Tuesday, 29 December 2015


I did my morning walk today and suddenly realized that, as the forecast temperature for Melbourne tomorrow is 39, I probably won't be going for a walk, so that was most likely my final walk for 2015.  This morning I added a new bird to my walk list:  the Purple-crowned Lorikeet, making a total list of 39 species.  However, I should delete Willie Wagtail, which I used to see regularly on my north walk and White-plumed Honeyeater, which seems to have been successfully replaced throughout my walking area by Noisy Miners.  Other birds I added to the walk list this year are:  Straw-necked Ibis, European Goldfinch (probably escapees), Eastern Spinebill, Crimson Rosella, Little Corella, Collared Sparrowhawk and Musk Lorikeet.  The largest number of species I saw on any walk was 16, which I achieved in winter on a north walk.  I average around 10 species per walk.

Herald Petrel, photo by Judy Leitch

My birding objectives for 2015 had been modest:  I had aimed for five new birds.  I achieved four of these:  the Slender-billed Prion, Herald Petrel, Morepork and Nullarbor Quail-thrush.  Thanks to Graham Barwell, I also saw the White-rumped Sandpiper.  Yet again, I did not see the White-necked Petrel, which is a real bogey bird for me.  I was particularly pleased to see the prion at last, because I'd been looking for it for six years.  Persistence pays off.

In 2016, I'm planning a trip with Richard Baxter to Torres Strait and I'm hoping for Coconut Lorikeet and Red-capped Flowerpecker as well as whatever rarities care to present themselves.  In winter, I'm planning to drive west again, this time looking for a Naretha Bluebonnet and a Copperback Quail-thrush.  Of course, I will look again for the elusive White-necked Petrel.  People tell me that it's not a rare bird.  I'll have to luck onto it some time.  And then how will I justify my trips to Wollongong?

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