Lake­side launch of new bird guide

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Wim­mera Catch­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity and Stawell Cam­era Club launched a re­vised edi­tion of The Glove­box Guide to Wim­mera Wet­land Birds at Stawell’s Cato Lake as part of Na­tional Bird Week.

The launch on Mon­day co­in­cided with Birdlife Aus­tralia’s Aussie Bird Count, which calls on all Aus­tralians to be­come vol­un­teer coun­ters and con­trib­ute to a na­tional data­base of Aus­tralian birds. Last year more than 61,000 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated and counted more than 1.4-mil­lion birds.

Renowned Wim­mera bird re­searcher Jonathan Starks helped up­date the Wim­mera guide, first pub­lished in 2004.

Mr Starks said when the guide was first printed the re­gion was in the grips of drought and many wet­lands were dry.

“When the mil­len­nium drought broke in 2010 we saw a lot of wet­land birds return that hadn’t been seen in the Wim­mera for many years,” he said.

“We also have en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter for wet­lands and through mon­i­tor­ing we are see­ing many dif­fer­ent wet­land birds return, plus new ones.”

Mr Starks said at Dock Lake near Hor­sham, for ex­am­ple, he saw whiskered terns breed­ing in the Wim­mera for the first time.

Wim­mera CMA wa­ter­ways of­fi­cer Greg Fletcher said many of the stock images from the first guide had been re­placed with Stawell Cam­era Club images.

“It is fan­tas­tic to have the op­por­tu­nity to up­date and im­prove this guide,” he said.

“It also con­tains in­ter­est­ing notes about each wet­land bird.

“Hav­ing lo­cal pho­tos taken by lo­cal peo­ple makes the re­vised guide even more special.”

Mr Fletcher said Wim­mera CMA was start­ing a so­cial me­dia cam­paign as part of the launch, so peo­ple could get a free copy of the guide.

“All they have to do is head out­doors and take pho­tos of wet­land birds and share them on Face­book, In­sta­gram or Twit­ter us­ing the hash­tage #wim­mer­awa­ter­ways #wim­mer­awa­ter­birds,” he said.

“We’ll then post them a free copy of the guide.”

He said peo­ple also had the op­por­tu­nity to sub­mit pho­tos of wet­land birds for fu­ture edi­tions.

“We loved be­ing able to se­lect images from Stawell Cam­era Club for this edi­tion and are al­ways in­ter­ested in see­ing Wim­mera wet­land birds in their nat­u­ral habi­tat,” he said.

“It also com­ple­ments our own mon­i­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties if some­one sees a wet­land bird in an area we haven’t seen them be­fore.”

Peo­ple can regis­ter for the Birdlife Aus­tralia Aussie Bird Count at www. aussiebird­count.org.au. or

PASSION: Trudy Rus­sell from Stawell Cam­era Club sets up her cam­era dur­ing the launch of The Glove­box Guide to Wim­mera Wet­land Birds. Trudy’s pho­tos of a Great Cor­morant, Dusky Moorhen, Whiskered Tern and Aus­tralian Reed­war­bler fea­ture in the new guide.

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