Saturday, August 31, 2013

Birding, Birdfair and Nature!

Normally the months of July and August present quieter times for me, too hot for much in the way of day tours, spare time to go out and about searching and photographing, but also time to catch-up on that dark beast paperwork! I am not the world’s best or worst at getting down to outstanding tasks such as correspondence, newsletters, tour organising, photo filing and generally doing things that require effort and brain power, but I confess I tend to put off these tedious tasks until absolutely necessary! Just plain lazy I guess.

July saw me deliberately ignoring the boring stuff and taking any day trips I could manage, but when I had a free day it was out and about rather than do the decent thing and play catch-up on administration work. Also I had suffered through from April, first with pneumonia (twice), packing-up smoking and, due to the antibiotics for the pneumonia, my resistance was low and I got shingles, ouch!! I kept working though and that landed me in trouble with the doc. Oh well, life carried on and somehow it was work and spending time in the countryside that helped me forget my pain and illness. Together with a very painful tooth infection, my body did it’s best to conspire against enjoying myself too much, but I guess we all pass through difficult times every now and again.

Tracy, me, Manu and José Luis
August saw a continuation with problem teeth and shingles, but the big difference was both were becoming less of a problem and with preparing for the UK Birdfair, future tours and a few day tours I was able to work and forget the troubles. What a great experience it was working towards the Birdfair with Tracy our graphics designer and friend, also my colleagues Manu Mojarro and José Luis Sánchez, we prepared well and I was very happy with the design of our first ever stand at the fair. One of the great attractions to the Birdfair is meeting all kinds of friends, old friends, work friends and new friends! Of course being able to market our association of guides was pleasing and receiving accolades about representing the soul of wildlife in Andalucia was reward enough for our joint efforts.

Mark Avery makes it two old war horses together!

Rick from Wader Quest and David Lindo (The Urban Birder) pop by for merriment.
Our autumn season seems to draw ever closer as so many familiar summer birds start their long migration south into Africa. Bee eaters are currently passing in their thousands, whilst raptors are also joining the flow southward with many recent sightings of Honey Buzzard flocks gracing our skies. All good signs for our upcoming autumn migration tour which starts on the 8th September! Still, as exciting as autumn migration is, it is also sad to see so many birds departing our shores and heralding an end to summer. I did manage a few trips out with my now ever present Canon SX50, so as is becoming a regular feature of my blogs now, I finish with a collection of recent photographs with the point and shoot… hope you like them.

Cicada taking an upside down view!
Marsh Frog wanting a kiss!
Red-veined Darter (imm male).
Marbled White
To join me on one of my day trips in the Serrania de Ronda, why not take a look at the day description here and if you like what you see then contact me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Doñana - The shame of Doñana - No.2

It would appear the posts by me regarding the Doñana must be having some affect, though not sure if it is all together very pleasant on a personal basis. Had this recent piece of communication on a social media site:

(The original blog can be found HERE)

Amazing, you make an observation and comment on it then abuse comes hurling back! Some really sad people out there, the topic concerned a visitors centre (Dehesa de Abajo) which had been renovated and stood empty for a long time.... Comments went:

June Taylor. Love this place

Peter Jones. Great, but yet to find this huge investment open!!!

June Taylor. It's been open for a couple of months and it's well worth a visit.

Peter Jones. Good to hear June, renovation work was expensive and then it stood closed for a very very long time, which seemed typically crazy.

Dehesa de Abajo. Peter Jones, if my country is always for you such a bloody disater , why the hell are you living here yet? Don´t you prefer somewhere else, verbigracia lovely UK? (verbigracia = for example)

Peter Jones. What a nice man / person you are. And who precisely has said your country is always such a disaster?? If I thought that then certainly I would not live here. You extremely sad person.

I thought this was quite an extraordinary outburst from a public office and totally over the top. Then again it is encouraging as it means those within the park have read the original blog on Doñana!