Showing posts from March, 2020

Big Day birding during a pandemic

Well that's not a blog title I thought I'd ever write! COVID-19 has abruptly changed everyday life across the entire planet, altering the way we interact with others, at least for the time being. We are currently in the disease’s exponential growth phase here in Connecticut. I am a Physician Assistant who has practiced in Orthopedic Surgery for the entirety of my ten years as a PA; I work in a hospital. At this point I have not yet been called to the front lines of this battle. I expect that to change at some point late next week or the week after that, as we approach All-Hands-On-Deck mode in the Waterbury area. Since my own chance of infection will likely increase soon, I am trying to take advantage of safe outdoor activities while I can. COVID-19 infection would mean strict self-quarantine for [at least] 14 days. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, stocking up on some fresh air instead of toilet paper would do quite a bit for my sanity! The local birding

Birding the Oldest Desert on Earth

I am recently back from co-leading a wonderful two week "Birding Safari" to southern Africa with the Connecticut Audubon Society, in tandem with Nature Travel Namibia. I'll follow with a trip report sometime soon. After the group departed I spent two days on my own in Walvis Bay, Namibia, which is without a doubt one of the top coastal birding locations I have ever seen. ============================================= When you think of the desert, chances are that jaegers are not the first birds that come to mind. Nor would you expect thousands of shorebirds, terns, or flamingoes. How about fur seals and range-restricted dolphins? The iconic Namib Desert is the oldest in the world. Its dramatically tall sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see. It may come as a surprise that much of this desert is coastline, spanning the entire coast of Namibia (and a bit into Angola and South Africa), where it meets the South Atlantic Ocean. I am fascinated by the obvious contras