5-45 AM Saturday morning, 1 August, Eltham, outer north-east suburb of
Melbourne. Lying in bed trying to determine how long I can stay there
before I run a chance of missing my flight to sunny, and relatively warmer,
The first bird recorded in the all new, fully modernised, Birds Australia
ATLAS was Laughing Kookaburra, followed by Australian Magpie. I was
somewhat relieved that my first two birds were not Blackbird and Common
Myna as I expected (these were 3 and 4 respectively).
What I was a little disappointed about, however, was the lack of fanfare
that heralded in this very important project. Also the lack of very basic
things such as instruction manuals and record sheets. I appreciate that
staff of Birds Australia have been working overtime to get the Atlas up and
running, but I think that a great opportunity has been missed. I think
large numbers of birdwatchers would have loved to have got out on the
weekend and done some atlassing (particularly in Sydney where the weather
was glorious), a first for the many who missed Atlas I. Perhaps a more
realistic starting date should have been set.
With luck, atlassers will have record sheets this week in time for the
national Regent Honeyeater/Swift Parrot survey this weekend, 8-9 August. I
am anticipating about 100 people taking part in this survey and I hope they
will all be completing atlas sheets as well as our survey forms.