The Birds of the Mannum district
I’ve been a little distracted in recent days by a writing project that I’ve been asked to undertake. It involves the birds of the Mannum district. Mannum is a small country town on the banks of the River Murray about a half hour drive north of where I live. It was once a bustling river town in the heyday of the river boat trade. It then progressed to become a centre for the nearby farming community. In more recent years it has been promoted as a tourist destination for those wanting a quiet time relaxing by or on the river.
Some time ago I was approached by a local committee, Friends of the Mannum Walking Trails. This group has been very active in setting up a series of walking trails in the town and along the river. One of their aims is to encourage both locals and visitors to take a greater interest in the bird life of the town and the wetlands associated with the river. That’s where they needed my help.
Over the last week I have been busy preparing a mock-up of a pamphlet that can be placed in tourist centres in order to encourage people to go birding. This has required some writing about the birds of the area and the inclusion of a selection of bird photos illustrating the text. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and I was quite pleased with the result. The committee was most impressed too, so I must be on the right track.
Interestingly, my research has shown that there is precious little in the way of resources like this in South Australia. Perhaps there is a writing niche waiting to be filled.
There are a number of towns and areas around the country that have such a pamphlet, but it’s usually a bunch of interested locals – or even an interested individual – that get them produced. We helped produce one some years ago for Tenterfield, in northern NSW. The is also a good booklet, “Birds of the Barraba Bird routes”. A fellow recently produced a leaflet here about birding on Mt Roland (Northern Tas), and we found a booklet we picked up in Katherine, NT very helpful when we were visiting there. There are some products out there, but it’s great to see more and more produced and updated.
Thanks for your comments John. Yes – I have also come across a few over the years while travelling interstate but they are not all that common. As recent as a few weeks ago two bird trail pamphlets of the south coast (Goolwa area south of Adelaide) were launched. It was reported at the time that it was thought to be a first for South Australia. I haven’t been able to track them down yet to see what they are like.
[…] While the writing of this pamphlet is not a paying project it will give my writing and my photography a very public exposure. The published pamphlet will have a large print run and be distributed widely through tourist outlets. One stipulation I’ve made is that it must include my blog address. I’ve written more about this project here. […]