Lockdown – Day 30 (?)

I have just realised that I should have kept a Lockdown Diary.  It might have got my brain out of neutral!  I think this is day 30, but I am usually wrong in these matters.  Never mind, its been a long time in isolation, especially when one considers that Renee and I were in quarantine (through a possible contact with an actual case) for 14 days before the actual lockdown started.

What have we done today? – well, it started with our usual walk.  Renee did around 90 minutes and I did 150, equivalent to 15 kms – all within our small plot!  The Sunday Times followed with Sudoku and crosswords etc.  Now it is time for a glass of wine and, things being what they are in the wine business, we went rooting around in the cellar.  I came up with a magnum of 1995 Bottelary Shiraz/Merlot (No. 186 of 1000, no less!).  The cork was a bit soft, but the contents of the bottle are, amazingly, quite palatable, although quite brown and a bit soft.  I have decanted it and it should last for a few evenings.  Quite an eventful day!!


Lockdown Bird Quizzes

Sitting at home gets one doing all sorts of strange things.  Walking has been a good one, and we manage to walk around 6 to 8 kilometres around the house most days.  We also read a lot and do every crossword and word puzzle that we can lay our hands on.  And then there are all the crazy things going around the internet – keeping us amused and informed.  We never seem to have time to watch TV!

Then I started making quizzes for the Bird Club and I thought I would show a few here for those who have time on their hands.  They are all Southern African birds, so you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.  Here goes:

RIP David Watson

Hermanus Bird Club

Members will be saddened by the tragic news that David has passed away.  He went hiking on Maanskijnkop alone yesterday.  When he had not returned by 11:30 am the alarm went out, but he could not be found.  This morning a helicopter was deployed and his body was found on a path.  He had apparently had a heart attack and he still had his walking stick in his hand.

Our collective condolences go out to Elizabeth and her family at this awful time in their lives.  They will cherish the memory of this wonderful man who gave so much to the community around him.  He was a committed member of the HBC and served on the committee for a number of years.  Many of you will remember being entertained by him at Club functions, when, with his keen sense of humour, he regaled us with birding and other stories.  He…

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A Morning in Walker Bay

Hermanus Bird Club

There can be few pleasures that top a morning spent birding out in Walker Bay.  Walter took four of us out this morning and we had a really wonderful trip in his fishing boat.  When we set out there wasn’t a bird in sight, and pretty heavy swells and quite a bit of chop were the order of the day.  We wondered if we were on a wild Albatross chase!

Then we stopped about 3,5 km offshore and drifted. Walter had some sardines which he threw about and it wasn’t long before a Brown Skua appeared.  Within a short time there were about four of them around the boat and we had excellent sightings.  Then a couple of White-chinned Petrels appeared – also enjoying the chum.  Later they were joined by a few Sooty Shearwaters , whilst the odd Kelp or Hartlaub’s Gull dropped by.  Terns, both Common and…

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Drilling a Borehole

On Thursday I engaged a drilling contractor to put in a borehole as we have severe water restrictions and need more irrigation for our garden.  There was not really any choice as to where the hole should be sited, as the space available is very limited and the drilling rigs are very large.  Willie came round and suggested I move 6 inches to one side.  This I could accommodate and we started drilling.  As we reached around 45 metres the water started to show and by 60 metres it was strong.  We carried on to 79 metres so as to allow for a deep sump below the intended pumping depth.

What a mess it all made with mud and sand spraying all over the garden and house, but we hope it will all be worthwhile and are looking forward to getting the borehole equipped and having lots of lovely water to wash everything down with!  Initial estimates suggest that we might get around 4000l per hour – more than enough by far!

Mossel River path renewal


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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