Adelaide bird sanctuary at southern end of great global east Asian- Australasian flight path

Adelaide international bird sanctuary is a southern home for incredible aviators like the eastern curlew, bar-tailed godwit and great knot. 
Image courtesy Adelaide international bird sanctuary

A 60-kilometre stretch of northern suburban coastline – Adelaide international bird sanctuary, with abundant estuarine mudflats – is the southern end of the east Asian-Australasian flyway, one of the world’s three great migratory bird flight paths.

With at least 52 shorebird species recorded, including 37 migratory summer visitors, the bird sanctuary is important globally. Around 15,000 shorebirds gather at the Adelaide sanctuary for up to six months yearly before their return journey to breeding grounds in places like China and Siberia. This includes incredible aviators like the eastern curlew, bar-tailed godwit and great knot.

Adelaide sanctuary is a key feeding and roosting site for migratory birds from as far as Siberia and Alaska, passing through 22 countries. It is part of an international network of wetlands, such as Mai Po Nature Reserve in northern Hong Kong, bordering the Chinese city of Shenzhen, where birds going north from Australia stop to rest and feed.

One of Adelaide’s longest continuous conservation areas, the bird sanctuary is home to 263 fauna and flora species, including significant Australian birds such as the elegant parrot and Gulf St Vincent slender-billed thornbill.

Within the sanctuary sits the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park or Winaityinaityi Pangkara (“a country for all birds and the country that surrounds these birds”’ in the Kaurna Aboriginal language). In 2017, with private donors’ support, The Nature Conservancy Australia helped secure the national park from 85 hectares of the saltfields area. From the 1930s, 10,000 hectares of the larger area, from Dry Creek to Middle Beach, was given to mineral leases to mainly ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) to create 4,000 hectares of saline ponds to produce salt. This ended in 2013 when ICI’s Penrice soda ash factory closed at Osborne. This presents chances to use the land to recover coastal habitat loss but with the costly challenge to remedy it.

Other related ADELAIDEAZ articles

Scottish immigrant Jim Keays a mainstay of Masters Apprentices, shaped by Beatles/blues

The Masters Apprentices started life as an Adelaide surf music instrumental band called The Mustangs in 1964, with Mick Bower on rhythm guitar, Rick Morrison on lead guitar, Brian Vaughton on drums and Gavin Webb on bass guitar. Profoundly influenced by the Beatles in 1964, The Mustangs changed to a beat style and took on a lead singer: Scottish immigrant Jim Keays. They rehearsed in a shed behind a hotel owned by Vaughton’s family. Original manager Graham Longley taped a rehearsal that was released on CD in 2004 as Mustangs to Masters... First Year Apprentices. In 1965, The Mustangs became The Masters Apprentices because “we are apprentices to the masters of the blues – Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson." In a heat of Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds, they finished third behind The Twilights (eventual national winners). The Apprentices shared a gig with pop star Bobby Bright of Melbourne, who recommended them to Astor Records. Their debut single “Undecided”/”Wars or hands of time” climbed the Adelaide charts, thanks to local DJs’ support. “Wars or hands of time” was the first Australian pop song to directly address the Vietnam war. The Masters Apprentices moved to Melbourne in 1967. Keays became a mainstay of the band that had psycjhedelic-rock and wild-bad-boy phases and kept losing personnel. (Lead guitarist Peter Tilbrook from Adelaide band The Bentbeaks joined in 1967.) Their album Choice Cuts received rave reviews in England but the band broke up in 1972.

Little penguins' fragile recovery on South Australia's Granite Island faces night hit

Little penguins on Granite Island, off Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide, had their fragile recovery from going extinct threatened in 2019. Experts were calling for the South Australian nature reserve and tourist attraction to be closed to the public at night to protect little penguins from dogs, people shining bright lights into burrows and trampling nest habitats.  The penguins declined rapidly on Fleurieu Peninsula from 2000. Their numbers also have dwindled on Kangaroo Island. But, for the first time in nearly two decades, numbers on Granite Island has almost doubled from 20 in 2012 to 44 birds in 2018. Little penguins are the smallest penguin species and are only found in southern Australia and New Zealand. Unlike on Penguin Island in Western Australia and on Tasmania's north coast, where access to the little penguins is controlled, Granite Island is open from Victor Harbor along a 600-metre wooden causeway, operating for 150 years. This ageing causeway was also due to be replaced from 2019 – another reason for concern about the effect on the penguins. While signs on the causeway prohibiti people from riding bikes and taking dogs to the island, there are no signs at the entrance mentioning little penguins or warning against using bright lights or how best to protect the birds. Stephen Hedges, who has run penguin tours on Granite Island for more than 20 years and monitored the birds as a citizen scientist for seven years, there could be a decline in little penguin numbers very quickly if more wasn't done to protect them. The penguins only had two offspring a year and only if conditions were perfect.

