|2013-06-11 ||Doug Harebottle |
|Atlas bash to Loeriesfontein, Northern Cape, 8-11 August 2013 |
This comes from Garth Shaw, one of our avid Western Cape atlasers...
"Flower season in the Northern Cape is a bucket list thing to do! What better way to enjoy the flowers than to atlas a couple of pentads in flower season! Join the Loeriesfontein bash over the long weekend of 8-11 August and contribute a couple of virgin pentads to the SABAP2 database.
The bash will be based in Loeriesfontein as there are a high number of virgin pentads in the region, and there is a good road network making atlasing possible even in sedan type vehicles. Willing atlasers will also be able to "sleep a night on the road" by joining the group on the Thursday evening, but then "sleeping out" on Friday night either in a neighbouring town, or by camping on farmers ground (obviously with the farmers permission) before joining the group again on the Saturday evening.
Although pentad lists might not be long, the area is potentially host to a number of specials including Namaqua and Cinnamon-breasted Warblers, Black-eared Sparrowlark, Red, Sclater’s and Stark’s Larks, Tractrac Chat, Burchell’s Courser, Ludwig’s Bustard, as well as most of the typical karoo species like Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Karoo Eremomela amongst others.
This might be a good chance for out-of-towners to push their atlasing life list that little bit higher!"
If you are interested in joining the bash, please send an email to Garth at email@example.com. There is also a Facebook events page for this bash - click hereto take a peek.
See you in Loeriesfontein!
|2013-06-10 ||Doug Harebottle |
|Save the date: 20-21 July 2013, SABAP2 workshop, Port Elizabeth |
BirdLife Eastern Cape will be hosting a winter atlasing workshop during the weekend of 20-21 July.
Large parts of the Eastern Cape represent some of the main gap areas for the project so building additional monitoring capacity will be important to try and expand and continue pentad coverage in the region.
Anyone is welcome to attend the workshop but we would really like to encouarge any new atlasers or anyone wanting to get involved with the project to consider attending. We would particularly like to target birders and/or farmers who live in or close to those areas that have no or very little coverage. If anyone has a birding friend in these areas please pass this information on to them.
Here are the details for the workshop:
Saturday 20 July (workshop), 09:00 - 15:30
Sunday 21st (outing to put theory into practice), 09:00 -13:00
Venue: St Johns Church Hall (cnr 8th Avenue and Church St, Walmer)
Presenter: Doug Harebottle
What to bring: Your own lunch, laptop (to load software), notebook + pen, and binos and fieldguide for the outing.
To book your place please contact Corne Erasmus at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him on 084 5158425
|2013-05-05 ||Doug Harebottle |
|SABAP2 workshop: Intaka Island, Century City – ths Saturday 11 May, 09h00 – 15h30 |
Together with Intaka Island Eco-Centre, the ADU will be hosting a bird atlasing workshop at this popular Cape Town birding venue on Saturday 11 May. So if you would like to learn more about atlasing, SABAP2 and citizen science, or just brush up on some of your atlasing skills please register for the workshop by confirming your attendance with Dirk Lombard at email@example.com before Wednesday 8 May.
There is no charge for the workshop and space is limited so book your place as early as possible. Please note that lunch will be for your own account and we recommend bringing a light picnic lunch which can be enjoyed at some of the picnic areas within the reserve many of which overlook the constructed wetlands in the reserve as can be seen in the image on the left.
There will be opportunities to do some birding and/or photography so bring your binos and cameras.
Here is the breakdown of the programme for the day:
- 08:30 - 09:00 Arrival (Coffee/tea will be available)
- 09:00 - 10:30 Introduction and atlas protocols
- 10:30 - 11:00 Tea/coffee break (mugs will be provided but you are welcome to use your own)
- 11:00 - 12:30 Capturing and submitting data, ORFs and website demonstration
- 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch break
- 13:30 - 15:30 Discussion time/Loading software
What to bring?
- Your laptop/tablet (to load software)
- Binoculars, birdbooks, camera etc.
We look forward to meeting a whole bunch of new people and perhaps seeing a few old faces too!. Any enquiries can be directed to Doug Harebottle
|2013-05-02 ||Les Underhill |
|April, the best month ever for the ADU Virtual Museums |
The Virtual Museums of the ADU are helping to construct the 21st century distributions for thousands of species. They had a record month in April. A total of 2758 submissions was made in the month.
