On 1 July 2002 I will retire and my first project will be to help my 78
year old father (Jack) to see his 700th bird in Australia. He has only 7
to go and to suggest that he is keen to get there is something of an
We are planning a trip through north-eastern South Australia (Eyrean &
Short-tailed Grasswrens), western Queensland (Chestnut-breasted
Quail-thrush), Mackay (Eungella Honeyeater), Cairns (Great-billed Heron
with some help from Chris Dahlberg - not his first attempt though), Cape
York (a fabulous part of the world, but we do not expect anything new here
having found Buff-breasted Button-quail with expert help from Lloyd Neilsen
last year and we are leaving the Cape too early for House Swifts and
Red-rumped Swallows), Mt Isa (Kalkadoon Grasswren, which Jack missed when
he fell and broke his hip shortly after having seen the Carpentarian -
thanks Bob Forsyth), Boulia (Night Parrot - don't hold your breath Jack!),
Lawn Hill (because we have not been there), Kakadu (nothing new), Darwin
(Chestnut Rail), Kununurra (because we love it), The Kimberley including
the Gibb River Road and the Mitchell Plateau (Black Grasswren), the north
end of the Canning Stock Route (we already have seen Princess Parrots but
who would pass up the chance to see them again?) and home via the Tanami
Track and Newhaven.
With a bit of luck we should see all of the Grasswrens.
I have been compiling information on all of the above and barring
accidents, I hope we have that part covered.
I am short, however, of reliable site specific information for the
Red-chested Button-quail (we have missed them in the spots where I used to
If anyone could help it would be very much appreciated.
There are also many vagrants that would be new for Jack (Garganey, Great
Reed Warbler, Pintailed Snipe etc), but we will miss many of these because
we will be returning home in October when they are still arriving.
As a final comment - if anyone with their own vehicle is interested in
joining us for all or part of our trip, we would be pleased to have you.
The thing that gives me most pleasure is showing other people birds.
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