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

Little Ringed Plover – a mega-rarity!

_MG_7938

Vermont Pan has a habit of every so often producing an interesting rarity. Today (Monday) it was a Little Ringed Plover. I was playing golf this afternoon when Sheelagh phoned me to say she’d seen an email from Trevor Hardaker (Rare Birds News) alerting birders to the presence of a Little Ringed Plover at Vermont Pan. She had already seen it and was going back with her camera. So as soon as I’d finished my game, I shot off home to collect Sheelagh, my camera, and binos – no time for the 19th hole!

Fortunately the bird was still there when we got to the Pan. On the South side in the rocks in the shallows, mixing with Three Banded Plovers-but quite distinctive, with a yellow eye ring and pinkish legs. A dozen or so birders in attendance, including Trevor and others from Cape Town.

What makes this rarity interesting is that it is only the third sighting in Southern Africa, and the first in the Western Cape! It is normally resident in North Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Often when we, in the Overstrand, hear of rarities, they are a long way off. But here we have one at Vermont Pan, right on our doorstep. No knowing how long it will stay, but certainly worth looking for. It was on the south side of the Pan, slightly west of that parking area.

Article and image by       John Bowman

Thick with Thick-Knees

 

A vacant plot in Eastcliff must have something going for it, at least as far as the world of Spotted Thick-Knees is concerned.  This morning, whilst out walking, I spotted no less than 12 of these birds sunning themselves in an area no bigger than 40m x 40m.  There may have been more – I only saw the ones that were standing and I did not get too close for fear of disturbing them.  I read that out of breeding season they form roosts of up to 70 birds, but this my first experience of this habit.               R Hazell.

Sp Thick_knee

A Frustrating Day

Renee and I spent a few hours at Strandfontein yesterday morning, hoping to see a Sand Martin.  We did not, but we saw plenty of other birds, none of which added anything to my challenge list!  Then, when we arrived home in Hermanus, I opened my mail to see a notice from Trevor Hardaker advising of a Western Yellow Wagtail at Strandfontein. Then a Squacco Heron and, this morning, a Lesser Crested Tern!!  Talk about bad luck – the Tern would have been a lifer for me.  Pity Strandfontein is so far away.

Ronnie

Birding at Vrolijkheid Reserve

 

The club’s 2017 Challenge is not a competition, unless you are RH or MF!

Mike Ford, the forerunner at the end of February, left on Sunday for 3 months to man the Aras bird ringing station in Turkey for the 3rd time.  In a last minute effort to get as many species as possible for his challenge list, Graham and I were invited to join him and Valerie on an overnight trip to Vrolijkheid Reserve near McGregor. The aim was to get as many Karoo habitat species as possible.

We knew we were in the Karoo when we saw our first Pale Chanting Goshawk.  We stopped along the road, picking up good species like Cape Long-billed Lark and Karoo Chat and arrived at the reserve just before 10:00.  The day was warming up and we immediately set off to the hides, being greeted by an Acacia Pied Barbet. Along the way we picked up Dusky Sunbird, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler and White-backed Mousebird.  The waterhole at the first hide was pretty empty but there were a couple of waders about, including Black-winged Stilts and Little Stints.  This was also where we saw our first Fairy Flycatcher, one of my favourite little birds.

The day was getting unbearably hot so we checked into our chalet, Jakkalskuil, and tried to keep cool. This proved just about impossible and the ceiling-fans did little to help. A cold shower was the answer.  Eventually we could bear it no more and opted to go for a drive so that we could use the car’s air-conditioner.  The next day we heard that the temperature was 42°!  A huge fire in the Langeberg did not help.

At the Robertson water purification plant we saw a number of ducks, including a pair of South African Shelduck, Cape and Red-billed Teals and Lesser Swamp-Warbler. Next on our list was a spot under a bridge where we had previously seen Barn Owls. We made a hasty retreat as we encountered first a group of guys loitering and then a group seeking respite from the heat, including a stark naked man!

Back at Vrolijkheid we drove to the dam at the left of the main entrance but there wasn’t much of interest, except a pair of Water Thick-knees.  Home for a rest and a braai.

