Monday, 29 December 2014

Facebookers - Birdlife Sunshine Coast 2015

Birdlife Sunshine Coast 2015 is a special facebook page to encourage members to publish their bird pics for 2015. So you must have a facebook account to play.
It is a friendly competition that will award the member who publishes the greatest number of photos of recognisable Australian bird species.
The prize will be the respect of all other members.
The emphasis will be on quantity rather than quality. We just want people to get out and see and photograph our wonderful birds.
Rules?
All bird pics must be taken in Australia during the year 2015. You may only publish one pic of any particular specie. When you publish a photo you describe it as 'Specie Number 1 - picture taken at Nambour garden [for example]. Comments are encouraged and the species ID should be the first comment made.

Best photos will be cross-posted on the blog.

any questions please email me asap!!
Ken Cross
friarbird43@bigpond.com

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dear friends,

As we approach Christmas it is appropriate that we celebrate the things important to us; family, friends, [food] and, for birders at least, fowls!  

And while I don't claim to be a Christian I am very keen to wish the season's greetings to all, celebrate, count my blessings and be thankful. 

To that end I'd like to offer a Prayer of thanks for birds written by Michael Leunig, an Australian cartoonist and writer and thinker. [I hope he does not mind my publishing his words here]

A prayer from Michael Leunig's A Common Prayer

Dear God,


We give thanks for birds. all types of birds. 
Small birds and large birds. 
Domestic fowl, migratory birds and birds of prey, hooting birds, whistling birds, shrikes, coloured parrots and dark darting wrens. 
Birds too numerous to mention. 
We pray for them all.

We mourn the loss of certain species and pray for the deliverance of endangered ones.
We pray, too, for farm birds, that they may be released from cruelty and suffering.
We give thanks for eggs and feathers, for brave, cheerful songs in the morning and the wonderful haunting, night prayers of owls, mopokes, frogmouths and all nocturnal fowl.

We praise the character of birds, their constancy, their desire for freedom, their flair for music and talent for flying.
May we always marvel at the ability to fly.
 Especially we praise their disregard for their human hierarchy and the ease with which they leave their droppings on the heads of commoners or kings regardless. 
Grant them fair weather, fresh food and abundant materials for building their nests in spring.
Provide them too with perches and roosts with pleasant aspects.
Dear God, guide our thoughts to the joy and beauty of birds. 
Feathered angels. 
May they always be above us. 


Amen.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

2015 Plans

2014 is fast flying to the end and it is time for a brief reflection of 2014 and offer a quick glance to the future as it relates to Birdlife Australia Sunshine Coast.

First thanks to all members support since I’ve taken over the role of Branch convenor; it has been appreciated. Second thanks to all of those people who have offered specific feedback to questions and requests and a special thanks and a firm pat on the back of those people who helped organise and lead walks, ‘man’ information booths, and spread the good word about Birds, birding and bird conservation formally and informally. Third, thanks to John Thompson and Vince Lee for photos of outings for the blog. [Speaking of the blog if you have not already can you ‘Follow by Email’.] Special thanks must go to John Malings who has been active in organisation behind the scenes – helping planning, attending meetings and leading walks.   

Next year my hope is that we can be slightly more ambitious; creating a variety of outings, activities and events for members such that knowledge about birds and wildlife can be learned and shared, encouraging the general public to see and value our birds and perhaps try birding, and to increase membership. Specifically we have continued with our regular monthly Saturday outings – to some new locations as well as familiar favourites. We have committed ourselves to ‘manning’ two displays at Maleny and Nambour. We have introduced mid-week birding outings. Committed ourselves to the Birds in Backyard promotions in October as well as making special plans to involve our members in the Twitchathon, also planned for October [?].  Also planned, is a weekend away in August to the Nanango / Kingaroy area for birding; specific details are to be decided. Some members expressed an interest in talks / meetings and, while, there has been nothing planned as yet I’ll re-examine this mid year.  

Below is the current plan for 2015. Some of the events etc lack detail – this will be provided in time. Also note that I will be away for much of May and June as I will be birding in Europe. The 2015 plan has also been attached as a word document so it can be printed separately more easily.

