Detailed List of Retreats

Getting To Know The Birds And Trees At The BRC: 160 birds of a feather

Teacher: Crystelle Wilson and Chris Dalzell
Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R200 surcharge
Dates: Friday 02 February 2018 - Sunday 04 February 2018

crystelle wilson with gustavchristopher dalzellJoin Crystelle and Chris for an enjoyable weekend of identifying some of the BRC’s 160 species of birds (including the summer residents, the rare Blue Swallow, Knysna Turaco and Emerald Cuckoo) and getting to know the indigenous trees and many of the wild flowers that grow there. You will also have a chance to be part of the indigenous forest by planting your own tree. The weekend includes learning how to identify the most common trees in KwaZulu Natal, how to dig and plant a tree, how to maintain it, and what butterflies and birds are attracted to these trees for nectar or fruit. Walk the verdant hills and meadows among the wild flowers, close to where the Blue Swallows nest, and enjoy the rare orchids, tree ferns and yellowwoods.  Included will be talks, chi kung, meditation and some quiet time communing with nature. Bring your binoculars and a sunhat.

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Chris Dalzell was Curator of Durban Botanical Gardens where he was in charge of special collections. He has studied, lectured and travelled internationally, collecting plant specimens from USA, Canada, Brazil, S.E. Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  For many years he guided the South African exhibition at the international Chelsea Flower Show where his stall was consistently awarded Gold and Silver-Gilt Medals. He was appointed Assistant Director for the development of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. He currently runs his own landscaping business Chris Dalzell Landscapes.

Crystelle Wilson describes herself as a writer, artist, birder and dog-walker who is passionate about the environment. She has a Fine Arts Degree and postgraduate diploma in Journalism. She participated in art exhibitions in Durban and Johannesburg, and worked on newspapers in both cities.  She is the editor of KZN Birds, the newsletter for  branches of BirdLife South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal, and is a keen participant in SABAP2, the citizen’s science project of the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape town, to map the distribution of birds across Southern Africa.