Activities 2020

Birding Diary – DECEMBER 2020

Saturday 5thDecember
07h30
BIRD WALK
Bluff Nature Reserve and Bayhead
With Rowan Bartlett
Join Rowan for a Bluff Day! The Bluff has produced some great birds during lockdown, notably the Abdim’sStork and Ayre’s Hawk Eagle. The great thing is the variation in habitat, from forest to coastal bush, wetland to beach and mangroves. Join Rowan who will show you two of the key areas to bird on the Bluff, the Durban Bay Bayhead sandbanks and mangroves and the Bluff Nature Reserve. This activity will start at the Bluff Nature Reserve then you will move on to the Bayhead Natural Heritage site which is only approx. 10-15 minutes away. BLPN Walk 1/12 To book for this walk please click here https://forms.gle/ejd82mQVtobqMrSu7
Wednesday 9thDecember
07h30
BIRD WALK
Glenholme Nature Reserve
With Sandi du Preez
This lovely little reserve situated in the Kloof SPCA features grassland, scarp and rare swamp forest. Grassland and forest birding with a boardwalk, built by WESSA, over the wetter areas in the swamp forest.BLPN Walk 2/12To book for this walk please click here and book your spot: https://forms.gle/CrAaYyxhn4ZRdwhy6
Saturday 12thDecember
06h00
BIRD WALK
Umbilo Ponds
with Ismail Vahed
A wetland area along the Umbilocanal.  Black-crowned Night Heron is often seen skulking her and the surrounding habitat can produce some interesting species.BLPN Walk 3/12To book for this walk please click here https://forms.gle/erhnmt2uk8AC5hRQ8
Sunday 13thDecember
06h00
ATLASSING La Lucia Ridge Forest
with Nicolette Forbes
A gated and secure green belt which will be restricted to our use for a few hours in the morning.  A fenced reserve with a locked gate.  We will have a table set up in the forest – bring your chairs and smartphone if you would like to learn how to actively atlas.  We will sit under the trees and teach you about the bird atlas programme and how to participate.  Bring your picnic brunch and explore a beautiful new area in Durban North. Secure venue and parking.BLPN Walk 4/12To book for this outdoor workshop and walk please click here: https://forms.gle/utDRzZsFqBoHDY6D6
Tuesday 15thDecember
ONLINE WEBMEET
18h00
END OF YEAR MEETING, QUIZ and QUESTIONS
With the BLPN Committee
Please join us with your favourite drink and snack to toast the end of an ‘unusual’ year.  We will have some bird quiz questions, and we would like you to come prepared with any questions of your own – any bird and club queries and discussion items welcome.  Also bring photos of birds for people to ID or just your favourite photo of the year to share.To register for this WEBINAR click on this link. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApf-iupz0qGd0WBscGB-uqcwSVPQ7-T3Hd

BLPN Birding Diary – November 2020

Saturday 7thNovember
BIRD WALK
Ronaldskloof
With Mervyn Gans
Ronaldskloof a beautiful area that is privately owned.  It joins the main Krantzkloof Nature Reserve Molweni Trail above the Ronaldskloof weir, which is a few kms downstream of the Kloof Falls picnic site and close to the Crowned Eagle nest view site. The terrain is mainly thick riverine forest with openings next to the stream. Specials we could encounter are Narina Trogon, Ashy Flycatcher, Knysna Turaco, Mountain Wagtail, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Crowned Eagle and many more.  Bring walking shoes as the path is a bit steep in places..To book for this walk please click here and book your spot:
https://forms.gle/KNNr49PyS7JR7TTd8
BLPN Walk 1/11 
Saturday 7thNovember
BIRD WALK
Pigeon Valley
With Johan Bodenstein& Virginia Cameron
A small remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. By now the Spotted Ground Thrushes have left for their summer breeding grounds but it’s still a great place for forest birds as well as raptors such as Crowned Eagle, Black and Little Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk. To book for this walk please click on the link and book your spot: https://forms.gle/BEwVmy8J8YmAnFKb7
Walk 2/11
Wednesday 11th November
BIRD WALK
Raptor Rehabilitation Centre
With Virginia Cameron
A morning spent learning about the work of raptor rehabilitation, first there will be a walk around admiring the birds currently being rehabilitated and then we will watch the flight show. There is an entry fee of R 70.00 per person and R 60.00 for pensioners.To book for this walk please click here and book your spot:

