Sue's small year challenge

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sue818
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Sue's small year challenge

Finally reached a spot with decent internet! A small start from the Mackay area.

1 Australasian Figbird

2 White-eared Monarch

3 Rufous Fantail

4 Spectacled Monarch (immature)

5 Australian Brush-turkey

6 White-browed Scrubwren (laevigaster)

7 Rose-crowned Fruit-dove

8 Olive-backed Sunbird

9 Bush Stone-curlew

10 Leaden Flycatcher

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Sue, glad you started with some easy ones haha, some lovely birds and top photos, thanks for sharing. Look forward to so,e more.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Hooray, another player :-) I've been waiting for you to come in and race up the charts....

What a great bunch of birds, and fantastic photos too. Lovely to see some out of area birds that I've never seen before. Looking forward to more. 

sue818
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A few more from Mackay area.

11 Radjah Shelduck

12 Little Shrike-thrush

13 Lewin's Honeyeater after a bath

14 Masked Lapwing

15 White-gaped Honeyeater after bathing at Ayr, QLD

sue818
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Now a few from Townsville. The first is a mate for number 10 --- a female Leaden Flycatcher (so not recounted).

16 Australian Raven in a weird preening position

17 Peaceful Dove

18 Brown-backed Honeyeater

19 White-throated Honeyeater

20 Little Bronze-cuckoo (male with that red eye-ring)

21 Red-backed Fairywren (male)

22 Brolga .... immature. Not a great shot as distant but interesting to see it. 

23 Black-necked Stork (adult male with black eye) and one of his progeny --- great to see these little ones.

sue818
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A few more from Townsville. Still sorting,culling and downsizing my pictures before uploading so apologies but it all takes time. Looking forward to more from everyone

24 White-bellied Sea-eagle --- a juvenile seen perching on side of nest for first time

25 Pheasant Coucal posing in its usual difficult position high in a tree

26 a flight of Royal Spoonbills

27 Spangled Drongo ... should at least have shown the spangkes or fish tail but the best I could manage

28 Crimson Finch

29 Brown Honeyeater

30 Australasian Darter

pip-lb
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Wow, at least half of those birds would be new to my life list. Fantastic pictures. Thank you Sue. Looking forward to more from Qld.

sue818
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Thanks for all the feedback and hope you enjoy a final few from Townsville. Bowra and Warren will have to wait as now in Cloncurry.

31 Rainbow Bee-eater --- not sure it is possible to take a bad pic of these stunning birds!

32 Apostlebirds --- such talkative and social birds

33 Double-barred Finch --- very late so poor light but cutie anyway

34 Chestnut-breasted Mannikin --- spent ages for a picture as they flew back and forth across the road as I approached

35 Great Egret --- again late in the day

36, 37, 38 Australian Pelicans, Little Egret and Intermediate Egret (we'll forget the dark little bird as not definitive) taken as the sun was setting

39 Golden-headed Cisticola --- love these little ones which pop up unexpectedly so you have to be prepared

dwatsonbb
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Thanks Sue some great photos. Had to look closely to see the dark bird in your Pelican photo. I'm coming a distant 4th, but it's not about winning or losing, I think we are all winners just for participating, and those who are just looking are hopefully getting some benefits from seeing birds they may never get a chance to see a n the flesh (or feather).

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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A few from Chinaman's Dam (Reservoir) at Cloncurry.

40 Grey-headed Honeyeater

41 Australasian Grebe

42 Brown Quail

43 Little Eagle with a lizard of some sort

44 Brown Falcon

Alex Rogers
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Sue, I'm loving your photos! You are obviously a talented photographer (and I suspect you are culling some of the Every Bird Count pics that I might post :-) and you are also getting some great shots of tricky birds / circumstances. I'm loving seeing all these birds that we don't see in NSW. I really love the finches, and cool to see some new honeyeaters as well. Keep them coming :-) 

Are you on a road trip? Specifically for birdwatching? 

sue818
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Sorry for the absence but access to WiFi has been difficult as has mobile coverage.  Yes, we are on a road trip to Uluru via some interesting places and not specifically for birding, although my husband is very understanding. A couple of days ago, I was so annoyed with myselfed when I failed to raise the camera in time and missed a Grey Falcon!

