News & Events

February 22, 2021

BirdMark is live!

The new BirdMark portal, which is specially designed to submit your resightings of colour marked waders along our flyway has gone live. This new site will significantly advance the capability for managing and reporting on leg flag sightings from around the flyway. Check it out!

February 22, 2021

The Overwintering Project: Westernport and the Wall of Wings!

The duo of Overwintering Project exhibitions, The Overwintering Project: Westernport and the Wall of Wings, will run concurrently at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and Oak Hill Gallery respectively, both on Melbourne’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula.

Both exhibitions begin on Saturday March 6 2021. The Overwintering Project: Westernport focusses on Melbourne’s Westernport Bay as internationally significant migratory shorebird habitat. The exhibition features 20 curated artists, 13 of whom have produced new work in a variety of media inspired by the local Westernport environment. Their work will be shown in conjunction with the Overwintering Project Print Portfolio, a growing collection of 300+ original prints made by artists from Australia and New Zealand in response to the unique nature of their local migratory shorebird habitat.

Only an hour from Melbourne, Westernport is a unique and internationally significant wetland with incredibly rich biodiversity. Westernport’s uniqueness is recognized through its cultural identity as the land of the Bunurong / BoonWurrung people, the traditional custodians of these lands and waters, and its designation as a Ramsar site (or internationally significant wetland), a UN Biosphere and a BirdLife Australia Key Biodiversity Area. It is also party to three international migratory bird agreements, with Japan, the Republic of Korea and China.

December 09, 2020

Ruddy Turnstone wanderings

Maureen Christie and her intrepid team made a catch of Ruddy Turnstones in late October 2020 in which they retrieved 2 geolocators near Carpenter Rocks in South Australia.

The great news from these geolocators is that we have now retrieved six northward migration tracks from turnstone VAZ/ATZ – which had its first geo put on with the assistance of Newbery Park Primary School November 2013.

The second bird YUV has provided 5 northward migration tracks now which is almost as impressive as VAZ/ATZ! The geolocator light data from YUV also shows signs of incubation.

This is a remarkable effort for both the birds and banding team!

These are 2 fascinating and useful results in that they provide more information to assist in our longitudinal studies of an individual’s strategies over sequential years. To have these data for 5 and 6 years from these two birds is a great result. Thanks to the ongoing work of Maureen and the dedicated SE SA team for their efforts.

Juvenile Ruddy Turnstone WVC. Photo Sarah Campbell

November 18, 2020

On the Wings of a Godwit

You are invited to musical meditation to the ends of the earth and back…

Melbourne Fringe Festival event!

Performances: 11am, 1pm, 3pm & 6pm, November 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28 29.
Suggested Price: $15, tickets available here
Duration: 20mins

‘On the Wings of a Godwit’ is a 20-minute, immersive, online guided meditation of music, birdsong and spoken word that takes the listener on a journey from the continental shores of Australasia to the tundra of Siberia. We invite you, the listener, to become a migratory bird, overwintering between your summer homes, following a flyway path that has been travelled for thousands of years. 

Stop, listen, breathe, and take flight on this journey created by renowned Australian artist Kate Gorringe-Smith, creator of the Overwintering Project, and award-winning musicians and soundscape designers the Bowerbird Collective, Simone Slattery (violin) and Anthony Albrecht (cello). Further information available at www.bowerbird.productions/godwit


Supporting the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and BirdLife Australia.

November 18, 2020

Bird migration and colour marking webinar November 21

The Bombay Natural History Society in Mumbai is running a webinar on ‘Bird Migration and Colour Marking -Decoding Tagged Bird Sightings‘. Chris Hassell will be joining other shorebirds researchers to speak on how colour marking has been instrumental in understanding certain aspects of bird ecology and migration. You can find out more about flagging in the Central Asian Flyway and hear how to contribute to global studies on bird migration.   

Date and time: Saturday, Nov 21, 2020, 11:30 AM – 01:00 PM, IST

Register: https://forms.gle/L7AQm2b8USsSqmdJ8

November 12, 2020

EAAFSSM wrap up of VWSG talks

Between November 3 and 5, the first East Asian-Australasian Flyway Shorebird Science Meeting was held online, hosted by the National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon-gun, Republic of Korea.

The meeting had a fantastic array of speakers from different parts of the flyway, and a huge amount of new and exciting research and information was shared among participants.

A number of VWSG and AWSG members presented during this conference, about many great findings and achievements. There was also a fabulous plenary from Kate Gorringe-Smith on using art to engage, educate and inspire people about shorebirds.

Michelle Wille provided a excellent plenary speech on viruses in shorebirds. If you didn’t understand viruses before this talk, you would definitely know all about them after hearing this presentation!

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Grace Maglio talked about the results of the oriental pratincole satellite tracking.

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Amanda Lilleyman talked about the migration routes and non-breeding distribution of eastern curlew.

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Ken Gosbell shared insights from a decade of turnstone geolocator studies.

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Birgita Hansen provided new information about staging sites for Latham’s Snipe in Papua New Guinea.

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Marcel Klaassen discussed the challenges of undertaking survival analyses on 40 years of banding data.

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And Danny Rogers highlighted the importance of Melbourne’s Western Treatment Plant for shorebirds.

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October 29, 2020

Record-breaking Bar-tailed Godwit flight – 3MDR radio interview

Thursday 29th October at 18.00 hrs Melbourne time, Graham Beal will be talking to Adrian Riegen about the recent amazing record-breaking Bar-tailed Godwit flight on radio 3 mdr, 97.1fm and streaming, www.3mdr.com

October 24, 2020

Original Nicholas Day prints for sale

Penny Johns has two Nicolas Day original framed watercolours of Robins, a Pink Robin and a Red-capped Robin. She is offering them to VWSG members for sale. The asking price is $150.00 each. All proceeds will go to the VWSG.

Please contact Penny directly if you are interested.

September 15, 2020

#LegflagChallenge photo competition

The #LegflagChallenge Photo Contest aims to encourage reporting of sightings of waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway that carry leg flags, tags and other types of attachments. The competition runs until November 15. Find out more at https://woobox.com/fm3vhi

Double-banded Pover near Coolart Wetlands, Somers beach, Victoria. Photo courtesty of Nick Bradsworth