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Media Release: Enthusiasts invited to the 2nd Camdeboo National Park Birding Weekend

Date: 21st October 2010

Camdeboo National Park will host its second Birding Weekend from Friday 5 November to Sunday 7 November 2010.

After the success of the inaugural Birding Weekend of October 2009 the Honorary Rangers of Camdeboo National Park and their main sponsor Sasol are delighted to invite birders and birding enthusiasts to join in the activities from Friday 5 November to Sunday 7 November 2010. The aim of the day is to provide participants with a great opportunity to experience the diverse habitats and wide spectrum of bird species found in the park.

The 19 000 hectare Camdeboo National Park has a wide diversity of habitats, wildlife and bird species. At least 225 bird species have been recorded in the park, with an interesting ecotonal mix including species typical of both the Great Karoo and Eastern region avifaunas.

The Park’s bird database includes the vulnerable Ludwig’s Bustard and Blue Crane as well as the near-threatened Black Harrier. A wide diversity of bird species - from the largest bird on earth, the Ostrich, to the diminutive African Firefinch - can be spotted in the various habitats of the Park. In addition, sightings have recently been made of the unusual African Open-billed Stork and the rare Temminck’s Courser.

The birding weekend will offer a scheduled programme of organised excursions and informal birding opportunities. The exiting programme promises a fun-filled weekend of birding in the Karoo. The programme kicks off on Friday evening, 5 November with registration and a cheese-and-wine at the Park’s offices off the N9 towards Middelburg. A birding pack including an information sheet on local birding, a park map and a short explanation will be provided to all participants during registration.

The Saturday morning excursions, led by Park Rangers and Honorary Rangers will depart at 06:00 from the Park Office (on the N9 North) to the Nqweba Dam wetlands, Fonteinkloof in the Park’s eastern section and Winterhoek. There will also be a beginner’s excursion led by a birding expert departing at 07:00.

For those who wish to indulge in birding at their own pace, the informal birding programme allows access to the Game Viewing Area, Eerstefontein Trail, Valley of Desolation. An informal birding excursion to the western section of the park south of the Valley of Desolation will take place on Sunday 7 November at 06:00.

The R150 registration fee covers access to the Camdeboo National Park for the entire weekend as well as the Friday evening cheese & wine and the Saturday evening spit-braai.

Birding Day contact information:

For accommodation bookings please contact Graaff-Reinet Information on (049) 892 4248 or visit www.graaffreinet.co.za

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