Attendance at activities FREE for paid up club members.
Non-members R 30.00 p/p per outdoor activity and R 50.00 for Webinars
ATTENTION: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
Walks are restricted to 10 participants per leader first come first served basis.
Note the following:
1. Booking to be done using our online forms – there is a link at the end of each activity description which you can just click on to link to the form – and each person attending must fill in a separate form to comply with COVID requirements.
2. The activity leader will contact you closer to the time to ensure you have details and directions for the activity.
3. Please bring your own hand sanitizer.
4. No mask, no walk
5. Maintain social distancing at all times.
6. Socializing after the event only to be done with safe social distancing in place.
If you are not able to attend a walk for whatever reason once you have booked
email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so you can be removed from the list and give others a chance to take your place.
Wednesday 2nd JUNE 14h00 BIRD WALK Stainbank Nature Reserve with Rowan Bartlett This is one of the most popular parks in Durban, and for good reason. The varying habitats offer a wide variety of birds, with beautiful scenery and close encounters with game too. We will walk through the forest loop, looking for Bushshrikes, Black-headed Orioles, Ashy Flycatcher and many other forest specials. There is a chance for Narina Trogon, Green Twinspot and Buff-spotted Flufftail, not to mention Terrestrial Brownbul, Sombre and Yellow-bellied Greenbul, and Spotted Ground Thrush. Keep looking up for the Majestic Crowned Eagle as well as many other raptors hunting overhead. We will then make our way through the grasslands and up to the dam to look out for any interesting waterfowl, we may even have a chance at Black-crowned Night Heron and Striated Heron. Then we will find nice forest clearings where we can sit quietly and see what passes us. Many birds enjoy hunting and foraging on the edges of forests, so this is always an excellent way to look out for things like Grey Waxbills, Grey-headed and Olive Bushshrikes and various types of Flycatcher. If we have time, we will head down to the bottom picnic area. Bring any snacks or refreshments and we can spend the last moments of the day watching the surrounding trees and the sky for anything we may have missed at the top of the park. Depending on what time the gates close, we may even have a chance at seeing a Spotted Eagle Owl. Stainbank is a fairly large reserve with trails of various lengths. To make it more accessible to all members, I would prefer to keep to the shorter trails and spend more time birding, less time hiking, but even so, it will still be a fair bit of walking so wear comfortable shoes!
Saturday 5th JUNE 08h00 BIRD WALK New Germany with Elena Russel This lovely little reserve can be very rewarding. The grasslands can produce Zitting Cisticolas, African Pipit and Little Bee-eaters, Robins and Flycatchers are found in the forest and if you are lucky an African Goshawk will show.
Wednesday 9th JUNE 18h30 BIRD MEET PRESENTATION with Gunnar Engblom, Peru The Bucket List Approach to Birding by Gunnar Engblom. The way to lure new birders and even non-birders to a birding tour is to make it short, focus on spectacular bird species and iconic mammals, and include world heritage sites such as Machu Picchu or the Taj Mahal. Gunnar Engblom – a Swedish birder living in Peru and owner of a bird tour company Kolibri Expeditions – gives examples from around the world and especially from Peru practising this new concept he calls 7 Wonders Birding.
Tuesday 15th JUNE 07h00 SIT-IN Pigeon Valley with Jenny Norman Pigeon Valley in winter is well known for Spotted Ground Thrush and if we’re lucky, Green Twinspot. We will sit just inside the reserve near the sign board and a bird bath while we watch and wait.
Sunday 20th JUNE 07h00 BIRD PARTY Winter Solstice Party
All members and their guests welcome. It’s the Winter Solstice – come members new and old to the club’s solstice celebration. It’s the day the sun starts coming back to us in the southern hemisphere with a promise of spring and summer birding to follow. Come for a morning bird walk and then stay for a braai to meet the committee and chat to other members. This is one of the ways we are getting club members together while meeting online in between. Please look out for the advert for more details of venue and the logistics of the day.
