A team of volunteers has worked day
and night for the past week to bring you this project. The idea
was conceived by Adam Welz, now sitting in New York running international
publicity for 350.org. Deirdre Vrancken
of Birding Africa drove the process in South Africa, marshalling
web designers Iaan van Niekerk and Cindy of PlusPlusMinus.
The project was also partnered with BirdLife
South Africa, and promoted by director Mark Anderson and Nikki
McCartney. Adam also roped in a Joel Avni, a fellow photo-journalist
who coordinates a training project for ringers and is a keen bird
photographer. As the project gathered more momentum, Deirdre also
enrolled Campbell Fleming, a scholar who did a work shadow at Birding
Africa, local birder Gordon Botha, and Sally
Hofmeyr, a PhD student at the ADU. Birding Africa's Callan
Cohen handled problem identifications and processing.
The wave of photographs that started rolling in on Saturday morning
soon overwhelmed the Birding Africa office, the system set up to
process the pictures, and the hands on the keyboards. They worked
pretty much non-stop on the project, collapsing for a few hours
sleep each night and ignoring all other responsibilities for the
past four days. All were inspired by the enthusiastic photographers
who set out to chronicle the lives of avifauna as diverse as feral
pigeons and Baillon's Crake over the course of one day. They used
cameras as diverse as cellphones and rigs that could be pawned for
the down payment on a small palace.
Some were expert birders; some had never before aimed a lens at
anything, others were professional photographers. But almost everyone
who registered for the event set about the task with unbridled enthusiasm.
The team has been slaving away ever since to process these images
and put them up on these pages for you. There are still some loose
ends, but we hope you appreciate the output from this people's project.
Reason for celebration: 350 different species processed!! Now just
over 1000 photographs left to process!
From left to right: Joel Avni, Campbell Fleming, Deirdre
Vrancken and Callan
The team shares the news with 350-24-24 brainchild Adam Welz; he's
at the 350.org headquarters in New York. Back to
work after that! Campbell Fleming dissects the database and finds
new species. He adds these on the main
gallery while Deirdre adds them to the Birdlife
South Africa bird species list.
Gordon Botha and Deirdre Vrancken making sure to show at least one
image per photographer.
Sally Hofmeyr, Joel Avni and Deirdre Vrancken on (late) night shifts,
entering photographers' names and captions. They verify that each
bird species appears only once in the main gallery. They send
duplicates to the overflow
Photos above taken in the Birding
Africa offices by Callan Cohen.
Joel photographs a Steppe Buzzard with Cape Town on the background
on the day of the Challenge. Just one
image of a Steppe Buzzard will appear in the main
gallery. Any others may appear in the overflow
Callan, Joel and the buzzard on the day of the Challenge, 24 October
2009. Later-on, they'll post photos of
photographers taken on the day in the photographers
gallery. Any species above the 350th will show there too!
About Birding Africa
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company
customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders.
We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and
other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's
most diverse birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent.
We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds.
Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated
to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and
unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small
birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation
Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and
consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the
BBC Natural History Unit.