Phew, the end of another truly marvellous Twitchathon! Who didn't enjoy it?! Everyone was so enthusiastic! At Maraylya, where my team finished, the atmosphere was quite "electric" waiting in anticipation for the results whilst enjoying the sausage sizzle and champagne! Oh yes, didn't we need a glass or two after the devastating thunderstorm, buckets of rain down the south coast, surprises and disappointments. How I admire the tenacity of all teams to persevere, no matter what! There is no doubt you are all are true birding believers!
Thank you everyone for making it such a wonderful Twitchathon. Your dedication to the task at hand is really remarkable. As coordinator, the enthusiasm shown is so rewarding – for no matter what category you enter the event, however many species seen or not seen, you have all made such a fantastic contribution to the conservation of our birds in the Murray catchment – what greater joy is that!
As for publicity, not only did we have a film crew making a documentary on the Twitchathon and following 3 teams about their Twitchathon journeys in NSW, but David Geering kindly gave 3 interviews on the ABC which covered much of NSW and the Hunter Bird Observers Club did much to draw attention to the event in their area. Michael Cheers has just rung me to say he will be speaking on the ABC radio in a few minutes about the Twitch results and his participation in the event. Thank you David, Michael and HBOC for such a wonderful contribution - I really appreciate your very hard work.
Please post to my home address no later than Monday, 3 November 2003 all your score sheets for checking and nominate the species your team considers the rarest bird seen. Please also supply the name of the team member who first found the rarest species. Alan Morris has kindly agreed to be judge of this prize category.
There were, in all, 40 teams – 10 Main Race, 20 Champagne Race, 6 Little Curlews (children under 10 yrs) and 4 Dollarbirds (children 11-16 yrs). Don't the champagners enjoy the twitching experience as well as their champagne! I so enjoyed hearing about friends and family members having a great birding and social weekend – making it a most enjoyable time for everyone, including children. Children have a week to send in their score sheets to make it easier for young children to participate. I list below the children's teams and the scores I do have, at this moment.
So off to work, Frances, dishing out the prizes. I'll start this task tomorrow! I would very much appreciate if all sponsorships could reach me by 20 December so that I can announce the person who raises the most funds prize before Christmas. Please post all sponsorship funds and sheets to the office of Birds Australia in Sydney and I'll process them from there.
Last year over $10,528 was raised for the Cowra Woodland Bird Program – what will be raised this year for a bird monitoring program in the Murray catchment and what outcomes will there be for our Murray woodland birds after your great achievement? It can be nothing less than complete success after your fantastic efforts!
Bye for now.
Twitchathon Coordinator and Librarian
Southern NSW & ACT Group, Birds Australia
2/399 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest, NSW 2065
P.O. Box 1322, Crows Nest, 1585
Telephone 02 9436 0388
Fax: 02 9436 0466