https://forms.gle/dpthNCerug9veBxj7
Walk 3/11
Wednesday 11th November WEBINAR
LAKE ST LUCIA ESTUARY
With Nicolette Forbes
The Restoration of the Lake St Lucia Estuary – an update.  At the request of a number of members Nicolette Forbes will talk about her work over a 10 year period on this award winning project to address the misinformation, fake news, uninformed opinions and perceptions which have started circulating recently via social media, tabloid newspapers and email.  This talk about the restoration of the country’s largest estuary will provide you with real information about its functioning and its significance to KZNs waterbirds. To book for this WEBINAR please register here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CeFMiKbiSZi9h1KKfxE4IQ

Registration for this webinar is required – you will ONLY receive the link and details once you register.  Non-members R50
Sunday 15thNovember
ONLINE
Nature Journaling
with Cati Vawda
An essential, simple, low-cost tool for birders of all levels and birding styles. This workshop introduces practical ways to use your nature journal as a tool for better birding.  In the middle of our time, we will go outside to develop our observation and recording skills from the comfort of your own location. If you already keep a notebook or lists bring them with you. Join in this activity via Zoom.To book for online activity click on the link

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_9KC0hrrJTMW-iCCBR0rQkQ
Wednesday 18thNovember
BIRD WALK
Giba Gorge
with Sandi du Preez
Birding here can be productive; anything can turn up.   Possible raptors are Booted, Crowned, Long-crested and Wahlberg’s Eagles, Palmnut Vulture, Black and Little Sparrowhawks, African Goshawk and Lanner Falcon. The usual common forest birds can be seen as well as some water birds on a small dam. After the outing we will have refreshments at Afro’s.To book for this walk please click here and book your spot: https://forms.gle/hvuFn4d315H1rd8J7

Walk 4/11
Sunday 22ndNovember
DAY TRIPPING !
Vernon Crookes
with Steve Davis
With a number of different habitats including scarp forest, grassland, wetlands and cliff areas more than 300 bird species have been recorded here.  This is also a great venue to get to grips with those LBJ’s.  Bring your picnic lunch and explore a beautiful nature reserve down south.To book for this walk please click here and book your spot:
https://forms.gle/KidWWBTY5NkRZmTK6

Walk 5/11
Thursday 26thNovember
SIT IN !
Jubilee Park
with Jane Morris
The small wetland at Jubilee offers a chance to check the comings and goings of our avian friends from the comfort of a chair. To book for this walk please click here and book your spot:
https://forms.gle/K8a3DQa14NNvN9Xm6

Walk 6/11
Saturday 28thNovember
BIRD WALK
Springside Nature Reserve
with Penny de Vries
This small reserve is nestled in the heart of suburbia comprises wetland, sourveld grassland, scarp and swamp forest.  This varied habitat has had over 170 species of birds recorded over time. To book for this walk please click here and book your spot:
https://forms.gle/bKLwsFjmLgNWtEZf6

Walk 7/11

MAY 2020

Saturday 2nd May 07h00 – NEW GERMANY NATURE RESERVE with Elena Russell.  A delightful reserve comprising coastal grassland, bush clumps mosaic, riparian forest and wetland. This diverse habitat has over the years produced several special birds.  Please contact Elena to advise of attendance and to get directions:  elenarussell@telkomsa.net or 031 7052902.

