Activities – 2019


BirdLife Port Natal

KINDLY PHONE THE CONTACT PERSON FOR ANY SPECIFIC OUTING BEFOREHAND TO ENSURE THAT THE OUTING WILL TAKE PLACE. Participation is at your own risk. An indemnity form must be signed by each participant at the start of the outing.  A fee of R20.00 will be charged for non-members

DIRECTIONS TO VENUES. Go to https://blpn.org/activities/directions-to-bird-club-venues/. If unsure, then ask the outing leader when you make contact to confirm your attendance.

OUTDOOR OUTINGS:Please don’t forget to bring your tea/lunch baskets & chairs to socialise afterwards. Please note that many places now charge, so take entrance money, Wild and/or Rhino Cards with you.

Please note that with affect from the 1st June there will be a nominal charge of R20.00 for all non-members attending indoor meetings and outings. 

Please make use of the opportunity to bird with like-minded people who so willingly give of their time and knowledge to lead outings for the benefit and enjoyment of club members.

MAY 2019

Saturday 4 May 07h15– Paradise Valley Nature Reserve with Terry Walls.Please advise Terry of attendance and confirm arrangements 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com Meet at Kloof Falls Picnic site.  This pristine reserve consists of incised deep gorges covered with coastal scarp forest, patches of grassland and protea veld on the crest of the hills and sheer cliff faces.  This diverse habitat provides a wide and interesting variety of birds from Crowned Eagle to Blue-billed Firefinch, and many others in between, including the Narina Trogon. Directions:Up Fields Hill along M13, take Village Road turnoff (exit 23). Turn right over the bridge, then left at the traffic circle into Old Main Road. Continue through another traffic circle and then bear right around a further traffic circle, then sharp left over the railway bridge, then left again into Church Street. At the T-junction turn left into Abelia Road, then right into Kloof Falls Road (it is signposted from this point). At the next traffic circle, bear right and continue down this road for about 2 km until you reach the Kloof Falls picnic site on the right-hand side. Park at Bridle road (main) entrance and pay the entrance fee or R 40.00 or present your Golden Rhino card.

Saturday 4 May OR Sunday 5 May VOCALISATION, MIGRATION AND FLIGHT A one-day bird course focusing on the mysteries of bird migration (find out how they do it!), wonders of communication and song (learn/practice call identification at the same time!) and understand the fascinating anatomy and strategies which make them fly!

To book and get details email: courses@ecoinfoafrica.com Cost: R200.00 for BLPN members and R250.00 for non-members.

Wednesday 8 May: Indoor Meeting – Please note there will be no indoor meeting due to the Anniversary Brunch being held on 18th May.

70th Anniversary Celebration:  Saturday 18th May 2019.

This will be a celebration brunch commencing at 09h00.  The club is very excited to be celebrating this significant anniversary and also that Hugh Chittenden has agreed to address us on this auspicious occasion, and he will be speaking on “Birdlife in Durban and surroundings – Past and Present”.  Hugh’s photos are always fantastic, and he will be sharing with us the fantastic and rich history of Durban’s birds.   This brunch is open to club members and their immediate families only and we would love as many members as possible to join us for this celebration so please book early to avoid disappointment.  Tickets sales are being done through BLPN for members only.  Information regarding venue etc. will be provided when members book. 

Early morning bird walks of various levels will start at 07hr00 returning to the event by 08hr30 in time for walkers to refresh themselves before the brunch starts at 09hr00. There will be a fee of R 40.00 payable to Krantzkloof reserve for walkers or a Golden Rhino card may be presented.

Wednesday 22 May 08h00 – IPHITHI N.R. with Sandi du Preez. Please advise Sandi of attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431

Iphithi is a12 ha piece of precious forest and wetland in the Molweni River’s upper catchmentarea in the heart of the green and leafy suburb of Gillitts.There is a stream that runs through the reserve, collecting in a man-made dam in the one large open space in the reserve, and then on through a wetland before leaving the lower end of the reserve. A mix of habitats can be enjoyed, from thicket, to woodland stream, young forest, and wetland zones. As these habitats continue to be rehabilitated an ever-increasing diversity of flora and fauna can be seen, from small mammals to a variety of birds.  These include water fowl and forest species.  Butterflies and insects are also prevalent.

Directions: Drive on the M13 from Durban and take the Everton off-ramp between Kloof and Hillcrest. Turn right at the intersection towards Everton Road and then turn left immediately after crossing over the M13 and BEFORE the railway bridge. Drive west along this road parallel to the railway line and then after about 100m turn right and cross the railway line into Camp Road. Then turn left into Edward Drive at T-junction. Entrance is on your right.  Wait outside the gate. We all need to go in together, so please be on time. A donation towards the Conservancy would be appreciated.  Bring tea/coffee and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 25 May 06h45– Amanzimtoti Bird Park Meet.  Contact Tyron Dall on 0826577400 or Adam 0614853625 for more information.

