BirdLife Port Natal


BirdLife Port Natal

June 2017

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 3 June 07h30 – Palmiet Nature Reserve – with Elena Russell. Meet in the car park. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place. Tel 031705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Bring a picnic tea & chairs. Directions: From the N3 take the Westville/Pavilion off-ramp. Travel along St James Avenue towards Westville. Shortly after the bridge, at the T-junction turn right into Jan Hofmeyr Road. After Westville Boys High School (on the right) turn left into Old New Germany Road past Pick ‘n Pay on your right to the Gwala-Gwala entrance. Park in the car park.

Saturday 10 June 13.30 – BMCG North Park NR with Rob Jamieson.  We shall be birding, but also noting the extent of the alien invasion in the reserve, and how that may affect the bird life.  Coastal lowland forest with high sandstone cliffs and a river all combine to make a good afternoon’s birding. Directions:  Take the M7 (Solomon Mahlangu Drive) from Durban, turn off at the Northdene/Queensburgh exit, turn left into Old Main Road after 6 km (Exit 12), turn right into Anderson Road after 1 km and proceed to the gate. There is an entrance fee.  Meet in the car park.

Tuesday 13 June 09.30 – Our next Krantzkloof meeting will be held on Tuesday, 13th June, at 9.30 for 10.00 at the Krantzkloof Conference Centre.  As usual tea, coffee and biscuits will be served before the meeting and the price remains R20 per person.  Our speaker on Tuesday will be Tammy Caine from the Raptor Rescue Centre and her talk will revolve around her work at the Centre.  Tammy joined the team at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary in 2006 working with captive birds of prey, training and flying them for public education.  Just over a year ago she set up Predatory Bird Projects, an NPO that focuses on bird of prey research and community education.  I am sure you will all agree that this is very valuable work and many of you will have been to the Raptor Rescue Centre and may well have met Tammy.  I really hope you will be there on Tuesday to support all she does, especially educating the local communities and helping to rehabilitate and release injured birds where possible.  The committee would like to welcome our latest member, Helen Geldart to the committee.  We are very happy to have her on board and hope she will enjoy her time with us.

Wednesday 14 June 7h30 – Pigeon Valley with Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431 A small, remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. Spotted Ground-thrush is a special in winter. 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. Entrance is free but please consider a donation towards the Friends of Pigeon Valley. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Wednesday 14 June 19.00 – This indoor meeting promises to be colourful.  A photographic evening for members – please bring 5 of your favourite bird pics, taken by yourself, and tell us about them.  Steve Davis, our honorary recorder will crit and talk about the birds and the pics.  Please let Lesley know if you are participating 0832313408.  Or just come along to enjoy the photographs and learn more.  Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road.  We have a screen, projector and laptop.  So you will need a USB.  R10 at the door.

Sunday 18 June 2017. Will advise via KZN Birds if we get a volunteer with a venue.

May 2017

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 6 May 07h00 Shongweni with Elena Russell. Tel 031705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. – Bring a picnic tea. Directions: Take the N3 west, go through the Mariannhill Toll Plaza, then take the Shongweni/Assagay off-ramp. Turn left and drive for approximately 1 km before turning left again at the sign to Shongweni Dam. After a few hundred metres turn right at the next signpost for Shongweni Dam. This road eventually leads to the entrance (about 6 km).  Pay your entrance fee by card. Cash not accepted. Wild Cards accepted. Take the left road as you enter and park in the parking at the Resource Centre.

Wednesday 10 May 19h00 – Indoor meeting at Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville. Our guest speaker is Judy Mann-Lang, Conservation Strategist, at the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, uShaka Marine World.  She will be speaking on “The role of marine protected areas in conservation”.   Judy is an excellent speaker, and her topic most interesting.

Wednesday 17 May 7h30 – uMhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve – Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Wetland, dune forest and beach. Good birds include Crowned Eagle, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Blue-mantled crested Flycatcher, Purple-banded Sunbird, Brown-throated Weaver, White-fronted Plover. Crested Guineafowl has been seen there in the past. Directions – From the M4 take the Umhlanga Rocks Drive turn-off. Travel east then turn left into Lagoon Drive at the Civic Centre. The reserve is at the end of Lagoon Drive just past Breakers Hotel. Meet in the car park. Entrance is free. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Sunday 21 May. Will advise via KZN Birds if we get a volunteer with a venue.

Friday 26 to Sunday 28 May 2017 – Mtunzini Twin Streams environmental Education center – with Cheryl and John Bevan. Weekend away, please confirm your booking with Cheryl Bevan – home number 031- 7083731, Cell number 0834079785 or email address is mombevan@gmail.com. Please book directly with TWINSTREAMS CENTRE, Twinstreams Mtunzini, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Tel: 035 340 1641/035 340 2511. Website: www.twinstreams.org.za.

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April 2017

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 1 April 07h15 Durban Botanical Gardens – with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place. Tel 031705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. We will have refreshments at the kiosk after the walk

Tuesday 11 April, 09h30 for 10h00 Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre..- Speaker to be advised. There is an entrance fee, tea and coffee is provided.

Wednesday 12 April 19h00 – Indoor meeting. Details to follow.

Wednesday 19 April 08h30 Durban Natural Science Museum, Research Centre in KE Masinga Road (entrance from Wyatt Road) -, with Lesley Frescura. David Allan will host us in the Bird Room, a unique opportunity to see their collection and find out more of what they do. Parking inside the Museum grounds or outside in Wyatt Street, a car guard will be there. Directions – Take N3 towards the beaches, N3 becomes KE Masinga, cross over Soldiers’ Way, turn right into Wyatt Street, the Museum is on your right. Meet in the car park. Tea, coffee and biscuits for afters will be supplied.

Sunday 23 April 07h00 Darvill – with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place. Tel 031705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Bring a picnic tea & chairs. Darvill is great for a wide variety of waterfowl with easy access. Directions:-Travel from Durban ontheN3 to Pietermaritzburg. Take the New England Road turnoff (R56). Turn right at lights and go back over the freeway to a traffic circle. Go straight at the circle for 2-3 km to a sign on the left “Darvill Reticulation” on the Hollingwood grounds. Enter and continue to the actual sewerage works entrance. Park under the trees on the right of the entrance.

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March 2017

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 4 March 2017 07h00 Burman Bush – with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place. Tel 031705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Bring a picnic tea & chairs. Directions: Take Lilian Ngoyi Road (Windermere Road) from Sandile Thusi Road (M17) (Argyle Road) and continue along it until the end and turn left into Goodwin Drive. Go past the Bill Buchanan Home and then follow the signs from the Goodwin Drive/Burman Drive junction to the parking area on the left near the gate.

Saturday 4 March. uMngeni Valley at WESSA Howick The KZN Forum meeting starting at 08h15. An agenda will be sent out close to the meeting, and all are welcome to attend.

Wednesday 8 March 19h00 – Indoor meeting with David Ehlers Smith, “Avian Diversity in the Indian Ocean Coastal Forests”.  Shane McPherson is winging his way back to NZ on Tuesday but we have been lucky enough to have David as a new guest speaker, highly recommended by Prof Colleen Downs.  Do come along and learn more about the birds that frequent our coastal forests in an excellent presentation.  R20 pp to cover cost of venue and refreshments.

Wednesday 15 March – North Park N.R. 07h30 with Sandi du Preez 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431.Coastal lowland and riverine forest with sandstone cliffs.  Directions: – Take the M7 (Edwin Swales) from Durban. Turn off at the Northdene/Queensburgh exit, turn left into Old Main Road. Turn right into Anderson Road and carry on till the gate at the bottom of the road. There is an entrance fee but free for Wild Card and Rhino Card holders. Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards.

Sunday 19 March 06h00 – Priscilla Vale Farm which links into Wingfield NR and Gwahumbe with Malcolm Stainbank. Please confirm meeting place and time with Malcolm on cell: 0837811130 or send an SMS. Email: md.s@priscillavalefarm.co.za. See http://www.virginiafarm.co.za for details about Virginia Farm and Wingfield NR. Directions: Take the N3 from Durban and take the Camperdown off ramp. Go left at the bridge and follow the road until the T-junction. Go left towards Eston and Umbumbulu. At the Caltex Service Station keep going straight on the R603 +- 12 kms from the Eston crossroad, turn off on your right. Allow 65 minutes from Durban. GPS Co-ordinates at the for Priscilla Vale Farm are: S 29 57’815″; E30 36’444″.

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February 2017

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 4 February – Umbogavango 06h00 – with Elena Russell. Meet by the security gate. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place. Tel 031705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Bring a picnic tea & chairs. Directions: Take the N2 towards Amanzimtoti and exit at the Moss Kolnik Drive/KwaMakhutu turnoff. Turn right across the freeway and continue for about 1 km. Turn right at the Southfork signpost and continue for a short distance to the gate.

Sunday 12 February 2017. SAPPI Bird Hide 06h45 with Rex Aspeling. Please contact Rex to confirm. Email:rex.aspeling@gmail.com or call: 082 301 8177. Directions:-Take the N2 North. Left on ramp at R74 KwaDukuza and left towards KwaDukuza(Stanger). Approximately 1km further turn left at SAPPI turnoff . Follow the road till you have SAPPI mill on your right. No Need to sign in. I will meet you here. We will meet at the Picnic Area past the hide at 06h45. The first 10 will go to the hide and the rest for a stroll around the dam and swop later. Afterwards tea /coffee in the picnic area. Good idea to take cushions as well as chairs, tea/coffee.

Tuesday 14 February, 09h30 for 10h00 Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre – Tammy Caine from the KZN Raptor Rescue Centre. There is an entrance fee, tea and coffee is provided.

Wednesday 15 February – Paradise Valley 07h30 with Sandi du Preez – 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431. Forest and riverine birding – Mountain wagtails are always present.. Directions: From M13 westbound, take the Stapleton Road/New Germany turn-off. (Exit 16). Keep left into Eden Road. Follow Eden Road past the Blood Bank, turn right into Oxford Road. The reserve is at the end of the road. There is a small entrance fee and pensioners’ rate. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 18 February Birdlife Port Natal AGM – ( Not sure if this is the date set aside for the AGM but seems to take place instead of an indoor meeting ) Confirmation to follow.

Friday 24 to Sunday 26 February – T.O.Strand – with Cheryl and John Bevan. Week end away, please confirm your booking with Cheryl Bevan – home number 031- 7083731, Cell number 0834079785 or email address is mombevan@gmail.com.. Please book directly with Ferdi Pieterse, +27 (0) 39 319 2729 www.tostrand.net. Camping spot S31.03141 – E30.23578. T.O. Strand is 5km north of Port Edward.

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January 2017

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 7 January 07:00 Bluff N.R. with Elena Russell – entrance fee or Wild Card. Bring a picnic tea – & there is always Budd’s on the Bay for lunch for those who are interested. Directions: Take the M4 south (coastal freeway). Take the Bluff turnoff into Solomon Mahlangu Drive -the M7 -(Edwin Swales Drive) and head towards the Bluff. Turn left into Bluff Road and then right into Old Mission Road. Go right at the circle (still Old Mission Road) and then left into Grays Inn Road. Turn right into Tara Road. The entrance is about 1 km along Tara Road. Alternatively take the Mobeni/Jacobs turnoff and left down Quality Street to Tara Road. Turn left and immediately right to the entrance of the reserve.

Wednesday 11 January 19h00 – Indoor meeting. Details to follow.

Wednesday 18 January iPhiti NR with Lesley Frescura. Meet at 08h00. Let’s beat the heat at this delightful reserve. Bring tea for afters. 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 the M13 and BEFORE the railway bridge. Drive west along this road parallel to the railway line and then after about 100 m turn right and cross the railway line into Camp Road. After another 100m turn left at the “T-junction” into Edward Drive and the parking/entrance to iPhithi is on your right. Meet in the parking area. A small donation is in order.

Sunday 22 January. Eston Ponds with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h30. Please confirm meeting time and place with Dave. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. This is a private area and permission from the Illovo Sugar Mill office is required – you will need your ID book. Like all venues it has its good days and bad days, but to whet your appetite Red Phalarope, Spotted Crake, African Crake, Painted Snipe, Green Sandpiper, and Western Yellow Wagtail have been recorded over the last 10 years by Barry Swaddle. Directions: From Durban take either the N3 or M13 and head west. After 30 km past Marianhill Toll Plaza take the Camperdown off-ramp and turn left at the junction. Proceed for 3 km then turn left on the R603. Continue for 16 km passing Tala Private Game Reserve. At 4 km past Tala turn right on the R624. 700m further on is the main entrance to the sugar mill. Approximately 60 minutes. Bring chairs and tea/coffee and eats for afterwards.

Saturday 29 January 2017. CWAC Umgeni Bird Park Riverside road meet at 08h00. Spring low tide at 10h45. This will be followed by lunch at Bayhead at 12h00 before the Bayhead count.

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December 2016

Bird ringing and directions to venues: see details in the introduction.

Saturday 3 December 06h00 – Springside with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Our Christmas outing – we will be doing toasted cheese & tom sandwiches!! Silver collection for the conservancy. Directions: From M13, turn off at Hillcrest off-ramp. Turn right at traffic light into Old Main Road. At Heritage Market, turn right into Stonewall. Travel under the subway and at the T-junction turn right into Springside Road. Continue along this road until you see the reserve on your left. Donations are encouraged.

Wednesday 7th December – Stainbank N.R. 7h30 with Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Open grassland, woodland, scrub and riverine vegetation, also a small dam which attracts some water birds and nesting weavers. Directions:- from Edwin Swales Drive (Solomon Mahlangu) take the Wakesleigh Rd turn-off. Turn left into Sarnia Rd. Travel for about 2km and turn right into Coedmore Rd. Continue for about 3 km. the reserve is on the right. Meet at the Lourie picnic site. There is an entrance fee (free with Wild Card or Rhino Card. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Tuesday 13 December, 09h30 for 10h00 – Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre. Brent Coverdale will be talking about Alien Birds. There is an entrance fee, tea and coffee is provided.

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November 2016

Bird Ringing and Directions to venues. See details in the introduction.

Wednesday 9 November. Indoor Meeting. Christmas bird quiz with Roy and Steve

Sunday 13 November. Kwa-Ximba Conservancy with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h00. Please confirm meeting time and place with Dave. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. The outing to Kwa-Ximba will involve a walk along the southern banks of the Umgeni and Mgceweni Rivers. The plan is for everyone to meet at iSithumba Cultural Village on the Umgeni. Directions: Directions to isiThumba Cultural Village (all on good tarred roads): From Durban take the N3 heading to Pmb. From Kloof/Hillcrest take the M13 heading to PMB and then the N3. Go off the N3 at the Hammersdale / Inchanga Exit. At the end of the off-ramp turn right over the N3 and follow the road past Inchanga Station. Just after the station turn right into Inchanga Drive – stay on this road (it bears left) until you come to a T-junction with the R103 (Old Main Road). Turn right onto the R103 and then 1st left (about 200m) onto the D1004. Stay on this road for 9km as it meanders steeply down into the Umgeni Valley until you come to iSithumba Cultural Village on your right.

