Re: birding-aus Highlights 1999

Subject: Re: birding-aus Highlights 1999
From: Ronald Orenstein <>
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 08:11:36 -0500
Is it OK for us foreigners to get in on this?  I haven't, alas, been back
to Australia for many years, but I did get to do quite a bit of travelling
this year (mostly work-related) so have some definite highlights.  I caught
up with some real dream-birds of mine this year:

1. A Lesser Jacana at the Karen Country Club, Nairobi - the first for the
Nairobi area, and the only Jacana I had never seen - with the added
Aussie-related bonus that it was shown to me by my old friend Brian Finch,
whom I had not seen in 25 years.

2. A second visit to Madagascar, mostly for the CITES Animals Committee
meeting but with a side visit afterwards to Perinet and Mantadia, turned up
some wonderful creatures I had missed on my first trip in 1997, thanks
largely to our superb guides Patrice and Maurice: Madgascar Cuckoo-Hawk at
close range in Antananarivo; a clutch of rails around Perinet: Madagascar
Rail, Madagascar Wood Rail, Madagascar Flufftail and a brief glimpse of
White-throated Rail; a female Cuckoo-Roller at Analamazaotra, a bird I had
unaccountably missed in 1997; Collared Nightjar, Madagascar Long-eared Owl,
Madagascar Pygmy-Kingfisher and Crossley's Babbler at Analamazaotra; Velvet
Asity, Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity Brown Emutail and especially
Short-tailed Ground-Roller at Mantadia - I had been told that finding
forest ground-rollers in July was pretty much impossible.  An amazing few
days - plus encounters with lots of lemurs includng the gorgeous and shy
Diademed sifaka.

3.  Long, close encounters with my #1 dream bird on the planet, the
Akiapolaau, at Hakalau Reserve, Hawaii - many thanks to Rob Pacheco of
Hawaii Forest and Trail.

4.  An extraordinarily productive weekend in Portugal after the CITES
Standing Committee Meeting, thanks again to a terrific guide, Pedro
Geraldes.  Highlights for me were Great and Little Bustard, Black-bellied
Sandgrouse, Azure-winged Magpie and a bird I had failed to find on re[eated
visits to the UK, the Woodlark.

5.  These days I am so busy at home that most of my birding happens when I
travel - but I did have long looks at very close range at one of the few
North American waterfown I hade never seen, a Ross's Goose feeding with a
bunch of tame Canada Geese in a Toronto park (on my way to fetch my kids
from school!).

Not a bad year, tick-wise!

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          
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