A zoologist travelling Australia in a microlight aircraft to raise awareness of migratory shorebirds has touched down in the Great Southern. Milly Formby arrived at Narrikup Airfield on Saturday, 23 days and 2000km into a journey that will take her around Australia, giving her a bird’s-eye view. She was met by about 50 people and 20 other planes at Narrikup Airfield, where the Albany Aero Club had organised a sausage sizzle celebration. Ms Formby is flying 20,000km around the country to “tell everyone how amazing and awesome” migratory shorebirds are. She said the birds made a 25,000km round trip each year from the Arctic to Australia through the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. “Australia is the southern-most destination for migratory shorebirds for six months of every year,” Ms Formby said. “They spend six months of the year here during our summer, and then they will fly to the Arctic for the Arctic summer to breed.” Ms Formby said she wanted to show people the importance of conserving wetlands and how the birds’ migration demonstrated global connection. “It connects us to people in 23 different countries, over half of the world’s population, and it’s just a lovely way of demonstrating how we’re all connected to the land, sea and sky through shorebird migration,” she said. While in the Great Southern, she plans to visit Albany Primary School, Golden Hill Steiner School and Parklands School to speak to students and read from her book, A Shorebird Flying Adventure. She will also visit Prawn Rock Channel in Denmark where the council last week approved plans for a migratory shorebird sanctuary. She said Denmark and Wilson Inlet were “nationally significant” for migratory shorebirds. “It just highlights the importance of the Wilson Inlet as a wetlands within that broader network within the East Asian-Australasian Flyway because the birds are using all the wetlands all throughout the flyway like stepping stones, like links in a chain,” Ms Formby said. “If one of those links fails, the birds don’t have that resource to rest and refuel to do their big migration every year.” To follow Ms Formby’s journey, visit wingthreads.com/flight-around-oz.