Activities 2019

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER 2019

Sunday 1st September 07h00 – Equinox Party to celebrate our new members. All other members are encouraged to attend and get to know our new members.  As the equinox heralds Spring and we celebrate Heritage Day with our birding culture and the traditional braai, we would like to welcome our new members with a walk at the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve.  Come and enjoy a show and tell discovery trail in the reserve and along the boardwalks. We will have a braai at 12:00.The club will provide salads, rolls and charcoal for the fire just bring along your drinks, meat or alternative to braai. Please RSVP for catering purposes: email blpn.members@gmail.com

Friday 6th September – BLPN 70thAnniversary Event Celebrating Seabirds-Presentation on Seabirds at the Point Yacht Club with light supper.  To celebrate the club’s 70thAnniversary year the wonderful seabirds on our coast there will be a presentation by David Allan at the Point Yacht Club function room on our wonderful seabirds off the KZN coast which you can enjoy with a light Mediterranean supper (catered by Eat Greek).  This meal and talk will be open to all members and their guests at a cost of R 80.00 p/p.  Cash bar available.  Please book by sending an email to blpn.members@gmail.com.

Saturday 7th September – BLPN 70thAnniversary Celebrating Durban’s Seabirds: Pelagic Boat trip (note this may move to the Sunday if weather conditions are unsuitable) This is a wonderful opportunity to tick the seabirds on our doorstep.  Indian Yellow-nosed albatross, White-chinned petrels, Flesh-footed shearwaters amongst many others have all been seen on these pelagic boat trips.  The boat will have experienced guides, David Allan and Niall Perrins board to assist with IDs and photography of the various seabirds.  Many of the trips also have dolphin and whale sightings.  The places for this trip are restricted to 12 and because this trip has been especially negotiated by BLPN it will be open only to members and immediate family.  Please book early to avoid disappointment by sending an email to blpn.members@gmail.comCost R 1500.00 per person.

Saturday 7th September 07h00– Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve with Terry Walls.  With over 200 bird species, Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is a great venue. The nature reserve is an extension of the D’Moss green lung in the south western parts of Yellowwood Park. This reserve is regarded as one of the finest coastal / riverine forest and bush clump / grassland mosaic areas remaining in the greater Durban area. There is a charge to enter the reserve or bring a Golden Rhino card.  Please contact Terry Walls to advise of attendance and to confirm arrangements Phone or SMS 082-8716260 or email: avianoak@yahoo.com.

Wednesday 11thSeptember 19h00–Indoor Meeting Westville. Bird Sense: Song, Rhythm and Musican interactive presentation by Nicolette Forbes.  A fascinating look at bird calls, song and communication through sound.  This talk will make you more aware and understanding of the calls around you and bird communication. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  

Sunday 15thSeptember 06h30– SAPPI Mbozambo (Stanger) with Rex Aspeling.  We will spend time in the Hide and take a stroll around the dam. Let’s see if we can top a 100 species (Record is 121) in a morning. Afterwards tea /coffee in the picnic area. Remember to bring your ID and check in at the office on arrival. Good idea to take cushions as well as chairs, tea/coffee. There is a picnic area which is separate to the bird hide.Meet at the hide parking area after signing in at security. Please contact Rex to confirm. Email: rex.apeling@gmail.comor call/WhatsApp 0823018177 or home phone 0329405155.

Wednesday 18th September 06h30– Westville Eco Trail with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  A small indigenous area in suburbia that boasts a patch of riverine forest and a grassland.  Some interesting bird species turn up here and hopefully we should get all three mannikins.  There are extensive trails.  Bring your chairs and snacks and we will relocate to the ponds at the Scout Bowl for tea. Please advise Jane of attendance on 0824422982 or email janette@mweb.co.za

Saturday 28th September 08h30 – Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide with Adam Cruickshank. The Vulture Viewing Hide is situated close to the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve in Kwazulu-Natal and allows one to observe Cape Vultures in their natural habitat. Oribi and Black-backed Jackal may also be encountered. This outing has a special price of only R50 for BLPN members (R100 for non-members). We will spend about 2 hours at the Hide and then meet for some food and refreshments at Leopard Rock Coffee Shop afterwards. Please note that there are no toilet facilitiesat the site at present (we may be able to use the toilets at Leopard Rock Coffee Shop if people are really in need).  We do recommend sturdy footwear please. Please advise Adam of attendance by whatsapp, SMS or call 061-485 3625.

