Grasswrens and fairy-wrens

To: Graeme Chapman <>, Carl Billingham <>
Subject: Grasswrens and fairy-wrens
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Mon, 11 May 2015 18:07:43 +1030
hey there Graeme & Carl,
firstly to Carl - a BIG thank you for your kind words posted on here about the 
inspirational Graeme Chapman. 
you would never have realised this Carl, but your note of appreciation to 
Graeme has reminded me that it is HE who is my original inspiration for 
becoming a birder in the first place - all those many years ago!!! 
& what's more, I have never thanked Graeme for that!!
so now to you, Graeme   -   THANK YOU!! 
my very first bird book was a copy of your 'Common City Birds of Aust" (I think 
that was the title!!??). it was given to me by my grandmother when my 
grandfather passed away in the very early 70's. that book had belonged to him. 
it didn't take long for me to start checking the birds in the garden with 
Graeme's wonderful photos in his book - I lived in the very 'birdy' suburb of 
Blackburn (eastern suburbs of Melbourne) & I quickly got hooked.
now, some 40+ odd years later, I am still chasing a White-throated Grasswren!!! 
       ....and a Sandhill Grasswren too!!! 
though, I have been fortunate enough to have caught up with all the other 
for me, I think waiting until 2008 to start looking for my first White-throated 
Grasswren is something that I may regret for many years... 
from late 2007, especially,  the main escarpment areas near Gunlom & other 
formerly inhabited sites nearby, have been bashed & bashed by fires, severely 
degrading the available habitat. from late October 2008, I spent 4 solid weeks 
searching these areas, from Koolpin to Gunlom, plus the top of Twin Falls as 
well - all in vain!!  I should have gone above Jim Jim Falls then too, but I 
of course, some small populations still would persist in these areas, but very 
sadly, I don't think anyone would say that these site are reliable for these 
gorgeous denizens anymore. 
Graeme, do u know if anyone has conducted a thorough search for them up on the 
main escarpment somewhere between Edith Falls & Katherine Gorge (via that long 
escarpment walking trail)?? I can't think of the name of that track, but it 
would surely get you close to some good habitat I would have thought...
re Sandhill Grasswren -  I can't say that I've ever really looked all that hard 
for them - but I will be in future...
one day I'm going to hit that area within a triangle formed by Wiluna-Neale 
Junction-Kalgoorlie. I've never seen Princess Parrots either, so that trip will 
be an exciting challenge!!!
great stuff Graeme, you are my hero.
I am certain that you have inspired a great deal many more of us relative 
new-comers to birding. your lifetime's work should be held in the highest 
in my opinion, your many contributions to our current knowledge of Australian 
birds should have already seen you awarded the highest of honours.
So thank you Graeme Chapman, dear Sir...
all the very best to you,
martin cachard,
I nearly forgot to ask you something else, Graeme.  
on 04/08/12, I found an eclipse male Splendid Fairy-wren on the eastern edge of 
Goyder's Lagoon in Sth Aust - I tried to track down his mates too, but I didn't 
do so for very long - a Grey Grasswren shot out nearby & distracted me!!.
every reference I have checked, including my well worn-out HANZABs, says 
Splendid Fairy-wrens shouldn't be there - may I please ask you what you think 
of that???
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