mike at 532.  Then came Peter with 490, Jenny with 386 and Machteld with 378.  Ronnie makes no bones about the fact that he probably traveled around 20 000 kms in achieving his total, whilst Mike went on some extensive trips with clients, and Peter recorded his excellent list in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.

Well done and thanks to all who took part.  If you have any ideas for the next Challenge, please let us know!

I am sure that some of you will find anomalies in the reporting of your results, but I can assure you that I have tried my best to get everything right; it’s just that there are often some differences in the reporting sheets, where I initially altered the order and asked people to use the new sheet, but this was not always done.  I apologise for any errors.

The complete analysis of results can be seen at  Challenge list Combined Sorted

Photographic Competetion


The Xmas Party held last night was a fun-filled affair in which members could relax and enjoy each other’s company.  As usual, there was the photographic competition, which, this year, only attracted 19 entries (last year we had 29) .

Winner of the Best Bird Photo was ‘Cutie Pie’ by Ronnie, who also won the Best Caption with ‘Go Away – Can’t you see I’m Busy’, whilst Sheelagh Bowman took the prize for the best Fun Photo with ‘Every Drop Counts during the Drought’

Well done to all the participants for putting on a good show, which was enjoyed by all.


Go Away Can't You See I'm busy

Cruising Down The River


It won’t be quite like this!

We have booked the Lady Stanford for two cruises on the Klein River on Thursday 6 February 2020.  The first will be at 7:00 am and the second at 5:00 pm and the cost will be R150 per person.

Please contact John Saunders if you wish to avail yourself of this wonderful birding opportunity, which will take the place of the usual monthly walk.

If we cannot fill the boat – it takes 26 people per cruise – we may have to cancel, so get your place booked early so as to ensure that it will happen.  The deadline for entries is 25 January.

Xmas Party

Some housekeeping issues – for those of you who have advised that you are coming to the party (if you haven’t, the venue is full!).

The party will start at Fernkloof at 6:00 pm.  Weather permitting we will be outside.  Please bring everything you need except tables and chairs.

There will be three braais available for your use.

Escom may dim the lights so perhaps a torch or two (and a jersey) will be required.

Remember the bird photo competition.  Only A4 prints will be accepted and there will be prizes for the best bird photo, the best caption and the best fun photo.  Prints larger than A4 will not be accepted.

We look forward to ending our year with a fun-filled evening!

Xmas Party Appeal


Does anyone attending our Xmas Party next week have a portable braai they could bring along for the evening as there is only one available – with 70 guests that could be a problem.  Please let John Saunders know if you can help