Good and bad news from Crane Count

Hermanus Bird Club

By Lee Burman

The latest Crane Count near Hermanus seems to indicate an increase in the number of Steppe Buzzards and Spur-winged Geese. That is the good news. But the number of Blue Cranes seems to be in decline. That is the bad news.

The twice-yearly Crane Count, a project of the Animal Demography Unit of the University of Cape Town, must be one of the longest ongoing birding projects in the country. It was started in 1993.

At first  only counted Blue Cranes and Denham’s Bustards were counted, but gradually other birds have been added and we now count 13 species found in this area plus a number of buck species.

My route, OV17, starts on the Swartrivier Road at Gabriëlskloof, continues along the Karwyderskraal Road and then up the Hemel en Aarde valley to just outside Caledon.

What has been very noticable over the years is the change in…

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