• 2. May 2024

    7000 birdwatching areas described worldwide

    Birdingplaces.com is the free online guide to birding. The platform was launched in Europe four years ago and became an instant hit among birders. Just 4 years later more than 7000 bird watching sites are described in detail and now also growing fast outside Europe. A great and free resource […]

  • 9. April 2024

    On Top Of The World

    Gemma and James Shooter, with their two young children Brodie and Isla, and their rescue pup Ty, have embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. They’ve sold their home, and are campervanning around Europe in search of what ‘wild’ really looks like! It wasn’t long before we were heading along […]

  • 2. April 2024

    A chat with co-leader of the Feminist Bird Club England and bird taxidermist Elle Kaye

    On the 27th of April Leica London are excited to be hosting a walk with co-leader of the Feminist Bird Club England and bird taxidermist, Elle Kaye. For those who don’t know you, please you introduce yourself. I’m Elle Kaye, a taxidermist, birder, conservationist and nature advocate living in London. […]

  • 14. March 2024

    An Interview with Campaigner Hannah Bourne-Taylor

    Birds Beyond Borders is a documentary seeking to understand more about red-listed cavity-nesting birds as they migrate from Europe to Africa. The film project started in 2021 when Common Swifts and House Martins were red-listed. At the time of writing, filming is underway in the East African region. With already […]

  • 4. March 2024

    European Lanner – A vanishing ghost

    Summer seems to be arriving with great strides, and the air is trembling with the heat even though the sunny June is still far from appearing. I am sitting in the shade of a gnarled olive tree, centuries of history branch out among its branches, giving me the most precious […]

  • 7. February 2024

    The Wild Side of Europe

    Gemma and James Shooter, with their two young children Brodie and Isla, and their rescue pup Ty, have embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. They’ve sold their home, and are campervanning around Europe in search of what ‘wild’ really looks like! Clear blue skies welcomed us to the shores […]

  • Magellanic Penguin (David Lindo)
    2. February 2024

    Checking out the Penguins on the Falkland Islands

    I regularly traverse the four corners of the globe ostensibly on the search for urban birds which often leads me to the least likely of urban spots. When I got an invitation from the Falkland Islands Tourism Board to come for a visit I just could not resist. Every now […]

  • 24. January 2024

    Birding the Algarve

    During my professional life as The Urban Birder, I have been very lucky to have been invited around the world to some pretty special places to watch some amazing birds and other wildlife as well as to meet up with some equally amazing conservationists. I have also been fortunate enough […]

  • 22. January 2024

    Leica X North Yorkshire Turtle Dove & Birds On The Edge Event

    Last weekend an event to celebrate the amazing work of the North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project and Birds on the Edge Project took place at the stunning Castle Howard, in North Yorkshire. Castle Howard is one of England’s finest historic houses, set in a thousand acres of sweeping parkland dotted […]

  • 10. January 2024

    From the Moon to the Wetlands of Africa – Strengthening Waterbird Monitoring Across Africa and Eurasia

    What does the Apollo 11 moon landing have to do with migratory waterbirds in Africa? Well, the link can be found in the optical equipment that was used during the successful mission to the moon in 1969 and the high-precision optical equipment that will soon be used by a network […]

  • 5. January 2024

    Notes from the Coast: An RSPB Optics Weekend

    Freezing fog hung low in the air, a pale wintry cloak shrouding the treetop canopy at RSPB Minsmere Nature Reserve in Suffolk. I’d spent hundreds of hours on the reserve as a volunteer guide, learning about and photographing its varied wildlife, but this Saturday morning was somewhat different. We unfurled […]

  • 27. December 2023


    A painting like this huge panel in the Uffizi gallery in Florence is a feast for saint spotters. It was painted in the first decade of the 15th century, it is 5 m high and Lorenzo Monaco has painted 30 saints attending the Coronation of the Virgin. Most notably there […]

  • 15. December 2023


    Some people go Trainspotting or aeroplane spotting – I go saint spotting! You never know who you’ll find in a painting or a fresco in whatever church, chapel or tabernacle.Who’s you favourite saint? And who is your patron saint, the saint whose name you bear? And can you recognise him […]

  • 1. December 2023

    A pilgrimage to Foligno

    “Morning One. Wait then for an entirely bright morning; rise with the sun, and go to Santa Croce, with a good opera-glass in your pocket.” – John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) in Florence Mornings The provincial town of Foligno in Umbria is a three-hour journey in a regional train because […]