Bird Outings and Events – 2015

Saturday outing - 7 February 2015 -  7am - Kirbys Road Environmental Reserve. – Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck
Mid-week outing – 18 February -  8 am - Maleny area; exact meeting point to be advised – Leader - John Malings

Saturday outing - 7 March– 7 am - Park Lakes, Bli Bli – possible extensions to Maroochy Wetland Sanctuary - Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck

Saturday outing - 4  April -  8 am Toorbul [and Bribie Island] - Farewell to the Waders. Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck

Mid-week outing – 15 April - 8 am - Maroochydore Botanical Garden - Leader - John Malings

Saturday outing – 2 May - (NEW) 7 am Thorne Road, Curramore, (south of Maleny National Park) off Curramore Road - Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck

PUBLIC DISPLAY - Maleny Wood Expo - Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd May 2015; 9am to 5pm

Beginners Bird Walk  – Ewan Maddock Dam - 8am Saturday 9 May – Leader – John Malings

Saturday outing – June 6 - 8am - (NEW) Tuan Environmental Reserve, Chinaman Creek Road, Cambroon (north west of Maleny National Park) off Eastern Mary River Road.  – Leader - John Birbeck

Mid-week outing – June 17 - 8 am -  Park Lakes, Bli Bli / Maroochydore Wetland Sanctuary - Leader - John Malings

Saturday outing - 4 July - 8am - (NEW) Beerburrum Forest Reserve, 2 Pumicestone Passage off eastern end of Johnston Road Beerburrum - Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck

PUBLIC DISPLAY - Nambour Garden Expo - Date/Time - Friday - 10th July 2015
-              Saturday - 11th July 2015
-              Sunday - 12th July 2015

Beginners Bird Walk  – Wappa Dam -  8am - Saturday 18 July – Leader - Ken Cross

August Outing  – 1 & 2 August - Weekend away to Nanango / Kingaroy [accommodated or camping] - Leader - Ken Cross [Details to be announced]

Mid-week outing  – 19 August - 8am -  Lake MacDonald  - Noosa Botanical Gardens, and Jabiru Park/Fearnley Birdhide – Leader – Russ Lamb

Saturday outing - September 5 -  8am - (NEW) Buderim – Palmwoods Heritage Trail Bushland Park, Telco Road, Mons. Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck

October  – encourage Twitchathon participation instead of outing – idea of mini twitches?
[my idea here is to have a few mini twitch leaders to organise a dawn to dusk itinerary and we deal [?] interested birders between the teams. We choose a place for every team to finish and meet up for fish n chips or similar. If folks want to keep going for a few hours after dinner to get nocturnals – so be it. And fundraise for Birdlife SE Queensland - $25 per head participation fee? - exact details to be decided]

October - Backyard Bird Counts – variety of Beginners Bird Walks – Third Weekend in October [Better publicised attempt at outings as per last year]

Saturday outing - November 7 -  7am - (NEW) Triunia Environmental Reserve (east of Triunia National Park), Carruthers Road, West Woombye. Leader/ s - Ken Cross and John Birbeck
Midweek outing – 18 November – 8am - Buderim Forest Park, Harry’s Lane, Buderim -  Leader - John Malings

Saturday outing  – December 5 -  7am - Mary Cairns Cross & BBQ Brunch -  Leader - Ken Cross

Improving birding skills. Also new on the blog is a page [look for the link on the right side of the Blog page] that is titled, ‘Birdingpals and Mentors’. My idea here is that experienced birders list their contact details signalling their availability to take visitors and beginners birding. For many beginning birders the outings with many people are perhaps not the best place to go birding, learn and develop new skills. Outings are a good opportunity, of course, to meet like-minded people, do a little birding and socialise.  ‘Proper’ birding is perhaps done best with smaller numbers. And birding skills develop with repeated visits to the same ‘local patches’.  
The idea then is that experienced birding mentors establish an email group of self-identified beginners that can be organised quickly for regular outings in their local area.
I encourage experienced birders to contact me to add their names and details to our list. I also encourage beginning birders, in particular those in the mentor’s area, to make contact.

