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Swarovski Skills Camp, or men and their toys

10,000 Birds

Yesterday evening I got home from the second Swarovski Skills Camp at Lake Neusiedl in the east of Austria. I am still tired from the long drive, but it was great to play with the very best toys for birders, to be able to share experiences and to ask the factory staff all sorts of silly questions.


10,000 Birds

Every now and then you read a book which you believe should be read by everyone on the planet. Nature’s Best Hope by American entomologist and conservationist, Doug Tallamy, is such a book. The reason why is that it preaches simple truths: 1.

Birding in Place on Poas Volcano- What can You See?

10,000 Birds

Poas Volcano isn’t just a mountain built with magma. In common with so many other volcanoes, Poas also houses farms, people, and forests full of birds. Strawberries are grown year round, visit the area and young locals will let you know.

Costa Rica: You Only Live Twice

10,000 Birds

Indeed, you only live twice: your second life starts when you bird Costa Rica for the first time. And, yee-haw, this would be my second attempt at a second life: three weeks ago I was invited to bird Costa Rica! And that is how this mess I am in, started.

May Flowers

PPT 5.28

Bird Talk: An Exploration of Avian Communication–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

There was a time when I thought each bird species had its own individual song. Then I found out that there was this vocalization called a ‘call,’ so I thought each bird species had its own individual song (but just the males) and individual call.

“Peacocks and Picathartes: Reflections on Africa’s Birdlife”

10,000 Birds

When was the last time you chose a book by its covers? I did that with Peacocks & Picathartes – Reflections on Africa’s birdlife (published by Penguin Random House South Africa ). In case you didn’t know, yes, there is an indigenous peacock living in Africa, the Congo Peafowl.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of August 2021)

10,000 Birds

As August comes rushing to a close, the doldrums of the last few weeks have already started to give way to a new mass movement of birds. Move with them! Late summer in many parts of the U.S.

Black-necked Storks close to Broome

10,000 Birds

We are very lucky here in Broome to be able to observe Black-necked Storks quite easily. They can often been found along the beaches of Roebuck Bay near the Broome Bird Observatory. They also like the grassy areas at the upper reaches of Dampier Creek, which runs behind town.

Mangrove Birds of Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Forest doesn’t just grow in mountains, hills, and valleys. Give certain, special trees the right conditions and they also take root in the shallow mud of estuaries and other coastal situations.

Why Do I Keep a Neighborhood Bird List?

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“Why do you always keep a list?” ” my brother asked on a hot and muggy afternoon in North Florida. Gwynn sat behind me in the canoe as we paddled lazily around a shallow lake.

Animal Rights: Direct Action$ % ! &

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Birding Balangshan, Sichuan, China (part 2)

10,000 Birds

Balangshan is a mountainous area in Sichuan complete with a pass at an altitude of 4500 meters. And it is a great place for birding. In fact, it is so good that it merits two separate blog posts. This is the second part.

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It May Not Seem Like Much But

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This post does not contain serious eye-candy nor riveting text. In fact it slipped me to upload this earlier as I was completely swamped with some other (bird-related) responsibilities. Over the past few years we have been rewilding our yard here in the suburbs of the island of Trinidad.

Arizona, or Central Mexico?

10,000 Birds

I got back into birding less than a decade ago, long after moving to Mexico in 1983. So I can hardly speak with authority on birding in the U.S. But even I have heard of how exciting southeast Arizona is for American birders.

Birding Ruoergai, Sichuan, China – The Raptor Edition

10,000 Birds

The relatively flat and open grassland of Ruoergai is also good raptor country – raptor here being used in the broadest sense of the word, i.e., including owls and vultures.

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Attend third

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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A juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle

10,000 Birds

In April 2012 I wrote about A close encounter with a Wedge-tailed Eagle. I can’t use that heading again! This time the Wedge-tailed Eagle was closer and only involved ourselves and no other creatures.

Montezuma Winery: Carbonated Rhubarb Wine

10,000 Birds

“This beautiful and singular bird, although a constant resident in the southern extremities of the peninsula of Florida, seldom extends its journeys in an eastern direction beyond the State of North Carolina.

Birding with 12s: Swarovski NL Pure 12×42

10,000 Birds

“I don’t know anyone else crazy enough to try 12s,” my friend answered when told that I am about to test NL Pure 12×42. And he stood behind his words: he bought an NL 8×42. What do you think? Are 12s right for birding? Or have you ever birded with 12s? Back in the 1990s, I did.

Grassy Green Space in the Central Valley- Trash Habitat or Prime Real Estate for Oddball Birds?