Wednesday 16 November.  Bluff N.R. at 07h30 with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm: Tel. 031-701 4839 or 073 332 4431. Directions: Take Bluff turnoff into Solomon Mahlangu (Edwin Swailes Drive) and head towards the Bluff. Turn left into Bluff Road and the right into Old Mission Road. Go right at the circle (still Old Mission Road) and then left into Gray’s Inn Road. Turn right into Tara Road. The entrance is about 1 km along Tara Road. Entrance fee payable but free with Wild Card or Golden Rhino Card. Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards.

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October 2016

Bird Ringing and Directions to venues. See details in the introduction.

Wednesday 12 October Save Our Seabirds Festival – more info to follow.

Wednesday 19 October UMHLANGA LAGOON NATURE RESERVE Lagoon with Lesley Frescura. Meet at 08h30. 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 Centre.  Travel to the end of Lagoon Drive and the entrance to the reserve is just past Breakers hotel.  Meet in the car park.  We will follow the trail and if there is anyone who knows this trail well who would like to lead this, please let me know.  End with tea at approximately 10h30. Please confirm with Lesley 083 231 3408, or galefra@mweb.co.za.  A donation of approximately R20 for the upkeep of the reserve would be appreciated.

Weekend Away 21-23 October. Richards Bay with Cheryl Bevan.  Please confirm your booking: Tel: 031 708 3731; cell: 083 407 9785 or email:mombevan@gmail.com. Details on accommodation will follow.  There is a possibility that the new boardwalks may not be ready in which case an alternative venue will be chosen.

Sunday 23 October. Kwa-Ximba Conservancy with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h00. Please confirm meeting time and place with Dave. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. The outing to Kwa-Ximba will involve a walk along the southern banks of the Umgeni and Mgceweni Rivers. The plan is for everyone to meet at iSithumba Cultural Village on the Umgeni. Directions: Directions to isiThumba Cultural Village (all on good tarred roads): From Durban take the N3 heading to Pmb. From Kloof/Hillcrest take the M13 heading to PMB and then the N3. Go off the N3 at the Hammersdale / Inchanga Exit. At the end of the off-ramp turn right over the N3 and follow the road past Inchanga Station. Just after the station turn right into Inchanga Drive – stay on this road (it bears left) until you come to a T-junction with the R103 (Old Main Road). Turn right onto the R103 and then 1st left (about 200m) onto the D1004. Stay on this road for 9km as it meanders steeply down into the Umgeni Valley until you come to iSithumba Cultural Village on your right..

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September 2016

Bird Ringing and Directions to venues. See details in the introduction.

Wednesday 14 September Indoor Meeting. David Allan – ‘Surveying the fantastic waterbird populations of the ‘Elephant Marsh’ in southern Malawi’.

Wednesday  21 September. Msinsi N.R. at 07h30 with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm Tel  031-701 4839  or  073 332 4431 Directions: Enter Francois Road via Umbilo Road or Manning Road and then proceed right over the top of the hill. Further down, enter Msinsi Reserve through the entrance gate to the University sports fields (Gate No. 10). Meet at the cricket oval area. Special birds to be seen include Black Sparrowhawk, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Crested Barbet, Natal Spurfowl, Tambourine Dove, Lemon Dove, Narina Trogon, White-eared Barbet, Grey Sunbird. Bring tea/coffee and eats for picnic afterwards.

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August 2016

Bird Ringing and Directions to venues. See details in the introduction.

Saturday 6 August. Vumbuka 06h30 with Elena Russell (same directions as for Umbogavango).  Meet at the Entrance/Security gate. We will be restricted to 20 cars. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Tuesday 9 August. Krantzkloof. Adam Riley will talk on a subject to be advised. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that as the Interpretive Centre is still undergoing improvements, the meeting may be held at the Kloof Methodist Church hall. For those of you who are not familiar with Kloof, the address is 4 Park Lane; this is the second turn to the right after the road to the S.P.C.A. coming from the bridge over the M13.

Wednesday 10 August. Indoor Meeting. Nicolette Forbes – The Restoration of the Lake St Lucia Estuary and Implications for Waterbirds

Wednesday 17 August – Botanic Gardens at 08h00 with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm; Tel  031 701 4839  or  073 332 4431. After the walk we will go to the Tea garden for refreshments.

Sunday 21 August. Ellingham Estate with Rex Aspeling. Contact: tel: 082 3018177 or email: rex.aspeling@gmail.com to confirm meeting time. Ellingham is a cane farm, with extensive riverine forest, great climax trees, bush and dams, plus some well-left dead eucalypts which often yield raptors. Meet at the horse paddocks at 07h00. Please bring your chairs and picnic gear. There will be a R20 pp conservation contribution.

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July 2016

Bird Ringing and Directions to venues. See details in the introduction.

Saturday 2 July. New Germany Nature Reserve 007h30 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 13 July. Indoor Meeting. Peter Divall – Birds, Mammals and Scenery of Namibia and Botswana. A Photographic Tour.

Sunday 17 July.  Oribi Reserve 07h30 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net Bring a picnic lunch or make a weekend of it.  (I have booked the cottage for Saturday and Sunday).

Wednesday 20 July. CROW.  BLPN is a big supporter of the work that CROW does for all wildlife that needs our help.  We are particularly drawn to their work in rehabilitating wild birds, especially chicks, and their bird hospital is renowned and their dedicated staff very much appreciated.  We will meet there at 08h30, and will be shown around and see for ourselves their incredible work. Address: 15a Coedmore Avenue, Yellowwood Park, Durban.  See map on google if you’re not too sure how to get there.  We will end with tea at approximately 10h30, so bring your own picnic baskets. There is no cost but a donation of R20 or more would be much appreciated, for the upkeep of the bird hospital.  Lesley 083 231 3408, or galefra@mweb.co.za.

Saturday 23 July. CWAC starting at Umgeni Bird Park at 11h00. Low tide is at 12h50. Then Bayhead from 14h00.

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June 2016

Saturday 4 June. Pigeon Valley 07h30 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 8 June. Indoor Meeting. Andrew Pickles – Swallows at Umzumbe.

Tuesday 14 June. Krantzkloof. Crystelle Wilson on How your camera can assist you with Birding. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that as the Interpretive Centre is still undergoing improvements, the meeting may be held at the Kloof Methodist Church hall. For those of you who are not familiar with Kloof, the address is 4 Park Lane; this is the second turn to the right after the road to the S.P.C.A. coming from the bridge over the M13.

Wednesday 22 June. Pigeon Valley 07h30 am with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm attendance. Tel. 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431. A small, remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. Spotted Ground-thrush is a special in winter. 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. Entrance is free. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Sunday 26 June. Empisini with Dave Rimmer at 07h00. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. Over 100 species of birds have been recorded in this area, including the elusive Pied Mannikin! Habitat consists of prime coastal forest with perennial small streams. Directions: Travel the N2 south, take the Umkomaas/Widenham off-ramp. At the stop street turn left, then travel a few hundred metres to the first left turn signposted SAPPI/SAICCOR. Continue down a steep hill for just over 1 km, turn left at the T-junction at the bottom of the hill and then left again through an unmarked gap in the fence. Follow the track for about 400 m to the parking and picnic area. Meet in the parking area. Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

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May 2016

Saturday 7 May. Palmiet Nature Reserve 07h30 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 11 May. Indoor Meeting with Robbie Aspeling. Topic to be advised later.

Wednesday 18 May.  North Park N.R. 07h30 am with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm attendance. Tel. 031-701 4839 or 073 332 4431. Coastal lowland and riverine forest with sandstone cliffs.  Directions:- Take the M7 (Edwin Swales ) from Durban. Turn off at the Northdene/Queensburgh exit, turn left into Old Main Road. Turn right into Anderson Road and carry on till the gate at the bottom of the road. There is an entrance fee but free for Wild Card and Rhino Card holders. Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards.

Sunday 22 May.  Cumberland with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h30. Please confirm meeting time and place with Dave. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. Only 1.25 hrs from Durban, Cumberland is situated in the Umgeni Valley 10km from Pietermaritzburg. The mixed habitat comprises acacia thorn veldt, riverine forest, cliffs and dams. Directions: N3 to Pietermaritzburg, take the Ohrtmann Road turn-off, turn right over freeway into the Willowton area. At the second traffic light, turn right into Bishopstowe Road. Turn left at the next second light (yield sign) signposted Table Mountain. Continue up the hill (this is the old Wartburg Road) until another sign to Table Mountain. Turn right here. After a few kms turn left onto the signposted D408. Continue for 7 kms through farmland (eventually citrus) until you reach the entrance to Cumberland. The reserve charges R10 entry – payable at the honesty kiosk.

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April 2016

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 2 April. Bluff Nature Reserve 07:30 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Tuesday 12 March. Krantzkloof Interpretive Centrew. Christopher Dalzell. Gardens by the Bay – Singapore’s new l billion dollar garden. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 13 April. Indoor Meeting. Harry Gazendam will be introducing us to wonders of bird photography. Harry is one of the top bird photographers in the country.

Wednesday 20 April – 08.30. Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary. Meet at the parking by the gate. About 40mins from Durban. Another city parkland with a pond, river and Coastal Lowland Forest. The Amanzimtoti lagoon is nearby where more sea birds and water birds can be seen. This site has produced some exciting birds recently. Directions: From the N2 take the Moss Kolnik/KwaMakhutha off-ramp. Travel east along Moss Kolnik Drive. At T-Junction turn right into Kingsway Road, then right at traffic lights into Umdoni Road. The reserve is on the right. Meet in the car park. Once again Corinne Winson is organising tea (black & Rooibos), coffee (Nescafe), cream scones, muffins and toasted cheese & tomato sandwiches for afterwards at a very reasonable cost. We have also asked for Sithembiso Majoka to once again accompany us as a bird guide. Therefore a donation towards the sanctuary will be in order. Please let me know beforehand if you are coming and would like refreshments, so that we can let Corinne know numbers. Lesley 083 231 3408, or galefra@mweb.co.za.

Sunday 24th April. SAPPI Bird Hide with Rex Aspeling. Please contact Rex to confirm. Email:rex.aspeling@gmail.com or call: 082 301 8177. We will meet in the Picnic area at 06h30 and split into groups of 9 so that everyone has time in the hide. The Picnic area is at the end of the road past the hide entrance. Some will go directly to the hide and the rest for a stroll around the dam and rotate. Afterwards tea /coffee in the picnic area. Arrangements have been made with SAPPI so it is no longer necessary to sign in at the office. Good idea to take cushions as well as chairs, tea/coffee. Directions: Travel north 90 kms from the Umgeni road intersection of the N2. Turn off the N2 at the R74 off ramp to Stanger. Turn left onto the R74 to Stanger and travel 1 km to a dirt road on the left. Turn left and go 2.7 kms then bear left onto tar for 400 metres to the SAPPI Office. Turn left (not right into the Office area) and travel on the dirt road, then left to the hide and picnic area.

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March 2016

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 5 March. Umbogavango with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h30. Please confirm meeting time and place with Dave. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. Directions: Take the N2 towards Amanzimtoti and exit at the Moss Kolnik Drive/KwaMakhutu turnoff. Turn right across the freeway and continue for about 1km. Turn right at the Southfork signpost traffic lights and continue for a short distance to the gate.  Meet outside the gates to the factory.

Wednesday 9 March. Indoor Meeting. Photo quiz. Test your id skills based on photo, time of year and location. Some will be easy and some more challenging.

Weekend Away. 11-13 March. The venue has been changed to Sand Forest Lodge instead. Typical sand forest habitat conveniently situated for False Bay Park and iMfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserves. Camp sites and chalet accommodation available. Booking details on their website http://www.sandforest.co.za or phone Cary or Godfrey 082 4176484 or 083 6277080. For directions see their website or visit https://blpn.org/activities/directions-to-bird-club-venues/. Scroll down to Sand Forest Lodge and click on the map.

Once you have booked please contact Cheryl Bevan to confirm.  Tel: 031 708 3731; cell: 083 407 9785 or email: mombevan@gmail.com. Book now as places are limited.

Wednesday 16 March. New GermanyN.R. 07.30 am with Sandi du Preez Tel. Please confirm attendance. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Directions:- N3 from Durban and then M13 towards Pinetown. Take the Stapleton Road/New Germany turnoff. Keep right, then right into Stapleton Road. Carry on and cross over Old Main Road. (Stapleton Road now becomes Otto Volek). Continue until you reach Mountain Ridge Road and turn right. (There are signs to the reserve from here). Continue for 700 m and then turn left into Gilbert Drive. Carry on to the reserve and meet in the car park. Entrance is free. Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards.

Sunday 20 March. Brettonwood with Mike White. Please confirm with Mike Tel: 082 6570 444 or email: mjpwhite@gmail.com. Meet 07h00 at Tiffany’s Shopping Centre on the East Side of the N2 @ exit 214 (Salt Rock , Umhlali, Shaka’s Kraal). There is a Pet shop called “FUR & FEATHERS” wait outside it. There are 2 dams around which we can have breakfast. BOOTS & LONGS ARE ADVISED due to prevalence of FOREST COBRA!!!! Grassland, Swamp Forest & Open Savannah with dotted trees.

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February 2016

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 6 February. Burman Bush 06:00 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Tuesday 9 February. Our speaker on Tuesday will be David Allen and his topic will be “Pelagic seabirds off Durban”.  I’m sure this is something that will interest all of us and most of you will know David Allen, by name if not in person, so I hope we will have a good turnout. Our first meeting of the year will be held at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof. (The turnoff to the Hotel is just beyond the Civic Centre, Kloof). Unfortunately the Kloof Methodist Church couldn’t accommodate us as they had a prior booking and the Interpretive Centre is finally going ahead with their alterations.  As usual the starting time is 9.30 for 10.00 with tea/coffee and biscuits on arrival and the price is R20.00 per head. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 17 February. Jubilee Park 07.30 am with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm attendance. Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. A lovely, well-maintained Municipal park in Westville, which has become famous for good sightings of Magpie mannikins. Wetland and forest habitats.

Directions:-From Durban take the M13 and turn off at the Blair Atholl sign. At the traffic light turn left and then right at the Catholic Church (Church Road). Pass Westville Spar and then turn left at the T-junction (Langford Road) Carry on until you cross over the N3 and then immediately right into Marford Road. Then left into Princess Anne Place. Meet at the old bird hide. Entrance is free. Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards.

