Birding at botanical gardens

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Friday, 10th March 2023

We have a knowledgeable and enthusiastic Birding Club in Makhanda. They advertised a meet at Bots on Saturday, 11 February and I decided I would go along and see what it was all about.

The folk are very friendly and one very kind gentleman loaned me a very smart pair of binoculars. We took a slow stroll through Bots, with our leader, Karen Davies, with the more experienced members identifying bird calls and showing me where to look for the various birds.
I saw a drongo first and later was delighted to see the flash of colour of a Knysna Lourie flying across a small clearing. Later, we went down to the river and I was fascinated by the weavers – these were thick-billed beak weavers (my memory is not so good), and their amazing nests are much neater and somewhat larger than the weavers’ nests I see in the thorn trees. They usually make the nests by first joining together two reeds.
It was a very pleasant morning and I really enjoyed the escape to nature and seeing some of the lovely bush and the beautiful, huge old trees in Bots. It was also nice to meet such lovely people. I think I am hooked and will certainly try and join the next outing.
The Bird Club has one outing every month, with the next one being on Saturday, 11 March. All are welcome! They also have a meeting on the Tuesday evening following the outing and invite speakers who deliver presentations on different aspects of birds and birding. For example, the last was a beautifully illustrated and fascinating talk with the title “Birds of the Thicket” from Ben Smit. On Tuesday, 14 March, well-known local birder, Lynette Rudman will challenge, and no doubt entertain us with a bird quiz.
For more information or to join, contact the Secretary: Ros Hughes 083 556 9796, e-mail
Blog Contributed by Sanette Steyn

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