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 …

Beloved Borneo

Before we started this trip, people asked where we wanted to go, Rick always mentioned one island: Borneo. We visited once in 2013 and fell in love. So after island hopping in Indonesia, Borneo was to be our grand finale in Asia. It turned out that it was surprisingly difficult to get there from Papua (considering that Indonesia has the largest section of the Borneo island). But it was well worth the effort. We devoted one entire week to Danum valley, an absolutely fantastic low-land primary forest region. Even after visiting so many different rainforests in various parts of the world, …

Bye bye Asia, hello Florida!

It feels like our Asia adventure was ages ago! From Malaysia to Florida was a 30-hour flight and after that we basically slept for a week. By now, we have enjoyed a total of 3 weeks with Rick’s family. This time, we made a real effort to find new parks and reserves in the greater Englewood/Sarasota area to go for walks. Luckily, the local Audubon Society (an American organization which focuses on the protection of birds and other wildlife) published a little booklet with recommendations. One of them was Pine Craft Park in Sarasota, which isn’t very big but produces …

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 …

To Veg or not to Veg

Before we started this big trip, I put a lot of thought into eating vegetarian while traveling. While some countries allowed for easy access to vegetarian cuisine (India), others created a mental stomach ache (Kazakhstan). While technically it is possible to eat pure vegetarian food anywhere, it might result in a diet of plain rice or bread in some places. For me, that wasn’t the most attractive option either, since the nutritional value of a rice-only diet isn’t exactly ideal (I also don’t believe in constantly taking vitamin supplements on the road, as some travel books and online resources suggest). …