Saturday 20 February. BirdLife Port Natal AGM. 14h00 at Palmiet Nature Reserve. The talk will be by Mark Brown and his subject is “Cities, Beaches and Birds – striving for co-existence.” Please attend.

Sunday 28 February. Darvill with Paul and Sally Bartho. Meeting at 06h30. Please confirm meeting time and place: Tel 031 716 8416 or cell: 072 157 3678 or email: p.bartho@gmail.com. Darvill is great for a wide variety of waterfowl with easy access. Directions: Travel from Durban on the N3 to Pietermaritzburg. Take the New England Road turnoff (R56). Turn right at lights and go back over the freeway to a traffic circle. Go straight at the circle for 2-3 km to a sign on the left “Darvill Reticulation”. Enter and continue to the actual sewerage works entrance. Park under the trees on the right of the entrance. Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

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January 2016

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 2 January. Shongweni 05:30 with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 13 January The Crowned Eagle Conservancy which is in the Stockville Valley, a 7.65 ha D’Moss area. The conservancy has a stream, a waterfall, a wetland, a number of small ponds, and a dam that is home to ducks, eels, tilapia and bass. There is also a macaranga forest and a fern forest, and next to the stream is a cave in which San and Zulu artefacts, some dating back 1200 years, have been found. Meet there at 08.30 – there is no cost, but a donation of R20 towards the upkeep of the conservancy will be in order. Please let me know beforehand if you are coming. Lesley 083 231 3408, or galefra@mweb.co.za. Directions: If coming from Durban side, take M13 and take Everton offramp.  Keep straight across the traffic lights. Continue along Old Main Road parallel to M13.  Travel approx. 300 metres and turn left at Gillitts Hardware (Stockville Road).  You will pass Pinto’s Pub (small shopping centre) on left.

Travel 700 m down Stockville Road to the last townhouse complex on left.  Ring 25 on the wall option 1.

If coming from Botha’s Hill / Hillcrest, travel Old Main Road to Winston Park.  Turn left at Jan Smuts at the Caltex Garage.  Follow Old Main Road parallel to M13.  After fire station and Sarepta Church turn right into Stockville.

wnhouse complex on left.  Ring 25 on the wall option 1.

Wednesday 13 January. Indoor Meeting. Penny de Vries will be talking about the 150km challenge. How to get involved, where to go, what you can expect to see.

Sunday 24 January.  The CWAC  count will meet at the Bird Park, Riverside Road at 08h30. It’s a spring low and low tide will be at 10h00. Bayhead count will follow at 12h30 and proceed through the afternoon. Lunch will at Bayhead.

Sunday 24 January. Boston with Crystelle Wilson. River and forest birding. Meet at Gramarye, No. 309 on the Dargle Road at 07h00. Confirm with Crystelle Wilson 031 2080577, 082 7235158 wilsonc@wirelessza.co.za. There is a gentle walk to the river with paths running through the wetland and along the Elands River – good for warblers, cisticolas, widows, weavers, cranes, waterbirds and occasional raptors. Then a drive to a local farm for a walk through an indigenous forest and picnic at a fishing cottage at a dam. There is a range of accommodation options available in the district if you want to make a weekend of it and atlas all the habitats: there are grasslands, dams and indigenous forests. Directions: Take the N3 past Pietermaritzburg and Cedara and turn off at Merrivale on the R617 to Underberg/Southern Berg. Boston is about 35 km on this road. Pass Boston Garage on the right, cross the bridge over the Elands River and turn right on the Dargle Road. Gramarye is 2 km further on the right. Allow about 1 hour 20 minutes from the Pavilion.

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December 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Wednesday 2 December. Stainbank N.R. 7.30 am with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm attendance. Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Open grassland, woodland, scrub and riverine vegetation, also a small dam which attracts some water birds and nesting weavers. Directions:- from Edwin Swailes Drive (Solomon Mahlangu) take the Wakesleigh Rd turn-off. Turn left into Sarnia Rd. Travel for about 2km and turn right into Coedmore Rd. Continue for about 3 km. the reserve is on the right. Meet at the Lourie picnic site. There is an entrance fee (free with Wild Card or Rhino Card). Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 5 December. Springside Christmas Outing with Elena Russell at 06h00. Please confirm attendance. Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. There will be a ‘silver’ collection for Springside.

All are welcome and after the walk at the picnic area we will be toasting Cheese & Tomato Sarmies over a braai.   Some of our club members have kindly offered to donate the food & charcoal  – big thanks to Marian Spence & John Hinck & Elena Russell – John will do the braaing (even a bigger thanks)!!

Tuesday 8 December. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Rockjumper Birding. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that the meeting at the Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre.

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November 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 7th November 2015 : Alverstone Nature Reserve: TIME 06:00 with Elena Russell. Please only contact me on my cell 083 583 6824. Directions: Take the M13 and at the Shongweni glide off (33) turn Right at the Robot (over the bridge) then at the robot with the Hillcrest Hospital on your right glide off to the Left – up the Alverstone Hill (as you go up the hill the Shongweni Market will be on your left) – straight on up the hill for plus 3 kms – you come to a small stone church on your left and the next entrance is the reserve. PLEASE NOTE FOR SECURITY PURPOSES THE GATE WILL BE PADLOCKED AT 06:15.  There is a picnic area and toilets.

Wednesday 11 November. Indoor Meeting 19h00 with Nelis Wolmarans of Rockjumpers – “Mountain Gorillas of the Virunga. A Time with Giants”.

Sunday 22 November. Virginia Farm & Wingfield NR with Malcolm Stainbank. Meet at 06h30. Please confirm meeting time and place with Malcolm on cell: 083 781 1130 or send SMS. Email: md.s@priscillavalefarm.co.za. See http://www.virginiafarm.co.za for details about Virginia Farm and Wingfield NR. Directions: Go along the N3 and take the Camperdown Fly off. Go left at the bridge and follow that road until the T-junction. Go left towards Eston and Umbumbulu. At the Caltex Service Station keep going straight on the R603 for a further+- 15km. The single lane goes into a double lane going up a hill. Pass the Telkom and MTN tower on top of the hill. Go down the hill around two sharp bends and turn right onto a tar road called eZimwini. Meet at Virginia Trails Start. Allow 65 minutes from Durban. GPS Co-ordinates at the eZimwini Turn Off from the R603 are: S 29 59’27.73″; E30 36’35.10″. Some parts of the reserve are unsuitable for low clearance vehicles. There is a R20 charge to enter Wingfield.

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October 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 3 October. Tanglewood Farm Nature Reserve with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h15. Please confirm meeting time and place.: Tel: 031 705 2902; email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. We will gain access at 06:30 – please do not be late. We will walk the forest and the grasslands and later on have a braai/brunch at the dam – Caryl has offered us the facilities of the picnic site by the dam and a half drum to braai on – “let the good times roll”.

Sunday 11 October. Kwa-Ximba Conservancy with Dave Rimmer.  Please confirm meeting time and place with Dave. Tel: 082 453 7255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. The outing to Kwa-Ximba will involve a walk along the southern banks of the Umgeni and Mgceweni Rivers. The plan is for everyone to meet at iSithumba Cultural Village on the Umgeni. Directions: Directions to isiThumba Cultural Village (all on good tarred roads): From Durban take the N3 heading to Pmb. From Kloof/Hillcrest take the M13 heading to PMB and then the N3. Go off the N3 at the Hammersdale / Inchanga Exit. At the end of the off-ramp turn right over the N3 and follow the road past Inchanga Station. Just after the station turn right into Inchanga Drive – stay on this road (it bears left) until you come to a T-junction with the R103 (Old Main Road). Turn right onto the R103 and then 1st left (about 200m) onto the D1004. Stay on this road for 9km as it meanders steeply down into the Umgeni Valley until you come to iSithumba Cultural Village on your right.

Tuesday 13 October. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Tanya Smith from the Crane Foundation. Contact Tessa to confirm venue.Email:tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that as the Interpretive Centre is still undergoing improvements, we will be holding the meeting at the Kloof Methodist Church hall (this will probably be our venue until the end of the year). For those of you who are not familiar with Kloof, the address is 4 Park Lane; this is the second turn to the right after the road to the S.P.C.A. coming from the bridge over the M13.

Wednesday 21 October. Virginia Bush NR.  with Lesley Frescura. Meet at 08h30. Please confirm: Tel: 031 266 4150 or 083 231 3408.  This 38 hectare reserve consists of coastal bush; unfortunately a large portion of the vegetation is alien. This was once natural grassland, but now only a few small patches of grassland remain. Virginia Bush is a birder’s paradise; the bush birds are easily spotted. Some of the bird species to be seen are the Green Twinspot, Grey Waxbill, Red-capped Robin-Chat, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Southern Boubou, African Firefinch, Bushshrikes and Flycatchers. Blue Duiker, Greater Spotted Genet and mongooses can be seen too.

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September 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 5 September. Durban Botanic Gardens with Elena Russell. Meet at  07h15. Please confirm with Elena: Tel: 031 705 2902 or email: elenarussell@telkomsa.net. At the end of our walk we will partake of the culinary delights at the Kiosk.

Wednesday 09 September. Indoor Meeting 19h00 with Mark Liptrot. “Plastic Packaging – Is It Really Necessary?”

Wednesday 16 September – Paradise Valley with  Sandi du Preez . Meet at 07h30. Please confirm:  Tel. 031 7014 839 or 073 3324 431. Forest and riverine birding – Mountain wagtails are always present.

Thursday 24 to 27 September. Long Weekend Outing. Mhlopeni Nature Reserve with Cheryl and John Bevan.Tel: 031 708 3731; cell: 083 407 9785 or email: mombevan@gmail.com. Camping (no power) and a rustic self-catering lodge for up to 10 persons – see website http://www.mhlopeni.co.za. Book with Joy by email: joy@mhlopeni.co.za and advise Cheryl. As a Bird Sanctuary, Mhlopeni is abundant with majestic birds of prey, and is on the confluence of the north, south, coastal and inland species distribution limits of bird species. You have to book at least two months ahead as it is very popular. Directions: Take the N3 towards Pietermaritzburg and then turn off at the exit for Greytown (R33). Drive 78  kms to Greytown. At Greytown turn left on to the R74. After 1.8 kms bear right to Muden.  Travel 21.5 kms and then turn left at the signboard to the reserve. GPS co-ordinates are S28.58.398 E30.24.210 (or S28.97388 E30.40334).  Allow 2 hours from the Pavilion. Note: The road to the camp can be very rough and high clearance vehicles are advised.

Sunday 27 September.  Mhlopeni NR.  – see Long Weekend Outing above for directions. If you intend making the 2 hour journey (from Pavilion) then check with Cheryl (see above for contact info) to find out what time the outing will start on Sunday. There will be a small charge for day visitors. Note: The road to the camp can be very rough and high clearance vehicles are advised.

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August 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 1 August. Vumbuka with Elena Russell at  06h15. Please confirm: Tel: 031 705 2902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Please note we are only allowed 15 cars – and the booking is for 30 people.  Ensure your booking and give a friend a lift!  We will meet at the entrance/security area at 06h15 and depart at 06h30 to ensure number of cars.  NB: This booking is for Vumbuka only – we cannot go into Umbogavango.

Tuesday 11 August. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Sally Johnson – topic of talk to be advised. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that as the Interpretive Centre is still undergoing improvements, we will be holding the meeting at the Kloof Methodist Church hall (this will probably be our venue until the end of the year). For those of you who are not familiar with Kloof, the address is 4 Park Lane; this is the second turn to the right after the road to the S.P.C.A. coming from the bridge over the M13.

Wednesday 12 August. Indoor Meeting 19h00. Moses Chibesa on Trumpeter Hornbills.

Sunday 23 August. Ellingham Estate with Rex Aspeling and Tina Haine. Contact: tel: 0823018177 or email: rex.aspeling@gmail.com  to confirm meeting time. Ellingham is a cane farm, with extensive riverine forest, great climax trees, bush and dams, plus some well-left dead eucalypts which often yield raptors. Meet at the horse paddocks at 07h00. Afterward we will raise a few glasses in honour of Barry Pullock who loved this farm so please bring your chairs and picnic gear. There will be a R20 pp conservation contribution.

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July 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 4 July. New Germany with Elena Russell at  07h30. Please confirm: Tel: 031 705 2902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 08 July. Indoor Meeting 19h00. Ben Hoffman, Raptor Rescue Rehabilitation Centre – “Dedication to Raptor Rehabilitation.”

Wednesday 15 July. Lesley Frescura at The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Lion Park Rd., Camperdown.  Meet there at 09h15. Entry: adults R60, pensioners R50, children R35.  Directions: From Durban: Drive west along the N3 highway towards Pietermaritzburg and take Exit 65. Turn right under the highway at Exit 65 (Lynnfield Park)and travel 4km along the Lion Park Road. The African Bird of Prey Sanctuary is on your right.  We will have an opportunity to walk around the Sanctuary and observe the birds there, before watching the display with Shannon Hoffman at 10h00.  Afterwards light meals can be purchased at the café.  As this is school holiday time, make it a family outing with children and/or grandchildren.  It is a very worthwhile visit, and follows on the indoor meeting on 8 July when Ben Hoffman is our guest speaker discussing raptor rehabilitation.  In order to complete the booking form before the date, kindly let Lesley know at least 7 days beforehand if you are interested in attending. Please confirm:  031 266 4150 or 083 231 3408.

Saturday 18 July. The CWAC  count will meet at the Bird Park, Riverside Road at 08h30. The Bayhead count will follow and proceed through the afternoon. Lunch will be at Bayhead. Please contact Roy or Steve to confirm. Tel: 083 775 4459 or email: sdavis@smri.org.

Sunday 19 July. Simbithi with Jenny Rix. Meet at the main entrance at 07h45. We will drive to Fish Eagle Dam and do the walk through the forest. Afterwards, tea (bring your own) at the dam. If you intend going you must contact Jenny and advise her of all in your party who are going with each person’s phone number. Please contact Jenny to confirm time and meeting place. Tel: 031 563 9286; Cell: 082 403 9147 or email: daverix@mweb.co.za.

Sunday 26 July. Pigeon Valley with Crispin Hemson. Meet at 08h00. Please confirm with Crispin: hemsonc@gmail.com.

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June 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 6 June. Pigeon Valley with Elena Russell at 07h15. Please confirm: Tel: 031 705 2902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Spotted Ground Thrush and hopefully the Buff-spotted Flufftail.

Tuesday 9 June. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Shane McPherson. Update on Crowned Eagles project.  Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that as the Interpretive Centre is still undergoing improvements, we will be holding the meeting at the Kloof Methodist Church hall (this will probably be our venue until the end of the year). For those of you who are not familiar with Kloof, the address is 4 Park Lane; this is the second turn to the right after the road to the S.P.C.A. coming from the bridge over the M13.