Mount Barker's Steriline gates start horse races at most prestigious tracks around the world

The Melbourne Cup gets its start from gates made by a small Mount Barker company Steriline Racing. But, besides Victoria Racing Club (Flemington Racecourse) and the Australian Turf Club (Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney), Steriline Racing’s racetrack equipment is used by globally famous major horse racing organisations including Hong Kong Jockey Club, Singapore Turf Club, Meydan in Dubai, Royal Ascot in the United Kingdom, and Riyadh Equestrian Club in Saudi Arabia. Steriline Racing’s equipment is now used at virtually every racetrack across Australia and it has most of the South East Asian market. The company has also exported to Sweden, Norway and, from about 2002 until 2005, it replaced all of the 55 starting gates in Britain. For more than 50 years, Steriline has specialised in design, making, installing and servicing starting gates, running rails, winning posts, stewards towers and other racetrack equipment for the horse racing industry. Starting gates involve sophisticated engineering but it also considers the psychology of horse and rider. This involves understanding the dynamic of the horses and also the thought processes of the jockey. Safety is a key consideration. This pressure is on to load horses quicker so they are not standing in the gates for such a long time, because that reduces the risk. Steriline Racing’s excellence as an Australian export company was recognised in 2015 when the company was awarded the South Australian Regional Exporter Award and was a national finalist in the 53rd Australian Export Awards.


State government takes over running South Australia's national parks (now 22) in 1972

The South Australian government's National Parks and Wildlife Service was founded in 1972 to manage protected nature areas previously controlled by various agencies within government. The state government’s 1972 takeover of managing Belair and Flinders Chase national parks and about 30 other reserves saw a push for the National Parks and Wildlife Service to be more involved in preserving bushland habitat in rural South Australia. But the National Parks and Wildlife Service had name changes and was even disbanded while a division of the state environment, land management and planning departments. In 2018, services originally provided by the National Parks and Wildlife Service were handled by the environment and water department as National Parks South Australia. New areas continue to be added to parks and reserves within national framework. Protected areas in South Australia in 2019 exceeded 335, totalling 21 million hectares – more than 21% of the state. These comprise 22 national parks, 270 conservation parks, 13 recreation parks, 10 game reserves, seven regional (multi-use) reserves and 51 conservation reserves. South Australia's national parks in 2018 were Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, Belair, Canunda, Coffin Bay, Coorong, Flinders Chase, Ikara-Flinders Ranges, Gawler Ranges, Great Australian Bight Marine, Innes, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, Lake Gairdner, Lake Torrens, Lincoln, Malkumba-Coongie, Mount Remarkable, Murray River, Naracoorte Caves, Onkparinga River, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges and Witjira.


End of car making and Olympic Dam pullback among blows to hopes for the 21st Century

South Australia’s took more big hits in the early 21st Century from its part in the global economy. Tonsley Park car-making plant, started by Chrysler and passed on to Mitsubishi, shut down in 2008. General Motors-Holden closed its Elizabeth plant in 2017. Another blow came in 2012 when BHP Billiton shelved the $38 billion open-pit expansion of Olympic Dam in 2012. Chinese competition saw Arrium, owners of Whyalla OneSteel steelworks, go into administration in 2016 with a $4 billon debt. 


Setting up Adelaide Plains to be major supplier of green cereal 'superfood' freekeh

Greenwheat Freekeh at Dublin on the Adelaide Plains is set to secure South Australia’s position as the leading global supplier of “superfood” freekeh. With $900,000 state government help, Greenwheat is making a $4.4 million expansion of its plant. This will boost production of green grain freekeh – a dried cereal-based food from Northern Africa, Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Freekeh growth in Australia alone has exceeded 220% per annum in recent years.

Contact Us

We welcome positive constructive feedback