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.