Wednesday 10 June. Indoor Meeting 19h00. Steve Woodhall will talk about “Buttermoths and Birds – different but similar,”

Saturday 13 June. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 17 June. Pigeon Valley NR with Sandi du Preez. Meet at 07h30. Please confirm with Sandi. Tel. 031 701 4839 or 073 3324 431. 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.

Sunday 28 June. Vumbuka Nature Reserve with Barry Swaddle. Meet at 07h30 in the car park just before the security gate at the entrance to Umbogavango  Contact Barry to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 903 7138 or email: barry@skytec.co.za . Remember to take picnic and chairs. Braai facilities are available.

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May 2015

Bird Ringing. See details in the introduction.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Friday 1 May. Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve with Rex Aspeling. Please confirm with Rex Tel: 082 301 8177 or email: rex.aspeling@gmail.com. Meet at 06H45 in Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve parking lot. Security is provided as Outing co-insides with North Durban Honorary Officers open day which starts at 09h00. Keith Swemmer has very kindly volunteered to assist with the tour through the reserve. Low tide is 08h25. It will be fascinating observing this unique ecosystem. There will be food stalls to enjoy afterwards. Members are encouraged to bring guests. Anyone attending needs to make a R20 donation which will be given to the Durban North Honorary Officers.

Saturday 2 May with Elena Russell. Shongweni at 06h30. Please confirm: Tel: 031 705 2902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Saturday 9 May. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 13 May. Indoor Meeting 19h00. Roy Cowgill and Steve Davis – Bird Quiz. At Rolling Hills, Umhlanga. Directions: Whether using the N2 or M4 (Ruth First) freeways take the Umhlanga turn-off, to the round-a-bout which takes you past the Sharks Board entrance on Herrwood Drive. Continue on Herrwood for 2 blocks and turn left into Autumn Drive, just over the rise you’ll see a satellite Police Station on your right, and about 100 metres further the turn-off to your right for Rolling Hills. By now you should see the entrance and wall with the name on it. Once in the gate turn left and follow the road round the bowling green and on your right you’ll see the Clubhouse, where we will have the meeting. For GPS people the address is Rolling Hills, 1 Autumn Drive, Prestondale, Umhlanga Rocks.

Wednesday 20 May. Iphithi Nature Reserve. 08h00 with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm Tel. 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431. I have the code for the gate so if you arrive before me just wait outside the gate. Bring tea/coffee and eats for picnic afterwards.

Weekend Outing 22 to 24 May. Rocky Wonder Aloe Nursery with Cheryl and John Bevan. Please confirm your booking with Cheryl Tel: 031 708 3731; cell: 083 407 9785 or email: mombevan@gmail.com. Book directly with either Peter or Heather Poulsen Tel: 082 728 7467 or 083 665 8010; email poulsen2005@gmail.com and let them know you are from our bird club. They have lovely accommodation with tea making facilities in the rooms and en-suite bathrooms. There is one fully equipped communal indoor kitchen. There are seven campsites with power and water. Rocky Wonder is in the Mpushini Valley located at GPS  S 29 38’ 20.62” E 30 29’ 35.58.” Directions. Take the N3 heading towards Pietermaritzburg. Turn off at exit 69 to Ashburton.  Turn right back across the N3 and drive about 5 kms until you see a sign on the left for Rocky Wonder Aloe Nursery.

Sunday 24 May. Rocky Wonder Aloe Nursery. See Weekend Outing above for directions. If you intend coming then check with Cheryl (see above for contact info) to find out what time the outing will start on Sunday.

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April 2015

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 4 April Paradise Valley  at 07h15 with Elena Russell. Please confirm: Tel: 031 705 2902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 8 April. Indoor Meeting 19h00 with David Allen. “Pelagic seabird trips off Durban – New techniques deliver exciting new results”.

Saturday 11 April. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Sunday 12 April. Palmiet NR with Mike Roseblade. Meet at 07h30 in the car park at the bottom of Old New Germany Road.

Tuesday 14 April. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Brent Coverdale. Zululand Vulture Conservation – Working together to save our tree nesting Vultures. Contact Tessa to confirm venue. Email: tessadavid@telkomsa.net. Please note that as the Interpretive Centre is still undergoing improvements, we will be holding the meeting at the Kloof Methodist Church hall (this will probably be our venue until the end of the year). For those of you who are not familiar with Kloof, the address is 4 Park Lane; this is the second turn to the right after the road to the S.P.C.A. coming from the bridge over the M13.

Wednesday 15 April with Lesley Frescura.  We have organised with Bart Fokkens at the Green Hub for an outing, probably to the Inanda Dam wall to search for the Finfoot.  This will take the entire morning so bring a packed tea and lunch.  More details closer to the time.  We will probably meet at the Green Hub. However, if you are interested in this outing I would be glad to hear from you beforehand so we have some idea of numbers and can confirm time and meeting place. Tel:  031 266 4150 or 083 231 3408.

Sunday 19 April. Sheffield Beach with Mike White. Please confirm with Mike Tel: 082 6570 444 or email: mjpwhite@gmail.com. Meet 07h00 at Tiffany’s Shopping Centre on the East Side of the N2 @ exit 214 (Salt Rock , Umhlali, Shaka’s Kraal). There is a Pet shop called “FUR & FEATHERS” wait outside it. FOR THE LATE ARRIVALS… EXIT 214 from N2 north,  go east over the freeway bridge. Check the shopping centre and IF LATE  pass the Tiffany shopping Centre then left after 200 metres & follow the sign to Sheffield Beach (there is a small fork after 400m …keep right).  After another 900 metres on your left is a horse corral, the entrance is on the right of the horses. There are 2 dams around which we can have breakfast. BOOTS & LONGS ARE ADVISED due to prevalence of FOREST COBRA!!!!  Grassland, Swamp Forest & Open Savannah with dotted trees. Bring apples or carrots for the horses!!

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March 2015

Bird Ringing. Normally starts very early, but people are welcome to arrive later and see what is going on.

  • Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 549  1752.
  • Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za
  • Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast from Umhlanga into southern Zululand. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007 or jjrawdon@yahoo.com.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 7 March. Bayhead with Elena Russell. Meet at 09:30 to catch the incoming tide at 10:45. Later on we will retire to Buds-on-the-Bay for light refreshments!! Don’t forget your wellies! Please confirm meeting time and place. Call Elena on Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Wednesday 11 March. Indoor Meeting 19h00. Dave Bishop – Denizens of the Dark.

Saturday 14 March. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Sunday 15 March. SAPPI Bird Hide with Rex Aspeling. Please contact Rex to confirm. Email:rex.aspeling@gmail.com or call: 082 301 8177. We will meet in the Picnic area at 06h30 and split into groups of 9 so that everyone has time in the hide. The Picnic area is at the end of the road past the hide entrance. Some will go directly to the hide and the rest for a stroll around the dam and rotate hourly. Afterwards tea /coffee in the picnic area. Arrangements have been made with SAPPI so it is no longer necessary to sign in at the office. Good idea to take cushions as well as chairs, tea/coffee.

Wednesday 18 March  New Germany Nature Reserve. 07h30 with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm: Tel. 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431.

Wednesday 25 March. Westville Trail with Mike Roseblade.  Please confirm with Mike: tel. 031 2660487; email microse@mnet.co.za. Westville Trail covers woodland, riverine forest and grassland and is a fairly easy going walk over 2 hours. 115 species recorded and magpie mannikins nest there. Meet in the car park behind the Westville Civic Centre at 07h00.

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February 2015

Bird Ringing. Normally starts very early, but people are welcome to arrive later and see what is going on.

  • Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 549  1752.
  • Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za
  • Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast from Umhlanga into southern Zululand. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007 or jjrawdon@yahoo.com.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 7 February  Impthi  with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h30. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Tuesday 10 February. The bird club meeting will be at the usual time of 9.30 for 10.00 at the usual cost of R20 per head. Our speaker is going to be Craig Nelson (who last spoke to us in 2013) and he is going to tell us about the amazing trip he and his wife, Karin, had last year when they spent 100 days and travelled 17,000 kms in East Africa. As you can imagine they saw some amazing sights and I’m certain had a lot of new lifers – so this should be a really great talk to listen to.

However, as some of you may know, the Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre is undergoing some renovations so we will not be able to use their premises. We have booked Tina’s Hotel and they are going to supply tea/coffee and sandwiches. If some of you are not sure how to get there let me give you some directions: if you are coming from the Hillcrest area you need to get into Everton Road and take the first turning to the right after the Everton Bridge, which is Ingwababa Rd. Carry straight on past Makaranga to the 3 way stop. At the stop street you turn right into Abelia Rd. Carry on past the Kloof Jnr Primary school and at St. Agnes Church you will come to another stop street. Carry on over the stop street and the next road to the left is Emolweni Rd. Take this, past the Civic Centre and as you get down to the bottom of this road there is a sign to Tina’s Hotel – Beryldene Road. Tina’s Hotel is obvious but they suggest we take the SECOND drive (there is a post box No.14). There will be plenty of parking and you will see the building where we’ll be holding the meeting (we’ll be milling about outside).

If you’re coming from the Pinetown area you take the Village Rd, Pioneer Rd off ramp at the top of Fields Hill. Turn immediately right, going over the Highway. At the circle turn left towards Fields Centre, opposite which is a roundabout. Go round the roundabout, up the hill, turn left over the railway line and then turn left again. At St. Agnes Church turn right and follow the directions as above.

Saturday 14 February. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Sunday 15 February 2015 – Greater Ambers, Howick, with a section of Umgeni NR including Cascade and Shelter Falls with Norman Freeman.

Plan to meet at 6h30 at the entrance gate to Wessa’s Howick NR+/- 800m along the Karkloof Road from Howick’s Main Road. Please confirm with Norman on 083 453 7949 or preferably email: normanf027@gmail.com. The “greater” Ambers offer a variety of habitats including four lakes, wetlands, grasslands, mimosa and acacia bushveld bordering the Umgeni NR and has a record in excess of 250 bird species. It is planned to bird the lakes and wetlands, to proceed to cut trails through the grasslands and riverine bush and then to enter the Umgeni NR to Cascades Falls. The birding here takes one past these falls along grass topped krantzes down through thicker forest and valley thickets to Shelter Falls with the cacophony of calls of Chorister and other Robins and many forest specials. Other specials to be anticipate are Broad-tailed, Little Rush and other Warblers, Drakensberg Prinia, Red-chested Flufftail, Quelea’s, a number of Cuckoo’s, Lanner and Peregrine Falcons amongst many raptors, Blue and Crowned Cranes, Widows, Whydahs, Weavers, Bishops, Herons, Bitterns and Black Crakes.

Bring along picnic baskets and chairs as well as R27 entrance fee into the Wessa Umgeni NR.

Wednesday 18 February. Bluff Nature Reserve. 07h30 with Sandi du Preez Please confirm: 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431.

Saturday 21 February  AGM BirdLife Port Natal AGM. All to attend please. Details to be advised. Trevor Hardaker will give a talk titled  “Around the World in 80 Birds”.  He will be showing us some of his favourite birds that he has seen worldwide, mostly just lots of colourful photographs with information about each species.  Trevor is well known for Zest for Birds, National Rarities, Pelagics and many other birding adventures.  He is also passionate about conservation and is actively involved with the popular bird atlas project.

Weekend Away 27 & 28 February to Dragon Peaks with Paul and Sally Bartho. Please confirm your attendance. Tel: 031 7168416 ; 072 1573678 or email p.bartho@gmail.com. There is a wide range of accommodation available – self catering chalets of different sizes and standards; powered campsites. For directions see their website – http://www.dragonpeaks.com and book your preferred accommodation directly. Contact details : Tel: 036 4681031, email dpp@dragonpeaks.com.  Pensioner discounts are available.

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January 2015

Bird Ringing. Normally starts very early, but people are welcome to arrive later and see what is going on.

  • Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 549  1752.
  • Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za
  • Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast from Umhlanga into southern Zululand. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007 or jjrawdon@yahoo.com.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 3 January. Umbogavango with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h30. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Saturday 10 January. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 14 January –Botanical Gardens with Lesley Frescura. Please confirm:  031 266 4150 or 083 231 3408.   Since this is the hottest time of the year, we will keep to the shade around the lake and the forested areas and end up having tea and cake.  Meet at the southern main entrance.

Wednesday 14 January. Indoor Meeting. To be advised.

Saturday 24 January. The CWAC  count will meet at the Umgeni Bird Park, Riverside Road at 09h30. The Bayhead count will follow and proceed through the afternoon. Lunch will be at Bayhead. Please contact Roy or Steve to confirm. Tel: 083 775 4459 or email: sdavis@smri.org.

Sunday 25 January. Boston. River and forest birding. Meet at Gramarye, No. 309 on the Dargle Road at 07h00. Confirm with Crystelle Wilson 031 2080577, 082 7235158 wilsonc@wirelessza.co.za . There is a gentle walk to the river with paths running through the wetland and along the Elands River – good for warblers, cisticolas, widows, weavers, cranes, waterbirds and occasional raptors. Then a drive to a local farm for a walk through an indigenous forest and picnic at a fishing cottage at a dam. There is a range of accommodation options available in the district if you want to make a weekend of it and atlas all the habitats: there are grasslands, dams and indigenous forests (think Cape Parrot). Allow about 1 hour 20 minutes from the Pavilion Centre. Coffee and tea will be available, but bring gumboots or a change of shoes, insect repellent, warm clothes, picnic and chairs.

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December 2014

Bird Ringing. Normally starts very early, but people are welcome to arrive later and see what is going on.

  • Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 549  1752.
  • Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za
  • Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast from Umhlanga into southern Zululand. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007 or jjrawdon@yahoo.com.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 6 December. Springside with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h00.  Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. This is a change to our regular Christmas outing and all are welcome. The wild flowers should be in full bloom. There are braai facilities and a donation to the conservancy will be appreciated.

Tuesday 9 December. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Brent Coverdale of KZN Wildlife will talk on  Mammals and Birds.

 Saturday 13 December. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Saturday 13 December.  Tanglewood Estate with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h00. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Directions: Take the exit at the bottom of Field’s Hill on the M13. Turn onto Richmond Rd at the off ramp lights (travelling away from Pinetown). Turn right onto Trafford Road with M.A.N. Truck and Bus on the left. Travel 1.2 kms and just before the lights turn right onto Motala Road. At the traffic circle turn left onto Naidoo Road. After about 300 metres you will see the entrance in front of you. Buzz the buzzer to get in and we shall meet at the entrance inside and then drive up to the parking area. Tea and coffee will be provided but bring your own eats. A Donation towards conservation will be appreciated.

