May 2015 Newsletter
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CAPE BIRD CLUB NEWSLETTER                                 May 2015



Leaders: Priscilla Beeton and Heather Howell
Priscilla can be contacted on 084 803 9987 or email to

Meet at Rondevlei at 08h00 sharp!
As there is very little water at Rondevlei the outing has been moved to the False Bay Ecology Park.(Strandfontein Sewage Works). Heather and Priscilla will meet anyone interested at Rondevlei at 08h00 and will leave for Strandfontein at 08h05.  
If you would like to go straight to Strandfontein, meet up with the group at the education centre at about 08h20.
You might be lucky and see the Citrine Wagtail which has had the birding community on the hop for the last few days!

Directions to RONDEVLEI: Travel down the M5 (Prince George Drive) towards Grassy Park and look out for Nando’s at the 5th Avenue traffic light. Turn left here into 5th Avenue and at the first set of traffic lights turn right into Perth Road and continue to Rondevlei at the end of the road.

Directions to STRANDFONTEIN: For those coming from the north: Take the M5 (Kromboom Parkway) down to the Ottery Road turn off and turn left. Carry on past the Ottery Hypermarket onto the  New Ottery Road to Strandfontein Road. Turn Right. Proceed down, through Lotus River to the road to the False Bay Eco-Park. Turn to the right. Follow this road, through a check point to the works and meet at the education centre.
Alternatively, follow Rosmead Avenue south to the end and then turn left into Ottery Road.
For those coming from the south: Take Main Road to  Muizenberg.  Turn into Atlantic Road (under the subway) and follow it to Baden Powell Drive. Follow this to Strandfontein Road. Turn left and follow it to the turn off to the False Bay Ecopark.

Wed 13 WEEKDAY OUTING: Intaka Island
Leader: Intaka Island guide ☎ 021 552 6889
Coordinator: Joan Ackroyd 021-530-4435 or email

Meet at 09h00. One of Intaka Island’s own bird guides will lead the morning’s outing and we will spend time in the various hides. Despite the surrounding high-rise buildings the area is surprisingly peaceful and it is attractively laid out with winding pathways and indigenous vegetation. There are excellent views over the pans and you can expect a variety of water birds and perhaps a few surprises.

Directions: Travelling from Cape Town on the N1, take the first off-ramp to Sable Road (Exit 10), making sure you follow the Sable Road sign. Turn left into Sable Road and follow the curve of this road where it becomes Ratanga Road. Continue on Ratanga Road and at the third set of traffic lights turn right into Century Boulevard. Go around the traffic circle into Century Way and then left into Park Lane. Park near the old steam engines and cross the bridge to Intaka’s Environmental Centre. We meet near the ticket office.
The cost for the outing will be R14 per person. Pensioners R8.50.


Tinkering about in Southern Mozambique Speaker: Otto Schmidt

Meet at 20h00. Southern Mozambique made southern African birding headlines in early 2013 with the rediscovery, after 55 years, of the Eastern Green Tinkerbird. It is also the only spot in southern Africa to see the Olive-headed Weaver, and its forests, wetlands, and beautiful coastline host many other tantalising species, a very good reason to visit and sample its many attractions.

We meet at the Nassau Centre, Groote Schuur High School, Palmyra Road, Newlands.
Tea and biscuits are served after the meeting at a cost of R5.00.
Visitors are welcome - there is a charge of R15.00 for visitors and non-members.

Sun 17 OUTING: Tygerberg Nature Reserve
Leader: Gerald Wingate ☎ 083 443 9579 or email:

Meet at 08h00. Tygerberg Nature Reserve is a 309 hectare reserve on the Tygerberg Hills. It supports one of the last remnants of the critically endangered Swartland shale renosterveld vegetation type and boasts 562 plant species. The reserve has 137 recorded bird species, including Black-shouldered Kite, Peregrine Falcon and Barn Owl. Bring water and a snack, and be sure to wear suitable footwear as some of the paths are rather steep and could be slippery if there has been rain. There is a small entrance fee for those who are not members of the Friends of Tygerberg Hills.

Directions: Travel on the N1 towards Paarl and take the Jip de Jager off-ramp (M16). Go left onto Jip de Jager Drive and at the third traffic light turn left into Kommissaris Street and then left again into Rheede Road. From here the zig-zag route to the nature reserve is well signposted and easy to follow. We meet inside the gate where a small entrance fee is payable at the Gate House. (Ask about tariffs for seniors.)


