As a recent 'joinee' - if there is such a word- I have spent several
days perusing the various postings to this list. I was particularly keen
to see that someone else has recorded Australian practincoles, as this
one is a newcomer to me. I first saw this bird on October 18th, on the
plains which stretch around Big Bend on the River Murray (for those not
in the know, Big Bend is about 7km south of Swan Reach). As the driver,
I guess pulling to a sudden halt on a dirt track is NOT recommended; but
seeing a strange bird on the edge of the track, which didn't fly off
despite my clouds of dust, was infinitely more interesting than where I
was going! We observed 3 individuals, all adults - sightings which were
accompanied by little cries of "there's another one!" - though there
may have been more, and all curiously facing the same way, as if they
were waiting for something.
Perhaps some of the more 'hardened' birdwatchers/ornithologists will
think my observations 'ho-hum', but I subscribe to Tony Russell's little
note - I do get excited when I see a bird I haven't seen before; and
yes, I do bring out my Simpson & Day and put a little check next to my
new find. But then I bring out my little black & red notebook, and sit,
and watch for as long as I can, and make notes, doodles etc.
Fortunately, my partner has caught my 'fever', and I'm sure we must've
looked a sight, heads out the window like a couple of dogs!
As to the recent questions on the new version of S&D, although it is
bulkier than Slater, I do prefer it as I find the drawings more accurate
with regards to colour. Though it is worth noting that the picture for
the Australian pratincole (#220) is more golden than the individuals
that we observed in October.
Anyone with any info/sightings of the Australian pratincole would be
showered with gratitude if I could hear from you - I'm still learning,
after 20 years!
Description: Card for Karina J Mercer