Friday 8th – Sunday 10th – CAPE PARROT COUNT WEEKEND with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  Mount Park Guest Farm is set in the Natal Midlands close to Boston, the habitat comprises of indigenous mist belt forest and grassland which we will explore while we are there.   On Saturday evening and Sunday morning we will be heading off to our allocated Cape Parrot Count site where we hope to see some of these endangered forest denizens flying in or out of roosting sites.  This is part of an ongoing monitoring programme so come along as it is a wonderful opportunity to make our birding count. Cottages and camping available to book:  www.mountpark.co.za or email bookings@mountpark.co.za. Please advise Jane when you have made a booking: janette@mweb.co.za

Wednesday 13th May 18h30 – INDOOR MEETING WESTVILLE with Prof. Ticky Forbes.  “These magnificent flying machines” discussion about the mechanisms and miracles involved in bird flight.  This will open your eyes to the amazing adaptations and features which keep birds airborne.

Thursday 14th May 08h30 till 11h00 – NATURE JOURNALING FOR BIRDERS AT PALMIET NATURE RESERVE with Cati Vawda.  This workshop focuses on how to use your nature journal as a tool for birding by ear.  Nature journaling is an essential, simple, low-cost tool for birders of all levels and birding styles. If you already keep a notebook or lists, please bring your current notebook. If not, then bring any type of notebook and pen or pencil. Please confirm attendance with Cati Vawda 083 791 7676 or cati.vawda@gmail.com

Wednesday 20th May 07h30 – MSINSI NATURE RESERVE with Sandi du Preez. Special birds to be seen include Black Sparrowhawk, crested barbet, Natal Spurfowl, tambourine dove, lemon dove, Narina trogon, white-eared barbet, grey sunbird. Bring chair, tea/coffee and eats for picnic afterwards. Please advise Sandi of attendance:  Tel.  031-7014839 or 0733324431

Thursday 21st May 18h30 – INDOOR MEETING (Sapphire Coast) with Sithembiso Blessing Majoka. Reserves of the greater eThekwini Municipal Area – Sithembiso Blessing Majoka a keen birder, photographer and plant enthusiast, who is a Field Ranger from the eThekwini Municipal will do a talk on various Reserves of the Greater eThekwini Municipal area and more specifically what birds we could hope to encounter on a field outing to one of these reserves. Sithembiso is well known in the Sapphire Coast area and we know that this will be a talk that you don’t want to miss. Venue: Lords & Legends, Amanzimtoti. Contact Adam for details 061-485 3625.

WEEKEND AWAY – 22 – 24 May 2020 – DLINZA FOREST & ESHOWE AREA with Nicolette and Ticky Forbes. This will be a weekend to look for those specials in the area. We will explore the boardwalk and forest and also do some butterflying when the birds quieten down. We will visit some other sites in the area so come along and explore. Suggest high clearance vehicles or arrange a ride with someone attending in a 4×4. Accommodation is available within the gates of the Dlinza reserve and nearby surrounds and we will have our dinner together at one of the venues. Please advise Nicky if you are attending 082 451 8078 or nicolette@mer.co.za. We can also advise of some options for accommodation in the area.

Saturday 30 May 07:00 EMPISINI NATURE RESERVE, Umkomaas 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.

APRIL 2020

Saturday 4th April 06h30 – KRANTZKLOOF NATURE RESERVE with Terry Walls.  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 sheer cliff faces, has been known to provide a wide and interesting variety of birds from Crowned Eagle to Blue-billed Firefinch, and many others in between, including the Narina Trogon.  Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 or emailavianoak@yahoo.comLagoon

Wednesday 8th April 18h30 – INDOOR MEETING WESTVILLE with Nicolette Forbes. Nicolette will talk about KZN’s estuaries and discuss their importance for our bird fauna (not only the water birds) as well as point out some of the significant estuary hotspots and issues.  Aerial shots of KZN’s estuaries and coastline and photos of key bird species with some interesting vital statistics on our beautiful subtropical province’s estuaries.

