As the Far South Coast Birdwatchers club reaches the quarter-century milestone, it is an opportune time to take a look at what has been achieved by this organisation.
A dedicated and sustained commitment of a core group of birdwatching enthusiasts - some of them founding members of the club - combined with the enthusiastic participation in a variety of activities by other members, has made this Bega Valley-based club an enduring success, and a wonderful asset to the community.
The primary focus of the club has always been the meetings and the walks. Meetings that are both interesting and educational have been produced by informative and often highly entertaining talks by guest speakers; and the sharing of bird photography by members and relaxed socialising over supper have always fostered friendships and brought people together.
The walks, which cover a large area of the Far South Coast, have introduced many of us to the often undiscovered beauty and diversity of this region, especially as the club is regularly invited on to private properties.
In addition, for those who are keen to play an active role in the conservation and protection of birdlife, there are a variety of ongoing projects that the club has either initiated, or else is involved with, which always require volunteers.
But the greatest strength of this club has always been it's inclusiveness, openness, and appeal to the widest spectrum of birdwatchers.
Professionals in the field and "entry-level" birdwatchers alike can find much stimulation and enjoyment by attending the evening meetings, by joining in the regular walks scheduled throughout the year, or by participating in field work of various kinds.
FSCB has covered a lot of ground since it began in 1995. Now, in 2020, the club is increasingly able to expand its horizons by working with other bird-oriented organisations, and through the social media platform of Facebook.
Hopefully, an increasing number of people of all ages and levels of interest will join this enthusiastic group, and discover the fascination and pleasure that birdwatching can bring to life.
The club will be celebrating this special year on the 14th of November at Mandeni, with a 9am walk followed by lunch at the Golf Centre. We hope that some former members will be able to attend, and of course, new members will be extremely welcome.