We planned a four week trip, in May 1994, a year before we began birding. The four weeks would be roughly two weeks in Australia, a week in New Zealand and a week in Moorea.
We took our video and 35-mm cameras. After a few days in Sydney, we flew to Melbourne, rented a car, drove to Mt. Gambier in South Australia, visited old GE friends who ranch there now, and continued on to Adelaide.
We turned our car in, and flew to Darwin. There we took a wonderful day tour to Kakadu National Park. Next, we flew to Cairns, where we took a train ride to a rainforest, and a boat to the outer reef. After flying back to Sydney for a few days, Sharon's sister joined us and we flew to Auckland, New Zealand.
We rented a car and drove to Hamilton, where we visited my old Stanford roommate and his family where he's a math professor at Waikato University. After about a week in New Zealand, Sharon's sister returned to Australia while we moved on to Tahiti and Moorea. After about a week there, we flew home.
We took lots of great video and pictures, and after we started birding, in May of '95, we decided we'd go back and review our pictures and videos. We had bought an Australia birdbook, and together we identified about twenty birds we had seen. There were another ten or more that we didn't remember seeing, or we couldn't identify, or we couldn't agree on, or only one of us saw, etc.
So there is the story of why some of the dates in our life list are before we officially started birding.
|Galah (Cockatoo)||5/6/1994||Mt. Gambier||Aus|
|Lapwing, Masked (Plover)||5/9/1994||Kakadu||Aus|
|Magpie, Australian (Black-backed)||5/1/1994||Sydney||Aus|
|Moorhen, Dusky||5/6/1994||Mt. Gambier||Aus|
|Swan, Black||5/6/1994||Mt. Gambier||Aus|
|Wren, Superb Blue (Fairy-Wren)||5/6/1994||Mt. Gambier||Aus|