The late Barry Bucholtz

Subject: The late Barry Bucholtz
From: Murray Hunt <>
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2006 21:00:29 +1000 (EST)
Hey Trish!

  Please find below the article for Barry. I'll leave it up to you as to how to 
print it - whether to do it as a regular obituary or simply as a letter to the 
editor. Not sure if it fits the usual obituary format. Also do you reckon that 
you could up sending me a couple of copies please? If so P.O. Box 696, Jabiru, 
NT, 0886.
  Hope you doing good! When am I gonna see you in this neck of the woods?

  Thanks again,

  Letters to the Editor

  Reflections on the passing a good mate and of a friendship forged in the love 
of all things avian.

  Barry Bucholtz
  1 October 1944 - 25 August 2006

  I only met Barry four years ago (at O'Reilly's Guesthouse where I was working 
as a guide) but in that time I regarded him not only as a mate but also as a 
mentor and whenever I had a birding or business question inevitably I would 
seek out his wisdom. Later when living and working at Ayers Rock I, like many 
others, was the recipient of his generosity and had a place to stay whenever in 
Alice Springs. Early in our friendship, after a great meal and a couple of 
drinks he asked me that fateful question, "How many birds have you seen in 
Australia?". I being pretty new 'to the game', had not actually ever counted my 
hard earned ticks scribbled with pride in a much dog-eared Slater & Slater. 
Moreover, I wanted to get my total up there a little bit more before the first 
calculation. However this response did not satisfy a clearly excited Barry as 
he grabbed my bird-book out of my desperate hands. Ticks where counted and 
numbers projected into the balmy Alice night before finally
 an announcement of the total number of bird species seen - mid 300's - not too 
bad but embarrassing next to Barry's 700! Thereafter, with his usual gusto, he 
helped me in building my list (now mid 500's without pelagics) and I frequently 
felt that through his interest and photographic memory that he had a better 
knowledge of my list than I did! Through birdwatching with Barry I can say that 
he provided me with the thrill of 24 'new' birds, including a lot of the 
difficult birds of Central Australia like Grey Honeyeater (the bird with which 
most people will probably best associate him). I can also say that I was 
fortunate to also go birding with Barry in Kakadu where I now work and also on 
Kangaroo Island where he also had a home. I should also quickly mention at this 
point that Barry's total also progressed .... to the dizzy heights of 740! 
(equal ninth of personal totals in Australia).

  Unfortunately for me, Barry was frequently witness to the foibles of my 
chaotic mind and he would commonly chastise me heavily for my errors. In 
return, all I can say is there was only ever one bird that I could tease Barry 
about - Sooty Owl - and I loved to bring it up at the best of occasions. I had 
the pleasure of having this bird on my list for a little while before it 
finally found its way onto Barry's colossal list. Oh.. also, I could also 
mention a certain incident when Barry stepped just a little bit too close to a 
certain sewerage pond but I better not say any more...

  I was not able to travel to Barry's funeral, so I did the next best thing - I 
went searching for a special bird, one that has avoided me on dozens of 
occasions! This thing is a major 'BOGEY BIRD'! It has avoided me so badly that 
in the past I have even refused to say its name, actually all I will say now is 
that it has a white throat and lives above Gunlom Falls in Kakadu. I chose to 
resume my search on that special day because on a previous occasion Barry and I 
searched for this bird and the 'birding gods' were particularly cruel that day 
- Barry SAW it and I only HEARD it! What do you think happened with this new 
attempt? Did the gods deliver me from my birding anguish? It would be really 
nice to finish this story by saying yes but unfortunately I DIPPED again! Barry 
though would be having a laugh about it and I can almost hear him, even from 
this distance calling me all kinds of nasty names.

  Barry was a special bloke. His birding knowledge and expertise was 
extraordinary. But above all, his generosity of spirit in sharing his life, 
house, car, food, drink and information was, I believe, his defining trait. 
Mate, you will be sorely missed.

  Thoughts go out particularly to his wife Julie and his sons, John and Brian.

  Murray Hunt
  Guide @ Yellow Waters
  Kakadu National Park

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