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“It was way beyond my expectations”

21 Jan
Long-tailed widowfinch in full flight. Photo Russell Kingston

Long-tailed widowfinch in full flight. Photo Russell Kingston

Members of the RFCG EcoTour to Africa enjoying a hike in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Guests on the RFCG EcoTour to Africa enjoying a hike in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Pelicans with a late afternoon storm breaking  at Nata Bird Sanctuary. Botswana. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Pelicans with a late afternoon storm breaking at Nata Bird Sanctuary. Botswana. Photo Eelco Meyjes

” It was way beyond my expectations and was really my trip of a lifetime ” Sheena de Jager-Miles, President of the Queensland Finch Society Brisbane, Australia. The recent RFCG Weaver, Widow and Whydah EcoTour to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe was a wonderful experience enjoyed by all participants.

Not only did the group have the opportunity to see many of Africa’s most spectacular finches , but they also saw a huge amount of game which included the Big 5 ( Elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard ) as well as a very impressive variety of Africa’s 968 bird species, many of them  migrants, that can be found during the summer months in the southern African region.

Strong interest for doing a similar 23 day tour has already been indicated.( See the Kruger National Park, Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe ) For those finch enthusiasts that may wish to participate on the next tour please contact either Russell Kingston at indruss@bigpond.com or Eelco Meyjes at editor@avitalk.co.za. All tour participants will be required to sign an indemnity form prior to departure. All profits are donated to the Rare Finch Conservation Group.

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is dependant on donors and sponsors to carry out its finch conservation work in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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Join our exciting RFCG EcoTour to Australia in July 2014

5 Jan
The spectacular Gouldian Finch from Australia. Photo Russell Kingston

The spectacular Gouldian Finch from Australia. Photo Russell Kingston

IT’S A TRIP OF A LIFETIME
1) Attend the Queensland finch Societies 5th International finch convention in Brisbane, Australia. The 3 day convention is held every 3 years. It includes a gala dinner, top international and local speakers, conservation work matters, workshops, healthcare, aviary tours, specialist vendors and a great opportunity to meet like minded people that enjoy a similar interest. With more than 1000 members the Queensland Finch Society is the largest finch society in the world.
2 ) See Russell Kingstons world class facilities in the Harvey Bay area plus many other top class facilities.
3 ) See Mike Fidlers world famous gouldian finch research centre in the Hunters Valley area near Sydney
4 ) All airfares*, convention fees, meals and accommodation is included in the price
*The airfare from South Africa is included in the price. Airfares to Brisbane, Australia from New Zealand, Europe, USA etc will be for each persons own account. 

TOUR DATES : 2 to 13 July 2014

Your tour host will be world renowned author on finches Russell Kingston. Guests wanting to participate from New Zealand, Europe, USA etc. are more than welcome to fly direct to Australia and join our RFCG tour group in Brisbane. The tour group size will be limited. For more information contact Eelco Meyjes at editor@avitalk.co.za. All tour participants will be required to sign an indemnity prior to departure.

ALL PROFITS FROM THE TOUR WILL BE  DONATED TO THE RARE FINCH CONSERVATION GROUP

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is dependant on donors and sponsors to carry out its conservation work on finches in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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SEE – CONSERVE – ENJOY

Join the exciting RFCG EcoTour to Australia in July 2014

20 Nov
The spectacular Gouldian Finch from Australia. Photo Russell Kingston

The spectacular Gouldian Finch from Australia. Photo Russell Kingston

IT’S A TRIP OF A LIFETIME
1) Attend the Queensland finch Societies Inc. 5th International finch convention in Brisbane, Australia. The 3 day convention is held every 3 years. Includes a gala dinner, top international and local speakers, conservation work matters, workshops, healthcare, aviary tours, specialist vendors.
2 ) See Russell Kingstons world class facilities in the Harvey Bay area plus many other top class facilities.
3 ) See Mike Fidlers world famous gouldian finch research centre in the Hunters Valley area near Sydney
4 ) All airfares, meals and accommodation are included

TOUR DATES : 2 to 13 July 2014

Your tour host will be world renowned author on finches Russell Kingston. For more information contact Eelco Meyjes at editor@avitalk.co.za . All tour participants will be required to sign an indemnity prior to departure.

