Ospreys in the Desert

10,000 Birds

He is returning to the UK after a four year spell in Qatar, in the Middle East. Qatar is a small desert state in the Middle East and it’s hot, with summer temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. Remarkably, the Qatar bird list stands at well over 200 birds.

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The Little Big Year 2018: Best Birds of the Year!

10,000 Birds

Our time in Doha, Qatar was quite short, and even then hampered by 25-50 MPH winds on a day where the thermometer showed 119 degrees F, but we doggedly pursued whatever we could find. Trips Australia Bahamas Costa Rica England Little Big Year Mexico New Zealand Qatar Scotland South Africa WalesFor nearly 10 days now, I have been sorting thru all of the images from 2018. This is a daunting task in any normal year, but this one is a real exception.

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Sea Shepherd Goes on Mission to Protect Bluefin Tuna

Critter News

In Qatar yesterday nations voted down a proposed ban on exporting Atlantic bluefin tuna. But Mr Watson is unfazed by the outcome in Qatar. Looks like they'll need to since nobody else wants to protect them. Greenpeace says the New Zealand Government voted against the ban – spelling disaster for the future of the species. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully wasn’t available today to confirm how New Zealand voted.

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No Marine Animal Protection from CITES

Critter News

The opening line in this USA Today article says it all, "Every proposal to protect marine species at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Doha, Qatar was voted down." It's unfortunate, but true, thanks primarily to Japan and China.

Asian Countries Score Another Victory Over Marine Animals

Critter News

Delegates to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference in Qatar voted down three of four proposals to protect sharks. This really sucks. According to the New York Times. China, by far the world’s largest consumer of the cartilaginous fish, for sharkfin soup, and Japan, which has battled to keep the convention from being extended to any marine species, led the opposition.

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Christian Science Monitor Calls for Endangered Species Hour

Critter News

In Qatar, the concern about lost livelihoods during difficult economic times was particularly acute. "Earth Hour" was held yesterday. People were supposed to turn their lights off for an hour. I like this opinion piece from the Christian Science Monitor which calls for an "Endangered Species Hour." It's in response to the pathetic CITES conference which basically screwed marine animal protection.

Rwanda Dreaming

10,000 Birds

There are direct flights from London to Kigali by, among others, RwandAir, Etihad and Qatar Airways. The beginning of the northern summer is a good time (as any) to dream of some of the most biodiverse places on Earth. No, I am not talking of Brazil or Columbia, they are not just in the tropics but more importantly, they are officially huge.

Week 23: The advenure continues, Stateside

10,000 Birds

Qatar species – 9. Back in the US of A! And everything that goes with it. We arrived in Seattle 6 days ago, at 12:30 in the morning, after being on the road, in one form or another since February 1st. It might go without saying, but I am a bit tired. 35,000 miles on an airplane, 18 airports, and just shy of 20, 000 miles driving.

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Week 20: Doha, and on to Scotland!

10,000 Birds

Well, for us, we went to Doha, Qatar. After leaving Africa, I was fearing a real let down in my birding. New Zealand had been good, Australia was incredible, and South Africa was almost life altering. Where do you go from there? Probably not on most birders Top Ten list, but it was a natural layover for us, we had some great friends living there, and there is a decent list of birds to be added to any year list.

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Week 22: The final week in England

10,000 Birds

Qatar species 9. I want to start this posting with an official appology: you see I feel it is owed to Scotland, Wales, and England, or more appropriately, the “UK”. When we were planning this trip, New Zealand, Australia, and most certainly South Africa got all my attention. The last few visits were almost after thoughts, and boy was that a mistake! The countrysides were incredible, the people were as hospitable as anywhere we went, and there are some fantastic birds.

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Most Wanted Birds in Brazil

10,000 Birds

And I hugged a woman who was lucky enough to hold a Spix’s Macaw at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation in Qatar while on vacation in the Middle East some years ago.

Collaborative List – July 2018

10,000 Birds

Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. And so to summer. Traditionally, the slow season, but the beats have mopped their collective brow and outdone their previous efforts. The UK has been birded clean by Tom as he ends his Little Big Year (Part 1). Redgannet continues his quest to bring colour to the profile map (one pixel at a time), by visiting The Seychelles (this time, on purpose!).

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Collaborative List – June 2018

10,000 Birds

It’s all been happening this month. Just when we thought that the beats deserved a quiet month after the exertions of May, they came out with Bushnell’s blazing and gave June both barrels! Honduras , Malaysia and the southern-most bits of South Africa feature large this month with Mike, Duncan and Tom all vying to be MVB for June. Of course we all know it will be Pat… again… , but let them have their fun.

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Collaborative list – December 2018

10,000 Birds

So what do you want first? The numbers? The accolades? The lifers? December’s collaborative results also summarises the year’s efforts, so this is December 2018 and the rest of 2018 all rolled into one sentence.

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Collaborative List – November 2018

10,000 Birds

A big thank you goes out to Tristan, who demonstrated that at least one person reads this drivel. He pointed out that Illinois had been sadly neglected up to this point, so Redgannet made a special visit to Chicago to redress this oversight. Tom and Pat were toe to toe in Costa Rica , so the numbers from there outshone anything else on the list for November, with over 60% of the month’s total shared between them. 8 beats shared 126 checklists accounting for 704 species.

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Collaborative List – October 2018

10,000 Birds

Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. In a month that contained the eBird Big Day , we can naturally expect that the beats have been racing about providing much fodder for the collaborative list. The two most prolific contributors, Pat and Tom, have been sharing their birding space in Costa Rica. Tom’s own list continues apace Those of us who have tried to do a big year know how tough it gets on the homeward stretch and will be rooting for him.

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Collaborative list – September 2018

10,000 Birds

Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. The nights are drawing in and the mornings are cooler and noticeably damper. It’s September and time for birds to start their southerly journeys. The beats have been out to line their route and cheer them along, wishing them bon voyage and a safe return next spring. At the far ends of the world, our southern beats are poised to welcome them back.

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Collaborative list – August 2018

10,000 Birds

Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Doha, Qatar. Is it wrong of me to go birding to get away from the kids now that they are at home all day? August is the make or break month for relationships. Can the whole family live together in harmony during the school holidays? Bravo if you have. Happy birding if you suddenly find yourself single.

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