The club’s year-end party was held on 11 December this year. The original plan had been to hold it at Springside Nature Reserve in Hillcrest, but persistent early morning rain and dire forecasts of 100% rain throughout the day forced a change in venue. After some frantic panicking, Steve Davis, the organizer, saved the day and managed to get permission to use the Sugar Milling Research Institute premises in Glenwood, where he works. Some people who had booked dropped out for various reasons, and others arrived later because of the last-minute change of venue.
However, once people had assembled, the fun and games started. There were five different stations, at which people had fifteen minutes to complete each task, which were:
- Finding and identifying 31 birds from pictures hidden around the training room. People could use binoculars but were not allowed to venture beyond a marked-off area.
- “Peek-a-boo” identification. An old favourite, people had to identify the birds from pictures that were partly covered, often with only a small portion of the bird visible.
- Anagrams. Several anagrams of SA bird names were given to be unscrambled. It was agreed that this was the most difficult task.
- Birdfinder. Based on the popular Wordsearch format, people had to find the names of 34 bird names hidden in a grid. Most people managed to find nearly all of them, but nobody got all 34.
- Sketch a bird. After throwing 2 dice, people had to look up from a list the name of a bird corresponding to the total, and then sketch it on their answer sheet. Marks were awarded for whether Steve could identify the bird from the sketch (although some people failed to read the instructions and wrote the name of the bird down) and for artistic merit. The gallery of somewhat curious birds is shown below.
Finally, there was a bird-related general knowledge quiz, covering a wide range of topics. While the sheets were being marked, the braai fires were lit downstairs, courtesy of Rob Jamieson and Rob McLennan-Smith, and meat was cooked. A green salad, potato salad and rolls were provided by Ronel Curtis, and everyone tucked in with relish.
After eating, the results were announced, with the overall winners being Rob and Paige McLennan-Smith, with the runner-up being Jenny Norman. A fun time was had by those who attended and the event was greatly enjoyed, despite the challenges caused by the weather.