pycnonotus flavescens birds thailand flavescent bulbul birdwatching pasari salbatice jungla jungle Indochina

Păsări şi alte jivine thailandeze

Am inhalat conştiincios fumurile Bangkokului, am cutreierat prin mangrove, m-am lăfăit pe cel mai fin nisip al Indochinei, am lansat la apă plăcinte aducătoare de noroc, l-am admirat pe Buddha în orice altă poziţie decât în picioare, am mers cu mijloace de transport despre care nici nu ştiam că există, m-am afundat în inima junglei şi m-am ridicat deasupra mării de ceaţă, am testat senzaţiile bucătăriei locale şi am învăţat să mulţumesc în thai, cu coregrafia aferentă. E timpul pentru un epilog al aventurii mele thailandeze. Păsări, fluturi, maimuţe şi alte jivine vor rosti în cor celebra strofă cu “dacă v-a plăcut bufonul…”.

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Winter birding at Călărași

December, 4.30 AM. A good time to wake up if you want to catch some goose action. Could have been even earlier if we weren’t lucky enough to have the sun rise so late at this time of the year ! Some frugal breakfast, pack up and hit the road for Călărași, the best place close to Bucharest where you can see roaming clouds of geese. And, with some luck, even get close to the feeding flocks.


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La vulturi

„Hawk, this is Eagle, come in !

O banală replică din vreun film american de acțiune, tradusă de fiecare dată altfel: „Șoimul, aici Vulturul”, sau „Vulturul, aici Uliul”, sau – încă și mai amuzant – „Acvila, aici Șoimul, intră !”…
Deși păsările de pradă sunt admirate de multă lume pentru ținuta lor majestuoasă, pentru agilitate și forță, confuzia în rândul cetățeanului mediu statistic, în ce privește a deosebi una de alta zburătoarele cu cioc încovoiat și gheare feroce, este destul de înfloritoare. Asta în principal pentru că zisa admirație izvorăște în covârșitoare măsură de la Teleenciclopedia sau de pe Descopery (lucru, dealtfel, cât se poate de lăudabil).

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To Dikeos

In Romania, the general perception about mountains is that anything under 2000 m is for amateurs, and anything under 1000 m is not even a mountain. Anyone who would take credit for having hiked at less than 1000 m altitude will get a condescending look at most. The funny part is that those who think that way are rarely able to climb more than 500 m (and that’s the distance, not the altitude difference !), usually around their own car or in the neighbourhood of the cable-car station.
Therefore, the height of Mt Dikeos – the highest peak on the Greek island of Kos at 843 m – might not seem to be worth the time wasted to climb it. But both the effort involved and the rewarding view one gets up there are definitely associated with any other real mountain climbing.
It is equally true nevertheless that most tourists who attack Dikeos leave their cars in the picturesque (yet much too touristic to my taste) village of Zia, which already lies at 300 m, and start the hike there, so their climb is only 500 m. But not mine !
I chose to approach Dikeos from the direction of Pili, having in mind to visit the ruins of Old Pili, a castle situated at 250 m. But to get there you need to park you vehicle some 50 m below. And my vehicle was a bike, by which I came all the way from Psalidi – Kos area, thus from the sea level. Cycling all the way up to 200 m altitude can be very exhausting, so it’s quite understandable that I was tired even before starting to walk to the top.

Traditional Greek 4×4 all-terrain transportation

Birding at Tigaki

Greece has never been at the top of my wish-to-go-to list. It is a place almost everybody in Romania goes to. Since I’m not very keen on going where everybody else does, you’ll probably have a rough understanding of my reluctance about Greece. Yet I’m aware this country doesn’t deserve such a harsh judgement.
So – on our way to the Greek island of  Kos for a full week of sunbathing ! Well now, strictly geographically and geomorphically speaking, I’d rather say Kos is Turkey, not Greece, but since they greet you with `Kalimera`, it’s Greece all right.
One of the reasons why I felt excited about going to Kos is that I planned to do some birdwatching, and the environment seemed quite offering, as I could learn from Birdforum. It was again Birdforum which helped me get in contact with a fellow birder located in Kos, Stuart. As you may notice, Stuart is quite a peculiar Greek name, and that’s because Stu is an Englishman, one of many of his fellow compatriots fascinated by Ellada ever since lord Byron.
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