Birding Australia--basic questions

Subject: Birding Australia--basic questions
Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 22:32:02 +0000
Dear international birding friends,

Greetings from Korea!

I am an avid and enthusiastic birder planning a trip to Australia leaving
from Korea in June, and I have no idea where to start. I was wondering
whether you would be able to help.  
This will be my first trip to Australia, so just about everything will be
new for me.  Although I have worked and lived in Korea for the past year 2
years, I am American born (Korean decent).  I have birded Korea extensively,
as well as the East coast US (with very little pelagic experience in either
country).  Thus, I generally have less concern for seeing any East Asian
species, or shorebirds or waterfowl that  might have already seen in Korea
or even the States--not htat there still aren't quite a few species I
would/could like to see in Australia.

My main concern now is that I have about two weeks (plus or minus) to travel
in Australia, but have no idea where to concentrate my travels to maximize
possible birds.  Simply put, for the (late) June season where are the best
places to go? Are pelagics recommended?  That is, which state/s would be the
best for a ballistic birding tour--QLD?, WA?, NSW?, etc.--to maximize
possible Australian birds (and other wildlife)?  I am capable (even prefer)
intensive/rigorous birding trips and itineraries, either alone, if
necessary, or with a tour or local birders preferably.  I have no formal
arrangements nor accomdations lined up yet, but of course low budget is
better (I am on a limited budget).

I hear NSW or QLD would be best this time of year? Is this true? I do have a
scuba license, so QLD and reef diving would be very attractive, as well as
outback mammals.

Also, I have surfed the Net a bit, but found that it is surprizingly
difficult to find out some of the more basic details of birding Aus.
Further, the amount of information is bit daunting if you have no prior
experience with the area.  

What are the birding conditions? That is, could I just book a hotel in
Sydney or Brisbane or whereever, and deal with whatever birds/wiildlife I
come across or can get to AFTER I get there?  Is there is seasonal
preference for birding in Australia? Is cheap and easy transport available
or should I book a birding tour (which generally seem more expensive)? I
suppose I could rent a car if that was recommended. what about on-the-fly
accomdations and travel?

I realize these are very large and involved questions, and I do not even
know if this is the most appropiate address to inquire for such information.
Thus, any information you could provide would be wonderful, or if you could
direct me to someone or a site that may be able to provide extensive
planning and coordination help, it would be greatly appreciated.

I am excited about the trip, but so far discouraged about being able to make
firm plans.  Please help.

Thank you for time.

Richard Min

PS. This may seems like a strange question, one mostly for my own curiosity,
but what are the basic demographics of the birding (human) population in
Australia?  That is, what is the average age range of birders there?  How
many are there?  Birders in the states have mostly tended to be older, with
a growing population of younger birders, while I say about 95% of the
birders in Korea are college/graduate student level.  As for myself, I am
24, but love birding with anyone else who loves birding.  In fact, I have
been host to many an international birding traveller to Korea--from US
college students, to Canadian foreign delegates, and once even a
former-Missionary from Guatemala. Together, I have enjoyed a variety of
experiences including relaxing park bird walks, as well as
under-the-bush-up-the-mountain-no-sleep target species excursions. 

Anyways, I was just wondering.  Thank you again for any help you provide.
Policy Analyst
The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
Office of Planning and Coordination
300-4 Yomgok-Dong, Socho-Gu
Seoul, Korea 137-800
Phone: 3460-1118
Fax: 3460-1119

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