- 54 "trips" ranging in length from 12 minutes to 2 days
- 40+ locations visited
- only one day birding outside Victoria (must do something about this in the next 12 months)
- 105 species recorded on this blog including 9 that I had never photographed before and 5 added to the lifetime list (Shy Heathwren, Rufous Treecreeper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Long-toed Stint)
- most visited location was the Western Treatment Plant
- most photographed species was a three-way tie: Australian Pelican, Red-capped Plover and Red-necked Stint
- Location: Western Treatment Plant (goes without saying really - one of the great birding locations) with an honourable mention to the Hattah Lakes NP (I sense another road trip - and could knock over NSW and SA - or at least some very small parts of them - in the same trip)
- Experience: there are many but the one that captures the whole birding and photography experience for me was Day 1 when two people whom I'd never met before waved my wife and me down at the Western Treatment Plant and showed us the Australasian Bittern. Birding is often a solo activity (and that's partly what I like about it) but most birders are friendly people who enjoy sharing their experience and knowledge - so thanks again John and Fred.
- Followed blog: I am inspired by the work of many fellow bird photographers and their blogs (many of which are listed below) but I have especially enjoyed following the adventures of Gary and Glenda Oliver on their sojourn around our country, The Great Aussie Birdshoot, an astonishing achievement!
- Bird: Red-necked Stint - I never get tired of watching flocks of these little perpetual motion machines.
- Photograph: this photograph of a Golden-headed Cisticola is my favourite for the year. Not necessarily my best photograph (whatever that means) but I was fortunate enough to have this tiny bird approach within 5 or 6 metres of me (while I was trying to photograph some distant Pink-eared Ducks) and sing its little lungs out for about two minutes. I was even able to move slightly towards it and lower the tripod a little to get the out-of-focus, multi-coloured background.
|Golden-headed Cisticola, Western Treatment Plant|
Plans for the next 12 months (these are somewhat ambitious but you have to dream!)
- at least one trip to each of NSW, Queensland, SA and Tasmania (would like to add WA & NT but $$ and time...)
- add another 100 birds to the list (though this will become challenging) including some new ones for my lifetime list
- go on a pelagic trip
- fill in some photo gaps in my Bellarine Peninsula list
- meet more bird photographers and enjoy their company in the field
So, looking forward to seeing you on the beach or in the bush :-)