Events

A FLIGHT HIGHER - A SPECIALIST COURSE FOR MORE EXPERIENCED BIRDERS AT HERMANUS

Happening from the 31st August 2019 to 1st September 2019

A FLIGHT HIGHER

By Anton Odendal

“Most of us can see, but not everyone looks. Most of us can hear, but not everyone listens”. – Bill Oddie. The FLIGHT HIGHER course is aimed at enhancing one’s experience of birds by illustrating how to look at and listen to these wonderful creatures.

Many novice bird-watchers who have attended the Flight for Birders course in the past have requested that we develop a specialist course for intermediate and more experienced birders. Well, here it is – it is not too technical and filled with anecdotes, wonderful memories and often crazy storytelling about our feathered friends. All talks have now been upgraded and several new ones were added.
Register now to join us for two fun-filled days and bring your friends along as we will be throwing it out on Facebook soon.

COURSE CONTENTS AND PROGRAMME SCHEDULE

DAY 1: Saturday 31 August

(Kindly note that short breaks will be taken on the hour).
08h30 to 09h00: Registration
SESSION 1: MASTERS OF THE SKIES – BIRDS OF PREY

09h00 to 10h00: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF BIRDING – How does one start flying with these beautiful creatures? Celebrating the SECRETARYBIRD as Bird of the Year
10h00 to 10h15: Tea
10h15 to 11h45: Masters of the skies – The BIRDS OF PREY of the region, with a special section on VULTURES in support of International Vulture Awareness Day
11h45 to 12h00: What type of bird of prey is that flying over me?
12h00 to 12h30: Celebrating South Africa's endemic bird species and where to look for them
12h30 to 13h00: Lunch

Hear about the species that occur on all continent except Antarctica. Western Osprey - Carin Malan
The adult Bearded Vulture as the make-up artist. Image by Andre Botha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SESSION 2 – LITTLE BROWN JOBS

13h00 to 14h30: Are the “LITTLE BROWN JOBS” of our region really that bad? A celebration of larks, pipits and other brownish/ greyish things of our region.
14h30 to 15h00: "Inglorious bustards - the crazy gang in trouble". Reflections on our Bustards and Korhane
15h00 to 16h00: How to prepare when planning to bird in a new area with lots of LBJs, bustards and raptors – Participants decide on one of the following four talks: Birding in the TANKWA KAROO/ Birding in the KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK/ Birding in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK/ Looking for the ENDEMICS in the eight geographical regions of South Africa.

Ever noticed the blue-grey feathers on the wing of the Agulhas Long-billed Lark? Image by Anton
Do those short little wings actually carry the African Reed-warbler to central Africa? Image by Anton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2: Sunday 1 September
08h45 to 09h00: Coffee and tea

SESSION 3 - SUMMER MIGRANTS

09h00 to 09h30: Securing the safe passage for AMUR FALCONS on its epic migratory flight
09h30 to 10h00: Basic keys on the identification of SWALLOWS, SWIFTS AND MARTINS in your area
10h00 to 10h30: Tea
10h30 to 11h00: Basic keys on the identification of TERNS in your area
11h00 to 12h00: Basic keys on the identification of the WADERS in your area
12h00 to 12h30: A focus on CUCKOOS and some other BROOD PARASITIC families
12h30 to 13h00: Lunch

SESSION 4 – GETTING INVOLVED IN CONSERVATION ACTIONS ON THE GROUND

13h00 to 14h00: For the love of one’s GARDEN – Planning one’s garden to attract birds and other wildlife
14h00 to 14h30: Participants decide on three case-studies of conservation campaigns to be discussed and illustrated – These could be on the AFRICAN PENGUINS, ALBATROSSES, LESSER FLAMINGOS, PIED CROWS, RENOSTERVELD CONSERVATION, GREAT WHITE PELICANS or AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER NEST STUDIES
14h30 to 15h00: BirdLife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign – Protecting AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER and WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER nests and an illustration of projects combating MARINE POLLUTION
15h00 to 15h30: The regional bird-watching brag session – Some of the BEST BIRDING SPOTS in the region and where to look for those special birds.
15h30 to 16h00: The 101 game – do I know the various families of birds?

16h00+: Closure.

Focus on the Southern Black Korhaan and Renosterveld conservation - Image by Anton

And the smallest wader of them all? Image by Anton

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DETAILS IN BRIEF:
DATES: 31 August & 1 September 2019
VENUE: Community Hall, Mollergren Park, Main Road, Hermanus
COSTS: R 600-00 that include the course notes and coffee and tea throughout. Alternatively, R 250.00 per individual session.
Kindly note that gift vouchers for attendance of the course are now also available: an ideal gift for friends and family members interested in nature in general and birds in particular.

TO REGISTER AND SECURE A PLACE:
Contact Elaine at mwjasser@mweb.co.za or 082 455 8402. All further queries could also be forwarded to Elaine.

SOME EXAMPLES OF ROUGHLY 50 CASE-STUDIES TO BE DONE DURING THE COURSE: BLSA’s opposition to wind energy facilities in Lesotho due to the presence of Bearded and Cape Vultures/ The importance of reporting wing tags on large birds of prey/ The Southern Black Korhaan and the importance of Renosterveld conservation/ The Barn Owl: International super hero/ Power line collisions and electrocutions and the correct reporting procedures/ Mitigating vehicle collisions of African Grass and Marsh Owls in the Highveld region/ Spending 10 months non-stop in the sky: The Common Swift/ The Pacific Ocean super pilot: Bar-tailed Godwit/ The conservation status of White-fronted Plovers/ A Diederik Cuckoo case-study.

NOTE: The course notes include the key identification features of potentially confusing species, as well as the contact details of a variety of conservation agencies, rehabilitation centres and the like.

On the rumps and tails of chats and wheatears - Image by Anton
The White-fronted Plover in trouble - Image by Anton

COMMENTS

746
NOLA TALJAARD (posted: 2019-03-20 12:06:52)
Need more info please,do we have to register before hand etc?
LOUISE MAKEPEACE (posted: 2019-03-13 12:51:25)
This looks wonderful, Anton.
Although I don’t consider myself even an intermediate yet, I would love to attend. Unfortunately I am going to be away but will look out for the next one nearby.
Well done and good luck!
Kind regards
Louise Makepeace