  • 17. November 2023

    Surprising Outcomes Part 2

    I’d been in the Brazilian Pantanal for 6 weeks, camping on the edge of the Rio Piquiri. It was the midst of dry season, by midday 45 degrees Celsius wasn’t unusual and the ground was parched. Each day I’d head away from the river, 10km inland towards a large waterhole […]

  • 8. November 2023

    Society of Wildlife Artists presents its 60th Annual Exhibition

    When I worked as an Animator and Designer in Soho on shows such as Peppa Pig and Hey Duggee, I would often pop over on my lunch break to the annual Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries to see the incredible artwork created by some of the […]

  • 3. November 2023

    From Mali with Love

    Leica are delighted to announce their new partnership with the North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project. In celebration we have also launched the ‘Doodle a Dove’ competition where you could be in with the chance of winning a pair of the Leica Trinovid 10×32 HD-Plus binoculars. Read on to learn more […]

  • 30. October 2023

    More than 6000 birding hotspots in Europe… and counting!

    In less than four years Birdingplaces.eu – the free online guide to birdwatching – became a household name among birdwatchers. More than 6000 birdwatching areas are already described in detail. And counting, because every day new areas are added. Leica supported the Birdingplaces right from the start. Until four years […]

  • 26. October 2023

    Surprising Outcomes – Part 1

    Having spent countless hours in nature all around the globe, I’ve been able to witness some incredible wildlife encounters. I’ve spent hours following a lion pride in Zambias South Luangwa national park as they stalked a Cape buffalo herd, forcing them to cross a boggy watering hole, eventually picking off […]

  • 19. October 2023

    21 Wildlife Walks

    After a Summer packed full of wonderful wildlife experiences, fascinating chats with inspiring people, and plenty of fundraising, the day had come for my final ’21 Wildlife Walks,’ my 21st birthday. I woke up in London to a beautiful blue sky and headed on the tube to Woodberry Wetlands, a […]

  • 5. October 2023

    Sound Recording – a whole new world of wildlife ‘watching’

    Back in March 2020, a few days before the first lockdown began, I bought two pieces of equipment so I could start recording nocturnal avian migration by sound, an excellent way I thought to just keep myself entertained when bored. Little did I know that these items, a small Tascam […]

  • 15. September 2023

    A trip review from Iolo Williams’ August Mull Expedition

    Iolo Williams, Jack Waldie, Theo de Clermont and Ewan Miles, of Nature Scotland, recently took a group of ten guests in search of the Island of Mull’s wildlife. The guides were equipped with two Leica APO-TELEVID spotting scopes, a pair of Leica Noctivid 8×42 and Leica Trinovid 10x 42 binoculars. […]

  • 8. September 2023

    From Famalicão to the World: 50 Years of Leica in Portugal

    Wetzlar, 1st September 2023. For the past fifty years, a part of the Leica family has been located at a factory in Portugal. This is reason enough to celebrate the success, diversity and community that has bound the company’s headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany and Famalicão together for half a century. […]

  • 5. September 2023

    The Start Of Our Adventure

    Gemma and James Shooter, with their two young children Brodie and Isla, and their rescue pup Ty, have embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. They’ve sold their home, bought a camper van named Vivienne, and have set off to find out what ‘wild’ really looks like! Holding our baby […]

  • 26. August 2023

    Presque Isle: a Pennsylvanian birding gem

    In my role as The Urban Birder, I have been lucky enough to have visited countless locations around the globe and have had a brilliant time doing what I love most – watching birds. During May this year, I was honoured to have been invited to America to be a […]

  • 22. August 2023

    An Encounter with Elephants

    Iris Berger, a PhD student in Conservation Science at the University of Cambridge, talks about the second season of her field research in India. For her accounts on the first season and background to her work read Reconciling Agriculture with Biodiversity – Part I and Part 2 on the Leica […]

  • 11. August 2023

    Thermal imaging camera helps finding wildlife

    I love the night. As humans we see so little of what goes on in the natural world once the sun sets, historically, as hunter gatherers it would have been when we retired to the safety of a cave, or the comfort of a fire, waiting for the sun to […]

  • 3. August 2023

    A Walk at Walthamstow Wetlands with The Urban Birder

    At the beginning of the month Leica Sport Optics Ambassador and London Wildlife Trust Ambassador, David Lindo, AKA The Urban Birder, guided a walk around the London Wildlife Trust’s Walthamstow Wetlands Reserve. Born and raised in London, David’s main passion is for urban birds, and he devotes his time to […]

  • 26. July 2023

    Leica Sport Optics are official Migratory Species Champion for AEWA’s waterbird monitoring work.