Sunday 26 May 07h00 – Eshowe and surrounds with Nicolette and Ticky Forbes– 07h00.  Meet at the Dlinza Forest Chalets / Accommodation.  We will visit Dlinza Aerial Boardwalk / Dreadnought Farm walking trail as well as a local dam to which we will be given access.  We will stay over at the Dlinza Forest Accommodation chalets on the Saturday night for a braai and a chat about what we can expect during birding the next day.  They have offered us a great BLPN group rate of R600 per chalet per night if all four chalets are booked.  The chalets are completely equipped with bedding and towels and for self-catering – we need only bring food and our drinks.  Please book directly with Bev at Dlinza Forest Accommodation, 2 Oftebro Street, Eshowe, Tel: 035 4742377, Cell: 0828028272.  Please let Nicky know if you are booking (nicolette@mer.co.za) so we can make sure to get a BLPN group rate.   There are only three chalets now available but there is more accommodation across the road should there be more wishing to join this trip.

Specials we might see in the forest include the globally threatened Spotted Ground Thrush, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Grey cuckoo shrike, Olive woodpecker, Yellow-streaked bulbul, Green Twinspot, Brown Scrub Robin, African Broadbill.  Martial Eagle and Crowned eagle breed in the reserve and Southern Ground-Hornbills include the grassland habitat in its territory.

JUNE 2019

Please note that from 1st June 2019 a charge of R20.00 will be levied for all non-members participating in BLPN outings and meetings.

Saturday 1 June 07h30 – Please phone Terry to advise of attendance and confirm arrangements 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com.  A small remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea and never fails to delight, Spotted Ground Thrush is a common winter visitor.
Directions: Travelling along the N3 towards Durban, take exit 3 – Ridge Road/Berea. Turn right over the bridge towards Glenwood. After a while, you’ll find Mazisi Kunene Avenue on your left – turn into it. Turn right into Princess Alice Avenue and the Pigeon Valley Park will be on your right. There is no parking inside the park, so find a spot along the road.

Wednesday 12 June 19h00– We are fortunate to be having Adrian Koopman, Professor of Zulu at University of KwaZulu-Natal and publisher of many articles and books.  He has been involved with the study of names and naming systems and will be speaking on “Zulu bird names old and new: the Zulu Bird name Project 2013-2018”.  He will be followed by Eckhardt Buchman with a talk entitled “Oh shucks they changed the name again! How and why our birds’ names change”.  They will speak for approximately 25 minutes each and then take questions. There is always lively debate in the club regarding name changes so this promises to be an interesting evening. We meet at the Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Wednesday 19 June 07h30– Pigeon Valley with Sandi du Preez.Please advise Sandi of attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431 A small, remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. Spotted Ground-thrush a special in winter and Buff-spotted flufftails also present. Six Sunbird species can be seen at this time of the year.  Directions: Follow South Ridge Road from Tollgate, towards the University.  Turn left into King George V Ave. then right into Princess Alice Ave. The entrance is on the right. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards

Sunday 23 June 08h00– Birding at Amber Lee in Howick with Crystelle Wilson. Please contact Crystelle to confirm and get direction 0827235158 or crystelle.wilson@gmail.com.  There is a lapa at the dam where you can enjoy lunch afterwards. Bring your food and chairs.

Saturday 29 June 07h00– Amanzimtoti Sports Club meet.Contact Tyron Dall on 0826577400 or Adam 0614853625 for more information

JULY 2019 

Saturday 6 July 07h30– Durban Botanical Gardens with Terry Walls.Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 / email avianoak@yahoo.comDurban Botanical Gardens can be broadly divided into 3 areas, open grassy ornamental gardens, wooded areas with tangles of vegetation and large trees and then the star of the show which is the lake area with its constant noisy and busy community of weavers, herons, ibis and waterfowl going about their business. Red-capped Robin-chat, Drongos and Black Flycatcher give great opportunities for close encounters.  Black-throated Wattle-eye is a real possibility.
Directions:  From Berea Road, turn into Botanic Gardens Road and travel until the gardens are reached. Turn right into Sydenham Road and follow the signs to the new entrance.  After the walk we will go to the Tea Garden for refreshments

Wednesday 10 July 19h00Bird Sense: Song, Rhythm and Musica talk by Nicky Forbes.  A fascinating look at bird calls, song and communication through sound.  This talk will make you more aware of the calls around you. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Weekend away 12 – 14 July:  Umlalazi Nature Reserve with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  Mtunzini has a lot of birding on offer and includes some winter specials like Mangrove Kingfisher, Chorister Robin-Chat and Spotted Ground Thrush, not forgetting that Palmnut Vulture is resident there.