OCTOBER 2019

Saturday 5th October 06h00– Tanglewood Farm Nature Reserve with Terry Walls.
Tanglewood is a hidden treasure, consisting of grasslands, forested areas and wetland.  A mornings birding can produce up to 80 odd species.  Green twinspot has been seen here before, there are a good variety of sunbirds and often a mystery raptor will arrive to create lively discussion. A well-situated bird hide, with ablutions, is a good spot for a picnic following birding. Meet at the bottom gate at 05h45 to be allowed to access the reserve at 06h00.  Please contact Terry to advise of attendance and confirm arrangements.  Phone or SMS 082-8716260 or email: avianoak@yahoo.com.  

Tuesday 8th October 09h30 for 10h00 – Indoor Meeting (Krantzkloof Birds).  Ben Hoffman from Raptor Rescue will be expanding on aspects of Bearded Vulture Recovery and the breeding program entitled “Bred for The Wild”. Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre.

Wednesday 9th October 19h00 – Indoor Meeting Westville.  Insects, their demise and what this means for birds by Dr Marlies Craig.  Dr Craig,who serves on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is author of the book “What insect is that” will be expand on the role of insects in biodiversity, looking at the possible causes of decline and where this leaves our birds especially the insectivores.  Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  

Wednesday 16th October at 07h00 – Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary with Lesley Frescura.  A 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. Sithembiso Blessing Majoka will be our guide which is really great – the migrants will be returning, and the birds will be busy preparing their nests or even sitting on eggs.  There is a great place to sit and compare notes and have tea.  Please bring a picnic basket. Please advise Lesley of attendance 083-231 3408.

Sunday 20thOctober 06h00– CLUB COMPETITION – BLPN 70th Anniversary Big Bird Hunt by Jenny Norman.  As part of our ongoing 70thAnniversary celebrations a day of fun for all members while practising for the National Birding Big day!  Club teams will compete against each other for prizes to be handed out at the braai.  Either come in a team, consisting of min 3 and max 4 people or if you can’t make up a team, come to the venue and there will be other birders there that you can team up with for the event.  Updates during the day on each team’s progress will posted on Facebook, Twitter so you can follow the sightings and totals of the teams even if you are not competing. Each team will be handed a set of rules and a bird list consisting of 180 species to be found in the Greater Durban Area.  The  teams will then be  sent out to find as many of those birds as they can anywhere in the eThekwini area, and meet back at New Germany at 12:00 for a braai (fires will be provided but bring your meat, salads and liquid refreshments) so that numbers can be counted and then for the prize-giving. Please enter your teams by sending an email to Jenny (jennifernorman@gmail.com). Meet at New Germany Nature Reserve (gates will open at 06h00 for us) where cars can be parked, and teams sorted out before heading off to start ticking those species.

Thursday 24th October 06h30– Sit-in at Palmiet Nature Reserve with JaneMorris.  We will sit on the bank of the Palmiet River and see what moves around us.  Mountain Wagtail and Black Duck are often present, a Half-collared Kingfisher has been known to put in an appearance at times. Bring chairs and snacks. Please advise Jane of attendance on 0824422982 or email janette@mweb.co.za

Thursday 24th October 18h30– Indoor Meeting Amanzimtoti (Sapphire Coast Birding). Prof Ticky Forbes will talk about Garden Birds – what is possible and how?  Come and see wonderful photographs of what you should be able to see in your garden and how to get a feast of species all year round. Venue: Lords & Legends, Amanzimtoti. Contact Adam for details 061-485 3625.

Saturday 26th October 06h00 – Burchell’s Coucal Eco Trail, Lower Illovo with Sithembiso Blessing Majoka.The Burchell’s Coucal Eco trail lies inland on the river in Lower-Illovo at the Illovo Business Park. You will need to sign in to access the trails, but the trails that wind along the river allow one to see Water Thick-Knee, Little Bee-eater, White-Fronted Bee-eater, Southern Brown Throated Weaver, European Honey Buzzard, Pygmy Kingfisher, Spotted Eagle Owl, Barn Owl as well as some great African Fish Eagle sightings up close.  Please confirm attendance with Sithembiso on 073-4798585 via WhatsApp or call.  

