• Boyd's Forest Dragon-900
    • gianttree (Custom)
Dec 22: The perils of not giving up

I couldn’t resist another attempt at the Black Bittern today, since I knew there was one somewhere in the vicinity. I set the alarm for an over-enthusiastic 01:30, with the aim of spotlighting and listening for the Black Bittern at Sandy Camp Road Wetlands. It’s only a few more days before the year is over, I reasoned with myself as I made coffee.

The nocturnal portion of the birding (eBird checklist here) produced a number of herons, including a singing Australian Little Bittern, 3 Nankeen Night-herons and a calling Striated Heron. But the star of the show was conspicuously absent. No sight nor sound. I did see an unidentified flying heron just after dawn, and although I think it was probably a Nankeen Night-heron, there is an outside chance it was the Black Bittern.

As light dawned, I kept up the vigil (with a stationary count that eventually logged 51 species! See here), hoping the bird might do a repeat of yesterday, but it just wasn’t to be. Was I frustrated? Maybe. Will I try again tomorrow? Definitely…

After taking the kids swimming (and having a flock of 90 Topknot Pigeons fly over Carindale), I had to head out to the coast to do a low tide shorebird count for work. I started at Lota and worked my way up to Nudgee Beach. The surveys have to be done quite quickly, so they’re not enormously conducive to birding. But I did bump into a Sooty Oystercatcher at Darling Point, which was very nice (see here), together with four Broad-billed Sandpipers. I messaged Steve Murray, and he successfully twitched it for his year list, together with Felicia Chan and Rick Franks.

With no year ticks today, my year list remained on 305 species. I spent 8 hours 44 minutes birding, walked 1.926 km and drove 98.5 km. My chronological year list is here.