re. the last one

To: <>
Subject: re. the last one
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 10:09:49 +1100

No, no Steve.  David extracted the graphic from GoogleEarth and enclosed it with his message.  I merely cut it down somewhat, added the points and made it available in message format.


Using GoogleEarth images does seem to be an efficient way of directing attention to sites of current interest and avoiding confusion caused by abbreviated verbal descriptions.  On the other hand, it does facilitate and perhaps encourage large numbers of birdwatchers to visit and traverse the one small piece of bird habitat.  Half a dozen is one thing, fifty is another.  I do not have strong views but I foresee an emerging debate that is going to increase in intensity as more people pursue the hobby.  There seems to be a powerful incentive to stand in the ‘very spot’, although I suppose there is a limit to the number of people that can perch at the one time in  the Holliday Tree  (the modest euc from which Steve first verified the sighting).


As Demetris pointed out this species (or subspecies) seems much more difficult to observe than its counterpart in Europe, but I can only speculate whether this is due to smaller numbers, fewer observers, less good observation points (as John suggested), shyness or cryptic behaviour.  I like the graphic for the species in the BA Atlas:




In the Atlas, despite its extensive range the number of cells where this species was recorded in the 5-year period was very small, less even than for the other 2 bitterns.  However it does turn up around Canberra reasonably regularly, if infrequently  -  at eg Acacia Inlet, Warrina Inlet, Kellys, Black Mountain Peninsula.   The available habitat of relatively small stands of fringing typha does seem suitable for it.  At the same time the opportunities for observation are reasonable, particularly, it seems, from small craft.  I would suggest that, overall, Canberra is not a bad place to see the bird, and more systematic efforts over time to record it could well confirm this.


From: stephpar [
Sent: Tuesday, 12 February 2008 10:15 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] re. the last one


No David, I shall be the last one, as I live out in the sticks and always seem to be "flat out doing mundane other things" like shopping, when I am in the Big Smoke.


I get frustrated not being closer to record on camera birds etc. that keep popping up on the chat line.


Many thanks to GD for the useful "map" re. Acacia inlet, I wasn't sure where it was until one day driving round the lake towards Tuggeranong I spotted the acacias in an inlet.  Ah, Ah says me, could be the spot.  Thank you Geoff., a great shot of the area.  Taken while hang-gliding round the lake no doubt, or have you now gone from 4x4 to ultra-lite videoing?


Also thanks to the people who have given the insect and butterfly web sites.  Very useful for me and my photo images.  I not only photograph birds.



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