There has been a change for the program for the May meeting.
“The Sri Lanka Report” presented by Mel Tripp and Vernon Head been postponed until 11 June as Vernon will be away for the May meeting.
Otto Schmidt will now be the guest speaker on 14 May. 
The title of his talk is “Tinkering about in Southern Mozambique”.


Sunday 3 May: Kirstenbosch BIRP Count. 
Meet at 08h00
Leader: John Magner (082 881 3845)

Saturday 9 May: Zandvlei Hack
Meet at 14h00
Leader: Gavin Lawson (021 705 5224)

Sunday 10 May Strandfontein Count 

Meet at 08h00
Leader: Dick Barnes (021 689 1106)

Thursday 14 May: Wildevoelvlei Count
Meet at 08h30
Leader: Eric Barnes (021 782 5429)

Thursday 21 May: Athlone WWTW Count
Meet at 13h00
Leader: Dick Bos (021 423 2546)
These counts will take place weather permitting

Saturday 23 May: Paarl Bird Sanctuary CWAC
Meet at 09h00
Leader: Yvonne Weiss (021 872 4972)

Are you a keen garden birder?  

Tell us about your garden birds in Promerops!

Watching the birds that come and go in one's garden can be very rewarding - and, every now and then, downright exciting!  Many club members must have some wonderful anecdotes and observations of the birds in their gardens ... and we're sure that our other members would love to read about them in Promerops.

So please share your experiences with all of us - write a short article for inclusion in the next issue of Promerops, where we are planning to feature a "Members' Garden Birds" section.  We would love to hear from you and publish your garden bird stories for all to enjoy.

The deadline for contributions to the next Promerops is 20 May 2015 ... so power up that computer and start writing!  If you have them, photos to illustrate your article will be most welcome too.

(And please note - it's not just garden birds we're after - if you have ANY birding articles or observations up your sleeve, we'd love to receive them as well.  The deadline for copy is fast approaching, so don't delay!)

Please send all contributions to Fiona Jones at: before 20 May 2015.  
Sightings can be reported to Felicity Ellmore at: or Tel. 021 762 0176.
Looking forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday 6 May

These bird walks led by members of the Cape and Tygerberg Bird Clubs have been so popular over the past 2 years that it has been decided to continue them into 2015.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about our Kirstenbosch birds is welcome to join the walks.
The walks are free of charge but the entrance fee for Kirstenbosch is payable if you do not have a BotSoc Card.
This month the walk will take place on Wednesday 6 May
Meet at 08h30 at the Information Desk at Gate One.

Leader: Simon Fogarty
Please contact Linda Hibbin on 021 788 1528, or e-mail if you have any questions
An Ostrich cooling off in a waterhole in the Nossob on a hot March day

Photo submitted by DonnaKay Lee
A Citrine Wagtail, seen at Strandfontein Sewage Works in Saturday 25th April 2015, has created a buzz of excitement amongst birders from across the country.
Many birders have made the trek to Strandfontein and have connected with the bird.
The last reported sighting that I am aware of was Tuesday 28th April, but that doesn't mean the bird is not still there!

According to Roberts Vll, it is a rare Palaearctic vagrant with only a small number of sightings in South Africa.

Photos submitted by Margaret Maciver


Driftsands Nature Reserve, Cape Flats - 19 April 2015

This is a new birding venue for the CBC and the outing was led by Felicity Ellmore.
12 Cape Bird Club members arrived at the Reserve.
The weather was perfect and 60 bird species were seen, ranging in size from Cape Batis to African  Fish Eagle.

Driftsands is a Provincial Nature Reserve, so it is managed by Cape Nature. It is bordered by the R300 freeway on the western boundary, N2 freeway on the southern side. The Eerste River corridor and Mfuleni on the eastern side and Hindle Road is a little north of the northern reserve boundary. It has magnificent views of Table Mountain and the Peninsula range to the west and in the east the Hottentot Hollands Mountain range also sets a stunning backdrop. In the north Tygerberg is clearly visible. There are some wonderful dune slack areas with a variety of grasses, restios. There are thickets along the ridges with a wonderful variety of plants.
There are also many invasive species - a challenge which management are trying to address.

For the full outing report please visit the CBC website:


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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