    The African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Secretariat and Leica Sportoptics have agreed to work together to further develop and strengthen waterbird monitoring across Africa and Eurasia. Under a three-year partnership, Leica Sportoptics will provide financial support to the Waterbird Fund hosted by Wetlands International as well as annual donations of optical […]

  • 24. July 2023

    ‘Sometimes birds don’t listen to me’ – the work of a Conservation Officer in London

    Based at Walthamstow Wetlands, a reservoir complex within the lower Lee Valley, I joined the London Wildlife Trust in this role in 2021. To help explain some of the tasks I do, I will focus on two species that visit the UK during summer to breed. They also happen to […]

  • 19. June 2023

    A Wild Finca Spring

    In this guest blog by Leica Sport Optics Ambassador, Luke Massey, he gives us a spring report from his home in northern Spain. This year sees us spending our third spring since taking on Wild Finca, our 13 hectare farm in Asturias. The whole process has been very much trial […]

  • 12. June 2023

    Forgotten Europe – Part 2

    In the final of this two-part guest blog geographer and adventurer, Francis Highton, writes about his recent travels off the beaten track in the Balkans. North Macedonia It was time to fully immerse ourselves in nature and get off-grid. There are so many huge national parks in the Balkan region […]

  • 2. June 2023

    Forgotten Europe – Part 1

    In the first of this two-part guest blog, geographer and adventurer, Francis Highton, writes about his road trip around Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and North Macedonia. Tourists aim to escape life. Travellers experience it. The Balkan region is not yet one of the places many people choose for their Mediterranean escapes. […]

  • 1. June 2023

    Birdwatchers Samuel, Fanny and Sebastian win Leica Birdingplaces contest

    From November 2022 to April 2023 Birdingplaces and Leica organized a Rate-Add-And-Win contest among birdwatchers. Any birder who added a birdwatching area to Birdingplaces or rated an area with one to five stars had a chance to win a pair of Leica Ultravid binoculars, a pair of Leica Trinovid binoculars […]

  • 25. May 2023

    Leica Sport Optics announce Ambassador, Mya Bambrick’s, 21 Wildlife Walks

    LONDON, 25TH MAY 2023 — Leica Sport Optics is proud to be supporting Mya Bambrick’s 21 Wildlife Walks campaign, where the young conservationist will be embarking on 21 wildlife walks across the UK before she turns 21. 21 Wildlife Walks Mya will start on the 1st of June and will […]

  • 24. May 2023

    Return of the Bearded Vulture – Part 3

    I arrived in Andalusia. It was midnight and I followed a gravel road weaving through the mountains. I was in the middle of nowhere. There at the gate was a 4×4 vehicle, with headlights on, quietly purring. Despite my late arrival I was greeted by a man with a warm […]

  • Investigative Wildlife Filmmakers Take on Next Big Challenge: Birds Beyond Borders
    17. May 2023

    Investigative Wildlife Filmmakers Take on Next Big Challenge: Birds Beyond Borders

    Birds Beyond Borders is an inclusive and collaborative non-profit documentary and research project. Through the story of bird migration the project aims to reveal more about climate change, our relationship with the natural world, and how we embrace wildlife as human society develops. In this blog for Leica Nature the […]

  • 10. May 2023

    Isle of Islay – A Wild Goose Chase!

    In this guest blog Theo De Clermont and Ewan Miles, of Nature Scotland, give a trip report of their recent pre season / tour reconnaissance to the Hebridean Isle of Islay. Equipped with a Leica APO-TELEVID 65 spotting scope and a pair of Leica Noctivid 8×42 binoculars, they cover some […]

  • 4. May 2023

    World Curlew Day in the New Forest

    In this guest blog by Leica Sport Optics Ambassador Luke Massey, he reports on the walk he guided with Curlew Action on World Curlew Day. On April 21st we celebrated World Curlew Day. Created by Mary Colwell, founder of Curlew Action, in 2017, World Curlew Day celebrates Curlews globally. The […]

  • 21. April 2023

    When does spring start for you?

