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SASOL Birds and Birding Fair 4-6 May

Date: 2007-04-03

Few people are aware that Birdwatching is the fastest growing outdoor pastime in the world – second only to gardening. In an effort to introduce this delightful activity to everyone, BirdLife South Africa, Sasol, Africa Birds & Birding magazine and the Johannesburg Zoo have collaborated to mount the Sasol Birds & Birding Fair – with the theme “Start Birding”, to be held at the Zoo on the weekend of 4 to 6th May 2007.

The objective of this exciting three-day event is to attract new birding enthusiasts and promote an interest in birds and birding. The Fair will form an important component of Sasol BirdLife SA National Bird Week, with this year’s focus being marine, estuary and freshwater ecology.The African Penguin is the 2007 Bird of the Year and many of the activities during the Fair will highlight its status.

For the duration of the Sasol Birds & Birding Fair – the Johannesburg Zoo will reduce its entrance fee to R20.00 for everyone. (Normally R34 for Adults and R20 for children)

Some of the Fair activities include FREE Lectures by leading Birders on Saturday and Sunday. Bookings can be made on the day at the Zoo, some of the scheduled talks are as follows:-

• Flight for Beginners – Two Day course by Anton Odendal
• KZN Birding Routes - Mathew Drew
• Limpopo Birding Routes – Ben de Boer
• Western Cape Birding Routes – Anton Odendal
• Introduction to Bird Photography – Chris van Rooyen
• My 12 favourite Birding Spots in Southern Africa – Peter Lawson
• Birding in Madagascar – Fraser Gear

Daily Bird Walks will be run at the Zoo for the duration of the Fair with special Bird guides provided by BirdLife SA.

Photographic Competition with great prize for the best Birding picture taken at the Zoo on Saturday. Chris van Rooyen, lecturer on “Introduction to Bird Photography” will judge entries.

Film Festival featuring great movies such as

• March of the Penguins

• City Slickers

March for the Penguins supported by Run/Walk for Life will take place on Saturday 5th May from 7.30am – 9.30am. Bruce Fordyce will lead this walk. Participating children will be asked to dress up as Penguins and adults to carry a slogan. Fabulous prizes will be awarded for the best Penguins.

Dinner Tours: Geoff Lockwood will give an introductory talk on the Friday night and Gerhard Verdoorn on Saturday night, followed by an hours night walk though the Zoo and a leisurely dinner at Café Fino within the Zoo. Children are welcome. Costs R100, book at the Zoo.

Fun of the Fair: To keep everyone entertained there will be bands, a flea market, a film festival, a food court, the Farmyard, demonstrations, live birds, workshops as well as a host of exhibition stands displaying equipment, vehicles, clothing for the birder and outdoor enthusiast to purchase. Birding destinations, lodges, bed & breakfast and self-catering venues will also be well represented.

Competition: Attend the Fair and you will automatically be entered into the competition where you and a partner will win a trip to Dyer Island in the Cape. This prize includes flights, spending money, accommodation at Grootbos Nature Reserve, a cruise to Dyer Island to see the Penguins, and a host of consolation prizes. Additional tickets will be available for sale at the Fair with proceeds going to BirdLife SA for Penguin rehabilitation on Dyer Island.

Pic: The African Penguin, taken by Doug Newman

For further information about the Sasol Birds & Birding Fair

Contact Susie Fairweather, Communications Consultant
Phone (011) 447-2476, Fax (011) 44207692, Cell 083-676-3560

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