Yvonne BosmanYvonne Bosman Honoured by Eastern Cape Birding

At a meeting of Bird Life Eastern Cape, held in Port Elizabeth on 11 April, 2017, Yvonne Bosman (formerly Craig) was awarded the “Tony Dechandt” Award for her outstanding contribution to birding in the Eastern Cape over the past twenty-four years.

When she moved to St Francis Bay with her late husband, Vic, in 1991, she said that she could not tell the difference between an ostrich & a mossie. It was not long before she was inspired by a talk at the Garden Club to join the PE Bird Club, and from then on she was hooked. She is now one of the acknowledged experts in the area, and is frequently consulted on birding matters.

Within two years she had started the St Francis Bay Bird Club, with six members. Apart from a short interlude, she has chaired it ever since. There are currently 85 paid-up members, drawn from all over the region, from Tsitsikamma to Patensie, Hankey, Jeffreys Bay, Paradise Beach, Cape St Francis & St Francis Bay; this, despite the need to rise well before dawn. It is a direct consequence of Yvonne’s enthusiasm, knowledge, commitment and organizing skills. Outings are held every first & third Friday of the month, come rain or shine, and Yvonne has identified some 20 good birding spots, many in places to which access would otherwise be denied. She also organizes longer four-day visits to more remote areas. Her low-key, friendly manner is largely responsible for the relaxed & friendly atmosphere within the club.

A most significant part of Yvonne’s voluntary activities is the contribution she makes to the Animal Demography Unit at UCT. This includes Oyster Catcher, CWAC & Car counts, with four teams operating between Palmietvlei and the Gamtoos; six-weekly monitoring of functioning and proposed wind farms in the area; and “atlassing” all over the country. Yvonne has personally completed more than 800 pentab cards, each requiring a minimum of 2 hours on the ground, and much time on the computer. For this she was awarded a “Milestone Award” by the Animal Demography Unit, based at UCT.

She has organized Birding Big Day activities, bird identification courses, talks to the general public, slide shows to raise funds for penguins, talks to schools, and has written articles on birds for the PE Bird Club magazine and for the local press.

On top of all this, she was for many years the St Francis Bay correspondent for “Our Times”, and  the indefatigable Secretary of the St Francis Kromme Trust. She now participates, with husband Peter, in Neighbourhood Watch patrols in St Francis Bay.

Yvonne is the most unassuming, caring and hospitable person one could ever hope to meet. She probably has little idea how much she has enriched the lives of those around her, and continues to do so. She is a most deserving recipient of this award by Bird Life Eastern Cape, and a wonderful member of the St Francis Bay community.

Note from St Francis Today

Yvonne has long been a major contributor to st Francis Today and regularly submits news on all manner of news. Congratulations on the award Yvonne, it is well desrved.