Alpine Accentors (Prunella collaris) in Tirol

Thumbnail image for Alpine Accentors (Prunella collaris) in Tirol by DaleForbes 20 March 2011

The Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) is one of our most characteristic birds of the high Alps; breeding and spending the summer months almost completely above the treeline (about 1800m/6000ft asl in Tirol). In late March, the Alpine Accentors return to their breeding areas from their lower wintering grounds (i.e. an altitudinal migration) but, from what […]

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British Birders – a separate subspecies?

Thumbnail image for British Birders – a separate subspecies? by DaleForbes 13 March 2011

I have only been in Britain a couple of times, and have yet to go birdwatching there (an Osprey at Birdfair doesn’t count). But the British Birdwatcher has certainly intrigued me for many years. Never having seen them in their natural habitat, my impression of British Birdwatchers is based almost exclusively on studying them as […]

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What Spiderhunter is this?

Thumbnail image for What Spiderhunter is this? by DaleForbes 6 March 2011

Whilst visiting Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand last year, we found a Spiderhunter which exceeded my rather humble abilities to identify Asian birds. It was my first trip to southeast Asia and so you would think I would have hired a guide to show me around, but guides require planing ahead of time […]

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Featured Bird Photographer – Steve Fletcher

Thumbnail image for Featured Bird Photographer – Steve Fletcher by DaleForbes 27 February 2011

In putting together the birding game scene for Extremadura, we were looking for images of some of the Extremaduran bird specials – particularly tricky photos. Steve Fletcher really helped us out with this, providing 140+ photos of Extremaduran raptors, steppe birds and wonders of the Dehesas, including some really really tough photos. Anyhow, so through […]

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Digiscoping Lesser Kestrels in Trujillo, Extremadura

Thumbnail image for Digiscoping Lesser Kestrels in Trujillo, Extremadura by DaleForbes 20 February 2011

The first Lesser Kestrels (Falco naumanni) have just started arriving back to Extremadura, and while we were there for the EL50 Swarovision field trials, we got some chance to hang out at the local bull fighting ring in the evenings, to enjoy the Lesser Kestrels in all their wonder – calling, playing and swooping; all […]

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Spain, the EL50 and me

Thumbnail image for Spain, the EL50 and me by DaleForbes 6 February 2011

My life has recently been dominated by the launch of the new Swarovski EL50 Swarovision binoculars and all the million small details that need to be taken care of. This has been made easier by two things: 1. I really love this binocular, and 2. It is a really great binocular (fairly sure I am […]

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new virtual Birding Game

Thumbnail image for new virtual Birding Game by DaleForbes 1 February 2011

So the basic idea of the Birding Game is that you can go virtual birding, click on the bird silhouettes and be presented with a bird photo which you need to identify. At the moment there are three locations: Corpus Christi, Texas Extremadura, Spain Lake Neusiedl National Park, Austria And you can choose to play […]

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Featured Digiscoper: Jörg Kretzschmar (DE)

Thumbnail image for Featured Digiscoper: Jörg Kretzschmar (DE) by DaleForbes 30 January 2011

Dr Jörg Kretzschmar is one the digiscopers that I respect the most. He has a passion for photography and a remarkable eye for photographic art. And I love his creations. The photo at the top of this post beautifully plays with depth, movement and colour. I love the way the lines of the bird in […]

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Notable mentions: Digiscoper of the Year 2010

Thumbnail image for Notable mentions: Digiscoper of the Year 2010 by DaleForbes 23 January 2011

What a stunning photo of a Madagascan Helmet Vanga (Euryceros prevostii) by Pete Morris – just one of the 2000-odd photos entered in to the 2010 Swarovski Digiscoper of the Year competition. There were tons of awesome photos but, naturally, not every great photo can be amongst the winners (see the DOY Backstory here; and […]

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Interview with the Digiscoper of the Year 2010

Thumbnail image for Interview with the Digiscoper of the Year 2010 by DaleForbes 16 January 2011

The results for the Swarovski Digiscoper of the Year 2010 competition have just been announced: http://digiscoperoftheyear.com/ This year’s winner is the biologist Óscar J. González Hernández, of Salamanca in Spain, with a stunning image of a European Bee-eater (above). I managed to get hold of Óscar and ask him a few questions that were at […]

