TAMWORTH BIRDWATCHERS Inc
Turquoise Parrot - Brian Fair
Acting President Jean Coady 02 67608240
Treasurer Jan Hosking 02 67653848
Editor Eric Fair 02 67697525
Website Coordinator Annabel Ashworth 0427694147
ALL GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE TO PO BOX 2091 TAMWORTH NSW 2340
or email [email protected]
FAMILY / HOUSEHOLD $35.00
FAMILY CONCESSION [pension or distance] $25.00
STUDENT OR PENSIONER $20.00
Myna traps available
for purchase $25
Phone 02 67697525
or visit Collins Bros. Bridge St Tamworth
Vale - Russ Watts AM
One of the most valued members of Tamworth Birdwatchers, Russell Watts aged 92, died recently. (He is pictured here at TBW’s 20th birthday party in February 2018.) He had been an active member since the club’s inception and along with wife Jenny (deceased) really put birdwatching on the map in this district. They served on the committee for a number of years and held the following positions
Russ was Public Officer from 2002 till 2008 and Publicity Officer in 2011. Jenny was Vice- President in 2004 and Secretary from 2005 till 2008. She also proofread the newsletter for Eric for a time. They were awarded Life Membership of TBW in February 2008.
They were keen participants in all club outings and campouts. When we first knew them, the Watts lived on a property near Tarpoly and the preservation of Borah TSR was very close to Russ’ heart. The following is a quote from his eulogy, which most of you will have seen already. It was circulated to all members with email.
“The Barraba community welcomed Jen and Russ. They were soon included in many community activities and they were able to develop their passion for birds and enthusiastically undertook actions to protect and save our environment.
Russ came up with a plan which he took to the Barraba Council, He named it “How to make Barraba the most attractive small town in Australia.” He proposed to set up flora and fauna trails to attract visitors. The Bird Routes of Barraba had begun. With a $1200 grant from the Council he, Jen and their team of volunteers set up 12 signs around the district and created brochures describing the bird routes and the birds that the bird watchers could hope to find.
It was first for Australia. The project was submitted for a National Award for Innovation in Local Government in 2000. Barraba Council was awarded two national awards as a result of this, one for the state and the other for the entire nation.
Publicity followed, and Russ travelled with the Council GM to many shires, as far north as Townsville. Many communities established Bird Routes. He became known as “The Birdman of Barraba”
During this time Russ also compiled a Native flora trail of the Woodsreef area and continued his efforts to save the white box woodlands along the Travelling Stock Routes.
Another project was “A Tribute to the Age of Steam”, which involved the erection of 17 Oppenheimer Patent telephone posts and the restored railway gate at the southern entrance to Barraba.
Somewhat later, In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008 Russ was awarded an AM, the citation being:- For service to conservation and the environment through advocacy roles for the preservation of endangered flora and fauna, particularly native bird species, and to the development of ecotourism initiatives.”
In 2002 the Watts moved to Tamworth, living initially in Calala. The call of the bush was too much for Russ however and they soon moved to a small holding on Porcupine Lane which had a good stand of bush. Some memorable TBW Christmas parties were held on the verandah of the house there. A small glider lived in the tree outside and was a welcome guest at the parties. Their final home was back in Tamworth in Hall St. Jenny only lived there for a year, but planted lots of natives in the garden during that time. She died in 2011, as the result of melanoma.
Despite failing health, Russ continued his interest in birds and TBW activities. Even after moving to Alblas Lodge in 2018, he continued to support us when he could and enjoyed our newsletter. He will be greatly missed by the longstanding members who knew him so well. His many environmental achievements are a fantastic legacy to a special man.
featuring photos taken by club members
$2 each plus postage (includes envelope)
Select from the 16 cards shown below
(4 shown per picture)
Send order to email address above, stating which bird
you would like on your cards.
SOCIAL MEETINGS (Temporarily suspended due to Covid19)
are held at 7.30.pm on the 4 Thursday of the month at the Tamworth Bridge Club, 7 Hilton St. Tamworth from February to November inclusive.
Usually the Saturday following the Social Meeting, please confirm your attendance with the delegated Leader. Usually meet at the car park behind the Tamworth Community Centre in Darling St, ready to leave at 8.00am or 9.00am depending on destination and time of year. Bring morning tea, lunch, folding chair, notebook and pencil, hat and binoculars
Tamworth Birdwatchers at Chaffey Dam
Photo: Annabel Ashworth
TUESDAY MORNING BIRDWATCHING. check meeting place with leader
The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month February to November. Meet at the car park behind the Tamworth Community Centre in Darling St, at 9am (8am during the hotter months). The contact person is Joan Dunne Phone 6762 4553. These are great mornings and all members are welcome.
VISITORS TO TAMWORTH ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THE CLUB
This is the Tamworth Birdwatchers' Polygon