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
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.