About Byron Bird Buddies
Byron Bird Buddies (BBB) was once known as Belongil Bird Buddies. Byron Bird Buddies now incorporates Belongil Bird Buddies and is designed to promote conservation and community education programs for all shorebirds and waterbirds that lie within the area known as the Cape Byron Marine Park. This area incorporates known shorebird and waterbirds resting, feeding and breeding areas such as Flat Rock, south of Lennox Head; the northern side of the Lennox Headland; Broken Head; Tallow's creek and estuary; the Belongil estuary; the Brunswick River and stretching to North Ocean Shores.
Originally a small group, BBB was started in the 1970's by a Byron Bay local named Jack Willows to protect the diversity of the Belongil Estuary as a shorebird feeding and breeding area. Jack started Brunswick Valley Bird Watchers but he also monitored and tagged birds at the Belongil Estuary. Belongil BBB started in 2003 to address management concerns
At that time, Byron Bay was a sleepy little holiday town and not the international tourist destination that it has become today.
Little Terns have bred at the estuary in large numbers in the past but in the 1980's Jack identified that the birds were in decline due to increased human impact on the estuary. Little Terns have not bred at the Belongil estuary since 1991.
Conservation measures have been put in place by BBB to promote the estuary mouth as a 'safe' and protected area of the estuary. Pied Oyster-catchers and Red-capped Plovers both breed in the fenced areas. Small flocks of Little Terns, Crested Terns, Pacific Golden Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits can be seen resting within the fenced areas. Striated Herons, Osprey and Beach-stone Curlews feed or breed within the first 300m of the estuary mouth. Other birds use the Belongil estuary's mudflats to feed at low tide. These include waterbirds breeding at the West Byron Wetlands such as the Black-necked Stork, Black Swan, Great Egrets, Royal Spoonbills etc. Byron Bird Buddies hopes one day to see the return of breeding pairs of Little Tern at the Belongil Estuary.
Discussions are conducted with members on a regular basis by email or informally during surveys.
BBB activities will be directed by the Belongil Shorebird Management Plan and the monitoring proposal with Byron Shire Council.
Belongil shorebird plan implementation
All BBB members are welcome to attend meeting with agencies every two months. These usually occur on the 2nd Thursday of the month between 9.30am and 12.30pm but are subject to change. Dates will be posted when available.
Monitoring at Belongil or Vallances Road sites
Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month @ 6.30pm at the Periwinkle Pre-school at Sunrise Beach, Byron Bay.