10 questions with our Convenor
Sanne Boland | Convenor
At Birdlife Northern Queensland’s (BLNQ) recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), Sanne Boland kindly agreed to take on the role of BLNQ’s Convenor. Many thanks Sanne. At that AGM, Ceri Pearce retired after three years in that role, and her considerable contribution is very much appreciated.
Sanne has introduced herself to us all by answering a series of interview questions. We plan to use this, or similar questions, for our other BLNQ Committee members, and subsequently our authors, if they’re interested in participating.
We sincerely wish Sanne the very best in her new role.
Jennifer Muir, Chief Editor Contact Call
1. What do you do in your role on the BLNQ Committee?
I am the new Convenor of Birdlife Northern Queensland (BLNQ). The Convenor tries to keep everything on track, provides support to project leaders and area coordinators, and organises and chair’s meetings.
2. Outside the Birdlife committee what do you do?
I am a student, currently looking for Master’s research projects and working casually as an Ecologist.
3. What are your hobbies / interests?
Besides birdwatching I enjoy hiking and generally being out in nature; and I love my veggie garden.
4. What skill would you most like to learn?
I would like to learn some more botany skills. I have always been very fauna focused, but I would love to learn more about flora now. Partly because having a better knowledge of vegetation communities and plant identification (ID) would help me find birds and other fauna quicker, but also just because plants are amazing all by themselves.
5. What is your favourite birding destination in North Queensland?
Hasties swamp is my favourite birding spot in our region: it can have such a diverse range of birds between the wetland area and the road edges. And the numbers of water birds that gather there at certain times of year are amazing. There is always something interesting to see there and the bird hide is one of the best.
6. Where is the coolest place you have travelled to?
The Masai Mara in Kenya is probably the coolest place I have travelled to. Not only is there an incredible variety of bird species there, but the landscape is beautiful, and the rest of the wildlife is spectacular too! I also just loved the sheer quantity of wildlife you can see there.
7. What is on your birding bucket list?
I would love to see a Sun Bittern displaying. I spent a lot of time looking for these birds in Costa Rica and never managed to see them. Within Australia I would love to see more of the fairy-wren species and a Plains-wanderer.
8. Do you have a favourite species of bird?
Generally, the last one I saw, but I do have a soft spot for fairy-wrens particularly the Lovely Fairy-wren which is only found in our Birdlife region. I love their attitude, and that the females are colourful and as pretty as the males (which is fairly unique in fairy-wrens).
9. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing birds in our region?
Habitat loss and fragmentation are among the biggest threats to birds in our region. Queensland in general has a very high rate of land clearance, and I think it is so important that we try to reduce habitat loss and reconnect fragmented habitat in order to protect birds, going forward.
10. What is the one thing everyone can do to help birds?
Raise awareness about birds, learn more about them and promote them in the wider community. The more people know about them, the more they will love birds and want to protect them!
Photo taken by Barry Muir on 6 May 2023 after “Thank you Ceri & Welcome Sanne” lunch at Kimmy’s Café in Flecker Botanic Garden (Standing left to right: Keith Fisher; Ceri Pearce; Mikey Kudo; Doug Herrington; Sanne Boland; Lindsay Fisher; Jenn Muir; Martin and Sam Willis. Seated / crouched left to right: Graham Harrington; Golo Maurer; Peter Valentine. Unable to be present: Renee Cassels; Sandra Christensen; Kath Shurcliff; Pippy Canon; Ed Bell.)