BIGBY report for January 2008

At the beginning of the year I joined the BIGBY – the Big Green Big Year. Carbon neutral birding seems a good thing to do. I was planning on getting a lot fitter this year anyway and hopefully lose a few excess kilos from around the middle. Doing most of my serious birding in the garden and on walks from home seemed an ideal solution all round.


Alas – illness has prevented much serious birding in January. Coupled with the intense heat wave we have had – with many days in the 45C (113F) range – opportunities to go for birding walks have been limited. Most of what I have observed have been in the garden or from the house.

Good sightings

Despite these limitations the bird list for 2008 is coming along quite nicely. Top of the list would have to be the Australian Owlet-nightjar which has taken up residence in a hollow a few metres from my office window. This nocturnal species is more often heard than seen, so I was pleased when I got a photo a few days ago. (This will feature in an article here in the next few days.) It is a delight to hear this little bird calling during the day and night.

The second really great sighting was a lifer. We had a brief visit from a Barbary Dove. At first I called it a Collared Turtle-dove but it seems the “experts” think it is a Barbary Dove instead. No matter – it is still a new bird for my life list and my garden list.

The third great sighting for the month was an immature Collared Sparrowhawk which decided to pose beautifully for me no more than five metres away. Delightful.


Another highlight for the month was an event, not a sighting. This was carbon neutral birding at its best. I took readers on a world birding trip without leaving home. I hosted the carnival I and the Bird for the very first time. While the preparation took quite a time, it received some good feedback from readers and participants. It also boosted the traffic to my site for a few days.

Other sighting this month:

So far I’ve recorded 38 species (including 2 breeding) for the garden and during my walks. This is not a fantastic total but given the circumstances it is quite good. Here is the full list:

  1. Brown Falcon
  2. Collared Sparrowhawk
  3. Black Kite
  4. Rock Dove
  5. Barbary Dove
  6. Spotted Turtle-dove
  7. Crested Pigeon
  8. Galah
  9. Rainbow Lorikeet
  10. Purple-crowned Lorikeet
  11. Mallee Ringneck
  12. Australian Owlet-nightjar
  13. Rainbow Bee-eater
  14. Spotted Pardalote
  15. Striated Pardalote
  16. Weebill
  17. Yellow-rumped Thornbill
  18. Red Wattlebird
  19. Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (breeding)
  20. Singing Honeyeater
  21. White-plumed Honeyeater
  22. Brown-headed Honeyeater
  23. New Holland Honeyeater
  24. White-browed Babbler
  25. Grey Shrike-thrush
  26. Australian Magpie Lark
  27. Willie Wagtail
  28. Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
  29. Grey Butcherbird
  30. Grey Currawong
  31. Australian Magpie
  32. Little Raven
  33. White-winged Chough
  34. House Sparrow
  35. Mistletoebird
  36. Silvereye
  37. Common Blackbird (breeding)
  38. Cammon Starling

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