PARTICIPANTS COMMENT ON FLIGHT FOR BIRDERS COURSESPosted on the 10th December 2016
(Herewith some excerpts from letters received from people after attending Flight for Birders courses).
"I just completed the Flight for Birders course at Intaka Island - met some lovely people, and learned a lot! definitely recommend it. Thanks to Anton Odendal for presenting an informative and interesting course at a wonderful venue!" - Gisela
"I spent this weekend on a Flight for Birders course at Intaka Island. The course was presented by Anton Odendal. It was a fantastic course, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in birding. I learnt so much and I can't wait for the next one. Thank you." - Annette
Once again thank you for an informative and inspiring course. On my return home I immediately looked up future outings in our Cape Bird Club magazine, Promerops. I was thrilled to find there is going to be one on Sun 19 July to Rooi Els and Betty's Bay. I have marked it in my diary!" - Margaret
"I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture presented by Anton Odendal, who has a very “Down-to-Earth” approach and inspires one with enthusiasm. It makes a beginner feel “good/confident” if one can identify it personally before being told what is is! - Glenda
A short note to thank you for delivering a really excellent lecture when you were in Swellendam at the end of last month. We really enjoyed it and found it most instructive and we can but wonder at your staying power – keeping 60 –odd people spellbound for nearly two full days takes an awful lot of doing, and will, we are certain, create a lot more interested in birding in the region. If you and Elaine are ever in our area, or just passing through, we would love to you to pop in for a cup of tea or fruit of the vine." - Aiden & Sharon
I know I said thank you on Sunday afternoon outside – but I didn’t really thank you for everything that you gave us in in this course on Birds.
You gave so much information about birds – it was wonderful - and renewed and refreshed my passion for this stimulating hobby. I enjoyed everything but feel empowered from the input on LBJs because this opens up a world that I used to just “sigh” about and move on from. I am out in Greyton and believe that I have just identified a zitting cisticola from your input.
However, over and above the input about the birds you gave us such a wonderfully rich context of environmental awareness and the fragility of our beautiful world, the importance of maintaining this for so many purposes not least of which is a means for economic growth through the tourist element and that bird watchers is a group of people who tend to explore further afield and tread fairly lightly on the earth.
Last, but not least for me, you gave credit to our Creator God for His magnificently designed creation - you had a very light touch but for those listening for that, the acknowledgement added a further dimension of value to your course.
So thank you for the very generous giving of your knowledge, your experiences, your wonderful sense of humour and the way you “woke” us all up every now and then with a quirky joke or cartoon and a chocolate - altogether a lovely two days.
I have forwarded your material to friends of mine who are keen to do the course in May.
Please also say thank you to Elaine for all her support which extends beyond the two days.
With many thanks for a wonderful Bird course and so much more and warm regards." - Di
"Thank you for a very informative and helpful birding course last week. Your informal and humorous style made the material interesting and easy to listen to. I am now motivated to become a more active bird watcher (not just when I am on a trip somewhere) and to get involved with the bird club. I will tackle those LBJ’s with confidence!" - Suzie
“Everyone should know the names of their neighbours and household visitors. If you know the names of all the species in your neighbourhood, you will soon become interested in all the other forms of life around you. The excitement of being aware is to define the particularity of it – and to detect its infinite differences. You become aware of life itself and what is being lost” - ROBERT BATEMAN
"This was the quote that opened the introductory thoughts of a brilliant course that some Tygerberg birders were indeed fortunate to attend. For those who are acquainted with Anton from Birdlife Overberg, you will know that he is a captivating and entertaining speaker, passionate and highly regarded in birding circles.
Although we were initially overwhelmed with the two day program schedule, it was broken down into 30 to 45 minute topics that were illustrated with spectacular photographs and amusing anecdotes which made the week end fly by! We even had an opportunity or two to wander around Intaka Island and test out our new skills.
What the course did not do: make us ornithologists; focus on technical terms and scientific jargon, or teach us about global species. Rather it assisted with developing our confidence and help us grow to enjoy our hobby, identify our local species through the “local is lekker” approach, and use available technology on an ongoing basis.
The course manual is one that we can use and refer to on a daily basis, filled with practical principles, highlighting the differences in some confusing species, and interesting information on birding tourism, conservation projects and very useful contacts. We also received fabulous pocket pamphlets for the common birds of various habitats of the Western Cape, beautifully illustrated, and can be tucked into the back of our field guides. Birdlife Overberg prints these in partnership with sponsors, and they are mainly distributed as part of their educational program.
This course is highly recommended for anyone in beginner status, family, friends, students, and everyone will come away inspired, and as Anton indicated, “welcome to the wonderful world of birds”. A useful website to put on your favourite list: www.westerncapebirding.co.za and if you haven’t visited Intaka Island yet, go soon. It is a small miracle in the heart of Century City. www.intaka.co.za" - Rene