A few from Warren in NSW...light was awful but I cannot complain as really overcast and then it rained, something they desperately need.

45 Australian Reed-warbler

46 Weebill

47 Yellow Thornbill

48 Western Gerygone

49 Ballion's Crake

50 Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

51 Crested Pigeon

52 Red-rump Parrot

53 White-necked Heron

54 Yellow-billed Spoonbill (lousy light and distance!)

And now a few from Narromine as we travelled to Warren...

55 Willie Wagtail

56 Eastern Rosella

And a start on Mt Isa at Clearwater Lagoon

57 Latham's Snipe ... at least I think it is Latham's not Swinhoe's --- the number of tail feathers on picture of one bird identified it as Latham's

More later. Hope they are enjoyable as I race to catch you up!

dwatsonbb
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Hi Sue, some lovely photos there, some I’ve never seen, and may never get to see. If the light was poor, your skills are grande!

I agree, almost certain your Snipe is a Latham’s. Not that waders are my forte! Another gorgeous shot. I like the way you include the surrounds, so we get a feel for the environment they’re located in.

Think if I get to 60 or 70, I will exhaust the range of birds easily available to me. Again it’s great to see everyone’s photos, and we all are winners for getting out and about. 

Enjoy your travels, and stay safe.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Thanks Dale, but I think you have some great birds in Tasmania. How about a Latham's Snipe or some of those wonderful robins?

As to my including some of the surrounds, it helps if the shots are grainy or cropped a lot but it does also give a sense of the habitat or what is happening. More to come but fighting the light this trip.

Sue

sue818
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A couple I missed for Warren, NSW

58 Grey Teal

59 Laughing Kookaburra

sue818
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A few more from Chinaman's Reservoir at Cloncurry, QLD

60 Glossy Ibis

61 female Magpie Lark

62 Painted Finch

63 White-headed Stilt  an affectionate couple, during and after

dwatsonbb
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Yes Sue we do have some wonderful birds, but I am struggling to locate them. Went to Orielton Lagoon last week hoping to find Eastern Curlew, Bar Tailed Godwits, Red Capped Plovers, Double Banded Plovers, Pacific Golden Plovers, Sharp Tailed Sandpipers and Red Necked Stint. All have been sighted regularly over the past few weeks, but are conspicuous by their absence when I turn up. Even the easy ones, Green Rosella, Suplhur Crested Cockatooos, Galahs, and robins are all hiding! 

Also battling work and weather, but there is still time (I’m hoping to live at least another 30 years haha).

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Some awesome photos Sue! I think I have a photo of the very same Baillon's Crake :-) A couple of them (along with Australian Crake) on the SW corner of the Tiger Bay sewerage stabilisation ponds were very cooperative (and very exciting for me as I've never seen them). Love your sexy stilts, and the painted finch are beautiful, never seen them either. Love the snipe too. Great seeing your photos, please keep them coming when you have coverage. 

sue818
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Apologies for appearing so slack but out sight-seeing & then the power went off in Alice Springs —- 7 hours so far & now 9:30pm... not a time to post pictures as just too hot. Fingers crossed for next place.

sue818
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Seems my last lot did not post so here we go again

64 Black-chinned Honeyeater (Golden-backed ssp laeitor) at Chinaman's Reservoir Cloncurry, QLD... love the golden mantle

65 Whistling Kite at Barkly Homestaed, NT... I once saw one land on a stick and break it in order to take for the nest

66 Purple-backed fairywren at Cloncurry... could not get a decent shot of the breeding coloured male

67 Indian Peafowl at Lake Moondarah, Mt Isa

68 Bourke's Parrot at Bowra near Cunnamulla, QLD

69 Banded Lapwing adult and young one

70 Spotted Bowerbird (and an Australian Ringneck --- Mallee Ringneck)

71 Australian Wood Duck & ducklings

72 Chestnut-crowned Babbler at Bowra

73 Wedgetail Eagle out of Cadney Homestead, SA

74 Galahn at Bowra

75 Cockatiel at Bowra

76 Black Honeyeater at Bowra

Alex Rogers
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Some lovely shots of some very unusual (for me) birds, Sue - thanks for posting :-) I'm very impressed with the birds on the wing shots too - you've obviously put in the hard yards with your photography and your style brings a lot of life and action to the birds, I'm really enjoying them. 

