|Australian King Parrot, a new bird for my Kew walking list|
February was quite disappointing really. I had my heart set on a pelagic out of Port Stephens, which was cancelled (because of bad weather) before I left home. This would have been my eleventh trip to New South Wales in search of the elusive White-necked Petrel. To sprinkle salt onto my wounds, the February pelagic out of Kiama saw four White-necked Petrels! What's more, they had excellent, close views.
Perhaps I expected too much from February because January was so good. In January, I had two unexpected and successful interstate twitches: the SIPO (my 800th bird) and the as yet still unidentified gull in Darwin. And then there was the dear little Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lake Murdeduke. No wonder I was hopeful that February could produce similar gems.
|James at Lake Murdeduke|
The month did have its moments. There were Pilotbirds and lyrebirds at Tarra Bulga, and a Broad-billed Sandpiper at Werribee (a Victorian tick for me). Werribee also produced a Ruff in the T-Section, and a very large number of Red-kneed Dotterels - a bird I did not see at all in 2016.
|Tarra Bulga National Park, the best place for Pilotbirds|
Fred Smith always said that rare waders turn up in Victoria in March. Unfortunately, my records show that I have never seen a new wader in Victoria in March. This might be my month. I live in hope.