BirdLife eThekwini KZN recently held its 74th Annual General Meeting at the Mount Edgecombe Country Estate and boy was it a flocking fabulous affair.
The flamingo theme for this 74th AGM had members of the bird club dressed to the nines, turning out in a thousand shades of flamingo, following the theme “Touch of Pink.”
BirdLife eThekwini KZN chair, Nicolette Forbes, said that “membership of the club continued its upward trajectory which began in 2019 and as of December 2022 a milestone total of 600 members was reached.”
The club is looking to reach 700 members by the end of this year.
“To keep our members birding we managed to provide over 50 different activities during the year as well as a number of special events and weekends away, including trips to uMkhuze and the Zimanga Aloe Garden and Wakkerstroom,” said Forbes.
The club also hosted 16 online seminars with both local and international guest presenters speaking on topics covering birdwatching, species identification and equipment.
“Our conservation portfolio includes waterbird counts and counts at other significant biodiversity sites such as those undergoing rehabilitation or key D’Moss (Durban Metropolitan Open Spaces System) areas and our atlas efforts continue to contribute to the important national South African Atlas Programme.”
The club has also played an important role in fundraising for significant conservation projects including the Mouse-Free Marion Project, the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve Community project, the Blue Swallow Conservation Project and The Bateleurs.
David Allan, the club’s Honorary President had come to the end of his term. He was thanked with a special edition bottle of The Famous Grouse, quite fitting for a bird club.
The incoming president will be Steve Davis who has been a member of the club since 1984, has served on the committee, given courses and generally provided significant support to the club.
He will also remain a working member of the committee.
Forbes led the audience in a toast to her fellow committee members, all club members present in person or in spirit and the birds. The committee and bird walk guides were presented with Cape Parrot Bird of the Year 2023 pins, one of which I managed to get myself.
“By engaging with young birders, we give them an opportunity to develop their skills and interest, link up with other like-minded people and ultimately grow their passion for birds. The event celebrates young birders, their bird identification skills and their dedication to the hobby,” said Forbes.