Not to put too much emphasis on the gear, but I'm always interested to know what equipment photographers are using - can you let us know? I'm squirreling away savings for an upgrade from my bridge camera next year, while I'm enjoying wringing as much as I can out of the P900 but ultimately want something with much better AF and a faster, better lens (doesn;t everybody :-) 

sue818
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Thanks, Alex. After finding a bird, it is all about the light for me & how well I can hold things steady. Any handy tree or post helps even the car door helps. Flight shots a bit hit & miss, sometimes "group" focus helps but I like " spot" focus better.

I use Nikon D500 with usually Tamron F5-6.3 150-600mm gen 2 lens but have a beautiful Nikon F4 300mm PF lens with me. First is fast enough & has the reach but at limit of weight for me & long lens to hold steady! Second is a joy & delivers amazing shots in poor light. Keep a D7200 as spare camera with a landscape lens attached to save me time. With my husband's gear as well, the car is really loaded up!

Hoping to get more uploaded tonight then go dark again in the Flinders. Also hoping for some great birds from Arid Lands Botanic Gardens in Port Augusta.

sue

dwatsonbb
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Thanks for all your shots Sue, I aspire to be almost as good as you, some cracking shots, and like most of us, some you wish could be better? That's the hard part with wildlife photos, sometimes you've just got to be happy with a recognisable photo.

Have you missed a number? You had 2 birds in the one shot, and not sure if either were listed previously (70 Spotted Bowerebird and Mallee ringneck). Sorry to hack your post Sue, but some response for Alex and his gear!

Alex, there nothing wrong with your P900, has better optical zoom than some of the bigger lenses, while hard to steady at full zoom, you can achieve (as you already have) some great photos. My 2nd camera is the P900 (a very recent aquasition), which I carry pretty much every where I go. 

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Alex Rogers
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Thanks Sue - that is exactly the camera/lens (D500+G2) combo I'm saving for - seems to be a very sweet combination that a decent photographer can do just about anything with. Still working on the decent photographer bit... :-) 

Looking forward to your photos out of the Flinders and Port Augusta. I was involved in constructing the Bungala Solar Farm (currently Australia's largest) at Port Augusta, but unfortunately never got to visit the Arid Lands - the only day I had a chance one of the frequent dust storms came through and blew it out. Enjoy!

Dale - yes, the P900 is amazing for what it is, and spotting-scope levels of "reach". It excels for capturing a quick shot for later ID, and at this stage of my birding experience (where I often have to refer to guides vs photos repeatedly) it is super useful. And if the light is good and the bird reasonably cooperative, you can certainly get acceptable photos.  I'll definitely keep it as my grab & go camera - but I'm running up against its limitations in too many occasions. 

sue818
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Thanks Dale. Have better shot of Australian Ringneck (Port Lincoln) type which I may get to post tonight. Still have a few from Bowra & the Centre to come. Yes, some shots you just settle for what you can get to confirm ID. General find first sighting is my worst & improves at next sighting. It is all part of the fun & I get much joy from the total experience.
 

sue818
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A few more...

77 Crested Bellbird at Bowra; one of my favourite pictures as often heard but not seen!

78 Brown Treecreeper at Bowra

79 Chestnut-rumped Thornbill at Bowra... the best I could manage but clearly identifiable so EBC

80 Inland Thornbill in the East MacDonnell Ranges in NT

81 young Mistletoebird in the east MacDonnell Ranges in NT

82 Southern Scrub-robin in the Flinders Ranges, SA... shy birds and could not find them again

83 Brown-headed Honeyeater in the Flinders Ranges, SA... so busy getting the acrobatics that I missed the end of his tail!

84 Yellow-rumped Thornbill in the Flinders Ranges, SA

85 Australian Ringneck (ssp Mallee Ringneck) in the Flinders Ranges SA

86 male Pied Honeyeater at Port Augusta... a new bird for me. It took ages to get this shot but very happy with the result in such windy conditions

87 Elegant Parrot at Port Augusta... another first but they were most obliging

sue818
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and some more...

