December, 2020

Birding without a phone

10,000 Birds

If you are old enough, you will remember birding without a phone? Not too long ago, it was the norm. Then I started to carry a phone just in case my car stopped or something. Later I carried it because of a stash of bird songs I compiled in it.

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Laguna del Lagarto: Bird Photography in Costa Rica at its Best

10,000 Birds

Thanks to steadfast advances in optics and digital cameras, bird photography has become quite the popular way to appreciate birds. Unlike the old days of slide film and carefully managed shots, today, with the right equipment, just about anyone can take some pretty fine pictures of the avian kind.

Birding Serbia in the 2020

10,000 Birds

As the year is closing, I am looking back to realise, despite it being such an awful year, it’s far from the worst I had, it doesn’t even come close (it’s the mileage that’s killing me, I guess).

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When Birds Are Near: Dispatches From Contemporary Writers

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There are owls in New York City. Big owls: Barred Owls on Riverside Drive and down the path from Harlem Meer, a Great Horned Owl in Central Park’s Ramble.

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March Madness 4.0

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CBC Shenanigans

10,000 Birds

As I gather the relevant documentation for our upcoming CBC this Sunday I caught myself daydreaming of CBCs past. The very first CBC I attended was eight whole years ago – but I remember it quite vividly.

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Birding Carska Bara Reserve in December Fog

10,000 Birds

I don’t know what those so-called meteorologists are doing: they all claim a moderately cold morning, but do not say a word about the fog! Yet, tree branches are covered in hoar frost and the fog is so thick one could cut it with a machete!

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Birding Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China

10,000 Birds

Menglun in Xishuangbanna is less than 50 km away from the Chinese border to Laos and Myanmar, and it has a big botanical garden.

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The Birds are All Right

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It was the month of March, 2017, when I went to Lake Cuitzeo to check up on our migratory waterfowl and shorebirds one last time before they travelled north to breed. But that time, I was shocked to find that about half the birds I had expected were missing — along with half the lake.

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Of Tree I Sing

10,000 Birds

As anyone who knows quality photography can tell, I am not the sort of birder who tends to stay in one place for long. There are no photographic hides or tripods for me.

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The Numbers Game

10,000 Birds

Should you ever come to bird in central Mexico, and you are only interested in our wonderful endemics, feel free to come in the summer. It’s green, and there are refreshing rains almost every afternoon.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of 2020)

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2020 is almost over… finally. Rather than belabor the obvious, I’ll just point out that the global pandemic may have spawned a new wave of birders, but collectively we’ve seen far fewer species of birds.

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Nanhui, Shanghai in late autumn

10,000 Birds

November and early December can be a frustrating time here at Nanhui – on the one hand, there are fewer and fewer birds as migration slows down.

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Splitsville

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I suspect that most non-birders don’t particularly like the word “split”, since the first thing that it brings to mind is perhaps a bad end to a romance, or in the worst case, a divorce.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (First of December 2020)

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The winds of December blow in a dramatic shakeup of birding conditions in most parts of the world, especially the ones with fair odds of a white Christmas.

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Attend third

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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Collaborative list – November 2020

10,000 Birds

Who remembers birding parties? This virus just won’t give up. With some of the beats locked down still, or again, the birding has been patchy.

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De Grey River rest area

10,000 Birds

The De Grey River rest area is a good place to take a break if you are travelling the long journey between the two towns of Broome and Port Hedland in Western Australia. After over 500 kms most people need to at least stretch their legs before they get to Port Hedland.

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“The Lark Ascending” – Domaine de la Chanteleuserie: Cuvée Alouettes (2017)

10,000 Birds

This past Tuesday marked the centenary of the première of The Lark Ascending , a work for solo violin and orchestra by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

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Mike Bergin on Nature’s Archive Podcast

10,000 Birds

Some of you know that I’m an active podcaster, churning out two episodes a week on testing, admissions, learning, and education on the Tests and the Rest podcast. But as much as I love hosting, I also enjoy being a podcast guest–especially when the topic is birding!

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Error test

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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A day of clouds and colours

10,000 Birds

Whenever we are able we spend our Christmas Day birding together. If either of us is working then we still do a list each and combine it at the end of the day. It is almost a practice run for New Year’s day when we start a new bird list for the year.

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Our Best Birds of 2020

10,000 Birds

2020 will be remembered as a year that we’d like to forget. COVID-19 was the worst of it but we also endured horrific wildfires, tremendously damaging hurricanes, another year of the worst President of the United States in history, and the list could go on ad infinitum.

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Birding during a tropical low

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Finally the weather has changed! For months and months we have had to wait patiently for rain. All of the ephemeral lakes have been drying out fast and the land was very dry. The wet season has now started and so far this week it has been perfect.

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Fairly Few Feathered Friends, Fairly Fun Photos

10,000 Birds

As I have commented on more than one occasion, I have used this pandemic season as motivation to try out a number of new, less populated birding sites.

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Animals in Space 3

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‘Tis the Season: Notable Bird Books (and Booze and Binoculars) of 2020

10,000 Birds

This has been a great year! For bird books, we mean – reference works and field guides, books of essays and reminiscences, novels, and works on birdsong and other specialties. What did you think we were talking about? They make excellent gifts for adult birders and young ones, too.

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Thanksgiving at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. In the cold north of November Niagara, needing to spend the day indoors coincided nicely with weather that invariably involved snow.

Companhia das Lezírias ‘Tyto alba’ Vinhas Protegidas Tinto (2013)

10,000 Birds

I originally reserved this week’s featured wine for a Hallowe’en review that I never got around to writing. The 2013 ‘Tyto alba’ from Companhia das Lezírias is a red wine from Portugal’s Tejo region, and – as you may have guessed from its name – there is in fact a Barn Owl ( Tyto alba ) on the label.

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Mistletoebird

10,000 Birds

In a year with so much uncertainty around the world we are all lucky that we can still enjoy nature. Maybe you can’t go far from home, but nature will come to you. As Christmas fast approaches I wondered what bird would be appropriate to share with you this year.

2020 63

New Year February

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of December 2020)

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We’ve entered that most wonderful time of the year… that’s right, it’s Christmas Bird Count season! Whether you celebrate with others or observe in spiritual solitude, we hope you have a plan to enjoy holiday cheer the way only birders can.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of December 2020)

10,000 Birds

The holidays that characterize the last few weeks of the calendar year may designate this time of year the season of giving, but nature usually withholds its avian gifts in December.

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