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World travellers flock to Pitt Town Nature Reserve

GREATER Sydney Local Land Services officers are using World Wetlands Day to highlight the continued success of the Pitt Town Nature Reserve project.

A wetland of national significance, Pitt Town attracts birds and bird watchers alike, from across the globe.

Greater Sydney Senior Land Services officer Linda Hanlon said the ongoing works to improve bird watching facilities and reinstate mudflats to attract migratory shorebirds were paying off.

“About 30 years ago a number of mudflats were converted into islands and planted with trees to provide resting and breeding areas for waterfowl, away from the danger of foxes,” Ms Hanlon said.

“Over recent years three of the artificial islands have been reshaped to make mudflats habitat more suited to shorebirds. Trees from the islands have been partially submerged to provide bird perches, bird watching facilities have been improved and interpretive signage installed.

“Now with the project completed we are seeing more visitors of both the human and feathered kinds including migratory shorebird species such as the Red-necked Stint, Pectoral Sandpiper and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.  A recent study recorded 28 bird species using the mudflats between October 2014 and April 2015.”

Ms Hanlon said the success of the project, funded through the NSW Environmental Trust, was down to collaboration.

“We now have a world class bird watching site in our own backyard as a result of a strong partnership between local community groups and government agencies,” she said.

Keith Brandwood from Cumberland Bird Observers Club said his members had recorded more than 160 species at the lagoon including the endangered Freckled Duck and Australasian Bittern.

World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997 to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138