Saturday 26th JUNE 06h15 ATLAS CMGE with Nicolette & Ticky Forbes BLPN 2021 ATLAS CHALLENGE – PAINT ME GREEN eTHEKWINI – start giving back to bird conservation by recording your sightings. Atlassing is an extremely rewarding way to bird. If you have a passion for birds and conservation your sightings can make a difference and contribute to long term monitoring. We will be choosing a group of four or more pentads to atlas and turn yellow and then green for 2020. We will divide into groups do the 2 hour protocol for adjacent pentads and then come together to compare notes and chat about the sightings and the habitat. Be part of this exciting challenge and join the monthly trips. The pentads which need data and colour will be chosen and communicated to the booked participants prior to the day.
Sunday 27th JUNE 07h00 BIRD WALK Simbithi Eco-estate with Mike O’Donoghue Rich in history and boasting a vast acreage of indigenous forests, bush and natural wetlands Simbithi Eco-Estate is home to a range of animals and plants. Five walking trails are possible which span the various habitat types. Possible winter sightings could include Spotted Ground Thrush, Little Sparrowhawk, Green Malkoha, Grey Waxbill as well as a wide variety of the more common coastal forest species. Access to this gated estate is via codes that will be provided to those that have booked by the evening prior to the walk. Bring a driver’s licence or some form of identification for access purposes. On returning to the clubhouse after the walk, the covered seating area around the pool will be available to those wanting to enjoy a rest and any refreshments or packed breakfast that they may have brought along.
Activities already completed in 2021
Saturday 13th March – BLPN 72nd AGM. Online Virtual Meeting – time and arrangements will be announced 21 days prior to the meeting. We will be voting on some changes to the club’s constitution so please diarise this date and look out for the final arrangements. Click on the link to book.
Sunday 14th March 06h30 DAY TRIPPING Priscilla Vale Farm With Malcolm Stainbank A range of habitats to explore, including forest, grassland, cliffs, wetlands and dams. Bring hats, sunscreen and walking shoes as there are short walks involved. A high rise vehicle is a plus, but come anyway and we will make a plan (doesn’t need to be 4×4). Bring your picnic lunch, stay and bird as long as you like. BLPN WALK 2/3 To book please click on the link and register
Wednesday 17th March 07h30 – BIRD WALK Botanic Gardens with Sandi du Preez. Always a favourite venue with lots of bird species to be seen in the trees and Robin-chats and Thrushes on the ground. Bring refreshments and a chair for picnic afterwards.
Wednesday 17th March ONLINE MEETING AND BIRD LEARN – Identify that bird. A virtual meeting on our Zoom platform to assist members with learning this virtual interface and the birds at the same time. We will display photos of birds for identification and talk about identification tells of some of the species found in eThekwini and surrounds. Please feel free to submit photos when the invitation is sent out for display and questions.
Saturday 20th March 06h00 – BLPN 2021 ATLAS CHALLENGE – PAINT ME GREEN eThekwini with Nicolette & Ticky Forbes – start giving back to bird conservation by recording your sightings. Atlasing is an extremely rewarding way to bird. If you have a passion for birds and conservation your sightings can make a difference and contribute to long term monitoring. We will be choosing a group of four or more pentads to atlas and turn yellow and then green for 2020. We will divide into groups and do the required protocol for adjacent pentads and then come together to compare notes and chat about the sightings and the habitat. Be part of this exciting challenge and join the monthly trips or atlas pentads of your choice. Click the link to register for this morning outing.
Wednesday 31st March 14h00 – 16h00 – NATURE JOURNALING BIRDS IN CONTEXT, INCLUDING HABITATS with Cati Vawda. Bringing Nature Journaling to your birding – learn how to integrate this fun and powerful tool into your birding. Suitable for birders of all levels and styles. Have on hand a notebook and pencil or pen. An A4 or A5 size are ideal. If you do not have a notebook on hand then use loose paper with firm backing. Use whatever you already have at home.
