December Challenge Results

 

At the end of the year, the Challenge is headed by Ronnie Hazell with 458 birds and 525 points; in second place are Lester and Cheryl van Groeningen with 362 birds and 430 points, whilst in third place Ed Meyer has 339 birds and 418 points.  Watch out Ronnie, this looks like a hare and tortoise affair, where too much haste at the beginning can often turn into being dropped at the end.  No doubt the participants who took it easy in December will come charging through as they still have lots of birds to see, whereas the leaders will find it more difficult to find new species.

One thing is for sure – the people taking part are being stimulated to go birding and they are coming up with some really interesting results and some very rare species!  Lifers will be amongst the birds seen – I have had one already with the White Wagtail at Rooisand!

It is good to see that newcomers to the club, Lester and Cheryl, are certainly making their presence felt.

White Wagtail

 

Renee and I visited Rooisand yesterday afternoon and the White Wagtail was still showing well, just to the left of the hide.  We also saw a Great Egret near the car park.  We actually went to see if we could find the Sand Martin reported earlier, but without success.          Ronnie

 

A MASSIVE Find for Hermanus

 

On Saturday morning Renee and I went to Rooisand to see if we could find the Pectoral Sandpiper that had been reported there.  As we approached the hide, we met up with Lester and Cheryl van Groeningen, and entered the hide together, whence we searched the surrounding area.  We could not locate the Sandpiper, but suddenly Lester drew our attention to a whiter than usual Wagtail and we all wondered about this unusual looking bird, thinking that it was an aberrant form of Cape Wagtail.  Luckily Lester had his big lens with him and took a few photos, which he circulated to Trevor and Faansie.  At first they were not to excited about the bird, but Lester pursued the issue with them and they asked for more images.

We were, therefore, delighted yesterday evening to see that both Faansie and Trevor had put out notes suggesting that this bird is, in fact, a White Wagtail, previously unseen in the Southern African region.  By this morning, reports were coming in from other birders who are no doubt arriving on the scene in large numbers to record this Mega-tick, now definitely confirmed as a White Wagtail.  Well done Lester!!  You have put us on the map!!  Rooisand really has delivered this summer!

Lester took this photograph today.

White Wagtail 1

FERNKLOOF GAMEBIRD BREEDING SEASON – 2017/2018

 

The fynbos gamebirds have enjoyed good conditions this season, producing large clutches of healthy chicks.   Our concern, however, is that the attrition rate is very high and the question is why? One proud Guineafowl mother arrived out of the Fernkloof fynbos in Voelklip with 12 gorgeous, fluffy little chicks. Next day there was only one left and the following day she came alone!

Cape Spur fowl seem to be a bit more successful at rearing their chicks. Early in the season we had five families with an average of six babies on arrival here and they have raised on average, three to juvenile stage. In January two new families arrived in our garden, possibly second breedings for the season?   This week we witnessed a very dramatic exchange with a traumatised, frantic Spur fowl mother and a Slender mongoose, who had nipped in and grabbed one of her chicks.  Enraged and quite fearless she attacked the mongoose, chased it off, but not without losing her baby.  She then tried to call off the mongoose, from going for her other chicks who had hidden themselves away, with alarm calls and a ‘wounded bird act’. A very brave and an interesting incident of nature and bird behaviour!

Ground birds like Guineafowl and Spurfowl are vulnerable to mongoose and genets, which have also been seen in the Voelklip fynbos area.  Other predators which are active and a threat to birds are the African Goshawk and Sparrowhawk, which favour doves , but will also prey on young  gamebirds, given the right opportunity.  With all the threats, our gamebirds are lucky if they can raise even half their chicks!

Ed Meyer.

Why the Challenge Works

 

IMG_3432

At Rooisand

This morning Barbara, Margie, Renee and I went birding in area three (for those who don’t know, there are 5 separate areas around Hermanus).  It was the first foray into the area for Barbara and Margie in terms of their challenge list and boy, was it a great one!  We saw no less than 90 species, mainly at Rooisand, with some good birds added at Harold Porter Reserve.

