Birdathon 2014 – 2. Report by Jess Kavonic.

On Saturday the 12th April 2014, over 500 participants spent a fun family day outdoors celebrating some of Cape Town’s best wetlands and the diverse birdlife they support. A Fun Family Walk and Festival, successfully hosted by BirdLife South Africa (BLSA), the Cape Bird Club (CBC) and the City of Cape Town, was the first event to be held at the newly constructed picnic and braai facilities on the eastern shore of Zeekoevlei of the False Bay Ecology Park (FBEP).
Entry for the event was R5 per person, and all profits went towards conservation activities at the site.
This exciting event was aimed at people of all ages and saw participants interacting with others from a range of different backgrounds and areas. Participants came from as far as Franschoek, Durbanville and Constantia. However, the Fun Walk was especially aimed at the communities surrounding the FBEP, providing an incredible opportunity for residents to discover a nature reserve right on their doorstep. The FBEP is regarded as the most significant natural asset in the Cape Flats District.

During the walk applicants had the chance to take part in an environmental education quiz. A number of information stations were set-up en-route where the participants learnt more about the area and its beautiful birds. Participants were invited to ask questions of the volunteers stationed along the routes and received a chart of a few of the more common birds that could be spotted along the three routes.

Participants were able to enter a lucky draw at the end of the route, winning great prizes. All participants that completed the event then enjoyed a free fish and chip lunch courtesy of John Dorys.

In addition, other thrilling, interactive and enjoyable festivities took place, including, a live bird show by Eagle Encounters Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, a reptile and frog display, a fire demonstration and entertainment by Zibi, the recycling and waste-wise ostrich. Participants had the chance to hold snakes, pet a number of different owls, including the Golden Masked Owl, and enjoy playing in foam and water spray during the fire demonstration.

The FBEP Festival and Fun Walk aims to bring together people of all ages to introduce them to the area and its incredible natural resources by letting them experience it in a fun way, whilst learning about why this is such an important conservation area for the City and all its residents.

Jess Kavonic is an Intern – Major Projects and Programmes Assistant,
Environmental Resource Management Department (ERMD)
City of Cape Town.


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