Thursday morning was very overcast with bad light but we were up at dawn and went for a long walk, first to the dam on the left, then to the first hide by which time it started to warm up. Karoo Scrub-Robins were everywhere.  Highlights of the morning were Pearl-breasted Swallow, Rufous-Eared Warbler, a Layard’s Tit-Babbler identified on call and a Klaas’ Cuckoo. While looking at the Cuckoo, a Spotted Eagle-Owl flew by!

Mike added 12 species to his challenge list and Graham and I double that to ours.

The dip of the trip was a Namaqua Dove and I have a feeling Mike boarded the plane on Sunday still moaning “I want a Namaqua Dove”!   Mike, I hope you see many beautiful Lifers at Aras to make up for the dip.

In conclusion I would like to have a word with the newer, less experienced birding members of our club. The only way you will learn about birds and birding spots around you is to go out there and find them!  Join the club’s First Thursday outings. Enter the challenge for your own enjoyment. Enter Mini Birding Big Day, go out and have fun with a friend or two and train yourself in identifying the species.  No, you probably won’t win, but you would have learnt an awful lot.  Truth: when I went on my first ever MBBD, I was lucky to be in Mike’s team, but when he called a ‘crow’ a White-Necked Raven I thought he was bonkers.  I’ve learnt a lot since then.  See you on the 2nd at the MBBD braai!!

Barbara Palmer

An Appeal to Club Members

Those of you who attended the Flower Festival last spring will recall the very successful stand mounted by the Hermanus Bird Club.  Pat Redford put it together and she has once again volunteered her services to design and build our 2017 stand.  This year’s theme will be nests and members are asked to assist in this regard

Pat asks that you should look out for abandoned or fallen nests (please do not touch active ones!)  Her advice is:

  • Shake them off a bit,
  • Spray with a little bit of insect spray to rid nest of mites etc,
  • Store in a ventilated cardboard box in their garage until September.
  • If you know for sure which bird species the nest belonged to, can you label the box accordingly.
  • If you are not sure, perhaps you can do research themselves to establish the most likely species, a good learning experience?
  • Alternatively we will get the nests all lined up and ask our experts to ID them, so we can label and display.

She would love to have about 100 nests, even if there are several the same, it would make an awesome display! We have at least 100 active members, so she am sure 1 per member or per couple could be achieved? Specially in the windy stormy winter ahead. She would also like to have photographs of nests or birds nesting.  These should be emailed to her at patred@iafrica.com so that she can start compiling the information and plan the display.

Glenda Furst recently took the photograph below.  Mike Ford has identified it as a Little Swift, and it is the sort of image that is needed, so lets get cracking!

Swallows

Little Swift and nest

A Change at the Editor’s Desk

By now you will all be familiar with your new committee, however, there will be more about the new members, once I get my act together.  In the meantime, I am the new editor of the Club’s blog, and I approach this task with some trepidation, having large boots to fill.  Charles has done the job so well over the past couple of years that he will be a hard act to follow, especially as he is a journalist by profession, and I barely passed Matric English!!

We will need to keep abreast of all the club’s activities and, in this regard, I need the assistance of all members.  Will all leaders of outings, walks, etc., please provide me with appropriate reports and photographs so that I can post them on the blog.  It is not always possible to attend all functions, so your co-operation is all that I can depend upon.  I hope to get many articles and anecdotes, so that we can ensure that the site is current and relevant.

I will also be starting a new page on the blog called ‘Recent Sightings’ and expect members to contribute by going to this page and adding sighting reports by way of comments.  This should keep all members abreast of what is happening, birdwise, in our area.  Once again, please use this facility, as it will not be viable unless people contribute regularly. Remember that what you may regard as a common sighting may well be of interest to other members

Keep on birding!    Ronnie Hazell

The Elegant Tern is back

An Elegant Tern (Elegante Sterretjie) was spotted in the tern roost at Gearing’s Point in Hermanus yesterday.

Elegant Tern

An Elegant Tern. Image by Brian E Small, published on Audubon website.

Trevor Hardaker, calling it a “mega alert”, announced the sighting by Ian Luyt in his South African Rare Bird News report this morning. He said the bird was photographed.

The bird was still present this morning, as confirmed by Keir Lynch, providing the GPS position as  34 25 20.12517 S 19 14 29.64721 E.

“It is the same site where a bird, possibly the same individual, was hanging around earlier this year”, Hardaker wrote in his report.