Love on the rocks: Penguins celebrating Valentine’s Day

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Mossel River path renewal

HERBS

If you go down to the Mossel today you are in for a big surprise.

Everyone should gather there because…

Todays the day you can once more walk along the path next to the river from the sea to the Three Dams. Frank Woodvine and his Malawian men together with some enthusiastic HBS members have hacked and pulled,  slogged and cleared. On Wednesday 23 January 18 excited botanical walkers investigated what had been done.

Starting west of the river mouth, head north until you cross the river to resume walking north, now on the river east bank. A shady section of indigenous trees still shows signs of invading trees, mostly garden escapees from local houses. These will be removed. Just before you reach the bridge across the R 43 near the Voelklip circle, dense bush and rushing river made the path impassable.

But no more! You can now walk to…

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The Contour Path above Voelklip

roncorylus

This morning’s walk saw 12 Hurriers enjoying the Contour path above Voelklip in overcast, but exceptionally humid conditions.  There was some chatter about the contours not being followed as there are some steep sections here and there, and we took the escape route down to 17th Avenue, rather than continuing to the end, but overall it was a good outing and one that stretched our bodies and pleased our eyes.  We covered around 6,5 km.

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The Non-Cruise

roncorylus

Around 20 Hermanus Bird Club members boarded the Lady Stanford this morning for a cruise on the Klein river, but the strong prevailing south-easter did not allow us to leave our moorings.  The cruise has been postponed for a week, when, hopefully, the weather will be better.  We used the opportunity to look for a Southern Pochard, which had been spotted at Apel se Dam yesterday, but without any luck.  We did, however, see a nice pair of White-faced Whistling Ducks and some Giant Kingfishers.

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Amoeba revisited

roncorylus

When we arrived at the Visitor’s Centre at 07.30 last week we found one lone forlorn Hurrier in  an almost deserted parking area.  What had happened?  Why nobody?  The answer is READ THE NOTICE.  The starting time was 07.00.

Left to their own devices, the Tardy Three then did a recce of the Lollipop Route, but that is for a another day

This morning 13 Hurriers, three visitors and a dog reported for the walk at 07.00. After some discussion the party decided to repeat the AMOEBA walk of two weeks ago to see if we could spot some more Fire Lilies and other sprouting plants.   Unfortunately no Fire Lilies but we did see a soaring Black Eagle.

At the halfway stage two visitors, one member and a dog left the party leaving 13 to continue. Making a pitstop at the bench it was decided to vary the route…

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Birding on the Klein River

roncorylus

Our outing on the Klein river aboard the Lady Stanford was a great success.  We were blessed with cool weather and the local birds were in evidence along the whole route – so  much so that we ended up with a trip list of 64 species.  Peter was, as usual, a great and informative host and he made sure that we missed nothing!

Our overall list comprised;   Bokmakerie; Common Buzzard; Jackal Buzzard; Red-knobbed Coot; Reed Cormorant; White-breasted Cormorant; Cape Turtle Dove; Red-eyed Dove; Fork-tailed Drongo; African Black Duck; White-faced Whistling Duck; Yellow-billed Duck; African Fish Eagle; Little Egret; Western Cattle Egret; Common Fiscal; Greater Flamingo; African Paradise Flycatcher; Egyptian Goose; Spur-winged Goose; African Goshawk; Great Crested Grebe; Little Grebe; Sombre Greenbul; Helmeted Guineafowl; Hartlaub’s Gull; Kelp Gull; African Marsh Harrier; African Harrier-Hawk; Black-headed Heron; Grey Heron; Purple Heron; African Sacred Ibis; Glossy Ibis; Hadeda Ibis; Giant Kingisher; Malachite Kingfisher; Pied…

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Pelagic Birding from Hermanus

Hermanus Bird Club

Four couples, the Maphams, Meyers, Planes and the Turners set off from the New Harbour at 03h30 on Friday 30th January for the pelagic fishing grounds 50kms off Cape Point. Our small unique tailor made trip arranged by Walter Mapham on the “Majestic” was an unforgetable birding experience.

Once the fishing trawlers were located we were able to get up close to view  these beautiful pelagic seabirds.  Gavin and Cynthia were able to capture the most amazing photographs, which we hope he will soon be able to share with our HBC club members.  A few of us were privileged to have a preview presentation after our fish braai at the Boat Club on Thursday 7th.

Gavin was able to identify, aided by his photos 4 species of Albatross,  two Giant Petrels , four other Petrels including two small Storm Petrels, three species of Shearwaters and the Subantartic Skua.  A few more…

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