Beginning birding

To: jade welch <>, <>
Subject: Beginning birding
From: jilldening <>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 11:36:22 +1000
  jade welch  29/4/03 12:00 AM
> Over the last two days i have seen a total of ten new species for my life
> list. Believe it or not i am proud to say this was in a local park in the
> middle of suburbia ................... One of the species which raised the
blood pressure
> and excitement over the two days were a Male Mistletoebird while the other
> another species which was not expected at all did the same and this was a
> Buff-banded Rail. ............ As i am
> only 18 and starting out i have alot of excitement to gain from the new birds
> i see and i hope for many more years of excitment and learning. At present i
> am compiling a lis t of species i have seen in the park. So far so good with a
> total of 49 making it to the list.

Well done, Jade. It's fun to go out birding, and it's great fun to share it
with people who share the interest. After a while, you start to feel a
familiarity with the habitats that certain species use, and further along
the track you get to the stage where you can just look at a patch of bush
and write a mental list of the birds you might expect to see in that patch.
It's a game you can play with yourself, as your knowledge grows. Another
game you can play with yourself is to count the number of birds you can
identify by call alone as you go for a walk. I do this sometimes, because I
can't trust myself to take my binos on my morning walk (or I would take to
stopping), and so I identify the birds from call. Another fun thing is to
work out which birds are the first to call as daylight approaches, and in
which order the birds call.

You mention the Mistletoebird. I had a new experience with a pair the other
day. It was terribly windy, and I was out doing a Caloundra sandbanks (SEQ)
survey. In the lee of Bribie Island we were assailed by a wall of sandflies
which were seeking shelter from the wind. We had not seen Mistletoebirds
there before, and a pair was hawking for sandflies. I always associate the
Mistletoebird with fruits, and this was the first time I can recall seeing
them hawking for insects. Then along came a couple of Pied Butcherbirds,
which tried several times to catch the Mistletoe birds. It was a real
battleground above our heads, the air thick with sandflies, Mistletoebirds
and Pied Butcherbirds. To our great relief the Mistletoebirds escaped.

Enjoy your birding,


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'     152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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