New Year's Greetings to all,
As the clock winds down on 2001 I am preparing to head out to
the wet forests east of Melbourne to look for, on the stroke of midnight,
If I see it, then Sooty Owl will be the first bird on my year
list, and more importantly, take number spot for "The Big
"The Big Twitch" is my quixotic attempt to break the
Australian birdwatching record for seeing the greatest number of birds in one
Basically my aim is to try and see every Australian species be
they resident, migrant, or vagrant that is in Australia in the year
The record as far as I know was set by the late Mike
Entwhistle of England who saw approximately 635 species back in the late
eighties/early nineties. I don't believe he birded Autralia's external
territories as I intend to do, so I hope to get substantially higher than that.
In fact my pie-in-the-sky aim is to try and see 700 species in the one year.
Seeing how it took legendary twitchers over twenty years or longer, this may be
But with heaps of luck, some thorough planning and the
assistance of the Australian birdwatching community I think I have a reasonable
chance of getting there.
For those of you who see twitching as evil incarnate, I would
like to add that this is not a purely selfish indulgence on my part. With the
blessing of Birds Australia, I will be publicising the plight of our birds as I
travel and will try to raise sponsorship for the Threatened Species Appeal in a
manner similar to the Twitchathon. The logisitcs of this are still to be worked
out, but stay tuned for more information.
Similarly, I hope to have a website up and running by the end
of January so that people can track me in my quest. Until then I thought I would
publically announce my intentions so that if the going gets tough and I back out
of the project, I will now have publically humilated myself.
Oh, well, better go twitch meself a Sooty Owl.
Will keep you posted...