Increased publicity through Facebook. Birdlife Sunshine Coast 2015 is a special facebook page to encourage members to publish their bird pics for 2015. It is a friendly competition that will award the member who publishes the greatest number of photos of recognisable Australian bird species. The prize will be the respect of all other members. The emphasis will be on quantity rather than quality. We just want people to get out and see and photograph our wonderful birds. Rules? All bird pics must be taken in Australia during the year 2015. You may only publish one pic of any particular specie. When you publish a photo you describe it as 'Specie Number X - picture taken at xxxxx. When you publish a photo Facebook will recognise you as the photographer. Comments are encouraged and the species ID should be the first comment made. You must be a Facebook member to ‘play’. Photographers and comments will be restricted to ‘members only’. In other words it is a closed Facebook group.

In other news Birdlife South East Queensland has produced [just in time for Christmas] an illustrated checklist of birds for SE Queensland. Pictured below. The blurb for the book is as follows; The Birds of South East Queensland book contains:


Photographs of all 336 endemic species recorded in South East Queensland between 2008 and 2014
A comprehensive list of all recorded, vagrants, pelagics and introduced
Tick boxes under each photograph and on the comprehensive list at the back of the book
A list of special birding places around South East Queendsland to assist you in finding species

30% of sales of the Birds of South East Queensland book will go towards the protection of birds via the Important Bird Area (IBA) initiative.

I have a small number of booklets which members can pick up from me for $10. They are, in my opinion, excellent for beginning birders and young naturalists.   Please contact me in response to this.

So there is much in this email and, as usual, any comments or questions are welcomed.

Good birding

Ken Cross 
friarbird43@bigpond.com 

Final Outing 2014 Report

On the 6th of December an optimistic group met at the Mapleton Lilyponds for the final outing of the 2014 year. Rain was expected. Clouds were already present but still they came....

The [optimistic] decision was made to bird the Mapleton Falls circuit. So we went.

Clouds were swelling in from the enveloped and invisible Mary Valley to the west. More than one looked nervously at the small phone screens, frowning at the approaching storms. Still we went.
Foggy Forest

Birding was quite good. At first. Many birds were identified by their calls from the fog. We got to the split in the track and divided. One group going one way, the other the other. Both groups, to varying degrees, looking like gorillas in the mist. But still they went.
Part of our group in glorious Black and White - pre rain smiles apparent.

The forest was beautiful. The birds reasonably generous. The views to the valley non existent. Still we went around the track. And the rain stayed away.
Little Shrike Thrush

Golden Whistler

Brown Cuckoo Dove

And it stayed away, as one could almost plan, until we were furtherest away from the start of the track as possible. And then it started, the first drip being felt on my generous expanse of forehead. So we walked. It rained. We marched fast and it poured. Some, myself included, didn't plan to bring an umbrella or raincoat although some did. Smart alecs!

The second phase of the morning [perhaps like the first phase] needed a Plan B. And it was one Bernie Collins who supplied it. Bernie had the key to the old school house and the bbq and the covered area behind it. So our group gathered there for a morning tea, sausage BBQ and bird call. Well, to be honest, an edited version of the group. Some still dripping and drenched folks decided, and I cannot deride this decision, to head home to a dry and warm house.

I had a fun morning.  

And we recorded a few good species in and around the Lilyponds as well.
Common Black Ducks plus the slightly less common Buff-banded Rail

Thanks to John Thompson for all of the above photos.

Some members didn't make the last outing yesterday as they were on a Pelagic from Mooloolaba organised by Greg Roberts. The report of that outing can be found here; HTTP://TINYURL.COM/NMG24JG

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Final Outing 2014!!

December 6th       Mapleton area birding – meet at Mapleton Lily ponds at 7am. Turn west at the Mapleton Tavern and then take the next right. The Lily ponds can be seen on the right and there is a gravel road into a small car park. From here we will car pool down to Mapleton Falls NP and / or Gheerulla Falls Track. As this is our final birding outing for 2014 the suggestion is we bring a plate for a shared morning tea / brunch. Electric BBQ’s are available at the Lily ponds if anyone is interested in a more substantial brunch!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

OWLS

Recently I recieved an email from a bird watcher in Buderim who was delighting in the visit of a family of Boobook Owls. The year prior she had an even more exciting visitor. Pictures below;






Pictures by Michelle Thatcher.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

2015 Plans

Hi all,
I’m in the process of trying to establish a calendar of events for our local group for 2015 and I would like as much feedback and ideas as possible. Please read below carefully and consider responding to each point.

While I would like to continue our Saturday monthly outings for members and guests I’d also like to expand the opportunities for birding for members and potential new members of Birdlife Australia.

