It had been a full week since Hurricane Irma slid up the gulf coast of Florida, reeking “Irmageddon” on the peninsula. Honestly though, we’d been lucky in my area. Cuba and other Caribbean Islands, the Florida Keys and even Naples had taken much harder hits, and the damage in my area was comparatively insignificant.
The Slender-billed Curlew is nowadays considered extinct, with no birds officially observed in the last nearly 20 years or so worldwide (Corso, et al. 2014; Kirwan, et al.2015), while the Bald Ibis seems to be recovering with a rather small but increasing wild breeding population in Morocco (though the other wild very small one from Syria is gone forever) and some reintroduction projects elsewhere around Europe or “feral” populations (Spain, Austrian and Italian Alps, Turkey).
We have recently returned from a Birdwatching (and mammal watching) Trip on the island of Borneo. This huge tropical island lies south of Malaysia, the area we visited belongs to Malaysia. Stepping off the air-conditioned plane we were smacked in the face by hot humid air, very hot and very humid. A short drive from the airport we arrived at a quayside and boarded a fast speedboat that whisked us across a huge shallow bay. Just over an hour later we arrived at Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort where we were to stay two nights.
Heinz Sielmann (* 2. Juni 1917 in Rheydt; † 6. Oktober 2006 in München) kam schon früh mit seinem späteren Berufsfeld in Verbindung. Sein Vater nahm ihn schon in Kindheitstagen mit in die Natur. Er prägte den Jungen mit seiner Aussage: “Die Natur ist ein Gottesgeschenk, Tiere und Pflanzen sind Teil unseres Lebens.”
Italy hosts among the richest biodiversity in Europe. The variety of geographic, geo-morphological and climatic conditions that characterizes its territory makes it an extraordinary concentration area of both species and habitats.
I had the pleasure of using the latest Leica 10-42 binoculars for a week of birdwatching in Israel in March. I was there to take part in the Eilat Bird Festival and follow the “Champions of the Flyway” a 24 hours Bird Race organised by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.
In 2013, Leica Camera teamed up with Wildfowl & Wetland Trust (WWT) to support their ‘Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper’ project. As well as financial help, Leica provides optical equipment to help field workers locate the breeding spoon-billed sandpipers and record their behaviour.
Known more for its beaches rather than its birding I must admit that it was the diving part of our trip to the Cayman Islands that had me most excited. However, as those first days unfolded on Grand Cayman I soon realised my mistake in underestimating not only the diversity of birdlife it had to offer but also the accessibility to spotting sites. Alongside wildlife photographer Luke Massey, we both came to realise that the Cayman Islands were in fact the perfect “do it yourself” birding destination.