De Bos Wetland Trail


Yesterday’s walk along the De Bos Wetland Trail with Frank Woodvine was thoroughly enjoyed by a total of 31 HBC members.

Frank, as always was an excellent guide pointing out a number of interesting features as we moved along.

The sun came out and we enjoyed a lovely walk, albeit a wee bit vigorous up the steep hill to the edge of the reservoir.

A total of 39 species wereseen. Lester van Groenigen’s bird list is given below.

  1. Cape Crow, 2018-11-01 08:50
  2. Cape Weaver, 2018-11-01 08:51
  3. Cape Canary, 2018-11-01 08:51
  4. Karoo Prinia, 2018-11-01 08:51
  5. Cape Turtle Dove, 2018-11-01 08:52
  6. Cape Robin-Chat, 2018-11-01 08:52
  7. Cape White-eye, 2018-11-01 08:53
  8. Olive Thrush, 2018-11-01 08:53
  9. Fork-tailed Drongo, 2018-11-01 08:53
  10. Cape Spurfowl, 2018-11-01 08:53
  11. Yellow Bishop, 2018-11-01 08:54
  12. Little Rush Warbler, 2018-11-01 08:56
  13. Egyptian Goose, 2018-11-01 08:56
  14. Southern Boubou, 2018-11-01 08:56
  15. Speckled Mousebird, 2018-11-01 08:57
  16. Cape Bulbul, 2018-11-01 08:57
  17. Malachite Sunbird, 2018-11-01 09:02
  18. Cape Grassbird, 2018-11-01 09:03
  19. Familiar Chat, 2018-11-01 09:03
  20. Levaillant’s Cisticola, 2018-11-01 09:04
  21. Bar-throated Apalis, 2018-11-01 09:05
  22. Common Waxbill, 2018-11-01 09:06
  23. Red-eyed Dove, 2018-11-01 09:07
  24. Jackal Buzzard, 2018-11-01 09:10
  25. Hadeda Ibis, 2018-11-01 09:18
  26. Southern Fiscal, 2018-11-01 09:21
  27. Yellow-billed Kite, 2018-11-01 09:24
  28. Blue Crane, 2018-11-01 09:53
  29. Bokmakierie, 2018-11-01 09:56
  30. Diederik Cuckoo, 2018-11-01 09:58
  31. Red-chested Cuckoo, 2018-11-01 10:06
  32. Burchell’s Coucal, 2018-11-01 10:14
  33. African Olive Pigeon, 2018-11-01 10:18
  34. Helmeted Guineafowl, 2018-11-01 10:24
  35. Common Starling, 2018-11-01 10:24
  36. Sombre Greenbul, 2018-11-01 10:24
  37. Greater Striped Swallow, 2018-11-01 10:25
  38. Black Saw-wing, 2018-11-01 10:25
  39. African Dusky Flycatcher, 2018-11-01 10:40

Cheers. John

Outing to Gabrielskloof


Around thirty birders attended our monthly walk at Gabrielskloof.  We were met by Barry Anderson, who took us to the farm and introduced us to the area, after which we were free to move around as we pleased.  This gave us the opportunity to explore a couple of habitats, before returning to our starting point for tea and a final update of our checklist.  We were pleased to note that we had observed or heard no less than 53 species.

These were;  Bar-throated Apalis;  Southern Red Bishop;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Bunting;  Denham’s Bustard;  Jackal Buzzard;  Brimstone Canary;  Cape Canary;  Familiar Chat; Grey-backed Cisticola; White-breasted Cormorant; Blue Crane;  Cape Crow;  Pied Crow;  Klaas’s Cuckoo; Cape Turtle Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  Fork-tailed Drongo;  Yellow-billed Duck;  Common Fiscal;  Egyptian Goose;  Spur-winged Goose;  Little Grebe;  Helmeted Guineafowl;  Black-headed Heron;  Hadeda Ibis;  Blacksmith Lapwing;  Large-billed Lark;  Speckled Mousebird;  Speckled Pigeon;  African Pipit;  Karoo Prinia;  White-necked Raven;  Karoo Scrub Robin;  Cape Robin-Chat;  Cape Shoveller;  Cape Sparrow;  Southern Grey-headed Sparrow;  Cape Spurfowl;  African Stonechat;  Malachite Sunbird; Orange-breasted Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Greater Striped Swallow;  White-rumped Swift;  Spotted Thick-knee;  Cape Wagtail;  Cape Weaver;  Cape White-eye;  Pin-tailed Whydah.

The return journey along the Swartrivier road was undertaken individually and the species for this section were not included in the Gabrielskloof count, but there will have been many additional species along this well-known birding route.  Challenge participants will no doubt have added considerably to their lists for October.

We all owe Gabrielskloof and Barry a sincere ‘thank you’ for allowing us to spend an excellent morning on this great property.


Walk at Gabrielskloof


Our monthly walk takes place at Gabrielskloof next Thursday, the 4th October.  Please meet at the Onrus Trading Post (OTP) at 7:30 am to consolidate transport.  Barry Anderson of Gabrielskloof will be our guide and the journey to and from the venue should also provide good birding.

A Non-Event


….and there was not a lady present!!

This morning there were only five people in Fernkloof for our monthly walk.  Admittedly the weather was not too good, and it actually deteriorated as we set out and started raining, so we abandoned the walk after having seen about six bird species.  It was not our greatest outing!!

