Lakeside launch of new bird guide
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.