Snow Leopards, Eastern Tibet and the Unexplored.

I had the privilege of traveling to Central China this October on an expedition to seek out snow leopards in the mountains of Central China. In addition to the Qinhai Lake area were we spent time acclimatizing, we then visited the vast Three-River Source National Nature Reserve (Sanjiangyuan). As the name of the park implies, this is the source of Asia’s three great rivers, the Yangtze, the Yellow and the Mekong. I have been to few places more beautiful and full of life, where the ecosystem is entirely intact, from the smallest Pika to the largest of predators (Leopard, Snow …

Project Waldrapp- Northern Bald Ibis Reintroduction

We had the privilege of visiting the Waldrapp Team in Salzburg for the start of the 2014 human-led migration of the Northern Bald Ibis. The Northern Bald Ibis reintroduction in Europe aims at creating a stable population for this charismatic species in a region in which it has been extinct for over 300 years! With the help of an ultra-light powered para-glider, hand-raised juvenile birds were taken on a guided migration from their summer home in Austria to winter nesting grounds in Tuscany. Amazingly, a single guided migration is enough to teach the young ibises the way south. If everything goes according to plan, the young …

WIld Florida

On this rainy day in Tirol, I thought I would take the opportunity to go through my many photos from Florida. I go there at least once a year to visit my folks, especially at Christmas time when the weather in Central Europe is at its coldest. Florida is one of my favorite places for nature photography because there are so many different habitats to visit. Also, the wildlife is not nearly as shy as it is here in Tirol. What’s truly missing from this gallery is a photo of a Bobcat and while it’s true that one doesn’t see Bobcat all …

Wallcreeper in Tirol

Every day of our travels this past year held the promise of adventure. We saw some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, its most extraordinary animals, and of course all those birds.  Along the way, we asked ourselves how we would adjust once we returned to Innsbruck. Transitioning back to work, to the possibility of an office job, and to a climate where birds and animals are more scarce than in the tropics was a looming possibility. But last weekend, we were reminded that there are a few enigmatic species of bird still worth seeking out even in our own backyard. …

Birding the Texas Tropical Trail along the Rio Grande

Florida offers some of the most interesting birding in the United States, especially during the month of April. But birding in Texas was superlative. Attracting some of the most charismatic birds in the country, plus interesting visitors from Mexico, our trip along the Rio Grande in Southern Texas was a fantastic road trip. Texas markets this area as the Texas Tropical Trail. Check out our photos here. The crazy part was birding amidst such a substantial border patrol presence. Helicopters scanned the area regularly, and the trails often skirted right alongside the gaudy, iron fence that forms the border to …

Scratching the Surface- Papua, Indonesia

Papua, Irian Jaya, the Indonesian part of New Guinea. No matter what you call it, the western half of the world’s second largest island is not an easy place to wrap your mind around. Before we came, many Indonesians and even some seasoned travelers that we met along the way coughed surprise at our plans. “Papua, that should be interesting,” they seemed to say with their eyes. There are probably two good reasons for this, one is a lack of information and the other is the enigmatic nature of Papua- a place that is growing and pushing out in places …

East of Wallace’s Line

Indonesia is incredibly wide and diverse. From the eastern islands of Sumatra and Java, to the vast forests of Kalimantan and on to “K”-shaped Sulawesi, Halmahera and eventually to Papua, the last frontier. These last few weeks we ventured east of Wallace’s famous line, demarcating the transition zone between Asian and Australasian flora and fauna. Alfred Russel Wallace was a trapper and an explorer. His famous book “The Malay Archipelago” made his reputation. Though Wallace likely came to conclusions about origin of species through natural selection first, he always gave the credit to his contemporary and friend Charles Darwin. Traveling …

Trip Report: South and Central Vietnam

Trip Report, Vietnam and Cambodia January and February 2014 Vietnam is without a doubt one of the most comfortable, if not the most comfortable place in South East Asia to travel. Hotels are clean, very modern and most feature excellent breakfast buffets. Vietnam is a great place to bird in general because of the variety of birds and habitats. Many trip reports detail the number of endemics in Vietnam, especially the Laughingthrushes, and information is fairly easy to find before visiting. The birding sites are very well known throughout the country and most are easy to reach with public transportation. …

Good Morning Vietnam

From the mountains to the jungle, Vietnam is a place of beautiful mystery, though we haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of most things. But we still have a few weeks before our visa runs out. Overwhelmingly, people have been incredibly friendly and welcoming in Vietnam, the landscape is stunning, and the food is a delight. Of the countries we have travelled in so far, Vietnam might just offer the best value for money. The hotels are inexpensive but very plush, and almost all include an incredible breakfast spread. In Dalat, located in Vietnam’s southern highlands, Manuela and I rented a …