Who are you, you gorgeous winged creatures?

As we traveled around the world, we hoped to see birds new to us. Our trip started in Asia, and “sloooooow going” describes our success there. We spotted only 9 new birds to add to our list in the 2 months we spent in Japan, China, and Vietnam in our comings and goings. Pathetic!

Eurasian tree sparrow, photo taken in Japan

Eurasian tree sparrow, photo taken in Japan

We wanted to see more birds, so arranged for local bird watchers, who knew what they were doing, to take us out for early morning walks in Thailand and Cambodia. Now, the pace picked up a bit with 57 new birds – and beautiful birds they were. A short stop in Singapore was good for 4 more.

Coopersmith barbet, photo taken using birding scope, in Thailand

Coopersmith barbet, photo taken using birding scope, in Thailand

New Zealand and Australia far exceeded our expectations. We purchased bird guides for each country, and those helped immensely. In 5 months, we added 257 new birds to our list – thanks in large part to local birdwatchers who took us to the best birding hot spots. Even on our daily walks we added new birds.

Kaka, photo taken in New Zealand

Kaka, photo taken in New Zealand

Laughing kookaburra, photo taken in Australia

Laughing kookaburra, photo taken in Australia

We expected to see unusual birds we’d never heard of – let alone seen – in Tanzania. In 2.5 weeks, we saw 164 new species, thanks to our superb guides.

Great-crested cranes (with flamingoes in the background), photo taken in Tanzania

Great-crested cranes (with flamingoes in the background), photo taken in Tanzania

Now (we mistakenly thought) we are on a roll. Sadly, even though we were looking, bird populations and species greatly diminished as we continued onward.

We saw only 8 new bird species in Morocco, and, off its coast on the Portuguese island of Madeira, we added 15 more. We spent three months in European cities and added a paltry 25 new species.

Chaffinch, photo taken in (Madeira) Portugal

Chaffinch, photo taken in (Madeira) Portugal

House bunting, photo taken in Morocco

House bunting, photo taken in Morocco

Laughing dove, photo taken in Turkey

Laughing dove, photo taken in Turkey

Greylag goose, photo taken in the Netherlands

Greylag goose, photo taken in the Netherlands

At the end of our 14-month round-the-world trip, we tallied the total: we’d seen 539 new species of birds. Amazing!

The last bird we spotted on our 14-month trip was this Eurasian blackcap who flew on to our cruise ship in Malaga, Spain. When we arrived in the Canary Islands it flew off. Bon voyage!

The last bird we spotted on our 14-month trip was this Eurasian blackcap who flew on to our cruise ship in Malaga, Spain. When we arrived in the Canary Islands it flew off. Bon voyage!

 

March 2015

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Who are you, you gorgeous winged creatures?

  1. I love ‘travel with a theme’ – even though it’s enough to just go places, it enriches the experience to include your interests. Have you ever heard of the Morro Bay Bird Festival? Here’s the link: http://www.morrobaybirdfestival.org/ I haven’t attended yet, but the town sure fills up with birders!

  2. How wonderful to see so VERY many new birds on your journeys!

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