Twemgirl's Big Year 2020

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karentwemlow
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60. Red-browed Finch

Just spotted this one from the kitchen window, took a quick snap as I realise I have not taken a photo of them this year. Lucky this is EBC and not a photo contest :-).

Devster
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I love your stories that acompany your photos Karen. Just fleshes out the photos more. That is a typical Eastern Whipbird not wanting to come out in the open. I am starting to fall behind a bit as well as having some personal issues, not to mention the full week of torrential downpours we have had. Well done for getting the Little Ravens. A species I have not yet seen. Its good that your partner, even though not as enthusiastic as you still recognises how important it is to you and helps out where he can. I love how my partner, while not as enthusiastic as me, still lights up when I show her a bird she has never seen or even heard of. Especially if its cute. lol

karentwemlow
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Thanks! Yes I have heard the Eastern Whipbird a lot, was nice to finally get a pic. The rain has slowed me down a little, but also slowed the birds down too I think. Turtles on the other hand, they are coming out of the woodwork! I've picked up 6 in the last month. 3 have gone into my neighbours dam which is lovely and full. They all have such different personalities. Ironically the one with only 3 legs was the fastest of them all ;-). 

At some point I will try to actually go out on a birdwatching trip and get some new IDs (but isn't every trip out a birdwatching trip??).

Devster
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Did you know with the Eastern Whipbird, the male does the initial whip then if there is a female around she quickly responds with a chew chew or somethig like that. A lot of people think it is the one bird call but in actual fact it is a couple. I have even heard multiple female answering back.

karentwemlow
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Oh that's interesting, no I didn't know that. I will keep an ear out next time. Hopefully there are some females around. I have a few nesting pairs of various species here. Yesterday I saw one of the Sacred Kingfisher fledgelings for the first time. Mum or dad was having a good old scream and the fledgeling just sat queitly on a branch nearby.

Devster
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He is sooo cute. Normally its the other way around, the fledgling screaming at the parents for food!

karentwemlow
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61. Grey Butcherbird

I believe a young one here, seen on a visit to the Grose River late yesterday. We went here daily for a week around Christmas for our son to use his new boogie board. But it's a completely different landscape now, since the torrential rain and flooding. Yesterday we had our gumboots on and went walking though the mud. I nearly got stuck on a few occasions. Also saw a beautiful Tawny family - baby with one parent and the other parent on the next branch over.

karentwemlow
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62. Glossy Black Cockatoo

I have a couple of pics to add today but this one absolutely made my day. Topsy turvy day started with a missed call from my mum. I'd only spoken to her the night before about our Lotto entry (so I though maybe we won?? we didn't). Called her back, she's in tears because her 60yo neighbour (male) is bullying her. She's 76. And she's 2.5 hours away and I would just love to knock on his door and have a conversation with him. But I digress..... So my 4yo son and I went for a drive through the relatively new estate in North Richmond looking at houses for sale that we think Nanny would like. We found a couple, it's definitely my mum's kind of place - new homes where people are a little house proud and look after their gardens. I took heaps of pics to send to her to hopefully entice her our way.

On the way home, I was bullied by an impatient tailgater (have to admit, we have a lot of them in the Hawkesbury) for doing 60 in a 60 zone. This particular one overtook me then slammed on the brakes and stopped in front of me and got out of his car waving his arms angrily. My son asked why he did that, and I inadvertently taught him a new swear word, maybe his first swear word? Later I told him to forget about it and he seems to have done that. Luckily cars started coming up behind me and impatient bully hopped back into his car and sped off. 

I was sitting outside in our garden, posting my North Richmond bird sightings to ABID FB group when I heard a bird call I had never heard before. It got closer and this awesome guy stopped long enough for me to get a (pretty crappy/blurry) photo. I also recorded his call. I posted both to ABID FB though I was fairly sure I knew the ID. The gorgeous, but threatened, Glossy Black Cockatoo. Never seen at my place and species #85. 

