Activities 2020

The upcoming activities for the club are shown here with indoor meetings, presentations and walks and events listed chronologically. The upcoming confirmed March diary and the confirmed activities for March – May 2020 below.

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.

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.

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.