End of year has me reflecting on a very last 12 months and struggling to find words that adequately express gratefulness – in quite a few directions. So I will start and try. First off to all those who regularly read, follow, critique and encourage all that goes on at ‘Birding Frontiers’. You make it better. Really.
Thank you very much indeed.
Big highlight for me was finding there were others, already well established top guys, willing to share their experience, insights and discoveries. So began the Birding Frontiers Team. So I have asked each of them in the run-up to Christmas, to chose a favourite bird or birding moments from 2012. Great memories of nature are made up of a mixture of stuff: other people places, scenery, other wildlife, adventures and mis-adventures! Here come some of our stories, one each day up until Christmas. Really hope you have some special stories and memories of engaging with birds and wildlife over the last year. Thought I had better go first:
I had briefly see male Ehrenberg’s Redstart (samamisicus), on a couple of previous occasions. Stopping for a lunch and toilet break on Day 2 of the Eilat Bird Festival in March ’12, I checked the limited garden space (amid a wide expanse of semi-desert) behind the Cafe. It was full of chattering Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Bulbuls, Laughing Dove, Palestine Sunbird (including nesting pair) and then I picked out this adult male Redstart. Lunch was largely ignored. Sheesh, you can have lunch anytime. Itai Shanni had to drag me away from this superb obliging bird flitting about in a tiny bit of habitat. It’s repeated close range views enable me to appreciate the more extensive black bib and incredible white wing patches, always with red tail a-quivering. ‘Sammy Redstart’ became bird of the trip with multiple opportunities to watch and study all ages, during the best spring migration in southern Israel for 20 years. Redstarts look good anytime but when they are a sharply-dressed, little known taxon in which details of appearance and calls are still being ‘discovered’ – what’s not to like!