First – regarding monthly outings; still to be held on the first Saturday of each month. Please submit suggestions of possible locations for an outing plus the best time of the year. As part of the outings I also plan to incorporate a camp out as an option, a weekend away, a tag-along outing and, in October, participation in the Twitchathon. 

Second – Mid week monthly outings. Many Birdlife groups hold mid-week outings. These, no doubt, are popular for retired members and some visitors. Some sites are possibly better mid-week, free from weekend crowds.

Third – Bi-monthly meetings with guest speakers. I’d like to know if members would welcome this addition and attend. I’m thinking of trying for a week night, probably somewhere reasonably central in Nambour.

Four – Specially scheduled Beginning Birding walks / outings. These would be run especially for beginning birders and would be led by me or a delegate. They would emphasise basic birding skills and identification. Members would be invited; if they self-identify as beginners, to attend. WE would need to consider ways to encourage new people to try birding. One opportunity is to meet people at our two display opportunities.

Fifth -  Display opportunities – We are committed to publicising birds, birding, and bird conservation and, in particular, Birdlife Australia at two events listed below. Please consider volunteering for a few hours at least one of the events.
Maleny Wood Expo - Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd May 2015; 9am to 5pm
Nambour Garden Expo - Date/Time - Friday - 10th July 2015
-              Saturday - 11th July 2015
-              Sunday - 12th July 2015

Sixth – Fund Raising for Bird Conservation and / or to support our local group. I’m yet to think this through too much however I would like to copy an idea from another bird group; namely a minor raffle at each outing and meeting / guest speaker. Raffles within membership don’t need licencing.

Publicity – I’m continuing with email and blog. In 2015 and beyond greater attempts will be needed. Any suggestions, again, are welcome. I’m toying with the idea of a Facebook page to cross promote the blog.

Cheers now and thanks for still reading,
Ken Cross

http://scbab.blogspot.com.au/  - our Blog site. Please consider following the blog by email.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

New Wetland at Yandina Creek, Sunshine Coast

Greg Roberts, a well known Sunshine Coast birder, blogger and conservationist, has discovered a new wetland at Yandina Creek. The wetland is extensive and has created excellent waterbird habitat for a number of threatened species. Lewins Rail, Spotless Crake, Little Grassbird, Black-necked Stork, Red-necked Avocets, Red-kneed Dotterel, Glossy Ibis, Latham's Snipe,Whiskered Terns and other species inhabit the wetland and adjacent grasslands. Sadly this area is threatened with development. Perhaps we can help. Below is a letter written by Greg Roberts to Sunshine Coast Council's Mayor Mark Jamieson. Please use the information to help lobby the Council to protect the area.

   I would appreciate it if you could bring the attached blog post to the attention of Mayor Mark Jamieson:


It is clear that an Yandina Creek, there is an area of wetland and grassland that is arguably one of the most important waterbird habitats in south-east Queensland. It is certainly the most significant habitat of its kind on the Sunshine Coast. Until now, we were unaware of the significance of this area. I have found that a species listed as Threatened in Queensland, Lewin's Rail, is common there. There is an extraordinary range of rare and uncommon bird species using this wetland as a feeding or nesting refuge. 

I had previously approached council to purchase land in this area. Council declined to do so and its reply is attached. However, at the time, I was unaware of the extent of the wetlands or of the variety or nature of the birds to be found there.

I ask that you reconsider council's decision not to purchase and manage this wetland before it is too late. Further information can be found in the blog post.

For your information, this email is being sent to many people around the Sunshine Coast who are concerned about environment protection.

Regards

Greg Roberts

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bird Week and Backyard Bird Count

Well Bird Week is at an end and I hope that everyone has, at least, had an opportunity to complete a twenty minute bird count.

From the perspective of the Sunshine Coast I'm optimistic that in future we can do more as a group to promote birds and birding, encourage members of the public to appreciate their backyard birds and perhaps try our hobby and  ultimately add their voice to the chorus encouraging Bird Conservation and become members of Birdlife Australia.

Our efforts this year have been mixed.

On the positive side hopefully many people around the coast have completed bird count in their backyards. Many of my friends and collegues and students have assured me that they would complete their backyard surveys - with many 'looking to identify birds' for the first time!

