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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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.

Grootvadersbosch Away Trip

Hermanus Bird Club

It started out as an outing for 20 members, but Cape Nature had a drainage problem and the numbers had to be reduced to 12.  The Palmers kindly agreed to camp, so in the end 14 of us set out on Monday.  Numbers continued to diminish for various reasons and by the time Wednesday evening came along, we were down to only 10.

We were very pleasantly surprised by the excellent accommodation available and looked forward to our first forest walk.  This took place on Tuesday morning, when we hiked for three and a half hours in desperate search of Trogons, Flycatchers and Turacos. Sadly, it was not to be – our total count for the forest reserve was only around 30 species, but we were well rewarded with an excellent sighting of a Barn Owl as well as large flocks of African Olive Pigeons – up to 40 or…

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The Franschhoek Literary Festival

Three days in beautiful Franschhoek listening to some of the best writers and political commentators certainly gave one lots to think about.  It was an exhilarating experience and, coupled with the fact that we stayed in a very nice house with good friends, means that we will return again next year.

There was plenty of discussion around not only writing, but also the parlous state of affairs in South Africa.  We left armed many new ideas and with the latest books which will keep us going for quite a while.  We also ran into some old friends and listened to some wonderful music concerts, making for a very pleasant time overall.

Zuma Must Fall!

Taking part in the local demonstrations against Zuma in Hermanus this morning was an exciting experience.  Rain notwithstanding, hundreds of concerned citizens turned out to protest against Zuma and his cronies and it was satisfying to be part of the movement. Let’s hope that the corrupt so-and-so takes heed.  He is no longer relevant and, as one placard suggested, “There is a better cabinet at Snuffels!”  (Snuffels is a local second-hand furniture shop.)

A small part of the crowd

 1st April 2017- Launch date of new Fernkloof website ! 


The Hermanus Botanical Society website has been redesigned!


Members will be able to access the user-friendly site via desktop computers, tablets and cellphones.

The site contains a record of all 1250 plant species found in the Reserve, many with photos and descriptions. This section of the site continues to be a work in progress as new photos and descriptions are added.

Below are just some of the facilities the new site offers –

Click on the ALL PLANTS tab and drill down to pages such as Threatened Plant Species, Orchids, Restios or even Ferns.

Click on the HERMANUS BOTANICAL SOCIETY tab and drill down to pages such as the Herbarium ,  Fernkloof Nursery and Flower Festival.

Click on FERNKLOOF NATURE RESERVE tab and drill down to pages such as Maps, Activities, Cliff Path and Fernkloof Gardens.

Click on the ECOLOGY tab and drill down to…

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