Monthly Reminder



4-2024                                   APRIL 2024

WhatsApp group for Wits Bird Club members

Please follow this link to join the group for reminders for meetings, courses, and outings and events.  Joining the group is voluntary, but we trust it will help to keep members up to date with our offerings, changes, and with last minute reminders.  Only Admins can post on the group, so it is not used for replies or general chat.  Please continue to contact Lauraine for other matters.

10 April

Wednesday Outing

Random Harvest Nursery

Amethyst Sunbirdphoto by Warwick Tarboton

Linda de Luca’s love of nature and dedication to all things natural has led to the farm becoming a haven for a multitude of birds and other wildlife. The nursery is laid out on meandering paths. After the walk, why not treat yourself to a range of freshly prepared cakes and tea, or coffee, at the tea garden? Optional Buffet breakfast with early morning drink included is also available. Please book for the breakfast separately.
Meet: 06h45 for 07h00.
Cost: R50 (includes coffee and rusks). Linda runs a food parcel programme for the local community and would appreciate any donations of cash or non-perishable goods.
Leader: Chris Hines (073 332 7578)
13 April

Saturday Outing

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

Bar-throated Apalisphoto by Warwick Tarboton

Bar-throated Apalis
Melville Koppies is a nature reserve and a Johannesburg City Heritage Site. It is the last conserved remnant of Johannesburg’s ridges as they were before the discovery of gold in 1886. Its geology goes back three billion years. Stone tools show that Early Stone Age man camped here as long as 500 000 years ago. There is a Late Stone Age living floor. Within the last 1 000 years Iron Age immigrants arrived, and remains of their kraal walls can be found on the northern slopes. In 1963 an iron-smelting furnace was excavated and can be seen today. The vegetation of the Koppies is entirely indigenous and is a remarkable example of the richness of highveld grasses, flowers, and trees, so close to a city centre.

Join a guided walk around the reserve combined with a ringing demonstration by the Wits Bird Club ringing group led by Craig Nattrass.

Meet: 08h00 at the entrance gate on Kafue Road
Cost: R100pp for maintenance of the Koppies
Leader: Friends of Melville Koppies Heritage Guide
PHOTO-2024-04-03-13-27-20.jpg 16 April

East Rand Bird Club

Tuesday Evening Meeting

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.

John Gilchrist will be giving a presentation on birding in the tropics. This is an East Rand meeting and will be held at the Country Life Retirement Village, Brentwood Park.
Time: 18h45 for 19h00
Meet: Country Life Retirement Village, Brentwood Park
21 April

Sunday Outing

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

African Marsh Harrierphoto by Warwick Tarboton

A bird flying in the air

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Part of the Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site, Marievale’s large tracts of open water and reedbeds always have interesting birds on offer, whatever the season. April should be an excellent time and, if water levels are right, there should be plenty on show. Potential birds for the area include African Marsh Harrier, Greater and Lesser Flamingos, and African Rail. Marievale is also regularly visited by the occasional Western Marsh Harrier in summer.
Meet: 07h00 in main parking at gate
Cost: R35 pp and R25 per car (card payments only)
Leader: Werner van Goethem (082 462 7108)
25 April

Thursday Evening Meeting and Special General Meeting

Jonathan Leeming “Deadly Innovation”

Deadly Innovation has developed over time into something very special and unique. It focuses upon biotechnology and biomimicry to solve the challenges of our time. It examines venomous animals, how venom works on human physiology and how components of venom are giving us treatments for the most pervasive lifestyle diseases of our time. This presentation twists the audience’s perception of venomous animals and touches everyone in the audience in a profound way.

Please note the talk will be preceded by a short Special General Meeting to approve the Club’s financial statements and the approval of proposed Constitutional Amendments carried over from the March AGM.

Time: 18h45 for 19h00
Meet: Linden Bowling Club
Cost: R30 inclusive of tea, coffee & snacks. Drinks are available from the Bar.
28 April

Sunday Atlasing Day

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Atlasing days are held once a month to atlas the pentads falling within the Greater Gauteng area. You don’t have to be an expert to join in and you can travel with an experienced atlaser and learn how to atlas. If you would like to learn more or take part, please contact: Werner van Goethem on 082-462-7108.
Two birds on a tree branch

Description automatically generated 10 – 13 October

Long Weekend Outing

Dunns Camp, Selati Game Reserve

Thick-billed Cuckoos – photo by Anthony Cavanagh

At almost 28,000 ha in extent, Selati is one of the largest private game reserves in the region and an important haven for the conservation of rare mammals such as African Wild Dog, Cheetah and Lion. With over 320 bird species recorded to date, birders are well catered for, with regular sightings of Thick-billed Cuckoo, breeding Martial Eagles, and a host of broad-leaved woodland specials. The dawn chorus along the Selati River is unforgettable, as is the quality and diversity of bird sightings.
Cost: R6,723.00 pp sharing for 3 nights & 4 days.

Rate includes accommodation, three meals daily, non-alcoholic beverages, specialist instructors, walks and game drives.

Leader: EcoTraining guides
6 – 10 November

5 Day Trip

Sekoma Island, Zambia

African Skimmer photo by Lance Robinson

We have teamed up with Tembele Ecological Services and are excited to offer a trip to one of the most idyllic birding locations in Africa, Sekoma Island on the upper Zambezi River (Zambia), a destination that provides a great diversity of birds. Birding and game viewing is mostly done on a boat, and we will be visiting some iconic African destinations including the Chobe National Park in Botswana, the Victoria Falls (Zambia), and explore the vast waterways of the great Zambezi River. Some of the target species include Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Finfoot, Schalow’s Turaco, Rock Pratincole, African Skimmer, and Lesser Jacana.
Book: (bookings will be confirmed through Tembele)
Cost: R15,550.00 pp sharing for 4 nights & 5 days.

This special rate includes airport transfers, accommodation, three meals daily, non-alcoholic beverages, walks, all boat trips, and game drives. Excludes: International flights, Visas, Gratuities, Victoria Falls entrance fees, and any items of a personal nature.

Tour Leader: Lance Robinson (082 927 9785)



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


President Ridge Bird Sanctuary

Volunteer Duties

Public Holiday 1 April: Don & Wendy Mattison

Weekend of 6 and 7 April: Peter Sharland

Weekend of 13 and 14 April: Mrs Egger

Weekend of 20 and 21 April: Jane Spowart

Weekend of 27 and 28 April: Celia Human

Thank you to all our volunteers who perform opening and closing duties at President Ridge Bird Sanctuary.

Future Events
3 – 5 May – The Bushveld Bird Guild weekend

Sediba Lodge, Brits

11 May – Saturday Outing

Voortrekker Monument Nature Reserve

14 May – Tuesday Outing

Pretoria Botanical Gardens

16 May – Thursday Evening Meeting

Zoom online talk – Rowan Jordaan

19 May – Sunday Outing

Rust de Winter Nature Reserve

21 May – Tuesday Evening Meeting

East Rand Meeting – Awie Coetzee

25 May – Atlasing Day

Various Pentads TBC

The Protection of Personal Information Act (aka POPIA)

POPIA came into effect on 1 July 2021. The Act requires that we obtain your consent to communicate with you in the future. If you are happy to keep receiving emails from us there’s no need to do anything. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list or change your mind at any time in the future, please notify Lauraine