LOOKING FORWARD TO 2013
This year has not been very successful for me bird-wise, that is to say, I didn't see as many species as I'd have liked. However, I did manage to see seven new Australian birds and I haven't done that for the last couple of years. Nor do I imagine I'll do it again soon. My life total is now 719. The best bird for the year was probably the Grey Falcon, which I had hoped, but not expected, to see. Such an elegant bird, compared with the positively chunky Brown Falcons beside him.
My plans for 2013 include looking for five new birds, all of which I've looked for on previous occasions. It's just the hard ones left now. I will return to Port Stephens in April and look again for the White-necked Petrel. (Last year, I went out on the Saturday; the bird was seen by others on the Sunday.) I have booked again to do a pelagic out of Port MacDonnell in June in the hope of seeing a Slender-billed Prion. Now that shouldn't be too hard, should it? This year the June Port Mac Donnell trip was cancelled. Then, I'm hoping to see a Kalkadoon Grasswren at Mt Isa, an Eastern Grass Owl on the Atherton Tableland and a Rufous Scrub-bird at Lamington National Park. I've been to Lamington (I think) five times (as well as Barrington Tops), and have heard the wretched scrub-bird many times. I've been so close its call hurt my ears. But I've never seen it. It's certainly challenging (and sometimes a little depressing) to search for the same bird over and over and over again. Still, I'm not going to see him if I sit at home in Melbourne. Let's hope that, by this time next year, I'll have clocked up another five Australian species. Bring it on!