I love Boxing Day.The Christmas pressure is off,
the Sydney to Hobart is on, the cricket is on (well, in a fashion) and here in
Maleny on the Blackall Range, Sunshine Coast hinterland there is anything but
sunshine.Our local weather station reports we have received over 3200mm (that's
10 feet in the old money) up to mid-December, and it continues to pour, as it's
done all year!!
So, some unstructed highlights from
1.Striated heron 60km
inland on South Burnett River at Goodnight Scrub over Easter.For one mad moment
I thought I had my first bittern.Alas and alack!!
2. Doing a raptor count
in southern Moreton Bay with Peter Woodall, in comfort, exploring the many
islands and channels.
3.An Australian Hobby
soaring over Pt.Lookout, South Stradbroke on my 50th birthday
4.First Baillon's Crake at
Buckley's Hole, Bribie Is.in Aug.
5.First visits to Gluepot,
Hattah Lakes, Chiltern, and the south coast of NSW on a 6 week semi-birding
camping trip which resulted in 221 birds .Highlights of trip included ticks for
White-browed Treecreeper (it was good to be back in the mallee), Eastern
Bristlebird (finally),Rockwarbler,Black Honeyeater,and Flame Robin.Other joys
included close and lengthy views of a Spotted Harrier in central Vic.,Red-necked
Avocet,Gang-gangs, Regent Parrot,Budgies,Elegant Parrot, Striated
Grasswren,Pilotbird,Chestnut Quail-thrush,four species of woodswallow in one
morning in NW Vic,,Sept.(Masked,White-browed,Black-faced,Dusky)
6.Flock of 35 Whistling Kites
soaring at Glasshouse Mts. on way home from work in Nov.
7.Doing Atlas and BOP
8.Continuing to add to home list,
now 115+, last addition Wonga Pigeon
9.Giving talk to local landcare group about Atlas
and (hopefully) engendering greater interest in the relationships between
humans, flora, avifauna,etc.
Of course there were also spectacular dips where
heaps of planning, research, discussions, and plain hard work in the field
failed to produce what others were locating with relative ease--- most notably
and annoyingly both Red-lored and Gilbert's Whistlers, Mallee Emu-wren,
Black-eared Miner (I could go on and on -but I won't!!)
Many thanks to Russell (great
name!) and fellow birding ausers.
Peace and great birding in 2000
Russ Lamb, Maleny