The photograph of a snake was the last record that was formally accepted into the Virtual Museum during April. It was taken by Vaughan Jessnitz in Limpopo and it is Record 8350 in the ReptileMAP Virtual Museum. April was also the best month for reptile uploads to the Virtual Museum since the new system was implemented in June 2010. The reptiles in fact provided the impetus to start the initial Virtual Museum, and the first records were submitted on 10 May 2005, eight years ago. In the first years, submissions were made by attaching photos to emails. By 2010, "broadband" had become commonplace, and the mode of submission was transformed to the internet upload system we are using now.
The ReptileMAP Virtual Museum now totals 134909 records. Besides the photographic record, the database contains the specimen record data that goes back to 1834. So we are building onto the database that contains all the museum records. The advantage that this gives ReptileMAP is the abiliy to plot maps through time, and to examine range changes.
Please keep your submissions coming in to all the Virtual Museums. It does not matter if your collective upload power exceeds that of the identification panels for the various project – the important thing is the information is uploaded into the Virtual Museum, and is therefore curated and available. In contrast, the large numbers of photos that are uploaded into the social media such as Facebook are lots of fun, but they are ephemeral, and fade into oblivion within a relatively short space of time.
Uploading to the Virtual Museum is a bit more time consuming than uploading a photo to Facebook, but that is only to be expected. The spatial information is critically important to the Virtual Museum projects, otherwise the distribution maps cannot be made. Put your biodiversity photos to the ADU Virtual Museums, and make your photography count for conservation.
|2013-04-24 ||Dieter Oschadleus |
|Weaver Wednesday: Golden Palm Weaver |
The Golden Palm Weaver Ploceus bojeri is a common weaver of the coastal palms in East Africa. The black eye is in striking contrast to the orange (male) or yellow (female) head. The adult male has the head uniform orange, shading to a chestnut patch on the lower throat - in the similar male Eastern Golden Weaver P. subaureus the orange face pales onto the ear-coverts and sides of the neck. The Golden Palm Weaver shows no seasonal change in plumage. The subadult male has a yellow head with developing orange on the nape and lower throat - the similar Taveta Golden Weaver P. castaneiceps differs in having a well-defined occipital crescent and rufous upper breast, and their ranges do not overlap. The female Golden Palm Weaver is entirely yellow below (theÂfemale Eastern Golden has a white belly) and the back is indistinctly streaked (heavily streaked in Taveta Golden Weaver).
No subspecies of the Golden Palm Weaver are recognised (see map right, based on Birds of Africa). There are few records from Ethiopia, near the border with Somalia. In Somalia, it occurs on the Jubba and Shabeele Rivers and in Boni Forest. In Kenya it is found on the coast and inland along the Tana River, with a separate localized inland population. Records from Tanzania are now considered misidentifications and the species has been deleted from the Tanzanian list.
The Golden Palm Weaver inhabits palm savanna on the coast, as well as riverine habitats and it extends into savanna in areas below 1200 m and with more than 500 mm annual rainfall inland. Food consists of seeds and insects. It is gregarious and roosts in flocks when not breeding.
The Golden Palm Weaver is colonial, and suspected to be polygynous. It may occur in mixed colonies with Eastern Golden Weavers or with Village Weavers P. cucullatus. The male displays while hanging below the nest entrance, with his wings spread vertically, but wings usually move very little; the head may be bowed slowly.
The nest is spherical with no entrance tube. The male weaves the outer shell of long grass strips or strips from palm fronds and builds a complete inner shell of short grass strips. The female lines accepted nests with leaf fragments and fine grass heads. Nests are usually suspended under palm fronds or over water in thorn trees.
Clutch size is 2. The eggs are green, mottled with grey or reddish markings; sometimes eggs are white, overlaid with fawn. The introduced House Crow Corvus splendens raids colonies for eggs, young and adults in Mombasa.
The Golden Palm Weaver has 4 PHOWN records from Kenya and two of these colonies low nest counts - 1 and 10 nests. Many more PHOWN records are needed for this species (see PHOWN summary), especially to determine range in colony size. Submit any weaver nest records to PHOWN (PHOtos of Weaver Nests) via the Virtual Museum upload site.
PHOWN summary Previous Wedn: Speke's Weaver Full weaver species list