Alex's Small Year 2019

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Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

We then moved across to the beaches and forests of the Tarkine and Arthur-Pieman reserve. Wonderful country of wild beaches, big rivers, forests and rainforests - we loved it. Here are a handful of birds we saw in this area. 

177) Forest Ravens - we saw lots of these, but they were pretty reticent and I didn't want to stop at roadkill, whcih would have been a good photo opportunity but didn't seem right. Finally I caught this mob at dawn on the rocks at Granville Harbour

178) Common Blackbird. Might be common to you lot down South, but we don't have them up here and I loved hearing them sing in the mornings. Yes yes I know they are furriners - but I like them. 

179) Brush Bronzewing - super long range shot in the dawn light, was lucky to get this EBC at all. Never seen any bronzewings before, so this photo was useful for ID. I saw a Common Bronzewing later in the trip, but they seem to be very shy birds and don't hang around.

180) Striated Fieldwren, a lifer for me. Hung around just long enough for me to grab a few shots, thanks Mr Fieldwren. Not sure why it doesn't come up in the Factsheets. 

181) Pink Robin - this was high on my priority list, and we stopped in transit on the Franklin River walk just to find these guys. I was given half an hour by my family to find my bird - and only just managed to snap this fleeting EBC in that time (but did find some later in the New Year)

182) Grey Butcherbird - was surprised to see this hadn't made my list before, as they are common at home. 

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

And then - well, it was New Year's Eve and my time was up! So I'll declare at 182 birds or thereabout, and concede to the prolific and talented Sue! 

I've had such fun on this mission, and I'm looking forward to the long haul over the Big Year to come.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

So my birding year 2019 in numbers from eBird and my own records, both of which started in April 2019. 

Life list - 399 Birds. I saw 71 new species in the year, and 384 species in total, so nearly all of them. I've seen 250 Australian birds in that total, 33 in the USA and the rest in Southern Africa. I've photographed 182 of those AU birds, and most of the overseas birds. 

More subjectively - I've enjoyed birding trips all over Australia and a couple of US states off the back of work trips, and have had great holidays in Southern Africa and Tasmania which included lots of exceptional birding. I started bird photography in 2019 and went from zero and intense frustration, to normally being able to grab some kind of ID shot and sometimes getting photos I quite like. I've had enormous fun with bird photography, have met a bunch of cool people both online and IRL who share these interests, and can see that I have a long way to develop all my birding and photography skills - and I really enjoy long-term challenges like this.

So - in summary - my Small Year has been a brilliant birding year, and this challenge has been a good part of it. Thanks all for partipating, for posting fascinating and unusual birds, for all the positive comments and encouragement given to everyone playing - you've all taken it in exactly the spirit I'd hoped, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it as a result. Thanks Holly/Mods for indulging us as well :-) 

So - Happy New Year to you all - it's going to be a Big Year!

dwatsonbb's picture

Sorry to correct you Alex, the Crescent Honeyeater is or at least was before the fires, found in Victoria and maybe Southeast NSW. Still counts, just not one of our endemic!

Lovely photos. Some have the Tasmanian Wedgetail as a separate and endemic subspecies, so if you have a mainland Wedgie you can I believe also have the subspecies as separate counts.

Your Forty Spot Pardalote is simply gorgeous, I believe I have sighted, but yet to have even an EBC shot. Also love your Swift Parrot, yet to see. Was confident you would see one at Inala. A place I will try and get to maybe later this year.

Nice shots all round, you must be stoked.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818's picture

Wonderful pictures, Alex and a fantastic total. I cannot pick a favourite but love the Hooded Plover and Swift parrot as both endangered. It seems the trip was very successful.

I think you forgot to post the photo of the Pink Robin and I was really wanting to see that one. Also Dale is correct about the Crescent HE but I have seen Common Blackbird on Sydney outskirts. I also missed posting a Grey Butcherbird although i heard them often enough!

A great year for you and all of us. Thank you

Devster's picture

Wow Alex, what a collection! Certainly a few new ones for me there. Love the endemics. Hard to pick a favourite but if I did it would be between the Beautiful Firetail and the Swift Parrot I think. Both would be new to me and your photos were both great. As Sue mentioned, the photo of the Pink Robin is not there. They are a beautiful little bird as most of the Robins are. Thanks for suggesting this as it has been fun and upped my game. Thats an imporessive list for such a short time. I only have 377 birds but I only count them if I have a photo of it. Iv'e been doing it since 2014 but haven't had much of a chance to travel. Look forward to this years birds!

pip-lb's picture

Thanks Alex, and all. Some great photos there. The beautiful firetail is a really lovely image. I'm hoping to get to Tassie this year at some point. 

Yep, this challenge has been fun and very motivating. I've also learned heaps. One of my goals this year is to really hone my shore birding skills. I've already had two trips to the water treatment plant in Werribee and i'm hoping to go two or three times a month. It's only a 45 minute drive from me (if i evade peek hour), so there's really no excuse. 

I am worried though about the destruction we're all likely to come across on our birding trips from these bush fires. Hope some wildlife survived. 

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers's picture

Oops - sorry about the Pink Robin - I'll post it here. Photos is very poor, but I have a better one which will be posted in the Big Year Challenge. But for what it is worth, here is a very fluffy pink robin bum. 

Yes, you are right, the Crescent Honeyeater is not endemic to Tassie, but the Yellow-throated Honeyeater is a Tasmanian Endemic and I had omitted him! We'll add him as 183) 

So the only endemic I didn't photograph was the scrubtit - our guide pointed out some in the deepest darkest rainforest, but in truth I couldn't see it properly and the photo was a wash, so I'm not ticking it. In this comp we don't count subspecies, so lovely as it was to see a Tasmanian Wedgie, the reason I counted it was that I hadn't photographed a wedgie at all. 

sue818's picture

Both quite definitive, Alex. Apparently you just missed the Rockhopper Penguin seen on Bruny Island this week. Pleased you added theYellow-throated HE.


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