Sanctuary takes flight

MELVILLE’S new bird sanctuary will tip its wings to World Migratory Bird Day this morning (Saturday October 14) with its first official event after being approved by Melville council and the state environment department earlier this year.

The event is being run by the Swan Estuary Reserves Action Group and Friends of Melville Bird Sanctuary  between 8 – 11am at Troy Park.   

• Some common greenshanks have dropped in after flying over from Japan. Sadly the ‘common’ bit isn’t really an appropriate name given they’re on Australia’s threatened species list.

Every year, trans-equatorial migratory birds make an amazing journey from the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) to ‘overwinter’ in the Southern Hemisphere.  Some of these migratory birds such as Bar-tailed Godwits even fly the entire 13,000+ kms journey non-stop.   

FOMBS co-founder Jenny Christenson said the Melville Bird Sanctuary was fortunate to be one of the destinations for these migratory birds as they “‘overwinter” at the mudflats and coastal saltmarshes, feeding furiously to put back the weight lost in flights over, to enable them to fly back to the Arctic about seven months later.  

Some of the birds, such as the red-necked stint, weigh as little as a Tim Tam.

“Sadly, their numbers have dwindled over time through habitat loss and degradation, hunting, fishing and pollution along their flight path and destinations,” Ms Christenson said.

There will be telescopes, binoculars and experienced birders on hand during the event, while there’ll also be kids’ activities. 

Look for the gazebo at the Attadale foreshore opposite 168 Burke Drive, Attadale. 

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