Birdwatchers in full flight
By ROXANNE MILLAR
THEY are imagined as the quiet type, partial to khaki and strange hats and always holding a pair of binoculars ? but perceptions can be deceiving when it comes to birdwatchers.
Just ask Tweed Bird Observers treasurer Marion Williams, an avid birdwatcher who has put together a brochure to attract more "birders" to the Tweed.
"Most of us grow up loving nature and having a look around, and our passion starts when we hear a call and wonder what it is," she said.
"We like to get ticks against birds, or we just like 'birding' because of the enjoyment of the walk."
To keep the Tweed competitive with other birdwatching destinations, Ms Williams and the observers group have produced a brochure detailing birdwatching spots in the Tweed.
Taking more than 12 months to research and write, the detailed brochure was launched over the weekend and pinpoints 13 sites in the shire to find interesting birds including Mebbin National Park and Crams Farm.
"They are places we visit through the club and places I like as well," she said.
The brochure makes birdwatching easy with clear directions, maps and information on picnic spots and wheelchair access at each site. It even includes an egret nesting site and a lyrebird walk.
Ms Williams said the Tweed was already a top spot for birdwatching and the brochure would attract even more people.
"We have 225 species accounted for in the Tweed, which isn't bad. The Terranora Broadwater has 75 species ? the most of any site we have visited.
"Birdwatching can be an obsession for some people and there is lots of money in it worldwide through 'bird trips' where people travel to get ticks against some birds," she said.
"I went to Ireland and England recently and saw 95,000 different types of colonies and got 50 new species."
This week is Bird Week and until October 30 there will be displays on birds, along with the brochures, at the Tweed and Murwillumbah libraries.