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Raiders of the Lost Lark: Team Profiles
Posted 1 February, 2005
Team leader and founder member of Raiders of the Lost Lark has been birding for 36 years, and is most interested in Larks and Cisticolas. He had participated in 9 BBD's before this one. He believes that north-eastern Gauteng/Western Mpumalanga is one of the most underrated birding areas in the country, and has been passionate about promote the area, particularly the grasslands north of Bronkhorstspruit which he describes as "exhilarating".
Etienne believes that the success of a BBD is dependant on "good analysis" and describes the 1st of December as "intensely satisfying ….for me it was the culmination of several years of learning and preparation, and I think the success was due to a fantastic team and disciplined intensity of focus on the day."
|Rob Geddes |
Rob started birding 36 years ago, and apart from a few years off in his late teens and early twenties, came back to birding through his professional involvement in botany. Rob lives in Dinokeng with wife Tionette and daughter. Rob has taken part in BBD for ten years, with the last five years being serious competitive attempts.
Rob has spent a great deal of time birding in the Mabusa-Mkhombo area, and his knowledge of this area is unmatched. Of the day Rob said: "It's great when a plan comes together"
|Faansie Peacock |
Faansie says that birds have been a part of his life as long as he can remember, and hates been called a "twitcher" as he believes that there is so much more to birds than ticking them off! Faansie is known as something of a bird-sound specialist and an expert on LBJ's. Faansie is currently writing and illustrating an identification guide to pipits.
In 2005 Faansie will be doing an Honours Degree at the University of Pretoria, with a focus on invasive bird species.
On the 2005 effort Faansie has this to say: "the moment that African Scops Owl (no. 300 for the day) chirped was one of the proudest, most glorious moments of my life. A memory that I cherish far higher than that of my first kiss or my matric graduation! "
|Richard Montinaro |
Richard is very well known among twitchers for his success in finding rare birds in the Gauteng region, particularly at Marievale Bird Sanctuary, which he regards as his local patch. He has found species such as the Asiatic Dowitcher and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. Although he has been birding for 12 years, this was Richards first BBD and he attributes the success to the "completely professional" attitude of his teammates, the many years of planning and intimate knowledge of the area we birded.
As regards the day itself "I was totally blown away with the whole concept. I enjoyed every moment and would recommend it to all."