Wading in for survey of Lake Illawarra birdlife

Adam Woods with Illawarra Birders Club's Paul Nesbitt and Martin Potter. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN
Adam Woods with Illawarra Birders Club's Paul Nesbitt and Martin Potter. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Lake Illawarra's birdlife will be put under the microscope this weekend as volunteers attempt to learn more about the popular spot's flora and fauna.

Illawarra Birders Club members will join representatives from the Wetland Carers Network (WCN) to scour the wetland for a wader bird count.

The survey, part of the Shorebirds 2020 project, aims to record data about what birds inhabit the area, where they live and how to spot them.

Tomorrow's survey coincides with World Wetlands Day - an annual event to remind people of the importance of wetlands.

WCN wetlands program officer Adam Woods said the region's wetlands had long been home to migratory birds and were a popular recreation spot.

"It's not just about protecting the environment but looking after these recreation sites too," he said.

"Kayakers and fishermen really depend on the health of these environments - we've seen it recently at the Shoalhaven River where there has been wetland management, it's been really important to the area."

Mr Woods said Illawarra wetlands had been under threat for several years, making projects like the wader bird survey critical to their survival.

"There are not a lot of wetlands left in the Illawarra ... they're often seen as a bit of a wasteland so they're demolished for better views," he said.

"The surveys help to provide valuable data about what birds are in the wetland, which can be used to indicate the wetland's health and the overall environment so it's very important.

"These volunteers give up their own time to offer their expertise - it's that idea of 'citizen science', it's making it possible to undertake this valuable research."

Volunteers can meet at Windang Foreshore Park at 8am.


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