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St Francis Bay Bird Club

This Club is a small and very informal club and holds outings twice a month, on the first and third Friday of the month. We fall under the umbrella of BirdLife Eastern Cape who assists us with running Bird Identity courses, slide shows, and general information.

We go to local nature reserves and farms, and sometimes, just bird along the road. All you need to take is a pair of binoculars, comfortable shoes, hat, folding chair, and some form of refreshment. If we go to a farm, we always get permission from the farmer first, and arrange for a suitable place to enjoy a cup of tea or some form of refreshment. During the tea break, we discuss the birds seen, especially if we have broken up into different groups, and make a complete list of all the birds seen on that specific farm on the outing. A thank you letter is sent to the farmer together with the bird list compiled from the combined efforts of all the observers.

The meeting place in St Francis is always at the St Francis Bay Golf Club and meeting times are about 06h30 in summer and 07h00 in winter. The Jeffreys Bay birders organise their meeting place according to the venue for the day. The times are given in a newsletter sent to all members.

We have a committee that arranges the outings and sees to the affairs of the club, but it is very informal. Fees are R50 per person per annum and visitors fees R10 per session.

We participate in CWAC (Co-ordinated Waterbird counts) to assist the Animal Demography Unit in compiling data. We also participate in the South African Bird Atlas Project 2 which maps the distribution of birds throughout the country. The results are sent to the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town where the data is captured, analysed, and used by scientists to establish trends in bird populations, which often indicate the health of the environment. The information collected includes use of habitat and can be used to guide conservation strategies, land management practices, and assist in compiling environmental impact assessments.

We also assist local conservation bodies in one way or another in regard to birds for example wind farm monitoring.

All are welcome, beginners and experienced birders alike.

Contact Numbers:

Yvonne Bosman: 042 294-0842 (St Francis Bay)  083 235 8278
Valda Barratt: 042 294-0596 (St Francis Bay)  084 9218984
Mariette Gertenbach: 042 296-0234 (Jeffreys Bay) 074 700 8574
Peter de Wet: 083  450 1013 (Paradise)


Through the club's monthly e-newsletters and bi-annual magazine, the Bee-Eater, we aim to stimulate continued interest in birds and their habitats.