I have been interested in dinosaurs for as long as I can remember. Inhabitants of a time so far from our own and yet a fundamental part of its history made an impression on my mind from a young age and continue to be a source of interest, wonder, and study for me today.
“Ten years ago this was all forest,” says Stan Lhota, a primatologist from the Czech Republic, as he casts a hand over Balikpapan Bay which now resembles an industrial site. “And this was a romantic little fishing village.” We are standing at Gersik harbour looking out at the horizon of coal mines, oil depots and abandoned shrimp farms.
Spring is one of the best times of the year to be in the beautiful, birdy, nature-rich state of Maine. The frigid, snowy weather and very short daylight periods move along giving way for long days of warm sun, vibrant green leaves, wildflowers rich with purples, whites, yellows, and more.
You could easily miss the dusty little village of Khichan, situated close to the Pakistan border with India in the state of Rajasthan, its appearance much like the previous hundred or so we had passed through on our fourteen-hour drive from Delhi, were it not for the cacophony of noise.
Previously, we heard how Alan and Ruth enjoyed endless days of birding and some amazing birds in Finland earlier this year. In the second instalment of their midnight sun diary, we hear how they fared in Norway. Their accounts of fabulous birds in the northern summer makes cheering reading to banish the gloom of dark autumn evenings.
Part one: Finland
As the nights get longer across Europe, we look back to some almost endless summer days in the land of the midnight sun with birding guides Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, famed for their world record breaking ‘Biggest Twitch’ world tour. As their diary shows, more daylight hours certainly allows for more bird sightings!
Members of the public, journalists and audiences in general like asking me questions. First they want to know what my favourite bird is (swallow). Then they want to know my favourite colour (purple – a homage to Prince). Then my “Desert Island Disc” (more Prince please!). Finally, they ask if I could have one object on the island what would it be? An iPod?, Tablet?, Cell Phone? No, no, no. It would, of course, be my Leica binoculars.