Many of you will recall discussions about a potential one-off twitchathont
o celebrate 2002 The Year of the Outback. Well, Frances Czwalinna and Ih
ave finally made progress in getting this organised. Frances has done am
arvellous job and will act as the national coordinator for this event. Asi
ndicated below contact Frances or myself and we will arrange for kits tob
e sent out.
Even though we have done little promotion of the event we already have
teams interested in South Australia, Victoria and at least five teams fromN
SW (one will be on the Nullarbor at the time and another on the Canning
Stock Route) as well as one tour company that will be at Newhaven. I
hope we can get some interest from Queensland, the Northern Territory andW
estern Australia. Tasmanians could participate but you would need to
I view this as not necessary a competition to see who records the greatestn
umber of birds in a 36 hour period, although there are teams that will bew
orking very hard to do this, but as an excuse to get out there and see
some birds while raising money for "Newhaven".
I will be promoting the event in the regional, and hopefully national,
media. I would encourage others that have media contacts to do the same,o
r let me know that such an opportunity exists. This is a great
opportunity to jump on the Year of the Outback bandwagon and promote our
arid country birds and their conservation. In the past there has been a
lot of talk about promoting our birds on this forum, it's time to do it!
If you aren't interested in forming a team (and it's not for everyone)
then how about sponsoring a team? I might even lay down a challenge. TheW
hacked Out Woodswallows (David Geering, Carol Probets and Mick Todd) is
quite happy to accept (tax deductible) donations from the northern
birding-aus members while I'm sure The Driving Petrel Heads would be happyt
o accept donations from Victorians (Lawrie, I assume you're still
interested). Let's see who raises the most money. Perhaps teams in others
tates might take up the same challenge?
By the way, the limits of "the outback" (as adopted for this twitchathon)w
as taken from maps published in the proceedings of an arid Australia
symposium. This leaves no room for anyone to accuse anyone else of fixingb
oundaries. It was difficult coming up with boundaries - everyone seemst
o have a different idea of where "the outback" starts. Maps will be sentt
o all teams defining the boundaries. Note that in this twitchathon the
state boundaries ae being dropped (yes, we are letting the Victorians
tresspass onto other states).
Essentially, the event will operate as follows:
What is Birds Australia's Outback Twitchathon?
The idea behind the race is for people to form into teams (minimumn
umber per team - 2 people), and go out into outback Australia and find as
many species of birds as possible in the 36 hour period
described below. Each member of the team is encouraged to find
sponsorship from friends, family, colleagues or corporations for
each species of bird seen or heard by the team, or to find straight
out donations for the team. There are great prizes to be won, including ap
rize for the most funds raised by an individual member of the team!
Twithathons are really enormous fun! This Outback Twitchathon isa
lso that magic, outback experience you've been waiting for! It's your
enjoy inland Australia, learn something, or something more,
about our native birds and our unique, glorious outback. It's also
that wonderful opportunity to do some bird atlassing
and to win a great prize, whether you're a novice or experienced
birdwatcher, or have the ability to
encourage people to sponsor your team! But more importantly, it is ano
pportunity to draw attention to our birds and their habitat both to
country and city folk.
Dates and time:
Any 36 hour period commencing at 6 a.m. on the first day and ending at
6 p.m. on the second day between Saturday 27 July and Sunday 18 August, 2002.
(We would encourage teams to participate on the week-end of
27/28 July if at all possible ? however see "What do you need to do"
You can start in any part of arid Australia and finish in any parto
f arid Australia! We'll send you a map defining arid Australia for thep
urposes of this twitchathon.
What do you need to do?
Just register a team for the race by contacting our Sydney office,d
etails of which are below. An Outback Twitchathon Kit will be
sent to you immediately. (Registration must be received by 21 July,
Please remember that care must be taken in Outback Australia ? bes
ure to plan your trip well. Take plenty of water and food, sun
block-out cream, insect repellant, hat, sensible clothing and shoes.
Take maps, and a compass or GPS unit (if you have one). If you are goingi
nto really remote areas, be sure to register and de-register at the
local Police Station or a suitable outback post. In many areas roadsm
ay be impassable after rain. Ensure that you check predicted weather
conditions. If conditions are unsuitable, we would encourage you to
either change your route, or participate on other days within the
Fundraising for our Outback Twitchathon
Birds Australia recently purchased "Newhaven Station", 335 km
north-west of Alice Springs. It is home to at least 15 nationallyt
hreatened species of animals and plants. There are five species ofb
irds nationally threatened and 19 species which are threatened in one orm
ore mainland States. Regionally threatened birds include Major
Mitchell's Cockatoo, Black-breasted Buzzard, Australian Bustard, Bush
Stone-curlew and Grey-crowned Babbler. It boasts ten vegetation
communities and a wide array of landforms, none of which are well
represented in existing reserves. Your Twitchathon Kit
will contain a supplement to Birds Australia's national magazine
"Wingspan", which describes the property and all its wonderful attributes.
Since that publication, we were able to raise the funds to
buy the property from both our very generous members and the public atl
The Outback Twitchathon is your great opportunity to help us
maintain this vast outback property to ensure that it remainsa
safe haven for our native birds, other animals and plants.
For further information contact :
Birds Australia, P.O. Box 1322, Crows Nest, 1585
Tel/Fax 02 9436 0388 Email:
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