“Just as The Heads is a destination each year for migratory birds from Siberia, it is already a destination for birders in the know,” says Festival Director Perrie Croshaw.
“We are aiming to bring The Heads to the attention of a wider audience by staging a festival that celebrates birds through the themes of science, education, art and community.
“It will be a great way to find out more about birds and become a bird advocate at a time when habitats need protecting.”
This year’s fledgling festival is being held at the beginning of National Bird Week, and has the enthusiastic backing of Birdlife Shoalhaven.
“We’ve got a program of talks on in the morning at the Shoalhaven Heads Community Centre, followed by opportunities to go on walks with experts from Birdlife Shoalhaven to spot birds mentioned in the talks.
“It will be a great way to prepare people for the Aussie Back Yard Bird Count, which happens in the following week.
“The walks will be starting at the new Bangalay Luxury Villas, where there will also be a bird-inspired art exhibition by local artists,” says Perrie.
The morning talks will include a session with Harry Saddler, the author of a new book on The Eastern Curlew (a migratory bird that visits from Siberia each year), and Jackie Nguyen, a palaeontologist from the Australian Museum who will be talking about the evolution of Australian birds.
On the Saturday night, there’s a film night at the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club with a screening of the cult comedy doco, Chasing Birds, introduced by its makers.
“We want to make the Festival a fun way to expand your knowledge about birds, whether you are an experienced birder or just want to know more,” says Perrie.
Next year the Festival will be a two day, multi-venue event, utilising a number of intimate venues around the village, all within walking distance.
“We’ve so many ideas, and so many people want to be involved, it has been hard to constrain the program to just one day this year,” says Perrie.
Details: Sunday 21 October, Shoalhaven Heads Community Centre, Shoalhaven Heads Rd, 8.30 for 9am start. Tickets from www.birdhavenfestival.com.au for $10, including a morning tea prepared by the local Red Cross. Tickets for the film night on Saturday 20 October are also available for $5.