The Best of 1996
Thu, 21 Dec 95 18:14:43
My best birding experiences this year arise from my work on the endangered
species Gould's Petrel, on Cabbage Tree Island (off the NSW coast at Nelson
I've been going there working on the conservation/recovery program, searching
for new nests, extracting the adult birds out of their nesting holes to check
for eggs and bands on their legs and our team bands and weighs those that we
find unbanded. Whilst the adults can be very feisty and bite hard, some are
quiet as you hold them and their colour and plumage pattern is beautiful. We
go out at night as well and sometimes they're just sitting around and again
it's wonderful to see them. A particularly exciting moment was seeing one
climb a cabbage tree palm - they truly do this as they make their way to the
top of the palm to take off over the heavy rainforest canopy.
This is in the December and then we return in the March to check on the chicks
- the cutest balls of fluff you've ever seen and each one representing very
precious hope for survival of the species. Relatively early days but the
breeding success does appear to be increasing.
Very satisfying indeed.
Cheers and Merry Christmas to you all
Sydney NSW Australia
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