Thursday 9th April 08h30 till 11h00 – NATURE JOURNALING FOR BIRDERS AT SPRINGSIDE NATURE RESERVE with Cati Vawda.          This workshop introduces practical ways to use your nature journal as a tool for better birding. It is an essential, simple, low-cost tool for birders of all levels and birding styles. We’ll look at ways to develop our observation and recording skills. If you already keep a notebook or lists, please bring your current notebook. If not, then bring any type of notebook and pen or pencil.  Please confirm attendance with Cati Vawda 083 791 7676 or cati.vawda@gmail.com

Tuesday 14th April 09h30 for 10h00 – INDOOR MEETING (Krantzkloof Birds) with Brett Coverdale. Watch the monthly calendar for information on the topic.

Wednesday 15th April 07h30 – NORTH PARK NATURE RESERVE with Sandi du Preez. Coastal lowland and riverine forest with sandstone cliffs. Narina Trogon and Lemon Dove are good possibilities. Please confirm attendance with Sandi: Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431

Saturday 25th April 06h00 – UMKOMAAS VALLEY BASH with Adam Cruickshank. The valley, as well as having breath-taking scenery, is full of some amazing species of bird including the Gorgeous Bushshrike, Mountain Wagtail, Brimstone Canary, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Martial Eagle and many more. We will meet at the Shell Ultra City South Coast (South Bound) at 6am to make the most of the early morning birding. The valley is drivable in most 2×4 vehicles with a decent clearance. We have limited spaces available in some 4×4 vehicles with people going along. Although there is no cost to the outing, if going with one of the 4×4 vehicles we do ask that you contribute to their petrol costs. Please bring along whatever snacks and cooldrinks that you would need for the morning. We will finish the morning at about 12pm. Please RSVP to Adam via Whatsapp on 0614853625 so that we know that you are coming and can communicate the necessary arrangements.

Tuesday 28th April 07h30 – VIRGINIA BUSH NATURE RESERVE SIT-IN with Jane and Mike Roseblade. It has been a long time since the club has visited this lovely bit of coastal bush that has traditionally produced good birds.  We will be going to the upper section.  Bring your chairs, snacks and come and relax in a lovely venue.  Please advise Jane of attendance: janette@mweb.co.za or 0824422982.

MARCH 2020

Saturday 7th March 06h30 – UMHLANGA LAGOON with Terry Walls.  Wetland, dune forest ecosystems yield some interesting birds, not to mention the sandy shores of the Indian Ocean. Always a good birding venue, and a chance to see a few waders before they leave. Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.comLagoon

Wednesday 11th March 18h45 – INDOOR MEETING (Westville) with Colin Summersgill who will be speaking on the importance of the SABAP2 programme to conservation.  Gain a better understanding of atlasing with some history and personal anecdotes this will make for an informative evening.

Thursday 12th March 08h00 to 11h00 – NATURE JOURNALING FOR BIRDERS AT DURBAN BOTANIC GARDENS with Cati Vawda. This workshop introduces practical ways to use your nature journal as a tool for better birding. It is an essential, simple, low-cost tool for birders of all levels and birding styles. We’ll look at ways to develop our observation and recording skills. If you already keep a notebook or lists, please bring your current notebook. If not, then bring any type of notebook and pen or pencil. Please confirm attendance with Cati Vawda 083 791 7676 or cati.vawda@gmail.com

Saturday 14th March 2020 – 08h30 – 16h30 – THE BIRDLIFE KZN FORUM.  A day of interesting talks about birds and other conservation topics.  This event is open to all members and visitors and everyone is encouraged to attend.  Venue and Programme to be announced.

