Saturday, January 31, 2009


I mentioned recently that Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris was the bird I most wanted to see next. Well, I have decided to go for it. I am off to Brazil soon, mostly in the Atlantic Rainforest area, to see this fantastic woodpecker... and others like Blond-crested (the one in the photo here), White, Yellow-browed and Green-barred. Of course, there will be lots of other birds and wildlife, too. Once there I will try to keep you up-dated via this blog.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2010 Budget Birding Tours

Upon request I have put together another batch of birding tours, for 2010. Here are destinations and dates. If you'd like more details and/or wish to put your name down, please drop me a line. These will be small sized groups and as usual it will be first come, first served. 
SOUTH MORAVIA (Czech Rep) 4-7 March, 2010. Wildfowl, Wallcreeper & the Valtice Wine Festival.
ESTONIA - 22-28 March, 2010. Steller's Eiders, Woodpeckers & Owls.
SERBIA - 10-17 May, 2010. A Spring Birding Tour with several Balkan specialities.
ROMANIA - 21-28 August, 2010. The Classic Summer Tour to the Danube Delta.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Probirder up-dated website on-line

So after a month of puttng up new photos and refreshing the text the Probirder website now up and running. A big thanks to those who submitted suggestions and spotted mistakes. Now sit back, browse away and consider coming to Eastern Europe to see all the avian goodies and great places that we have here. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Waxwings and Crossbills

That's not bad at all. I just popped out to the post office, get out of the car and hear Common Crossbils flying over. Then almost at once a flock of Waxwings land and start trilling above me in a tree topped with mistletoe. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Woodpecker Quest - Campo Flicker

I have been doing a fair bit of research connected to my quest to see all the woodpeckers of the world. To paraphrase Robert Cray "so many woodies, so little time." There are some real gems to find but this bird in the photo here is high on my agenda. Don't ask me why, it just is. My number one used to be Ground Woodpecker but I sorted that one in South Africa last winter. This one is a Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris and I am going to have to get to South America to see it.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slovenia visit

I made a quick visit to Slovenia, it's just to the south-west of Hungary, but very different. That's another thing I like to do in my "quiet" season, I head off to check out sites, old and new. Slovenia is one of Europe's smallest countries but it's great for wildlife as it nestles in a zone where the Alps, Carpathians, Dinaric Mountains and the Adriatic Sea more or less meet. It has a wide range of landscapes but above all it is Alpine with the Kamniske-Savinjske Alps, the Karavanke Mountains and the Julian Alps all having peaks over 2000m high. It's these limestone and dolomite ranges with their forests, pastures, meadows, ridges, glacial lakes and waterfalls that I like the most. The weather was a bit bleak recently but it was "refreshing" if you know what I mean. A few Festive Season cobwebs were blown away...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Already Planning Ahead

It's always best to plan ahead, especially as regards birding tours. Indeed I am already being asked by some of you folks to announce the destinations for tours in 2010, though we have not got this year up and running yet. Ok, here goes, though this is not the final selection:
South Moravia (Czech Rep) February: Geese, Raptors, Wallcreeper & Valtice Wine Festival !
Estonia in March: Owls, Grouse, Woodpeckers & Steller's Eiders !
Serbia in May: An exciting new destination... spring Balkan Bird !
Romania in August: Classic summer tour to the Danube Delta !
This photo of Scops Owl by my friend Milan Ruzic is just a taste of what can bee seen in Serbia in spring.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Probirder Website

I mentioned earlier that I have been working hard on up-dating the Probirder website It's nearly ready, at least ready enough to look at, with lots of new photos like this one of a Roller in flight. Now doesn't that take you back to last summer ? Anyway, if you do take a peek at the site and find any errors (broken links, images that do not load, funny turns of phrase, which I am prone to making, or even spelling mistakes) please let me know. Good browsing...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Birding and Wildlife Watching Tours in 2009

After the food and drink of the "Festive Season" it's time for me to start finalising plans for this year's birding and wildlife watching tours. Here are just 4 destinations and dates: just drop me a line if any appeal to you and you'd like more details:
Slovakia from March 22 - 28... owls, woodpeckers, etc.
Hungary from August 27 - 30... birds, butterflies, etc.
Poland from November 2 - 8... tracking mammals, forest birds, etc
Serbia from November 19 - 22... owls, wetland birds, etc.