School students at Mapleton State School [my kid's school] have been actively birding their grounds over the last week aided by the 'Backyard Birds of the Sunshine Coast' and the Z-cards [which has colour photographs of some 80 odd species of birds] - both published by Birdlife Australia - SE Qld, the latter also with the generous additional suppport of Sunshine Coast Council.  Mapleton SS deserves praise for their participation in Bird Week but also their emphasis on outside play and environmental education. This from their Principal Jenny Clarke latest newsletter;
 'In response to our growing concern about the lack of opportunities for children to experience nature, we have dedicated Thursday lunch breaks as a time for everyone to play down at Baxter Creek. The reward for the staff members who have volunteered to spend their lunch break at the Creek is to see the children having a wonderful time exploring the natural environment.   
As this week is Bird Week, most of the classes have taken the time to spend a lesson bird watching. In half an hour, the Year 1s spotted or heard 20 birds in our school grounds. This activity promotes awareness of our environment, concentration, visual acuity, listening skills and the data collected can be used in a Math lesson.  
The school has been successful in gaining a Sunshine Coast Regional Council Environmental Levy Grant to remove a patch of weeds in the bed of Baxter Creek. The work will be done during the growing season later in the summer. ' 

Simarly students at Kenilworth State Community College have been enjoying birding with many students eagerly bringing in their records from their own backyards.

Also on a positive we held several Bird Walks around the Sunshine Coast for folks to try birding. Special thanks to John Malings, Russ Lamb, Bernie Collins, Mike Haddrall and Robyn and Geoff Combes for hosting such walks. Summaries of the walks will appear as a separate feature.

 A special thanks to John Malings who tried hard to publicise such events on our behalf though the media; even turning himself into a reluctant radio star in the event! I'm yet to hear from all however the attendance at these walks are best described as mixed. To some extent the poor attendance can be blamed on a very late publicty attempt [or very little or no publicity] caused by the very late arrival of publicity materials from our main Melbourne office. Hopefully in future this problem will be overcome.

Another disappointment was the lack of response from the majority of Schools on the Sunshine Coast. I emailed every administration of every state primary school on the coast advertising the Count however I receieved not a single response. Again, perhaps earlier, availability of publicity materials could have provided more advance warning.

In summary though I'm optimistic that the Bird Count can be used in future, to be an important event to encourage birding here on the Coast specifically and more generally everywhere in our nation  and thus become an important fixed date in our calendar.

Comments are very welcome!!

November Outing

NOVEMBER OUTING

November 1st     Charlie Moreland, Conondales. 

Meet at 7am at the Charlie Moreland Day Use area for an exploration of some of surrounding Conondale Forest

Earlier I advised and encouraged folks to stay and camp and to enjoy some spotlighting however it has been advised that the camping is now not possible; 

From Parks Qld website - 
Charlie Moreland camping area bookings restrictions.
Wed, 03 Sep 2014
Due to major campground redevelopments it has been necessary for restrictions to be placed on camp bookings through to 30 November 2014. Existing booking holders will be accommodated on site through to end September/October school holiday period. During this period alternative camping is available at nearby Booloumba Creek - Conondale NP, Peach Trees - Jimna SF, Amamoor Creek and Cedar Grove - Amamoor SF and Glastonbury Creek - Brooyar SF. QPWS appreciates your understanding on this matter. Affected parks: Conondale National Park; Imbil State Forest; Jimna State Forest.

So given the circumstances we must resort to just a morning outing.


RBA - Rare Bird Alert

Sorry for the delay in reporting this interesting record from Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary at Bli Bli by Birdlife member, Russ Lamb; Large-tailed Nightjar.

Russ describes his sighting;

 I'd taken a visiting Dutch birder to Maroochy Wetlands hoping to see Lewin's Rail, but didn't succeed (far too dry I think). As we were packing-up  the car (which was parked in the  highest park , ie the first available as one enters the carpark) we heard a loud unusual repetitive noise coming from the clump of trees behind the car (ie from the NW corner of the carpark). As I approached to investigate (I was thinking frog at the time!!) the bird emerged at about head-height, flew straight over us, and into sancturary itself (ie between the two buildings). Apart from recognizing it as a nightjar, we saw no identifying marks, didn't get any white on throat or on wings, view was for only about 5 seconds.
         We then heard the "chop chop chop" call coming from the trees behind the building, which was when I recognized the call as Large-tailed. We checked the call against the BOCA calls I have installed on my mobile, confirmed it as LTN, and also then confirmed that the first repetitive call we had heard had also come from the nightjar. We spotlighted the trees immediately behind the buildings and path but couldn't locate the bird. It continued to "chop chop chop" intermitingly, then was last heard further into the forest.

