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Birding at Home, Forever Now

Fabulous few hours today, culminating with a potter round the two tone patch in the VW with Elsie. A very blustery yet bright Levantine afternoon. No sign of our rare “ruby-face” a wintering Red-throated Pipit (whom we discovered only yesterday), nevertheless we were treated to a feast of sumptuous winter bird sightings. And there…

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A kiddie’s parable: The Glorious Mountain Forest Fowl (2015 to 2023)

Or:How have benefits that accrued from international ecotourism to remote villages in the tropics, (ie ecotourism revenue from “high income economies” to the backwoods of the “Global South”) been destroyed by the lockdown response to a Coronavirus pandemic over the past year and a half?I’m talking here primarily about grass roots private ecotourism initiatives…

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A pair of Lappet-faced Vultures at Serengeti Simba Lodge by Alan Fersht

The Wings Tours Tanzania Wildlife Safari with James Wolstencroft

This classic nature tour has been running twice a year, in early March and in the second half of November, for ten years. Or rather it was running, prior to the Coronavirus global health crisis. As a result of that crisis Sunbird (the UK ‘wing’ of Wings) has ceased trading, so that any enquiries…

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Camel Safari to Lake Natron

I wrote this article in June of 2006 immediately after participating in a film project for an Italian development NGO named Oikos. I had just returned to Arusha from a very special safari experience, a five day pilgrimage by camel, camping across Tanzanian Maasailand. Our little band of fifteen people parted with contemporary civilization…

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Stray Feathers, Wings upon the Wind – our nature remix

An essay first written in the autumn of 2004 … Each year, even in “the same place”, my one man’s dialogue with nature is different. Not just through each changing season but during each day that is spent in the field. Each experience is unique when compared with ‘the same’ winter, spring, summer or autumn day of seasons gone by.…

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Samhain and the Vagrant Mind

Each autumn, of my premature retirement in the late seventies and early eighties of last century, was given-over to worshiping the gods of migration. Non-human migration that is. It was my personal homage to birds and to what I consider the most beautiful wonder of the known world – perhaps best evoked (in most…

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Wolstencroft’s Insight Safaris

Tour report : Ecotourism Safari in Tanzania with James Wolstencroft – Ngorongoro Crater, Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, Tarangire, the Great Rift Valley : Just being there is often enough, the powerful experiences in unique locations, where Wild Nature and Cultures Converge. It could be said some Eco-tourists come to ‘Tanganyika’ as pilgrims in the hope…

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With the Ravens of Asciscar

A sweet and healthy spot at a freshwater spring on an olive-studded yellow hillside in Andalucia. It’s nine in the morning, an east wind blows off the nearby craggy grey wall of the Serra del Turco. I am sheltered from the wind and shaded from the brilliant morning sun by a clump of old…

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Time out of mindfulness

Moments out of time, immersed in Nature Natural companions in the poztho field … June 12, 2021 There hasn’t been a Blackbird around the crumbles, where we live, since late December. That was when our ‘wintering’ birds departed, presumably to establish breeding domains in the neighbouring dehesa (here that is wild olive savanna). Only…

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Walking as Nature Wishes

Sunday March 14, 2021 Eighteenth Anniversary of ‘Snake-Eagle Down’ at the Isla de Tarifa on 14/03/2003. In the bright light of spring there are patterns of process, virtually unseen, glimpsed across the sky.A dry and sunny day. Only a week ago, the deluge. Today, there’s scarcely a breeze under a super blue sky. Life…

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Nature Notes from the end of Europe

Do you ever feel there’s a little bird inside your head telling you something, whilst fluttering to escape. Trapped, just dancing there. Tied to a perch in your heart? For me, recent months, the regime of a year almost, have truly brought such feelings home. Yesterday, for example, was another grey and cloudy day…

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Black Kites over Gates of the Underworld

Last Saturday was a perfect one in which to be alive and ‘free’ in wonderful Al-Andalus. In the new moon of February, at the birth of the Ox Year, the first flock of migrant raptors crossed over ‘our farm’. Their line was stitched for a few moments into a sky of immaculate blue. Moments…

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