This is the 6th year I’ve celebrated World Migratory Bird Day with my community.
Hobsons Bay has wetlands that support several species of migratory shore birds; ones that travel every year from the Arctic Tundra, where they breed, along the eastern edge of Asia all the way to us, where they spend the summer. Their survival is precarious as the habitats on which they depend are given over to industry.
Our event has grown from small beginnings. In 2014 the Newport Community Choir startled a Friends group on a weeding and planting day, with a song about the Eastern Curlew, and now, a few years later, we are firmly in the council calendar. This year, as enthusiasm and support has grown, there were two events. Actually, if you count me and Sarah telling bird stories at children’s story time in the Altona Meadows Library - its three!
The big day began in the Newport Community Hub and was child focused. Our rangers are pretty passionate about the importance of engaging young people. This is the ranger’s event and they have the support of local musicians, artists and scientists.
In the afternoon at the Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre in Altona, a second wave of people gathered for the launch of the Overwintering Project - a print project run by the indefatigable artist, Kate Gorringe-Smith.
I was madly snapping away with my phone camera, harvesting as much of a record of the day as I could. Enjoy and be inspired to create conservation events in your community.
Unfortunately, not captured on the day, was the Newport Community Choir singing a song about the East Asian Australasian Flyway and the journey of a tiny bird - the Red-necked stint. This song was written especially for us by local author Fiona Price and set firmly in Hobsons Bay. Its a gem and such a delight to sing. Yes I’m in the soprano section!