Keith advises that if members want to pay cash, please do so directly to him.  If, on the other hand, cash is paid into the bank account, it attracts a charge of around R40, so if that is your method of choice, please pay in the extra amount!  I doubt there will be many takers for the second option!


'No! There isn't an option to unsubscribe!'

Members are reminded that 2020 subscriptions will soon be due.  Fees have been marginally increased to R150 for a single person and R250 for a couple.  This increase takes account of our commitment to ring-fence an amount of R10 per member towards our fund for the rehabilitation of injured birds, and will be paid to help offset veterinarian’s costs should they be called on to treat birds brought in by the public.

Please make your payments by EFT to;

Hermanus Bird Club

First National Bank

Account No.  62107045892

And use “Subs – Your Name” as the Beneficiary Reference

A Note from Mike Ford


Things are going well here in Turkey. Thought you and the members might like to see a species I’ve been hoping to catch and ring for 11 years, and this morning just before dawm, we caught this beautiful female Long-eared Owl – Asio Otus. It breeds in the northern part of Europe and Russia and winters down here in the Mediterranean region. This is a very early arrival.

2020 Bird Calendars


We will once again be ordering calendars for 2020.  These will be available at R110 each.  Please place your orders by our next meeting at the latest with John Saunders at 028 316 2032 /

PS.  We are still awaiting a volunteer to take on the Walks and Talks Portfolio.  Given that we have over 200 members, it seems strange that there is no response at all!  Members should be prepared to give something back to their club, in order for it to function properly.  Without a committee, the club will fold!

RIP David Watson


Members will be saddened by the tragic news that David has passed away.  He went hiking on Maanskijnkop alone yesterday.  When he had not returned by 11:30 am the alarm went out, but he could not be found.  This morning a helicopter was deployed and his body was found on a path.  He had apparently had a heart attack and he still had his walking stick in his hand.

Our collective condolences go out to Elizabeth and her family at this awful time in their lives.  They will cherish the memory of this wonderful man who gave so much to the community around him.  He was a committed member of the HBC and served on the committee for a number of years.  Many of you will remember being entertained by him at Club functions, when, with his keen sense of humour, he regaled us with birding and other stories.  He died doing what he enjoyed most – walking in the mountains and communing with nature.

You will be sorely missed, David.  How we wish we could alleviate the pain that your family must be suffering.  We are reminded of the recent passing of Robin Richards, another keen mountaineer, whose funeral some of us attended.  The words of Gen. Smuts, spoken on Table Mountain in 1923, and read at Robin’s service, come to mind;

What is that religion? When we reach the mountain summits we leave behind us all the things that weigh heavily down below on our body and our spirit. We leave behind a feeling of weakness and depression; we feel a new freedom, a great exhilaration, an exaltation of the body no less than of the spirit. We feel a great joy.

The Religion of the Mountain is in reality the religion of joy, of the release of the soul from the things that weigh it down and fill it with a sense of weariness, sorrow and defeat. The religion of joy realises the freedom of the soul, the soul’s kinship to the great creative spirit, and its dominance over all the things of sense. As the body has escaped from the over- weight and depression of the sea, so the soul must be released from all sense of weariness, weakness and depression arising from the fret, worry and friction of our daily lives. We must feel that we are above it all, that the soul is essentially free, and in freedom realises the joy of living. And when the feeling of lassitude and depression and the sense of defeat advances upon us, we must repel it, and maintain an equal and cheerful temper.

We must fill our daily lives with the spirit of joy and delight. We must carry this spirit into our daily lives and tasks. We must perform our work not grudgingly and as a burden imposed upon, but in a spirit of cheerfulness, goodwill and delight in it. Not only on the mountain summits of life, not only on the heights of success and achievement, but down in the deep valleys of drudgery, of anxiety and defeat, we must cultivate the great spirit of joyous freedom and upliftment of the soul.

Bird Books for Sale


Good day,

I’m sending this to the chairs of all clubs associated with BLSA. Would any of your members would be interested in any of the books in the attached list, from Peter Barnwell? He is a photographer and film-maker living in Bethulie in the southern Free State and who plans to sell his house and buy a caravan to tour around the Kalahari and Namibia. He has a large library (mostly bird and other natural history books) which he has decided he must reduce drastically and is offering them for sale. Most are immaculate condition – some have never been opened! Anybody interested in looking at further lists, please contact me.

Kind regards,

Brian Colahan

Anyone wishing to purchase books should contact Peter Barnwell directly at the email address supplied with the list of books available below;

Bird Books for Sale(1)_Peter Barnwell


Restocking the Heronry at Vermont Pan


This morning six volunteers carried out reconstruction work at Vermont Pan.  The heronry – which is now occupied by White-breasted Cormorants and Egyptian Geese – was looking a bit bare in patches, so we added a few loads of branches to give the birds new roosting and nesting sites.

Present in our group was Gavin Turner, the designer of the structure and he reminded us of how, when the original structure was built, they got it wrong, by making a mirror image of what had been prefabricated in Mike MacNaught’s garden.  Today the whole thing smells pretty awful, being covered in guano, but there were plenty of nests and even one Egyptian Goose nest with nine pretty eggs waiting to be hatched.

Carrying the branches out into the pan was a messy business, squelching through deep sucking mud, but we got the job done.  Everybody certainly needed a good bath afterwards!  Let’s hope the birds appreciate our work.

Volunteers required to re-build the Heronry at Vermont Pan


We are looking for volunteers to help restock the Heronry on the Vermont Salt Pan.

If you are free for about two hours this coming Thursday the 13th June at 09.00 at the Car Park in RockHopper (second right down from the Onrus Trading Post traffic lights).

The sticks and branches are there ready and waiting.

We plan to take them out to the Heronry to build it up before the nesting season commences.

If you have the time and are willing to help, please contact me ASAP either by phone or by email for more information.

Your help will be sincerely appreciated.

John Saunders

Call for Help


The club needs to transport a load of branches from Kwaaiwater to the Heronry at Vermont next week and also to collect around 20 stacking chairs from Somerset West.  If anyone has a bakkie and is willing to assist, please call John Saunders at 028 316 2302,  or mail him at  Thank you!