Tamworth Twitchers Twitchathon

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Tamworth Twitchers Twitchathon
From: "Eddie Ash" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 22:12:59 +1100
The Tamworth Birdwatchers sponsored a group in the Twitchathon for the first time this year.   The group comprised Jenny Norton, Jane Morris, Louise Baker and myself.   I don't have the amount we raised in front of me, but it must have been in the vicinity of $500 - almost 50% of that coming from our club funds.
We started our run  at Quipolly Dam near Quirindi and got off to a very good start.   The dam supports a wide range of water birds including a sea eagle.   Within a few minutes we had all the grebe and all but one cormorant possible up this way.   A smaller dam nearby added blue bill ducks to our duck count and the adjacent bushland was full of bush birds, the best being the crested shrike-tit.
Then we headed to Gunnedah where we camped on a property near the Kelvin forest for the night.   As I used to live over there we drove along a road where I used to see lots of barn owls and sure enough, there was one in exactly the same spot.   We didn't get any other night birds.   That could have something to do with our not being dedicated enough to stay up!   Instead we enjoyed a wonderful night sleeping under the stars in brilliant moonlight.
Lots of birds greeted us next morning however, and by the time we left Kelvin we were approaching 100.   Borah Creek near Manilla was our next stop.   It is always a good spot and turquoise parrots and a hooded robin were our best additions there.   We also had a lovely sighting of about five little lorikeets perched on a branch down at water level.
Our club members were having an outing that day to find the regent honeyeater near Barraba, so we made that our destination for lunch.   They hadn't found the bird when we arrived, but the discovery of three birds about ten minutes later gave us our best sighting for the trip.
A brief stop near Bundarra added the yellow-tufted honeyeater to our list.   We don't often see these honeyeaters, so we lost a little time enjoying watching a group of them fly all around us.
Dangar's Lagoon near Uralla yielded more water birds and some whiskered terns just coming into breeding dress.   We were surprised to see a brown quail there at the water's edge behaving rather like a crake, and we had a very good sighting of the little grass bird.
Our trip ended at Jenny's place at Kentucky.   We quickly added a few common birds that she always has there and then had a much needed cup of tea.   Our total was 128 birds - very pleasing when you consider that we didn't have access to a great range of habitats.
It could have been 130 though.   Being rather tired, we hadn't checked Jenny's dam, as we already had the waterbirds she usually gets.   Just after five o'clock she discovered we could have added a night heron and a spoonbill. Never mind, at least we found the regent honeyeater.   It was a new bird for Louise  which made it even better.
Cheers Annabel
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