Birding for Devils

To: <>
Subject: Birding for Devils
From: "John Weigel" <>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2012 11:11:57 +1000
Hi Paul,


Thanks for the nice introductory comments - I am flattered to be thought of
kindly by birders like yourself and Ruth, who are the 'real deal' indeed.  


I was going to wait for bird #500 to introduce myself to the forum - but the
tally is 499, and I can't afford the time to chase that last bird down today
- I have so much work to catch up on. And with the introduction, I thought
I'd jump in now.  


As an apologetic explanation, as a 'reptile guy', I only discovered birding
a few years ago - though I am making up for lost time and have dedicated way
too much attention to it since. I'm visiting the same places I have searched
for snakes in the past - e.g. Saibai Island, Iron Range, but spend more time
looking up rather than down. I don't know what it is about searching for
birds, so I can't explain it to family and friends - but walking, listening,
looking, listening. quiets the freight-train in the head like nothing else
I've experienced. I love it and can't get enough of it. It's like being an
11 year-old on a treasure hunt. And with a driver's licence! After being
inspired by Sean's wonderful and iconic book, and other readings, especially
the American 'Kingbird Highway' by Kenn Kaufman, I decided to have a big
year of my own - with the completion of first stage of 'Devil Ark', a huge
project that has absorbed the past few years of my effort, and while all the
joints and most other body parts still work well. As the year develops I'll
be doing some publicity from time to time to promote Devil Ark (see for an understanding of what we are trying to


For those who may be interested, I'll try to get trip reports up on the blog
as soon as possible. I have very few non-birding days - a big mistake in my
planning. I seriously underestimated how onerous the job would be (no
complaints - I'm loving every minute), or how tired I'd be each night, with
no desire to create blog-stuff. After the Sydney pelagic tomorrow I have a
couple of days before heading in Brisbanely direction for a while, and will
focus on loading photos of listed birds into hot-links adjacent to the
listings during these precious couple of days.  Then I'll start writing
reports - I promise. The past four months seem like a life-time already -
plenty of adventures and life-and-death incidents to report, just need to
find time!  


I should mention that I've had incredibly valuable help from a bunch of
people this year, who have made it possible to nail-down some pretty tough
birds already - particularly Tim Faulkner and Rohan Clark - but including a
bunch of other generous birders who I'll recognise and thank on the blog.



John Weigel 


John Weigel AM

Australian Reptile Park

Pacific Hwy, Somersby, NSW.

PO Box 737, Gosford, NSW, 2250

ph 02 4340 1022 fax 02 4340 2990








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