Final Wrap-up

For those doing a Big Year, or similar, report your progress here.

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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: Brisbane, QLD

Final Wrap-up

Post by gileas »

Hi all,

So I guess things went a bit crazy after New Years. I hope everyone affected by the floods is on the road to recovery now - we had to evacuate our place in Brisbane but fortunately it didn't go underwater. Now that things are somewhat returning to normal I'm starting to think about writing a wrap-up of the SEQ big year. I'll be writing a more formal article for Bird-O at some point, but for now, here's how it ended.

I posted back in November about finally reaching 350 species with a sighting of Fairy Gerygone at Inskip Point. The very next weekend a trip out to Inglewood produced a Spotted Bowerbird just inside the 250km mark to reach 351. And that's where it stayed for a while, until I went spotlighting for frogs up at Lamington National Park with a friend of mine. We were coming down the mountain and were going very slowly to look for frogs and reptiles when I noticed a white shape on a road sign. I already knew what it was before we stopped, but it was a great feeling to finally get my bins on a beautiful Eastern Barn Owl for the year. That brought me to 352 for the year, which is where I stayed. Despite some valiant searches of flooded Bulimba Creek and Minippi Parklands for Spotless Crake and Bush-hen, I wasn't able to turn up any last minute year birds.

Still, 352 was more birds than I thought I could get. I set 350 as an aspirational target, something I knew would be hard to get but not impossible. I could have put more effort in. I didn't manage to look for Shining Flycatcher or Rufous Scrub-bird at all. I dipped on some things that should theoretically have been possible like Red Goshawk (how do you even deliberately look for them in SEQ?). I missed Swift Parrots at Tiddalac because I was in Alice Springs while they were here. But I think in the end 350 was a very difficult target to get and I'm pretty stoked to have made it! And there were some pretty amazing birds along the way - Lewin's Rail and Pectoral Sandpiper to start the year, as well as my first of several 130+ species days. Superb Fruit-dove at Yandina courtesy of a tip from Greg Roberts. Hooded Plover at Noosa (who would have thought!). The list goes on. I had a year of great birding with some great people.

Thanks to everyone who helped me on my way. Special thanks to Andrew Stafford, who was my partner in crime for the first six months before he got to busy to keep pace. And thanks also to Mick Atzini for being a wealth of information, and for giving me this space to keep track of how things were going, and everyone else a chance to share in what I was doing.

I'll post a link to the articles I write once they are up, but in the meantime I'll leave you with one more tidbit.

At the beginning of the year I went looking on at least 6 separate occasions for Oriental Cuckoo. Last Sunday I had four at Anstead Bushland reserve. They were only a month too late, but after a full year of birding, it was still great to finally catch up with a species I'd never seen in SEQ, and there's still several more to go (including those darn goshawks you Toowoomba folk are hoarding out there!).

Thanks for reading and I hope to catch up with people out birding in the future.

Chris Sanderson
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