Global Birding In association with eBird & Swarovski Optik, supporting BirdLife Intl
Global Birding In association with eBird & Swarovski Optik, supporting BirdLife Intl
Andalucia has an abundance of habitats and birds - they are welcoming visitors and offering this amazing insurance deal. Check out their website for some fantastic ideas https://www.andalucia.org/en/home
ProColombia have become one of our supporting partners for our forthcoming events in 2021.
Find out all about visiting Colombia - a top destination for Birds
Join in this year's Colombia BirdFair February 11 - 14.
Register to take part.
Learn about the birds of Colombia and the focus this year on Preventing Extinction.
Thank you to everyone who donated to BirdLife International's campaign to Stop Illegal Bird Trade. Either by donating to JustGiving and supporting a team or by giving to DonorBox.
ONE DAY WORLD RECORD BROKEN
7111 SPECIES RECORDED IN ONE DAY (SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2020)
PLUS NEW WORLD RECORD SET
7243 SPECIES NOW RECORDED FOR GLOBAL BIRD WEEKEND
SEE RECORDS FROM SATURDAY ALONE BELOW - AMAZING!
with Swarovski Optik and eBird
An account of Christopher and Elijah’s birding adventure in The Bahamas during Global Big Day and Global Bird Weekend 2020.
Like nearly everyone else in the world, COVID-19 got in the way of our original plans for Global Big Day (GBD), and the new Global Bird Weekend (GBW). We had intended to spend the entire day on New Providence, our native island at various sites counting as many birds as we can, hoping to hit 110 species, to break our single-day species record.
However, just a week before Global Bird Weekend, we got news from Bahamian government officials that there would be 24 hr lockdowns that weekend, which would prevent us from going outside to count any birds.
Our hopes were already too high for us to not have a big day on GBD. Counting from our backyards just wasn’t going to cut it for us. So what did we do? We got COVID-19 tests and immediately bought airline tickets to go to an island without such strict restrictions and very few COVID cases.
We chose the island of Eleuthera. Eleuthera is simply a paradise. The long, thin, curling island is 112 miles long and never more than a short stroll wide, it’s the next island east of Nassau. It’s best known for its world popular sites: The Glass Window Bridge, Queen’s Bath and also, pineapples. Yes, pineapples.
The Glass Window Bridge, famous for its contrasting waters on both sides
It’s not the most diverse island when it comes to bird records, however, there were definitely 3 species we had our eyes set on seeing before we even got there.
The Great Lizard Cuckoo only found on 3 islands in the world, Eleuthera, Andros, and Cuba.
The Peregrine Falcon, the world’s infamous fastest bird. We have populations that spend their winters in The Bahamas.
And a third, very special bird, who we’re not going to reveal yet!
Since Eleuthera is so long, it was a true task to try and count on the entire island. So we focused most of our efforts on the Central and Southern Region, which is less developed than the northern region.
When traversing Eleuthera, the landscape that is constantly changing; at one point you’re looking at crystal blue coastlines; a few moments later you’re traveling past thick brush.
Eleuthera has a lot of inland ponds, some with freshwater, some saline. So it makes good birding for ducks and other waterbirds. Also, the island is dominated by dense, scrubby coppice with many fruiting plants, perfect for many warblers including our special bird.
A saline pond in the middle of the coppice on Eleuthera
One of many pond stops on GBW
We started Global Big Day at the crack of dawn. Putting in the first checklists in The Bahamas and being in the first 10 checklists for The West Indies.
Our first stop wasn’t the most scenic, it was a landfill. We know landfills are great spots for bird diversity, and this stop proved that for us. We counted 16 species here in 18 minutes, including many colorful seedeaters: Painted Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Bobolinks, and a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. It would turn out that we wouldn’t get these species anywhere else for the rest of the day. We did counts at other landfills throughout the day, but this one was certainly the best.
Chris scouting the first site for GBD, a very picteresque landifll
The next notable stop was the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve. This nature preserve is a 25-acre world-class, well-maintained botanic garden in Central Eleuthera. It’s a wonderful and lush showcase of native and endemic Bahamian plants, making it a perfect place for birdwatching.
Here we spotted 31 species including Baltimore Orioles, and many migratory warblers, with a special appearance by a Blue-winged warbler, a lifer for me!
The Blue-Winged Warbler didn’t cooperate for a clear photo.
We continued to make our way down south on the island, stopping at various sites. Since the island is so thin, most of the roads are right on the coast. This makes it great for some coastal birding. Along the coasts and fishing docks, there was an astounding amount of Sandwich Terns. I’ve never seen such tremendous numbers of these species on any other Bahamian island. I’m talking flocks of 200+. Mixed in with them were also Royal Terns and 1 common tern.
