Langabuya Scouts and Cubs visit Paarl Bird Sanctuary

Last year the Paarl Bird Sanctuary project was the subject of a presentation by John Fincham and Skhumbuzo Mbewu at one of our evening meetings and in October 2016 the Tygerberg Bird Club donated R5 000 towards the project. 
On the afternoon of 15 May 2017 a group of 64 scouts and cubs from Langabuya Primary school in Mbekweni  visited Paarl Bird Sanctuary accompanied by a teacher and a scout mistress, Mrs Cordelia Njomane.  The children, both boys and girls, ranged in age from about 8 to 11. This event had to be arranged at fairly short notice to fit in with Skhumbuzo Mbewu's travel plans, so unfortunately  there was no time to organise for volunteers to assist us.  Also, it was rescheduled to take place later in the afternoon than originally planned, so we were asked to provide refreshments for the children.  After hastily purchasing some provisions, Jo and Skhumbuzo spent a couple of hours in the morning making 70+ peanut butter sandwiches which were distributed at the end of the afternoon visit.  
On arrival at the sanctuary each child was issued with a laminated bird ID chart illustrating 20 of the most usual birds in PBS in colour, as well as a “score card” with the bird names in four languages.  Two groups were formed and Skhumbuzo Mbewu guided a walk down a path between Pans A, B and C, known as Norman's Walk, while John Fincham helped the children in the other group to identify birds through a telescope set up on the base of an old hide.  They had great fun ticking off the birds seen and were allowed to keep the score card to take home afterwards.  
As before, the bus transport was sponsored by the Drakenstein Municipality, who also made special security arrangements for the visit.   The donation from Tygerberg Bird Club covered a substantial part of the other expenses involved, and we thank you very much for your financial support. 
This scout troop is based at Langabuya Primary School but includes members from other Mbekweni Primary Schools.  As it has been inactive for about a year, most of these youngsters are new recruits.  Mrs. Njomane and the other teachers at the school are very enthusiastic and said that they would like the scouts to “adopt” the sanctuary and make regular visits.  We would like to arrange suitable bird-related activities for these young children, so if any TBC members have scouting experience or any suggestions, we would love to hear from them.
John Fincham, Skhumbuzo Mbewu, Jo Hobbs