Rooisand was amazing with very large numbers of waders and, I think I can say with confidence, that it must currently rank as the best birding location in the Overstrand area.  We saw a flock of Glossy Ibises numbering around 45 birds and no less than 7 Hottentot Teals, along with many others too numerous to mention, including Cape Longclaws, a Ruff, many Grey Plovers, Little Stints, Black-winged Stilts, Curlew Sandpipers, etc., etc.

We probably would not have undertaken this trip if it were not for the Challenge, so we are very pleased to be involved and really enjoying experiences like this!  I did not carry my camera with me when we walked the area, possibly explaining the good sightings we had. (When I have a camera handy the birds always fly away!!)

Ronnie

 

The New Challenge Kicks Off

 

Yesterday saw the start of the new HBC Challenge.  This requires participants to identify as many bird species as they can in five different areas around Hermanus over a period of five months.  No doubt there are many excited birders starting to tick off everything they see in the hope of achieving a good total and learning about their local birds at the same time.

Remember, five months is a long time and it is never too late to join in the fun, so if you have not yet entered, there is still plenty of time and the birds are waiting out there for you!  I started yesterday and managed to see many common birds, but also some that are not that common.  Graham will be collating the results at the end of each month, and if you are not taking part, then you will not be included in the listing, so come on, GIVE IT A GO!

IMG_3419

African Hoopoe

 

