Vermont Pan Outing

Notwithstanding quite chilly weather, 20 members of our Club enjoyed a very pleasant and rewarding walk around Vermont Pan this morning. Our first post-lockdown Club activity! At least the rain and the predicted strong winds held off. The Pan is now quite full, so there was a good assortment of birds present. Both Greater and Lesser Flamingos, some of them at close quarters, enabling us to study the difference between the two. Plenty of Grey and Black-headed Herons building their nests. As well as a few of the normally elusive Black-crowned Night-Herons. A scattering of ducks, and a Pied Avocet sitting on a nest. Waders were scarce, but we did pick up a few, as noted in the bird list. Also a sprinkling of bush birds around the fringes of the Pan.

Here is the list of 45 birds seen::

Apalis Bar-throated, Avocet Pied, Bou Bou Southern, Cisticola Levaillant’s, Coot Red-knobbed, Cormorant Cape, Cormorant Reed, Cormorant White-breasted, Dove Laughing, Dove Red-eyed, Drongo Fork-tailed, Duck Yellow-billed, Flamingo Greater, Flamingo Lesser, Flycatcher Fiscal,  Goose Egyptian, Grebe Little, Guineafowl Helmeted, Gull Hartlaub’s, Gull Kelp, Heron Black-headed, Heron Grey, Ibis Hadeda, Lapwing Blacksmith, Mousebird Speckled, Night-Heron Black-crowned, Pigeon Speckled, Plover Kittlitz’s, Plover Three-banded,  Prinia Karoo, Raven White-necked, Robin-chat Cape,  Rush-warbler Little, Sandpiper Common, Shoveler Cape,  Sparrow Cape, Sparrow Grey-headed, Spurfowl Cape, Starling Common, Sunbird Southern Double-collared, Swallow Barn, Teal Cape, Wagtail Cape, Weaver Cape, Whydah Pin-tailed.

John Bowman

11 September 2020

Re. Our proposed Walk

Please note that only bird club members will be allowed on the forthcoming outing at Vermont. Further, all participants will be required to wear masks and to observe normal social distancing procedures. Please assist us by ensuring that you conform to theses guidelines. Should Covid conditions change for the worse, then the walk may have to be cancelled, but you will be informed, via this platform, should that be the case.

A Walk at Vermont!!

John & Sheelagh Bowman will lead the Bird Club’s first “Birding Walk” on Thursday 10th September since about March and COVID Lock-Down

It will be along the Vermont Pan and then drive to Jean Rabie Car Park for a walk along the coast.

We will meet at the RockHopper Car Park, Vermont at 08.00

There are a lot of different species on the Pan including a good number of both Greater & Lesser Flamingo’s and with luck we might see one or two Night Herons plus lots of Grey Herons, Cormorants and other waders.

We will then drive to Jean Rabie Car park and walk along the Onrus/Vermont path.

It promises to be a really good morning birding. The walk/s should last approx. 2 – 3 hours. Bring some refreshments if you wish.  

Cheers, John

Club Activities Suspended


We live in interesting times!   Given the demographics and travel patterns of the members of our club, the committee today decided to suspend all club activities until further notice.  There will, therefore, be no meeting on Wednesday evening as previously announced.

Please accept our apologies for this disruption, but it will probably suit most members to know that they are under no obligation to attend meetings that they would actually prefer to avoid!!

Outing to Rooisand

There were 17 birders on the outing to Rooisand this morning, including 5 visitors!  We hope you all enjoyed the morning’s birding.  It was a good morning, weatherwise, with still, cool conditions and there were plenty of waders in evidence when we arrived, so we had our work cut out identifying them.  A walk to the hide did not produce a whole lot more, but we did get a good view of a Marsh Harrier patrolling his territory.  Rooisand produced around 45 birds and a diversion on the way back via the Hawston settling ponds added a few more, so we ended the day with 55 species.

These were: Pied Avocet,  Bokmakerie,  Cape Canary,  Cape Cormorant,  Reed Cormorant,  Blue Crane,  Cape Turtle Dove,  Red-eyed Dove,  Fork-tailed Drongo,  Yellow-billed Duck,  Little Egret,  Western Cattle Egret,  Common Fiscal,  Egyptian Goose,  Spur-winged Goose,  Common Greenshank,  Hartlaub’s Gull,  Kelp Gull,  African Marsh Harrier,  African Harrier-Hawk,  Grey Heron,  African Sacred Ibis,  Rock Kestrel,  Pied Kingfisher,  Black-shouldered Kite,  Yellow-billed Kite,  Blacksmith Lapwing,  Brown-throated Martin,  Great White Pelican,  Common Ringed Plover,  Grey Plover,  Kittlitz’s Plover,  Three-banded Plover,  White-fronted Plover,  Karoo Prinia,  Curlew Sandpiper,  Cape Shoveler,  African Spoonbill,  Cape Spurfowl,  Common Starling,  Black-winged Stilt,  Little Stint,  Malachite Sunbird,  Barn Swallow,  Greater Striped Swallow,  White-throated Swallow,  Cape Teal,  Common Tern,  Swift Tern,  Cape Wagtail,  Cape Weaver and  Whimbrel.

Walk at Rooisand


At Rooisand

Our monthly walk will be at Rooisand, led by Ronnie, on Thursday 5 March.  Please meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 7:30 am to arrange transport. It will be too late for any additions to your Challenge list, but most of you will have seen all the relevant birds by then anyway.  This can be the start of a new year list!!

Lady Stanford Update


Due to the low uptake for the morning cruise, all those who can make the switch have been moved to the evening slot, and the morning cruise has been cancelled.  The evening slot is now filly subscribed, so there are no more vacancies.

Lady Stanford Cruise – February 6

A calm morning (1)

The Klein River

The uptake for places on the Lady Stanford for the Klein river cruise on 6 Feb has been very poor.  Members are requested to contact John Saunders to book their places by 24 January.  If we cannot fill the boat and meet our financial obligations, we will have to cancel one or both trips.  Departing times are 7:00 am and 5:00 pm.

John’s contact details are; John Saunders; 028 316 2302 /

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.