Birding There

Griffon Vulture after it has finished its breakfast.
Griffon Vulture, Spain.

Hurrah for Zoom, should have been the tag line for this post. Following on from yesterday’s post, I thought I’d share our online birding experiences from the last few weeks.

We spent yesterday lunchtime watching birds in the bay at Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. This is the most southerly city in the world, where the Andes finally meet the sea at the Beagle Channel. It wasn’t a quick or easy trip from Yorkshire; we had a great virtual visit with Esteban, our guide courtesy of Naturetrek holidays.  Like all holiday companies they have been decimated by the pandemic and the restrictions and in order to get some interest and to provide a very good insight into their tours, they started some online birding sessions.  

In the last few weeks we have been to: 

  • the tree canopy at Quito in Ecuador,
  • an old radar tower in the trees in Panama,
  • two sessions in Andalucia in southern Spain watching the migration north from Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar and a vulture colony, and
  • Ushuaia, at the very bottom of South America.

Although these are free for anyone to sign up for, they do ask for a donation to go to the local guides and to support the work of the company themselves. This is a good marketing strategy, as if we had been asked to pay up front, we most certainly wouldn’t have done so. We so enjoyed the sessions though, we were happy to make a donation. 

The Argentina trip yesterday was the first of a new set of 8 more sessions. These include, more from the teams in Panama, Ecuador and Andalusia.  It is a delight to sit and watch humming birds and tanagers in central America and experience the knowledge and enthusiasm of the guides.  It has certainly given us a taste for what’s available and we will almost certainly have Southern Spain on our list of locations in the next year or so – provided we are allowed to travel. In the meantime, we’ll continue to enjoy some virtual birds and do a bit more travel planning. 

I’ve included a photo of a Griffon Vulture that I took back in 2019 in Aragon in Spain when we visited a fabulous vulture feeding station in the mountains. 

7 comments

  1. Great photo! When you do come to Spain, you’ll have to come to Hornachuelos National Park here in the province of Cordova. Apart from enjoying its great diversity of fauna and flora, if you’re lucky (and patient) you might even be able to spot the imperial or Bonelli or golden eagle as well as the black and white griffon vultures. It really is rich in its diversity!
    But for now, happy virtual travelling!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great idea. It breaks my heart that people have lost their livelihood over all of this. That is a great shot of the vulture. We have turkey vultures here. When they congregate in a tree, it looks like something out of a Hitchcock movie.

    Like

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