• "MEET A MEMBER" #10 Day Parkhurst

    When Day isn't busy with work or looking after the family there is no other place she would rather be than out in the bush enjoying what it has to offer. Although Day doesn't get to spend as much time birding as she would like, this doesn't mean that the passion for it isn't with in her.

    What is the first thing you think of in the morning?
    Did the puppy behave himself overnight? (I'm puppy sitting a friend's undisciplined Beagle puppy for a while). Next thought - "Am I working today?" (I am a dialysis nurse and manage a busy off-campus dialysis unit). Next thought - "Am I meant to do anything for any of the kids today?" (I have 5 kids, two of them live with me, along with one of their partners, and my granddaughter). Next thought - "What are the study responsibilities?" (I'm doing a Master's in Health Admin). Next thought - "What's planned for today that's fun?!!"

    How long have you been a birder?. I've always been interested at a distance, but only really been a birder for the last 3 years or so.

    Do you remember what it was that got you into birding?
    I grew up in an apartment building in Hillbrow, in Johannesburg - high-density living is a horrible thing. My year 7 camp was to Kruger National Park, and I was captivated. My interest was kind of on a backburner for a long time though, as I went nursing and had kids. As the kids were growing up, we went camping, and it started to awaken again. Next, my young son (Ben Parkhurst whom you all know) started to get active in environmental issues, and that drew me in further. Then another son became a photographer - you can see where this is headed! But as the kids were growing up, I was pretty busy - a bunch of kids, single mum after separating from their dad, working full time in a busy, demanding job..... Once all the kids were grown up, I started going out with a guy who was into birding, and I was finally able to really get into it! I'm no longer going out with Tony, but he's become a great friend, and the birding has become a permanent part of my life! I love it.

    If you had to choose to take only your binos or camera with you on an outing, which would you choose?
    Definitely the camera!

    In regards to your photography, are there times when you will go out and target a specific species or are you happy to shoot any birds that cross your path?
    I'm still relatively green, so every trip is a thrill, and every bird is still exciting. I sometimes go out hoping for a specific target, but I'm just happy with whatever crosses my path really.

    Do you always carry your camera when you are out in the field?
    Absolutely - my camera goes everywhere - work, shopping, traveling, visiting friends .... Wherever I go, there goes my camera - you never know when you might need it!

    How often do you have time to get out into the great outdoors? I try to get out at least once a week, but in truth it's probably more like once a fortnight. In addition, I try to plan weekends away, and holidays that take me out into the wild blue yonder. There's a planned holiday in May to the Flinders, various parts of northern South Australia, Kings Canyon & Uluru. I volunteer in a Malleefowl monitoring program as well, so that also ensures that I get out into the bush

    Do you have a favourite location that you keep going back to?. There are quite a few but that's as much about convenience as anything. I spend a bit of time at the Ferries McDonald Conservation Park, because of the Malleefowl thing. The Jupiter Creek Gold Diggings are just down the road from where I live, as are the Laratinga Wetlands. I'm particularly fond of the Paiwalla Wetlands halfway between Murray Bridge and Mannum - Paiwalla is a privately owned trust that has seen an old dairy turned into a wetland area - it's got the Murray River on one side, and limestone cliffs on the other side - it's a little bit wilder than Laratinga, the bird life is really fabulous (as are the reptiles!), and it's very scenic. As is said, though, it's really about proximity. Fortunately, living in the
    Adelaide Hills means that there's quite a bit of choice.

    Do you have a dream destination where you would love to twitch?
    Oh, so very many! Everywhere in Australia. Papua New Guinea - it sounds absolutely wonderful for birding. Galapagos. Some parts of the USA. I love birding in Africa. I'd love to go to Antarctica. And then there's South America. More places than I'll ever get to!

    Have you a preference for birding in the morning or afternoon? If so why do you prefer this time of day?
    I don't really care - whenever I can get out is good! I like taking my granddaughter out with me sometimes - on the principle of indoctrinate them early! It seems to be working - she can ID a number of birds, she knows some of their peculiarities, and she loves driving along and listening to bird calls on my iPhone app! If she's coming with me it's usually in the morning. But any time I can get out is good

    If you could go on a twitch with any one person, who would that someone be?
    It would have to be 2 people - and neither of them are birders as far as I'm aware - Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu!!! I'm working on the theory that if I would love to spend any time at all with either of them - and it would be a lot of fun to do something completely out of left field with them! Actually Desmond Tutu was my parish priest, but that was in another life, and I was just a kid.

    Have you a favourite bird? If so what makes this bird so special?
    My favorites are the raptors. I'm not sure why really. I've always been spellbound by them. They are so graceful, despite their size - they seem to achieve so much with so little effort, they are so regal, so majestic - I can't tell you exactly why - I just love them.

    What is it about birds in general that keeps you going back for more?
    Where do I start? They are really awesome, they are beautiful, they are so clever, even if they only have small brains - how do they know what kind of nests to build when there are so many choices - mud, straw, twigs, mounds? How can every little fantail build an identical nest? How do they know how to be wren, or an eagle, or a galah? And I love the colours - even a bird that at first glance seems boring is gorgeous when you really look closely. And of course, the other thing is that they draw me into the bush, which I love in it's own right. There's no downside really.

    Day with her son Ben (member of forum)

    Day with her daughter and granddaughter
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "MEET A MEMBER" #10 Day Parkhurst started by Chris M View original post