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Nature Conservation Margaret River Region will celebrate our incredible native birds at its next community event, which includes a free guided birdwatching walk and hands-on conservation work to boost bird habitat.

One of our region’s top birdlife experts, Christine Wilder, will lead the walk along the banks of the Margaret River at the St Alouarn foreshore, joined by Nature Conservation staff on Thursday, April 4 from 9.30am.

That will be followed by a hands-on volunteer busy bee to restore riparian vegetation that is vital feed and habitat for many of our small birds.

Ms Wilder is the convenor of BirdLife WA’s Cape to Cape Bird Group and she said the Margaret River region was blessed with some of the most stunning, unique and special birds to be found in Australia.

“Visiting or living near Margaret River means at some time you may find yourself beside our unique river,” she said. “If you step out and walk along its banks, you will discover the abundant plants and wildlife it sustains. Birds especially are numerous, way too many to describe in detail in just a few lines.

“The rare Black Bittern occasionally seen skulking amongst the reedy rivulets, the annual arrival of the technicolour Rainbow Bee-eaters near a significant river bend, the cryptic Western Yellow Robin suddenly motionless on a trunk of peppermint, the trilling call of the Fan-tailed Cuckoo ringing through the fringing forest – just a few mini experiences to be absorbed when river birding.

“The most awesome sight for me is watching a Square-tailed Kite floating through the Karri canopy near town bridge, with picnickers in the park often unaware of this special migratory bird of prey flying above them. It is calming to stop for a few quiet minutes – to sit, listen and watch – and chance upon an unexpected secret bird moment at the river’s edge.”

The guided birdwatching walk and conservation busy bee is the latest in Nature Conservation’s Friends of Wooditjup Bilya (Margaret River) program, which features a packed 12-month calendar to inspire and educate locals about our iconic waterway. Each monthly gathering includes a guided excursion followed by hands-on conservation work to make a difference.

This event is free but numbers are limited, and registrations are essential. Children must be accompanied by a parent and must be over the age of 8. Tickets are available to book from 4pm, Tuesday March 19 at the What’s On section of the Nature Conservation Margaret River Region website homepage.

Program coordinator Lauren Scanlon said the monthly gatherings are a fantastic opportunity for locals to learn more about the Margaret River, hosted by cultural custodians, scientists or local experts. “We all connect to the river in different ways, whether it’s walking along the trails, fishing, swimming, taking photos or just as a way of being in nature. Most of us feel a connection with the river, we benefit from it, and now we can each play a role in protecting it too,” says Ms Scanlon.

“We’ll work together along key sites of the Wooditjup Bilya foreshore to regenerate riparian vegetation, restore degraded banks, enhance existing habitats, tackle weeds and mitigate erosion. We’ll also connect local people with traditional custodians, scientists, experts and local caretakers who are all caring for country and can offer unique insights into the extraordinary values of this river.”

This program is funded by the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River through the Environmental Management Fund.