Sandwich Terns at Fishermen’s Dock, Tarpum Bay
We were heading South for 1 spot in particular. One spot well known to avian researchers who conduct research on Eleuthera. Madeira Road.
Madeira Road is a narrow, uneven off-terrain road that goes into the interior of the island. It has a very rich coppice on both sides.
The Mighty Maderia Road and a setting sun
Over 10 years ago, it was discovered that a very special bird spent its winters in The Bahamas, and specifically on Eleuthera. Chris and I came to Maderia Road specifically for this bird. Back in 2001/2, the “motherload” of this species was discovered here.
It was only about 10 minutes into the site, that we heard a very distinct chirp. It was no mistake, that was the bird we were looking for. We phished for a few seconds and it appeared out of the thick dark coppice.
A Kirtland’s Warbler.
Now this bird, this is THE BIRD we came to Eleuthera for. A bird with a wonderful success story, a striking bird that sparked a Bahamian conservation movement.
The Kirtland’s Warbler, for most of its history, has been living on the edge of extinction. Its numbers were dwindling fast, and threats to this bird grew swiftly.
The biggest factor is this songbird has one of the most geographically restricted living and breeding distributions of any bird in the continental United States, most of them occurring in the state of Michigan.
The plight of the Kirtland’s Warbler was so serious that in 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appointed the Kirtland’s Warbler Recovery Team, the first-ever endangered species recovery team established by the National Park Service.
The team’s job was to determine how to save the warbler from extinction. They identified and prioritized many different conservation actions. It was discovered that outside of The US, these birds only occur in The Bahamas during the winter, where they migrate every year. Primarily on two islands, Eleuthera and Cat Island. (It’s better in The Bahamas.)
In summation, decades of tenacious conservation action by both The USA and The Bahamas saw this bird delisted as an endangered species in October 2019. A true conservation success story.
Here it was, right in front of us. Kirtland’s Warblers are notoriously known to only spend a few seconds in clear sight, and then they disappear back into the bush.
If it wasn’t for long telephoto lens, quick shutter speeds, and fast hands, we wouldn’t be able to capture photos of this awesome little bird.
We were the only people in the world to record Kirtland’s Warblers on Global Big Day and Global Bird Weekend. So we’re really proud of this sighting.
We also saw a Peregrine Falcon, and a Great Lizard Cuckoo at Madeira Road during this count. The two other species we were targeting and didn’t see up until this point.
Peregrine Falcon and Great Lizard Cuckoo at Madeira Road
After such a great checklist at this site, we were totally excited. We basically smiled for the rest of the day.
However, we still had a few more sites to hit and a few more key species to find. One of them was the Piping Plover. Everyone knows this shorebird, right? The small, cute, and compelling endangered plover from North America. Similar to the Kirtland’s, the Piping Plover spends its winters in The Bahamas, among other places. It’s a bird of international conservation priority, and it takes a skilled birder to find them as they are normally far into the sand/mudflats, and because of their size and color, they’re easy to miss.
We checked multiple sites, down south to find the piping plover. We didn’t have any luck, but we did pick up some more cool species including a Reddish Egret and two Whimbrels.
We continued to search for Piping Plovers, until sunset, and right at our last spot, the James Cistern Shoreline, we found 3 of them and 2 dunlins! A fantastic way to end a fantastic day.
I wish we could share our entire experience, how we went the extra mile (literally) to look for specific species. Most we found, very few we didn’t.
This effort was not only important for us, but also for citizen science. Eleuthera is an island with relatively poor documentation on ebird. We made it a goal to document the island properly our whole stay there.
It rained most of Sunday, so we couldn’t spend as much time outside. However, for the rest of our stay, we continued to go birding, documenting, and photographing new species and new places.
We found many more Kirtland Warblers and more Great Lizard Cuckoos. We actually dedicated a whole day to capturing ‘hero shots’ of these species.
In our books, a hero shot is the absolute best quality photograph you can get of a bird (until you get a better one). We’re talking great light, great composition, sharp, clear photos.
Global Big Day and Global Bird weekend were amazing. In total, we got 90 species over 2 days.
A special effort for a special weekend.
Shoutout to Mr. and Mrs. Culmer, and our trusty Honda Accord Rental which took us through every terrain possible. Also Latesha, our third ‘sniper’ who joined us for part of our trip!
Chris’ hero shots of the Kirtland’s Warbler and Great Lizard Cuckoo from Madeira Road
A bit about us
Elijah Sands and Christopher Johnson are two young birders and wildlife photographers from Nassau, Bahamas. They are a part of The Bird Club of New Providence and have been documenting, recording, and photographing birds in The Bahamas for the past few years. With a special focus on rare species, endemic birds and migratory birds, they have been leading projects to raise awareness about birds and drive action to conserve them.
