Pounding Hearts and Beating Wings: Cape May Migration Madness

Cool morning temperatures and crisp organic scents saturate the forest floor while lush blankets of red, yellow and gold adorn the treetops; autumn has fallen across North America. The chaos and excitement of breeding season is over. Young birds are learning the ins and outs of functioning on their own while their parents adjust to being empty nesters once again. The days grow shorter and the air crisper while migratory birds scramble to fill their fat reserves in preparation for their long journeys ahead. The first of many cold fronts to come passes over, creating favorable winds and triggering ancient…

World Record in Hand

The Date – September 16th, 2015, the place – the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, India. You can see the rain drops clinging to the branches and leaves in the image above. Definitely not Noah’s most technically perfect image he’s shared, but likely the one that was shared the most! On a soggy, drizzly day, Noah lifted his trusty Leica 10×42 Ultravid HD-Plus binoculars as he has tens of thousands of times this year and saw these Sri Lanka Frogmouths. In a private email Noah shared the images above & below and wrote: “This afternoon, with a crowd of local birders…

Flocking to Rutland from around the globe

The Leica team is catching its breath after a great few days at this year’s Birdfair, which took place at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve from 21st to 23rd August. It was a busy few days: we unveiled a fantastic new product; launched a special offer on spotting scope package; premiered a series of films; shot some fresh video footage with our ambassadors (watch this space for more birding treats later this summer); caught up with old friends and made new ones. We even managed to spot a few birds! The new product launch completed our top of the range…

Migration Magic in the Land of Milk and Honey-buzzards

May 3, 2015. I stand at my station in the Eilat Mountains, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, at the north end of the Red Sea. Stretching away to southwest, the mountains of Israel seamlessly give way to the mountains of Egypt, the boundary only recognizable thanks to the hand of man: the large, re-enforced border fence, interlaced with jagged barbed wire, threatening any foolish soul who would approach from either side. To the east, across the Gulf, loom the red mountains of Jordan’s Edom Range. South of these, through the morning haze that often hangs over the sea, we can…

Feathers Over Freeport

Now in its 9th year (see previous post LINK), the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch in Pownal, Maine attracts an average of over 1200 visitors annually. Furthermore, many times that number visit the summit throughout our two month season and briefly chat with the Official Counter or read our count board and display. Of those 1200+ folks, many have never heard of, or at least never visited, a “hawkwatch” before, as the culture of hawkwatching in Northern New England isn’t as ingrained in the birding culture or as widespread as in such places as Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. For my…

Travis is traveling to Antarctica

Leica contributor Oliver Vogler took a trip to Antarctica. He was accompanied by Travis the traveling trinovid. We interviewed Oliver to learn more about their adventures at the south pole. Leica Sport Optics: How come you travelled to Antarctica and why was Travis with you? Oliver: We frequently accompany the tour operator ‘Oceanwide Expeditions’ on trips to Antarctica and the Arctic. I deliberately chose Travis as my travel buddy, because I wanted to observe biodiversity at this special place. Also, I borrowed Travis to our clients and crew so they could convince themselves of its supreme precision and uncompromising performance.…

Champions of the Flyway Part IV: The Race is On!

It was the morning before the race and our intention was to scout the immediate Eilat area and formulate the final part of our route. We started at Ofira Park in town where we could check the potential and look for the White-throated Kingfisher that had been reported here, while also grabbing some well needed coffee. The coffee was a success at least! Then on to Holland Park where we trudged around in a mostly exhausted state looking at the numerous “Sylvia” warblers here. We’d see many Lesser Whitethroats, Eastern Orphean & Rueppell’s Warblers here, but we’d been working the area for…

Champions of the Flyway Part III: Piecing it Together

This is part three in a series of blog posts about the Champions of the Flyway event, an annual bird race (big day) for conservation held in Eilat, Israel. A true international event, birders from all over the globe are coming together to make a difference during Champions of the Flyway: a bird race that is making a difference. March 25, 2015 was the second annual Champions of the Flyway race with international teams of birders trying to see (or hear) as many species of birds as possible, all the while highlighting and raising funds to support a global conservation effort. In 2015, Leica…

Champions of the Flyway Part II: The Lay of the Land

This is part two in a series of blog posts about the Champions of the Flyway event. A staggering 2,500,000 birds are illegally hunted, trapped and killed on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus each year. Birders from all over the globe are coming together to make a difference during Champions of the Flyway: a bird race that is making a difference. March 25, 2015 was the second annual Champions of the Flyway race. International teams of birders tried to see (or hear) as many species of birds as possible, all the while trying to find as many donors as they possibly could to…

Champions of the Flyway Part I: A Race With a Cause!

This is the first part in a series of blog posts about the Champions of the Flyway event. A staggering 2,500,000 birds are illegally hunted, trapped and killed on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus each year. Birders from all over the globe are coming together to make a difference during Champions of the Flyway: a bird race that is making a difference. March 25, 2015 was the second annual Champions of the Flyway race. International teams of birders tried to see (or hear) as many species of birds as possible, all the while trying to find as many donors as they possibly could…