Birding with the scouts
Two weeks ago I spent an enjoyable day speaking about local birds. About 130 Scouts from all over the state were camping locally, and on the Saturday they were allocated into groups of 7 – 10 for a variety of activities at the Swanport Wetlands on the eastern side of the River Murray near Murray Bridge. These included bird watching, making nesting boxes, taking water samples and so on.
I was the leader for the birding groups. Each birding activity took about 20 minutes, so there was a quick turnover of groups. Most of the children attending showed a pleasing interest in the bird life of the area and saw the relevance of making nesting boxes for the parrots and other species present. Nesting hollows are in short supply in the area, so that activity was also well appreciated. The simplicity of the nesting box construction has inspired me to make some for our own patch of scrubland.
While the day was a success, and the activities interesting and relevant, the weather was not. The previous day we’d had gale force winds and pelting rain. On the day of the activities the weather started out fine but deteriorated quickly as we got under way. Persistent drizzle can be annoying but the groups soldiered on; it seemed that the rain and cool conditions were taken in their stride as all part of the adventure.
Because of the conditions and several other factors, the birding on the day was not brilliant, and I was not able to get many photos. Overall I would regard it as a successful day, but I was very pleased to spend the evening in front of a warming fire.