Perhaps it’s because it’s like a free, fun and al fresco scavenger hunt. Or maybe it’s simply the thrill of the chase. Whatever the reason, birdwatching in NSW is enjoying a resurgence as a popular holiday activity for young and old.
From inland lakes and wetlands to sandy beaches and rainforest, NSW is bursting with colourful, intriguing birdlife. Even in the middle of town, you’re never far away from a feathered friend or two.
With their range of idyllic locations, Reflections Holiday Parks are an ideal base for a NSW birding adventure. Many self-professed ‘bird nerds’ are already regulars at our parks. But if you can’t pick a rosella from a robin, here’s some tips to get you started.
Where to go
NSW is a birdwatching paradise. Whilst you’re sure to see plenty of birds at all Reflections Holiday Parks, here are a few of our favourite spots.
The Byron Shire is renowned for its birdwatching. Kayak the Brunswick River and look for Rainbow Bee-eaters and Sacred Kingfishers. Stroll through Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve, a breeding area for Pied Oystercatchers. Or spot ocean birds as you hike to the lighthouse at the Cape Byron State Conservation Area.
From Red Rock to Scotts Head, the Coffs Coast is a mecca for birders. Even in the middle of Coffs Harbour, you’re sure to see dozens of birds including Grey Fantails and Blue-faced Honeyeaters. The nearby Dorrigo National Park boasts hundreds of recorded bird species; the ‘Walk with the Birds’ boardwalk is a must-do for all bird buffs.
North Haven birdwatching is second to none, with the adjacent Dooragan National Park famous for its Wedge-tailed Eagles that sometimes soar along with the hang-gliders. Wallis Lake, a stone’s throw from Reflections Holiday Parks Forster Beach and Tuncurry, is another popular spot, and a breeding ground for the endangered Little Tern.
Birders ‘flock’ to Pambula on the NSW South Coast, with its nearby Panboola Wetlands brimming with bird life. Eden is another perfect place for ticking off your bird checklist, with birdwatching tours of the Kiah River a magical way to spot Azure Kingfishers, Superb Lyrebirds and Laughing Kookaburras.
The giant dams nestled alongside our inland NSW holiday parks are a drawcard for all manner of birds. An easy drive from Reflections Holiday Parks Cudgegong River is the Putta Bucca Wetlands, a quiet sanctuary for rare and vulnerable birds such as the Freckled Duck. Or take a trip to beautiful Lake Keepit and keep company with some of the 170 bird species that call this area home.
What to take birdwatching
Thankfully, birdwatching doesn’t require special equipment, especially when starting out. Leave the bird hides for the serious twitchers. Binoculars are great if you already have them, but in many cases the naked eye works just as well.
You’ll need a notebook and pencil, so you can jot down notes, and a field guide to identify the feathered friends you’ve seen. There are also field guide mobile apps, perfect for recording and submitting sightings, and some even feature bird calls to assist with identification.
Let your new hobby take flight
The easiest way to get started? Go outside and see what you can see. Or for a more targeted approach, select a local species and then search for that bird. Find it, tick it off your list, then select another one.
Either way, don’t rush. Stay quiet and just wait. Shut your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Enjoy the peace and quiet and simply appreciate your spectacular natural surrounds.
Other birdwatching tips (with thanks to Birdlife Australia) include avoiding hot days and going out in the early morning (as they say, the early bird catches the worm!). You should also wear suitable clothing, take plenty of water, and let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
Does birdwatching beckon?
Reflections Holiday Parks are the perfect base for birdwatching NSW adventures. Find a park to suit you and make the most of the natural delights on offer.
All images supplied by Destination NSW.