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Shorebirds and Seabirds on and off the Port Stephens Coastline

Community Forum

Shorebirds and Seabirds on and off the Port Stephens Coastline

Join EcoNetwork on Sunday 4 August 2024 for our second Annual Bird Forum. In August 2023, we brought you Woodland Birds and this year it’s the tern of the seabirds, shorebirds and other wetlands species!

Enjoy an afternoon of engaging presentations about the incredible diversity of coastal birds in beautiful Port Stephens. This will be a rare opportunity to hear from experts and researchers and find out about the latest bird monitoring and recovery programs they are working on.

Did you know that the endangered Gould’s Petrel breeds almost exclusively on Port Stephens islands?

We hope our forum will inform and excite bird enthusiasts, and supply you with some basic knowledge to identify bird species, observe their behaviours and above all, appreciate their existence.

Read the program below and register!


Sunday 4 August Program

1.30pm: Pelagic surveys off the Port Stephens Coast: Presented by Mick Roderick. 

Mick’s talk will focus on the wide variety of seabirds, and other ‘sea monsters’, he and his fellow enthusiasts have encountered during these trips which take him to the ‘edge of Australia’: the continental shelf. 

2.15pm: Ecology and Recovery of the Gould’s Petrel – Australia’s Rarest Endemic Seabird: Presented by Dr Yuna Kim.

Dr Kim will introduce us to the endangered Gould’s Petrel, outline the processes putting them at risk and the recovery actions which are bringing them back from the brink.

3.00pm: Tea Break

3.30pm: Migration, shorebirds and the Port Stephens Connection: Presented by Neil Fraser.

Both migratory and endemic shorebird species are present in Port Stephens and ours is the second most important site in NSW, Neil will give us the lowdown on what birds we have living amongst us, their migration journeys and what’s needed to protect their habitats.

4.15pm: Our charismatic coastal birds – a photographic experience: Presented by Mat Spillard.

Mat will share some tips and techniques he uses when out in the field and he’ll let us into his secret spots for great bird photography! We will also get to see many of Mat’s stunning images, both in print and on the screen – and no doubt we’ll enjoy a few laughs too!

5.00pm: Finish

Nankeen Night Heron – Photo © Mat Spillard

Optional Field Outing on another day

TBC – email your interest to the Forum Coordinator.

Our Forum Presenters

Mick Roderick

Mick Roderick joined BirdLife Australia’s Woodland Birds Team in 2012 and is now the Woodland Bird Program Lead as well as the Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator. You might be wondering what this woodland bird guru is doing at a water bird forum – come along and find out!

Mick is based in Newcastle and is the current vice president (and former president) of the Hunter Bird Observers Club, and is a member of the NSW Ornithological Records Appraisal Committee. Since 2010 he has been leading pelagic birding trips off Port Stephens and openly admits to being a ‘petrel-head’.

Dr Yuna Kim

Dr Yuna Kim is a passionate seabird conservationist with 15 years of dedicated work in the field. She earned her PhD from Macquarie University in Sydney, focusing on the conservation of Gould’s Petrel, Australia’s rarest petrel. 

Yuna’s work extends beyond Australia, including research on Swinhoe’s Storm-Petrel in Korea, where she is originally from, and various Antarctic birds on King George Island. She specialises in investigating foraging ecology using tracking devices, providing scientific evidence to support conservation actions.

Yuna was also a seabird-fisheries consultant for Birdlife International and is a member of Birdlife Australia and the Australasian Seabirds Group.

Neil Fraser

Neil Fraser is a retired geologist who has a passion for studying and documenting avian activity in and around Port Stephens. He has been actively monitoring species populations in Mambo-Wanda Wetlands Reserve, Worimi Conservation Lands at Stockton Beach, Swan Bay and Broughton Island for many years, and has published a number of related research articles.

Neil has been a member of Hunter Bird Observers Club for over 20 years and is a joint-editor of the Club’s journal, The Whistler. As a member of the Tomaree Birdwatchers (a branch of NSW Bird Atlassers), Neil is our local ‘go to man’ for all things BIRD!

Mathew Spillard

Since moving to Port Stephens 12 years ago, photography became a great form of escapism for Mat and the perfect way to explore the local area. Enjoying the beautiful landscapes, Mat soon found himself drawn to the bush and lagoon systems throughout the area, where he got to observe a large variety of birdlife, many species for the first time. Over the past few years he has photographed many of our regular Port Stephens birds as well as our seasonal visitors.

Mat believes that ‘spending time in the bush you really get to appreciate to importance of conserving and protecting our local habitats to safeguard them for the wildlife’s future. I often think when I have photographed a new species to me, that I really hope I see that again. The more interest we get in the ecosystem the better it will be for our future generations.’

This is a FREE event and places are limited: BOOK NOW SORRY – WE ARE FULLY BOOKED.

Your donation towards resources and refreshments would be much appreciated!

For all enquiries, contact Forum Coordinator, Ewa Meyer.

This event is organised by EcoNetwork Port Stephens with the kind support from members of BirdLife Australia and the Hunter Bird Observers Club.

Published: 15 Jun 2024