An Australasian Darter perched on a dead branch
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This Australasian Darter was much easier to photograph than an Eastern Ground Parrot!!

For those who missed reading my first post on the subject. After watching the movie The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson, I (Peter) have decreed that 2015 will be my first attempt at a (Little) Big Year. So far this year I have seen 122 species (including 7 new sightings), with the highlight of the month being my first Eastern Ground Parrot.

I set myself a goal is of trying to see at least 400 species in the 2015 calendar year, including adding 50 new species for my life list, and to get good quality photographs of as many of these as possible. This seemed like a gettable total when I first thought about it, but I didn’t really factor in the amount of hours I work for each week (typically between 60 and 70 hrs, including 1.5 hrs of driving each way) and my family commitments outside of work. I think I am going to need some luck!

March was very underwhelming, with only 7 species added to the list, including 1 new one for my life list. I am getting a little nervous about my target now, the total for the year is only 129 (includng 8 newbies), with another 271 still to go!

The Eastern Ground Parrot

A few local trips was all that I was able to fit in, but one of these was very fruitful indeed. About 25km from where I live is Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, which is home to one of Australia’s hardest to see parrots, the Eastern Ground Parrot (read more on the Birdlife website here). This vulnerable parrot species lives within heathlands, where it is more often heard than seen. I have visited the area more than a dozen times with no luck at all. This particular day was looking as if it was going to be ending the same way but, as I was driving out of the Budderoo Plateau parking area, I heard the distinctive call of an Eastern Ground Parrot. I quickly parked the car and started walking through the heathland in the direction of the call. Suddenly a blur of bright green took to the air and there it was, an Eastern Ground Parrot. Wow!

March’s New Hatchlings for my (Little) Big Year List:

Australasian Darter
Pied Cormorant
Nankeen Kestrel
Eastern Ground Parrot (New)
Superb Lyrebird
Southern Emu-wren
Brown Thornbill

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