A Tawny Frogmouth perched on a thick branch was bird that wrapped up my (Little) Big Year for 2015
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The Tawny Frogmouth, perched on a branch above my head, was the last bird I recorded in 2015

As at the end of November my 2015 Australian bird list was a respectable 275 which, although a long way short of my 400 species goal, was very pleasing considering the busy year I had. I had also added 37 new Australian bird species to my life list, which now stands at 466 in total – nice!

Unfortunately, December is a really busy month for me at work, and is also a busy social time of year as well. Did I make either of my targets I hear you ask …

Well, the short answer is no.

December 2015 was extra-ordinarily busy and the only birding I got to do was through the car window as I drove back and forth to work. There was a slight chance of me going to Perth and Brisbane during the month, which would have probably got me pretty close to one or both of my goals, but they had to be put off until January and February, respectively.

Early in the month I did see a Grey Currawong feeding on the side of the freeway on my way to work. I have seen them in NSW before and also in WA, but only once or twice. A short glimpse at 100 km/h might not have been as memorable as the previous sightings, but it was the first sighting for over 10 years for me, so happy with that.

The only other new species for the 2015 year that I saw this month, came on the last day. We were at a friends house in Newcastle for New Years celebrations and a Tawny Frogmouth came and sat on the tree above our table. A nice way to end the year! (Might have been a bit better if it had sat there for 3 hours, as it would have also been the first bird for 2016 as well, but that did not happen).

My 2015 Total

So my total Australian Bird list for 2015 was 277 and, while I did hear 4 other species, I did not see (and identify) any more. My Australian bird species life list got a great leg up to 466 due to the 37 new species seen in 2015. I am very happy with the result, even though I did not reach either of my goals. I have no doubt that both of these would have been higher if I had more time in the field, and had been able to get better looks at some of those little brown birds (LBBs)!

I have decided to do a “Bigger Year” in 2016 and, at the time of writing this, I am already up to 20 species. I am off to Perth in 3 days – so looking for a big kick start to my new campaign over there. Hope you can follow me again as I try and get my 400 Australian bird species for the 2016 year and 50 new Australian bird species for my life list.

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

Tawny Frogmouth
Grey Currawong

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