Thick with Thick-Knees

Hermanus Bird Club

A vacant plot in Eastcliff must have something going for it, at least as far as the world of Spotted Thick-Knees is concerned.  This morning, whilst out walking, I spotted no less than 12 of these birds sunning themselves in an area no bigger than 40m x 40m.  There may have been more – I only saw the ones that were standing and I did not get too close for fear of disturbing them.  I read that out of breeding season they form roosts of up to 70 birds, but this my first experience of this habit.               R Hazell.

Sp Thick_knee

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A Walk in Fernkloof

This morning was very cold but beautifully clear.  We walked in Fernkloof ahead of our bi-annual planning meeting which was held on the lawns near the hall.  It was invigorating especially when a cold breeze came up as we climbed Lemoenkop.

Prior to that we had had a wonderful sighting of Victorin’s Warbler.  Being able to find this bird and show it to Ed and Sally, for whom it was a lifer, gave me as much pleasure as seeing it for the first time myself would have done!  It really made the day for some of us.

FynArts in Hermanus

The fifth Annual FynArts Festival draws to a close in Hermanus and it has, as in previous years, been a huge success, thanks in no small part to the unstinting work of its organiser, Mary Faure.  Unless one attends, it is hard to imagine the sheer volume of art available in this small coastal town.  Already endowed with a considerable artistic talent of its own, the festival brings so much more at every level, especially musically.

There are concerts and recitals every day, workshops on every aspect of sketching, painting, sculpture, photography, birding, quilting, cooking, writing, wine, decorating, and many other topics.  The list and the opportunities are endless.  It is without a doubt the best place to be for the ten days of its duration.


Storms in Cape Town

We decided to spend a few days in Sea Point, never realising that we had picked the most violent period in terms of the weather.  When we arrived it was perfect and we enjoyed two long walks along the promenade on Monday and Tuesday. Then all hell broke loose on Wednesday with the biggest storm in living memory.  The sea was a magnificent, albeit dangerous, sight, with massive waves wrecking havoc along the previously placid coastline.  It was too wet to take proper pictures and one had to be there to get the full impact.  The newspapers and digital media have some wonderful images, but I will, nevertheless, add my few.

Strandfontein revisited

On Monday morning on our way to Cape Town we popped into the Strandfontein Sewage works to get a quick update on the local birds.  We saw nothing new, but nevertheless enjoyed the outing to one of my favourite birding spots.  The pictures below show a few birds that I managed to capture, the highlight being the Rufous-Chested Sparrowhawk, which we managed to get really close to.