22 August 2019
by Adam Cruickshank
After much planning and strategizing, it was with much excitement that Sapphire Coast Birding was launched – a satellite of Birdlife Port Natal. Over the last few years, there has been tremendous growth in birding on the Upper South Coast, so it was a natural progression to have a base for birding in the Sapphire Coast area. The Sapphire Coast area stretches from the eziMbokodweni River in the North, to the aMahlongwa River in the South and about 9km inland from the coast.
The logo adopted by Sapphire Coast Birding
The launch was held at Lords and Legends in Amanzimtoti, which will be the base for the club in the area. Attendees started to arrive early, with people coming to the event from all over the greater eThekwini area and a large contingent traveling up from Scottburgh on the South Coast. To start the night off there were some tasty platters that had been prepared by Lords and Legends, which were washed down by drinks from the bar. The evening was truly a festive occasion dsright from the start. Once the evening got started there were 59 people in attendance, which shows much of the growth that is currently happening in Birdlife Port Natal – the future of the club is looking very exciting!
The evening was kicked off by David Allen, the honorary president of BLPN. In his own humorous way, he shared on the momentum there is in the club now and how the club is moving forward in many ways. Next up was BLPN Chair Nicolette Forbes who explained why taking up membership with BLPN is enjoyable and also important, and the impact of the contributions that people make by joining the club. Nicolette also explained the concept of a satellite and why it was such exciting news for BLPN. After the customary raising of the glasses to formally launch the club, Adam Cruickshank was then given an opportunity to speak. Adam shared the importance of a satellite grouping and emphasized why it is important that it stayed connected to BLPN.
Nicolette Forbes was the speaker for the night with a fascinating talk on KZN Birds titled: ‘Coastal KZN Birds – What, where and How?’. During the talk, Nicolette masterfully took the listeners on an enthralling journey through the different habitats that Kwa-Zulu Natal has to offer and showcased the birdlife that the area has to offer. The talk was the kind of talk that would make one want to get out into the field and find the amazing birds that she spoke about.
To end the night there were some prizes that were given away, courtesy of Bargain Books, which ensured that some lucky people did not go home empty-handed. Andrew Manning, the chair of Toti Conservancy, took a moment to speak at stated how excited he was that BLPN was investing in the Amanzimtoti area, and how, having the club will have an impact on conservation efforts that he is a part of.
David Allan (Honorary President BLPN), Rev Andrew Manning (Chair Toti Conservancy), Adam Cruickshank (Vice-Chair BLPN), Nicolette Forbes (Chair BLPN) and Professor Ticky Forbes enjoying the celebration.
The night was a tremendous success and we want to extend our deepest thanks to all those that contributed to the night in any way – especially all those from the committee who went over and above to make sure that event went off with no hitches.