Last weekend, CO2 Australia and Birdlife Southern Queensland took part in the BirdLife Australia’s National Twitchathon – a cross-country bird-spotting challenge that CO2 Australia is proudly a major sponsor of this year.
Last weekend, Dr Jarrad Cousin and Mr Andrew Dawson from CO2 Australia, and Judith Hoyle the Convenor of Birdlife Southern Queensland, geared up for the BirdLife Australia’s National Twitchathon – a cross-country bird-spotting challenge that CO2 Australia is proudly a major sponsor of this year. Their team, ‘Carbon Choughsets’ took part in the intensive 30-hour ‘Big Weekend’ across Saturday and Sunday (27-28 October). While the team competed with other birders around Australia to see or hear as many bird species as possible, the ultimate aim is to raise as many funds as possible to support BirdLife Australia’s crucial conservation and research projects.
On Saturday morning the eager team was ready to hit the ground running at Wilga Park Nature Refuge – a 20 Million Trees property (part of the National Landcare Programme) that CO2 Australia has been managing since 2016, to restore habitat for the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater. The team’s tally climbed quickly as they ticked off some great inlands birds, including Squatter Pigeon and Spotted Bowerbird. They even heard and saw White-winged Choughs! The Coolmunda Dam area was next, and they picked up a few extras, including an unexpected pair of Latham’s Snipe.
Next was the long drive to the Lockyer Valley; a productive stop with the usual selection of waterbirds plus Banded Lapwing. From there it was over to Wivenhoe Dam and up to the D’Aguilar Mountains for dusk, where the team was lucky to see a Greater Sooty Owl emerge from its roost hollow. After a few hours of mostly unsuccessful night-birding, a mandatory 6 hour rest was spent on Mt Glorious to catch a few hours’ sleep. The dawn chorus on the mountain and an early morning at Gold Creek Reservoir allowed the team to mop up most of the rainforest species, although, Azure Kingfisher eluded them.
Then it was a quick trip to Port of Brisbane where they collected a bundle of waders before a final dash to Tichi Tamba Wetlands for some mangrove specialities. By the end of the race, the team were all very tired, but with 200 species in the bag, they were already thinking of taking on the challenge again in 2019.
Although the Twitchathon is over for 2018, you can still pledge your support to help critically endangered species, by clicking on the donation link below.