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Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay began with a meeting of a small group of interested people in February 1997. Their first outing was to a now favourite location - Arkarra Lagoons at Dundowran.
Since then, membership has changed and grown to an average number of 35-45 people. They come from all walks of life, but their common interests bind them into a friendly, supportive, collaborative and successful group. They particularly welcome visitors on outings as it is an opportunity to show them the exceptional and varied wildlife Hervey Bay has to offer.
Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay have a genuine and keen interest in the natural world and wish for it to remain for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. They believe Hervey Bay has a rich diversity of birds, insects, reptiles and indigenous animals in a variety of natural environments that deserve appreciation and protection. With that in mind, they are happy to share their knowledge and hope their interest and enthusiasm spreads to others.
Weekly outings are held for bird spotting and accurate recording at various locations around the Fraser Coast area. Many visits are to private properties, where owners welcome the Birdwatchers because they respect and appreciate the privilege and provide the owner with an increased awareness of birdlife and habitat that exist on their property.
Arkarra Lagoons is considered a top site because of the diverse range of habitats and birds. Around 180 different species have been identified in this area. Importantly, the natural habitats are preserved as much as possible, from grasses and understorey growth to waterways and many species of shrubs and trees, providing rich food sources and safe nesting sites.
A notable achievement of Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay is the construction of a migratory wader bird hide at Mathieson's property to facilitate sightings of these birds. Migratory waders travel thousands of kilometres around the globe. Now, they face greater challenges as more of their habitats are being reclaimed for human development. Several members of Birdwatchers regularly monitor sightings at Mathiesen's and other locations around Hervey Bay. By monitoring wader populations and providing data for the Queensland Wader Study Group database, high-level, informed decisions can be made regarding their conservation.
For more information, phone John Knight (group organiser) on (07) 4125 2372.