Saturday 10th APRIL 06h30 BIRD WALK iPhiti Nature Reserve with Penny de Vries Iphithi is a 12ha piece of forest and wetland in the Molweni River’s upper catchment area in the heart of the green and leafy suburb of Gillitts. There is a stream that runs through the reserve, to a dam in central large open space in the reserve, and then on through a wetland before exiting the reserve. A mix of habitats, from thicket to woodland stream, young forest, and wetlands. As these habitats continue to be rehabilitated an ever-increasing diversity of flora and fauna are seen, from small mammals to a variety of birds. These include waterfowl and forest species. Butterflies and insects are also prevalent.
Sunday 11th APRIL 06h00 BIRD WALK Kwa-Ximba with Dave Rimmer There can’t be too many places on the outskirts of the city where one can view or hear a mix of bushveld birds, forest birds, and of course water birds in the space of just a few hours as we wander along the Umgeni River. R30 per person Conservation levy to be collected at the outset.
Wednesday 14th April 18h30 BIRD MEET PRESENTATION with Carina Pienaar The Ingula Story: How Industry can help Conservation. The Ingula Partnership was born out of necessity to save the wetlands and grassland in the Eastern Free State from development but grew to become one of the biggest success stories displaying how conservation can collaborate with industry for the good of all involved. This presentation will look at a brief history of the Ingula Partnership, the resulting Ingula Nature Reserve, and some of the surrounding projects that sprouted from this collaboration, including the rebirth of the national Southern Bald Ibis project.
Saturday 17th APRIL 07h00 BIRD WALK Lot 1740, Westville with Rob Jamieson Exploring Lot 1740 Westville. We will be birding The Scout Bowl Park, Woodland Park and the upper section of the Westville Trail. Wetland, grassland, forest and riverine habitats on offer.
Saturday 17th APRIL 06h00 ATLAS CMGE with Nicolette & Ticky Forbes BLPN 2021 ATLAS CHALLENGE – PAINT ME GREEN eTHEKWINI – start giving back to bird conservation by recording your sightings. Atlassing is an extremely rewarding way to bird. If you have a passion for birds and conservation your sightings can make a difference and contribute to long term monitoring. We will be choosing a group of four or more pentads to atlas and turn yellow and then green for 2020. We will divide into groups do the 2 hour protocol for adjacent pentads and then come together to compare notes and chat about the sightings and the habitat. Be part of this exciting challenge and join the monthly trips. The pentads which need data and colour will be chosen and communicated to the booked participants prior to the day.
Thursday 22nd APRIL 07h00 SIT-IN Memorial Park with Jenny Norman Memorial Park is a new venue for the club events. It is a park that was donated by 2 farmers in memory of their son’s that were killed in the 2nd world war (some info will be shared about this when birding is quiet). It has a nice reedbed for bishops and weavers and plenty of mature trees around. We will sit near the reed bed in the shade of one of the trees and see what puts in an appearance.
Saturday 24th APRIL 14h00-16h00 NATURE JOURNAL Bird Sounds with Cati Vawda Making sense of bird sounds. Suitable for birders of all levels, ages and styles. Have on hand a notebook and pencil or pen. A4 and A5 are ideal sizes. If you do not have a notebook then use loose paper with firm backing. Use whatever you already have at home. Online Zoom session.
Sunday 25th APRIL 05h30-11h00 DAY TRIPPING Darvill Treatment Workswith Rowan Bartlett Darvill Treatment Works, Pietermaritzburg is a must-see place for birders as it offers a wide variety of treasures. It is busy from first light, so this will be a really early start from Durban for those interested. An early start could give us the chance to see Temminck’s Courser and it is a great place to study LBJ’s. It may be a bit late in the year for the migrant warblers, but there are plenty of cisticolas to keep us busy, including Red-faced and Levaillant’s. Scanning the various settling ponds could yield Black Crake, African Jacana, Common Moorhen as well as Cape, Red-billed and Blue-billed Teals, Cape Shoveler and others. Watching the skies is also productive, with many raptors hunting in and around the area, including Black Sparrowhawk, African Goshawk, Lanner and Peregrine Falcons and various Eagles. Oddities often show up, like Glossy Ibis and Baillon’s Crake, Although the terrain is fairly level, the area is quite large and so be ready for some walking. We will take it slow though as there are many areas to scan.