88 Little Corella at Port Augusta

89 Zebra Finch at Mt Isa... for Dale

90 Spinfex Pigeon at Mt Isa

91 Grey-fronted Honeyeater at Mt Isa

92 Long-tailed Finch at Mt Isa... an EBC, I think

93 Red Wattlebird at Port Augusta

More to come but I need to get some sleep. Hope they are interesting

sue818
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a replacement for  52 Red-rumped Parrot as I like this one better!

pip-lb
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That spinifex pigeon is quite something to behold. What an amazing looking bird and a fantastic photo too. Great stuff Sue.

Alex Rogers
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Great stuff Sue - very interesting indeed! Looks lik ePort Augusta was kind to you with a few new birds - and you got some lovely photos. The spinifex pigeon is very cool, and your wide shot on the zebra finches is great. And ytou got a few tricky birds on film there, nicely done. Looking forward to more. 

dwatsonbb
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WOW, just amazing seeing some wonderful birds Sue. I have trouble picking a favourite, they're all so good. I like your upgrade forthe Red Rump, and thank you for the Zebra finches.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Pleased you are finding this lot interesting. Thank you, as I am also enjoying everybody's efforts.

Pip, Spinifex Pigeons are quite stunning and often seen in groups; the cinnamon colour with the crest is striking.

Alex, Arid Lands Botanic Gardens at Port Augusta are well worth a visit (open at 7:30am & close at sundown). There are 2 bird hides but the Chenapod one seems most productive. It was blowing a gale and very cool after the high temperatures of the Centre. A tripod was essential even in the hide with wind gusting to 40kph! I gave up at 50kph!

Dale, of the latest my favourites would be the Elegant Parrot and the Pied Honeyeater as I have looked for them for ages without success until the last few days. The Pied was especially difficult in the wind so I was lucky when this died down for a while and I could sit at the cafe and wait for it after a great coffee.

I must confess to all of you that as I am retired, I can put in the time and travel to the places necessary for the variety I am offering. Some more common ones are still to come but sometimes it is just good luck as you will see from my Welcome Swallow.

sue818
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Apologies but it seems that the wind is playing havoc with the WiFi signal so photos are not loading tonight. Seems it will have to wait for tomorrow.

sue818
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WiFi back up again so a few more while I can...

94 White-fronted Honeyeater... another bird which I had seen a few times but failed to photograph well - a couple I like from Port Augusta

95 Common Bronzewing from Yulara, NT

96 White-plumed Honeyeater from Yulara, NT

 

97 Slaty-backed Thornbill from Kata-Tjuta, NT ... a first for me and an EBC picture

98 Australian Magpie (White-backed)... at Arid Lands, Port Augusta waiting for the cream people left behind on the tables

99 Chirruping Wedgebill ... Arid Lands, Port Augusta... really cute and lovely sound and not as monotonous as the Chiming

100  Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater ---Port Augusta again... very identifiable song

A replacement for 51 Crested Pigeon

101 Singing Honeyeater

102 Southern Whiteface ... from Flinders Ranges .. hoped for better at Port Augusta but too windy

103 White-browed Babbler... awful light and not time for better so EBC from Flinders Ranges

sue818
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I have removed this double-post!

sue818
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104 Nankeen Kestrel fron Flinders Ranges, SA

A few more from Port Augusta

105 White-winged Fairywren ... windy conditions kept them hiding so best I could get

106 Welcome Swallow... in more ways than one! Pure accident as did not realise it was a juvenile until the parent appeared

107 Rufous Fieldwren... a brief appearance so pleased to capture it

dwatsonbb
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Congrats on your ton Sue. Particularly love the swallow photo, I think luck along with skill plays an important part of any wildlife photography. Any chance you'll make the double century? Hoping your enjoying retirement, from your stories of travel, I presume the Grey Nomad (please don't take offence) thing is suiting you. Looking forward to lots more!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Yes Dale, retirement is agreeing with me & did it early so now we are SKIing (spending kid's inheritance) rather than being grey nomads (no offence taken) we don't travel with a van... also must confess, it is more silver than grey except when pink with dust! Managed a better pic this morning of the Southern Whiteface & 10 Elegant Parrots appeared! Sitting here waiting for more surprises as the wind has dropped. 

