The Cuckoo Bird Club

More about the bird club:

The Cuckoo Bird Club was started in May 1998 by Monty Brett. Monty particularly wanted the graduates of his Sappi Brett Beginners Bird Course to enjoy birding with fun people who would encourage new birders. And so The Slightly Cuckoo Bird Club was hatched. From that time the Club has been known for its laid-back attitude to birding, for fun, and for combining knowledge and pleasure – and from that we get our motto: 20% Birding, 80% Fun.

We are fortunate to have the world-renowned bird expert and artist, Clive Hopcroft, as our President. Although he no longer participates regularly, we do still see Clive occasionally as a speaker or guide.

Guests and New Members
Guests are most welcome at our meetings. Once you have attended two meetings or outings, we encourage you to become a permanent Cuckoo Club member (see Membership Options below).

Monthly Meetings
The Club has an evening get-together once a month (except in December, when we have a glorious Sunday breakfast instead).

Some people have an informal supper, drink, and chat in the pub before the meeting.

Each meeting begins with a brief overview of club plans, followed by a presentation from a guest speaker.
WHERE: The Wanderers Club, Illovo. Check the noticeboard at reception for room details
WHEN: The third Tuesday of the month (unless notified otherwise)
WHAT TIME: Usually 7.30pm and normally finished by 9.30 pm or meet in the pub from about 6.00pm
COST: R20 for members, and R40 for non-members. All food and refreshments are for your own account

Day Outings
These are almost always on the last Sunday of the month, and we tend to make an early morning start. Some of the more unusual outings have been a game drive, and an overnight camp-out at the zoo.
WHERE: Various places close to Johannesburg
WHEN: The last Sunday of the month (unless notified otherwise)
FORMAT: Varies depending on the venue – details in the Newsletter. Usually meet early at the outing location for coffee, Walk or drive for a few hours. Perhaps a picnic lunch.
COST: Free, but members are responsible for their own transport, food, and entry fees.

Away trips vary greatly:

  • Normally a two-night weekend (Friday and Saturday night) at a location two to three hour’s drive from Johannesburg.
  • Sometimes a three-night weekend a little further afield.
  • Occasionally a longer trip.

Local mid-week outings on the second Thursday of the month, The morning generally starts at 07h00 in the car park of whichever park is being visited and we walk (gently) for a couple of hours. At the end of the walk, coffee and chat and, depending on where you live, you can be home by 10h00.

The Cuckoo Bird Club is an affiliate member of BirdLife South Africa, but this does not give individual members of our Club direct membership.

Membership options:

Our Annual Membership for 2023 is R320 for individuals, or R420 for families or couples.
New members joining in January through to the end of June pay the full membership fee, and anyone joining after that pays half the normal fee.

Catchment area:

Western, Southern, Northern and Eastern Gauteng.

Contact details:

Website where you can find our Newsletters:

Chairman (Dennis Townsend): 083 625 4136

Meeting venue name:

The Wanderers Club, Illovo
GPS: -26.13551, 28.05322
Language: English and Afrikaans