Monthly Reminder

September 2023 as emailed to all members:



9-2023                                   SEPTEMBER 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.

Burnt-necked Eremomela 10 September

Sunday Outing

Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve

Burnt-necked Eremomela – photo by Warwick Tarboton

Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve lies on the southern shore of the Roodeplaat Dam and has two hides overlooking the water. The reserve is accessed by a network of roads and is generally comprised of acacia woodland with reed beds along the shore of the dam. The bushveld areas are good places to look for Chinspot Batis, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Burnt-necked Eremomela and Long-billed Crombec amongst others. The picnic site overlooks the dam and is ideal for looking for the various water birds present. 2024 CALENDAR
By popular request we will be producing a Wits Bird Calendar for 2024.

If you wish to enter your photographs of Southern African birds for consideration, please submit your entries to Andy on

Maximum three photos per person, club members only. Photos to be submitted by no later than the 15 September 2023.

Meet: 06h45 at the entrance to start at 07h00
Cost: There is an entrance fee payable
Leader: Ernst Retief (082 325 6608)
13 September

Wednesday Outing

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

White-backed Mousebirdphoto 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

Malachite Kingfisher

The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is a well-known site where both the grey and black colour forms of the Mountain Wheatear occur. Red-throated Wryneck can often be found around the visitor’s centre and the mixed woodland on the south side of the reserve holds populations of African Red-eyed Bulbul, Kalahari Scrub Robin and White-backed Mousebird. Early Spring will also be a time to test your knowledge of LBJs as many species of cisticola, lark and pipit occur and will be warming up their vocal cords.
Meet: 08h00 at the Diepkloof picnic & parking area, past the entrance gate.
Cost: There is an entrance fee payable
Leader: Werner van Goethem (082 462 7108)
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Description automatically generated 16 September

Atlasing Day

Atlasing days are held once a month to atlas the pentads falling within the Greater Gauteng area. If you would like to learn more or take part, please contact: Werner van Goethem on 082-462-7108

You don’t have to be an expert to join in, you can travel with an experienced atlaser and learn how to atlas.

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Description automatically generated 19 September

Combined East Rand and Main Club Tuesday Evening Meeting


Blue Korhaan – photo by Warwick Tarboton

This meeting will be an opportunity for main and West Rand club members to meet with our members on the East Rand. The venue is excellent, and the East Rand members always provide a great selection of snacks.

The Second Southern African Bird Atlasing Project SABAP2 is a project of the University of Cape Town (UCT) which uses volunteers (“citizen scientists”) to collect data on the distribution of bird species in Southern Africa (RSA, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique).

Anthony Paton has contributed over 2 500 “cards” (lists) to this project and in this lecture will explains the SABAP2 full protocol description, the practical execution of this protocol in the field (from use of compasses clocks maps and pen and paper through to BirdLasser etc.) and the assembly of this material at the Animal Demographic Unit of the University of Cape Town and its uses for the compilation of distribution maps with applications for birding information and conservation, and by extension the importance of atlasing.

His own personal contribution to this project which forms a giant drawing of a bird and is assembled in a binary pyramid, and some of the experiences he has had in assembling this and over 15 000 photographs which are selected, cropped, colour corrected and labelled by species, location and date which would comprise the largest individual contribution to BirdMap if anyone had the time to upload this data.

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.


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

Time: 18h45 for 19h00
Meet: Country Life Retirement Village, Brentwood Park
25 September

Public Holiday Monday Outing

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

Brown-backed Honeybird – photo by Warwick Tarboton

Cartoon Shocked Business Woman Using Binoculars #10404 by Ron Leishman

Looking for a Special for your Life List?

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

The largest nature reserve (680 ha) within the Johannesburg Metropolitan area, the reserve is bisected by the Bloubospruit which runs through a valley. Ashy Tit, Common Scimitarbill, Brown-backed Honeybird, Orange River Francolin, Long-billed Pipit and White-fronted Bee-eater are all possible species to be encountered. A variety of game has been introduced.
Time: 06h45 for 07h00 Future Events

14 October

Saturday Course Biodiversity Gardening Random Harvest Nursery

Linda De Luca’s course on gardening for wildlife. Including bird walk, tea & scones & Biodiversity booklet.

R350 pp

Meet: Car park, Peggy-Vera Road, Kibler Park
Leader: Lance Robinson (082 927 9785)



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