New Aussie Bird List

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: New Aussie Bird List
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 12:26:20 +1100
This listing and counting bird species is a curious thing. I know I have
seen a number of bird species in Australia, plus a much smaller number of
bird species outside Australia (on my only time outside Australia, of 3
weeks, two years ago). A number of these bird species were rare vagrants to
Australia, although I think that number was one. I have participated in a
number of bird surveys over the last number of years (though that number is
getting close to 40) . 

However it is a number of years (I think the number is something like 25)
since the last time I attempted to count the number of bird species I have
seen: in my life, in a year, in a politically defined area within Australia
(although I don't think I have ever done that), at a location (except for at
my Garden Bird Survey site in Canberra but that was because for many years I
ran the survey for the Canberra Ornithologists Group and so I built the
database had all the stats and data on everyone and did all the analysis). 

Yes I have seen a number of bird species new to me since the last time I
tried to count them. But I don't know that number. That number usually
decreases with each new year and is not huge, because I can't afford to
travel much. The only exception to that decline was in 2005 when I went to
Cairns and 2009 when I went to China. I still enjoyed each one before and
after that 25 years and pretty much know what they were, when and where.

I am also far more interested in bird behaviour and conservation etc. Maybe
I am contra weird in a community of strange people who think all these
numbers are important. Of course whatever are your preferences that is good
for you.

I just wanted to make a point (not start an argument) that one can
contribute well to the field and get to know birds well and yet not be aware
of what those numbers on a personal list are. The other point is that I
really hate the vagueness of the expression "a number of". 



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