Meet our volunteers: Gerry from BirdLife Southern NSW

There was a severe winter in Ireland in 1963 when 10 year old Gerry Duane saw a program on the TV about Redwings flying from Scandinavia to Ireland to escape the weather. He went outside and saw Redwings everywhere and was fascinated. That led him to getting his Observers Book of Birds and becoming a keen birdwatcher and subsequently a bird bander and surveying for the bird atlas.

Gerry emigrated to Australia in 1986 and joined Cumberland Bird Observers, is a BirdLife member and now volunteers at the Discovery Centre. He is interested in seabirds and particularly the various Skua species and watches from Maroubra headland. He is currently assisting Phil Straw with monthly shorebird monitoring in the Sydney region (and could do with some more helpers!).

On his annual trips back to Ireland he likes to incorporate a side trip to see new birds. He says his best birdwatching holiday was in Bharatpur in India where he saw over 300 species whilst staying at a hotel specially catering for birdwatchers. The annual holiday usually also includes a visit to the Camargue in France.

Despite his interest in Skuas, Gerry says his favourite bird is the Waxwing and his favourite Australian bird is the White-throated Needletail but from the photograph it seems as though Emily Emu may have found another admirer!

This volunteer profile is from the most recent issue of BirdLife Southern NSW enews- click here to read the whole newsletter.