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November 2014

Bird Ringing. Normally starts very early, but people are welcome to arrive later and see what is going on.

  • Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 549  1752.
  • Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za
  • Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast from Umhlanga into southern Zululand. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007 or jjrawdon@yahoo.com.

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. Directions to new venues will be shown below.

Saturday 1 November. Tanglewood Estate with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h00. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Directions: Take the exit at the bottom of Field’s Hill on the M13. Turn onto Richmond Rd at the off ramp lights (travelling away from Pinetown). Turn right onto Trafford Road with M.A.N. Truck and Bus on the left. Travel 1.2 kms and just before the lights turn right onto Motala Road. At the traffic circle turn left onto Naidoo Road. After about 300 metres you will see the entrance in front of you. Buzz the buzzer to get in and we shall meet at the entrance inside and then drive up to the parking area. Tea and coffee will be provided but bring your own eats. A Donation towards conservation will be appreciated.

Weekend Outing 7-9 November. Sand Forest Lodge. Hluhluwe  with Mike Roseblade and Jane Morris. Please confirm all details with Mike or Jane. Mike – microse@mweb.co.za or Jane – janette@mweb.co.za, Tel: 031 2660487. Typical sand forest habitat conveniently situated for False Bay Park and Imfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Camp sites and Chalet accommodation. Details on website http://www.sandforest.co.za or phone Cary or Godfrey 082 417 6484 or 083 627 7080  referring to BLPN weekend. Sand Forest Lodge have offered 20% discount for bungalows and the cottages, but cannot discount their camping rates as that is on bare minimum. For directions see their website.

Saturday 8 November. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 12 November. Indoor Meeting. Nicholas Theron, “The Conservation of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in KwaZulu-Natal”.

Sunday 16 November. Eston Ponds with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h30 at the main entrance to the Illovo Sugar Mill. Please confirm with Dave. Tel: 082 4537255 or email: daverimmer@mweb.co.za. Like all venues it has its good days and bad days, but to whet your appetite Red Phalarope, Spotted Crake, African Crake, Painted Snipe, Green Sandpiper, and Yellow Wagtail have been recorded over the last ten years by Barry Swaddle.

Wednesday 19 November  Jubilee Park 07h30 with Sandi du Preez. Please confirm Tel. 031 701 4839 or 073 332 4431. A lovely, well-maintained Municipal park in Westville, which has become famous for good sightings of Magpie Mannikins. Wetland and forest habitats. Meet at the old bird hide.

Sunday 30 November. Ellingham Estate with Barry Pullock. Contact: tel: 082 495 1865 or email: chezpullock@mweb.co.za. Ellingham is a cane farm, with extensive riverine forest, great climax trees, bush and dams, plus some well-left dead eucalypts which often yield raptors. Meet at the horse paddocks at 06h30. There will be a R20 pp conservation contribution.

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October 2014

Bird Ringing. Normally starts very early, but people are welcome to arrive later and see what is going on.

  • Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 549  1752.
  • Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za
  • Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast from Umhlanga into southern Zululand. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007 or jjrawdon@yahoo.com.

Saturday 4 October. Shongweni with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h00. Directions: Take the N3 west, go through the Mariannhill Toll Plaza, then take the Shongweni off ramp. Turn left and drive for approximately 1 km before turning left again at the sign to Shongweni Dam. This road eventually leads to the entrance. Use your Wild Card or pay the entrance fee using a credit card – no cash taken. Take the left road and meet in the parking at the Resource Centre. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.

Tuesday 7 October. Save Our Seabirds Festival. Save Our Seabirds will be celebrated this year on Tuesday, 7th October at uShaka Marine SeaWorld, 17h30 for 18h00. Snacks will be provided and a walk around the aquarium will follow the talk.  There is no charge other than the parking. The talk  “FLYING IN THE ANTARCTIC FREEZER” by Judy and Bruce Mann.

Join marine biologists Judy and Bruce Mann on the experience of a life time – to Ushuaia, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. From majestic albatrosses to wallowing whales, this presentation will take you to this almost untouched wilderness. While the stunning scenery, fearless wildlife and dramatic geology are breath-taking, the sensitivity of this remote region to human activities in our own back yard becomes clear. It is here that Climate Change is real and the true Web of Life which connects everything on our amazing planet is revealed.

PLEASE NOTE that this takes the place of the Wednesday evening talk at Westville Methodist Church – there will be no talk there in October.  The evening is now Tuesday 7 October at uShaka and a wonderful opportunity to hear Judy and Bruce and see something of the aquarium.

Saturday 11 October. BMCG gathering for a biodiversity bash at Palmiet Nature Reserve. Starting at 07h30. Meet at the gazibo. The object is to list and photograph as many species of plants, birds and animals as possible. Come along, bring cameras, chairs, bins, note books, pens, food, drink and join the morning bash. Look forward to seeing you all there. Roy and Steve.

Tuesday 14 October. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Chris Dalzell (ex Botanical Gardens) who is going to speak on his trip to Bhutan. Directions: Up Fields Hill along M13, take Village Road turn-off (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 2km until you reach the picnic site on the right hand side.  Meet at Bridle road (main) entrance.

Wednesday 16 October 08h30 – Amanzimtoti Bird Park.  The venue has changed following advice from Corinne and other experienced birders in the area.  We will now visit the Bird Park which has been upgraded and is well worth a visit.  An added incentive is that unless it rains, there will be tea/coffee & cream scones between 9 – 11 every Wednesday, so we should finish our walk in time to partake of the goodies.

Directions: Traveling N to S, take the Moss Kolnick off-ramp (Galleria is on the right hand side of the freeway there) then turn right towards Toti central along Kingsway, right again at the next traffic lights onto Umdoni Road, past Kingsway High on the left, under the rail bridge, and turn right into the Bird Park parking area.  If anyone is traveling from S to N, then they would need to cross back over the freeway to get to Kingsway.

If you would like to organise a lift, please contact Lesley -tel: 083 231 3408; email: galefra@mweb.co.za.  Bring a picnic tea for after the walk which will last about 2 hours.

Sunday 26 October. Vumbuka Nature Reserve with Barry Pullock. Contact Barry to confirm meeting time and place – tel: 082 4951865 or email: chezpullock@mweb.co.za. Remember to take picnic and chairs. Directions: Take the N2 towards Amanzimtoti and exit at the Moss Kolnik Drive/KwaMakhutu turnoff. Turn right across the freeway and continue for about 1 km. Turn right at the Southfork signpost and continue for a short distance to the security gate to enter Umbogavango. We will meet there and proceed together to Vumbuka.

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September 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 6 September Outing to T.C. Robinson NR.  Scottburgh with Barry Pullock. Meeting time is 7 am. Directions: Take the N2 South. At Scottburgh turn off the freeway, go left and carry on to the old South Coast road. Turn right, cross over the river and continue for a short distance until you get to the reserve entrance on your right. Meet in the car park. Please confirm your attendance with Barry and double check meeting time. Tel.  0824951865

Wednesday 10 September. Indoor Meeting. Bruce Padbury of the Natal Falconry Club will possibly bring along a Falcon to his talk. For nearly 30 years the Natal Falconry Club have been monitoring, protecting (nest sights) and educating as much as possible with regards to birds of prey and other birds. They have been effective in their bird of prey work such as the Crowned Eagle research currently underway by Shane McPherson, the Black Sparrowhawk projects, rehabilitation assistance to both CROW and Ben Hoffmanns Birds of Pray Center. Venue: Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Saturday 13 September. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Sunday 21 September. Umdoni Park, Pennington with Dave Rimmer. Meet at 06h30 at the Enviro Centre. Please confirm with Dave. Tel: 082 4537255 or email:  daverimmer@mweb.co.za. The Brown Scrub Robins are quite vocal at this time, and hopefully with more eyes we’d get to see Green Malkoa, Lemon Dove, Knysna Turaco and Narina Trogon.  Directions: Take the N2 south from Durban, turn left at the Umzinto/Park Rynie turnoff (6 km past Scottburgh, the same glide off as for Vernon Crookes NR). At the junction with the old main road (R102), turn right and continue south along the old main road for 8.5 km until you reach UmdoniCaravanPark at Pennington – Pennington Drive. Turn left and continue 600m then turn right into Minerva Avenue. Proceed to gravel road, sign in at the boom gate and then follow the birding route marker on the right to the Enviro centre. Approximately 45 minutes. Remember to take picnic and chairs.

Saturday 27 September 08h00 – 17h00 – KZN Bird Forum, uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve, Howick. Learn more about birds. High quality presentations by a variety of researchers and conservation organisations in KZN. All members welcome to attend. Tea/coffee provided, bring your own lunch. Directions: Go to Howick town centre via the N3 and take road to Karkloof/Rietvlei. uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve is about 800 m out of town on the right. Park at the reception centre.

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August 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Weekend Outing Aug 1-3.  River Valley Nature Reserve Uvongo with Mike Roseblade & Jane Morris.  Please confirm all details with Mike or Jane. Mike – microse@mweb.co.za or Jane – janette@mweb.co.za, Tel: 031 2660487. A private reserve on the Vungu River.  Pristine riparian Forest and Grassland. An excellent campsite and 2 reasonably priced lodges each with accommodation for 4. Phone Andrew for bookings 083 263 5537- or go to the website www.rivervalleynaturereserve.co.za  referring to BLPN weekend. See website for directions.

Saturday 2 August. Botanic Gardens with Elena Russell. Meet at 07h30 . Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.  Tea and cream scones at the kiosk! Directions: From Berea Road, turn into Botanic Gardens Road and travel north until the Botanic Gardens and reached. Turn right into Sydenham Road and follow the signs to the new entrance.

Wednesday 6 August. Msinsi N.R.- 08h00 with Sandi du Preez – Tel  031-7014839  or  0733324431. Directions :- Enter Francois Road via Umbilo Road or Manning Road and then proceed right over the top of the hill. Further down, enter Msinsi Reserve through the entrance gate to the University sports fields – meet at the cricket oval area. Special birds to be seen include Black Sparrowhawk, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Crested Barbet, Natal Spurfowl, Tambourine Dove, Lemon Dove, Narina Trogon, White-eared Barbet, Grey Sunbird. Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 9 August. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Tuesday 12 August. 09h30 Krantzkloof. Malcolm Gemmel will talk on the Sites, Sights & Sounds of Ntsikeni. Directions: Up Fields Hill along M13, take Village Road turn-off (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 2km until you reach the picnic site on the right hand side.  Meet at Bridle road (main) entrance.

Wednesday 13 August. Indoor Meeting. Karin Nelson, “East African trip”. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Sunday Outing 24 August. Bisley Valley Nature Reserve with Sandi du Preez – Tel  031-7014839. Email: sandidup@telkomsa.net. Please contact Sandi to confirm. Meet at the gate at 08h00. Bisley Valley has a good thornveld and grassland habitat, open and closed woodland thickets, two hides with dams and wetlands, well marked easy walking trails and a nice picnic site. You must park at the gate – safe parking.  No entrance fee.  7kms from Pietermaritzburg.  Directions to get there – Drive to PMB on the N3, exit at Market Road – Exit 74, go past the market and bear left onto the R103 to Cleland.  At the next traffic light go right into Gladys Manzi Road. Proceed 2.3kms and go left through the gate at Canterbury Stables.  Parking and entrance to the reserve are 100m on the right.  Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

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July 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 5 July. New Germany with Elena Russell. Meet at 07h30 in car park. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Directions: Take the N3 from Durban and then the M13 towards Pinetown. Take the Stapleton Road/New Germany turnoff (exit 16). Turn left then right onto the M5 heading towards New Germany. Continue until Mountain Ridge Road where you turn right. Continue for 700 m and then turn left into Gilbert Drive.  Carry on to the reserve. Meet in the car park. They don’t charge an entrance, but do ask for donations!

Wednesday 9 July. Indoor Meeting. Crystelle Wilson “A Summer Photographic Odyssey”. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

“Birders are increasingly using cameras as tools to enhance their birding skills and as an aid in observation and identification. The aim of this evening is to provide our members with a platform to share their experiences and images. But it is not merely a beauty contest for the best photograph: people are invited to submit interesting pictures which informs us a bit more about birds and their behaviour. Ideally the pictures should have been taken in KwaZulu-Natal and be of reasonable, clear quality. Details should include the place and date where it was taken, and why the author thought it was interesting, or what the stores associated with the images were.”

Please send pictures to Crystelle Wilson by 2 July at the latest. Resolution should be about 2-3 MB.

Saturday 12 July. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 16 July 08h30. Pigeon Valley NR with Lesley Frescura, 031 266 4150 or 083 231 3408.  A small remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. Crispin Hemson will lead this outing.  His knowledge of the reserve and its flora and fauna is phenomenal, so do not miss this opportunity.  Of course an added bonus would be to see the Spotted Ground Thrush – the birds are in the reserve throughout the winter months.  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 20 July. Hilton College with Paul & Sally Bartho.  Meet at 07h00. Please confirm meeting time 031 7168416 or 072 1573678. From the entrance to the river is about a 4 km drive down a dirt track. There are a number of walking trails to follow along the river and through the grassland. Directions: Take the N3 west around Pietermaritzburg. At the top of Town Hill take the Hilton exit. Turn right back over the motorway and drive 6 kms straight to the entrance of Hilton College. Meet at the security gate before entering the grounds. Bring tea/coffee etc and chairs. Picnic sites, braai area and toilets are beside the river. There will be a collection of R20 per person as an entrance fee.

Sunday July 27. The CW count will meet at the Bird Park, Riverside Road at 08h30. The Bayhead count will follow and proceed through the afternoon. Lunch will be at Bayhead. Please contact Roy or Steve to confirm. Tel: 083 7754459 or email: sdavis@smri.org.

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June 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 7 June. Umbogavango with Elena Russell. Meet at 07h30. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.  We have never been in winter and the December (summer outing) always gets rained out so lets see what it has to offer in winter. Directions: Take the N2 towards Amanzimtoti and exit at the Moss Kolnik Drive/KwaMakhutu turnoff. Turn right across the freeway and continue for about 1km. Turn right at the Southfork signpost and continue for a short distance to the gate.  Meet outside the gates to the factory.

Tuesday 10 June. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk. Gordon Bennett – general talk of his birding in South Africa. Directions: Up Fields Hill along M13, take Village Road turn-off (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 2km until you reach the picnic site on the right hand side.  Meet at Bridle road (main) entrance.

