Perhaps it was because of the clear, clean air, or the crispness of the vistas. Perhaps it was because of the wide, flat plains framed by the distant blue and pink of the mountains. I like to think it was because of people: Honorary Rangers; dedicated people; real conservationists; men and women who think about the health of our distant tomorrows. I like to think that the success of the Tankwa Birding Bonanza Weekend 2013 was because of Jenny and Mike Lodge and their special team.
I have spoken to the many participants who together made up the passionate teams of birdwatchers. I have also spoken to the guides. All were unanimous, all agreed, and so a “yes” rang out across the Tankwa, a booming, reverberating “yes”. It was a yes to my question: “Was it even better than last year?”
Following that “yes” came a “thank you” and then a “see you all in April 2014!”
Many birds were seen, some were even new for the Park’s list. But most importantly, people learnt new things about the everyday birds and of Nature’s stories in that special place. They learnt about the little things and the big things: the powerful, holistic message of an environment in balance, a fragile, unique environment, an example to our children of how conservation should be done.
Through the dedication of the Honorary Rangers, birds have become a critical resource, creatures that can be celebrated and at the same time teach: ambassadors of the Pristine.
Congratulations on a wonderful achievement. On behalf of all who love wild places BirdLife South Africa salutes you and thanks you.