This bird made my day. Made me forget about the various bullies that might have kept me awake tonight. I wonder if he knows how special he is? Probably not.

karentwemlow
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63. Square-tailed Kite

I've only seen this guy once at my place before. Spotted today in North Richmond while looking for a new home for my mum. 

karentwemlow
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64. Red-rumped Parrot

Another bird I saw today at North Richmond while house hunting for mum (and taking the boy bike riding). I haven't yet seen these guys at my place. My album of 150 birds identified here from a study back in 2009 doesn't include them, though it wouldn't be far to visit, so maybe I will see them soon and can add a spot for them in the album.

sue818
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Hope all goes well for your mum. Bullies are upsetting. So pleased that you found some great birds to brighten a distressing day. A special sighting does lift the spirit. Keep strong & travel safe. Love the bird you are seeing.

dwatsonbb
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Nice work Karen, your powering through, getting some lovely birds. Keep going thanks for sharing.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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No other name for Red-rumped Parrot. Try Parrot & select from the choices as that worked in the Bird Finder when RRP did not. A glitch.

karentwemlow
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Ah yes thank you Sue, a search for Parrot rather than Red-rumped found it :-)

karentwemlow
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65. Purple Swamphen

I haven't seen one of these at my place, I'm sure they are fairly common, I hope I have ID'd it correctly? Spotted today at North Richmond.

karentwemlow
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66. Crested Pigeon

Spotted at the shops at North Richmond recently. I have had these guys visit my place, but haven't seen one here in quite a while.

karentwemlow
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67. Wedge-Tailed Eagle

High in the sky over Richmond RAAF base this afternoon. Another bike riding trip with the boy, I had camera in my bag to try to stay more 'present' with my son, but just had to get it out when I spotted this one. Blurry I know, but it still counts :-). Was awesome to watch it circle around the runway.

karentwemlow
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68. Chestnut Teal

This one is also from our bike riding trip to the park opposite Richmond RAAF base today. This time my 4yo son spotted it and said look mum, a duck, take a photo. So I had to oblige. Usually he's telling me to put the camera away. He only lets me take one photo though, then it's time to move on. No time to check the settings, sorry for the over-exposure ;-).

Lots of 'swamp' land near the park that I haven't noticed before, or perhaps it was not swampy before the recent torrential rain. The ducks seemed to be enjoying it, as well as a juvenile kingfisher I spotted nearby.

Alex Rogers
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Loving all the photos and stories Karen :-) The frogmouths are great, and Id also be excited about the glossy black cockatoos - I've never seen any (or at least, not close enough to differentiate them from the yellow tailed.) Very nice!

karentwemlow
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69. White-cheeked Honeyeater

Another crappy photo from me :-). My son Leo and I were having dinner down at 'Rock Quarry' tonight. He has named various places of our property, and with two trees coming down recently during a storm, we have been able to reuse some of the timber to make some furniture and put up some signs. While there, I spotted this little bird in the distance. One quick snap was enough for me to identify it as a white-cheeked honeyeater. I haven't seen these guys for a few months. We have callistemon and grevillea that are just starting to flower so maybe they have come for the food. Flowering seems a bit late this year, probably the lack of rain.

The bits of tree used to make the tables came from a tree that fell down in two directions with one trunk taking out our dog yard fence and the other taking out the power line. The sign and chairs were made from a tree that came down toward the house, damaging one of our grevilleas. I've just learned that my insurance includes up to $2000 for trees/shrubs so I'm thinking of getting two mature flowering eucalypts and another mature grevillea.

dwatsonbb
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Thats a nice photo i would be happy with that. I also like your use of fallen trees, must be great share the great outdoors with your son.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks Dale, yes we love the outdoors. Leo was only 2 when we moved here and before that we lived on a 400 square metre block in suburbia, even then one of his first words was 'outside, outside', we played in the park across the road a lot, not on the equipment just among nature. We have a much smaller house now, but we are on 10 bush acres and have the huge Wollemi National park behind us so we are outside any chance we get.

karentwemlow
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70. New Holland Honeyeater

Camp Wallenbeen is at the end of my street which is a dead end dirt road. It is a father-son camp, that I have only ever seen used once in the 2.5 years I have lived here. Like my place, their backyard is the Wollemi National Park. I often walk down there as there is a short bush track next to it. Behind the complex they have planted a row of Callistemon shrubs, about a dozen of them. They are mature and flowering profusely. I went for a walk last night and spotted what I knew was a New Holland Honeyeater, but my extremely blurry pic at night might not have been good enough for an ID, so I decided I would go back this morning before work.

