March 2017 News Snippets #2
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CAPE BIRD CLUB NEWS SNIPPETS  #2                            March 2017




April Meeting - important notice
The CBC heads to Thailand
Birdathon 2017
Farewell to the Waders - Outing Report
Seabird ID Course Notes
Mallard and Yellow-billed Ducks Research Project

Thank you to everyone who contributed items for the newsletter.


Please note that the date for the April meeting is 6 April due to the Easter Weekend and NOT the 13th as advertised in Promerops.

CBC Thailand Adventure 13 to 24 Feb 2018

Thailand is one of Asia’s most appealing destinations; it boasts excellent infrastructure, some of the most popular cuisine in the region, and has an ancient and fascinating Buddhist culture making both birding and cultural tours easily combined. Then there are the birds! Thailand is a country where massive bird lists can be racked up if all the varied regions are visited. The mountains of the north, the parks of the centre and the Thai Peninsula, which connects with Malaysia, are all distinct with varied bird lists in each. This tour will focus on the Northern and Central regions.

Sam Woods of Tropical Birding will once again lead the tour assisted by one of the top local bird guides. Sam is an outstanding tour leader and has designed the tour with his knowledge of CBC groups in mind and keeping the tour within 2 weeks. All the accommodation on the tour is good to excellent and the pace of the trip is easy going making this accessible and comfortable for all. While there will be the typical long days associated with birding tours almost all the walks are easy. 

We will be visiting some of the region’s top sites; Park Thale (the most reliable wintering site for the critically endangered spoonbill-sandpiper) and the national parks of Kaeng Krachan, Khao Yai and Doi Inthanon (the site of Thailand’s highest mountain).

We will be limiting the group size to a maximum of 14 people and the cost will be $3250 per person sharing assuming we have a group size of more than 10.  Air fares at current rates are around R9000 return from Cape Town.

Our tour to Uganda was oversubscribed within the first two weeks so  if you are interested in joining the tour book early to secure your place.
For more information please contact Johan Schlebusch via email at or phone 0828049025. 

Johan Schlebusch supplied a few photos of birds you are likely to see in Thailand - to whet your appetites!

Tickell's Flycatcher
Silver-breasted Broadbill
Siberian Rubythroat
Hume's Pheasant


The annual birdathon where children from surrounding schools, and  Eco schools are exposed to the Strandfontein Birding area will be held on the 6th of May.

Many of you have assisted us before during the birdathon and we hope that you will be available again. However we can always use more members as the number of children who attend just keeps increasing.

So how might you be able to help?
Well you could help with registering children, 
Being a marshall to make sure they follow the correct route,  
Man a table where they answer birding questions or best of all
Man a telescope/binocular site where   you give them their first view of what a bird looks like "close up".

If you'd like to be part of this unique event, please contact Dave Whitelaw - 


Farewell the Waders Outing to Langebaan Lagoon, West Coast National Park,
19th February 2017

A group of about fifteen birders, led by Mel Tripp and Simon Fogarty, met at Geelbek in the West Coast National Park at 7.15 a.m. on Sunday 19th February for the annual ‘Farewell the Waders’ outing. Despite windy weather, the group enjoyed interesting sightings at Seeberg and Geelbek Hides, although the numbers of some species were low – for example there were very few Marsh Sandpipers and only one Eurasian Curlew. At Seeberg, Red Knots, which were there in large numbers the day before, were not present, but we were compensated by some Common Whimbrel and Grey Plovers.  Most memorable sight here was the Sanderlings flying in tight formation, with Bar-tailed Godwits flying above, before they settled on the sand and took off again. 

At Geelbek we enjoyed Red Knot, a few Ruddy Turnstones and more Grey Plovers, with the three species showing a range of breeding plumage, from just beginning to the full plumage (in the case of the turnstones).  Mel and Simon provided excellent tips for identification and their telescopes were much appreciated to get good views of birds such as a Chestnut-banded Plover. The most unexpected sighting of the day was a European or Common Shelduck - probably an escapee – and sadly not “tickable”, according to the recent field guides.  56 species were seen in all. Thanks to Mel and Simon for a very interesting and fruitful trip.
Report by Penny Dichmont with additional comments by Mel Tripp

A more comprehensive report is available on the CBC website.
here t read it.
Intense Viewing from Seeberg Hide
Photo by Penny Dichmont
Little Stint feeding among eelgrass
Photo by Priscilla Beeton
Separating Sanderling from Curlew Sandpipers - the Geelbek Hide
Photo by Priscilla Beeton
Having fun from Seeberg Look-out
Photo by Priscilla Beeton
Curlew Sandpipers
Photo by Priscilla Beeton
Common Whimbrel
Photo by Priscilla Beeton
Common (European) Shelduck
Photo by Priscilla Beeton

Seabird ID Course Notes 

Should you wish to download a copy of the Seabird ID course notes they are available on the CBC website.

Click on this link to find the notes. A PDF loads that can then be saved or printed

Mallard and Yellow-billed Ducks Research Project

We have received the request below from Kirstin Stephens who is a Masters student at Stellenbosch University:

My name is Kirstin Stephens and I am a Masters student at Stellenbosch University. My research is on hybridization of invasive Mallard Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) and native Yellow-billed Ducks (Anas undulata) in South Africa. 
In order to successfully complete my research, I need to find areas where the two species occur both separately and together. I will be making observations and probably be collecting loose feathers for DNA analysis.

If anyone can help Kirstin by pointing out sites in the greater Cape Town area where the two species are likely to occur, please contact Kirstin directly on email at
Any help that you are willing to provide will be greatly appreciated.
Membership of the Cape Bird Club
Please note that receipt of this newsletter or membership of the Facebook page does not imply that you are a member of the Cape Bird Club.

If you would like to become a member of the Cape Bird Club, please go to our website to download the
application form or contact Joan Ackroyd on or call 021 530 4435 for more information

Contributions for the Newsletter

Please send any contributions for the newsletter (interesting sightings, photographs or any interesting news items)  to Cheryl Leslie at
Photographs should not exceed 1MB in size.

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