Sunday, 31 August 2014


Tawny Frogmouth - a bird I did not see in August
It is spring at last and I can say goodbye to August, always one of my worst months for birding.  It's not that the cold Melbourne weather keeps me inside and not looking, it's just that I never see much during the month of August.

I am unashamedly, not only a twitcher, but also a lister.  Some birders regard both these words as derogatory, but I see nothing wrong with admitting that I am both these things.  Of course I always want to see as many species as possible, and I keep lists to record what I see.  Why find fault with that?

This means I know what a dreadful record I have during past Augusts.

I have modest aims.  I try to see 100 species every month.  Usually this is easy, but not in August.  This month just gone, August 2014, I saw only 86 species.  Yet I visited the Western Treatment Plant at Werribee, Bendigo, Karkarook and Blackburn Lake.  Better birders than I would see 100 species at Werribee alone.  In my defence, I should point out that I was not alone when I visited Werribee, and was therefore constrained by my companions.  I was most frustrated when I couldn't stop to identify waders, and had to keep up with the others.  We did see Brolgas, always a highlight.  In total, I managed just 61 species on my trip to Werribee.

There wasn't much around at Bendigo, although I saw Spiny-cheeked and White-eared Honeyeaters.  This latter bird is my second favourite honeyeater - my favourite being the demure little Brown-headed.

At Karkarook (as I previously reported) I saw Blue-billed Duck, but not much else.

I walked around Blackburn Lake last Friday with my cousin.  First, we visited a couple of Tawny Frogmouth roosts, in the hope of adding this bird to my monthly list.  It was not to be.  The only bird of note that I did add to my list, was a Nankeen Night-Heron, all decked out in his breeding best, looking most splendid.  Sadly, he seemed to be alone.

So I'm pleased that August is behind me, although by any standards, Brolgas, Blue-billed Ducks and Nankeen Night-Herons are all good birds.

Bring on September!  I should have no trouble at all in seeing my target 100 species, even without a trip to Werribee.  Let's see how I go.


  1. Enjoy your September!
    I knew my August to be active as I had stepped up listing with an app (boys & toys). Your post prompted me to check the month list - click, click, click 100! That's v good for me (who would have <50 ticks on his 2 trips to Werribee)! This was with outings to Sherbrooke, Phillip Island, Sugarloaf Reservoir.
    'Enjoy your posts, books (& didn't i spot you in the paper!?)

  2. Dear Pete

    Well done, you! You remind me that it's about time I visited Sherbrooke and Phillip Island. I don't get there often enough. What do you see at Sugarloaf?

    Delighted to learn that you enjoy my work - and that you recognized me in the paper!