Updated Duinepos Listing

Duinepos Outing   –   128 Species seen
Apalis Bar throated Martin Common house
Avocet Pied Martin Rock
Barbet Acacia pied Masked-Weaver Southern
Batis Cape Moorhen Common
Batis Pririt Mousebird Red faced
Bee-eater European Mousebird Speckled
Bishop Red Mousebird White backed
Bishop Yellow Neddicky
Bittern Little Night-Heron Black crowned
Bokmakierie Nightjar Fiery necked
Boubou Southern Nightjar Rufous cheeked
Brownbul Terrestrial Olive-Pigeon African
Bulbul Cape Openbill African
Bulbul Red eyed Oriole Black headed
Bunting Cape Osprey
Bunting Cinnamon breasted Ostrich Common
Bunting Lark like Owl Barn
Bush-shrike Olive Owl Cape eagle
Bustard Denham’s Owl Spotted eagle
Bustard Kori Oystercatcher African black
Bustard Ludwig’s Painted-snipe African
Buzzard Common Paradise-Flycatcher African
Buzzard Forest Partridge Chukar
Buzzard Jackal Peacock Common
Canary Black headed Pelican Great white
Canary Black throated Penduline-Tit Cape
Canary Brimstone Penguin African
Canary Cape Petrel Pintado
Canary Forest Petrel White chinned
Canary White throated Pigeon Speckled
Canary Yellow Pipit African
Chaffinch Pipit Long billed
Chat Ant eating Pipit Plain backed
Chat Familiar Plover Chestnut banded
Chat Karoo Plover Common ringed
Chat Sickle winged Plover Greater sand
Cisticola Cloud Plover Grey
Cisticola Grey backed Plover Kittlitz’s
Cisticola Le Vaillant’s Plover Lesser sand
Cisticola Zitting Plover Three banded
Coot Red knobbed Plover White fronted
Cormorant Bank Pochard Southern black
Cormorant Cape Prinia Karoo
Cormorant Crowned Puffback Black backed
Cormorant Reed Quail Common
Cormorant White breasted Quailfinch African
Coucal Burchell’s Quelea Red billed
Courser Bouble banded Rail African
Courser Burchell’s Raven White necked
Crake African Redshank Common
Crake Black Robin-chat Cape
Crane Blue Robin-chat Chorister
Crested-Flycatcher Blue mantled Rock-Jumper Cape
Crombec Long billed Rock-Thrush Cape
Crow Cape Rock-Thrush Sentinel
Crow House Roller European
Crow Pied Ruff
Cuckoo African Emerald Rush-Warbler Little
Cuckoo Black Sanderling
Cuckoo Diederik Sandgrouse Namaqua
Cuckoo Jacobin Sandpiper Common
Cuckoo Klaas’ Sandpiper Curlew
Cuckoo Red chested Sandpiper Marsh
Cuckooshrike Black Sandpiper Terek
Cuckooshrike Grey backed Sandpiper Wood
Curlew Eurasian Saw-Wing Black
Darter African Scrub-Robin Karoo
Dove Laughing Secretarybird
Dove Lemon Seedeater Protea
Dove Namaqua Seedeater Sreaky headed
Dove Red eyed Shearwater Sooty
Dove Rock Shelduck South African
Dove Tambourine Shoveller Cape
Drongo Fork tailed Siskin Cape
Duck African black Snake-Eagle Black chested
Duck Fulvous Snipe African
Duck Maccoa Sparrow Cape
Duck White backed Sparrow Grey headed
Duck White faced Sparrow House
Duck Yellow billed Sparrowhawk Black
Dunlin Sparrowhawk Little
Eagle African crowned Sparrowhawk Rufous chested
Eagle Booted Sparrowlark Black eared
Eagle Martial Sparrowlark Grey backed
