South African Shrikes

Thumbnail image for South African Shrikes by DaleForbes 10 April 2011

South Africa has 21 regularly occurring shrike species; including 3 skulking Tchagras, 6 colourful Bush-shrikes and 2 vociferous hoodlum Helmet-shrikes. The boldest of them all have got to be the Bush-Shrikes; characterized by bright yellow and green plumage. Typically singly or in pairs, their skulking manner can make Bush-shrikes often surprisingly hard to find; and […]

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We’re going to South Africa!

Thumbnail image for We’re going to South Africa! by DaleForbes 3 April 2011

My boet (brother) is getting married so we are going down to South Africa for 10 days; and I am really looking forward to being in Africa again. I love Latin America (and the people); same for Europe; and southeast Asia; but nothing is like returning back to the drumbeat of Africa. To corrupt an […]

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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 Blogger of the Week

Thumbnail image for Featured Bird Blogger of the Week by dAwN FiNe 25 February 2011

Howdee all, Did you know that spring is coming to North America? I know some of you in the north think this is false..but its true..before you know it the frost will be gone and the flowers will be popping up, mark my words:) Did you also know that I fell in love recently? Yes, […]

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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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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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Featured Bird Blogger of the Week

Thumbnail image for Featured Bird Blogger of the Week by dAwN FiNe 21 January 2011

Dawn Fine presents this weeks birdblogger: Jerry Jourdan – who is not only a fantastic digiscoper. …but also generously share his best digiscoping tips in free tuturials. Jerry Jourdan’s birding adventures are illustrated with beautiful bird photos.

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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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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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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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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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Digiscoping Vultures in Extremadura, Spain

Thumbnail image for Digiscoping Vultures in Extremadura, Spain by DaleForbes 7 November 2010

On my recent trip to Extremadura, Spain (Europe’s raptor heaven), the Griffon Vultures and Eurasian Black Vultures absolutely enthralled us with their antics, their fly-bys and just how they are in the air. We spent hours admiring them, and we must have taken many thousands of digiscoped photos of them between the two of us.

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A bit of Extremaduran birding

Thumbnail image for A bit of Extremaduran birding by DaleForbes 24 October 2010

So I came to Extremedura (western Spain) hoping to get some quality time with some of Europe´s most spectacular raptors. Well, the eagles have been playing very scarce (only got a quick glimpse of a Spanish Imperial Eagle as being my only one in 3 days birding), but boy have the vultures given us a […]

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