Wonders of our Wetlands event takes flight at Coodanup foreshore

Brothers Alex and Hamish learn from Peel Catchment Centre’s Thelma Crooke.
Brothers Alex and Hamish learn from Peel Catchment Centre’s Thelma Crooke.

BUDDING bird watchers and nature enthusiasts had the chance to see nature at its finest at the Wonders of our Wetlands event at Coodanup foreshore’s bird sanctuary.

The City of Mandurah free event, held in partnership with Peel Harvey Catchment Centre, gave people the chance to become a citizen scientist for the day and contribute to the conservation of the wetland birds of the Ramsar-listed Peel-Yalgorup Wetland.

Every year, up to 150,000 migratory and resident shorebirds make their summer homes in the Peel-Yalgorup wetland system.

Citizen science projects are a vital part of monitoring the birds and their migratory patterns.

Participants observed 82 Caspian terns, six great knot and 42 bar-tailed godwit.

The great knot and the bar-tailed godwit are migratory birds, flying from Asia each year to feed on the mudflats of the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

Newcomers to bird watching were helped by ornithologist Bill Rutherford, who was on hand in the bird hide to help use scopes and identify birds.

Younger participants also enjoyed using the microscopes to examine the smaller life forms the birds feed on, including species like dragonfly larvae.

In 2009, the City, PHCC and Alcoa joined forces to build the Nairns bird hide.

It will be open every morning for residents to get involved in bird watching.

There are many other ways the community can be involved in bird watching, including the annual Shorebird 2020 Count, or by downloading the free citizen science mobile app, Birdata.

The Birdata app is available for free download on Birdlife Australia’s website.