I've checked eBird and BirdData sightings for this species south of Maryborough, results are:
1988 Cooloola NP (BQ outing)
2008  Noosa Heads
2009  Cooloola NP
2011  Rainbow Beach
2012  Inskip Point
2014 (May)  Boonooroo 
There don't appear to be any sightngs recorded from NSW so this could be the southern-most sighting to date.

Regards,                    Russ Lamb

Other good records and / or birds to look out for;

Black -necked Stork - I saw one adjacent to a small pond over the main road from the Park Lakes suburb in Bli Bli. [I've heard subsequently that it has been seen at Park Lakes proper.

Baillon's Crake - still easy to see at Park Lakes
Wandering Whistling Duck  - Park Lakes

Summer migrants - White-throated Needletails are beginning to be seen. Koels, Channel-billed and Brush Cuckoos have all returned. Cicadabirds and Olive-backed Thrushes are all in good voice. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

from Sunshine Coast Environmental Council




Dear Ken,
On Saturday November 1st, Earth Hour Australia in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC) are hosting a 'Climate Change - Communicating to Win' training workshop for residents of South-East Queensland - and we’d love you to join us.
The workshop follows on the the recent successful Sunshine Coast Climate Forum and Climate Relay and is a fantastic opportunity to meet people who are interested in taking action on climate change in the Sunshine Coast region.

You will learn how to:

·         Communicate simply and effectively about climate change - the problems, risks and solutions
·         Develop your own local campaign
·         Engage stakeholders and interest groups in your community
…. and mobilise the supporters and community members you need to build a powerful movement for change.
When: Saturday November 1st
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Where: North Shore Community Centre (Mudjimba)

Cost: Free (Lunch and resfreshements provided) 
We hope to see you on the 1st!


Cheers,

Reece Proudfoot, Alex Lachsz and Wiebe ter Bals. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Let's Twitch again....again.


2014 Queensland Twitchathon

Come on Queensland birders!
We need donors and sponsors to stand up and support this year’s Twitchathon
You may not have been able to get a team together but you can still make a huge difference by sponsoring one of the teams!
Pick a Team to Support
You can donate a lump sum or nominate an amount per bird
You can sponsor or donate after the event, too! addresses.
Choose from:
The Pterodrama Queens
The Spotter Doves
The Cowchillers
The Red Hot Koels
The Tableland Tawnies
The Retro Regents
The Plain Turkeys
The Highland Rollers
 The Flegendarys
The Here No Weebill, See No Weebill
The Once Bitterns
The 007: Silvereyes
We will be accepting donations and sponsorship until Thursday 20 November.  Please email your donation or total sponsorship amount to twitch@birdsqueensland.org.au
You then have the option of paying by cash at the prize ceremony on 22 November or paying by EFT or over the counter bank deposit to:
Westpac Banking Corporation
Account Name: Queensland Ornithological Society Inc. Research Fund
BSB: 034 061
A/C No: 289659 with the descriptor “Twitch and the first name of your team”
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Judith Hoyle, 2014 Twitchathon Coordinator

December Sunshine Coast Pelagic

Well known Sunshine Coast birder Greg Roberts has recently returned from an enviable round-Australia-birding-trip and has quickly moved to organise a Pelagic Birding trip from Mooloolaba on Saturday December 6.

This is an excellent opportunity for local birders to see some new and fascinating species. Expected species over our summer include Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Flesh-footed Shearwater and Tahiti Petrel. Over a few years the Sunshine Coast has wracked up an impressive list of species and it is fair to say you could expect almost anything. The stand out record was the Stejneger's Petrel - a new bird for Australia - which was recorded in November, 2011.  

Please contact Greg via email                                  ninderry@westnet.com.au 

The cost for the pelagic is $120 per person.

