For 2009 my target was to increase my life list to 200+. It is currently sitting on 202 and will remain there unless something unusual appears locally…
For 2010 I am aiming to pass 250 – this should prove quite a challenge! A few of the target species are below:
- Common Pheasant and Indian Peafowl – going to have to take a day trip to Rottnest Island for these. Should also be able to pick up Rock Parrot and a wader or two hopefully as well.
- Noisy Scrub-bird/Western Bristlebird/Western Whipbird (a.k.a. the Big Three) – we are planning two trips to Cheynes Beach in 2010 so hopefully I can see these birds.
- White-browed Babbler (the first of many “inland from the metropolitan area” birds I want to see.
- Stubble Quail/Little Button-quail/Painted Button-quail – so far all quail apart from the Brown variety have eluded me.
- Cuckoos (generally). I have seen a few but should be seeing a lot more…
- Miscellaneous honeyeaters.
Please note that by targets I mean that I want to see and photograph these birds, not shoot them…
Bird number 202 on my life list is the Grey-crowned Babbler. I found a group of about 4 of them creating a ruckus amongst the trees on the edge of the Maitland River at Miaree Pool (near Karratha, WA, Australia). The name is descriptive on all counts.
It is worth noting that I have taken a bird off my list. The more I talk to other birders the more I realise that the Mute Swans at Northam aren’t really a free, breeding population anymore. Perhaps at some stage in the future they may be (again) but given that they are introduced I’m not too fussed.
The BirdsWA Twitchathon was held over the 12-13 December 2009.
I was a member of The Big Twits
– other members were Martin Cake, John Graff and Alan Collins (all seriously good birders). I have learned a lot from these guys.
The event was a great experience – I added 12 species to my life list including (but not limited to):
- Little Penguin (swimming in the ocean, not at Penguin Island);
- Jacky Winter (Dryandra Forrest);
- Nankeen Night Heron (at Herdsman Lake).
We finished 3rd with 139 species in the 24 hour race. First place had 149 species, second place had 143 species.
I recently picked up my own Christmas present – a 3rd Generation 8GB iPod Touch. So far I have been very impressed. Current apps that I like are:
- BirdSight AU (pretty good, could do with some extra features like lumping/splitting);
- Convert Units (does the job well);
- Holy Bible;
- Mactracker (very good for a computer collector);
- Sudoku (great apart from the fact that it tells you when you have placed a number incorrectly, which makes the game much easier than a paper version);
- To Do (basic To Do list manager);
- File lite (superb application that allows files to be stored on the iPod Touch and viewed).
All of the above are free (apart from BirdSight AU).
I also purchased a Belkin leather case and screen protector for it.