SOSSA Seabird Study Association

A Great-winged Petrel seen on my first SOSSA trip
Great Winged Petrel

What is SOSSA? Well, SOSSA is the Southern Ocean Seabird Study Association, and it runs boat trips out past the Continental Shelf from Kiama (mainly) and Wollongong, NSW. I have been on three trips with them now, July 2015, November 2015 and February 2016, and they were all fantastically well run and very informative. Not only that, I got to see [and photograph] dozens of birds that I have never seen before, and that I probably never would have seen unless I was in a boat way out at sea!

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Birding Tips for Beginners

An Emu inside a map of Australia. Australia has so many good birding placesTo get started on the addictive hobby of birding (or birdwatching), all that you need is a pair of binoculars (or a scope), a pocket bird guide, a notebook and an idea of where to go to try and see what you want. This post will give you a quick introduction on the majority of what you will need which, when coupled with “A Photographic Guide to Birds of Australia” (by the Author), should have be well-prepared.

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Slightly Confused Sandpiper

A White-rumped Sandpiper shelters in a scrape in the sand
White-rumped Sandpiper

My (Little) Big Year got off to a flying start in January, (sorry about the pun!), with 79 species recorded, including a Sandpiper that ended up in Australia instead of South America.

The 1st of January (recovery day from bringing in the new year) was a casual bird watching day – from the verandah while drinking several cups of tea!. Easy to spot a few species by just scanning the yard [Spotted Dove, Little Wattlebird, New Holland Honeyeater, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Common Starling, Common Myna and House Sparrow]. At least there were two native species for the first day!

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