G’day nature lovers,
I love birds, I’m not sure I’m a fully-fledged bird nerd yet, but I think I’m well on my way. 23-29 October 2017 is Bird Week; there will be lots of activities for bird lovers of all ages, abilities and interest. Here are some of my suggestions for bird-tastic activities to get your feathers wet.
The Great Aussie Bird Count
The annual Great Aussie Bird Count is on again this year. What’s great about this is, its Australia wide, you can count anywhere. It’s probably easier to count in your own back yard, but you can also count on your walk, park, where ever. Birdlife Australia use all the information submitted to provide a snapshot of Australian birds at the same time each year which gives them great data for their valuable conversation work.
How do you do it?
- Check out their website https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/ or download their app Aussie Bird Count app
- From 23 -29 October set aside 20 mins (birds are more active around dawn and dusk), you can do it just once, twice or every day if you like.
- Identify the birds; they have great identification tools to help you. I find a great way of learning not just birds but all wildlife and insects is to take a photo or video of it then to identify it later using the internet or my field guide book. If you’re not sure what the bird is, leave it out.
- Submit your checklist (via the app or website)
Join a Bird Watching Group activity
Byron Bird Buddies, is my closest group, they will be running heaps of activities during bird week which include:
- Sunday 22 October 1pm OPENING of EVENTS at Bangalow Heritage House on Ashton Street in Bangalow. Activities include a short walk on the Byron Creek Walking Track (Brochure Walk No. 4), bird art display, guest speakers and kid’s activities. Refreshments provided. A gold donation appreciated.
- **Monday 23 October 8‐12pm, Mullumbimby Heritage Park and River Walk (Brochure Walk No.19). Meet, Tyagarah St near the tennis courts and entrance to Heritage Park, for a walk along the river and later view the bird art display at the Byron Shire Council, Library & Ex‐Servicemen’s Club.
- **Tuesday 24 October 8‐12pm, Suffolk Park Pedestrian / Bike Track (Brochure Walk No. 2). Meet at entrance to bike track off Broken Head Road (north‐end of Byron Holiday Park opposite golf course). Later, view Bird Art Display at the Byron Bay Library. CAUTION: limited parking and busy road. Consider parking at Golf Course and walk back.
- Wednesday 25 October 10‐11am, Byron Bay Library presentation “Birds of Byron Shire” and art display. Includes a short bird walk in the nearby bush.
- **Thursday 26 October 8‐2pm at Goonengerry National Park (Brochure Walk No 22) 5km guided walk. Meet at the national park car park, end of Garrong Road (access off Coolamon Scenic Drive at the top of the range into Mill Road). Car pool, if necessary, at Goonengerry School.
- Friday 27 October 8‐2pm at SeaPeace Property, Ewingsdale. A morning of bird monitoring. Participation only by request or invitation. Later, view art display at the Cavanbah Centre.
- Saturday 28 October 10am, Murwillumbah Community Centre, Knox Park. “Birds of Tweed Shire” presentation by BBB ‐ Jan Olley for Tweed Landcare celebrating 20 years. View Jeff Gant’s art class near the venue entrance.
- **Sunday 29 October 8‐3pm, Byron Wetlands . Morning walk & afternoon presentations. Gate will open at 7.45am for an 8am meet. For the presentation the gate will be opened between 1.45pm & 2pm ‐ if you are late please phone 0428 864 378. Light refreshments provided but please also bring a plate of nibbles to share and/or bring your own lunch, if staying all day. View Art Display at the Cavanbah Centre.
** Bookings essential as numbers are limited **
Please book via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0428 864 378
Check out your nearest Bird Watching groups activities at http://www.birdlife.org.au/events or just google it.
Go on a bird watching tour
Byron Eco Cruise and Kayaks have some awesome bird watching experiences on their 1.5 hour cruises or their kayaking experiences. They’ve won many awards for their tours including 2016 Best Eco Tour in NSW (and they’ve just found out they’re in the running again this year).
Their cruises cost $50pp their kayak and cruise costs $95.
Vision Walks – Eco Tours Bird Watching Tour with Gary Opit. Gary is the ABC Local radio Wildlife expert, he’s been hosting a show called Wildlife Wednesdays for the past 20 years and working as an environmental scientist for 40+ years. His knowledge of the local environment is unsurpassed.
Cost: $200pp (twin share)
Grab a field book, some binoculars, camera and get out there and do it yourself. Start by identifying one bird at a time and you will build your bird repertoire in no time.