The breakfast buffet was buzzing with a zillion tiny birds. There were numerous different species. I spotted the New Holland Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill and Scarlet Honeyeater, all moving so fast, knocking each other out and trying to get the best bits. A pair of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos watched me from a short distance away, they looked to be having some morning cuddles. I actually heard their calls from that same spot last night, but I couldn't see due to the poor light, hoping maybe they have a nest nearby.

Finally one of the NHEs stopped long enough for me to get a pic. Mission accomplished!

karentwemlow
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71. Scarlet Honeyeater

Spotted at the breakfast buffet behind Camp Wallenbeen this morning. I know the male is so colourful, but I actually prefer the female. I love little brown birds with big brown eyes!

dwatsonbb
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Love The New Holland and the male Scarlet for their vibrancy, nice to see both sexes as well. Yellow Tail Blacks are just amazing, in colour, size and noise. They always announce their presence, although sometimes can be difficult to see, nice photos, loving your narrative to go with them. Leo is lucky to have the opportunty to enjoy nature, so many kids are missing out.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Another great lot there karen. I have a soft spot for the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. I also love your commentary that accompanies your photos

karentwemlow
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72. Musk Lorikeet

I've seen a flock of these little guys fly over the last 3 nights around 7pm. Too fast for me to get a photo. I only saw the flock briefly but I knew they weren't Rainbow Lorikeets as they were smaller and had a softer call. I wasn't sure if they were Musk or Little Lorikeets. So tonight after I finished my dinner I left the boys to it and told them I need to go outside and wait for the lorikeets. It didn't take long, I could hear a couple of them calling from somewhere in the distance, and I spotted them way up high. This time they had landed instead of just flying over, and they gave me enough time to snap a quick pic.

I'm a bit excited as I've never seen these guys here before. And they aren't even on the list of the 150 birds found here during the 2009 survey.

Bird species number 85 for my property :-).

Devster
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Very nice Karen. A species of Lorikeet I have yet to see.

Alex Rogers
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Good to see, Karen, I've never seen Musk Lorikeets. Like your Scarlet Honeyeater  and YTB Cockies as well, nice shots :-) 

dwatsonbb
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Great to see someone else is seeing Musk Lorrikeets, and a nice photo as well. At one of my favourite spots, there are usually hundreds, but getting them in the open and still at the same time, that's a challenge. Not sure if they will emigrate to the northern island for winter, many of the parrot species seem to visit Tassie for summer and leave when the cold sets in.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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Thanks everyone. The Musk Lorikeets did stop to pose for me on this occasion. The only time they have done so. They have been a daily visitor the last few weeks but just fly over. I hadn't seen or heard them in 2.5 years before this. I also see the Gang-gang Cockatoos daily now too. And last week had about a dozen of them visit. I was here 2 years before seeing or hearing them.

I'm at Lake Macquarie on a family holiday at the moment and I have some new birds to add. But no computer and my iPhone pics are too big to upload. I haven't done any specific birdwatching trips but I have found a few beautiful bushwalks nearby. Wyrrabalong National Park is absolutely stunning. 

sue818
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Nice shots, Karen. The Rock Quarry looks wonderful. Love the Musk Lorrikeets and Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos but the male Scarlet Honeyeater is my favourite. Keep them coming and the stories.

karentwemlow
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Thanks Sue :-). Rock Quarry is a great spot, especially in Winter with the warm afternoon sun. I have a few more birds to upload this afternoon, from our holiday to Lake Macquarie. I found some great bushwalks in the area too. 

karentwemlow
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We have just returned from two weeks at Lake Macquarie (Mannering Park, with a weekend stop at my mum's place at Kooindah Waters Golf Course Estate). 

