Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Carpentarian Grasswren Project needs more funds

Hi Folks,

Over the last few weeks, birders across the great state  of Queensland have been traversing the countryside as part of the joint  Birds Queensland and Birdlife Southern Queensland Twitchathon. It has been another successful event, with about 20 teams entering.

 funds raised through this event have been split between the organisations, but in 2015 a decision was made to pool the funds and put  them towards a joint project. We chose to support research into the Carpentarian Grasswren, a bird which unfortunately is in decline, and now almost a Queensland endemic. For more details, see the excellent summary on the Birdlife website by Graham Harrington and Steve Murphy: birdlife.org.au/australian-birdlife/detail/in-the-line-of-fire

 are hoping to raise $8000 to put towards comprehensive surveys of the current populations. This will help gather some robust baseline data that can be used to monitor population trends. We have raised about half  of that through donations direct to Twitchathon participants themselves, and are hoping to raise the second half through our online public donation portal.

So, we are asking for your help! If you feel like chipping in ten bucks to help us reach our target, please go to:

Please also feel free to share with family, friends or social media. It's for a great little bird, and a very good cause!

Thanks for your help.

Nick Leseberg
QLD Twitch Coordinator 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Thank you to everyone for registering for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, there is now only one week to go until the 
Count officially begins!
We have been receiving a lot of questions recently about how to participate, and we wanted to let you know again that 
 you don't need a smartphone/app to take part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

There are two ways to take part in the Count:
1. You can submit your checklist through the online web form on the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website (please note this
 is not a downloadable form). The form will be available to view and use here from this weekend; giving you time to have a look at it before the event officially starts on Monday 19 October.
2. Or you can submit your checklists through the Aussie Bird Count app. If you have the Aussie Bird Count app from last 
year don’t delete it, an update is available. If you haven’t downloaded the app and you have an iPhone/iPad or Android, head to the Google Play or iTunes app store and download the free app.

Just by submitting a checklist during the Aussie Backyard Bird Count you could win one of our great prizes! Check out the prizes here.

Are you based in Melbourne?
Come to the official launch event of National Bird Week. Tomorrow (Tuesday 13 October) from 10am – 3pm, join the 
Aussie Backyard Bird Count team at their Pop-up Backyard located in Melbourne’s very own Fed Square.
Join us for talks about National Bird Week and how to create bird-friendly gardens, LIVE counts, or you could meet a 
Barn Owl and a Nankeen Kestrel and there will be opportunities to chat to the team and have a go at the app.

Do you still have questions?
Please read through our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page for answers to common questions about the Aussie
 Backyard Bird Count.

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Bird Week/Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Bird Week/Aussie Backyard Bird Count

The celebration of National Bird Week has its origins back in the early 1900s when 28 October was first designated by our predecessor, the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, as the first ‘Bird Day’. BirdLife Australia organises and promotes Bird Week with the goal of inspiring Australians to take action and get involved in bird conservation efforts.

Aussie Backyard Bird Count


BirdLife Australia and the Birds in Backyards team have come together to bring you the Aussie Backyard Bird Count!

Celebrate National Bird Week 2015 by taking part in the biggest citizen science project to hit Aussie shores! From 19-25 October, thousands of people from across the country are heading out into their backyards, local parks or favourite open spaces to take part in the first ever Aussie Backyard Bird Count!

To get involved all you need is 20 minutes, your ‘green patch’ of choice, and some keen eyesight (or binoculars!) And it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert—we’ll be there to help you out along the way! Simply record the birds you know and look up those you don’t on our ‘Aussie Bird Count’ app or our website. You’ll instantly see live statistics and information on how many people are taking part near you and the number of birds and species counted not just across your neighbourhood but the whole of Australia!

Not only will you get to know your feathered neighbours, but you’ll be contributing to a vital pool of information from across the nation that will help us see how Australian birds are faring.

So get your friends and family together during National Bird Week, head into the great outdoors and start counting!


A 'How to' guide for using the Aussie Backyard Bird Count app.

The app is currently available for Iphone and Android.

Mini Twitch

Kings Beach - habiatat of Wandering Tattlers, Pied Cormorants and Sooty Oystercatchers
Osprey nest site
Ran our mini twitch yesterday and 8 people [two teams] participated raising some $160 for the Carpentarian Grasswren project. We began at 7-10 and finished at 6pm sp it was a tiring but enjoyable day. The winning team scored 147 spp and the team that come second [second not last] managed 101 spp. Some wonderful birds were recorded and it was an excellent efforts, particularly given 'spur of the moment' planning. Hopefully more will support it next year.

Pacific Heron, Finalnad Road near Bli Bli 
One team chased birds between Toorbul and Maroochydore North Shore and finally through to the forests around Mapleton.
Roof top Peregrine, Maroochydore

interesting vagrant - Rajah Shelduck, Bli Bli
inquisitive King Parrot, Mapleton

Koala across the road from my place - sadly no points!

Another mammal worth no points - Ken Cross, Park Lakes, Bli Bli

Double barred Finch - Park Lakes, Bli Bli

male Red-backed Wren, Bli Bli

New Holland Honeyeater - Mapleton
Photos from twitcher - Maggie Overend

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Rajah Shelducks persist near Bli Bli

A rare species this far south, Rajah Shelducks persist near Bli Bli. They have been observed in the Finland Road area for at least a month now.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Good birds south of the Sunshine Coast



Ruff in flight

Marsh Sandpipers

Black-winged Stilt + Marsh Sandpiper
Recorded this morning [05/10/2015] at Nathan Roads Wetland [just south of the Sunshine Coast] were a Ruff, a Pectoral Sandpiper and a Wood Sandpiper. Twitchers start your engines! Credit for the finds belong to Gavin Goodyear [originally from Nambour] and Ged Tranter.

[all above photos taken by Vince Lee]