A Big Year record for Australia!
This result nicely finishes a very hectic three months since my last blog entry (sorry!). I do hope to write up various trip reports for this productive stretch, which saw me targeting a few important species near home, in Sydney to Hunter (with valuable much-appreciated help from Mick Roderick); out on the Tasmanian waters for three separate weekends, where I seemed to begin sprouting sea-legs for the first time in my boat-phobic lifetime – and it seems that I’ve actually begun to enjoy sea-birding! (highlights: Grey Petrel, both Royal Albatross species and Soft-plumaged Petrel) back up to the Brisbane region (highlights: Lewin’s Rail [finally!],
After a tipoff from Broome birder Adrian Boyle, that the annually returning Semipalmated Plover had arrived in Broome yesterday, I joined a group of expectant birders to locate the ‘SemiP’ at first light along Simpson’s Beach, Broome this morning. David Hair located the long-travelling vagrant at about 5:45 this morning, several hundred metres away from where I was searching, and kindly alerted me with a phone call. This brought the ‘Birding for Devils’ total to 721 – and a new Big Year record.
The 'big one' - Semipalmated Plover,
a day or so after its return from who-knows-where,
just in time for a BIG YEAR record twitch: 721
|A single Middendorf's Warbler on West Is|
resided in area of dense spinifex grass
southern ssp of Marbled Frogmouth, Eastern Ground Parrot and King Quail); Darwin and Kakadu with co-lunatic off-sider Tim Faulkner (with a HUGE result with White-throated Grasswren, as well as Little Ringed Plover); across Vic and SA with nary a sign of Australasian Bittern (ducked up to Gluepot Reserve to get the Scarlet-chested Parrots without skipping a beat); across the Nullarbor (got the QT on the run) to SW WA (where my best efforts over a three day period in search of critically endangered Western Ground Parrot at Cape Arid failed to produce the goods nor two half-days search for Bitterns, but I had fun, being joined at Albany by Robyn for a relatively laid-back week revisiting the SW skulkers, and tracking down a few remaining birds, including SW ssp of Crested Shrike-tit, both ssp of Western Corella, and the discordant yet oh-so-elegant Mute Swan); then successive daily marathon-drives northwards through WA, zig-zagging thousands of kilometres to round up Western Quail-thrush at Mt Magnet, the Shark Bay population of Western Grasswren, and the western ssp of Striated Grasswren (A. s. whitei) at Newman [which proved surprisingly tough to locate].
A kazillin Roseate Terns on
Lacepede Islands in the Indian Ocean
A Lesser Noddy was found grooming itself
in a sea of Common Noddies
|Common Redshank at Crab Creek, Broome|