Wednesday 11 June. Indoor Meeting. Lucy Kemp, Southern Ground-Hornbills. Our threatened thunderbirds. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Saturday 14 June. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Sunday 15 June. Oribi Gorge with Jenny Norman. Please phone Jenny to confirm time (07h30) and meeting place. Tel: 083-4533999. Directions: N2 South to Oribi Toll Plaza, keep in left lane, turn right over freeway and proceed inland about 22 km until you see the brown KZN Oribi sign. Turn right and then follow a sign left to reach the camp. Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

Sunday 22 June. Simbithi Estate near Ballito with Mike White. Meet at 07h00 at Simbithi Main Gate  east of the N2. Directions:  Go up the N2 from Durban, past Ballito exit, then take the next exit 212 & go OVER the bridge towards the sea. The Simbithi Main Gate is on the right 800m from the N2. Please confirm with Mike Tel: 082 6570444 or email: mjpwhite@gmail.com. They have several good birding areas including forests, dams & grassland. There are also several community areas for breakfast. Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

Wednesday 25th June. North Park with Mike RosebladeNorth Park is a small Ezemvelo Nature Reserve in Northdene. The trail is an easy 2.5 km. Spotted Ground-Thrush and a good variety of forest birds are likely to be seen. Directions: Take the M7 South from Pinetown and then onto the M5 or take the Sarnia/Queensburgh off ramp on the M13 from Durban then left to the M5. Its about 9km from Pinetown signposted on the right at Northdene. Please contact Mike Roseblade 0828046377/0312660487 to confirm time to meet and advise that you intend to come.

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May 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 3 May. Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve with Elena Russell. Meet at 07h30. Please phone to confirm meeting time and place. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. Directions:  South along Manning Road, right up Rhodes Avenue which leads you to the entrance. Alternatively, south along South Ridge Road and after the dip look out for the Pigeon Valley sign to the left. 

Saturday 10 May. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 14 May. Iphithi  N.R. – 08h00 with Sandi du Preez – Tel  031-7014839  or  0733324431. Please confirm start time with Sandi. 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 100 metres turn right and cross the railway line into Camp Road. Then turn left into Edward Drive at T-junction. Entrance and parking is on your right. Bring tea/coffee and eats for picnic afterwards.

Wednesday 14 May. Indoor Meeting. To be advised.

Sunday 25 May. Empisini with Elena Russell at 07h30. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.  Over 100 species of birds have been recorded in this area, including the elusive Pied Mannikin!  Habitat consists of prime coastal forest with perennial small streams.  Directions: Travel the N2 south, take the Umkomaas/Widenham off-ramp. At the stop street turn left, then travel a few hundred metres to the first left turn signposted SAPPI/SAICCOR. Continue down a steep hill for just over 1 km, turn left at the T-junction at the bottom of the hill and then left again through an unmarked gap in the fence. Follow the track for about 400 m to the parking and picnic area.   Meet in the parking area. Bring tea/coffee, chairs and eats for picnic afterwards.

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April 2014 

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 05 April.  Bluff at 07h00 with Elena Russell. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.net. The butterflies are also good in April at this venue. Directions: From the M4 take the Jacobs off-ramp. Travel east along Quality Street until the Tara Road intersection. The reserve is diagonally across the road to the left(off Tara Road).  Meet in the car park. This reserve is managed by KZN Ezemvelo and levies an entrance fee.

Tuesday 8 April. Krantzkloof talk at 09h30. Luis Segura from Rockjumper has recently moved to S.A. from Argentina and is going to talk to us about Argentina, its birds and natural habitats. Directions: Up Fields Hill along M13, take Village Road turn-off (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 2km until you reach the picnic site on the right hand side.  Meet at Bridle road (main) entrance.

Wednesday 09 April. 19h00 Indoor Meeting. Jeanne Tarrant on “Featherless friends: Using flagship frog species to protect crucial habitat” Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Saturday 12 April. BMCG Meeting at 13h30. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 16 April  Paradise Valley NR – 08.30  Lesley Frescura – 031 266 4150, 083 231 3408.  Enjoy the different habitats as we walk along the river’s edge where there are good opportunities for both water and terrestrial birds.  Directions:  From the M13 westbound, take the Stapleton Road/New Germany turnoff.  (Exit 16).  Keep left into Eden Road.  Follow Eden Road past the Blood Bank, and continue in what is now Oxford Road.  The reserve is at the end of the road.

Sunday 20 April at  06:30 – Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve with Martin Taylor. Please contact Martin to confirm – email: martin.taylor@birdlife.org.za or call: Cell 0722777254. A favourite birding spot with a great mix of birds and the cisticolas will keep us busy with ID.  The wild flowers are always a treat.  Bring a picnic lunch and chairs. Directions: Travel south on N2 from Durban for 60 kms (past Scottburgh) take the R612 (Park Rynie/Umzinto) turnoff, turn right over freeway and travel 12 km (past Umzinto), turn right at the signpost for Vernon Crookes onto good gravel road travel for 6 km to the reserve. Meet at entrance (there is an entrance fee – take your Wild Card and Rhino Card).

Fr 25th -Mon 28th April (long weekend).  Bushwillow Park. Karkloof with Mike Roseblade and Jane Morris. Please confirm all details with Mike or Jane. Mike – microse@mweb.co.za or Jane – janette@mweb.co.za, Tel: 031 2660487.   An ideal camping and caravanning location right on the edge of the Karkloof. About 15 km from Howick. Close to crane sanctuary and mistbelt forest. Two bungalows also available. Book direct: 0333302680/0722376247 or email bushwillow@nitrosoft.co.za. For directions go to http://www.bushwillowcaravanpark.co.za/ and click on Contacts.

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March 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or email  Andrew Pickles.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 01 March. Bayhead with Elena Russell (for waders). Meet at 09h30. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm) or email elenarussell@telkomsa.netDirections: Go south along Bulwer Road, then Nicolson Road, turn left into Francois Road towards Maydon Wharf, after crossing the metal span bridge, turn right and pass the Dry Dock on the left, turn left at the next traffic lights into Bayhead Road and continue until you reach Gate 7 (Langeberg Road) entrance towards National Port Authority. Turn left into Langeberg Road and continue along this road and after crossing a flyover bridge turn left still following the Bayhead Heritage Nature Reserves signs, cross some railway tracks and then turn left into the parking area.  Parking is safe as there is now a resident Portnet Guard. Meet  in the parking area.

Saturday 08 March. BMCG Meeting at 13h30 at Pigeon Valley.

Wednesday 12 March. 19h00 Indoor Meeting. Sean Swartz & Arnia van Vuuren, “Birding in the land of gold, slaves and the Ashanti – Ghana”. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Sunday 30 March. SAPPI Bird Hide with Rex Aspeling. Please contact Rex to confirm. Email: rex.aspeling@gmail.com or call: 082 301 8177. We will spend time in the Hide and take a stroll around the dam as well. Afterwards tea /coffee in the picnic area. Remember to bring your ID and check in at the office on arrival where we will meet at 06h30. Good idea to take cushions as well as chairs, tea/coffee. Directions: Travel north 90 kms from the Umgeni road intersection of the N2. Turn off the N2 at the R74 off ramp to Stanger. Turn left onto the R74 to Stanger and travel 1 km to a dirt road on the left. Turn left and go 2.7 kms then bear left onto tar for 400 metres to the SAPPI Office. There is a picnic area which is separate to the bird hide which can accommodate about 12 people.  There is also a walk next to the dam which we will do as well.

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February 2014

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 01 February.   Shongweni at 06h00 with Elena Russell.

Wednesday 5 February – Botanical Gardens –  8 a.m. Sandi du Preez – Tel  031-7014839  or  0733324431. 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.

Saturday 08 February. BMCG Meeting at 14h00. Venue to be advised.

Tuesday 11 February. Krantzkloof talk at 09h30. Tristan Dickerson will be talking on the capture of Snow Leopards in China.

Saturday 15 February.  BirdLife Port Natal 65th AGM. All to attend please. Held at 13h30 for 14h00 start at the Interpretive Centre at Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. Speaker: Professor Peter Ryan on “The Prince Edward Islands: South Africa’s next birding frontier”. Braai afterwards – salads provided. Bring your own meat, (also crockery & cutlery, glasses too if you prefer your own).

Sunday 23 February Umlalazi Nature Reserve, Mtunzini with Penny de Vries. Please contact Penny to confirm time and where to meet. Email: PDeVries@mrpricegroup.com or tel: 083 555 0155. The year round special is the Palmnut Vulture and African Finfoot may also be seen. The habitat includes both dune forest and mangrove swamps thus offers a wide variety of bird species, as well as fiddler crabs and mudskippers. Directions: N2 North Coast to Mtunzini Toll Plaza where you take the left lane and then turn right over the freeway towards the coast. Once entering Mtunzini bear left and look out for the KZN Nature Conservation/Wildlife signs which lead you to Umlalazi. Meet outside the entrance at 07h00.  Entrance fee payable. (Take Wild and Rhino Cards). Remember chairs, tea and snacks and or lunch! Keen birders can also take in Ngoye Forest (4×4’s required) to see the Green Barbet and Yellow-streaked Bulbul on their way home.

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January 2014.

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth for details if no notification is put out nearer to the time on the BLPN website and KZN Birds@yahoo. Cell:084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Usually the first or second Sunday of the month. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 04 January. Springside at 06h00 with Elena Russell. Donations for the conservancy, please. (I have been in touch with George Victor and he will open up early for us).

Wednesday 08 January. 19h00 Indoor Meeting. Nicholas Theron, the BLSA conservation manager for KwaZulu Natal. The Conservation of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in KwaZulu-Natal. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Saturday 11 January. BMCG Meeting at 14h00. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 15 January Hawaan Forest – 08.00.  Lesley Frescura – 031 266 4150, 083 231 3408.  Jocelyn Sutherland, from the Botanical Society and an expert on the trees of KZN, will be our guide.  Directions :  Meet at the gate in Portland Drive, which is off either Herrwood Drive or from the M4 Umhlanga North exit.  A small donation for BotSoc’s expenses will be in order, and something for the car guard.  Bring a picnic tea if you wish to join us after the walk which should last approximately 2 hours.

Sunday 19 January.  The CWAC count will meet at the Bird Park, Riverside Road at 10h00. Bayhead count will start at 13h30 and proceed through the afternoon. Lunch will be at Bayhead.

Weekend Outing. Fri 24th to Sun 26th January.  Cumberland Private Nature Reserve. Only 1.25 hrs from Durban, Cumberland is situated in the Umgeni Valley 10km from Pietermaritzburg. The mixed habitat comprises acacia thorn veldt, riverine forest, cliffs and dams. Directions: N3 to Pietermaritzburg, take the Ohrtmann Road turn-off, turn right over freeway into the Willowton area. At the second traffic light, turn right into Bishopstowe Road. Turn left at the second set of lights (yield sign) signposted Table Mountain. Continue up the hill (this is the old Wartburg Road) until another sign to Table Mountain. Turn right here. After about a kilometre turn left at the huge Cumberland Nature Reserve sign onto the signposted D408. Continue for 7 kms through farmland (eventually citrus) until you reach the entrance to Cumberland. The reserve charges R10 entry – payable at the honesty kiosk.

There is an attractive campsite as well as  limited room accommodation. Book directly with John or Stella Behn 082 3371056;  082 3765600.  info@cumberlandreserve.co.za

Sunday 26th January. This outing will combine with the Weekend Outing to Cumberland with Mike Roseblade and Jane Morris.  For directions read their outing above. The reserve charges R10 entry – payable at the honesty kiosk. Take chairs, tea/coffee, lunch. The meeting time is : 07h00 at the campsite. Please confirm all details with Mike or Jane. Mike – microse@mweb.co.za or Jane – janette@mweb.co.za

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DECEMBER 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 7 December. Umbogavango with Elena Russell, meeting at 06h30.  Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031-7052902 (after 6pm). Our annual Christmas outing followed by brunch – juniors, families, friends are welcome. We are now allowed to braai as there are drums for ash but bring your own braai equipment etc, skottle whatever. Alcohol is permitted. Directions: Take the N2 towards Amanzimtoti and exit at the Moss Kolnik Drive/KwaMakhutu turnoff. Turn right across the freeway and continue for about 1 km. Turn right at the Southfork signpost and continue for a short distance to the gate. Meet outside the gates to the factory.

Sunday 8 December. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Tuesday 10 December. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk. Shane McPherson who will be talking on his project on Crowned Eagles and, if time, other eagles in other parts of the world.

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NOVEMBER 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 2 November.  Jenny Norman and Elena Russell – Mini Big Birding Day. Practice for the Big Day!

 A Mini Birding Day will be held on Saturday 2nd November 2013 with participants meeting at 06:00 at Paradise Valley Parking Lot.  Bring a picnic lunch and chairs along for a social after the birding.

Birders must make up teams consisting of 3/4 persons.  Each team will be handed a bird list consisting of 200 species to be found in the Greater Durban Area.  If you can’t make up a team, don’t worry, there will be others there that you can team up with.  Each team will go out and find as many of those birds as they can anywhere in the Ethekwini area, and meet back at New Germany at 14:00 (there are braai facilities – bring your own charcoal etc.) so that the lists can be handed in and be evaluated to find the winners and the runners up.  There could be a prize for the winning team… It is a day of fun for all!

GUIDELINES:

  1. Big Birding Day rules will apply.
  2. Don’t travel too far – it wastes valuable birding time.
  3. Look carefully at the list and go where you will find most of the species.  If there is time left, then move on to find the tricky ones.
  4. At least 2 out of 3 or 3 out of 4 persons must positively identify each species by sight or sound. If in doubt – leave it out!
  5. Most important – Have a great day and lots of fun.

Sunday 3 November. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Wednesday 6 November. Stainbank N.R. 07h30 with Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Open grassland, woodland, scrub and riverine vegetation, also a  small dam which attracts some water birds and nesting weavers. Directions:-  from Edwin Swailes Drive (Solomon Mahlangu) take the Wakesleigh Rd turn-off. Turn left into Sarnia Rd. Travel for about 2km and turn right into Coedmore Rd. Continue for about 3 km. the reserve is on the right. Meet at the Lourie picnic site. There is an entrance fee (free with Wild Card or Rhino Card. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 9 November. BMCG Meeting at 14h00. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 13 November. 19h00 Indoor meeting. Durban Natural Science Museum. David Allan, the Curator of Birds at the Durban Natural Science Museum, and a well-known member and friend to the club, will be talking on “Conserving Vultures”. David is an excellent and entertaining speaker, and we can watch in awe as he risks life and limb to reach the Vulture nests he monitors. Not to be missed.