In 2020 alone they have recorded over 10 new species records for The Bahamas. Through their work in photography and filmmaking, they are making a difference in bird conservation and changing the way people perceive birds in these set of islands best known for its sun, sand, and sea.
Elijah’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bahama_ali/
Chris’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cmjphotography242/
Palmetto Point Dump:
Governor’s Harbour Dock Pilings:
Tarpum Bay Fisherman’s Dock:
Tarpum Bay Dump:
See the listings for eBird's Big October Day - please note this is for Saturday 17 October only!
By Team eBird October 22, 2020
Two world records were smashed over the weekend of 17th and 18th October 2020 during the inaugural Global Bird Weekend when more than 38,000 people took part in “The Biggest Birdwatching Event in History”.
Across the Globe on 17th October, 7111 species of birds – more than ¾ of the world’s bird population - were recorded, beating the previous world record set in May 2018 of 7060 species.
The weekend brought birdwatchers together from 169 countries and from all seven continents. Participants were encouraged to minimise their carbon footprint and with current pandemic restrictions, stayed close to home. By midnight of Sunday 18th the second world record was created when a further 180 species recorded brought the total weekend count to 7276 species.
The first check list was submitted by Dominik Maximilian Ramik at 00.04 in Vanuatu with a Pacific Golden Plover and a Barn Owl. From then on, species came thick and fast as people woke up across the time zones of the world. The day ended with nocturnally calling White Terns and Tristam’s Storm-Petrels from Midway Atol.
The weekend was also about encouraging newcomers to birdwatching. Many clubs, societies and organisations including both commercial and NGOs were well represented throughout the world forming more than 150 teams to take their groups into the field.
Tim Appleton MBE, founder of Global Birding said “I was amazed at the response considering we only launched Global Birding in August 2020. Being able to unite a worldwide community for Global Bird Weekend by asking them to ‘Go Birding Together for Conservation’ went beyond my wildest dreams and has already produced significant scientific data and inspired new networks of communication”.
An incredible 50,383 photographs of birds and 1,101 audio recordings were submitted to the Macaulay Library: in one day. The event has been heralded as one of the greatest citizen science projects ever undertaken.
In the United Kingdom, 236 species of bird were recorded with up to 19 species of rare birds including Rufous Scrub Robin, Wilson’s Phalarope and appropriately, Masked Shrike.
Global Bird Weekend was special in many ways as it brought the existing eBird portal, based at Cornell University USA to a more widespread audience. Global Birding is delighted to work in association with Swarovski Optik and the eBird Team.
Global Birding supported BirdLife International’s Stop Illegal Bird Trade campaign and encouraged donations towards this critical project. To date the total has exceeded our £20,000 target with donation options available until 31st October. Naturetrek Wildlife Holidays and their generous supporters have raised a staggering £4650.00.
Highlights of Data Recorded for Global Bird Weekend Saturday 17th October courtesy of eBird.
Country Species recorded
Top Global National Teams: Team Tanzania – 655 species; Aves Guatemala 409 species; All India Birding Tours 408 species; Mannakin Nature Tours 392 species.
Top European Team: Team Andalucia, Spain 164 species.
Top International Teams: Rockjumper Birding Tours 1852 species; Naturetrek Wildlife Holidays 1044 species; BirdLife Species Champions 766 species.
Hosted by Swarovski Optik for Global Bird Weekend
Check out this great video by The Birders Show with Chris Bell and Diego Calderon
Follow @thebirdersshow for the full episode soon!
We have now contacted all the prize draw winners so if you haven't heard from us, we are sorry you weren't lucky in the draw on this occasion.
Thank you for registering and we hope you had a fun time for Global Bird Weekend!
See you next time!
Will you be able to say you took part?
Register on our website then go to eBird and get started
Help us support BirdLife International's appeal to end illegal bird trade
WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF THE EVENT?
1. We would like to have as many people as possible join in our Global Bird Weekend 17 AND 18 OCTOBER 2020
Covid-19 Lockdown meant many people became more aware of their local natural surroundings. We want everyone to celebrate the love for nature and birds across the world in their own local areas or "patch".
Part of our weekend event will include eBird's October Big Day when we aim to create a world record for the largest number of birds seen by the greatest number of people on this peak migration weekend.
We hope that at least 25,000 participants will go out Birdwatching on SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2020 and tell us what they see.
2. Record as many different species of bird as possible. Let us know by recording your sightings on eBird
Our goal is to record more than 6,000 bird species
3. ON SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER take your camera, phone, friends and/or sketch pad to your favourite birdwatching area and share those places with your new Global friends on our social media pages using
and upload your images to eBird's dedicated Global Bird Weekend page. You can still upload your bird sightings to eBird that day too!
