PHOTCOMP

Finalists Zeiss Photographic Compet...

Congratulation to the finalists in the Walker Bay Bird Fair / Zeiss photographic competition.  The entries can be viewed under the 2015 Competition Fi...

UILENVLEI CONSERVANCY BIRDING OUTIN...

Tuesday 27th January 2015 turned out to be a lovely cool day - perfect for bird watching.   Nine birders met up at the Stanford Garage at 6.55 am befo...

WalkerBay_BirdFair_Logo

Zeiss Walker Bay Bird Fair Photogra...

The Zeiss Walker Bay Bird Fair Photographic Competition is now closed! Finalists photographs can be viewed on the website page or Facebook&...

Rm1

BIRDING AT VILLA FELICITA

BIRDING AT VILLA FELICITA by Richard Masson For my birthday this year I spoilt myself and spent 2 days at Villa Felicita (Italian for Absolute Blis...

Walker Bay Bird Fair

PHOTCOMP

Finalists Zeiss Photographic Competition

Congratulation to the finalists in the Walker Bay Bird Fair / Zeiss photographic competition.  The entries can be viewed under the 2015 Comp...

Articles

Rm1

BIRDING AT VILLA FELICITA

BIRDING AT VILLA FELICITA by Richard Masson For my birthday this year I spoilt myself and spent 2...

Events

EE

Eagle Encounters

Children enjoying the Eagle Encounters at the community hall.  ...

Outings

UILENVLEI CONSERVANCY BIRDING OUTING

Tuesday 27th January 2015 turned out to be a lovely cool day - perfect for bird watching.   Nine birders met up at the Stanford Garage at 6....

Eagle Eyes

DSCN1983

Eagle Eyes – A view from the hide

  “Gang of five.” Class of first EE lesson in hide Proud gypo parents of six, on an ourting to “Coates Island...

Zeiss Walker Bay Bird Fair Photographic competition

The Zeiss Walker Bay Bird Fair Photographic Competition is now closed!
Finalists photographs can be viewed on the website page or Facebook 

WALKER BAY BIRD FAIR 2015

A Village Fair becomes a regional event!

The Stanford Bird Club in partnership with the Hermanus Bird Club, are pleased to advise on the progress of the much anticipated 2015 Bird Fair.

As this Fair is a collaboration of organisations in this region, the Fair will be called The Walker Bay Bird Fair, with a bi-line, on the Stanford Village Green, February 2015.
This Fair will be hosting a truly regional event as our new partners are not only the two clubs but also the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, The Overberg Lowland Conservation Trust and the Grootbos Foundation. In addition, we are fortunate to count on our previous loyal supporters, Stretton’s and the De Hoop Collection.
We are in final discussions with other prominent organisations being Wesgro and Orms.

A huge coup for us is the acceptance to our invitation from the co-founder of the British Bird Fair, Tim Appleton MBE and Steve Rooke, another very prominent UK birder and international tour operator.
We have invited some of South Africa’s top wildlife photographers to come and host talks and workshops including our good friend Peter Chadwick.

John Maythem of 567 Cape Talk fame will be our guest and will host the Bird Brain Quiz. With some of SA’s top birders present, this should be highly entertaining.

Of course, there will be the traditional photographic competition with impressive prizes to be won.

We are planning a number of new and exciting outings, guided by local experts.

The Fair will be held in a 500 sq exhibition marquee on the Village Green and will be supported by a food and craft market.

The event is due to start on Tuesday 24th February and the exhibition opens on the Friday through to Sunday morning.
Exciting news is that we are planning 567 Cape Talk to host an outside broadcast at the Fair and will be preceded by much publicity of the event. There will be interviews on the day with our esteemed guests.

Our aim, of course, is not only to create awareness of the Walker Bay area as a birding destination but also to improve environmental awareness, conservation and to boost tourism in the area.
The combined Bird Club Committees obviously cannot achieve this all on our own and would like to call for volunteers to assist us in preparing and hosting the event.

Shortly, we’ll have our own Facebook page – we will let you know when this is up and running.
We sincerely hope you are all as excited as we are in hosting this historic regional event and look forward to working with you to help make The Walker Bay Bird Fair the success it deserves.

