Wing Threads Christmas Wrap Up 2021

A year of pictures

A shorebird publishing adventure continued

In December last year I began the illustrations for A Shorebird Flying Adventure with CSIRO Publishing. Twelve months later, the book has been finalised and is ready to print! 

A Shorebird Flying Adventure has been my first foray into children’s book illustration and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have done. Most of 2021 for me was spent in ‘monk mode’ while I worked on the drawings and listened to many awesome books! The support and experience from author, Jackie Kerin and the team at CSIRO Publishing – Briana, Tracy and Mark – made the experience a true collaborative effort. I cannot thank them enough and a tiny sneak peak of the final cover can now be seen on the home page of the Wing Threads website!  

The final release date for the book is now June 2022 to ensure Scholastic will pick it up for distribution in schools and libraries.

Sneak peak of the cover for A Shorebird Flying Adventure on the Wing Threads home page.


In June of this year, Kirsty Heiner and the team from Remember the Wild finished the promotional video for the Wing Threads crowdfunding campaign. The campaign was set to launch in August of this year. However, due to continued Covid lockdowns and border restrictions, we decided to postpone until things settled down to give the campaign a better chance of success.

With the West Australia border now set to open on 5th February next year, the campaign has been rescheduled for the 7th February, 2022. There will be many exciting Wing Threads perks on offer. Pencil it in your diary! 

And be sure to check out the final promo video below. 


The promo video was also entered into Broome’s Mud and Saltwater Short Film Festival at the start of the year and took out the award for the best documentary! Many thanks to Kandy Kurran who encouraged us to enter the festival.

Image of prize pack from the Mud and Saltwater Film Festival in Broome.

Time flies for flight training

Aviation achievements

In 2019, I was awarded a flight training scholarship through Women in Aviation International’s Australian Chapter. I had been twice thwarted due to Covid lockdowns and bad weather, but finally managed to get down to Bathurst in May of this year to complete my controlled airspace endorsement with Jeremy and Tammy from Pan Air Flight Training.

Over the course of a week, we flew in and out of Canberra controlled airspace twice. I also did the Sydney Harbour Scenic where air traffic control (ATC) give you the green light to do a couple of orbits around the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Talking to ATC wasn’t quite as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be and I had an awesome time. 

Completing my controlled airspace endorsement was the final step for my flight training. I will now be able to legally fly my microlight in and out of controlled airspace during my trip around Australia!

Here are a few photo highlights from the trip. Many thanks to WAI and Jeremy and Tammy from Pan Air Flight Training for helping me to achieve this milestone!

Money, money, money!

Grant success

Last, Wing Threads has also been successful with two grant submissions this year. The first from the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and a second through the Hunter Bird Observers Club based in Newcastle, New South Wales. 

Funding from both of these grants will go towards the creation of an online eLearning pack about migratory shorebirds to complement A Shorebird Flying Adventure. The aim of the eLearning pack is to facilitate teachers to bring migratory shorebirds into their classroom. Once complete, it will be freely available through the Wing Threads website.

Final words

Last year, I finished by saying the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many of us to our limits in what has been an unprecedented year of uncertainty and isolation for everyone. At the time, 2021 looked like a light at the end of the tunnel but turned out to be similarly difficult. Perhaps we are all a little bit better at riding the waves of uncertainty and learning to take better care of ourselves and each other. 

Wherever you are, I hope you are able to reconnect with family and friends at home this festive season. Or like myself, are looking forward to being able to in the New Year. Whatever you are doing, I wish you a safe and happy Christmas break full of much love and relaxation. After all we have experienced over the last two years, I reckon we can take on whatever 2022 has to throw at us!

As always, many thanks to all of you for your continued support and I look forward to bringing Wing Threads: Flight Around Oz to you in the New Year!

Milly Formby
Milly Formby is a zoologist, pilot, and illustrator of the children’s book, A Shorebird Flying Adventure She is currently flying her microlight around Australia in 2022/23 to share,A Shorebird Flying Adventure with primary students.
Image credits:
Book cover for A Shorebird Flying Adventure

A Shorebird Flying Adventure

Available Now

Join Milly on her microlight and discover how amazing and awesome migratory shorebirds are!

Milly Formby is a zoologist and illustrator of the children’s book A Shorebird Flying Adventure. Available now through CSIRO Publishing.

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