Monday, 27 February 2017


This morning, 28 February, I did my walk early, as the forecast is for another scorcher.  It was my last walk this summer, my 52nd for the season.  In total, I recorded 26 species of birds.  I recorded five species on every walk (Spotted Dove, Rainbow Lorikeet, Noisy MIner, Australian Magpie and Common Myna).  I added four new species to my walking birdlist:  Great Cormorant, White-faced Heron, Australian King Parrot and Pacific Koel.  The largest number of species I recorded on any half-hour walk was 14, which I did on five occasions.  The smallest number was 6, which I did just once.  The average number of species per walk was 11.
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.