A search on Greg's blog - http://sunshinecoastbirds.blogspot.com.au/ will reveal reports on the Sunshine Coast Pelagics thus far [just type 'Pelagic' into the site's search function].

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Let's Twitch Again...

This saturday begins Twitchathon weekend and it is NOT too late to participate and donate!! 

Queensland Twitchathon 17-19 October 2014

Birds Queensland and BirdLife Southern Queensland Twitchathon will be held over the week-end of 17-19 October 2014.  You can travel anywhere in QLD. See how many species of birds your team can find in the hours set out in your chosen category.

This is the major fundraising event for Birds Queensland and BirdLife Southern Queensland in 2014 and your team entry and your sponsors will assist us in raising funds for important avian conservation and research projects.

The Twitchathon aims to provide a fun, social, ethical and competitive birding event that encourages participants to research and explore Queensland’s diverse bird habitats.

The total prize pool is $1500 and prize amounts per category may vary depending on the number of individuals per team (see Rules and Conditions).

Registrations open 1 September 2014 and close 8pm Thursday 16 October 2014.

For full information see the following attachments below:

2014 Team Entry Form
2014 Rules and Conditions including prizes
2014 Sponsorship Form
Twitch checklists
IOC Taxonomic Checklist – in excel with autocount set to electronically calculate
IOC Alphabetical Checklist – in excel with autocount set to electronically calculate
IOC Taxonomic and IOC Alphabetical checklist in pdf

Start planning!  Choose your category!  Start a team!  Get your sponsors!  Do your recces!


Todd Burrows and Deborah Metters sit proudly with the Twitch Champions Trophy. Along with Judith Hoyle they are members of Off The Rails - the current Twitchathon Champions - recording 190 bird species during the 2013 Twitchathon.
Todd Burrows and Deborah Metters sit proudly with the Twitch Champions Trophy. Along with Judith Hoyle they are members of Off The Rails - the current Twitchathon Champions - recording 190 bird species during the 2013 Twitchathon.
A Paradise Parrot sits proudly atop the Queensland Twitch Champions trophy that recognises 23 years of a great Queensland birding tradition.​

Downloads

Additional Opportunities for Bird Walks and Bird Talks

From the Noosa Parks Association;

Margaret Cameron is the guest speaker at Friday Environment Forum on October 17 for the joint meeting with the Bird Observers Group.  She will discuss her desire to attract birds to a suburban garden.
 In 2004, after 40 years in the southern states, Margaret returned to Queensland to live.  She found a grassy garden with common mynas, noisy miners, crows and butcherbirds, and was determined to change this to attract a variety of very different birds, especially small ones.  
“Inspired and educated by others, I succeeded! I usually have 30 or more different species every month” explained Margaret. “In this talk I’ll show some of the birds you might attract to your gardens, ranging from small wrens and finches, through unexpected visitors such as striped honeyeaters to less welcome but still interesting channel-billed cuckoos and pass on some of the lessons I learned.”  
Come along to the Noosa Parks Association Environment Centre at Wallace Drive Noosaville on Friday morning October 17 to learn how to attract small birds into your garden.  
The forum starts at 10.30am after coffee and chat at 10am.    Those wishing to join Interpretive Birding in Wallace Park should meet Valda in the car park at 8.30am.  Join in and enjoy the local wildlife.  Everyone is welcome .

Outing The last outing for 2015 for this group will be on 16th November. We meet at Kookaburra Park at the Lake Macdonald spillway at 8am. We will walk the tracks between there and Forest Acres Drive. The walk is an easy grade, about 4 km, so we will carry morning tea and be back at the cars for lunch.

from Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary Support Group Inc 
Bird Observers outing October 19th 2014. 
Mountain Creek Conservation Area.  
                                                                                                                                                                                    I have decided that we should meet at 7am kerbside in Parklea Esplanade. From here we will carpool to the start of the walk at the western end of Glenfields Boulevard. I plan to have morning tea at the pond area off Coho Court. Lunch will be back at Parklea Esplanade. Parking areas for visitors in this estate is quite minimal. From Karawatha Drive turn west into Prelude Drive. At the second roundabout take the Parklea exit and park kerbside adjacent to the Park. UBD Sunshine Coast Map 79 Grid M9 Please note that this is a different meeting area to my original plan.
Judith Hewett    07 5441 2838    Jlh36@westnet.com.au