Friday, 25 December 2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Exciting News! Barn Swallow recapture Z215476

Andrew Pickles was very excited recently when, during one of his regular bird ringing sessions at the Umzumbe roost, he captured a Barn Swallow which had already been ringed.  He could immediately see from the ring engraving that it had originated in the United Kingdom and has just received official confirmation from the British Trust for Ornithology that a Mike Haigh ringed this Barn Swallow as a 6 day old chick in horse stables at Llanfechain, in Powys, Wales in the United Kingdom on 24 June 2015.  

Mike Haigh was also thrilled, calling it the Holy Grail for bird ringers to have one of their swallows turn up in South Africa, something they always dreamed of.  Next year he will be particularly vigilant to see if the bird returns and he will keep Andrew informed. 

Just to imagine  - this tiny bundle of feathers followed its innate instincts to fly all the way to our neck of the woods.  We know this happens but to have our own proof gives me, for one, goose-bumps!

Congratulations and well done Andrew on all the effort you put into this project.

Photographs property of photographer

Sunday, 6 December 2015


Attendees: Doug & Angie Butcher;  Margaret Jones,  Irma Smook,  Herbie & Jeanette Osborne,  Sandy Olver,  Hazel Nevin,  Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Robin Eccles & Hanli Kloppers,  Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury,  Stan & Val Culley;  Paul & Margaret Rose,  Keith & Maureen Roach, Bobby & Hazel van Rooyen.
Photos: Doug Butcher and Hazel van Rooyen 

Paul & Margaret feeling the festiveness

It was not the sort of weather we birders usually hope for - wet, windy and wild but a perfect day to tuck into our delicious Christmas lunch held at the delightful Umthunzi Hotel in Umtentweni.
Chairman Herbie welcomed us all and we were soon devouring  butternut soup, salads, Umthunzi’s famous calamari, curried vegetables, roast beef, turkey with trimmings (to name just a selection), then on to delicious desserts – trifle, bread and butter pudding and my ultimate weakness – Xmas mince pies.  Our favourite tipples were also consumed and a very merry time was had by all.  

Special thanks go to Barry & Sue for organising the venue and to the Committee for all the hard work they have put in during the year.

And here is the evidence!

Barry & Sue
Doug & Angie
Bob, Sue & Barry

Keith & Maureen
Stanley & Asothie, Irma, Margaret, Jeanette, Herbie
Val, Stan, Sandy, Hazel, Hanli, Rob

Just desserts

Queens for a day


Umthunzi Hotel, Umtentweni

Photographs copyright of photographers