Another feature noticed has been the significant number of bird species still living in the area. There are still patches of different plant communities in the area and this means there are opportunities for different species of birds to find food and shelter. One survey has identified 65 species of birds in the area.
Most people associate Hays Inlet with aquatic birds such as the Pelican, the Pied Oyster Catcher and the Stilt. But nestled amongst the adjacent vegetation and forests are a large number of smaller less noticeable birds. In the mangroves you will find honeyeaters, kingfishers and the Striated Pardalote. This bird has a stunning yellow plumage and they feed on insects and insect larvae.
You will often spot the Golden Whistler and a number of finches in patches of Casuarina. In the Melaleuca wetland areas you will see flashes of colour amongst the ferns and understorey. If you remain quiet you will see the brilliant blue of variegated Fairy Wrens, the Red-backed Fairy Wren as well as the Scarlet Robin and a number of different fantails. When the Melaleuca is flowering the area is also alive with lorikeets, honeyeaters led by the spectacular scarlet honeyeater.
With the right work and support there is no reason we can’t continue to enjoy the presence of these birds in our wetlands. We at REF are working with our local council and other stakeholders in the hope we can develop some facilities so people can enjoy the spectacular wildlife in the area. Even so, some people may not all be able to get out to the wetlands, but at least they will know that the birdlife will be there for generations to come.
Thank you to members of our Hays Inlet Green Army team for some of the images above.