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Azure Fix, Belarus 2008
Written by Jos   

Azure TitIt was time for my annual fix, a voyage into the depths of the legendary Pripyat Valley to seek out the enigmatic Azure Tit and other birds of allure that reside in this secret treasure trove. With visa arranged and car packed, I was ready for adventure and the inevitable queues that I would meet at the border. What I wasn't ready for, however, was the tree that came crashing down burying me and the car! Fortunately, swerving at the last moment, I ended up beneath the canopy rather than trunk and soon extracted myself! With an additional dent or two to my car, off I trundled for a weekend of eastern promise, birds galore in settings that rival nothing in Europe.

Azure Tit, Terek Sandpiper, Greater Spotted Eagle, Syrian Woodpecker, a list of mouthwatering species...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 March 2009 )
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April 2008. Spring stumbles in, month of yawns!
Written by Jos   

Marsh Harrier

 

April 2008, not the most exciting month in history! Spring migration was a mere trickle throughout most of the month, the best arrivals all occurring in the latter half of the month - Wrynecks, Hoopoes, Golden Orioles and Black Terns, all birds that help to flavour the Lithuanian summer. Prior to these birds, the best of the bunch were the ever faithful White Storks in my garden, now incubating, and a variety of raptors from White-tailed and Lesser Spotted Eagles to Black Kites and increasing numbers of Marsh Harriers. On a brief cross-border run into Poland, Aquatic Warblers and obliging Elk ended the month on a high note.

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 May 2008 )
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Winter adventures in the Arctic.
Written by Jos   

Steller's EidersAn Arctic odyssey, taking in the best of northern Finland and the Varanger peninsula in Norway. In temperatures that touched minus 26 C, the birding was simply superb, the winter landscapes spectacular and the trip nothing but a success.

Flying into Oulu, then driving overnight to the far north, this short whirlwind tour of the northern taiga forests and icy Barents Sea notched up 2350 km, a journey that started at feeders dripping in Pine Grosbeaks and Siberian Jays, then moved on to the stunning fjords that harboured flocks of Steller's and King Eiders, plus white-winged gulls, Brunnich's Guillemots and other specialities such as Gyr Falcon and Ptarmigan.

In addition to some amazing birds, the trip also was memorable for its mammals, no less than nine species recorded, included a fantastic Wolverine, three Otters, a Harp Seal and a few Red Squirrels.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 June 2008 )
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