NOVEMBER 2019

Saturday 2nd November 06h00–Alverstone Wildlife Park with Terry Walls. This reserve offers grassland, wetland and forest birding.  Bush-shrikes are well represented, a variety of grassland species show themselves well including the Cape grassbird.  There is a lovely boma area where we will picnic following the walk so bring chairs and picnic baskets. There is a R 20.00 p/p entrance fee to access the park for all attending. Please contact Terry to advise of attendance and confirm arrangements. Phone or SMS 082-8716260 or email: avianoak@yahoo.com.  

Wednesday 13th November 19h00 – Indoor Meeting Westville. Birding in Kruger with Adam Cruickshank.  The Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s finest birding and wildlife locations. Many people have fond memories of many trips over the years that they have done to the park, but this year Adam, who started birding later on in life and has over the last four years has got ‘sucked’ into the wonderful world of birding and all that it has to offer,  got to go on his first Kruger trip.  Come and rekindle your experience of a first-timers visit the park, hear about the amazing sights and sounds that make Kruger truly magical. Who knows, after this talk possibly you may end up planning a trip to this stunning place. Excellent photographs and information will be profiled in this presentation by Adam. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  

Sunday 17th November 06h00 – “Birds, Bunnies and Beer” a birding experience with a difference. Gwahumbe Game Lodge with Tyron Dall. On arrival at the lodge we will have tea and coffee, and then be transported by 4×4 down to the valley where we will do our bird walk. Over 221 bird species have been recorded in this area. These range from forest species such as the Trumpeter Hornbill and colourful Narina Trogon, waterfowl, grassland “little brown jobs”, bushveld birds such as thrushes, mouse birds and barbets, to a variety of raptors including the Crowned Eagle that is reported to have bred in the valley for over twenty five years. Another endangered species that occurs here is the Ground Hornbill.  A variety wildlife can also be seen including antelope species, giraffe, zebra, caracal, genet, serval, jackal, otter, hippo and warthog.   Once the walk is completed, we will be transported back to the lodge to enjoy a delicious bunny and a drink.  Cost is R400.00 per person for members and R450 pp for non-members, and includes an entrance and conservation fee, tea and coffee on arrival, 4×4 transfer into the valley, a bird walk and 4×4 transfer back to the lodge plus bunny chow, a beer/soft drink. There is a limit of 20 places available on a first come first serve basis.  Please contact Tyron to confirm attendance. Email: dalltyron@gmail.com  or WhatsApp/SMS: 0826577400.  Payments to be made to BLPN.

Wednesday 20th November 07h30– Glenholme Nature Reserve with Sandi du Preez.   This is the Nature Reserve at the Kloof SPCA. Habitat featured comprises of grassland, scarp forest and rare swamp forest so expect to see grassland and forest birds. WESSA has built a new boardwalk to facilitate walking through the wetter areas in the swamp forest. We will all meet in the firstparking area, just past the little dam. Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards. Please advise Sandi of attendanceTel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431

Weekend away 22nd – 24th November– Cumberland Nature Reserve with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  Situated just outside Pietermaritzburg and offering spectacular scenery and pristine habitat with over 220 bird species recorded Cumberland is a gem of a reserve. There are magnificent cliff faces, rocky outcrops, Acacia savannah and the Umgeni river running through the reserve all waiting to be explored.  Peregrine falcon, Broad-tailed warbler, Striped pipit plus many other birds are there to be seen. The reserve offers a variety of accommodation types from camping to hutting.  Please book directly with the reserve.  Candice 0823765600 or info@cumberlandreserve.co.za For those not wishing to stay over it is possible to join for the day on Sunday 24thNovember 06h00. Please advise Jane of attendance 0824422982 or janette@mweb.co.za

Saturday 30th November– National Birding Big Day. We would like to have some BLPN teams made up of members to compete within our birdclub jurisdiction (the greater Durban area).  Let’s put a great showing of BLPN birders together and profile what our area has to offer.  So gather your birding friends together and make a team of 3 or 4 birders and get out there and see how many birds you can get in a 24-hour period, midnight to midnight. Entry criteria, rules and more are available on the BirdLife south African website: https://www.birdlife.org.za

EVENTS PAST

August 2019

Saturday 3 August 06h00 Umhlanga Lagoon with Terry Walls.  Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com Lagoon, wetland, dune forest ecosystems yield some interesting birds, not to mention the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean. Always a good birding venue.

