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2020, Coronavirus Diary
Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, an East European View PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

INTRODUCTION

Labanoras birding

 

 

 

 

With expection of a lockdown and restrictions of movement, and thus birding, this diary was designed to document the evolution of the Coronavirus outbreak from the perspective of a single birder living in Lithuania, eastern Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

2020 had started in pretty stylish manner, an excellent trip to New Zealand continuing into New Year and a short trip to Israel in mid-February. However, clouds were already developing - even as I passed through Shanghai on route back from New Zealand on 11 January, media reports were growing by the day of a new Coronaviras spreading rapidly in Wuhan, a city I had never even heard of. Fast forward to the Israel trip, talk was of an impending pandemic, Israeli border officials were none too impressed with the Chinese entry stamps in my passport. Still, at that stage, it did seem a localized disease, hitting Asia badly, but leaving Europe largely unscathed.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 May 2020 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE ONE, March 2020. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

STAGE ONE - RISE OF THE VIRUS IN LITHUANIA.

Skylark

 

The early stages of the infection in Lithuania saw first restrictions on day-to-day life. It seemed Lithuania was following the path of other nations in Europe, perhaps three weeks behind, but heading for bad times nevertheless. As cases appeared, at least there was a silver lining to the month of March - it is the beginning of the spring migration season, birds arriving back in the country in growing numbers, plus early season butterflies taking to the wing. 

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2020 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE TWO, April 2020. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Stage Two. Steady as it Goes, April 2020.

Snipe

 

 

 

As March made way for April, and the land readied itself for the soon to come mass movements of spring birds, so the Coronavirus continued its steady climb in Lithuania - at month's start, cases were rising by steady 50 or so a day, the total sitting at 600, deaths nine.

 

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2020 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE THREE, May 2020. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Stage Three. The Easing, May 2020.

Grizzled Skipper

 

 

 

Peak season for some classic bird migration, the arrival of Red-backed Shrikes, Black Terns et al, plus usually a splendid month for butterflies, exotics such as Clouded Apollo and assorted skippers possible.

 

 

 

 

On the Coronavirus front, a feeling amongst the public that the country somehow escaped relatively unscathered and that it is all over. At the month's beginning, the death tally sat at 45, new infections occurring at 10-15 per day. Government has announced a range of measures to ease the shutdown - most shops and some services have reopened, but the national quarantine stays in place.

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2020 )
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Birding in the Era of Coronavirus, STAGE FOUR, June 2020. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Stage Four. Unwelcome End, June 2020.


Lithuania's National Quarantine for Coronavirus came to an end on the 17th June, the natural end to this phase of the Coronavirus story – still a handful of new cases each day, the country's total now sitting at 1800 cases and near 80 dead. But it all made no difference to me – most of June, I spent in hospital, failed rehab or otherwise ill. And the prospects for the near future are not much better.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2020 )
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