Sunday 17 November. Boston. River and forest birding. Meet at Gramarye, No. 309 on the Dargle Road. Confirm with Crystelle Wilson 031 2080577, 082 7235158 wilsonc@wirelessza.co.za . There is a gentle walk to the river with paths running through the wetland and along the Elands River – good for warblers, cisticolas, widows, weavers, cranes, waterbirds and occasional raptors. Then a drive to a local farm for a walk through an indigenous forest and picnic at a fishing cottage at a dam. There is a range of accommodation options available in the district if you want to make a weekend of it and atlas all the habitats: there are grasslands, dams and indigenous forests (think CapeParrot).

Directions: Take the N3 past Pietermaritzburg and Cedara and turn off at Merrivale on the R617 to Underberg/Southern Berg. Boston is about 35 km on this road. Pass Boston Garage on the right, cross the bridge over the Elands River and turn right on the Dargle Road. Gramarye is 2 km further on the right. Allow about 1 hour 20 minutes from the Pavilion Centre. Coffee and tea will be available, but bring gumboots or a change of shoes, insect repellent, warm clothes, picnic and chairs.

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OCTOBER 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 5 October. Msinsi (University nature reserve) at 7:00 with Elena Russell. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031-7052902 (after 6pm). Directions: Enter Francois road – via Umbilo road and then proceed right over the top of the hill, further down enter Msinsi Reserve through the entrance gate to the sports fields of the University of KZN – meet at the cricket oval area.

Sunday 6 October.  Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Monday 7 to 13 October. Save our Seabirds awareness promotion at uShaka during Marine week.

Tuesday 8 October. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk. David Allan “Geographic Variation in S.A. Birds”.

Saturday 12 October.  BMCG Meeting at 14h00. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 16 October 08h30 Burman Bush NR – Lesley Frescura. The rains should have started and the many migrants will be back and breeding will be in full swing. Directions: Take Windermere Road from Argyle Road and continue along it until the end and turn left into Goodwin Road. Go past the Bill Buchanan home and then follow the signs from the Goodwin Drive/Burman Drive junction to the parking area on the left near the gate. Bring tea for afterwards.

Saturday 19 October. Swallows & Swifts Course with Roy Cowgill and Steve Davis. Details to follow.

Sunday 20 October. Bird photographic outing 07h00 at the main parking at Botanic gardens. Bring camera with charged battery and memory card with space for 12 to 20 images. Bring a lens of minimum 300, preferably 400 or 500 and a tripod or monopod or some means of keeping the camera and lens stable whilst in use. After taking the pictures we will get together to look at them and see where we could improve. For this we will go to a shady area so bring table and chair and laptop with charged battery and means of transferring images onto laptop, either cable connected to camera or card reader in laptop or free standing card reader. Have image viewing program on laptop which can access the exif data, suggested program is Faststone image viewer which is available for free. Also bring an old edition of a birding magazine. Phone to advise if attending so we have an idea of numbers and can arrange persons to assist. Contact Des – Home 031 702 7140 Mobile 082 576 1551 email: d_porter@iafrica.com.

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SEPTEMBER 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many private estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Wednesday 4 September. Springside N.R. 8h00 with Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Hopefully the spring wild flowers will be out at this lovely reserve. Directions:-  From M13, turn off at the Hillcrest off-ramp. Turn right at the traffic lights into Old Main Road. At the Heritage Market turn right into Stonewall Road. Continue to the T-junction and turn right (Springside Rd.) Continue along this road and the reserve is on your left. Bring coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 7 September. Kenneth Stainbank at 7:00 with Dave Rimmer. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel 082 4537255, or email daverimmer@mweb.co.za. There is an entrance fee but they take Wild Cards – bring your tea basket and relax in the picnic area afterwards. Directions: From Edwin Swales Drive take the Wakesleigh Road turn-off. Turn left into Sarnia Road, travel 2 km then turn right at the traffic lights into Coedmore Quarry Road. Travel 3 km, the entrance to the reserve is on the right – meet in the car park.

Sunday 8 September.  Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Wednesday 11 September 19h00 Indoor meeting. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville. To be advised.

Saturday 14 September.  BMCG Meeting postponed due to necessary preparation for the “Save our Seabirds” awareness promotion at uShaka 7th to 13th October.

Sunday 22 September at 07:15am. Harold Johnson Nature Reserve. Please contact to confirm meeting time and place with Peter Farrington Tel 031 7643252 (H) or 082 3777454 (M) and email: peterfarrington@iburst.co.za. With its well –preserved coastal bush, steep cliffs and gullies, the Reserve is a fine place to come for a day’s visit or an overnight camp. The 104 ha Reserve boasts indigenous trees, mammals, a rich variety of bird life and butterflies. Directions: Take Zinkwazi / Darnall N2 (North) to Darnall, turn right at robot. Take off the R102 (North), 10km pass Darnall village turn off. The reserve which is 2km from the R102 is well sign posted from R102. The Reserve is 100km or about 1 hour driving time from Durban. Entrance Fee R10.00. Rhino and Wild Cards are accepted. Visitors are advised to bring insect repellents. Bring your own picnic and chairs.

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AUGUST 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many privates estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Weekend away August 2nd-4th is at River Valley Nature Reserve.  This is a small private reserve near Margate on the Ivungo River with good habitat. Conveniently situated for Mpenjati and Umtamvuna reserves. There are 5 camping sites and 2 cottages each with 2 en-suite double bedrooms. First come first served. Book direct with the reserve Ph:0832635537 or http://www.rivervalleynaturereserve.co.za mentioning BLPN and then advise Mike – microse@mweb.co.za or Jane – janette@mweb.co.za.

Saturday 3 August. Bluff Nature Reserve at 7:00 with Elena Russell. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031-7052902 (after 6pm). There is an entrance fee but they take Wild Cards – bring your tea basket and relax afterwards either in the picnic area or the hide.

Directions: Take the Bluff turnoff into Edwin Swales Drive (which now has a new name) and head towards the Bluff. Turn left into Bluff Road and then right into Old Mission Road. Go right at the circle (still OLD Mission Road) and then left into Grays Inn Road. Turn right into Tara Road. The entrance is about 1 km along Tara Road.

Sunday 4 August. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Wednesday 7 August. Pigeon Valley N.R. 8h00 with Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. A small, remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea.

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.

Saturday 10 August.  BMCG Meeting at 14h00. Venue to be advised.

Tuesday 13 August. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk. Peter Spence talking on “A Guided Birding Trip to Central Mozambique”

Wednesday 14 August. 08h30  Springside with Derek Spencer. Directions: From M13, turn off at Hillcrest off-ramp. Turn right at traffic light into Old Main Road. At Heritage Market, turn right into Stonewall. Travel under the subway and at the T-junction turn right into Springside Road. Continue along this road until you see the reserve on your left.

Wednesday 14 August. Indoor Meeting with Gary Jones. Subject:  “Equipped for Bird Photography”. Venue: Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Sunday 18 August. Kenneth Stainbank NR with John Dives. Contact details to confirm meeting time: email divesj@kznwildlife.com; tel: 072 139 5862. It is always interesting to visit birding spots in different seasons. The Leonotis should attract sunbirds in the winter and there may be Natal thrush about.

Directions: From Edwin Swales Drive, take the Wakesleigh Road turn-off. Turn left into Sarnia Road, travel for 2 km then turn right at the traffic lights into Coedmore Quarry Road. Travel for 3 km, the entrance to the reserve is on the right at 90 Coedmore Avenue. YellowwoodPark  Pay the entrance fee of R20 for adults and R10 for children, proceed left to the car park . Wildcards and Golden Rhino cards are accepted. MEET AT 07:00. Bring refreshments and chairs for afterwards.

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JULY 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many privates estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 6 July. New Germany at 7:30 with Elena Russell. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031-7052902 (after 6pm). Free – no entrance charge – bring your tea basket and we can relax in the picnic area and also take a walk through the aviary once we have finished our birding walk.

Directions : N3 from Durban and then the M13 towards Pinetown. Take the Stapleton Road/New Germany turnoff. Turn left then right onto the M5 heading towards New Germany (Otto Volek Road) continue until you reach Mountain Ridge Road – turn right and continue for 700 m then turn left into Gilbert Drive – carry on to the reserve and meet in the car park.

Sunday 7 July. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za.

Wednesday 10 July. 08h30  Springside with Derek Spencer. Directions: From M13, turn off at Hillcrest off-ramp. Turn right at traffic light into Old Main Road. At Heritage Market, turn right into Stonewall. Travel under the subway and at the T-junction turn right into Springside Road. Continue along this road until you see the reserve on your left.

Wednesday 10 July. 19h00 Indoor meeting. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville. Bird quiz evening with Dave Bishop. These evenings are always extremely popular, so come along and test your ID skills.

Saturday 13 July.  BMCG Meeting at 14h00. Venue to be advised.

Wednesday 17 July. 08h30 Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve Trail, guided nature walk – Lesley Frescura. Enjoy the beauty of the forest, the thrill of crossing the lagoon on a wooden bridge and then a leisurely stroll along the beach back to the Breakers Resort. At the same time learn a little about the culture of our people and the value of our indigenous vegetation and take note of the birds in residence as some of them prepare for summer breeding. The Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is controlled and maintained by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Meet at Breakers Resort reception desk. Cost R30 per person and R15 for children under 13. Payable at the Reception desk at Breakers Resort. Optional refreshments or a light lunch are on sale at the Breakers Resort after the walks. Otherwise bring your own tea. The walk lasts approximately 1.5 hours and begins at 09h00. The Resort provides security support by linking the guides with their two security guards posted at the Lagoon. Directions: After entering Umhlanga travel down towards the sea. At the fourth set of traffic lights turn left into Lagoon Drive. Breakers Resort, no 88, is situated on the right at the very end of Lagoon Drive. Park in the roadway – there are car guards.

Sunday 21 July. Verbara Estate on the North Coast with Mike White.  Contact Mike by email (mikew@saol.com) to confirm meeting time and place. Cell number for emergencies only :  082 6570444. The Estate has a 25 Ha. Ind.Forest on the SW facing slope. The walk is fairly easy but it is not level. Birds include Crowned Eagle’s nesting site, numerous raptors, Hornbills ,Bush Shrikes ,Sunbirds etc. Plus Bush Buck, Red & Blue Duiker, so tame they walk right up to you!!! Excellent picnic spot under a fig tree where Hornbills feed.. Rest is fine. Meet at the EXIT 214 from N2. @06h15  Directions: Travel on N2 north from Spaghetti Junction on N2/ N3 Overpass, after 50km take the EXIT 214 – (this is where we will meet at 06h15) – left to Shaka’s Kraal, Umhlali, & Salt Rock. Travel 1 km. straight through to Umhlali Village Traffic Lights then turn right to SHAKA’S KRAAL. After 4 km. turn left on to the GLENDALE Rd. Then after 9.4 km., on the right side, is a turn off to VEBARA ESTATES. Turn right & proceed to the gate on the left, opp., the main farm house, where there is a cottage & park in the grounds of the cottage, We can picnic after the walk in the garden of the cottage.

Sunday 28 July. The CWAC  count will meet at the BirdPark, Riverside Road at 10h30. Bayhead count will start at 13h30 and proceed through the afternoon. Lunch will at Bayhead.

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JUNE 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many privates estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 1 June. Pigeon Valley with Elena Russell. Meet at the entrance at 07h30. Directions:  South along Manning Road, right up Rhodes Avenue which leads you to the entrance. Alternatively, south along South Ridge Road and after the dip look out for the Pigeon Valley sign to the left.

Sunday 2 June.  Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or barbet@venturenet.co.za

Wednesday 5 June. Mariannwood N.R.  8h00 with Sandi du Preez – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431.  A 12 ha delightful reserve of bush clump, grassland mosaic, riverine forest and coastal scarp forest.  Directions:- Take N3 toll road towards Mariannhill. Exit at Richmond Road. Turn left (south) towards the Mariannhill Monastery. Turn left into 7th Ave, right into Adams, then left into Mariannridge Road. Turn right into James Herbert Road. Entrance to the reserve is at 8 James Herbert Road next to Heightor flats. Meet at the picnic sight. Bring coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards.

Saturday 8 June. BMCG Meeting 14h00 at Pigeon Valley.

Tuesday 11 June. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk by Adam Riley on one of his many bird trips.

Wednesday 12 June. 08h30  Springside with Derek Spencer. Directions: From M13, turn off at Hillcrest off-ramp. Turn right at traffic light into Old Main Road. At Heritage Market, turn right into Stonewall. Travel under the subway and at the T-junction turn right into Springside Road. Continue along this road until you see the reserve on your left.

Wednesday 12 June 19h00. Indoor meeting. “A celebration of hummingbirds – avian jewels of the Americas”. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville. Adam Riley, Director – Rockjumpers. This is a wonderful opportunity to come, look and listen to one of South Africa’s most travelled birders. As the director of the highly successful Rockjumpers Worldwide Birding Adventures, Adam has the opportunity to photograph interesting and fascinating birds in their natural habitat. Don’t miss this opportunity, as we originally made this booking a year ago.

Sunday 23 June. Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve with Terry Walls. Meet at the gate at 07h00. Contact Terry to confirm meeting time and place. Contact Tel: 031-266 6580 and email: terry@inkmate.co.za. A favourite birding spot and the cisticolas will keep us busy with ID. The wild flowers are always a treat. Bring a picnic lunch. Directions: Travel south on N2 from Durban for 60 kms (past Scottburgh) take the R612 (Park Rynie/Umzinto) turnoff, turn right over freeway and travel 12 km (past Umzinto), turn right at the signpost for Vernon Crookes onto good gravel road travel for 6 km to the reserve. Meet at entrance (there is an entrance fee). Take Rhino/Wild Cards in case.

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MAY 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Bird Ringing with James Rawdon. James visits many privates estates on the North Coast. Contact James for details: 083 745 6007.

Saturday 4 May. 07h00 Burman Bush with Elena Russell. Black Sparrowhawk is known to nest here and on previous visits Lesser Honeyguide has been spotted. Directions: North along Windermere Road, past Trematon Drive on your left, continue into Goodwin Drive, very shortly thereafter take next left turn down Burman Drive (Bill Buchanan Park is on your right). The entrance is around the corner on your left. Meet in the car park at 07h00.

Saturday 4 May. BMCG 10h30 at Burman Bush.

Saturday 04 May and Sunday 05 May. Cape Parrot Big Birding Weekend.

Join us in our annual evening and morning Cape Parrot count to help save one of South Africa’s most endangered birds.
Contact: Prof Colleen T. Downs
School of Life Sciences,
University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
Tel: 033-2605127/04 (w), 033-3860947 (h), 0829202026 Email: downs@ukzn.ac.za

The annual Cape Parrot Big Birding Day will be on the 5 and 6th May 2013. Please diarise this. This is a wonderful way to assist in a conservation effort and often gets volunteers out to places they would rarely visit. Each year a group of students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal assist in monitoring the forests around Ingeli in southern KwaZulu-Natal. The forests here are typical of those where the Cape Parrots occur (Figure 2). The importance of the annual Cape Parrot Big Birding Day (CPBBD) is highlighted in several ways. Firstly, it gives population trends and numbers. Secondly, observers report illegal hunting, cutting down of forest, and capture of parrots. Thirdly, it gives important distribution data for the Cape parrot.