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

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

Wednesday 21 August 08h00 BOTANIC GARDENS with Sandi du Preez. – 08h00.  Please advise Sandi of attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431. Durban Botanical Gardens can be broadly divided into 3 areas, open grassy ornamental gardens, wooded areas with tangles of vegetation and large trees and then the star of the show which is the lake area with its constant noisy and busy community of weavers, herons, ibis and waterfowl going about their business.  Red-capped Robin-chat, Drongos and Black Flycatcher give great opportunities for close encounters.  Black-throated Wattle-eye is a real possibility.

Thursday 22ndAugust 18h30– Launch and Inaugural Meeting of the Sapphire Coast Bird Club (a satellite of BLPN in the south).  Launch and Inaugural Meeting formalities followed by a presentation by the current BLPN Chair Nicolette Forbes on Coastal KZN Birds – What, Where, How !Venue: Lords & Legends, Amanzimtoti.  Snacks and Refreshments as well as a cash bar will be available.  Please would all members consider joining the celebration of a new satellite club for BLPN.

Tuesday 27thAugust 07h30– Sit-in at the Link Road Park, Westville. with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  This park is also sometimes known as Woodside Park.  The sit-in will be set up with peoples backs to the sun looking onto a vista of indigenous trees where numerous species of bird come to absorb the early rays of the sun.  Ablutions are a short walk up hill to the Westville Municipal Library. Please advise Jane of attendance on 082-4422982 or email janette@mweb.co.za

Saturday 31stAugust 06h30– Empisini Nature Reserve with Sithembiso Blessing Majoka. Empisini is a 120 hectares nature reserve, which has a superb forest area that is rich in birdlife including the Narina trogon, Knysna turaco, Blue-mantled flycatcher, Scaly-throated honeyguide, Trumpeter hornbill and African black duck. Please confirm attendance with Sithembiso on 0734798585 via WhatsApp or phone call.

July 2019

Saturday 6 July 07h30 Durban Botanical Gardens with Terry Walls. Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com. Durban Botanical Gardens can be broadly divided into 3 areas, open grassy ornamental gardens, wooded areas with tangles of vegetation and large trees and then the star of the show which is the lake area with its constant noisy and busy community of weavers, herons, ibis and waterfowl going about their business. Red-capped Robin-chat, Drongos and Black Flycatcher give great opportunities for close encounters. Black-throated Wattle-eye is a real possibility.

Wednesday 10 July 19h00-Bird Photography:  Harry Gazendam will talk about his bird photography. Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.

WEEKEND AWAY:  12 – 14 July:  Umlalazi Nature Reserve with Jane and Mike Roseblade. Mtunzini has a lot of birding on offer and includes some winter specials like Mangrove Kingfisher, Chorister Robin-Chat and Spotted Ground Thrush, not forgetting that Palmnut Vulture is resident there. For campsites make your own booking direct with the reserve office on 035 3401836. Hutted accommodation can be booked via https://ekznw.co.za/Resorts/Umlalazi/Ezemvelo.

BIRD COURSE: Saturday 20 July  FOOD, SEX & LIVING TOGETHER A one-day bird course which will touch on interesting aspects of how birds find food and adaptations that assist with this, what contributes to breeding success in birds and the different strategies related to living alone or in a flock.  To book and get details email: courses@ecoinfoafrica.com Cost: R200.00 for BLPN members and R250.00 for non-members.

Saturday 20 July 08h30 The winter CWAC count with Steve Davis. The winter CWAC count takes place at Umgeni River and Durban Bayhead. Meet at the Umgeni Bird Park parking area at 08h30, for low tide at 11h30. Thereafter we will move on to Bayhead. Please bring hat, water, tea, snacks, binoculars and chairs (and wellies if you intend coming to Bayhead). We will have lunch near the Green Hub after the Umgeni count before moving to Bayhead. All welcome!

Sunday 21 July – Amatigulu with Steve Davis.  Please advise Steve of attendance and to get time to meet plus final arrangements for the outing 0837754459 sdavis@smri.org This small reserve is situated about 100km north of Durban. Habitats include coastal, riparian and dune forest, grassland, Lala palm bushveld and estuary, the variety of which has resulted in a checklist of over 300 birds. Specials that have been seen here on previous trips include African Finfoot and White-fronted Bee-eater. Insect life is also usually good. Bring chairs and picnic lunch.