Alex Rogers
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Great shot on the swallows! You make your own luck, I say... The more you are on target, focussed and ready, the luckier you get :-) 

Also love the pied and white-fronted honeyeaters - cool to see a different take on a familiar family of birds. 

Pity the fairywrens weren't more cooperative. The Superbs are so confiding that you get used to them, and then it is very frustrating when more wary wrens tease you by giving a quick flash and then hiding again. Must have been cool to see them, though, would love to myself. 

sue818
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A few more for the challenge:

108 Black-tailed Native-hen in Adelaide today

109 New Holland Honeyeater in Adelaide

110 House Sparrow from Port Augusta

111 Red-capped Plover at Port Germein... a fluke when we stopped for a cuppa

112 Red-necked Stints at Port Germein... over 60 present

A couple of bonus shots of Southern Whiteface (number 102) in the early morning light at Port Augusta.

Alex, I also have a spreadsheet to keep tabs on what I post to avoid double-ups.

Alex Rogers
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I've never heard of a Southern Whiteface, so good to see one in your photos. Perhaps one of those birds that is only really noticed by birders as apart from the (quite hard to see) white above the bill, it is a perfect LBJ! :-) Your last pic is a cracker.

sue818
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A replacement for 56 Eastern Rosella is this one from Adelaide

dwatsonbb
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Hi Sue, some more stunning photos of birds I've not heard of. It's nice to see birds from someone else's patch, especially that your patch is so large with your travels. 
Great your spending the kids inferitance, we will do the same, have already started, but will get serious once I retire in a few years.

Thanks for sharing.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Thanks all. Enjoying the travel but dust & heat driving us home. Back in Sydney this weekend.

Love the Tassie birds, Dale, especially the Green Rosella. Start the travel earlier rather than later as so much to see.

Alex, Southern Whiteface around Capertee as are numerous others like Diamond Firetail & Hooded Robin ... & the Regent Honeater. Usually very rewarding so your camping trip should be productive.

Devster
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Just wow Sue. 112 species in. I think I have left my run to late but there doesn't seem to be many from QLD doing it so may just post some more. There are so many lifers for me in those photos. Just amazing. There is no way I could pic my favourite. 

Alex Rogers
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Devster, why not join in a Small Year just for fun, and then do it next year for full effect? The whole idea of this Small Year was just to get people participating in the last few months of this year, and then next year we have the full year to play with. Would be great to see your pics too. 

Devster
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Ok you convinced me. It is fun getting out and photographing species you normally wouldn't because they are soo common and you have taken about 5000 photos of them. Grey Fantails and Willie Wagtails certainly fall into that catergory for me. Even Eastern Yellow Robins but they are so photogenic it is hard to resist them, especially if the light or setting is ideal

sue818
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Thanks, Dev. This trip I managed 3 lifers & some I had seen but not photographed well in the past e.g. Crested Bellbird. It was difficult birding in this drought with few insects or flowers evident in most places. It is always hard to choose a favourite picture as it is the story not just the shot which influences the decision. A common bird can be a challenge to present in an interesting way. So pleased you have joined the challenge.

Devster
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Thanks Sue. 3 Lifers is a good effort as they are harder to get the more birds you have. Whats your total bird count now? Mine is 377. Are you like me that you only count the birds if you get an IDable photo of them?

sue818
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Hi Dev, yes I only count if I have a photo to confirm ID & then work hard to replace that pic. Most pictures are not bad but there are a few to work on... Sandstone Shrike-thrush is horribly backlit & Red Goshawk distant & head shot only as high up on a nest. However, I consider them so hard to find that I counted them if the photo confirmed ID. Getting very hard to find new ones lthough I am still missing pictures of some common birds. I must have seen a Cicadabird but no picture! It is also difficult to be really accurate with the splits & I know I have one double-up in the Ringnecks. My phone list says 500 & I have not gone for Pelagics so I have been fortunate on my travels with a patient husband!

Devster
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500 is a very impressive count. I recon if you did a Tasmanian Pelagic you would get another 10-15 new birds. They are quite amazing! I haven't been travelling a lot so that is why I am still in the 300's. I would love to get to 500 but I need to do more travelling in order to do that.

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