THIS WILL BE THE LAST BLOG UNTIL MID DECEMBER. EELCO MEYJES IS CURRENTLY ON THE RFCG ECOTOUR TO THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, BOTSWANA AND ZIMBABWE. ALL PROFITS FROM THE TOUR WILL BE  DONATED TO THE RARE FINCH CONSERVATION GROUP

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is dependant on donors and sponsors to carry out its finch conservation work in the wild. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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RFCG flies its flag with great pride and honour

26 Oct

Conservation work is all about endurance and perseverance. Success does not come easy and in essence it is not for the faint hearted. Based on this reality it made good sense to link the Rare Finch Conservation Group brand name to long distance cycling events

The new RFCG cycling top that will be seen at major long distance cycling events in South Africa. Photo Eelco Meyjes

The new RFCG cycling top that will be seen at major long distance cycling events. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Starting last year with Alex Antrobus and Murray Baumont, who cycled all the way from Johannesburg to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, then onto Nairobi in Kenya, a distance of more than 5000 km, it started a healthy new trend. They wore their T shirts with great pride wherever they went and it gave the RFCG some very good exposure.

Part of our strategy this year is to promote the RFCG brand name to a wider audience outside the relatively small avicultural community. With time this audience may become a valuable support group for the work that we do.

It all started in 2012 with Alex Antrobus ( left ) and Murray Beaumont who cycled from Joburg to Uganda and then onto Kenya wearing the RFCG brand name with great pride

It all started in 2012 with Alex Antrobus ( left ) and Murray Beaumont, who cycled from Joburg to Uganda and then onto Kenya. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Cycling is the new golf in the world, and it is one of the fastest growing sports in South Africa. Over the next couple of months the brand name will be seen at some of the countries premier long distance off road and on road cycling  events. Starting with the 55 km 94.7 MTB challenge on 10 November , then the 94.7 km road cycle challenge, The 110 km Cape Argus challenge in Cape Town in March and ending with the 900 km 9 day Joberg2C off road cycle event in April 2014. Exposure to the brand will be seen by a good few hundred new people, not to mention the times that it will be visible during all the training rides required to participate in these long distance events.

The Rare Finch Conservation Group is registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation and is totally dependant on donors and sponsors to carry out its finch conservation work. For more info visit http://www.rarefinch.org or write to the secretary at editor@avitalk.co.za

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New Red data book will soon be published

14 Oct
The Red Data book that was last published in 2000

The Red Data book that was last published in 2000. Photo Eelco Meyjes

Within the next 3 to 6 months BirdLife South Africa will publish the new Red Data book of the Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The issue was last published thirteen years ago in 2000. Prior to that copies were published in 1994 ,1984 and 1976.  For finch enthusiasts the Pink-throated Twinspots , Piedmannikin and the Lemon breasted Canary were all listed as Near threatened in the 2000 edition. No finches were listed in the 1994 issue and in 1984 the Piedmannikin was stated as Indeterminate and the Lemon-breasted Canary as Rare. For our international followers the reason why Lesotho and Swaziland are included in the survey is that these two little countries are both found within the borders of South Africa. It will certainly be very interesting to see which finches may have been listed in the new publication when it appears.  The Rare Finch Conservation Group is on stand bye to assist with conservation work wherever we can

African Birdlife is published by BirdLife South Africa

African Birdlife is published by BirdLife South Africa Photo Eelco Meyjes

For those finch enthusiasts that follow our blog on a regular basis we can strongly recommend that it is well worth becoming a member of BirdLife SA. One of  the many benefits of being a member is that you will receive the outstanding African Birdlife magazine which is published every two months by BLSA. The articles and photographs are truly world-class and cover all bird species found south of the Sahara desert. For more information visit http://www.birdlife.org.za

The above information is shared by the Rare Finch Conservation Group which is  registered in South Africa as a non-profit organisation. http://www.rarefinch.org

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