5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

Get twitch­ing at Adelaide’s Inter­na­tion­al Bird Sanc­tu­ary. Here’s five top bird­watch­ing spots for you to try.

Ade­laide Inter­na­tion­al Bird Sanc­tu­ary Nation­al Park – Winaity­i­naityi Pangkara has it all – migra­to­ry, res­i­dent, bush, shore and water birds.

And it’s cur­rent­ly the per­fect time to head out bird spot­ting. Autumn is a great time to spot up to 32 dif­fer­ent species of migra­to­ry birds that vis­it the sanc­tu­ary, which pro­vides a cru­cial feed­ing and roost­ing area for migra­to­ry birds that breed in the Arc­tic sum­mer in the north­ern hemi­sphere.

But remem­ber, be a respon­si­ble bird­watch­er – the bird’s wel­fare must come first. So look after their habi­tat, keep your dis­tance and respect oth­er bird­watch­ers.

We’ve sussed out five top spots to bird­watch at Adelaide’s Inter­na­tion­al Bird Sanc­tu­ary, here’s where:

1. Mag­a­zine Road Wetlands

A 25-minute dri­ve from Ade­laide on the north­ern side of the Sal­is­bury Highway/​Port Riv­er Express­way sits the Mag­a­zine Road Wetlands.

Here you can spot the wood sand­piper, red-necked stint, sharp-tailed sand­piper, red-capped plover, black-winged stilt and maybe even a rare long-toed stint, plus water­birds such as ducks, spoon­bills and ibises.

If you’re real­ly lucky you might see the elu­sive Aus­tralian spot­ted crake or Aus­tralasian bit­tern.

5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

2. Whites Road Wetland

This fresh­wa­ter wet­land can be accessed via Whites Road off Globe Der­by Drive.

It’s part of the paved cycling/​walking trail run­ning from west of the fresh­wa­ter wet­lands, along the Dry Creek chan­nel through to Port Wake­field Road.

This site is full of ducks and native fowl, as well as some res­i­dent shore­birds like the red-kneed dot­ter­el and black-front­ed dot­ter­el. You might even spot an Aus­tralian paint­ed snipe.

5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

3. St Kil­da foreshore

Vis­it the bird sanc­tu­ary’s South­ern Gate­way at the St Kil­da fore­shore to see large num­bers of band­ed and black-winged stilts, espe­cial­ly in the bay and salt­ponds lin­ing the main road into St Kilda.

Large num­bers of red-necked stints and red-capped plovers like to feed on the tidal mud­flats as the tide recedes. St Kil­da bay is also a great place to see black swans in the hundreds.

5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

4. Port Gawler

Port Gawler offers the chance to see small num­bers of shore­birds like the sharp-tailed sand­piper, com­mon green­shank and black-winged stilt along the tidal chan­nel and salt­ponds adjoin­ing Port Gawler Road.

In the shrubs and man­groves along the road edge you’ll see fairy-wrens, white-browed scrub­wrens and red-kneed dot­ter­el, as well as oth­er bush birds in the man­grove for­est and coastal shrub lands.

5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

5. Thomp­son Beach

An hour from Adelaide’s CBD is the Thomp­son Beach coast­line and tidal flats, which are well worth the dri­ve. The site is known by locals as the best nat­ur­al shore­bird site with­in the bird sanc­tu­ary area.

With an incred­i­ble diver­si­ty of shore­birds, you are sure to see a rud­dy turn­stone, grey plover, red-necked stint, sharp-tailed sand­piper, curlew sand­piper, bar-tailed god­wit, red knot, great knot and maybe even the crit­i­cal­ly endan­gered migra­to­ry east­ern curlew.

Thomp­son Beach is also a great spot to see res­i­dent shore­birds like the red-capped plover or the Aus­tralian pied oys­ter­catch­er.

While you’re there, check out Third Creek Trail, start­ing at the south­ern end of the esplanade. There are plen­ty of birds species to spot along the beach. 

Bak­ers Creek is also well worth a vis­it, accessed from the near­by Webb Beach. Be pre­pared to hop over a rock or two at the sea water crossing.

Hot tip: shore­birds are best seen just after high tide in the morning.

Park of the month

Through­out Novem­ber, Ade­laide Inter­na­tion­al Bird Sanc­tu­ary Nation­al Park — Winaity­i­naityi Pangkara is being cel­e­brat­ed as the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vicePark of the Month. There are lots of events and activ­i­ties to get involved in, find out more.

5 spots to birdwatch at Adelaide’s bird sanctuary

Main image: Red knot shore­birds (image cour­tesy of Chris Purnell)

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Novem­ber 2017

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living