Participate in our birds and birders survey!
At Birding In Spain we would like to conduct an informal survey of birders and birding. We are interested in getting insight into your birding experiences and outlook. If you can find the time help us by writing your answers and sending us an e-mail. Thanks!
The questions are:
1. How long have you been birding?
2. What made you start?
3. What’s the best thing about birding for you? And the worst?
4. Does environmental education and promotion of birding make a difference to conservation? If so, can you give any examples?
5. Do you contribute with time, work or money to any conservation efforts? Which? How?
6. Does birding have any negative effects?
7. Is birding on the up in your part of the world? In general?
8. Which naturalists or birders do you admire the most, and why?
9. Is there somewhere you haven’t birded but would love to?
10. Would you like to make a prediction about the future of birding?
We invite you to complete and send us the answers via e-mail. A pdf version is also available on request.
What, no selfies?
Or… when there are more interesting things to contemplate than one’s own image.
This juvenile Peregrine was calling insistently from the top of the cliffs near Siurana. Worried about its vulnerability Roger and I tried to watch it without making it a public spectacle for the “normal” tourists wandering around and looking for something to focus their attention on.
This Purple Shot Copper was a glorious dose of colour and pattern, and a memorable moment for us at Siurana.
On day 1 we came off the main road onto the drylands near Balaguer and the first 4 species we saw were all birds of prey: Golden Eagle, Hobby, Montagu’s Harrier and several delightful Red-footed Falcons. This spring there was an unusually large influx of these pretty little falcons, much to the delight of local and visiting birders.
Bird photography is usually challenging because of the jumpiness of the subjects. Even when in a car if you stop the most usual response is for the bird to fly away. Just now and then though you can find a bird more absorbed in what it was doing, and less wary of your presence. Like this Squacco Heron in the Ebro Delta, looking for a snack in a rice paddy.
A Swallowtail butterfly. Is beauty only in the eyes of the beholder? Or is there some intrinsic quality, some common denominator?
A fishing Common Tern in the Ebro Delta. Another one of those opportunities when the bird is more concerned about food than human presence.
Not quite a selfie: Dr Buchanan on the left in the company of a lucky lesser mortal. All of the photos here are by Dr Buchanan. His company is also a generous gift.
Calming “the beast”
All photos courtesy of Dr Roger Buchanan. Roger calls his large telephoto lens “the beast”, which strikes me as a good leading line to show some of his photos taken during the last Ornitholiday’s Southern Catalonia Tour which we happily spent together. Along with his long-suffering wife, Jane, aka “the boss”. But that’s quite another subject…
A beautiful Bee-eater. What is man without the beasts? For if all the beasts were gone man would die of a great loneliness of the spirit. Chief Seattle.
The Bee-eater’s lucky day. The beast appears to be calmed.
Blue-spot Hairstreak. Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. Aristotle. Maybe not “delighted” and maybe not real “solitude” but it’s surely a pleasing thing to get away from the crowds and to contemplate some of nature’s beauties, don’t you think?
A Great Crested Grebe on nest. Every man has a wild beast within him. Frederick the Great.
A Glossy Ibis in the Ebro Delta. I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Anthony Hopkins.
Moroccan Orange Tip. The beast, once calmed, can be harnessed as a force for good. Steve West.