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    The much awaited ‘Birding’ week arrived and draws to a close after a much hotly, contested “who can spot the most birds “competition amongst the four groups of Mahlahla and Grietjie Bushwise students.

    It was a close race, however there has to be a winner and the winning total was 135 species. Suffice to say, all the students were in fact winners in their own right as many an eye was opened to the wonderful world of birdwatching which can also become addictive in a sense. It also serves as a reminder the value that a decent pair of binoculars has.

    The week kicked off with a full day dedicated to theory lecture and bird identification slide show. Armed with this knowledge and bird books, the next 4 days were dedicated to morning and afternoon drives where physical bird identification were the order of the day with students still practising their driving skills in-between whilst on drive.

    For good measure, for the Mahlahla students, the week was also enhanced with another memorable and ever popular sleep-out in a secluded section of a riverbed amongst the Big 5. Crackling wood fire, barbecue chicken, moonlight and an informative star talk, rounded off with a serenading of spotted hyena calling nearby, life doesn’t get much better than this! Well, actually it does, after a visit from a few Pachyderms that had every-one awake to get a better glimpse. Exciting times!

    Strangely enough, as they always seem to do, sightings also seemed to abound despite the focus on bird-spotting. Lions, leopard, huge herds of elephant, bushpig and lions on a kill (news just in), together with the ever-present herds of plains game made for another memorable week in the bushveld.

    Play time is now over as this afternoon is dedicated to studying for the birding test tomorrow, so pin your ears back guys and girls and STUDY.

    Good luck for the test!

    Until Next Time,

    The Bushwise Team

    (Photo credit: Adam Mohr & Jacques Briam)