For campsites make your own booking direct with the reserve office on 035 3401836.

Hutted accommodation can be booked via https://ekznw.co.za/Resorts/Umlalazi/Ezemvelo 

Directions: N2 North Coast to Mtunzini Toll Plaza, for approximately 140 km, then follow the signs to Umlalazi NR.  Please advise Jane on janette@mweb.co.zaif you are attending.  Emails regarding activities, times etc. will be sent to participating members.

Wednesday 17 July: Lesley Frescura.  Time and Venue to be advised.  Please contact Lesley on galefra@mweb.co,za

Saturday 20 July 08h30– The winter CWAC count with Steve Davis. The winter CWAC count takes place at Umgeni River and Durban Bayhead. Meet at the Umgeni Bird Park parking area at 08h30, for low tide at 11h30. Thereafter we will move on to Bayhead.

Please bring hat, water, tea, snacks, binoculars and chairs (and wellies if you intend coming to Bayhead). We will have lunch near the Green Hub after the Umgeni count before moving to Bayhead.

All welcome!

Sunday 21 July– Amatigulu with Steve Davis.  Please advise Steve of attendance and to get time to meet plus final arrangements for the outing 0837754459 sdavis@smri.org

This small reserve is situated about 100km north of Durban. Habitats include coastal, riparian and dune forest, grassland, Lala palm bushveld and estuary, the variety of which has resulted in a checklist of over 300 birds. Specials that have been seen here on previous trips include African Finfoot and White-fronted Bee-eater. Insect life is also usually good. Bring chairs and picnic lunch.

Directions:  Take the N2 north over the Tugela River and turn left at the sign to Amatikulu NR. (The sign is well after you have passed through the second toll plaza at Groutville). Turn left at the signpost and at the stop street turn right going over the N2. Follow this road until you come the next sign to the reserve entrance. Turn left onto this gravel road which is at places somewhat potholed. Park inside the entrance gate. An entrance fee is payable.  About 1 hour.

AUGUST 2019

Saturday 3 August 06h00– Umhlanga Lagoon with Terry Walls.  Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com
Lagoon, wetland, dune forest ecosystems yield some interesting birds, not to mention the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean. Always a good birding venue.
Directions: From the M4 take the Umhlanga Rocks Drive turn-off. Travel east then turn left into Lagoon Drive at the civic center. Travel to the end of Lagoon Drive and the entrance to the reserve is just past Breakers Hotel. Park in their car park.  Meet at the reserve entrance.

Sunday 11 August 07h30– Umdoni Park, Pennington with Tyron Dall.  Please confirm attendance via email or WhatsApp (dalltyron@gmail.com, 0826577400). Meet at the Environmental Centre. Umdoni Park consists of pristine coastal and riparian forest.  It is one of the best places south of Durban to find the elusive Green Malkoha. Winter will also be a good time to visit to try and find Spotted Ground Thrush, White-starred Robin and Olive Bushshrike. Other forest specials to look out for include Narina Trogon, Lemon Dove, Crowned Eagle, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Brown Scrub Robin etc.

GPS location to meet up (Environmental Centre) is -30.392521, 30.682240, or see directions on https://blpn.org/activities/directions-to-bird-club-venues/page.

Wednesday 14 August 19h00–Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  Blessing Majoka, a keen birder, photographer and plant enthusiast, who is a Field Ranger from eThekweni Municipality will address us on various reserves of the Greater eThekweni municipal area and more specifically what birds we could hope to encounter on a field outing to one of these reserves.

Wednesday 21 August 08h00– BOTANIC GARDENS with Sandi du Preez. – 08h00.  Please advise Sandi of attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431.  Durban Botanical Gardens can be broadly divided into 3 areas, open grassy ornamental gardens, wooded areas with tangles of vegetation and large trees and then the star of the show which is the lake area with its constant noisy and busy community of weavers, herons, ibis and waterfowl going about their business.  Red-capped Robin-chat, Drongos and Black Flycatcher give great opportunities for close encounters.  Black-throated Wattle-eye is a real possibility.  Directions:  From Berea Road, turn into Botanic Gardens Road and travel until the gardens are reached. Turn right into Sydenham Road and follow the signs to the new entrance.  After the walk we will go to the Tea Garden for refreshments

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3 Responses to Activities – 2019

  1. Patrick says:

    Good evening, seen a huge raptor at my home this morning, very curious to know what it is, have a short video, it had a very peculiar call, returned home this evening its still around. Your kind assistance will be appreciated.

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