Arjan Dwarshuis was here with us this week on this big year effort, which is a
fundraiser for BirdLife and a conservation awareness raiser amongst other
things. We had 2 days with Jun Matsui and I, and he did well, though it was
strange concentrating only on the things he needed to find (having been to
Brisbane for a day and in PNG before that), but we had some very nice things.
A morning walk along Black Mt Road at Kuranda got 50 species and included
White-throated Needletail (1) and about 10 Pacific Swifts, unusual here at this
time, also Cassowary and chick and a Red-necked Crake, though I cost him Lesser
Sooty Owl as I heard one at 0515 and assumed it was him trying to stir one up,
which it wasn’t……
2 Black-throated Finch along the approach to Mareeba wetlands were a nice
bonus, and he got his lifer Grey-crowned Babbler and Apostlebird later this
day, also Squatter Pigeon the day before, whilst monarchs were good along Black
Mt Road with Pied, White-eared, Spectacled and Black-faced, and a very vocal
Noisy Pitta. About 20 Blue-faced Parrotfinch were along the road up to Mt
Lewis, but Golden Bowerbird eluded us (much as expected at this time of year)
We ended up with 170 species over the two days, without doing much in the way
of ducks and waterbirds. Notable dips were Sharp-tailed Sand and Brolga, though
I see he saw the latter later in Victoria.
Anyway, we wish him well with his record attempt, if he keeps to schedule and
stays healthy I can see him getting over 7000 species and raising a lot of
funds for BirdLife. His blog can be found on Birdforum or at Arjan’s website.
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