Finalists Zeiss Photographic Competition

Congratulation to the finalists in the Walker Bay Bird Fair / Zeiss photographic competition.  The entries can be viewed under the 2015 Competition Finalist Page.  Once the winners are announced we will identify the photographs and photographer for you!

  • Arrie Klopper
  • Colin Thornton
  • Gerhard Vosloo
  • Jan van Huyssteen
  • Jenny Morkel
  • Michelle Nel
  • Richard Masson
  • Tim Hague

We look forward to the prize giving, sponsored by Strettons Gin on Friday evening 27th February in the marquee on the Stanford Village Green.   All welcome – see you there!

UILENVLEI CONSERVANCY BIRDING OUTING

Tuesday 27th January 2015 turned out to be a lovely cool day – perfect for bird watching.   Nine birders met up at the Stanford Garage at 6.55 am before setting off in two cars for our destination.

There were masses of sea birds on either side of the bridge so we first climbed down to the water on the western side where we had our breakfast snack.  Jeremy Rickett had kindly got permission from Tony Weaver (Uilenvlei Conservancy) for us to walk in the bush on the eastern side, to the water’s edge to get a closer look at the numerous birds.  See list below:

Avocet Pied, Cape Bulbul, Jackal and Common Buzzard, Red-knobbed Coot, Cape and White-breasted Cormorant, African Darter, Red-eyed and Rock Dove, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Fiscal Flycatcher, Egyptian and Spur-winged Goose, Sombre Greenbul, Common Greenshank, Hartlaubs, Kelp Gull, Black-headed Heron, Rock Kestrel, Pied Kingfisher, Black-shouldered Kite, Blacksmith Lapwing, Speckled Mousebird, African Black Oystercatcher, Three-banded and White-fronted Plover, White-necked Raven, Common Starling, Black-winged Stilt, Barn, Greater-striped and White-throated Swallow, Caspian, Common, Sandwich and Swift Terns, Ruddy Turnstone, Cape Wagtail, Common Whimbrel, Fiscal Shrike.

Another perfect birding outing.   Home by 12.30 pm

Sarah James

BIRDING AT VILLA FELICITA

BIRDING AT VILLA FELICITA by Richard Masson

For my birthday this year I spoilt myself and spent 2 days at Villa Felicita (Italian for Absolute Bliss), a private farm with guest house, not quite 10kms outside Stanford towards Salmonsdam Nature Reserve.
This 100 hectare farm, complete with milkwood forest, perennial stream and krantz, has over the past six years been restored to pristine alien free fynbos by owner Wayne Gordon. I stayed there on 24 and 25 September 2014, just after having learnt of the tragic passing of Brummer Olivier, who died in a helicopter accident in the Underberg while carrying out alien vegetation surveys. There was some comfort in the thought that this endemic bird rich environment with alien free vegetation pays tribute to what this greatly respected and admired man stood for.
As always I was there for the birds! The weather was not particularly kind with some late winter rain about, but that did not dampen the spring spirit of the birds. Over the 2 days I identified 103 species with a remarkable count of 21 endemics and 7 near endemics.

THE FULL ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD HERE

River Rat Outing October 2014

Stanford Bird Club enjoyed a lovely morning on Ernie’s boat, The River Rat, last Sunday, the 5th October, 2014. We saw a total of 34 birds, made it all the more worthwhile! The first bird we saw before the boat departed was an African Hoepoe, which was very special, and the last two unusual birds we saw, as we arrived back, were 2 White-Faced Whistling Ducks!! I had never seen them before, and nor had Ernie.

List of birds seen:

1. African Hoepoe

2. Red Bishop

3. Cape Weaver

4. White-Throated Swallow

5. 2 African Fish Eagles
6. White Breasted Cormorants

7. Jan Fiskaal

6. Three yellow-billed ducks with 2 ducklings

8. Pin-tailed Whydah

9. Guinea Fowl (roosting up in tree)

10. Reed Warbler

11. Black Headed Heron

12. Fork-tailed Drongo

13. Spur-winged Geese

14. Dabchick

15. Water Dikkop and chick

16. Little Bittern

17. Red-Knobbed Coot

18. Moorhens

19. Cape Wagtails

20. Blacksmith Lapwing

21. Starlings

22. Blue crane

23. Turtle doves

24. Rock Kestrel

25. Sacred Ibis

26. Little swift

27. Lesser Striped Swallows

28. African Harrier Hawk (Gymnogene)

29. Hadeda’s

30. Reed Cormorant

31. Giant Kingfisher

32. Pied Kingfisher

33. Two White Faced Whistling Ducks

34. Darters

Terrapin (small water turtle) also seen swimming in water.