Spent a lot of time taking the boy bike riding and to the beach, though I did manage to escape on my own for a couple of peaceful bushwalks, and with the boys for a noisy one.

This first lot of photos are the birds that lived within the holiday park where we stayed. There were also a zillion ducks there, who would wander into your cabin if you were silly enough to leave the door open. I tried to find a 'pure bred' either native or introduced variety, but most appeared to be hybrids of Mallard with Pacific Black or Australian Wood Duck. I haven't included any hybrids in my count. 

73. Rainbow Lorikeet

There were hundreds of Rainbow Lorikeets in the area, this young one was being quite noisy right outside our cabin so posed nicely for me.

74. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

There were a handful of scaly-breasted lorikeets among the many Rainbow Lorikeets. Spotted these ones during a bike ride along the edge of the lake.

75. Australian Pelican

We saw these 4 together often during the two weeks we stayed. One seemed to be being picked on, then for a few days we only saw three together, so maybe the 4th one moved on to a clan where he would be appreciated more :-).

76. Little Corella

These guys were in abundance here, like the Rainbow Lorikeet. And again here's a young noisy one who was being fed by a parent. In this case as well as the Rainbow Lorikeet, the parent not doing the feeding seemed to be quite put out by it all, perhaps jealous of the attention being bestowed on the young one.

77. Australian White Ibis

I spotted this guy just before he flew away and quickly got the camera as although they are just about everywhere, I was sure I hadn't uploaded a photo of one yet.

78. Galah

Another one similar to the Sacred Ibis. I watched a couple of Galahs for quite a while before realising I hadn't uploaded one yet. I don't actually see these birds very often at my place either. And while there were a few around the holiday park they were totally outnumbered by the Little Corellas.

79. Great Cormorant

At first I thought this was a Little Black Cormorant, then I checked my guide book and it didn't look like anything in there, though closest resemblance was the Great Cormorant. Someone from the ABID FB group confirmed this ID for me.

80. Northern Mallard

I was told to look for the yellow bill as most hybrid Mallard x natives have a grey bill. This one looked fairly close to the Northern Mallard in my book. Haven't had ID confirmed though... anyone?

Devster
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Wow they really have given that Pelican the cold shoulder haven't they. Yes the Great Cormorants do look like the LBC at a glance. But when you look closer they are bigger, have white & yellow on the face and a white bit above their legs. There are so many Hybrid species of Mallard that I find it hard to tell. Didn't know that bit about the yellow bill so thanks for sharing

karentwemlow
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81. Silver Gull

Yep these guys were everywhere.

This pic was taken on the jetty at 'Nanny No Show Beach', which was so named after plans were made on our visit two years ago to meet Nanny here. We gave her directions and then headed down to the water. But we didn't take our phones and Nanny got lost and never turned up, she eventually went home.

I later found out that she was reading the map wrong and instead of heading to the location marked on the map image I had sent her, she was heading to the 'blue' spot which was identifying my location at the time of sending. Nanny isn't great at reading maps in any case. I'm lucky I take after my father :-).

dwatsonbb
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Well done, great photos. 

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

karentwemlow
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82. Brown Gerygone

I took this pic after I dropped the boys at the beach at Catherine Hill bay and drove to the information centre in Swansea. I picked up a brochure created by the Hunter Bird Observers club and found this walk to Galgabba Point nearby. I would never have found it without the map. I was the only person there (turned out to be the case on just about all of my bushwalks). 

sue818
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Lovely shots especially the Silver Gull & Scaly-breasted Lorrikeets. You are getting a wonderful variety of birds. I like the story attached to each picture. Hope you can find a few more around home.

karentwemlow
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83.White-bellied Sea-Eagle

We had just had brunch at our favourite cafe up there at Norah Head, near the lighthouse. Took the boy to the play park across the road, I was busy stalking random birds in the bush when the boys pointed out this awesome one flying way up high. Last time we were on holidays up here I got a photo of two of them perched high on a cliff top but had no zoom lens back then. I was really hoping to get one in a similar position. But only saw them flying above on this trip. Not a great photo but was still awesome to watch.

karentwemlow
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The next three birds are ones I spotted while visiting my mum. I was hoping her bully neighbour would try something again so I could have words with him. He walked past the house on one occasion (they live backing on to a golf course) and I watched him closely but he would not even look in my direction. If he does approach mum in that way again, my 6ft4inch brother will be paying him a visit.