June 2019

Saturday 1 June 07h30 – Pigeon Valley. Please phone Terry to advise of attendance and confirm arrangements 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com.  A small remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea and never fails to delight, Spotted Ground Thrush is a common winter visitor.

Tuesday 11th June. Krantzkloof held at the usual venue – Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre – at the usual time 9h30 for 10h00 with tea/coffee and biscuits, at the same price of R20.00. Our speaker will be Chris Dalzeel, whom I’m sure most of you know from previous talks. This time he will be telling us about his trip to Namaqualand to see the wonderful flowers that appear every year. As usual he will have spectacular photographs of this amazing spectacle, which we are so lucky to be able to feast on. 

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

Wednesday 19 June 07h30- Pigeon Valley with Sandi du Preez.Please advise Sandi of attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431 A small, remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. Spotted Ground-thrush a special in winter and Buff-spotted Flufftails also present. Six Sunbird species can be seen at this time of the year.

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

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

May 2019

Saturday 4 May 07h15- Paradise Valley Nature Reserve with Terry Walls.Please advise Terry of attendance and confirm arrangements 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com Meet at Kloof Falls Picnic site.  This pristine reserve consists of incised deep gorges covered with coastal scarp forest, patches of grassland and protea veld on the crest of the hills and sheer cliff faces.  This diverse habitat provides a wide and interesting variety of birds from Crowned Eagle to Blue-billed Firefinch, and many others in between, including the Narina Trogon. 

BIRD COURSE: Saturday 4 May OR Sunday 5 May VOCALISATION, MIGRATION AND FLIGHT A one-day bird course focusing on the mysteries of bird migration (find out how they do it!), wonders of communication and song (learn/practice call identification at the same time!) and understand the fascinating anatomy and strategies which make them fly! To book and get details email: courses@ecoinfoafrica.com Cost: R200.00 for BLPN members and R250.00 for non-members.

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

70th Anniversary CelebrationSaturday 18th May 2019.

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

Early morning bird walks of various levels will start at 07h00 returning to the event by 08h30 in time for walkers to refresh themselves before the brunch starts at 09h00. There will be a fee of R 40.00 payable to Krantzkloof reserve for walkers or a Golden Rhino card may be presented.

Wednesday 22 May 08h00 – IPHITHI N.R. with Sandi du Preez. Please advise Sandi of attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431 Iphithi is a12 ha piece of precious forest and wetland in the Molweni River’s upper catchmentarea in the heart of the green and leafy suburb of Gillitts.There is a stream that runs through the reserve, collecting in a man-made dam in the one large open space in the reserve, and then on through a wetland before leaving the lower end of the reserve. A mix of habitats can be enjoyed, from thicket, to woodland stream, young forest, and wetland zones. As these habitats continue to be rehabilitated an ever-increasing diversity of flora and fauna can be seen, from small mammals to a variety of birds.  These include water fowl and forest species.  Butterflies and insects are also prevalent.

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

WEEKEND AWAY : Saturday 25-Sunday 26 May 07h00 – Eshowe and surrounds with Nicolette and Ticky Forbes– 07h00.  Meet at the Dlinza Forest Chalets / Accommodation.  We will visit Dlinza Aerial Boardwalk / Dreadnought Farm walking trail as well as a local dam to which we will be given access.  We will stay over at the Dlinza Forest Accommodation chalets on the Saturday night for a braai and a chat about what we can expect during birding the next day.  They have offered us a great BLPN group rate of R600 per chalet per night if all four chalets are booked.  The chalets are completely equipped with bedding and towels and for self-catering – we need only bring food and our drinks.  Please book directly with Bev at Dlinza Forest Accommodation, 2 Oftebro Street, Eshowe, Tel: 035 4742377, Cell: 0828028272.  Please let Nicky know if you are booking (nicolette@mer.co.za) so we can make sure to get a BLPN group rate.   There are only three chalets now available but there is more accommodation across the road should there be more wishing to join this trip. Specials we might see in the forest include the globally threatened Spotted Ground Thrush, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Grey cuckoo shrike, Olive woodpecker, Yellow-streaked bulbul, Green Twinspot, Brown Scrub Robin, African Broadbill.  Martial Eagle and Crowned eagle breed in the reserve and Southern Ground-Hornbills include the grassland habitat in its territory.

