Key Biodiversity Areas – closer than you think!

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are nature’s hotspots. They are the most important places left for life on Earth. While most people imagine iconic landscapes, KBAs don’t only occur in wide-open spaces – there are many KBAs near urban areas too. And with over 80 per cent of Australians living within just an hours’ drive of a KBA, there is sure to be one on your doorstep. Visit the BirdLife Australia website to learn more about KBAs and to download more information on the KBAs within 100 kilometres of your capital city.

Where Are You Birding This First Weekend of June 2017?

If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit or encode a good one, you’ve learned how critical the concept of momentum is. The key to a long-term practice is that initial daily commitment, even when inertia and business conspire against you. The month of May stands out in most calendars as peak birding season for good reason. But lots of interesting birds hang around, even if most migrants have fled to their next season’s sanctuary. Build on the momentum of May to get out into the field more often in June. This weekend is the perfect time to start.

I need to take a run up to Lake Ontario this weekend, which I’ve stayed away from on account of record flooding. Corey will be leading his last bird walk of the season at the Queens Botanical Garden. How about you? Where will you be this weekend and will you be birding? Share your plans in the comments below.

Whatever your plans this weekend, make time to enjoySkyWatch Friday. Also be sure to come back Monday to share yourbest bird of the weekend!

Uncle Mo Filly Stays Unbeaten With Critical Eye Romp

KATHRYN THE WISE (f, 4, Uncle MoShea d’Lady, by Crafty Prospector) remained undefeated with a dazzling victory in the New York-bred Critical Eye S. at Belmont. A well-bet debut victress over state-breds Nov. 25 at Aqueduct, the homebred crushed a field of Empire-bred first-level allowance foes by 12 lengths Apr. 5 at the Big A and was made the 3-5 chalk to keep it going in this stakes debut. Breaking alertly from her outside draw, the bay attended the pace through a sharp :22.62 quarter and took charge soon after passing a :46.36 half. Spurting clear by five lengths in hand turning for home, the favorite opened up double digits by the furlong grounds and was wrapped up for the final sixteenth to win cantering by six lengths in 1:38.70. Literata (Read the Footnotes) was clearly second-best. The winner’s third dam Gold Beauty (Mr. Prospector) was champion sprinter in 1992, and she produced three-time English champion Dayjur (Danzig) as well as Maplejinsky (Nijinsky II), the MGISW dam of champion Sky Beauty (Blushing Groom {Fr}) and second dam of MGISW Tale of Ekati (Tale of the Cat). Sales History: $47,000 RNA Ylg ’14 FTNAUG. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $187,200. O/B-Lawrence Goichman (NY); T-Chad C. Brown.

Stud and Stable Staff Awards Finalists Announced

The 12 finalists for Australia’s Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards were unveiled on Friday. There are two finalists in six categories, and John Livingstone (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott) and Jade Rossington (Willow Park Stud) are the finalists for the Leadership Award. Scott Eeles (Godolphin) and Kellie McCarthy (Mill Park Stud) are the finalists for the horsemanship award; Vicki Cannon (Gooree Stud) and Patrick Sheehan (Coolmore Stud) for the dedication to breeding section; Jeremy Rogers (Darren Weir) and Angela Taylor-Moy (Darren Weir) for the dedication to racing category; Lee Purchase (Darren Weir) and Jane Gollan (Tony Gollan) for the Thoroughbred care and welfare category; and Lyn Dressing (International Racehorse Transport) and Sarah Moran (Robbie Griffiths) for the administration and ancillary category.

The awards, which include a A$10,000 cash prize to each of the six category winners and a further A$5,000 for overall Thoroughbred excellence, will be presented during a gala ceremony at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 9.