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They only weigh a few kilograms and do not have a passport. Yes, you have guessed it, birds!

Australian black swans and ducks near Windsor
Australian black swans and ducks near Windsor

The Hawkesbury area is one of the birdiest parts of Sydney and now with the improvements to habitat and bird hide shelters in the Pitt Town Lagoon, has become even better.

Cumberland Bird Observers Club Patron, John Dengate officially opened the improved bird-hide located at the bottom of Church Street, Pitt Town on World Wetlands Day in February. The lagoon was visited by rare migrants such as Ruffs and Pectoral Sandpipers this summer.

“Shorebirds are some of the most extraordinary birds in the world," said Cumberland Bird Observers Club spokesman Andrew Patrick. "They fly from here to Siberia in order to breed and then back again to spend the summer with us. The creation of low-lying muddy islands is perfect for them. They can feed in the shallows and roost in safety."

"The lagoon is of national importance," said Mr Patrick. "Over 170 species of birds have been recorded at the lagoon in recent years including endangered species such as Freckled Duck and Australasian Bittern."

Mr Patrick said birdwatchers from interstate and overseas already know of the area's reputation as a birding Mecca and many people visit the Hawkesbury every year to watch birds.

Further information, email website@cboc.org.au

This project was funded by the Natural Heritage Trust and the NSW Environmental Trust, in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Authority and Cumberland Bird Observers

Club.

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.