BIRD'S EYE VIEW: Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay organiser John Knight and 20-year member Marilyn Sweetnam with a copy of Birds of the Fraser Coast, launched yesterday. The book documents the hundreds of species of unique birds that call the Fraser Coast home.
BIRD'S EYE VIEW: Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay organiser John Knight and 20-year member Marilyn Sweetnam with a copy of Birds of the Fraser Coast, launched yesterday. The book documents the hundreds of species of unique birds that call the Fraser Coast home. Blake Antrobus

Birdwatchers launch new guide to Coast's feathered friends

JUST off the top of his head, John Knight can name hundreds of different birds he's spent the past 20 years documenting on the Fraser Coast.

And after a two-year labour of love, he's helped compile a guide to all the region's feathered friends.

Birds of the Fraser Coast, produced by the Hervey Bay Birdwatching Group, in partnership with the Fraser Coast Regional Council, provides an in-depth guide to the hundreds of species of local birds.

The book uses photos of birds captured by group members, including Mr Knight, over the years.

Mr Knight estimated about 300 different species frequented the Fraser Coast including pelicans, ospreys, brolgas and sea eagles.

"It (bird watching) is a very popular activity that has been going since we started in 1997," Mr Knight told the Chronicle.

"A lot of effort went into producing this book and it took just over two years to source the photos and the information about the species found in our region.

"But to see how it turned out after all this time and to hold a physical copy of the book is great for us."

Fraser Coast councillor David Lewis said the activities of the birdwatchers group were essential given 24 species in the Fraser Coast were listed as vulnerable or endangered.

"(It) makes their presence here even more important," Cr Lewis said.

"Our coastal mudflats and foreshore areas provide significant roosts for migratory shorebirds, thousands of which travel annually from their northern hemisphere breeding grounds to escape winter and feed here during our spring and summer.

"Once the ice has melted and food is once again abundant... the birds instinctively return to their birthplace to breed again."

The book can be purchased from the council's administration buildings, tourism information centres, Mary Ryan's and the Fraser Coast Community Nursery.



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