Sunday, November 22, 2015

Middle Eastern Dodo

So while my mates had a great day seawatching off Norfolk, I behaved like I was a grown-up and headed to London to participate in the joint OSME / BOC winter meeting at the Natural History Museum. It was in fact my first visit to the museum but I had very little time to explore - was slightly delayed arriving because of heavy security causing huge queues. Couldn't ignore this rather sad-looking Dodo - what an incredible bird.

Dinosaur sp. 

I talked about bird monitoring in Israel, and was very impressed by all the monitoring efforts and activities presented by other speakers. Was especially moved by the talk by legendary Richard Porter about the great work done in Iraq. In this image OSME council members Rob Sheldon (chairman) and Nick Moran pay their respect to Mr. Porter:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recent updates

Very busy lately so little time for birding. Did manage to squeeze in part of a ringing session at UEA yesterday morning. Nice and sunny, quite many birds about. Best bird ringed was this gorgeous male Lesser Redpoll. Other highlights were some flyovers - especially a flock of 20 Pintail that headed east over the broad, quite a remarkable local record. Also Fieldfare, Siskins and Redwings about.

Facebook is a weird world. A few days ago BirdLife International shared this image of a tired flock of Bee-eaters I took back in early May 2012 during one of the most incredible days of birding I had ever had in Israel:

I knew it's a popular image - people just love colourful birds like bee-eaters and kingfishers. But I couldn't imagine how viral it got - almost 10,000 likes and 1500 shares in one day - not too shabby in our field...
As I am writing this news about the terror attack in Paris is streaming in. My thoughts are with France and especially with my French friends. Be strong.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Syrian in central Europe

Just got back from the Mikulov in the Czech Republic, where I joined the Euro Bird Portal meetings, that were part of a EBAA / PECBMS workshop, hosted by the Czech Society for Ornithology. The meetings were very good and productive. It is great to know that there is such a dedicated and talented team across Europe, completely engaged in applying monitoring data into conservation. I feel privileged to be part of this family.
Mikulov is a sweet little town in southern Moravia, and I enjoyed walking through its streets and parks. I had little time for birding with Nick from BTO. Nick was very keen to see Syrian Woodpecker. I was, ehmm, less bothered about the woodpecker but just enjoyed a nice walk that was quite birdy in fact. And I did appreciate his enthusiasm to see the woodpecker. Nick managed to double score with a couple of peckers that showed well! Bring it on! Otherwise there were quite many finches around, including Hawfinch, Brambling and Siskin.

Red Squirrels are lovely animals – not easy to see in the UK but common in central Europe:


Syrian Woodpecker 

The park in Mikulov by the cemetery - birding hotspot...