Eagle Verreaux’s Spoonbill African
Egret Cattle Spurfowl Cape
Egret Intermediate Spurfowl Red necked
Egret Little Starling Cape glossy
Eremomela Karoo Starling Common
Eremomela Yellow bellied Starling Pale winged
Falcon Lanner Starling Pied
Falcon Peregrine Starling Red winged
Firefinch African Starling Wattled
Fiscal Common Stilt Black winged
Fish-Eagle African Stint Little
Flamingo Greater Stonechat African
Flamingo Lesser Stork Black
Flufftail Buff spotted Stork White
Flufftail Red Chested Sugarbird Cape
Flufftail Striped Sunbird Amethyst
Flycatcher African dusky Sunbird Dusky
Flycatcher Fairy Sunbird Greater double collored
Flycatcher Fiscal Sunbird Malachite
Flycatcher Spotted Sunbird Orange breasted
Francolin Grey winged Sunbird Southern double collared
Gannet Cape Swallow Barn
Godwit Bar tailed Swallow Greater striped
Goose Egyptian Swallow Lesser striped
Goose Spur winged Swallow Pearl breasted
Goshawk African Swallow White throated
Goshawk Gabar Swamphen Purple
Goshawk Pale chanting Swamp-Warbler Lesser
Grassbird Cape Swift African black
Grebe Black necked Swift African palm
Grebe Great crested Swift Alpine
Grebe Little Swift Horus
Greenbul Sombre Swift Little
Greenshank Common Swift White rumped
Guineafowl Helmeted Tchagra Southern
Gull Grey headed Teal Cape
Gull Hartlaub’s Teal Hottentot
Gull Kelp Teal Red billed
Gull Sabine’s Tern Antarctic
Hamerkop Tern Arctic
Harrier Black Tern Black
Harrier-hawk African Tern Caspian
Heron Black headed Tern Common
Heron Goliath Tern Damara
Heron Green backed Tern Little
Heron Grey Tern Roseate
Heron Purple Tern Sandwich
Heron Squacco Tern Swift
Honeybird Brown backed Tern Whiskered
Honey-Buzzard European Tern White winged
Honeyguide Greater Thick-knee Spotted eagle
Honeyguide Lesser Thick-knee Water
Honeyguide Scaly throated Thrush Karoo
Hoopoe African Thrush Olive
Ibis Glossy Tit Grey
Ibis Hadeda Titbabbler Chestnut vented
Ibis Sacred Titbabbler Layard’s
Kestrel Greater Trogon Nerina
Kestrel Lesser Turaco Knysna
Kestrel Rock Turnstone Ruddy
Kingfisher Brown hooded Turtle-Dove Cape
Kingfisher Giant Vulture Cape
Kingfisher Half collared   Wagtail Cape
Kingfisher Malachite Warbler African reed
Kingfisher Pied Warbler Cinamon breasted
Kite Black shouldered Warbler Knysna
Kite Yellow billed Warbler Namaqua
Knot Red Warbler Rufous eared
Korhaan Karoo Warbler Victorin’s
Korhaan Southern black Warbler Willow
Lapwing Blacksmith Waxbill Common
Lapwing Crowned Waxbill Swee
Lark Agulhas long billed Weaver Cape
Lark Cape clapper Wheatear Capped
Lark Cape long billed Wheatear Mountain
Lark Karoo Whimbrel Common
Lark Karoo long billed White eye Orange river
Lark Large billed White-Eye Cape
Lark Red capped Wood-hoopoe Green backed
Lark Sclater’s Woodland-Warbler Yellow throated
Lark Spike heeled Wood-Owl African
Longclaw Cape Woodpecker Cardinal
Mallard Woodpecker Ground
Marsh-Harrier African Woodpecker Knysna
Martin Banded Woodpecker Olive
Martin Brown throated Wydah Pin tailed

