Over 80 teams competed in the National Twitchathon this past October, with 25 teams entering the Birdathon, 17 in the Big Weekend (which welcomed a new 30-hour format in 2017), a whopping 32 teams in the 12-hour Champagne Race, and seven in the Junior category.
The winners of the Birdathon were Queensland’s ‘A Goose Short of a Skein’, with 134 species. First in the Big Weekend were the Dodgy Drongos of NSW, with 264 species, while Victoria’s Phaps Around the Traps took out the Champagne Race with 188 species. In the juniors, the Hills Harriers of NSW took the under-16 trophy, with a massive 137 species, and Victoria’s Geelong Grebes grabbed top honours in the under-12s, with 81 species counted.
Best bird was awarded to WA’s Rogue Poo, for their excellent rarity—the Grey-headed Lapwing, and Rogue Poo also won the eco-award for most birds seen without motorised vehicles, clocking 92 species. Two efficiency prizes were awarded, with NSW’s Cootilicious spotting 38 species in 280 metres and the Sublime Sunbirds of Queensland twitching 86 species in 112 kilometres.
Together teams raised over $22,000 (at time of print) for conservation projects across the country, including Eastern Curlew community engagement and Black-throated Finch recovery team work in Queensland, the Bitterns in Rice program in NSW, BirdLife’s Mallee birds program in Victoria and SA, Masked Owl research in Tasmania, the Great Western Woodlands project in WA, and Princess Parrot research in the NT.
Thanks to all the state coordinators, the National Twitch Coordinator, Ashwin Rudder, webmistress extraordinaire, Renee Cassels, and most importantly, all of the teams that took part this year. For the full results, head to www.birdlife.org.au/get-involved/whats-on/national-twitchathon. And until next year, keep twitching!