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Birding in the Pandemic, Year 2
Written by Jos   

INTRODUCTION

 

All things considered, 2020 turned out to be a most excellent year. Despite restrictions and lockdown, and a desire to isolate as much a possible, opportunites arose that allowed me to spend more time than ever birding and travelling - after a year start in New Zealand and a quick trip to Israel before the world came to a halt, national shutdown in Lithuania allowed me to work remote, the result being several very pleasurable months on my land in Labanoras, a stay spanning the entire spring migration period. Thereafter, as Covid cases dropped and travel bubbles opened up, I managed trips both to the Arctic and the Alps (and battled a bout with tick-borne encephalitis). However, as summer turned to autumn, dark clouds were brewing - while Lithuania managed to scrape through the spring Covid wave relatively lightly hit, Covid cases soared from early autumn, Lithuania plunging towards the 'honorable' title of worst affected country in the world, more per capita cases than anywhere else. Still, silver linings ... with work still firmly remote, I opted to flee Lithuania and instead spend the four months in Covid-safe lands of Namibia, a fantastic way to end the year, birds, mammals and butterfles galore.

 

And that is where 2021 started - on the banks of the Okavango River in the far north of Namibia, Carmine Bee-eaters and Lechwe antelopes, Rock Pratincoles and Hippototamus. As 2021 progressed, and global travel restrictions actually tightened rather than eased, the hope was that I would be able to steer a pretty similar course through the year - safe travel where feasible, hopefully another spring in the splendid isolation of my land. So, here it is, Birding in the Pandemic, Year Two!

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 March 2021 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE EIGHT, November 2020.
Written by Jos   

Stage Eight. National Quarantine, Bird Exodus.

November, most birds long since migrated out, the weather generally grey, damp and drab, always of month of gloom in Lithuania - lovely! Add the imposition of a national quarantine to curb the spiralling Covid cases and all the ingredients are there for a pretty gloomy month...but that said it did start in style with a very impressive Ural Owl in Vilnius city centre!

 

Ural Owl

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 March 2021 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE SEVEN, October 2020.
Written by Jos   

Stage Seven. The Resurgence, October 2020.

As across Europe, back comes the Coronavirus, a higher intensity than in spring and an upward trajectory, the numbers of cases rising to over a hundred a day by the end of September, rising suddenly mid-month to over 400, then 600 a day (the highest total in spring was less than 80). By the month's end, the country was looking at 1000 cases a day ...for a little country, that is quite a lot, the number of cases per 100,000 now sitting pretty much average for Europe. But to that backdrop, pitifully few measures are in place to slow the rise.

 

Pygmy Owl

Last Updated ( Friday, 06 November 2020 )
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