De Mond Sightings

BIRDS OF THE OVERBERG. . . . CHECK LIST . . . . HERMANUS BIRD CLUB
SPECIES SPECIES SPECIES SPECIES
Apalis Bar-throated Flamingo Greater Owl Barn Teal Cape x
Avocet Pied Flamingo Lesser Oystercatcher African Black x Tern Caspian x
Barbet Acacia Pied Flycatcher African Dusky Painted-snipe Greater Tern Common x
Batis Cape Flycatcher Fiscal x Paradise-Flycatcher African Tern Sandwhich
Bee-eater European Flycatcher Spotted Pelican Great White Tern Swift x
Bishop Southern Red x Francolin Grey-winged Penguin African Tern Whiskered
Bishop Yellow x Gannet Cape Pigeon Speckled x Tern White-winged
Bittern Little Godwit Bar-tailed Pipit African x Thick-knee Water x
Bokmakierie x Goose Egyptian x Pipit Long-billed Thick-knee Spotted
Boubou Southern x Goose Spur-winged x Pipit Plain-backed Thrush Olive
Bulbul Cape x Goshawk African Plover Grey x Tit Grey
Bunting Cape Goshawk Pale Chanting Plover Kittlitz’s x Turnstone Ruddy x
Bustard Denham’s x Grassbird Cape Plover Ringed x Turtle-dove Cape x
Buzzard Forest Grebe Black-necked Plover Three-banded Vulture Cape
Buzzard Jackal x Grebe Great Crested Plover White-fronted x Wagtail Cape
Buzzard Steppe x Grebe Little x Pochard Southern Warbler Victorin’s
Canary Brimstone Greenbul Sombre x Prinia Karoo Warbler Willow
Canary Cape x Greenshank Common x Quail Common Waxbill Common
Canary Forest Guineafowl Helmeted x Rail African Waxbill Swee
Canary Whitethroated Gull Grey-headed Raven White-necked x Weaver Cape x
Canary Yellow x Gull Hartlaub’s x Reed-warbler African Wheatear Capped x
Chat Familiar Gull Kelp x Robin-chat Cape x Whimbrel Common x
Cisticola Cloud Hamerkop Rock-jumper Cape White-eye Cape x
Cisticola Grey-backed x Harrier Black Rock-thrush Cape Whydah Pin-tailed
Cisticola Levaillant’s Harrier-hawk African Roller European Woodpecker Cardinal
Cisticola Zitting Heron Black-headed x Ruff Woodpecker Ground
Coot Red-knobbed x Heron Goliath Rush-warbler Little Woodpecker Olive
Cormorant Bank Heron Greenbacked Sandpiper Common x
Cormorant Cape x Heron Grey x Sandpiper Curlew x Total Seen 85
Cormorant Crowned Heron Purple Sandpiper Wood
Cormorant Reed x Heron Squacco Saw-wing Black
Cormorant White-breasted x Honeybird Brown-backed Scrub-robin Karoo
Coucal Burchell’s Honeyguide Greater Secretarybird x
Crake Black Honeyguide Lesser Seed-eater Streaky-headed
Crane Blue x Hoopoe African Shelduck South African
Crested-Flycatcher Blue-m Ibis African Sacred x Shoveler Cape
Crombec Long-billed Ibis Glossy Siskin Cape
Crow Cape x Ibis Hadeda x Snake-Eagle Black-chested
Crow Pied Kestrel Lesser Snipe African
Cuckoo Black Kestrel Rock Sparrow Cape x
Cuckoo Diederik Kingfisher Brown-hooded Sparrow House
Cuckoo Klaas’ Kingfisher Giant Sparrow S. Grey-headed x
Cuckoo Red-chested Kingfisher Malachite Sparrowhawk Black
Cuckooshrike Black Kingfisher Pied x Sparrowhawk Rufous-chested
Curlew Eurasian Kite Black-shouldered Spoonbil African x
Darter African Kite Yellow-billed x Spurfowl Cape x
Dove Laughing Knot Red Starling Common x
Dove Namaqua Lapwing Black-smith x Starling Pied x
Dove Red-eyed x Lapwing Crowned x Starling Red-winged
Dove Rock Lark Cape Clapper Stilt Black-winged x
Dove Tambourine Lark Cape Long-billed Stint Little x
Drongo Fork-tailed x Lark Largebilled x Stonechat African x
Duck African Black Lark Redcapped x Stork White
Duck Fulvous Lark Spike-heeled Sugarbird Cape
Duck Maccoa Longclaw Cape Sunbird Amethyst
Duck White-backed Mallard Sunbird Malachite
Duck White-faced Marsh-Harrier African x Sunbird Orange-breasted
Duck Yellow-billed x Martin Banded Sunbird Souther Double-C
Eagle Booted Martin Brown-throated Swallow Barn x
Eagle Martial Martin House Swallow Greater Striped x
Eagle Verreaux’s Martin Rock Swallow Pearl-breasted
Eagle-Owl Cape Masked-weaver Southern x Swallow White-throated x
Eagle-Owl Spotted Moorhen Common x Swamphen African Purple
Egret Cattle x Mousebird Red-faced x Swamp-warbler Lesser
Egret Great Mousebird Speckled x Swift African Black
Egret Little x Neddicky Swift Alpine
Falcon Lanner Night-Heron Black-crowned Swift Common
Falcon Peregrine Nightjar Fiery-necked Swift Little
Fiscal Common x Olive-pigeon African Swift White-rumped x
Fish-Eagle African Ostrich Common Tchagra Southern x
Teal Hottentot
Teal Red-billed x
23 24 27 11

