Monday, 24 February 2014

Cape Parrot Count 2014 date change

The 2014 Cape Parrot Count has been changed to 17th-18th May this year due to the upcoming elections.

If you would like to take part, but don't have camping equipment, please contact Herbie Osborne on the following email:
or telephone 039-695-1002 and we will try to make a plan.

If you have already expressed an interest in assisting, please confirm with Herbie that the new dates are okay.
We will also be trying to negotiate a preferential rate at Ingeli Forest Lodge for those who like the more comfortable life.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Outing report- 23rd February 2014 Stott Farm, Umtentweni

Text by Angie Butcher
Photos: Hazel van Rooyen

Attendees – Doug & Angie Butcher, Margaret Jones, Eric Kok, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen (6 attendees)

And nearly only four, as Bob and Hazel flew past the end of the road three times in an attempt to find the entrance to the farm.   Only a few of us, but what a great morning, with cool weather, short grass and 15 sightings before we even set out.   Our first walk on the edge of the cane and back through the woodland yielded a flock of Green Pigeons, African Goshawk and good views of Cape Batis and Black-backed Puffback flitting around in the canopy.   Further along the road rows of Barn Swallows were congregating on the telephone wires, whilst Village Weavers popped in and out of the bush.
male Violet-backed Starling
female Violet-backed Starling


After breakfast, during which a Knysna Turaco sat in the tree overhead eyeing sandwiches and muffins, we left the cars and walked the coral tree-lined road to the farmhouse.   These trees were alive with birds – we counted at least a dozen Violet-backed Starlings, and woodpeckers were busy in the branches (Cardinal, Olive and Golden-tailed).   Outstanding sightings were had of Grey-headed Bush Shrike and Orange-breasted Bush Shrike which we followed for a distance, and a mysterious call at the end of the road had us searching our bird books, until we realised that it was Bernie’s African Grey calling from it’s cage on the stoep!   Back to the cars with a lone sighting of a Yellow-billed Kite preening on a pylon, and the end of four hours of profitable and enjoyable birding.

Yellow-throated Longclaw - note the 'long claw'

Knysna Turaco

Species recorded:  Barn Swallow, African Green-Pigeon, Red-eyed Dove, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Goshawk, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Southern Black Flycatcher, Green-backed Cameroptera, Hadeda Ibis, Tambourine Dove, Olive Thrush, Black-bellied Starling, Pintailed Whydah, Knysna Turaco, White-rumped Swift, Trumpeter Hornbill, Black-headed Oriole, Brown Scrub-Robin, Violet-backed Starling, Dark-capped Bulbul, Black-collared Barbet, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Purple-crested Turaco, Klass’s Cuckoo, Red-winged Starling, Square-tailed Drongo, Cardinal Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Little Bee-Eater, Bronze Mannikin, Common Fiscal, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Orange-breasted Bush Shrike, Spectacled Weaver, Southern Boubou, Olive Woodpecker, Collared Sunbird, Cape Batis, Dark-backed Weaver, Black-backed Puffback, Amethyst Sunbird, Cape Glossy Starling, Village Weaver, Natal Spurfowl, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Feral Pigeon, Burchell’s Coucal, Yellow-fronted Canary, Olive Sunbird, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Green Woodhoopoe, Speckled Mousebird, Yellow-billed Kite, Golden-tailed Woodpecker (54 species)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Official launch of Barry Porter Memorial Hide 8th February 2014

By Andy Ruffle

(Photo Lennart Eriksson)
Some 40 guests attended the official launch and naming of our Barry Porter Memorial Hide. They comprised representatives from UGU South Coast Tourism, representatives from Ezinqoleni Municipality, representatives from Ezinqoleni Tourism, BirdLife Trogons members, family members of Barry Porter, Mike & Heidi Neethling, representatives from the local tourism industry and  members of the media.

We assembled at Leopard Rock Coffee Shop before doubling up in cars and setting off to the hide.

Proceedings were opened by myself with a speech welcoming attendees, explaining briefly how the hide came about and thanking all those involved in bringing this exciting project to life.

Andy Ruffle
(Photo Lennart Eriksson)

Howard Kelly, who is on the Board of Directors of UGU South Coast Tourism (Pty) Ltd, then explained how and why UGU SCT became involved in this project.

Howard Kelly
(Photo Doug Butcher)

Next, Warren Porter, Barry’s son, gave a short speech about his father.

Warren Porter
(Photo Doug Butcher)

This was followed by Mike Neethling telling us some fascinating facts and figures about Cape Vultures.

Mike Neethling
(Photo Lennart Eriksson)

Warren Porter was then asked to the cut the ribbon and formally open the hide.

Andy Ruffle with Warren Porter - ribbon cutting
(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
Andy thanks Warren
(Photo Lennart Eriksson)

Carol Kent, from Ezinqoleni Tourism, then gave a closing speech.

Carol Kent
(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

With the formal proceedings completed, attendees were eager to check out the hide and experience the vultures for themselves. Mike enthusiastically offered information as guests surveyed the vulture restaurant and then went to the cliffs.

(Photo Doug Butcher)
(Photo Doug Butcher)
(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
(Photo Doug Butcher)
(Photo Doug Butcher)

The gathering finally moved back to Leopard Rock for refreshments.
The launch was an overwhelming success and we have received nothing but positive feedback.
Certainly a day BirdLife Trogons can be very proud of!!

There are some more photos on our facebook group here.

Thanks go to the photo contributors

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Barry Porter Memorial Trophy 2014 Herbie Osborne

The recipient of the Barry Porter Memorial Trophy for 2014 is Herbie Osborne.
Herbie receiving the trophy, from Andy Ruffle, at the
AGM on the 18th January 2014.
(Photo Doug Butcher)

Herbie does an excellent job manufacturing and manning our Lions’ Show stand each year.

His participation in the annual Cape Parrot Count is invaluable. Without him we would struggle to get to the vantage points.

He is actively involved in the vulture hide project, providing maintenance skills and also escorting visitors.

You can always rely on Herbie to step up to the plate in the clubs hour of need.

Herbie, thank you so much from all the club members.