The 2017 Adelaide Shorebirds Festival has kicked off at a special launch aboard a nature-inspired cruise on the Port River.
The festival is a month-long celebration during November, held throughout the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary. Events include bird spotting workshops, kayaking and snorkelling trips, a guided ranger walk and a film night.
Lisien Loan, who is manager of Parks and Sustainable Landscapes for the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Region said around 300 people took part in the two hour cruise aboard the Dolphin Explorer.
“Rangers and bird experts mixed with the local community, Friends groups, volunteers, Kaurna representatives and the Virginia Vietnamese community. The two hour cruise allowed everyone to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about the wildlife that lives throughout the Sanctuary.
“We’re thrilled to see the arrival once again this year of thousands of birds returning to our shores from the Arctic, and the Festival is a great way to welcome them home.”
The birds will remain along the coast from Port Adelaide to the top of Gulf St Vincent until March, feeding and fattening on the rich coastal environment, before returning to the northern hemisphere to breed.
Ms Loan said the mangroves, beaches, estuaries and rivers of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary are home to 263 unique fauna and flora species, including threatened bird species such as the Curlew Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot and Eastern Curlew.
“This area is an essential link in the global migratory journey of the birds, with the local mudflats and samphire fields of the 60 kilometre of coastline between Port Adelaide and the upper Gulf St Vincent providing a rich diet to help them fatten up before their next great migration back to the Arctic.”
For details and to book all Festival events, go to the Adelaide Shorebirds Festival 2017 events page.