April 2019

Saturday 6 April 06h00 – Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve with Terry Walls contact 082-871-6260.  Meet at picnic area. Entrance fee payable or Rhino Card.  Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is an extension of the D’Moss green lung in the south western parts of Yellowwood Park. The reserve is regarded as one of the finest coastal / riverine forest and bush clump / grassland mosaic areas remaining in the greater Durban area and it is possible to see Narina Trogon among other species here.

Tuesday 9 April 09h30 for 10h00– The price is still R20.00 but please note – THE VENUE HAS CHANGED.  We cannot use the Conservation Centre for this meeting so I’ve arranged for us to go to Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof.  We have been there a couple of times before so I do hope this won’t be a problem for you. Our speaker will be Nicolette Forbes (whom, I’m sure,  you’ve all heard before) and her topic on Tuesday will be The birding hotspot of South-East Arizona and so much more!  As you all know she’s a wonderful speaker and always has beautiful slides so this promises to be another one of her “specials”.  So ———- we hope you’ll come along and enjoy a most entertaining morning and we look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday 10 April 19h00 – Indoor Meeting at Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  Speaker to be announced.

WEEKEND AWAY: 12 – 14 April – Silver Streams Caravan Park with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  Sitting in the Southern foothills of the Drakensberg, close to the Lesotho border with a bubbling berg river and gentle rolling grasslands this area produces good Drakensberg birding.  Booking can be done on the website at www.silverstreams.co.za or call 0823316670/0828598619.  Accommodation consists of camping, wooden cabins and chalets.  Please advise Jane once you have booked on janette@mweb.co.za

Wednesday 18 April 2019.  Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve with Lesley Frescura @ 08h00Lagoon, Wetland, Dune Forest ecosystems yield some interesting birds, not to mention the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean. Always a good birding venue. 

Sunday 28th April 06h45 – Burchell’s Coucal Eco Trail, Illovu Business Park with Tyron Dall.  Please contact Tyron to confirm attendance. Email: dalltyron@gmail.com or WhatsApp/SMS: 0826577400. Bird Specials for the trail include White-fronted Bee-eater, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Fiery-necked Nightjar (Seen occasionally during the day) and a good selection of Raptors including Western Osprey, Black-chested Snake Eagle and the resident African Fish Eagles. We will be walking along the banks of the Lovu River. Please note that some sections of the trail may be somewhat challenging and that the trails can become a bit flooded if the river level is unusually high, but we will make a plan.

March 2019 

Saturday 2 March 07h15.  New Germany NR with Elena Russell.  Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place.  031 705 2902, email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.  A delightful small reserve comprising grassland  and forest.  

Wednesday 13 March 19h00.  With Terry Walls.  Indoor meeting at Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Drive, Westville.  Many of our members are familiar with Andrew Pickles and his work.  He and his father spent many hours ringing Barn Swallows on the Mount Moreland site during the building of the new airport at La Mercy and afterwards.  Andrew continued with his work at the Umzumbe site near his home, and he will be talking about it and showing some of his wonderful ph otographs.  His talk is entitled “Ringing on the Umzumbe Floodplain”, and he will share not only the Swallows but also what other iconic birds he has photographed and ringed there.  This is an opportunity not to be missed, as Andrew plans to travel to the UK in April, and we may not see him again for a long time.  He is a member of our club, so make the most of the opportunity to enjoy his presentation, and chat afterwards and say a farewell.  We have no ringers in eThekwini at present and so Andrew’s absence will be a blow and a loss of the knowledge so painstakingly built up over the years. A small donation and refreshments afterwards.

Sunday 17 March 06h30 – Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve with Mike and Jane Roseblade.  Contact Jane 0824422982 janette@mweb.co.za Lagoon, wetland, dune forest ecosystems yield some interesting birds, not to mention the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean. Always a good birding venue.

Wednesday 20 March 07h30.  North Park NR with Sandi du Preez 0317014839 or 0733324431.  Coastal lowland  and riverine forest with sandstone cliffs.

February 2019

Saturday 2 February, 07.00.  North Park with Terry Walls.  Please confirm meeting time and place.  082 871 6260.  Meet at the entrance gate, there is a fee payable or bring your Rhino card.  North Park NR consists of 52 hectares of natural forest, adjacent to the Umhlatuzana River.  It is home to many bird species.  The established ponds are a haven to water birds.  Some of the smaller mammals that can be found here are blue and grey duiker, mongoose and cane rats.  