    When does spring start? Well, we officially enter spring on the day of the Spring Equinox; due to the position of the Earth’s orbit in relation to the sun…and all that astronomical stuff. But, I think for many, the start of spring is down to an individual’s experience. It is […]

  • 13. April 2023

    Ornitherapy Through the Lens: Magnifying the Wellness Benefits of Birds and Nature

    Have you gotten your daily dose of Ornitherapy today? Mounting research shows that when we step outside and into nature, positive chemical responses are activated within us. Cortisol, the hormone that flips into overdrive when we are stressed, starts to lower with just 20-30 minutes of immersing ourselves in the […]

  • 4. April 2023

    Super Fast Falcons

    We are delighted to be supporting the St Albans Abbey’s first ever Peregrine Live Cam ! After their first breeding season last year, the peregrine falcon pair, Alban and Boudica, timed their first egg perfectly, laying on the first day of the camera going live to the public. Born and […]

  • 29. March 2023

    Return of the Bearded Vulture – Part 2

    My first stop in this story was a shoot with Dr Alex Llopis at the breeding centre in Lleida, Spain. Alex is the coordinator of the Bearded Vulture Captive Breeding Network. I was nervous to finally be here and to film one of the first critical moments … the hatching. […]

  • 15. March 2023

    Leica X Skyward – Event at the Leica Gallery London

    Last week saw the screening of the Leica supported film Skyward, at the Leica Gallery London. Produced by Jessica Bishopp and directed by Laura Schacham, the film follows two young birdwatchers, Leica Ambassador Mya Bambrick and Arjun Dutta, as they raise awareness of conservation and climate change in their local […]

  • 22. February 2023

    Return of the Bearded Vulture – Part 1

    Leica Ambassador Lizzie Daly has been on a mission to tell the remarkable story of the return of the Bearded Vulture. In Part 1 of this three part series, Lizzie tells us how her journey documenting this incredible bird all began. Out of the low lying cloud soars a silhouette […]

  • 16. February 2023

    Preparing for Spring Nesting

    As the days begin to lengthen and the earth begins to stir from its winter stupor, my mind is turning to preparing for the Spring nesting season. As early as December, I am prepping and building nest boxes and cameras, as I live stream these nest boxes on my website […]

  • 3. February 2023

    Skyward: Hope found in birdwatching

    Leica is delighted to have supported the making of ‘Skyward’ a short film directed by Jessica Bishopp about two young birdwatchers: Leica Ambassador Mya Bambrick and Arjun, as they manage the pressures they feel from the current climate breakdown and biodiversity crisis. The movie premiered at the Aspen Shortfest 2022, […]

  • 25. January 2023

    Your Birding Patch

    In this guest blog, London Wildlife Trust Conservation Officer Peter Salter writes about what a birding patch is and how to find yours! Over the years, birding has advanced; from shooting and egg collecting in the 1800s, to the invention of binoculars that enabled birders to observe birds from a […]

  • 20. January 2023

    The 100 most popular birdwatching places in Europe

    On www.birdingplaces.eu you can find more than 5,000 bird watching areas in Europe, which have been described in detail by birders from all over Europe. And every day new areas are added. But what are the best places to visit? With the new Birdingplaces Top 100 pages you can tackle […]

  • 11. January 2023

    A chat with wildlife communicator and campaigner Lucy Lapwing

    Wildlife Weirdo. Naturalist & nerd. Fighting for a wilder world. – This amalgamation of Lucy’s social media bio’s succinctly summarises her, but in this blog we got the opportunity to get to know Lucy a bit better and she’s as amazing as you would have thought… For those who don’t […]

  • 14. December 2022

    Leica X Curlew Action – Event at the Leica Gallery London

    Last week saw the Leica X Curlew Action event at the Leica Gallery London, an event to celebrate the partnership and inform people of Curlew Action’s important work. The event was held on a chilly night in Mayfair, with Christmas lights twinkling over Duke Street the guests streamed in; from […]

  • 13. December 2022

    The Urban Birder in Costa Rica

    I must the only birder on the planet to have turned down the opportunity to visit this ecological paradise not once, not even twice but FIVE times! You may think that I needed my head tested. Perhaps you are right. But I am a principled man. My previous invitations invariably […]

  • 7. November 2022

    Leica Supports International Migratory Waterbird Conference in Budapest

    As a keen supporter of bird conservation and protection, Leica is proud to announce that it was a sponsor of the world’s largest migratory waterbird conference which took place over the course of this week. The Eighth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement […]

  • 28. October 2022

    Where have all the Curlews gone?

