FROM October 23 to 29, people are encouraged to embrace National Bird Week by participating in the annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count.
Developed by Bird Life Australia, the country’s largest not-for-profit bird conservation organisation, this is a Citizens Science event.
It is aimed at fostering awareness and appreciation for birds, while gathering important data on population trends of the common species we share our backyards and common spaces with.
People can download the free phone application called Aussie Bird Count where you submit what you see by way of a 20 minute survey, or visit the website.
Anyone can do it, no matter age or experience, and organisers urge people to pick their backyard, a park or a reserve, and keep each survey within an 80 metre radius.
Local bird lover, Liam Murphy, is a part of the Hastings Birdwatchers Club and has always had a love for nature.
He grew up in a bush setting near Tamworth and for the past four years has been back on the bird watching scene.
“In this world that is increasingly bogged down by social media, consumer culture, technology … I think this is a good way to reconnect with nature,” he said.
“Birds are interesting. They’re all around us. I’ve done the Aussie Bird Watch before and I’ll do it again this year, and hopefully more people can get involved in our community.”
The common birds in Port Macquarie include the rainbow lorikeets, magpies, kookaburras and noisy minor birds.
“At this time of the year, we start to get migratory species that winter in the northern hemisphere or the tropical north that move south to breed in the spring and summer months,” Mr Murphy explained.
“Other birds like the Eastern Koel are more common than people realise, and people can hear those birds calling early in the morning.”
According to Mr Murphy, every time you go out bird watching you will see or learn something new.
“Whether it’s a new bird or new behaviour … it’s an interesting hobby and I still enjoy going out with the binoculars,” he said.
The Hastings Birdwatchers Club hold monthly outings and new members are welcome.