40 years of bird watching

40 years of bird watching, sightseeing and social camaraderie culminated into a delightful celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Cumberland Bird Observers Club.

The first meeting of the Cumberland Bird Observers Club was held on September 18, 1979 at the premises of A W Webster (manufacturer of vaccines) on Windsor Road at Northmead, lead by Athol Colemane. Intended to cater primarily for residents of the western fringe of the Sydney district, the club for bird watchers in Sydney prior to the inauguration of CBOB was the New South Wales Field Ornithologists Club which met at the Australian Museum in the city.

“Because of the travel time involved, this was difficult for people in this area to attend regularly,” CBOB member Don Robertson said. He was among the 330 members that attended the 40th anniversary.

Feted among the guests were CBOB president Pat Thorn, one of CBOB’s founding members, and someone who is still involved, Tony Dymond (CBOB President for 13 years and Vice-President for 8 years), long term members Jim Dixon, Keith Brandwood, Dick Turner, Colin Scoular and Ian Johnson, Cathy Goswell, Lyn Eggins, Jan Galloway, Jane Miller and Janet Love.

“Birds are seen and/or heard by the vast majority of people in Australia. Out of curiosity, many ask What bird is that? Bird watching is healthy and outdoors oriented,” Mr Robertson said.

Birdwatching sharpens the senses, eyesight and hearing, and teaches us to pay better attention to our surroundings, he said. “The joy of being outdoors, as well as the sight and sound of birds has a positive effect on a person’s wellbeing.”

“Conserving natural habitat is the most useful way to help conserve birds – both the variety of species as well as the numbers of each species.

“Efforts to maintain these require vigilance and pressure on decision makers because there is usually plenty of pressure to destroy bird habitat from businesses such as land/ home developers, timber industry, farmers.”

Soon after CBOB’s formation in 1979, it was reported that it had 65 members. The number grew to over 400 around 2010.

What birds should we keep an eye out this Summer and coming Autumn?

“The noisy miner, rainbow lorikeet , corella and ibis,” Mr Robertson said.

“In suitable areas such as along the Parramatta river at Sydney Olympic Park there are Fairy Wrens, white faced heron.”

For more information visit www.cboc.org.au