Time to confess to those who don’t know… I am a card-carrying, bonefide, hard-core, little-bit-bonkers bird nerd. There. I said it.
I love birds. Not all of them mind you, (not you Common Myna… you’re a total bully) but most of them. Being Australian I only really know about Australian birds, of which there are about 800 species who live on (or visit) our continent and the waters surrounding our shores.
I have been known to suddenly zone out of conversations to look squintingly into a tree at something squawking/hooting/cheeping/trilling (apologies to ALL of my friends and family for that). I have been known to stop the car on family holidays to get a better look at something darting into the bushes… (totally saw the endangered Eastern Bristlebird on our last holiday at Booderee National Park (Jervis Bay, NSW Australia). Hello… amazing.
I took one of the worst wildlife photos EVERRR of it - to confirm it was indeed the Eastern Bristlebird.
Let's face it... Leila Jefferys I ain’t. Have you SEEN her work? Leila Jeffreys is an Australian photographer who so perfectly captures the very essence of each bird she photographs. I am in complete awe of her stunning bird photography (and her subjects)… Indeed I might be even a little star struck. Rest your eyes after witnessing the world’s worst bird photo (above) and take a look at the best bird photography you'll see here…
OK bird lovers… Still with me?
Of course I’m completely aware that most people don’t even notice birds. When I worked in Melbourne I could not belieeeeeeve how many amazing species hung out around the Yarra River near our office… I spent years of lunchbreaks neck craned skyward to catch glimpses of aptly named Swift Parrots (hard to ID due to crazy swiftness) and Red Tailed Black Cockatoos loping over tram lines on Victoria Street, Richmond. I saw Purple-Crowned Lorikeets and Azure Kingfishers and zzzzzzzzzzzz sorry am I keeping you up?
And although I never wore the binoculars into the office (I wore many other crazy accessories, but never the bins) I *think* my uber-uncool secret was safely kept hush-hush. But now that I live in the country I am so totally out and flying the feathered flag baby… Or even wearing it… take a look at my beautiful new scarf from Byron Bay based designer Roza Kamitova and her label: Shovava.
But aside from fine feathers and how not-to-do bird photography I want to tell you about something really important coming up this month. Birdlife Australia is Australia’s independent national organisation for all things feathered. They are an ah-maaaz-ing crew of passionate conservationists, scientists and volunteers who keep tabs on all our feathered friends. This month they are launching the first ever Aussie Backyard Bird Count. And all us bird lovers reeeeeaally want you to join in.
National Bird Week (is a thing… oh yes it is…) and it’s on Monday, October 20 – Sunday, October 26, 2014. During Bird Week you are invited to take 20 minutes out of your day to record all the birds you see at your place, or in a park, or somewhere near you. It’s BirdLife Australia’s first ever national bird count and the info we’ll all collect is really important to help understand how our birdies are doing out there. Register on the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website, download the app and look up into the trees. It’ll be fun I promise.
Before you know it you’ll be doing selfies with King Parrots...
Let me know if you’ll be joining in the bird count, and tell me the best bird you see! I’ll let you know how I go too.