Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023

Crowds filled G.J. Walter Park in Cleveland on 14 October for the Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023.

Welcome Back Shorebirds celebrates the remarkable annual return of migratory birds to the area, some flying as far as 12,000km from Alaska and Siberia. Some like the Eastern Curlew and Bar-tailed godwit, are endangered.

The event is organised by the Toondah Alliance, a coalition of many local and national environmental groups dedicated to saving the local Moreton Bay wetlands.

Welcome to Country

Uncle Norm Enoch welcomed people to Quandamooka Country. Then Quandamooka man Matt Burns invited people to participate in a Traditional smoking ceremony.

Hannah Moloney was the Festival MC

Hannah Moloney (as seen on ABC TV Gardening Australia) was the Festival MC.

Towards the end of the festival, Hannah had a few words to say, which you can view on the Redlands2030 YouTube Channel.

Great speakers

Cr Wendy Boglary at the Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023.
Cr Wendy Boglary

Robert Bush from the Queensland Wader Study Group spoke about the amazing feats of migratory shorebirds. He also called for people to support his petition to Queensland Parliament calling for increased protection of Moreton Bay’s shorebirds.

Spencer Hitchen is a young photographer and activist from the Sunshine Coast. His speech encouraging people to do all they can to save the Toondah Wetlands was well received.

Melissa Lucaschenko is an award winning writer. She reminded us that that the most common way people give up their power is by believing they don’t have any. You can read what she had to say about Toondah Harbour in: Citizen power can save Toondah Harbour.

Four local councillors were spotted at the Festival: Cr Paul Bishop, Cr Adelia Berridge, Cr Wendy Boglary, and Cr Tracey Huges.

Festival Music

We had great music throughout the afternoon from Chuck’s Blues Wagon, Velvet Blue (from the Mansfield High Music Group) and Ruth Ross and Joe Geia from the Joe Geia Band.

A song for shorebirds

Clara Durbidge performed her new song – ‘This Place Where the Birds Belong’.

You can view some of her performance on the Redlands2030 YouTube Channel.

Clara Durbidge performing at the Welcome Back Shorebirds festival 2023
Clara Durbidge

Painting posters

The art tent was a very busy place with many young people painting posters and rocks showing shorebirds and koalas reflecting key themes of the Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023.

Beako at the Shorebirds Festival

Beako has become a much loved participant at events promoting shorebird protection.

Her we see Beako making an entrance at the Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023.

Beako at the Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023

Watching the birds

Queensland Wader Study Group members made powerful birdwatch scopes available so people attending the Festival could observe endangered migratory shorebirds feeding on the Toondah mudflats.

And more

The stilt walkers were a popular attraction at the Welcome back Shorebirds Festival 2023. Here they pose with Cassim Island and threatened wetlands in the background.

Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023.

Wish we were there

Some people were unable to attend the festival but sent us their best wishes.

You can see what they said in short videos on the Redlands20320 YouTube Channel:

Milly Formby – Wingthreads microflight around Australia

Randall Wood – Director of the Flyways Movie

Peter Garrett – Musician and Former Federal Environment Minister

Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023 Flyer

Redlands2030 – 20 October 2023

0 thoughts on “Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival 2023”

  1. Jillian McPherson

    Welcome Back Shorebirds – Where were they?

    The Welcome Back Shorebirds Festival at G J Walker Park on Oct 14 was a vibrant event which was testament to the concern held by the Local Alliance members and the general public for the future of the unique Toondah Harbour wetlands as a destination for migratory shorebirds.
    One could only be in awe of the immense journey undertaken by birds such as the Eastern Curlew which could be viewed on the mudflats through powerful birdwatch telescopes. It was a delight to watch as the birds foraged in the mud at one with their surroundings. The representative from the Queensland Study Wader Group made me aware that the mudflats adjacent to the park were primarily the arrival destination of the juvenile birds, hence it took some time for their numbers to build.
    Those who spoke from different perspectives of the priceless natural wealth of the Toondah environment both educated and entertained the attentive crowd, giving everyone an appreciation of the organisms which depend on the mudflats and the reasons why the area is a protected Ramsar Wetland and Marine Park. Also at the forefront, was the total destruction which would be the consequence of the proposed Toondah Harbour Development and the pressing need for the Walker Corporation to reveal their revised EIS in response to the thousands of submissions made in relation to the EIS released nearly 12 months ago.
    Walking around and enjoying the art, music and general warmth of the community participants one could not but wonder, at such a big event, where were our politicians? It was good to see some councillors amongst the crowd, but our politicians – a deafening silence! All they needed to do was be there look from the park across the Bay to realise the absurdity of the proposal.
    JM
    Cleveland
    23 Oct, 2023

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