Tuesday 12 February, 09.30.  Krantzkloof Interpretive Centre. Our speaker is Herman Bos on “Birding Green Namibia”.  There is an entrance fee.  Tea and coffee will be provided.

WEEKEND AWAY: 8 – 10 February.  Korongo Valley Guest Farm with Mike and Jane.  Join us to explore a new venue away.  The farm, a proud member of BLSA, nestles between the rolling hills of Ixopo in the Ubuhlubezwe district of KZN.  The area is surrounded by forest, wetland and grasslands which are home to a list of about 125 species.  Various accommodation is on offer from camping to hutting and there is a bar and restaurant on the premises.  Check the site out at www.korongovalley.co.za or contact Sue to make a booking at admin@korongovalley.co.za or reservations@korongovalley.co.za on 0823389369.  Please advise that you will be with the BLPN group for the weekend.  Please also advise Jane when you have booked on janette@mweb.co.za.

Wednesday 13 February 19h00 – Indoor Meeting at Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  Speaker to be announced.

Saturday 16 February BLPN annual AGM is scheduled for 14h00 at the Palmiet NR.  After the business, our Hon President David Allan will talk on “Coming up for 20 years of counting the waterbirds in Durban Bay. What have we learnt and what are the key threats?”. This promises to be an excellent talk. Nicky is preparing the agenda and we will be electing a new committee. The braai will be there and the salads. Please consider joining our committee.  We need new faces, new ideas.  Most importantly, we need a secretary.  We meet via Skype with one or two face to face meetings per year.  Contact Nicky or myself for more information.

Wednesday 20 February, 07.30.  Jubilee Park with Sandi du Preez.  0317014839 or 073332431.  A lovely well-maintained municipal park in Westville, which has become famous for good sightings of Magpie Mannikins.  Wetland and forest habitats.  

Sunday 24 February, 06.30.  Kenneth Stainbank NR with Jane & Mike Roseblade. 082 442 2982.  I have had a request for an outing that does not involve a lot of walking a nd can be done in good habitat with like-minded people.  This will be our first attempt so if you have difficulty getting around or even if you don’t, join us for a morning of birding.  Meet in the carpark near the disabled trail and we will set ourselves up there for the morning.  There is a fee.  Bring refreshments.

January 2019

Saturday 5 January 06h00- Umbogavango with Elena Russell. Please confirm attendance, meeting time and place. Tel: 031 705 2902 email elenarussell@telkomsa.net.  A diverse habitat with riparian woodland, grassland and a number of water bodies.  Depending on water levels a variety of water birds can be seen at this venue.  Bring chair coffee/tea and eats for a picnic afterwards.

Wednesday 16 January 2019. Paradise Valley with Lesley Frescura @ 07.30.  We begin the new year with a visit to Paradise Valley NR.  Mostly shady along the river with many birds and their babies to see and marvel at.  There is a walk along the Umbilo River to the spectacular waterfall.  We could be rewarded with sightings of Mountain Wagtails and several raptors.  

Wednesday 16 January 19h00 – Indoor Meeting at Westville Methodist Church, Jan Hofmeyr Road, Westville.  Come to share your summer birding news and welcome new members for 2019.  Presentation for the evening Birding the south-east Arizona hotspotsby Nicolette Forbes.  Come and see the area north of the border down Mexico Way before the wall !  Trump news followers will know what this means.

Saturday 26 January with Steve Davis.Hi birders, the summer CWAC count at Umgeni River and Durban Bayhead will be taking place on Saturday 26 January. Meet at the Umgeni Bird Park parking area at 10h30, for low tide at 13h30. Thereafter we will move on to Bayhead. Please bring hat, water, tea, snacks, binoculars and chairs (and wellies if you intend coming to Bayhead). All welcome!  Thanks!  Cheers, Steve

Sunday 27 January, please phone Ismail for time. Krantzkloof NR with Ismail Vahed 083 786 6733.  This 600 ha reserve, incised with deep gorges and covered with coastal scarp forest with patches of grassland and protea veld on the crest of the hills and with sheer cliff faces, has got to provide a wide and interesting variety of birds from African Crowned Eagles to Blue-billed Firefinch, and many others in between, including the Narina Trogon.

3 Comments on “Activities 2019

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

    Like

Have Your Say Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: