year in review

Subject: year in review
From: (hillier lab)
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 1996 15:35:36 +0000
Hi everyone,
        I  thought it was about time we had some messages on highlights of 
the year almost past.  So I will quickly list some of my top sightings and 
exciting events.
        My best new Australian sighting this year would have to be the Ringed 
Plover in Westernport.  My first vagrant sighting and the views we got were 
exceptionally close.  I also saw it in Europe this year. Other birds of 
interest seen for the first time were a good set of hard to find parrots; 
Ground, Superb and Orange-bellied.  I felt very lucky to get a good look at 
the Ground Parrot even though I was in their preferred Barren Grounds 
        I didn't get to many new places in Australia this year and not many 
new Australian birds but I did have a few weeks in Sweden where I visited 
Falsterbo (one of Europe's main migrant watching spots at the south west tip 
of Sweden).  I was astounded to see more than sixty other birdwatchers at 
Falsterbo the morning I was there; this came as a shock to me as I had never 
been birdwatching in the presence of a group larger than three.  Not only 
that but the rare bird alert system was very professional with not only a 
phone message but a system of beepers that many birdwatchers wear.   The 
power of the internet connection was very obvious as I got in touch with a 
birdwatcher in Sweden who took me to a number of his favorite spots, 
certainly showing me more birds in a day than I could have found by myself in 
a week. 
        Another exciting first was my participation in the RAOU twitchathon. 
A really enjoyable couple of days and I am already looking forward to trying 
again next year.  Statistically speaking the year (so far) produced about 270 
species with a total of fifty new bird sightings and eight of those were new 
Australian sightings.
        Thanks to all who answered messages during the year and helped me to 
get some sightings that otherwise would probably have eluded me and of course 
thanks to Russell for his continuing work for the list.
                                                        Best Wishes
                                                        John Boyce

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