Greeted by 1º C and a Giant Kingfisher

Hermanus Bird Club

Text by Mike Mac Naught, images by John Bowman

Despite earlier misgivings about the weather, it actually turned out to be a glorious winter day. A bit chilly, though! We were greeted by a temperature of 1º C on arrival in Stanford for our Club’s monthly walk on Thursday 7 July.

African Swamphen African Swamphen (Groot-koningriethaan)

Ten intrepid birders met in the parking area above the bend in the river, intending to walk down the stairs and then along the river, returning via the houses.

We were dismayed to find that the stairs and the area below them had been fenced off because of the construction of a new pump station.

We made a plan and, with some fancy footwork, bypassed the obstacle and proceeded on our walk.

White-backed Duck White-backed Duck (Witrug-eend)

On our return to the cars we drove to Appel dam and welcome cups of hot coffee.

Despite the cold conditions, the birds cooperated and did their…

View original post 68 more words

Bonsai on a Summers Evening

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

On Wednesday evening I was invited to the garden of a friend, Peter Thorne, to see his bonsai collection. Peter is an active member of the Ayrshire group and each Wednesday during the summer he invites fellow club members along to the shed at the bottom of his garden, to work on their trees. This week 8 members turned up including myself so workspace in the shed was at a premium.


Here are some photographs of some of the trees on Peters benches, which I managed to take before it got too dark.

Large Yew with a good nebari and interesting deadwood


European Hornbeam


2 blue cedars and a Chinese juniper. the one in the centre is a stunning tree


Here are other pictures of the blue cedar and the large yew that I took at the Gardening Scotland Show last month.

46a cedar

48a yew

A large Juniper Squamata with good future potential…

View original post 27 more words