Anyway.... while my son and I were in the park across the road, I was on the lookout for any new species, and I found the Masked Lapwing and the Pied Butcherbird (such a beautiful song, I could listen to them all day, there were a family of about 6).

84. Masked Lapwing

85. Pied Butcherbird

From the back of mum's place, she has a view of the 12th hole green, with a pond behind it. I'm hoping I got the ID right on this one?

86. Eastern Great Egret

karentwemlow
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Back to our favourite cafe at Norah Head after another bushwalk. This time we found a rock pool at the bottom of the stairs where the boys went exploring for a few hours. I did the short nature walk next to it, saw a bunch of familiar faces - New Holland Honeyeaters, Wattlebirds and various Robins. When I went back to the rockpool I watched this Little Pied Cormorant surfing in the waves behind my hubby and after he dived down, he came back up with a fish. He sat on the rock nearby to dry his wings afterward.

I see a lot of Welcome Swallows around but they are rarely still enough for me to get a photo. This one briefly obliged.

87. Little Pied Cormorant

88. Welcome Swallow

karentwemlow
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89. White-faced Heron

On another solo bushwalk of mine - this time along the coastline from just north of Spoon Rocks at Swansea, down to Pinny Beach. Didn't manage a great photo of this one, but someone on the ABID FB site confirmed the ID for me. I have seen one of these fly over my place at Kurrajong, but I didn't get a photo. I hope to be able to add to my home list soon too.

karentwemlow
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90. Australian Brush-turkey

I dragged the boys along to this bushwalk in the beautiful Watagans National Park. And I'm glad I did as the drive in was quite hairy in my little VW Polo, I stopped and got hubby to drive the rough dirt track. Along our way he managed to swerve to miss a beautiful red-bellied black snake. I wanted to somehow encourage it to move off the road but hubby wouldn't let me go near it. I stayed taking photos, ready to stop traffic, until it slid away into the bush.

We had a picnic lunch here, Leo rode his bike briefly then we did a very steep bushwalk through rainforest down to a waterfall. That part would have been less stressful if I wasn't both worried about myself slipping as well as a 4 year old. But we all made it safely down and back. Afterwards Leo decided to feed some grapes to the very friendly Brush-turkey. 

This day out including the snake encounter was probably the highlight of the trip for me. A very beautiful spot and like all the bushwalks I did on this holiday, there was hardly anyone else around.

dwatsonbb
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Beautiful Karen. I particularly love the snake photo, a timely reminder we regularly enter their habitat. Some really nice shots in that lot. I have given up taking photos of the Masked Lapwings, they are everywhere down here. Don't think I need to practice with them anymore, slow or stationary birds are easy photos, trying to practice with some more difficult targets. Also keep your commentary coming, that is a part of the story, which I am enjoying immensely.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

sue818
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Another great group of birds, Karen. Love that snake which looks a reasonable size.

karentwemlow
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I was working from home this week, which I'm used to, but I'm not used to having hubby and son around while I work. They were inside playing board games as it was raininig and I only have a small house. So I rugged up and worked from the verandah. Lucky I did as I was able to enjoy my first visit from a Brushturkey. This guy moved me up the eBird yard list to position number 27 (in Australia for 2020, 61 species here so far).

dwatsonbb
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Nice work Karen, glad to see your still able to work, with so many being stood down. Must be fantastic to have such a large variety close at hand.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Devster
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Looks like she wasn't botherd by you. Man that would be hard to take, working from home in that environment. I wouldn't get any work done. lol

karentwemlow
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Yes I work in the Safety team for Woolworths group, so very busy times for us, not likely to be stood down.

And yes it was difficult to get work done while outside! Sometimes even with the windows open I'm too distracted by bird calls.... I've always got the camera ready to dash out to find a new species if I hear a new call.

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