This event was originally conceived to make residents and scholars from local surrounding schools aware of the False Bay Nature Reserve and its facilities, its environment and the birds.
In the past 2 years the organisation has been managed by CTEET (Cape Town Environmental Education Trust) who have proved to be very efficient at the behind scenes administration which starts almost as soon as the previous event finishes. As this is City managed land, all the rigouress by-laws, labour laws, security requirements, disaster management requirements, etc., have to be complied with.
On the day a variety of walks are organised through the Birding Area ranging from 1.5 to 6km in distance. An activity book has been written to further the participants knowledge of birds and the environment. Exhibits including Eagle Encounters; reptiles displays, police dogs displays and recycling are present as well as food stalls to feed the hungry mouths.
The Cape Bird Club plays a valuable role in this event. Priscilla Beeton and her team manned a very active stall to teach participants how to make bird feeders, answer questions about birds and distribute literature about nature.
CBC members also manned the tables along the route to assist the participants to fill in their activity books and also help with the “Telescope Sites” so the children could view the birds too far away to see with binoculars. It is always thrilling to watch the reactions of those who managed to see the shape, size, detail and colouring they would not have seen before.
This year there were over 1800 participants and next year we should exceed 2000. Its popularity speaks of itself.
We just hope that the message about the mystery of birds and nature sticks with some of those who take part.
Dave Whitelaw. (Conservation Committee Chairman).
Photographs by Helen Whelan.