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Free bird watching masterclass ahead of bird count

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A Superb Fruit-Dove was spotted in Baldwin Swamps just a few weeks ago. Photo courtesy of Bev Bennet

Residents participating in the Backyard Bird Count can brush up on their skills by spotting some of the more than 130 species found in Baldwin Swamp Environmental Park.

The Council event, coordinated by the natural areas team, will be delivered by Birdlife Bundaberg from 8 am on Sunday October 18.

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count will then kick off the following day, being held from October 19 – 25.

Birdlife Bundaberg Convenor Nev Capell will lead the walk, sharing decades of experience.

“I started when I was five or six years old,” Nev said.

“I had two uncles that were right into birdwatching and they used to travel around Australia tracking birds in those days.

“There was a freedom of the birds. What got me, they just got up and flew wherever they wanted.”

The now 65-year-old bird watches regularly, including two or three trips each week into Baldwin Swamp.

“When I first came to Bundaberg which was 16/17 years ago, I was only here a couple of weeks when I found Baldwin.

“I was just amazed at what you had sitting in the middle of this great big town.

“The amount of birdlife in there is really awesome.

“You can go down to Baldwin and find 60 – 70 species in a few hours.

“The bird variety is just amazing.

“Finding nesting birds and young ones that’s probably the biggest buzz of all.”

Ahead of the Backyard Bird Count residents can learn from Nev firsthand how to spot and identify birds.

“The main idea of doing this is to get people used to counting the birds for the Bird Count.

“I do surveys all the time.

“My main interest is shorebirds but all birds are import to count to find the trends of where they’re disappearing and where they’re flourishing.”

Bundaberg Regional Council environment portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said the Bundaberg Region was ideal for bird watching because of the diversity of its natural areas.

“One of the best locations for bird watching is Baldwin Swamp Environmental Park as there is a variety of vegetation types, including lakes, wetlands, vine forest, bushland and grassy areas,” Cr Honor said.

“Over 130 types of birds have been recorded in the park.

“The Bundaberg Port is another location for seeing coastal birds on the mudflats, in the mangroves and around the river entrance.

“Thirty-five rare or threatened species have been listed in the Bundaberg region such as the black-breasted button quail and the glossy black cockatoo.”

He encouraged residents to take part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

“Participating in the bird count provides valuable data to assist in understanding areas where birds live and their overall population numbers.

“A long term data sets allows us to see where bird numbers have decreased or increased and to help discover why.

“The app that is provided by Birdlife Australia to use for the bird count includes an excellent bird identification tool to assist even the novice bird watcher.”

The Baldwin Swamp bird walk event is free to attend but numbers are capped so booking is essential.

RSVP to parksadministration@bundaberg.qld.gov.au or Contact Parks Administration on 1300 883 699.

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