George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

Location: Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

If I could only choose one spot in Darwin to bird, it would be the George Brown Botanic Gardens. As with most botanic gardens, the George Brown gardens have a bunch of different edge habitats that make for pretty easy birding. Of course, this place gains extra points by being one of the top places in Australia for finding the Rufous Owl (Ninox rufa). Now, I know what you’re thinking. Owls? It’s not easy to find an owl. Well, I’m here to tell you that it actually is easy here, for three reasons. First, we found it.

Rufous Owl – The most recent sighting on eBird at the time of this writing is August 18, 2019

Second, there is a big notebook in the visitor center where people write down where they last saw the owl. Some people even draw diagrams. So, go here to find the owl. (The visitor center also has a printed sheet of the most common birds you can find, and makes for a fun additional checklist to fill out.) Third, a more experienced birder than us just told us where it is. Haha.

Now, apparently, the Barking Owl is also frequently sighted here but we did not see that.
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Keep good lists!

If you’re serious about twitching and keeping track of every species you’ve seen, start keeping good lists. When we first started birding, I did not always keep good lists. A good list has a date, time, approximate distance, location, list and counts for each species you can identify. Our early lists were not always like that.

One of our early lists. Not great

In fact, a good way to keep your lists is to put them on eBird. Actually, I didn’t do that either for a lot of our early lists (I’m the designated eBird-list-keeper). Because of this, I spent about ten hours last week reconstructing lists and times based on my luckily accurate camera times and submitting lists to eBird that I just forgot about! I did that so pretty much all the species we’ve seen are actually recorded on eBird. Don’t make the mistake of keeping bad lists!

If it weren’t for my efforts in the past few days, this Partridge Pigeon would not have made it on our eBird lists! Seen in Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory, Australia)

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Help survey King Island this November

King Island is a small island off the northwest point of Tasmania. From the Birds of King Island:

7th-10th November, 2019

Haven’t been to King Island yet, or would like to return?

Come and join us in November and give us a hand with data collection on the beautiful King Island. You won’t just see lots of birds, including the 9 King Island subspecies and most of the Tasmanian endemics, in spring you also experience the wonderful wildflowers that adorn the island.
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