Afrikaans / English

Birdlife

 

The bird hide

 

In the bush just north of Jopie’s Post sits a bird hide and dam. Built in the shape of an octagon it has 6 viewing hatches from which the rich bird life can be viewed.

 

The hide is managed by the birdwatchers and KEK, but is for the use of all at Kranspoort. This is a tranquil oasis where birds and animals may be watched in total solitude.

 

The hide is built in a clearing in the middle of a thick stand of trees. The area is currently being rehabilitated and additional indigenous trees and shrubs are being planted to attract even more birds. “Vleikurpers” were introduced to the dam. Birdwatchers may also book the hide overnight for an all-night vigil.

 

 

GeveerdeVriende: a feather in Kranspoort’s cap

The interest in birding among Kranspoorters led to the establishment in 2014 of the GeveerdeVriende (Feathered Friends), the birding club in town. It started small with a handwritten list of 70 birds kept by Gerhard and MiemieSnyman. A formal meeting of all birders was held and a committee elected consisting of Abel Venter, MiemieSnyman, Hannetjie Senekal and Glen Crouch.

It was decided to have at least four birding days per year. The birders participated in their first National Birding Day at the end of November 2014 and identified 111 species in Kranspoort with the assistance of Middelburg Bird Club as special guests. They set a new target of 200 species which was reached in 2017 when the African Palm Swift was identified. To date this count stands at 226.

The hide, developed with money generated by GeveerdeVriende, was handed to KEK on 24 September 2017. Other ideal birding areas is the braai and dam on the plateau, the picnic area, Kranspoort dam, the golf course and the hiking trails. But the birdlife in the residential area is just as impressive. GeveerdeVriende became an official club with its own logo, membership fees and a few informal rules in February 2019. Members sport their logo on shirts, hats and car magnets, to name but a few. The updated birding calendar and bird lists are annual highlights. These are adorned with photographs of several of the Kranspoort bird species. The GeveerdeVriende WhatsApp group offers an active platform where members share their knowledge and where bird calls are posted.

Members try to keep every meeting exciting and educational. Meetings have included a boat trip on Loskop Dam, talks about identifying water birds, bird watching on the plateau, training sessions on the use of binoculars, books, bird apps and basic features to keep in mind when identifying bird species. A talk on the Southern Ground Hornbill by the Mabula breeding project was most informative. A highlight was the entertaining and competitive bird quiz evening hosted by Gerhard and Miemie. The club also had a very exciting virtual birding day during lockdown. On 28 March 2020 twenty six enthusiastic birders participated from the luxury of their own gardens with a total of 71 birds spotted at Kranspoort, Witbank, Middelburg and Pretoria.

The latest initiative is to build a dam at the picnic area. Several donors have already contributed.

At present twelve families are active members. The annual membership fee is R100 per family. For more information on birding activities or information, please contact Elsie Cross 083 236-5547, crosselsie@gmail.com or MiemieSnyman 082 457 0762, miemie@mmphatfield.co.za.
The complete GeveerdeVriende bird list can be found on the Kranspoort website at
www.kranspoortdorp.co.za.

Download the bird list here

Birdwatch club:    

Aim: Count and observe different bird types. Identify species, update database and reach out to other clubs.

 

Name

Surname

Cellphone

Chairman

Elsie  

Cross  

083 236 5547  /  013-282 8414

Secretary

Miemie

Snyman

082 457 0762

Additional member

Dawid

van der Walt

082 8518165

Members

30