My ultimate ticks:
!. Blue Petrel at Warnbro Beach, c. 45 km S
of Perth in 1981. It was a dead bird that had been washed up on the beach,
so I took the carcass to the WA Museum. The Museum only had 2 other
Blue Petrel specimens in its collection at the time (if my memory serves me
correctly), so the museum staff were delighted to receive another
specimen. Over the next couple of weeks, up to 250 Blue Petrels had been
recorded collectively on beaches around Perth by other birdwatchers .
My specimen was thus a small part of a much larger beach wreck. Presumably, the
petrels were victims of stormy weather and blown way out of their usual range to
the south-west coastline of WA.
2. Spinifexbird. Not hard to find once
you know where to look for them. They can be rather thin on the ground on the
mainland (especially in the Pilbara), but quite densely populated on Barrow
Island, off the north-west coast of WA. Had fun studying aspects of the
ecophysiology of the Spinifexbird on Barrow Island between 1990 and 1993 in
collaboration with Darren Murphy, Don Bradshaw and Phil Withers from the
University of WA.
3. Superb Lyrebird. Okay, not an
uncommon bird in forests of south-eastern Australia. But it WAS a thrill to see
my first lyrebird in 1985 (in New England National Park) shortly after moving
from Perth to Armidale in northern NSW, especially when one had been used to
studying arid and semi-arid zone bird species in WA.
Therefore, I agree with the previous sentiment of
some birding-aussers, that ultimate ticks don't necessarily have to be rare
finds, but can be species that can give you a lot of joy the first time you see
(Dr) Stephen Ambrose