300 species at last!

In November 2013 I posted a note on the Blog asking ‘When will we get to 300?’ At that time a total of 295 species had been seen on MELBOCA/BirdLife Melbourne Outings since the first outing bird list was posted on what is now the BirdLife Melbourne Local Website.

After two years, I am very pleased to announce that this target has now been achieved, with the sighting of a Dollarbird at Chinamans Bridge, on the Bailieston Area Weekdays Outing (Outing No 496) 17 November 2015. The bird was observed by Geoff Russell, John Prytherch and Leonie Robbins. This was a good sighting of a Dollarbird, close to the southern limit of its range.

It has been a long process reaching the total of 300 species. We started at a great rate of knots but the species count slowed down, almost coming to a halt.

Some of the target benchmarks are:

  • Outing No 1 to Yellingbo on 4 February 2007 where 37 species were seen.
  • For a long time the number of species seen exceeded the number of outings, but this came to a halt in 2012. A Spotted Harrier, Species No 270, seen on Outing No 268 to the ETP on 27 May 2012 was the last new species to be seen when the number of species seen exceeded the number of outings.
  • From November 2013 it was a slow grind to get the next five species. The list slowly grew with Gull-billed Tern (Species No 296 on Outing No 420), Ruff (Species No 297 on Outing No 430), Painted Honeyeater and Regent Honeyeater (Species Nos 298 and 299 on Outing No 483, and finally Dollarbird (Species No 300 on Outing No 296).

For lists of species seen on all outings go to http://www.birdlifemelbourne.org.au/outings/

Is a new target of 310 species realistic? I will have to wait and see.

Bill Ramsay

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