2003 Victorian Twitchathon results and summary

Subject: 2003 Victorian Twitchathon results and summary
From: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 18:31:02 +1100
2003 Victorian Twitchathon Report 25 ? 26 October (Long)
Tim Dolby

Well it?s been run, won and lost! The 2003 Victorian Twitchathon is 
over for another year. Total numbers of birds were down, due mainly to 
the rains and winds in Southern and Central Victoria over the weekend, 
however participation in the race was high. Over 50 tired and bleary-
eyed birdo?s made it to the finish line at Birds Australia in Hawthorn. 

The abbreviated results are as follows: 

24-Hour Race
· Tick Tock Twins (Paul Rose and Sean Fitzgerald) 174 (1st Prize)
· Seven Year Twitchers (Tim Dolby, Greg Oakley and John ?I?d rather 
play cricket? Harris) 170 (2nd Prize)

8-Hour Race
· Common Driving-Petrelheads (Lawrie Conole, Grant Baverstock, Russell 
Woodford) 156 (1st Prize)
· Norwegian Blues (Jack Krohn Snr, Jack Krohn Jnr, George Pergaminelis) 
123 (2nd Prize)

8-Hour Open 
· Bush Turkeys (Sean Dooley, Peter Lansley, Nevil Amos, Stuart Cooney, 
Paul Peake) 136 (1st Prize)
· Abbreviated Catbirds (Craig Morley, Margaret Cameron, John Bottomley) 
129 (2nd Prize) 

Best Bird
· Sooty Albatross Catbirds (Margaret Cameron, Marylyn Hewish, Dean 

As seen above, the best birds for the 2003 Twitchathon was remarkably 
Sooty Albatross, seen off Aireys Inlet Lighthouse. Other notable birds 
recorded during the Twitchathon included Black Honeyeater, Crimson 
Chat, Budgerigar, Chestnut-rumped and Shy Hylacola, White-winged Fairy-
wren and Spotted Nightjar. 

The following is a summary of the 2003 Victorian Twitchathon. 

In the north of Victoria 2 teams saw Black Honeyeater, recorded at both 
Goschen Bushland Reserve and at Tresco West Bushland Reserve. Other 
birds recorded in Northern Victoria included Emu, Budgerigar, Crimson 
Chat, Zebra Finch, Variegated, Splendid and White-winged Fairy-wren, 
Black-eared Cuckoo, Southern-scrub Robin, Hooded Robin, Striped and 
Blue-faced Honeyeater, Major Mitchell?s Cockatoo, Blue Bonnet, Regent 
and Mulga Parrot, Black Kite and Spotted Harrier. There was also an 
abundance of Rufous Songlark, White-winged Triller, Spiny-checked 
Honeyeater and Rainbow Bee-eater, and there were literally thousands of 
Whiskered Tern around the inland lakes, a bird recorded by all teams 
participating in the Twitchathon. Also 5 woodswallow were recorded - 
White-breasted, Masked, Black-faced, White-browed, and Dusky 

In the mid-North of Victoria, such as at Terrick Terrick National Park 
and the Whipstick, birds recorded included Spotted Nightjar, Shy 
Hylacola, Black-chinned, Fuscous, and Tawney Crowned Honeyeater, 
Australian Ringneck, and Red-capped Robin.

Birds recorded from the southern forests of Victoria, such as at the 
Otway Ranges ?National Park?, Ironbark Reserve at Point Addis, and the 
You Yangs, included Peregrine Falcon, Rose Robin, Chestnut-rumped 
Hylacola, Crescent Honeyeater, Diamond Firetail, Restless Flycatcher, 
Southern Whiteface, Rufous Bristlebird, Brush Bronzewing, Painted 
Button-quail, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Satin 
Bowerbird, Latham?s Snipe, and Blue-winged Parrot was common.

At sea Sooty Albatross was amazingly seen by three teams, although only 
officially recorded by one! Two teams discounted this bird in disbelief 
and possibly a fear of ridicule! (Well-done Margaret Cameron for taking 
the leap!). Also reported at sea was White-browed and Shy Albatross  
(including race salvini), and Short-tailed Shearwater. Along the coast 
Black-faced Cormorant, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Pied Oystercatcher, 
Caspian and Fairy Tern were all recorded.

At the Western Treatment Plant and on the Bellarine Peninsula the 
numbers of migrating waders were still low. Waders recorded included 
Black-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Eastern Curlew, Sharp-tailed 
Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and Red-
necked Stint. Some of the other birds recorded in this area included 
Red-kneed Dotterel, Buff-banded Rail, Glossy Ibis, Striated 
Calamanthus, Black Falcon, and Fairy and White-winged Black Tern. 

In Melbourne Azure Kingfisher and Sacred, Nankeen were both recorded as 
well as Nankeen Night-Heron, the ubiquitous Rainbow Lorikeet, and 
a ?golden-mantled? phase of Eastern Rosella was seen at Chelsworth 
Park, in Ivanhoe

Overall there were low numbers of robin, thornbill and honeyeater, and 
(probably related) low numbers of cuckoo and mid-sized raptors. There 
were also only few records of Black-tailed Native Hen, Brolga, Black-
fronted Dotterel and Banded Plover, and no records of Pacific Golden 
Plover - possibly the biggest dip for the Twitchathon? Other birds with 
a low numbers included herons and egrets, and there were no recorded 
bittern or crake.  Also, aside from Spotted Nightjar mentioned above, 
the only night birds recorded were Boobook Owl and Tawny Frogmouth.

Finally some of the birds reported outside the official race time of 
the Twitchathon included Gull-billed Tern, Pied Honeyeater, Little 
Button-quail, Cockatiel, and Powerful and Barking Owl. Bad luck! 

All in all this years Twitchathon was a texcellen survey of the current 
status of Victorian birds. For example, nice birds recorded in the 
North, such as Black Honeyeater, Crimson Chat and Budgerigar - and of 
course the Sooty Albatross. 

My special thanks goes to the participant in the 2003 Victoria 
Twitchathon ? well done everyone! I would also like to thank Helen and 
Bill Larkin, Doris Graham, Naomi Hall and Sally Symonds for helping 
with the prizes and the barbeque at Birds at Hawthorn. Special thanks 
also to Tania Ireton and Aine Walsh for doing a great job as our 
official Birds Australia judges. 

All the best,

Tim Dolby


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