Return from the Wildside
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In the last week or so our family of guides and clients headed home from numerous adventures. Some returned simply because their tours were over. A few made their way home early, out of necessity or concern in the midst of the global crises we now face. (Read our COVID-19 update HERE.) We are all now safe, and sheltering in place.
We look forward to heading back into the Wildside with you as soon as we are able! Until then, we will be birding from our backyards, and photographing from our front lawns. We will travel back through our memories until we can once again travel forward into new ones.
For now, join us on a whirlwind tour of our most recent wanderings!
Adrian Binns and his group spent a couple of weeks exploring India, in search of tigers and the Taj Mahal. While in Ranthambore National Park they had some of the best and closest encounters with tigers that we’ve ever experienced!
The group saw plenty of other wildlife as well, including the incredible Sarus Crane. Adrian wrote, “Standing at almost 6 feet, they are the world’s tallest flying bird. With bills and wings raised this pair, in the marshes at Keoladeo National Park, was trumpeting in response to other cranes.”
The group enjoyed many cultural events and experiences, and some truly epic scenery. Participant Ann Oliver wrote about the location of the photo above, “On a clear day you really can see forever! Crystal clear viewing conditions mid-morning to see the HIMALAYAS. We were about ~ 70 kilometers from Nepal. Mount Everest is somewhere far to the right, not in view.”
Gabriel Lugo and Alex Lamoreaux led a private tour in Puerto Rico for Florida’s Orange Audubon Society last week. They turned up 16 endemics and over 100 species total. (One participant said she’d seen 39 life birds!)
Among many interesting bird sightings was this Scarlet Ibis. Alex Lamoreaux wrote, “One of six Scarlet Ibis at a marsh along the north coast of Puerto Rico – their appearance here, and scattered reports from the Virgin Islands and Lesser Antilles, is likely a silver lining of the deadly hurricanes that have ripped through the Caribbean since 2017. These striking waders are from northern South America and were likely scooped up by storms and distributed across the islands. The PR flock is coincidentally at a marsh which in the past has hosted the first island breeding events of both White and Glossy Ibis, and so eventual breeding attempts of Scarlet Ibis is anticipated.”
Mandy Talpas and Chris Brown just led an island-hopping grande tour of Hawai’i‘s unique native and introduced bird species. They encountered the Oahu Amakihi (one of several endemic honeycreepers) as well as Red-crested Cardinal, White Tern (manu-o-Kū), Zebra Dove, Slaty-backed Gull, Rose-ringed Parakeet, and Red-whiskered Bulbul…and that was just on Kauai!
Edison Buenaño and Sally Ingraham spent 10 days leading a tour in partnership with Carefree Birding, exploring the Amazon River Basin in Peru. The group lived on a riverboat and traveled up and down the Amazon and its tributaries. They encountered 9 primate species and many other mammals, insects, and incredible plants – and they saw over 260 species of birds!
At the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali Rivers (which come together to form the Amazon) the group paused to give thanks for the life that pours into, and out of this incredible region. They were far away from the concerns of the world, and yet connected more intimately than ever.
Experiences like these are why we travel on the Wildside. Although our adventures are paused for the moment, they will carry on in our hearts and minds. And that connection continues too, holding our Wildside family together across distances and time.
See you soon!