September Walk


The monthly walk in September will take place in Fernkloof Nature Reserve.  Please meet in the parking area at 8:00 am.  Ronnie Hazell will lead the walk which should cover a couple of kilometres.

August Walk at Vermont


Twelve members of the Hermanus Bird Club participated in a most enjoyable and productive morning walk, along the Vermont Coastal Path, led by John and Sheelagh Bowman. The late winter weather was perfect for birding, starting off crisp and clear, but soon warming up. Not a breath of wind. The birding got off to a great start, with a Subantarctic Skua spotted out to sea, from our meeting point. The walk along the Coastal Path to Brekvis Bay produced an interesting collection of bush and coastal birds. At the Bay, we saw both a Common Greenshank, and an African Darter. Mike Ford, who has been birding in the area for some nineteen years, had never previously seen these species along this bit of coast!

We continued the walk to Aas Baai, where more species were added to our list. These included a male Giant Kingfisher, several African Black Oystercatchers, and Swift Terns. On the way back we were rewarded with a magnificent close up view of a Southern Tchagra. Also, early returning migrants in the form of Little and White-rumped Swifts. And, as a bit of variety, offshore a Hump Backed Whale. Also good to see evidence of Cape Clawless otters living in the area.

From the parking area we drove up to Vermont Salt Pan, where with water in the Pan again, we added usefully to our bird list. Good to see a couple of Pied Avocets back. Altogether, a lovely morning. Thanks to all the hawk-eyed members who were able to help us find the birds: 55 in total!  And to Ronnie Hazell for taking the great photos.

The list of birds seen or heard was as follows:

Subantarctic Skua, Bar-throated Apalis, Bokmakierie, Pied Avocet, Southern Boubou, Cape Bulbul, Cape Canary, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Cape, Reed, and White-breasted Cormorants, African Darter, Red-eyed Dove, Yellow-billed Duck, Cattle and Little Egrets, Common Fiscal, Fiscal Flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Harlaub’s and Kelp Gulls, Black-headed and Grey Herons, African Sacred and Hadeda Ibises, Giant Kingfisher, Blacksmith Lapwing, Rock Martin, Common Moorhen, Speckled Mousebird, African Black Oystercatcher, Speckled Pigeon, Three-banded and White-fronted Plovers, Karoo Prinia, White-necked Raven, Cape Robin-chat, Cape Sparrow, Cape Spurfowl, Common Starling, Black-winged Stilt, Southern Double Collared Sunbird, Little and White-rumped Swifts, Southern Tchagra, Cape Teal, Swift Tern, Olive Thrush, Cape Wagtail, Common Waxbill, Cape Weaver, Common Whimbrel, Cape White-eye.

John and Sheelagh Bowman

Monthly walk at Vermont



John and Sheelagh Bowman will lead our August walk along the Vermont Coastal path on Thursday 2 August.  Participants are asked to meet at the parking lot adjacent to the Jan Rabie Tidal Pool at 8:00 am.  After the coastal walk there will be a visit to the Vermont Pan, which, once again, has water in it, so there should be some good birds.  See previous notice for directions.

Outing to Grootbos

The HBC was well represented at the Grootbos Outing yesterday, with no less than 28 members present.  We were met at the lodge by our host and guide, Mike Fabricius, who led us on an enchanting trail through the milkwood forest and a very colourful section of fynbos in the area surrounding the “Growing The Future” project.

Birding in the forest was difficult as the birds were hard to see in the dense vegetation, however, we did hear a number of forest species.  What was really fascinating, though, was the wonderful shapes assumed by the milkwood trees and to see how they ‘walk’ by growing branches close to the ground that then re-root and become new trees.  We were also thrilled to see the plentiful fresh leopard tracks and the evidence of their scratching on the tree stems.  Mike did a great job as guide and was able to point out these and many other interesting features.

Our walk ended at the “Growing The Future” farm where we were shown around by the local manager, Pontsho.  This is a project which aims to train local farmers and also supplies the lodge with all its fresh produce.  Greenhouses and shade tunnels had every kind of fruit and vegetable and there were even sections for hydroponic cultivation and micro-herbs (which are so loved by modern chefs)  There is also a chicken section for fresh eggs and a piggery, and the whole complex is aimed at sustainable farming, using organic fertilisers and minimal local water.

Our bird list was not much to write home about, but the lack of birds was more than made up for by all the other interesting sights and stories.  Lester, our serious birder, who would not be distracted by all the peripheral goings on, kept the list and even photographed a most unusual Bulbul, which he termed a Snowy Bulbul!

We were treated to a fine tea at the end of our tour.  Well done Grootbos for a most enjoyable morning!

Bird List:  Bar-throated Apalis;  Cape Batis;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Southern Boubou;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  Fork-tailed Drongo;  Common Fiscal;  Fiscal Flycatcher;  Sombre Greenbul;  Hadeda Ibis;  Red-faced Mousebird;  Speckled Mousebird;  Karoo Prinia;  Cape Robin-Chat;  Cape Sparrow;  House Sparrow;  Cape Spurfowl;  Cape Sugarbird;  Orange-breasted Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Common Waxbill;  Cape Weaver;  Cape White-eye.



August Walk


Directions to Jan Rabie Tidal Pool

John and Sheelagh Bowman will lead our August walk along the Vermont Coastal path on Thursday 2 August.  Participants are asked to meet at the parking lot adjacent to the Jan Rabie Tidal Pool at 8:00 am.  After the coastal walk there will be a visit to the Vermont Pan, which, once again, has water in it, so there should be some good birds.