The Swan Estuary Marine Park and adjacent nature reserves are comprised of estuarine lands and waters within Perth’s beautiful Swan... more » River at three biologically important areas - Alfred Cove, Milyu and Pelican Point.
These areas encompass mudflats, seagrass beds and intertidal vegetation such as sedges and saltmarsh, which provide many different habitats for a host of animals. A wide variety of birds use the Swan Estuary Marine Park including shorebirds (migratory and non-migratory), wading birds, waterbirds and seabirds. The most internationally significant of these are the migratory birds. They come from as far afield as Asia, Mongolia and Siberia, travelling up to 3000km in one trip. About 33 of these species are protected under the Japan-Australia, China-Australia and the Republic of Korea-Australia Migratory Bird Agreements. Notable among these species is the tiny red-necked stint. Although only 30-40g, these birds annually fly thousands of kilometres from their breeding areas in Arctic Siberia to the warm mudflats of the Swan Estuary.
Different species of migratory birds arrive at varying times between August and November. Because other wetlands are too full of water at this time of the year, the Swan Estuary Marine Park (and the coast) are among their first resting and feeding spots. The estuarine mudflats contain high concentrations of food which replenish the energy of the exhausted birds after their long flight south. Some of the birds will be sporting their breeding plumage when they arrive. Others will moult to their breeding glory in February. Most migratory birds will have left the Perth region by late March. less «