Sunday 05 May. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be advised. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or send him an email.

Wednesday 8 May. New Germany Nature Reserve with Sandi du Preez. Meet at 07h30 in the parking area. Contact: Home – 031-7014839 Cell – 0733324431. On this visit we will do the long walk, across the road and down into the valley and explore the second part of the reserve. Directions: From Old Main Road, Pinetown turn north into Otto Volek Road. Follow sign right into Mountain Ridge Road just before the M19. Follow signs to the reserve.

Wednesday 08 May. Indoor Meeting.  Marius van Rooyen, Senior Wildlife Control Officer – King Shaka International Airport, “Birds vs Wildlife at Airports.” This meeting will take place at the Northwood Crusaders Sports Club, 10 Ranleigh Crescent, Durban North. Marius spoke to the club a few years ago about the old airport and the manner in which they had developed mechanisms to reduce bird strikes on aircraft there. Now we can hear about the differences between King Shaka Airport and the old one, and the birds that have to be looked out for there.

Sunday 19 May. Dargle with Martin Taylor. Meeting at Piggly Wiggly parking lot at 07h00. Please contact Martin to confirm: 031-767 3339; 072-2777254 or email: Martin. The quiet rural road network in the Dargle Valley in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands offers an opportunity to record, amidst beautiful hill and marshy valleys, over 200 bird species including Crowned, Wattled and Blue Crane, African Crowned Eagle, Narina Trogon, White-Starred Robin, Olive Woodpecker, and a host of cisticolas and warblers.  Directions: Travel north from Durban on the N3. As you pass Howick turn left off the N3 onto the P142 and then, after 1.4 km, take a right onto the R103. Drive on the R103 for about 8km. Piggly Wiggly will be on your left. Meet in the parking lot.

Sunday, 26 May  @ 05:30 – Umhlanga Ponds – Bird Ringing – Garth Aiston
Hopefully the Lesser Masked-Weavers will be around and we should also ring some Dark-capped Yellow-Warblers!
Directions: Take the North Coast road to Umhlanga, taking the Lighthouse Rd/Umhlanga Rocks off ramp.  Go left along Umhlanga Rocks Drive.  Turn right, just before the Sharks Board, into Herwood Road.  Carry on until the tar ends, then continue along the dirt road until you get to the bottom of the hill. Turn right on a poorly signposted road to the ponds.

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APRIL 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Saturday 6 April. Bayhead with Elena Russell. The meeting time is 07h30 – low tide.  Some of us will be at Bud’s on the Bay  after. Please join us. Contact Elena for details: 031 7052902 (home – after hours). We could get the last of the waders and hopefully some in breeding plumage. Please wear old takkies or wellies as it can get very muddy. All scopes will be most welcome. Directions: Go south along Bulwer Road, then Nicolson Road, turn left into Francois Road towards Maydon Wharf, after crossing the metal span bridge, turn right and pass the Dry Dock on the left, turn left at the next traffic lights into Bayhead Road and continue until you reach Gate 7 (Langeberg Road) entrance towards National Port Authority. Turn left into Langeberg Road and continue along this road and after crossing a flyover bridge turn left, still following the Bayhead Heritage Nature Reserves signs, cross some railway tracks and then turn left into the parking area.  Parking is safe as there is now a resident Portnet Guard. Meet in the parking area.

Saturday 6 April. BMCG Meeting Venue to be advised.

Sunday 7 April. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue to be announced. Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or send him an email.

Tuesday 9 April. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk. To be advised later.

Wednesday 10 April. Paul & Sally Bartho and Cecil Fenwick – “Circling the Stones, a Tour of Zimbabwe August/September 2012.” Venue: Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

Wednesday 17 April. Visit to CROW with Lesley Frescura. Meet there at 08h30. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the Centre’s work with people who have a vested interest in protecting our local birdlife. We can observe the birds within and those who have chosen to make their home in the spacious grounds. Bring tea and chairs for later. Directions:

1. Get on the N2 freeway from Durban heading towards Port Shepstone (i.e. south coast, opposite direction to going to the airport)

2. Take the Edwin Swales / Solomon Mahlangu Turn off onto the M7.

3. At the traffic lights turn left onto the M7. (get into the right-hand lane)

4. At the next set of traffic lights, turn right into Wakeleigh Road (keep left once you’ve turned)

5. 50 metres up Wakeleigh Road glide left into Cliffview Road.

6. Carry on along Cliffview Road until you get to the stop sign – there will be a railway bridge ahead of you.

7. At the stop sign turn let into Sarnia Road (not well signposted, but just turn left!)

8. Carry on along Sarnia Road and when you get to the first set of traffic lights turn right over the railway bridge into Coedmore Road.

9. carry on along Coedmore Road (you will go past a quarry, cross over a river and along a road with lots of speed bumps and big trees.

10. CROW is right at the end of Coedmore Avenue…you’ll know you’re on the right road when you see the CROW signs and speed bumps.

Sunday 21 April. Cancelled due to heavy rain – roads impassable. Ellingham Estates with Paul & Sally Bartho. Contact: 031-7168416, 072-1573678, paul@bartho.biz.. Ellingham is a cane farm, with extensive riverine forest, great climax trees, bush and dams, plus some well-left dead eucalypts which often yield raptors.

Directions: Get onto the N2 freeway heading south. Take the Park Rynie\Umzinto off ramp. Turn right and cross over the bridge. After approximately 1 km turn left onto a sand road, you will see a sign to Ellingham Estate. Within 50 metres take a left turn. There are horse paddocks on the left, this is where we will meet and park, meet at 7h00. There will be a R20 pp entrance contribution. Take chairs, tea and snacks for afterwards.

Friday 26 April to 1 May. Weekend plus camping outing to Ilalapalm Park with Mike Roseblade and Jane Morris. This is a 35 hectare site 6km outside Mbazwana in Maputaland. Habitat is sand forest so the normal specials should be there. Camping on powered site is R90pp/night (R70 for pensioners) . Sodwana, Sibaya and Muzi Pan are within 20-25km. Book directly with the camp. Phone: 035 5717125/082 8555643. Please advise Mike/Jane when you have made a booking. Directions: From Hluhluwe take the Sodwana Road as far as Mbazwana, then take the Jozini Road and look for the sign to Ilala Palm after 6kms.

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MARCH 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Saturday 2 March. Shongweni with Elena Russell. Meet at 06h30. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm). Directions: Take the N3 west, go through the MariannhillTollPlaza, then take the Shongweni/Assagay off ramp. Turn left and drive for approx.. 1 km before turning left again at the sign to Shongweni Dam. After a few hundred metres turn right at the next signpost for Shongweni Dam. This road eventually leads to the entrance (about 6 km). Meet at the resource centre parking. There is an entrance fee, but please note cash is not accepted. Credit Card or Wild Card only. Bring along a picnic and your chairs.

Saturday 2 March. BMCG Meeting immediately after the Saturday Outing at Shongweni.

Sunday 03 March.  Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue: Gwala Gwala Forest – Upper Melville (Coastal forest good for Robins, Twinspots etc).  Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or send him an email.

Wednesday13 March. Indoor Meeting with Ian Macdonald, “Birding Along a Southern Loop Safari”. Venue: UKZN, Howard College Campus.

Sunday 17 March. Amatikulu with Chris & Rie Mathews. Contact: 083 3000635, or email. This reserve lies at the confluence of the Amatikulu and NyoniRivers. The habitat includes forested dunes, grassland, the estuary and beach. Possible specials. Malkoha, Black Cuckoo-Shrike, Red-Backed manikin and Green Twinspot. To get to Amatikulu take the N2 up the NorthCoast and after crossing the TugelaRiver, look out for the brown signs which lead you to the reserve. Allow one hour’s drive from Umhlanga. There is an entrance fee of R20 but take Wild and Rhino Cards in case. Meet inside the gate area at 07h00.

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FEBRUARY 2013

Saturday 9 February. Course led by David Allen. Subject: “Subspecies of southern African birds – a new book covering an old subject”. In terms of timing, two 45 minutes sessions with a half-hour break in between for tea, from 14h00 to 16h00. Venue DNSM. The DNSM Research Centre is located at the corner of KE Masinga (Old Fort Road) and Wyatt Road in central Durban.  Parking at the rear of the building with its entrance on Wyatt Road.

Some background text suggested would be:

The John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, the publishers of ‘Roberts Birds of Southern Africa’, has just published a new book in the Roberts ‘stable’ entitled: ‘Roberts Geographical Variation of Southern Africa Birds – A Guide to the Plumage Variation of 612 Bird Races in Southern Africa’, authored by KZN’s own Hugh Chittenden, David Allan and Ingrid Weiersbye.

This book provides a timely opportunity to revisit the issue of subspecific variation in southern African bird species. The book, and this course, will hopefully help take your birding to a higher level. A selection of skins showing subspecific differences will be on display and copies of the book signed by all three authors will be available at well below the recommended retail price.”

Sunday 10 February. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue Lorraine Estates – Umzumbe (good for Knysna Turaco, Gorgeous Bush Shrike etc).  Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or send him an email.

Tuesday 12 February. 09h30 Krantzkloof talk. David Johnson on the subject of “Evolution of Birds”.

Wednesday 13 February. Paradise Valley with Sandi du Preez.  Meet at 07h30. Contact Sandi: Home – 031-7014839 Cell – 0733324431. We can beat the heat by walking through the forest next to the Umbilo River and looking out for wagtails, eagles, and all things in between. Bring tea for later. Meet outside the office. Directions: From M13 westbound, take the Stapleton Road/New Germany turn-off. (Exit 16). Keep left into Eden Road. Follow Eden Road past the Blood Bank, turn right into Oxford Road. The reserve is at the end of the road.  Note: there is a small entrance fee.

Saturday 16 February.BirdLife Port Natal AGM. All to attend please.

Sunday 17 February. TC Robertson 06h30 with Barry Pullock. 0824951865 Directions: Head South on N2 Take the Scottburgh/Dududu off ramp, ( the off ramp after Umkomaas approx 12 kms).  At the stop street turn left, keep on that road to the T-junction. Turn right and proceed over the bridge. Almost immediately after the bridge (50 metres) there is a sign on the right to T C Robertson. Once past the entrance proceed along the dirt road, it winds a bit and then makes a gradual turn to the left. This is where we will meet. There is a nominal entrance fee of about R30 per vehicle. Probably no one will be at the gate at that time so they will come around later, there are lovely built in braai’s in the shade for those who wish to do so afterwards.

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JANUARY 2013

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Saturday 5 January – Springside 06h00 Elena Russell. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm).  Directions: From M13, turn off at Hillcrest off-ramp. Turn right at traffic lights into Old Main Road. At Heritage Market, turn right into Stonewall. Travel under the subway and at the T-junction turn right into Springside Road. Continue along this road until you see the reserve on your left. There are braai & picnic facilities.

Saturday 5 January. BMCG Meeting at Springside, immediately after the Saturday Outing.

Sunday 06 January. Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Venue Umzumbe Floodplain (target species are Warblers). Please contact Andrew for details. Cell 082 338 3302 or send him an email.

Wednesday 09 January. Indoor Meeting with Mike Roseblade and Jane Morris “Birding Victoria and Malaysia”.

Sunday 13 January. Mbona with Mike White. If you intend to come then you have to email Mike (mikew@saol.com) with the names of all in your party and your car registration number and to confirm the meeting time and place. Mike’s cell number for emergencies only :  082 6570444. Possible birds include: Cape Parrot, White-starred Robin, Orange Ground Thrush, African Crowned Eagle, Bush Blackcap, Barratt’s Warbler , Broad-tailed Warbler, Forest Canary etc. For those interested after the bird walk, Mike has offered to use his home in Mbona for breakfast. Bring breakfast, drinks, chairs. Directions from N3. Take exit 103 to Howick. Pass Howick Falls Hotel on right, through 2 more sets of traffic lights. Turn right at the second lights where the road turns sharply left. Travel 34 kms (last 8 kms on dirt) passing Karkloof  Conservancy and Reitvlei.  Meet at the gate into Mbona on your right.

Wednesday 16 January 08h30. Palmiet NR – Lesley Frescura. We’ll beat the heat with the sound of the river waters and enjoy the shade of the many trees, whilst hoping for good sightings of the 231 species on the current bird list. Bring tea and chairs for later. Directions: Take the M13 from Durban until you reach the Rockdale Ave/Jan Hofmeyer Road turnoff. Keep left and cross the highway and continue along Jan Hofmeyer Road for just over 1km. Turn right into Old New Germany Road which is just after the Westville Hotel on your left and the Village Market shopping centre on your right. Go to the end of the road and turn right and immediately left into the parking area. Meet in the parking area.

Friday 18 to 20 January. Weekend Away at Highover – Hella Hella with Mike Roseblade and Jane Morris. A beautiful campsite on the banks of the Umkomaas River. Chalets at reasonable prices. Bushveld and upland grassland. Blue Swallow a regular visitor. About 2 hours from Durban via Richmond. Book direct through their website: or phone 0828260760. Please let Mike Roseblade know that you have booked.

Sunday 27 January. CWAC at Umgeni River Mouth and Bayhead – with Roy Cowgill and Steve Davis. Meet 08h30 at the Bird Park car park, Riverside Road. Contact Roy or Steve to confirm you will attend – 031-2054459; 0837754459 or email: sdavis@smri.org. Bring wellies and a picnic.

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DECEMBER 2012

Bird Ringing with Garth Aiston: Usually held early on a Sunday each month. Please call Garth closer to the time for details. 084 5491752.

Saturday 1st December – 06:30 Umbogavango (or any time thereafter)Elena Russell. Please phone to confirm meeting time. Tel: 031 7052902 (after 6pm). Our annual Christmas outing followed by brunch – juniors, families, friends are welcome. We are now allowed to braai as there are drums for ash but bring your own braai equipment etc, skottle whatever. Alcohol is permitted. Directions: Take the N2 towards Amanzimtoti and exit at the Moss Kolnik Drive/KwaMakhutu turnoff. Turn right across the freeway and continue for about1 km. Turn right at the Southfork signpost and continue for a short distance to the gate. Meet outside the gates to the factory.

Tuesday 11th December.  09:30 Krantzkloof. Charles Botha will be speaking about his and Julia’s trip to China.

Sunday 16th December.  Bird Ringing with Andrew Pickles. Please contact him for details on cell 082 338 3302 or send him an email.

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