Gwydir community embraces Wings ‘n Things Festival

October 4, 2013

On the October long weekend, many will be hoping to see a sea eagle or rooster but in Gwydir, there will be an abundance of birdlife, including many species of special conservation significance, such as Regent Honeyeaters, Turquoise Parrots, Diamond Firetails, Speckled Warblers and Hooded Robins for all to enjoy.

The Wings ‘n Things Festival has been a concept for some time and many community groups, Council staff, and residents have spent a great deal of time planning and working to make this event a success. The late Mr Ted Priddis was one such resident who was very keen to see the festival happen.

Ted was an avid birdwatcher and photographer and on one of his visits to our Shire noted that we had many locations of natural beauty and abundant spectacular birdlife. As a result, Ted decided to settle in Warialda, where he began to passionately document and photograph the local birdlife.

Ted also established a local Bird Watching Group. Ted spoke at many meetings offering his wealth of knowledge, dedication to bird watching and willingness to share his experiences. Ted knew that Gwydir Shire is a birdwatchers’ paradise and the place ‘where the birds of the east meet the birds of the west’.

All things scary!
The Wings n Things scarecrow competition is proving to be a real hit. You can find a scarecrow in all parts of our Shire. If you look hard enough you will find Delilah, Mr & Mrs Flouro, Russell, Barry the Boothill Cod Buster, Radiant Ruby from Railway Parade, Charlie and Mr Muddy Boots!

Scarecrow[Click on the scarecrow to view some of the entries in the Gwydir Scarecrow Competition, uploaded to Facebook.]

Drive around your town or village and take a ‘scarie’ photo. Post the photo on the Wings ‘n Things Facebook page. Try Touriandi Lodge, Naroo Hostel, Bingara HACC, Carer Assist, Warialda MPS, Bingara Preschool, and Warialda Visitor Information Centre for starters!

The scarecrows are not shy and love attention. Over the weekend they posed and delighted members of the Inverell Antique Motor Club.

Don’t forget you can make your own scarecrow and enter the competition for great prizes. For details go to

Schools get involved with Wings n Things

The Shire schools are getting involved in the lead up to the Wings n Things Festival. From making and displaying a scarecrow, to entering the colouring-in and artwork competitions the Gwydir’s students are excited about all things with beaks, feet and feathers.

Beaks Feet & Feathers

Bingara Central School Middle School students undertaking the Civics and Citizenship module have organised the colouring-in and artwork competitions.

The students designed entry forms, which included drawing images of locally found birds. They also video conferenced other schools to tell them about the festival and the competitions and this week they will actually be judging the entries and announcing the winners.

This initiative has been a great opportunity for the students to work with Gwydir Shire Council and the community and understand how much goes into a community event and the different processes needed to run a successful community competition. Jayden Bourg, one of the students is really enjoying the Civics and Citizenship module, ‘It was fun when we went to Touriandi and helped my Nanna and her friends make a scarecrow”.

Seth Keam, another student said, “I did a drawing of a cockatiel and now other kids are colouring it in and trying to win a prize’.

Croppa Creek Students
Croppa Creek Public School students with their Wings n Things artwork entries.

Croppa Creek Public School students have not only participated in these competitions but they have integrated the Wings n Things Festival into their curriculum. They have been studying birds, making bird feeders, writing stories about scarecrows. As a whole, the school has made a scarecrow ready for judging. They have even been bird spotting!