SEP 07

Borneo – When The Birding Gets Tough You Need Leica’s

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.

A Tropical Treat

“You’re going to do what?… You guys are insane!” That was my response when my buddy Brant Julius told me he and friend Jeff Fisher were planning on leaving at 10 PM Friday night and driving through the night to arrive at sunrise. It was madness… but it was also an insanely beautiful & rare bird they were going to chase.

Spend a fantastic birding-week in Sicily!

A journey that indulges in nature, history, archeology and the art of cooking – led by Italian Leica birding ambassador Andrea Corso. Take part and discover Sicily, the islands of birds, orchids and archeology.

Putting the Noctivids to the test!

I got my first experience to enjoy the view through the new Leica Noctivid binocular at the British Birdwatching Fair in Rutland Waters, UK this past August. While I immediately appreciated the insanely vivid image, unmatched depth of field, and fast focus, I was really looking forward to giving them a proper test in the field searching for birds. Following the fair, bird book author, colleague and friend Bill Thompson III from Bird Watcher’s Digest magazine joined me for a few days in Wetzlar, Germany (home of the world headquarters of Leica Camera, AG). With Noctivids in hand, Bill and I…

What did the DSP ever do to Them?

One of the unique and most charismatic birds in South America, high if not top on any birders’ list of target species when they visit its range, is Phegornis mitchellii, long known as Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, or affectionately abbreviated as DSP. Its long and droop-tipped bill is unlike that of typical plovers, hence the compound sandpiper-plover, conveying a history of taxonomic uncertainty. Now, because it appears to be ‘simply’ an aberrant small plover, some authorities have castrated the name to Diademed Plover, or ‘just another’ plover, which DSP most certainly is not. But why stop there? I mean, everyone knows what…

Champions of the Flyway – Team “Dutch Knights”

It is perhaps the most fascinating phenomenon in the birding world, but unfortunately not without dangers – bird migration. And Eilat in Israel is one of the best places in the world to experience this spectacular phenomenon. It should therefore come as no coincidence that here, again for the third time, the international bird conservation event Champions of the Flyway is organized to raise funds for the protection of migratory birds during their long journeys. On 3/29 2016, a passionate group of birders from different nationalities compete in teams for the title of Champions of the Flyway (COTF) in an…

Assumptions versus the dark-morph Pink-footed Shearwater

Whether Pink-footed Shearwater has a (very rare) dark morph, or whether occasional individuals are melanistic, are interesting semantic questions. But the bottom line for field observers is that apparently dark-plumaged Pink-footed Shearwaters are out there, and they could be confused with Flesh-footed Shearwater. Although some have questioned this assumption (e.g., see pages 56-58 of the January 2012 issue of Birding magazine), their alternatives of an undescribed new species of large shearwater, or of hybrid Pink-footed x Flesh-footed Shearwaters, seem to overlook the principle of parsimony: the most likely = parsimonious explanation is that some Pink-footed Shearwaters are dark-bodied. There’s even…

The Urban Birding Experience in Málaga

Málaga, situated on the sun-kissed Costa del Sol in Andalucia, southern Spain would hardly seem like a venue for urban birding.   But surprisingly, it has a lot to offer. The city, which is one of the oldest in the world, is one of Spain’s major tourist spots but yet even in the heart of its heaving streets there are birds to be found. Join David Lindo, The Urban Birder and Leica Ambassador, on his journey around the city to see the other life that inhabits Málaga. In an exciting experience David Lindo discovers the birds of the city, meets…

Champions of The Flyway – Team Extremadura

In 2016 a team of expert birders is being formed by members of Lonely Birder in conjunction with The Urban Birder.

FEB
2016
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Urban Treasure Hunting

The Las Vegas strip is a dream location for some. However, if nature is your thing, this sterile, urban environment makes it real challenging to get your daily wildlife fix. Recently, I found myself in the middle of the strip and decided to pit my skills against that challenge. I had very limited time for exploring, (maybe a half hour in mornings & just over an hour of daylight on my first evening) so I took to the strip with low expectations to see what a crazed birder could see in this most unbirdy spot in the dead of winter. I realize of…