Wednesday 18th March 07h30 – PARADISE VALLEY with Sandi du Preez.  Forest and riverine birding – Mountain wagtails are always present. There is a small entrance fee and pensioners’ rates. Bring chair, coffee/tea and eats for picnic afterwards. Contact Sandi to advise of attendance – Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431

Thursday 19th March 18h30 – INDOOR MEETING (Sapphire Coast). Gill Van Wyk will be doing a talk called ‘Gardening for Birds’ – Attracting birds to your garden is not difficult if you know what to plant and where to site the bird baths. Gill will speak about how to plant in such a way that you are able to attract a wide range of species to your garden by creating different habitats. She will also speak about the value of insects in your garden as well as giving some ideas of supplement feeding in difficult climatic conditions.  Venue: Lords & Legends, Amanzimtoti. Contact Adam for details 061-485 3625.

Sunday 22nd March 06h30 – PRISCILLA VALE FARM, ESTON with Malcolm Stainbank. A range of habitats to explore, including forest, grassland, cliffs, wetlands and dams.  Bring hats, sunscreen and walking shoes as there are short walks involved.  A high rise vehicle is a plus but come anyway and we will make a plan (doesn’t need to be 4×4).  Bring your picnic lunch, stay and bird as long as you like. Please advise Malcolm of attendance malstainbank@gmail.com or WhatsApp on 083 781 1130. 

Saturday 28th March 06h00 – UMBOGAVANGO NATURE RESERVE, Amanzimtoti with Tyron Dall. Bird Specials for the trail include Olive Woodpecker, Mountain Wagtail, and Green Twinspot. This 36-hectare reserve is a conservation area that was the result of waste disposal dams being transformed and we will be walking on trails that lead through some exotic and coastal forest as well as dams with hides.  Please confirm attendance via email dalltyron@gmail.com or WhatsApp 0826577400

FEBRUARY 2020

Saturday 1st February 07h15 – PIGEON VALLEY with Terry Walls.  A summer visit to this small remnant patch of coastal bush which once covered the whole of the Berea. Please confirm attendance and arrangements with Terry 082-8716260 or email avianoak@yahoo.com

Tuesday 11th February 09h00 –INDOOR MEETING (Krantzkloof Birds).  Karen and Craig Nielson will entertain you with a topic to be advised.

Saturday 15th February 09h00 – BLPN AGM.  Please diarise this date.  Mark Anderson of BLSA will be coming to address us on this important day.  Venue and topic to be advised.  

Sunday 16th February 06h00 – KWA XIMBA with Dave Rimmer.  There can’t be too many places on the outskirts of the city where one can view or hear a mix of bushveld birds, forest birds, and of course water birds in the space of just a few hours as we wander along the Umgeni River. R30 per person Conservation levy to be collected at the outset. Please advise Dave of attendance and to confirm arrangements daverimmer@mweb.co.za 082 453 7255

Wednesday 19th February 07h30 – JUBILEE PARK with Sandi du Preez. A lovely, well-maintained Municipal park in Westville, which has become famous for good sightings of Magpie mannikins. Meet at the old bird hide. Please contact Sandi to confirm attendance Tel. 031-7014839 or 0733324431.

Friday to Sunday 21st February – 1st March – A WEEK IN ZULULAND with Jane and Mike Roseblade.  Encompassing 2 weekends come and join us for however long you can get away for.  We will be visiting wetlands and reserves at a time of the year when there are still migrants around.  Please advise Jane of attendance: 0824422982 or janette@mweb.co.za

Saturday 29th February 06h00 – BURCHELL’S COUCAL ECO-TRAIL, Lower Illovo with Tyron Dall. 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, Broad-tailed Warbler, Little Bee-eater, White-Fronted Bee-eater, Southern Brown Throated Weaver, European Honey Buzzard, Pygmy Kingfisher, Spotted Eagle Owl, as well as some great African Fish Eagle sightings up close. Please confirm attendance with Tyron on 0826577400 via WhatsApp or phone call.  

Join us on our walks and learn about the world around you…


DON’T MISS THE AGM ON THE 15TH FEBRUARY 2020

Let’s enjoy and protect our birds together.



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