Fourty-seven birders attended the 'Flight for Birders' bird identification and conservation course at Fernkloof on 26 and 27 January 2012. It is interesting to note that participants came from as far afield as Bredasdorp, Cape Town and St Helenabay – a clear message that the presentation of these courses need to be extended to other places. The next course is in Piketberg on 2 and 3 February and the final touches are now being put to courses in Riversdale, Ceres and Nieuwoudtville. Negotiations concerning future courses in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Eastern and Northern Cape are ongoing.
Note should also be taken of the fact that representatives from nature conservation agencies, tourism guides from lodges and guest farms and the owners/ staff of accommodation establishments are increasingly attending the course.
A word of welcome also goes to Abraham & Roline van Zyl and Barbara Kahn who had already joined BirdLife Overberg after having attended the course.
Paula Combrinck gives her impressions of the course and an interesting story with images on birding in her garden:
Dear Anton and Elaine
Thank you for your enormous time and effort in going into making, hosting and sharing your extreme knowledge, time, handouts plus more in the "Flight for Birders" course i have just attended and thoroughly enjoyed. Anton - your sense of humour and passion was simply superb making 2 days of listening to you a complete delight.
I am extremely privileged to learn new birds of the Western Cape as we too slowly migrate to Hermanus! As we will be leaving a 6 acres plot filled with an enormous variety of birds due to trees, open spaces and large (was once a swimming pool) natural pond i am thrilled to have the beautiful Overberg as a new environment in which to observe birds.
I have shared some silly garden bird photos from 2011 in my Johannesburg garden - my next door neighbour has small children and at nursery school they made "recycled feeders" which i copied as i loved seeing the finches close up in their garden. I get all the "small" birds feeding in there (no doves/mynas and its practically spill and water proof) however it's a particularly popular hit with the various lovebirds which i have had over 8 years living happily in my garden.
As you can see, the weavers have commandeered one as a sound structure for its nest - quite architecturally adept!!!
Kindest regards and have a great weekend