300th bird twitched

Subject: 300th bird twitched
From: S Cooney <>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 13:48:16 +1000
Hi Birders

Just a short tale of a small achievement in one man's birding.

On the 1st of July I went on my third pelagic trip off Port Fairy, Victoria, with still the primary aim of seeing a Wandering or Royal Albatross for the first time.  It was another great day and I was happy to see Cape Petrel and two Prions for the first time, although I again failed to see a Grey Goshawk in the Cobden area and the Albatross did not appear.

Upon returning home and tallying up the new birds I realised that the Cape Petrel was the 299th bird on my Australia list!  Well, then I was inspired, knowing that the small, yet significant number of 300 beckoned.  On the 2nd of July I headed off to Werribee; Frecks were still a possibility (hello Shirley), I had no luck, but I was seeing all sorts of things, including a pretty good look at what I still think, though I've not listed, was a Chestnut-rumped Hylacola and a great look at the Sub Adult Sea-Eagle, as reported on Birdline by Richard Nowotny, feeding on a Coot (I think) while being watched by 4 Whistling Kites.  Still no 300th bird.

On the 3rd, work took me into Gippsland and a side trip to Mitchell River N.P yielded great views of Satin Bowerbirds who were feeding in the picnic area with a group of Currawongs.  Still no 300th bird!

On the 4th, I stopped for a bit at Colquohuon State Forest near Lakes Entrance, Victoria and listened to a fantastic Lyrebird and saw a Spotted Quail-thrush, but still no 300th.

On the 5th, I finally got around to putting my sightings for the past week or so onto the computer and lo and behold the Skua seen on the pelagic was a Great Skua, not a South Polar Skua, as I'd seen on my previous pelagics!  Bird number 300 - Great Skua Catharacta skua.

So, 300 birds since I started listing on the 23rd of May, 1996.  291 of them are from Victoria the other 9 are from a trip to the SA riverland; Morgan, Gluepot, Yookamurra.  I haven't travelled, as a birder, any further afield.  It's inspired me to travel up north to double my list and I may have that opportunity next July!  Having said that there are still some pretty easy birds to get down here, like:

Stubble Quail
Little Button Quail
Red-chested Button Quail
Fairy Tern !
Little Lorikeet !
Australian Owlet-nightjar
Western Gerygone
Fuscous Honeyeater
Olive Backed Oriole

All listed as Common in Simpson & Day and having a range extending into Victoria

Lewin's Rail
Baillon's Crake
Brush Cuckoo
White-throated Nightjar
Striated Fieldwren

All listed as Moderately Common in S & D and having a range extending into Victoria, not to mention the Goshawk at Cobden and the Freckled Duck at Werribee.  Any assistance would be most welcome (though some of them have been on Birdline).

Its no 600 bird saga, but at least I can still expect to see a new bird every other month and that thrill is worth it.

Happy Twitching


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