Cooby Dam sightings

In 2006, we set up the inaugral Challenge to see if we could collectively record 250 species during the year in the club's survey area. How did we go? Extremely well considering the drought... Plenty of unusual and rare birds .... some great records from non-members too. It was a fascinating year. And a worthwhile exercise which we encourage other groups to follow. See for yourself...

Moderator: Mick Atzeni

Should we include Cooby Dam for the purposes of the Challenge?

Poll ended at Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:50 am

No votes
No, but keep a separate list for the year
Total votes : 5

Cooby Dam sightings

Postby Mick Atzeni » Tue May 30, 2006 12:50 am

Some of our missing species have been seen this year at Cooby Dam which is the nearest decent-sized waterbody outside the official survey area at the moment.

Given the drought has left us with no suitable wetland habitat for many target species, should we use Cooby as our proxy waterbird habitat?

We could still delineate in reporting the total e.g. 215 spp (incl. 5 at Cooby). If species are subsequently seen in the TBO area they should be reported and the Cooby Dam sighting would then be redundant.

Alternatively, we just keep a separate list flagging those species that would have been new for the Challenge if only Cooby Dam had been a couple of k's further south. :cry:

Cast your vote NOW.
Michael Atzeni
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TBO Boundary - realignment needed?

Postby Fielded » Wed May 31, 2006 2:46 pm

Hi Mick and others.

Mick's poll and a recent discussion with Rod Hobson made me ask a question which has no intent behind it other than to initiate discussion on an issue that goes beyond the TBO 'official' boundaries to a question of TBO mantra or purpose...

TBO is coming up to its 30th anniversary year and has made significant progress in achieving its desired aim of "...encouraging the observation and study of the birds in the Toowoomba area." In fact, it leads the way for many similar bird observer clubs through the 25+ years of monthly records and a progressive attitude toward issues. Through hardwork and the dedication of members, the TBO has moved from being a 'tick' the bird box club to developing long-term trends in avian populations and species abundance in the Toowoomba area. By way of example, the Annual Raptor count is much more than just 'observing' raptors: it documents population trends, which is ultimately aimed at the conservation of this particular group of birds.

Now, returning to the issue of the TBO official boundaries, I would ask the members if there is a need/desire to incorporate a wider area? It appears to me that other areas worthy for inclusion are the Gatton wetlands incorporating Lake Apex and surrounding areas, and areas to the south and north of Toowoomba. I would argue that areas such as Cooby Dam are already part of the 'unofficial' boundaries of this club as this, and other areas, are regularly visited and studied by its members.

For the TBO to continue its mantra or purpose, there is reason, as Mick points out, to discuss the inclusion of other areas such as Cooby Dam and the Gatton area to name but two.

With the continued increase in membership and wider appeal by moving towards an electronic media such as this Forum, is there a need to discuss the broader issue of the TBO 'official' boundaries?

Darren Fielder
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Location: Flagstone Ck, Toowoomba

Extending the club boundaries

Postby Mick Atzeni » Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:39 am


First let me say the current club boundaries are only relevant for the purposes of the monthly checklist system and the official club list. Members have always had the opportunity to share and publish their sightings from outside that area verbally, or in the newsletter, and more recently on this forum.

In saying that, I realise members are more likely to do so if we include their patch in the official survey area. That is mainly why the club boundaries were expanded in recent years: to accommodate those members in areas such as Highfields and Gowrie Junction so that their monthly sightings then counted towards the club monthly records. The other reason was to encourage new local areas to be surveyed - areas that would have continued to be ignored otherwise.

But the question with expanding even further is: "Where does the Toowoomba area end???". Does it include Gatton? Oakey? Pittsworth? Clifton? Crows Nest? Should we expand the boundaries to include these towns. Or should we stick to what we have, and define some satellite areas and compile monthly/seasonal/yearly records for these areas as an aside to our core business?

The other consideration is: "How well will members survey these extra grids?" If poorly, is there any point? Or is it more a matter of providing the vehicle to do so and keeping the door open?

Finally, who will help the Records Officer with the extra load?
Michael Atzeni
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