Monthly Reminder

MAY 2023 as emailed to all members



5-2023                                  MAY 2023


WhatsApp group for Wits Bird Club members

Please follow this link to join the group that we have created to send reminders for meetings, courses and outings.  Joining the group is completely voluntary, but we trust it will help to keep members up to date with our offerings and with last minute reminders.  Only Admins can post on the group, and it is not to be used for replies or general chat.  Please continue to write to Lauraine at the office for other matters. 


4 – 8 May

Long Weekend Outing

Karoo Plains, Carnarvon, Karoo

Cinnamon-breasted Warbler – photo by Warwick Tarboton


30 June – 2 July

Long Weekend Outing

Sediba Game Lodge Brits

Join Lance Robinson for a long weekend at this lovely bushveld retreat.

Prices to be confirmed

Ryan Tippet gave a fascinating talk on the birds and scenery of the Karoo in April 2022 and this weekend will be spent birding with him on his farm. The farm holds all the Karoo specials with the notable exception of Red Lark (they do not have any red sand dunes). The habitat on the farm is quite diverse. There is a large mountain that holds Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Cape Eagle Owl, Freckled Nightjar, African Rock Pipit etc. and there are extensive gravel plains with populations of Sclater’s Lark and Black-eared Sparrowlark. In addition, there are large dams that have produced some interesting finds during the Summer including Eurasian Curlew, Grey Plover, Maccoa Duck and Greater Painted Snipe.



R3,500 pp sharing (including meals).

R1,000 pp single supplement


Ryan Tippet (079 016 7231)

10 May 2023

West Rand Wednesday Evening Meeting

White-bellied Korhaan – photo by Warwick Tarboton

14 – 23 September 2023

Southern Mozambique San Sebastián Peninsula

Crab Plover – photo by Elise Bailie

The Sanctuary on the San Sebastián Peninsula (Southern Mozambique) has recently become one of the most exciting birding destinations in the region. This short trip offers the opportunity to bird this area for a full three days under the guidance of an expert who knows the area San Sebastian & Southern Mozambique intimately. This trip also includes birding in the Panda area (Olive-headed Weaver) and Unguane woodlands (Green Tinkerbird)

Leader: Etienne Marais

Cost: Fully transported option R23,000. Single supplement R1,450

Self-drive option R16,500. Single supplement R1,450

Ben van den Berg will be giving a talk about the West Rand Bird Club’s outing to Wakkerstroom in February.


18h45 for 19h00


Discovery Bowling Club, 4 Trichard Avenue, Discovery

13 May 2023

Saturday Outing

Wesson Farm Magaliesberg Protected Area

Flappet Lark – photo by Warwick Tarboton

Join us for a visit to John Wesson’s property in the Magaliesberg where John will take us on a guided walk through the area. The property lies on the northern side of the mountain with relatively easy walks along farm roads through woodland and grassed areas. The area also includes a Protea belt and a stand of wild Syringa. Birds seen in the area include Flappet Lark, Striped Pipit and occasional specials such as Short-toed Rock-Thrush, Cuckoo Hawk and Yellow-bellied Greenbul. Bring your camp chairs and brunch as John has an area for socializing after the walk



08h00 at the entrance


John Wesson (083 444 7649)

16 May 2023

East Rand Bird Club’s Tuesday Evening Meeting

Black-crested Coquette

photo by Gabor Orban

May be an image of hummingbird

Looking for a Special for your Life List?

Is there a bird that you really want to see for your Life List? Let Lauraine or Andy know and we will try and tailor a trip to find it.

Peter Sharland will give a talk entitled “The Birds & Butterflies of Costa Rica”



18h45 for 19h00

Malachite Kingfisher

President Ridge Bird Sanctuary

Colin van der Meulen will be overseeing the day-to-day running of the sanctuary and we need volunteers to open and close the access gates at weekends. It’s not an onerous task, so if you are able to volunteer, please contact Colin on 083 454 2102, your assistance will be appreciated.


Country Life Retirement Village, Brentwood Park

White-faced Duck

17 May 2023

Wednesday Outing Elandsvlei and Varkfontein Pans

White-faced Whistling Duck – photo by Warwick Tarboton

With the on-going support of the farmer, the Elandsvlei Pans remain an attraction for many waterbirds and grassland species. The water levels of the pans have fluctuated from bone-dry to flooded due to long-term precipitation cycles. The pans are in a mix of farmland and rank grassland with alien trees in the mix. Access must be arranged and is dependent on road conditions as determined by the farm manager. An outing here could offer several wader, heron, waterbird, and raptor species. Not much walking is required, and site is safe.

Varkfontein Pan is located on a farm in Bapsfontein, accessed from the R51. Access is unrestricted but the access road can be impassable at times. The birdlife on this small pan can be incredible, many Duck, Grebe, Geese and wader species. Grassland species are also abundant, with Cistocolas, Bishops, Widowbirds and Warblers all well represented. Site is safe but remain vigilant, no walking required.





Awie Coetzee (083 677 7097)

Monthly Meetings

If you missed our recent Monthly Thursday Evening talks, you can still watch them as YouTube videos

20 January

Trevor Hardaker’s “Birding in Paradise”

22 February

Jeanne Tarrant’s “EWT’s Threatened Amphibian Programme”

18 May 2023

Thursday Evening Presentation by Andy Featherstone “From the outside looking in”

1,600+ On The Outside Looking In Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free  Images - iStock | Looking through window, Looking into window, Seen from  the outside

Andy Featherstone will give a talk entitled “From the Outside Looking In” describing his tour of areas of South Africa with overseas guests.


18h45 for 19h00

Register using link below:

Long-crested Eagle

21 May 2023

Sunday Outing Modderfontein Nature Reserve

Long-crested Eagle – photo by Warwick Tarboton

Over 250 species have been recorded on the reserve – some of which are not normally found in urban areas. These include African Fish Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Jackal Buzzard and Crimson-breasted Shrike, amongst others. One of the reasons for the species diversity is the presence of the large alien blue gum and pine species favoured by raptors. The dense vegetation and the large bodies of water provide perfect habitats for a large number of bird types, as well as for the near threatened Spotted-necked Otter. Small areas of threatened grassland habitat within the reserve provide refuge for species such as the Cape Longclaw and Capped Wheatear.

Note: this is a walking route – Medium grade




Meet in parking area at 07h00


There is an entrance fee payable


Chris Hines (073 332 7578)


We are always on the lookout for articles for our club magazine, so if you go on one our outings, please think about writing about it. Send your articles to Lauraine or Andy at

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Interested in Atlasing?

Atlasing days are held once a month to atlas the pentads falling within the Greater Gauteng area. If you would like to take part in these days or find out more, please contact

Werner van Goethem on 082-462-7108

Next atlasing Day Saturday 20 May




BRANCH CODE: 191-305ACCOUNT NO: 1913 257 789