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. We will donate 10% of the income from this “Flight Higher course” to BirdLife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign.
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
11h45 to 12h00: What type of bird of prey is that flying over me?
12h00 to 12h30: "The secret life of eggs - This is no yolk"
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 three talks: Birding in the TANKWA KAROO/ Birding in the KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK/ Birding in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK.
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 two case-studies of conservation campaigns to be discussed and illustrated – These could be on the AFRICAN PENGUINS, ALBATROSSES, LESSER FLAMINGOS, 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?
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 email@example.com 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