4. RAISE FUNDS FOR THE BIRDLIFE CONSERVATION PROJECT: STOP THE ILLEGAL TRADE IN BIRDS
WHO CAN TAKE PART?
EVERYONE CAN TAKE PART - JOIN IN!
We do not encourage International travelling for this event. We want people to stay in their own country and ideally close to home to minimise our carbon footprint.
So wherever you are in the world; in your garden, your local park or nature reserve, by a wetland or the ocean, deep in a forest or high up in the remotest mountains, every bird sighting counts.
EVERY SPECIES COUNTS - from the most common to the rarest. Each bird is as important as the next.
Register with eBird to ensure all your sightings are recorded.
PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO DONATE IN ANY CURRENCY TO BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL'S CONSERVATION PROJECT TO STOP THE ILLEGAL BIRD TRADE
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SET UP A JUST GIVING PAGE OF YOUR OWN TO FUND RAISE FOR THIS EVENT, JUST VISIT THE "OUR CONSERVATION PROJECT" PAGE ON THIS WEBSITE AND FOLLOW THE JUST GIVING LINK SET UP BY BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL
We are working in association with eBird, which is a project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA.
1. Get an eBird account - this is free to all users
2. ON SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2020, GO OUT BIRDWATCHING AND ENJOY WHAT YOU SEE - with family, friends, groups or just take time out on your own.
3. Enter what you see and/or hear on eBird
4. Watch the sightings roll in on eBird's Global Bird Weekend October Big Day page
5. Keep posting your photos and videos during the day on our social media pages #globalbirdweekend #globalbirding
6. ON SUNDAY 18 OCTOBER 2020, add your own photos, videos, field sketches and messages to share your experiences with our global audience. Keep up to date on Global Birding's social media pages over the weekend and beyond #globalbirdweekend #globalbirding,
"Discover how eBird can support your passion for birds and how your participation can help us better understand them. Birder, bird watcher, or bird lover, it doesn’t matter—this course is for you. Whether you watch birds at your feeder or on the way to work, or travel miles for that one bird you can’t wait to see, eBird can help. This free course guides you through how to get the most out of your eBirding experiences and invites you to become a part of this worldwide project".
Global Birding hopes that this excellent video will help you and encourage you to take part in our Global Bird Weekend.
We believe that this excellent guide will be of benefit to all. Click on the link below to get started!
Global Birding is delighted to bring together the world of birding so everyone can enjoy the birds and nature around them. Our first event not only makes a massive contribution to science, it is creating a world leading birdwatching event supporting a vital conservation project.
Tim Appleton MBE, founder of Global Birding, is also available for consultancy on projects relating to his knowledge of Eco Tourism, nature reserve creation and management, wetlands projects, birdfairs. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Make sure you can identify the birds you see with some amazing optics. SWAROVSKI OPTIK are world leaders in their field - and yours. Check out their full range of optics to find what matches your needs.
SWAROVSKI OPTIK inspires people to love and care for nature. Our premium products sharpen the senses so that everyone may perceive the ever-present beauty of nature - gand understand the need to protect it. We kindly invite you to let yourself be enchanted by the preciousness of the moment, so that you may fall in love with Mother Nature again. For the love of Nature.
Discover a new world of birding....with eBird
What's your latest life bird? What bird lists do you care about? eBird tallies them for you and archives your photos and sounds—all for free.
Your sightings contribute to hundreds of conservation decisions and peer-reviewed papers, thousands of student projects, and help inform bird research worldwide.; as well as all this, it is helping create a world record and supporting a vital conservation project.
If you are new to Birdwatching and wish to have some help with identification of birds, download the mobile app "Merlin Bird ID" which is free at http://merlinbirdid.page.link/download
BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership, connecting and co-ordinating the work of national conservation organisations in over 100 countries. BirdLife is widely recognised as the world leader in bird conservation. Rigorous science, informed by practical feedback from projects on the ground in important sites and habitats, enables us to implement successful conservation programmes for birds and all nature. Our actions provide practical and sustainable solutions, significantly benefiting nature and people.
Please help BirdLife Stop Illegal Bird Trade by donating to the 2020 Global Bird Weekend Project.
SAVE THE DATE!
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021
GLOBAL BIRDING EVENT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH EBIRD AND SWAROVSKI OPTIK
SUPPORTING BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL
WE WOULD LOVE
£50,000 FUND RAISING
WANT TO JOIN IN?
DETAILS COMING SOON
WORLD RECORD BREAKERS FOR 2020
7243 SPECIES RECORDED FOR GLOBAL BIRD WEEKEND 17/18 OCTOBER 2020
7120 SPECIES RECORDED FOR ONE DAY BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 7060