Australia has over 800 birds, half of which are native. A looooong time ago, when all the continents were mashed together in a giant landmass known as Gondwana, Australia broke off before the others. Since it was on it’s own for so long, it developed a unique ecosystem and much of what is found here is found nowhere else in the world! (think: platypus, marsupial pouches, etc)
It’s a beautiful, unique country and it just so happens to be full of seriously cool birds. Before moving to Sydneyfrom New York last year, I co-founded a social bird club in Brooklyn that combined bird-watching with beer drinking, so it was a natural move to start a bird club here, in the land of really good birding.
Okay, so the 700 club:
There are many different levels a birder can measure their passion for birds against. In Australia, it used to be that if you saw 600 birds, you reached the top of the inner circle and the became part of the exclusive 600 club. But over time, with improvements in technology and access to more remote places, the bar moved and many birders’ had a new goal: to become part of the exclusive 700 club. There’s even an 800 club now!
But. Since 800 is just too many, 700 remains for most the top accomplishment. I’ve decided to have a go at it and have been tracking my sightings for the past couple of months. I’m just about at 70, but since there are over 400 kinds of birds in Sydney alone I have the option of not having to go very far to rack up bird sightings.
I keep a list and field notes. And although I think it will take me many, many years to make it to the 700 club, I’ve started on my way. As part of my process, I will be drawing each Australian bird that I see and posting it on here. Right now my list is at 71 so I have 71 birds to draw and a long way to go!
You can join me on my journey by following along on Instagram or coming on one of our walks. All are welcome!
PS - If you’re a birder in Sydney, we’d love to hear from you about your own journey to 700 :)