Wednesday 28th April 18h30 BIRD MEET PRESENTATION with Nicolette Forbes After the rains – the wonderful Kruger Park from south to north with Nicolette Forbes. For those that love Kruger or are planning to visit. The presentation will describe the park after the exceptional summer rains, with photos of the interesting and unusual species seen, some charismatic megafauna added in as well as some information on the different types of accommodation used during the trip from Berg-en-Dal in the south through to Pafuri in the North.
Saturday 1ST MAY AND Sunday 2nd MAY 07h00 BIRD WALK Pigeon Valley with Rowan Bartlett COMPLETED Pigeon Valley offers a bittersweet glimpse of what The Ridge must’ve looked like before it was settled. The birdlife is extraordinary throughout the year, with each season offering a slightly different cast of characters. Firstly, watch the paths ahead for Green Twinspot, African and Red-billed Firefinches as well as Common and Grey Waxbills. We’ll stop at the various water points throughout the park and sit quietly to see what comes in. With any luck, we may encounter the very beautiful, but elusive, Buff-spotted Flufftail. Other specials are Cardinal, Golden-tailed and Olive Woodpeckers and Grey-headed Bushshrike, as well as other more common forest standards such as Dark-backed Weaver, Square-tailed Drongo, Black-backed Puffback and African Paradise, Ashy and African Dusky Flycatchers. Gently strolling through the various paths, we’ll stop whenever we encounter a bird party, looking out for Chinspot and Cape Batis, Bar-throated and Yellow-breasted Apalis and Collared, Purple-banded, White-breasted, Olive, Grey and Amethyst Sunbirds. A resident pair of Black Sparrowhawks are often see, and sightings of Little Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk are also possible. Other specials include Brown-backed Honeybird and Green Malkoha and of course, the beautiful Spotted Ground Thrush. We’ll end at 11.30, but if you bring a picnic and blanket, we can find a sheltered spot somewhere on the main path and sit and watch what other birds pass through while we have our lunch.
Tuesday 4th MAY 07h00 SIT-IN North Park with Jane Morris We will be sitting in the picnic site which is a short distance from the parking area at North Park. There is a lovely open glade surrounded by well-established trees with a view onto the edge of a superb example of coastal lowland forest. There is an entrance fee of R 40.00p/p or use a Golden Rhino card.
NOTE ADDITIONAL EVENT
Cape Parrot Count 8 and 9 May 2021
Birdlife eThekwini KZN will be involved in the Annual Cape Parrot count and we are fortunate to have been allocated the Impendle nature reserve, a closed reserve close to the village of Boston, and home to ten pairs of Blue swallow. In addition there are numerous other species of birds including Blue cranes and Ground Hornbills. The Boston T Party accommodation (self-catering @ R320 per person sharing with camping facilities also available) (bostontparty.co.za) have agreed to accommodate us (about 30 minutes from the site) and Glynn Bullock (local birder) will guide us to the best observation sites. We should meet at midday on Saturday at the Boston T party where I am told there are very good water birds. We need to do our observations for three hours before sunset on Saturday, and three hours after sunrise on Sunday, so there should be plenty of time to enjoy the indigenous mist belt forest and grasslands.
Register using this link https://forms.gle/EYMijdSHWcWX6Neg6
Wednesday 12th MAY 18h30 BIRD MEET PRESENTATION with Steve Woodhall The Butterfly Equivalents of Birds with Steve Woodhall.Come and have an entertaining evening as we find out which butterflies represent which bird. Raptors=Charaxes, LBJ’s = Skippers, CMF (like a Pitta) = Gold Banded Forester, Cuckoos = Skollies etc.
NOTE NEW & ADDITIONAL EVENT FOR MAY
Saturday 15th MAY 08h00 – 15h00 KZN FORUM at the Amber Auditorium in Howick. Please diarise this date. All members are encouraged to attend. This is always a great day of talks about all things birding and conservation. The BirdLife KZN forum is our regional assembly where KZN bird clubs and NGOs get together to share information and keep the birders in the province connected. This day of talks always facilitates communication between clubs at a provincial level but also provides feedback to our National body as BLSA representatives are also always in attendance. A programme of talks has been circulated to members and can be looked at by clicking here. The venue is at the Ambers so is safe with space for social distancing and parking. There are some great birding spots nearby and so it is a lovely area and opportunity to tag some birding onto the Saturday. For any members who wish to stay over on the Saturday night (there is lots of accommodation nearby) there is the opportunity to join a birding group early on Sunday morning. The club will arrange a birding route to visit some of the more productive areas and connect with some midlands birds. This will require car sharing or being in your own transport to move between areas which are all in close proximity to the venue. Please email email@example.com if you wish to be added to the attendance list for onward arrangements.