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hornbills and other silly birds

Thumbnail image for hornbills and other silly birds by DaleForbes 9 January 2011

I heard a story once. It is probably a load of bull, but the story went that when the first naturalists brought toucans back from the new world, the academy (Sesselfurzer for want of a suitable English word) didn’t believe them and thought they were birds stitched together to command higher prices. Its probably an […]

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Long-legged Buzzard twitching mega rarity

Long-legged Buzzard by DaleForbes 2 January 2011

“Is this really a Long-legged Buzzard?” was the question from Reinhard Hölzl, a friend and local photographer (check out Reinhard’s website here) with two photos attached to the message (top and below). My gut said yes, Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) and everything I could tell from the photos and the books seemed to suggest so, […]

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African Christmas Colours

Thumbnail image for African Christmas Colours by DaleForbes 26 December 2010

Africa’s is not all zebras and lions, and steamy hot Christmases, but it also has some stunning colours to show off. Richard’s stunning Christmas Quetzal post got my (and probably your) feet itching to go explore far-away jungles. But Africa also has its fair share of Christmassy colours. The birds that spring to mind first […]

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The Capercaille

Thumbnail image for The Capercaille by DaleForbes 19 December 2010

The Western Capercaille (Tetrao urogallus) is one of the most emblematic birds of the Alps, amongst the people of the Alps, it is probably just behind the Golden Eagle. This is partly because it really is large and beautiful, secretive and shy. But to be honest it is probably because it is part of the […]

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Finding Gurney’s Pittas

Thumbnail image for Finding Gurney’s Pittas by DaleForbes 12 December 2010

Crouched in the undergrowth of a mosquito and leech-filled tropical forest I waited quietly, and patiently, for yet another view of the Gurney’s Pitta. I knew his ritual: every 35-55 minutes he came on a feeding cycle through this area. I never knew when he was going to appear and there was no way to […]

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Snow Buntings in a suit

Thumbnail image for Snow Buntings in a suit by DaleForbes 5 December 2010

Tirol is a pretty much a winter wonderland – great big pointy Alps, covered in fluffy white snow. Picture book, really. And you would think that with all these great big mountains and snow, that we would have an abundance of all these birds that call themselves Snow-somethingorother. Like Snowfinch (tick), Snow Geese (we have […]

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wild Scarlet Macaw personalities

Thumbnail image for wild Scarlet Macaw personalities by DaleForbes 28 November 2010

Scarlet Macaws are really impressive – big, beautiful and raucous. And for three years my life revolved around them. Tough luck, hey? And there was not a moment in which I was not completely fascinated by them. I was working for a conservation organisation, called Associación Amigos de las Aves (now, The Ara Project) in […]

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Thumbnail image for Wallcreepers!!! by DaleForbes 21 November 2010

The Wallcreeper has got to be one of the most spectacular and enigmatic of mountain birds. Their appearance, behaviour, feeding, breeding, migration, call… all lend to create an unforgettable and intriguing bird. Rarely seen and very difficult to photograph, there are still massive gaps in our scientific understanding of the Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria, Mauerläufer, El treparriscos, Le Tichodrome échelette, Il picchio muraiolo). I have now taken tens of thousands of photos of the Wallcreepers here in this region, and they continue to stun me every time I see them.

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Great News- Sociable Lapwing eastern flyway found!

Thumbnail image for Great News- Sociable Lapwing eastern flyway found! by DaleForbes 20 November 2010

One of the most incredible results and successes of the Amazing Journey project was having one of the Sociable Lapwings (Vanellus gregarius) satellite tagged on the Steppes of central Kazakhstan move down the unknown eastern flyway to the Indian subcontinent. Dinara – as our star was dubbed – was tagged in June 2010 and stuck […]

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Spanish Steppe Birds, crazy awesome digiscoping

Thumbnail image for Spanish Steppe Birds, crazy awesome digiscoping by DaleForbes 14 November 2010

What a lot of fun! Being great big open habitats, steppes can often be very difficult habitats to photograph birds in, and the Extremaduran steppes of western Spain are no exception. Great big wide open spaces (with the forest having been cleared by the Romans to build cities) mean that there is little place for […]

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