Outing to Jessie Walton’s Farm – Bird List

BIRDS OF THE OVERBERG. . . . CHECK LIST . . . . HERMANUS BIRD CLUB
SPECIES SPECIES SPECIES SPECIES
Apalis Bar-throated x Flamingo Greater Owl Barn Teal Cape
Avocet Pied Flamingo Lesser Oystercatcher African Black Tern Caspian
Barbet Acacia Pied Flycatcher African Dusky x Painted-snipe Greater Tern Common
Batis Cape x Flycatcher Fiscal x Paradise-Flycatcher African x Tern Sandwhich
Bee-eater European Flycatcher Spotted Pelican Great White Tern Swift
Bishop Southern Red Francolin Grey-winged Penguin African Tern Whiskered
Bishop Yellow x Gannet Cape Pigeon Speckled x Tern White-winged
Bittern Little x Godwit Bar-tailed Pipit African Thick-knee Water
Bokmakierie Goose Egyptian x Pipit Long-billed Thick-knee Spotted
Boubou Southern Goose Spur-winged x Pipit Plain-backed Thrush Olive x
Bulbul Cape x Goshawk African x Plover Grey Tit Grey
Bunting Cape Goshawk Pale Chanting Plover Kittlitz’s Turnstone Ruddy
Bustard Denham’s Grassbird Cape Plover Ringed Turtle-dove Cape x
Buzzard Forest x Grebe Black-necked Plover Three-banded Vulture Cape
Buzzard Jackal x Grebe Great Crested Plover White-fronted Wagtail Cape x
Buzzard Steppe Grebe Little x Pochard Southern Warbler Victorin’s
Canary Brimstone Greenbul Sombre H Prinia Karoo x Warbler Willow
Canary Cape x Greenshank Common Quail Common Waxbill Common x
Canary Forest Guineafowl Helmeted x Rail African Waxbill Swee x
Canary Whitethroated Gull Grey-headed Raven White-necked Weaver Cape x
Canary Yellow Gull Hartlaub’s x Reed-warbler African Wheatear Capped
Chat Familiar Gull Kelp Robin-chat Cape x Whimbrel Common
Cisticola Cloud Hamerkop Rock-jumper Cape White-eye Cape x
Cisticola Grey-backed Harrier Black Rock-thrush Cape Whydah Pin-tailed x
Cisticola Levaillant’s x Harrier-hawk African x Roller European Woodpecker Cardinal
Cisticola Zitting Heron Black-headed x Ruff Woodpecker Ground
Coot Red-knobbed x Heron Goliath Rush-warbler Little Woodpecker Olive
Cormorant Bank Heron Greenbacked Sandpiper Common
Cormorant Cape Heron Grey x Sandpiper Curlew Total Seen 65
Cormorant Crowned Heron Purple x Sandpiper Wood Heard only 2
Cormorant Reed x Heron Squacco Saw-wing Black x
Cormorant White-breasted x Honeybird Brown-backed Scrub-robin Karoo Forest Buzzard was of
Coucal Burchell’s Honeyguide Greater Secretarybird hybrid “mystery bird”
Crake Black x Honeyguide Lesser Seed-eater Streaky-headed species
Crane Blue x Hoopoe African Shelduck South African
Crested-Flycatcher Blue-m Ibis African Sacred Shoveler Cape List includes birds seen
Crombec Long-billed Ibis Glossy Siskin Cape x en route to jessie’s farm
Crow Cape Ibis Hadeda x Snake-Eagle Black-chested
Crow Pied x Kestrel Lesser Snipe African
Cuckoo Black Kestrel Rock x Sparrow Cape x
Cuckoo Diederik Kingfisher Brown-hooded Sparrow House
Cuckoo Klaas’ H Kingfisher Giant Sparrow S. Grey-headed
Cuckoo Red-chested Kingfisher Malachite Sparrowhawk Black
Cuckooshrike Black Kingfisher Pied Sparrowhawk Rufous-chested
Curlew Eurasian Kite Black-shouldered Spoonbil African
Darter African x Kite Yellow-billed x Spurfowl Cape x
Dove Laughing x Knot Red Starling Common
Dove Namaqua Lapwing Black-smith x Starling Pied
Dove Red-eyed x Lapwing Crowned Starling Red-winged
Dove Rock Lark Cape Clapper Stilt Black-winged
Dove Tambourine Lark Cape Long-billed Stint Little
Drongo Fork-tailed x Lark Largebilled Stonechat African x
Duck African Black Lark Redcapped Stork White
Duck Fulvous Lark Spike-heeled Sugarbird Cape x
Duck Maccoa Longclaw Cape Sunbird Amethyst x
Duck White-backed Mallard Sunbird Malachite x
Duck White-faced Marsh-Harrier African Sunbird Orange-breasted
Duck Yellow-billed x Martin Banded Sunbird Souther Double-C x
Eagle Booted Martin Brown-throated Swallow Barn
Eagle Martial Martin House Swallow Greater Striped x
Eagle Verreaux’s Martin Rock x Swallow Pearl-breasted
Eagle-Owl Cape Masked-weaver Southern Swallow White-throated x
Eagle-Owl Spotted Moorhen Common x Swamphen African Purple
Egret Cattle x Mousebird Red-faced Swamp-warbler Lesser x
Egret Great Mousebird Speckled x Swift African Black
Egret Little x Neddicky Swift Alpine
Falcon Lanner Night-Heron Black-crowned x Swift Common
Falcon Peregrine Nightjar Fiery-necked Swift Little
Fiscal Common x Olive-pigeon African Swift White-rumped
Fish-Eagle African x Ostrich Common Tchagra Southern
Teal Hottentot
Teal Red-billed 68 seen + 2 heard only 70

Spring is here

 

Birdwatchers will be happy with the return of our migrant birds.  This weekend I heard Red-chested and Klaas’ Cuckoo and also saw Diederick’s Cuckoo, Greater Striped Swallow, Yellow-billed Kite and White Stork.  On a trip to the Breede River, we saw 73 species in the Potberg area.

Now, if only the weather would warm up a bit, we might actually believe that what the birds are telling us about the seasons is true!

Ronnie