Sunday 16th May 06h30 DAY TRIPPING! Umlalazi Nature Reservewith Penny de Vries Umlalazi Nature Reserve has a lot to offer with winter specials such as Mangrove Kingfisher, Chorister Robin-Chat and Spotted Ground Thrush. Palm-nut Vulture is also a resident here. Estuary habitat with mangroves, salt marsh and reedbeds as well as climax forest and grassland. Travel distance approximately 1hr 40 mins. Entrance fee of R 40.00p/p or use a wild card.
NOTE DATE CHANGE TO ALLOW FOR THE SATURDAY BLSA KZN REGIONAL FORUM
Saturday 22nd MAY 07h00 BIRD WALK Birding & Exploring the Eskom Vehicle Track with Rob Jamieson along the northern bank of the Umbilo Valley.This is a new destination so come and explore. Valley bush, grassland and riverine habitat all just waiting to be explored. The track is easy walking and not difficult with only one short section which is relatively steep. We will be covering a maximum of 3 kms. Section of the “middelmannetjie” and sides of the track have long grass and if there is dew our boots and trousers could get wet. Booking form link is included at the end. If you have already booked and are happy with the date change you need not re-register. If you wish to cancel, please let Jenny Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
LEADER TRAINING EVENT – POSTPONED
Sunday 23rd MAY 08h00 BIRD LEARN Leader training programme Beachwood Mangroves with Activities Team Leader training programme Beachwood Mangroves – – If you are interested in leading a walk on behalf of the club but have been hesitant about doing so, please come along and learn some of the basics of leading a group. We will do a walk followed by a workshop and end with a braai. The club will provide salads and rolls but participants will have to commit to leading two walks over the year. This will also be essential for the people who will be part of the group for the early morning bird walks which the club will be providing for the International Ornithological Congress in Durban in August 2022.
NOTE ADDITIONAL EVENT
Saturday 29th MAY 2021 10:00 AGM Flock 2021: A Virtual Affair BirdLife South Africa will be holding a virtual Flock in 2021. This year, in addition to BirdLife South Africa’s 92nd AGM, the event will also include a two-day Virtual Learn About Birds (LAB) Conference. The LAB takes place on 27 and 28 May, and the 92nd BirdLife South Africa AGM takes place at 10h00 on Saturday 29 May. Find out more about LAB at https://www.birdlife.org.za/support-us/events/learn-about-birds-lab-conference/. We’d be pleased to have many of our members attend our AGM, so please register at https://www.birdlife.org.za/support-us/events/flock-2021/.
At this AGM, some of BirdLife South Africa’s staff will present short talks about their important work. The prestigious Gill Memorial Medal will also be presented to one of Africa’s foremost ornithologists.
NOTE DATE CHANGE TO ALLOW FOR THE SATURDAY BIRDLIFE SOUTH AFRICA AGM
Sunday 30th MAY 06h15 ATLAS CMGEwith Nicolette & Ticky Forbes BLPN 2021 ATLAS CHALLENGE – PAINT ME GREEN eTHEKWINI – start giving back to bird conservation by recording your sightings. Atlassing is an extremely rewarding way to bird. If you have a passion for birds and conservation your sightings can make a difference and contribute to long term monitoring. We will be choosing a group of four or more pentads to atlas and turn yellow and then green for 2020. We will divide into groups do the 2 hour protocol for adjacent pentads and then come together to compare notes and chat about the sightings and the habitat. Be part of this exciting challenge and join the monthly trips. The pentads which need data and colour will be chosen and communicated to the booked participants prior to the day.