No, we weren’t part of Tim Dolby's Victwitch event but, coincidentally, while
sitting in the 50 degree heat of New Years Eve 2005 Joy Tansey and I thought it
might be interesting to see if we could get to 300 birds in Vic in one year.
Opening the tent door next morning at Hattah Kulkyne NP in far NW Vic we saw a
Banded Lapwing about 5 metres from us beside the lake. Not a bad start.
On New Years Eve 2006 at Cann River in the far east of the state we finished
the day and the year with, and by employing only minimal stage management, a
masked Lapwing. On the way back to our motel we both dismissed the peripheral
movements we saw that had the jizz of starlings and sparrows as nothing more
than flying cows and therefore were not countable.
Between these two event we each saw a slightly different selection of Vic birds
but, thankfully for birding-friend harmony, we both reached 302. The number of
outings to achieve the total was 37.
I had some surprising dips like Azure Kingfisher which are usually quite
reliable (Joy got one) and had some real highlights like Osprey (Joy missed
this one), Little Stint and Grass Owl – and these we both saw.
Along the way we also learned some totally invaluable birding tricks. One is
the wonder of Google Maps, on which you can find just about every road in the
country. Even the maze of fire tracks in the middle of the Gippsland (Vic)
forests are named!
Another trick we learned was how to find the location of an obscure campground
by using the web. You go to the National Public Toilet Website!! Wellll, of
course! How silly of us not to have known I hear you all say.
This year we haven’t settled on a Vic challenge yet. Maybe we will just try and
get the rest of the 50 or so birds that Tim says are still out there waiting
Tomorrow we are trying for one we both missed in 06; Beautiful Firetail.
There’s supposed to be some on something called Black Snake Creek Rd near
Gembrook – and with the promised 38 degrees I am sure it will be a wonderful
day for Black Snakes.
Cheers and happy birding everyone
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