Monthly Archives: December 2012

3rd Place – Top Posts 2012

Actually and honestly it was the 5th most popular post. However with 2nd  and 4th most  popular posts being very similar and the 3rd most popular post was the Birding Frontiers Team here and then here (don’t want to give them inflated heads) ; )  so here’s the next most popular, proper bird-related post, of 2012. Producing over 50 responses on the blog as well as more on facebook and twitter it was that old favourite:

A Mystery Photo Competition

Comments here and Answers here

Autumn cometh…

…and with it the opportunities for some scarce and rare bird hunting. So here, 3 ‘Mystery Birds’; the kind of thing I might be looking for. I had to identify some of them, so will let you know how I got on, later.

There are 3 birds and 6 questions. They are not easy!  First person to get all 6 questions correct- or first to highest number of correct answers  e.g. 4 or 5- gets a Birding Frontiers memory stick and the rest of us learn stuff! (P.S. apart from the few I may have told answers to who are excluded!)

So go ahead and give it a go:


a) What species?

b) What age?

bird one– what species and age is this sea-going bird?


a) What species?

b) What age?

Bird two– what species and age is this long-billed thing?


a) What species

b) What subspecies?

Bird Three: What species (and if you are very clever or good at guessing), what subspecies does this tail and undertail coverts belong to?

Thank You and Happy New Year

2012 was a blast!

On behalf of the Birding Frontiers team. Thank You! 2012 has been a fun year. We are finishing with over 40,000 views in December 2012- the highest hit rate since the blog began in August 2010. We also  past a grand total of 3/4 million total views today (28th Dec). The number of visitor this last month alone is also amazing!

To finish off the year let’s revisit the top, most visited posts in 2012 in the last 3 days of December.

but again let me say it again – for visiting, reading, contributing, advising and telling others: Thank YOU! 

Wishing for you a very special 2013

Martin Garner.

P.S. every one loves a Kingfisher. At the Hula Valley and other spots like MM it was possible to see 3 very different species, whose core ranges respectively cover Europe, Asia and Africa all, feeding and sitting together. More on those to come. One for now:

Smyrna Kingfisher oneSmyrna Kingfisher with freshly caught crab. Ma’agan Michael, Israel. Nov. 2012

Jochen Dierschke – Top Team Moments 2012


My bird of the year was undoubtedly the Eastern Crowned Warbler in my garden, although a bit beaten by the Pale-legged Leaf Warbler in Britain a few days later. Such birds occurring in a garden (although on Helgoland every square meter seems to be a hotspot) always reminds me, how many great birds may be overlooked in non-birders gardens.

Although I also missed some good birds this year on Helgoland (e.g. Black Stork, Barn Owl), the biggest disappointment was the Pine Grosbeak invasion stopping in Denmark – as usual. Although we had 2 weeks of southerly winds, at least one bird could have made it over here, especially as 2 birds in Denmark were seen heading out towards Helgoland …

Hopefully it’s too early too complain …

Merry Christmas

Cheers, Jochen

Yoav Perlman – Top Team Moments 2012


My best bird of the year was this cracking Basalt Wheatear (in fact I was with you Martin when taking this image). For me this beauty combines everything necessary to make a bird mythical – rarity, enigma, character – it has it all. This bird represented the 6th record for Israel. Even though I had already seen it in Israel before, I was eager to go and twitch it the day after it was found in the Uvda Valley, north of Eilat, in late March. The next day I was going to Eilat to guide for the Bird Festival, so my wife wanted to kill me (once again) for missing our last day together at home. Hadoram Shirihai was in Israel at the time, and together we decided to go and trap the bird. Hadoram is working on this little-known taxon, which probably merits species status, and really wanted to obtain DNA from this bird. It was clearly stopping over on its journey NE to its breeding grounds near the Jordanian – Syrian Border. We found the bird quickly, and in 2 minutes it was in the bag. We processed it quickly, and the bird remained in the area for another week or so, proudly carrying my ring. Some photographers still hate me for this…

Yoav Perlman


Dani López-Velasco – Top Team Moments 2012


“Choosing my best bird of 2012 is somewhat difficult, as I´ve been quite lucky this year in terms of seeing both high-quality species and good self-founds. If I had to choose one, I think the bird that I felt most excited with was the superb adult Philippine Eagle I saw with Jose Luis in Kitangland (Mindano, Philippines) in March. However, as he already choose it (no doubt why!), I will go for another one. I´ve been very focused on my self-found Spanish rarities list over the last few years, and this year I was lucky finding a Radde´s Warbler at my local patch, the first ever non-ringed in Spain, and also calling out the Swinhoe´s Storm-petrel on the Lanzarote Pelagic, but, nonetheless, my best bird will be one seen in Japan. Plenty of good ones to choose from, such as mind-blowing Steller´s Sea-Eagles, Blakiston´s Fish-Owls, Scaly-sided Mergansers or Siberian White Crane, although my top number one will be a seabird, mainly due to my long-lasting passion and interest for them… It will be the highly endangered, once thought to be extinct, Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus). The second rarest albatross in the world, and a very difficult one to see, as access to the breeding islands is highly restricted. The  ferry from Tokyo to Hachijojima island gives you decent chances of seeing it, although  it´s by no means guaranteed, and during my trip there in February, with gale-force winds and 6 metre waves, I was lucky seeing 3 of these stunning albatrosses flying past the ship.”

All the best