African Harrier-Hawk

Youthful but fully grown African Harrier-Hawk.

This was filmed from about 7 metres in the Mill Stream Wetland, Stanford . August 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royd Frith.

Stanford Bird Club.

Seen in Stanford

On a rather cold but DRY day, a few intrepid birders set off for a walk around some of Stanford.  We started off at the Bird Hide where we stayed for an hour before completing our walk.  Linden kindly made a list of the birds we spotted during the morning.  We went from the dam along De Bruin Street, down into Vlei Street, crossed Queen Victoria Street ducking into the magical, Milk Wood forest, over the wooden bridge, and around the wall, which was full of mud, and under water last week. We managed to walk around the wall on the rocks packed up against it. Only four brave members ventured out, and I’m sure we would all agree it was a pleasant and worthwhile outing!

 

 BIRD LIST

1.  Cape reed warbler (2)

2.  Cape Wagtail

3.  Common Moorhen (6)

4.  Mallard Duck

5.  Black Crake

6.  White Breasted Cormorant (lots)

7.  Little Grebe (Dab chick)

8.  Red-Knobbed Coot

9.  African Swamp Hen (2)

10.  White Backed Duck (2)

 

Along Wandelpad:

 

11.  Yellow-Billed Ducks (3 flying)

12.  Hadeda

13.  Fork-Tailed Drongo (3)

14.  Cape Weavers (building nests)

15.  Cape Batis

16.  Southern Doubled Collared Sunbirds’ (male and female)

17.  Common Waxbill

18.  Cape Canary

19.  House Sparrow

20.  Pin-tailed Whydah

21.  Laughing Doves

22.  Female Bishops

23. Common Fiscal Shrike

24.  Cape Robin Chat,

25.  Fiscal Flycatcher

26.  Turtle Dove

 

Lindon also took some photo’s.   We finished off the morning with coffee and biscuits at Sarah’s house.

 

Newsletter of the African Raptor Network

The fourth edition of the African Raptor Network newsletter is now available for download.

Please click this link: ARN Newsletter 4 (3MB Download)

 

THE CARING OWL

I am from South Africa and about 4 years ago made friends with a spotted eagle owl that showed up on our farm (most probably it was rehabilitated by someone). The owl got injured and I kept it inside for a couple of months until it was well again. During this time our one old cat found out that no other cats are allowed in my study where I kept the owl and she moved in. I allowed this because she has never in her life caught a bird or mouse and was not interested in the owl at all.

During this period the owl got used to her and they regularly ate steak out of my hand together. Once the owl was OK again I let it out, but it now comes and sleeps inside during the day, hunting freely at night. At the moment I have another injured owl that he adopted and feeds regularly (about 2 rats an evening).
The other night I was working late in my study when the owl came in with a rat. I presumed that he were going to feed it to the injured owl, but much to my surprise he flew towards the cat that was sitting on the sofa and tried offering the rat to her. Fortunately I was lucky enough to be able to take a couple of pictures which I include here.

I could only find one other instance where an owl befriended a cat, but I could nowhere find a picture or anything about an owl bringing a mouse or rat to a cat. Unfortunately for the owl, the cat just sniffed at the rat as she has never eaten something like that before. The owl is however aggressive towards all other cats and will even swoop down and attack them if they come to close to his nesting box in the tree. He however accepts this cat even near his nesting box.

What makes my owl so interesting to me is that it is free to come and go as it pleases and lives as close to a natural life as possible. I have in no way tried to train him or force myself onto him and everything that he does comes natural. I am not in favour of keeping birds, or any other animal for that matter, caged up and release all injured birds if at all possible.