Bird Nerd Paradise Found

Black Winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus)
Black Winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus)

G’day nature lovers,

I finally got my special pass to visit the special bird watching place in Byron Bay. I checked it out a few days ago, saw heaps of birds and am quite excited. I think I’m well on my way to becoming a proper bird nerd.

Black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
Black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)

Now, I might be a nature nerd, but I’m not necessarily a bird nerd. Don’t get me wrong I love birds, but proper bird nerds, identify, photograph and complete a list of what they’ve seen. I don’t keep a list, but I do all the other stuff. So, I suppose I’m bird-nerd-lite.

A few months ago I found about the special bird watching area in Byron. It is so special you have to fill out a form and the council then posts you a special access key. So, I filled out the form, and waited the 2-4 weeks, checking my post box every day, but no key arrived. I waited one more week (just in case they had been inundated with the requests of bird nerds) then went back to the council. They had sent it to the wrong address, so I could either wait another 2-4 days for another one to be sent, or I could go direct to the bird nerd access pass distribution office and pick one up straight away. I chose the latter.

Wetlands walk
Wetlands walk

The next day I grabbed one of my mates (when I check out new areas, I usually go with a mate – just in case). We drove to the “special place”, swiped my access card, we were in. I must say I had butterflies in my stomach I was so excited.

What we found was a bird nerd’s paradise. A special place, with different habitats, nice & quiet, no dogs or noisy people, lots & lots of birds and a wallaby.

We discovered the bird hide, I’d seen in pictures and I sat there with my binoculars, huge zoom lens and my stomach butterflies, seeing, identifying and photographing my heart out.

After about 15 minutes, I could see my mate was getting a bit bored and was gazing at her Fitbit, so I suggested we do a explorey-walk. We walked around tracks and wetlands, I stopped and took photos where I could. We walked about 5.5km (7000 steps).

I will return soon either on my own or with another bird nerd, bird nerd lite or photographer.

Just for the record the birds we saw were:

  • Backwinged stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
  • Black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
  • Australasian grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
  • Comb-crested Jacana  –  Irediparra gallinacean
  • Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
  • Black swan (Cygnus atratus)
  • Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
  • Pied cormorant (Phalacrocorax varius)
  • Whitefaced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)
  • Purple swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus)
  • Dusky moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa)
  • Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
  • Australian wood duck (Chenonetta jubata)
  • Little shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha)
  • Superb Fairy-Wren (Malurus cyaneus)
  • Rainbow bee-eater (Merops ornatus)
  • And a Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

And that’s just from memory, and looking at my photos- I didn’t write a list as I walked, perhaps I should of. Maybe my transition into a fully-fledged bird nerd is closer than I thought.

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Enjoy your journey.



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