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Big Day on a Tiny Island

10,000 Birds

The island of Tobago isn’t the smallest in absolute terms, but it’s pretty tiny at approximately 25 miles long and just under 7 miles wide at its widest point. For Global Big Day on May 14th, we decided we’d try our hand at birding as much of the island as possible.

Owling in Trinidad & Tobago

10,000 Birds

While preparing an article this week for a local newspaper on the nighttime denizens of Tobago, it crossed my mind that I never considered owls as a group, far less target species for any particular outing (except for a select few, upon which I shall expound here).

Gull for a Godwit in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Godwits and curlews are shorebird royalty. The macaws of the sandpiper clan, these long-billed, long-legged, loud calling birds are large and in charge. Unlike peeps and other smallish sandpipers, identification of godwits and curlews doesn’t even require the use of a scope.

One Good Turn

10,000 Birds

(No, this is not a reference to my personal worst birder joke ever, that One good tern deserves another. Although that joke does apply to Faraaz Abdool’s latest post.). I consider myself exceedingly fortunate to have several birder friends who are biologists.

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A Guide to Easy Birding in Costa Rica at Cinchona

10,000 Birds

Birding can be a real challenge. For some, it can involve hiking into a furnace of a canyon to look for a small yellowish bird much easier to see in other countries. Birding can be spending the night on a boat in the Atlantic so you can wake up to White-faced Storm-Petrels and other pelagic treats.

Highly recommended – Europe’s Birds: An Identification Guide

10,000 Birds

When you spot a brand new bird identification guide, especially for your home region – in this case, Europe – reaching for it comes naturally. And a highly recommendable book it is, there is no doubt about it.

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Accessibility Matters II:  Birdability Q&A

10,000 Birds

For those plugged into birding social media, it has been hard to miss the non-profit Birdability. The mission of Birdability is to “share the joys of birding with people who have disabilities, and to ensure that birding is accessible to everybody.”.

A few more birds and streetlights

10,000 Birds

After last Sunday’s post featuring a few of the birds that use the streetlights around Broome I thought I really should show you a few more! We had a surprise early morning storm on Good Friday, so that brought some clouds for a change and a welcome 10mm of rain.

A Morning of High Quality Birding on Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

All birding is essentially good. Time spent watching any birds is time spent connecting with our natural surroundings, a time that can act as a relaxed escape as well as one of meditative focus.

Striking Gold in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

The birding in Costa Rica is always golden but some days, you really do strike gold. Go birding in the humid, moss decorated forests of the Caribbean slope and the feathered nugget might take the form of a Bare-necked Umbrellabird.

Summer Days

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Birding Singapore

10,000 Birds

Writing this post, I have been in lockdown in my Shanghai compound for 60 days. The only bird-related activity I can think of is looking at bird photos I took in Singapore in 2015, and adding some irrelevant comments to them. Presumably, birds living in Singapore do not understand German.

Sentient: a book review

10,000 Birds

The subtitle of Jackie Higgins’ book Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses , aptly sets forth her thesis – though the “wonder” it refers to could equally well be used to describe animal (not just human) senses, as she shows in fascinating detail.

Collaborative list – April 2022

10,000 Birds

In April 2022, the Collaborative submitted 216 checklists from 4 countries ( Costa Rica , United States , Mexico , and the United Kingdom ) and observed 735 species. The 2022 year list stands at 1,023, and the life rises by a single species ( Great Swallow-tailed Swift seen in Mexico) to 4,114.

Seeds

10,000 Birds

I bought my first plant for the garden, with my own money, when I was eight years old. I have no idea how I gathered enough money for the purchase, since I distinctly remember my allowance at that age being ten cents each week. Admittedly, a dollar went a lot further in the sixties.

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What’s Up with the ABA Now?

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The American Birding Association has not had a leader since November 2021. The Board of Directors has been searching for a candidate since that time, but it does not appear to have found one.

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Getting sentimental: Birding at Baihualing, China

10,000 Birds

Up until a few years ago, Baihualing in Yunnan was both a great place to see birds and open to foreigners. I am not sure about the first nowadays, as the second is no longer true. The place has been blocked for non-Chinese nationals for more than 2 years now.

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Sharp-tailed Sandpipers

10,000 Birds

One of the easiest shorebirds to observe along the edge of the highway across Roebuck Plains at the moment is the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper – Calidris acuminata. It won’t be long before they have all set off on their northward migration to breed, but for now they are feeding up.

“The Hawk’s Way” — a book review

10,000 Birds

Maybe author Sy Montgomery is right when she says that “birdwatchers often look down on falconry,” and maybe not.

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Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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Bloody Bay Birding

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It may seem like an unnecessary alliteration but I’m referring to an actual Bloody Bay – one of Tobago’s many picturesque, idyllic bays on its leeward coast.

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A few hours of birding on Mauritius Island

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Apparently, Mauritius has one of the lowest tax rates in the world. Offshore businesses located in Mauritius that do not do business with Mauritians nor use Mauritian currency are exempt from Mauritian taxes. Bird-wise, Mauritius is probably primarily known for a bird that no longer exists, the dodo.

Outer Range Brewing Company: Pluck Pluck Pluck Rice Lager

10,000 Birds

The temperature soared to 85 degrees yesterday here in Albany. That’s not entirely unheard of around here in May, but it was an unexpected foretaste of summer considering we haven’t even hit the peak of spring migration yet.

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Birding St Lucia, South Africa

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St Lucia is a small town on the Southeastern coast of South Africa. It seems to consist mainly of hotels and restaurants, as the local economy depends on visitors to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

May Flowers

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We Go Way Back

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I’ve been through a few rather complicated weeks lately, so my last couple of outings haven’t been very ambitious. The second week of May, I went to the road beyond San Miguel del Monte, a route with the advantage of being only a few miles from my home.

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Birding the Yinggehai Salt Flats, Hainan

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If I was a location spotter for movies, I would certainly put an exclamation mark next to my notes on the Yinggehai Salt Flats on Hainan.

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What to Do at High Island When the Winds are South

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High Island in April requires Weather, so I was told. A very specific type of weather–north winds, a cold front, rain.

When We Go High, We Go Low

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I would not normally choose driving to two of my furthest regular sites back-to-back. But when April came around, and I had not yet gone to see the birds that are specific to my highest site (3,000 m/10,000 ft), I drove one hour each way for a very successful visit there.

Animals in Space 3

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Bogle Vineyards: Juggernaut Pinot Noir (2020)

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This week marks only the second time the Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) has been featured here at Birds and Booze.

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Human elements

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There is an association of wildlife photographers down here, much maligned among my Mexican birder friends for a variety of reasons, which has proposed a rule that governs which photos they will accept: No wildlife photography should contain any human elements.

Duckhorn Vineyards: Paraduxx Proprietary Red Blend (2018)

10,000 Birds

One of the old jokes I always hear at Christmas Bird Count dinners pops up we get to the ducks, which is now pretty early in the compilation thanks to the current taxonomic order.

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Myiarchus Mysteries

10,000 Birds

As is my self-declared tradition of speaking of groups of birds within the species gamut of Trinidad & Tobago, allow me to introduce you to yet another group of three.

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