10,000 Birds

When looking for birds in Costa Rica, the Central Valley isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Fly in to Juan Santamaria airport and this is where you arrive; a heavily populated and urbanized intermontane valley.

April Showers 4.30


The Elusive Aztec Thrush

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Many thrushes live or winter in Mexico, but their taxonomy is mostly quite simple. Eight of our large thrushes (the American Robin , western Mexico’s own Rufous-backed Robin , and eastern Mexico’s ubiquitous Clay-colored Thrush , among others) belong to the genus Turdus.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (First of August 2021)

10,000 Birds

The beginning of August raises all kinds of mixed feelings, especially if you live in a temperate zone north of the Equator. Are we excited that we still have a month of more of summer weather left or bummed that fall migration is still that far off?

New Birding Site in Costa Rica: Snowcaps, Raptors and More!

10,000 Birds

Snowcaps are simply surreal. Not the sublime chocolate ones crowned with sugar but the live feathered ones that look like they have been dipped in choice burgundy and topped with a luminescent satin cap. The adult males sport that look; a bird created with crayons and an imaginative mind.

The Warbler Brewery: Canopy 2 Double India Pale Ale

10,000 Birds

For a second time in a month, we have a new double India Pale Ale featuring a species of bird famous for its appearance on the classic vintage Guinness advertisements drawn by artist John Gilroy in the 1930s and ‘40s. Two weeks ago, it was a pantless thunder goose – er, ostrich.

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Animals in Space 3


Birding for One Species: American Goldfinch

10,000 Birds

I settled into the wooden rocking chair on my parents’ porch at about 8 in the morning, early for some but hopelessly late for most birders. Taking a sip of coffee, I knew I had none of my usual birding accoutrements with me – no binoculars, no bird list, no field guide.

Birding Balangshan, Sichuan, China (part 1)

10,000 Birds

Balangshan is a mountainous area in Sichuan complete with a pass at an altitude of 4500 meters. And it is a great place for birding. China’s massive investment in infrastructure has indirectly benefited birders.

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Soda Lake Shorbs

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Shorebirds – or “shorbs” for the cuteness factor (as if that needed any enhancement) – remain one of the most fascinating families of birds for me. There is something about the challenge in identification, the mysticism of the more you look, the more you see.

A Lake Reborn… sort of

10,000 Birds

Those infinitely patient saints who read all my ramblings know that over the past year I have been obsessed with the gradual disappearance of Mexico’s second-largest lake, Lake Cuitzeo, just north of my home city of Morelia.

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Attend second

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Varius quam quisque id diam vel quam elementum pulvinar. In tellus integer feugiat scelerisque varius. Viverra nam libero justo laoreet. Diam volutpat commodo sed egestas egestas fringilla phasellus faucibus scelerisque. Eget mi proin sed libero enim sed faucibus turpis. Consectetur purus ut faucibus pulvinar elementum integer. Sed arcu non odio euismod lacinia at quis. Neque volutpat ac tincidunt vitae semper. Sagittis orci a scelerisque purus. Massa tempor nec feugiat nisl pretium fusce id. Aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum curabitur vitae. Pellentesque adipiscing commodo elit at imperdiet dui accumsan. Nisl nisi scelerisque eu ultrices vitae auctor eu augue ut. Libero enim sed faucibus turpis in eu mi bibendum neque. Id diam vel quam elementum. Ac feugiat sed lectus vestibulum mattis.

Worth Protecting

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I wrote, a few weeks ago, about seeing my first Sedge (now Grass) Wrens through the kind invitation of a local biologist, and new birder, on whose property these live. Last week he messaged me to ask if I could go birding with him just south of Morelia’s urban area.

Olive-backed Orioles in Cygnet Park

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We walk our neighbours’ dogs during the week to our two local parks, which are Brolga Park and Cygnet Park. It gives the dogs a chance to get some exercise and for ourselves to keep track of the different birds that move through the area throughout the year.

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The best-kept birding secrets of Belgrade

10,000 Birds

The very best wetland birding around Belgrade, Serbia, is not to be found in the locally famous and tourist-promoted Obedska or Carska Bara Ramsar areas, but at Beljarica Backwaters and the fish farm triangle of Centa, Baranda and Sakule villages, in the Tamis River floodplain.

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Pied Oystercatchers and Sand Goannas

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We have always known that Pied Oystercatchers nest in the same areas that Sand Goannas roam. We have often suspected that the Sand Goannas would steal eggs as a food source from the Pied Oystercatcher nests if they found them.

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Accept this

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. Most have already sustained massive damage, and we still have yet to see the scope of this global pandemic.