10 – 12 May 2013 – a milestone celebration…
When we received it early in the year, it probably didn’t take us longer than 2 seconds to accept Michele Tarboton’s invite to Warwick’s 70’s birthday bash. After all, this was bound to be a party of note! The first part of the year has flown by and the weekend arrived for us to pack our bags and head off to Modimolle, catching our flight at 8am on Friday morning. It was great to be part of a large delegation of people from all over the country and continent that descended on Combretum Park just outside Modimolle, previously known as Nylstroom.
Combretum Park is a privately owned nature reserve with some small chalets and a camping area set in some wonderful patches of Acacia woodland very close to the famous Nylsvlei Nature Reserve. Fortunately, because we were travelling from far, we were allocated a chalet for the weekend as we couldn’t lug all our camping equipment along with us. This was a relief as it meant we didn’t have to go through the pain of setting up camp… but it didn’t stop us having a bit of a laugh as we watched some of our friends setting up their tent…:)
After picking up our hire car, the drive to Modimolle was quiet and uneventful. The calls of Grey Go-away birds confirmed that we were now in the heart of the bushveld, a part of our country that we don’t get to see enough of and that we miss terribly when we are not there!
With all the good intentions of doing some serious birding, attempting to get some photos and maybe even finding some rarities, most of the weekend turned into a social gathering of note, catching up with old friends and getting to know new ones. The evenings were most entertaining with slide shows shown by a number of people. A very interesting video of a Crowned Eagle on a nest and a hilarious video of a Honey Badger trying his luck with an Aardvark had us in hysterics, but the best photos had to be those of Warwick ranging from a longer haired stud climbing trees to him standing in a vlei with no pants on…:)
All too quickly, we had to start packing again with lunch served at Grobbelaar’s residence halfway between Modimolle and the airport. A huge thank you to Michele and Warwick for inviting us to be part of this memorable occasion. We had an amazing time!! Happy birthday Warwick!