    Leica Sport Optics continues its commitment to supporting nature and wildlife conservation and is proud to be partnering with Curlew Action, an organisation at the heart of efforts to save the Eurasian Curlew across the UK and Ireland. Curlew Action help explain why Curlews are declining and consider longer-term solutions. Although […]

  • 13. October 2022

    Leica x The European Nature Trust Ambassador 4 – Carmen Rueda, Lynx conservationist, CBD-Habitat

    Handsome, with burnished sideburns, a look that could kill, and a dazzling coat perfectly camouflaged to the Mediterranean colour palette, the Iberian lynx is truly the Iberian ‘jewel’. Today, the species has found a special place in the heart of the Spanish people, and it is thanks to the collaborative […]

  • 30. September 2022

    Beyond the fjord and among the ice.

    A white line, the ice; on the horizon the profile of the mountains. From the porthole of the plane, I admire the landscape gradually materialize below me. The beauty of the lands we fly over leave me, once again, breathless. I’m back to Svalbard after had lived here with my […]

  • 28. September 2022

    Walthamstow Wetlands – the perfect place to start birdwatching

    We are proud to have partnered with the London Wildlife Trust, and supported them by funding the installation of seven new benches at their Walthamstow Wetlands site. As well as being a fully operational 211 hectare Thames Water reservoir site, which is the main source of water supply for 3.5 […]

  • 7. September 2022

    Leica x The European Nature Trust – Conservation Ambassador 3: Roisin Campbell Palmer

    Perhaps the only earthling more industrious and hard-working than a Eurasian beaver – that miraculous rodent currently restoring Britain’s waterways – is Dr Roisin Campbell Palmer. She’s the Restoration Manager at Beaver Trust, a charity collaborating with wildlife management bodies to reintroduce the species across Scotland and England. If there […]

  • 22. August 2022

    Reconciling Agriculture with Biodiversity – Part II

    In the second instalment of this two-part blog, Iris Berger, a PhD student in Conservation Science at the University of Cambridge, talks about her field research in India and how farming with nature may help safeguard biodiversity whilst meeting humanity’s growing food needs. The midday heat, over 40 degrees Celsius, […]

  • 9. August 2022

    Reconciling Agriculture with Biodiversity – Part I

    In part one of this two-part blog, Iris Berger, a PhD student in Conservation Science at the University of Cambridge, talks about her field research in India and how farming with nature may help safeguard biodiversity whilst meeting humanity’s growing food needs. On either side of the road, dry rice […]

  • 22. July 2022

    Observing nature with the Leica Calonox

    Ever since I worked as a cameraman using thermal cameras almost a decade ago, I’ve wanted to get my hands on my own thermal device once more. To be able to watch nature at night, with almost zero risk of disturbance is fantastic; from watching badgers forage for worms to […]

  • 7. July 2022

    Leica Photographic Retreat at Alladale Wilderness Reserve: catching up with fine art photographer, Max Milligan

    The Leica Photographic Retreat offers an exclusive opportunity to perfect your photographic skills with one of the world’s foremost fine art photographers, Max Milligan. As we discover with Max, the retreat offers more than that. It is a chance to sharpen your eye, to connect with nature, and to rewild […]

  • 13. June 2022

    Leica x The European Nature Trust – Conservation Ambassador 2: Pedro Prata

    At Leica, we are committed to those working at the frontlines of nature recovery and conservation in Europe. In collaboration with The European Nature Trust, we have launched an ambassadorship programme, where we hope to discover more about the ways that pioneering conservationists are working to protect our planet. In […]

  • 8. June 2022

    Leica x The European Nature Trust – Conservation Ambassador 1: Mario Cipollone

    At Leica, we are committed to those working at the frontlines of nature recovery and conservation in Europe. In collaboration with The European Nature Trust, we have launched an ambassadorship programme, where we hope to discover more about the realities of protecting our planet. In exchange, we’re gifting rangers and […]

  • 1. June 2022

    Birdwatchers Susana, Tom and Francesco win Leica Birdingplaces binoculars contest

    From December 2021 to April 2022 Birdingplaces and Leica organized a winter contest among birdwatchers. Any birder who added a birdwatching area to www.Birdingplaces.eu had a chance to win high quality Leica binoculars. More than 11.000 birders visited the action page www.birdingplaces.eu/share-a-birding-area-and-win and within four months more than 1000 new […]

  • The European Nature Trust x Leica Sport Optics | Ambassador Series
    27. May 2022

    The European Nature Trust x Leica Sport Optics | Ambassador Series

    At Leica, we have always believed in the power of connecting with the world as it truly is. For generations, our cameras and sport optics equipment have sought to bring the natural world into sharp focus; to communicate the beauty of our world. Now, we are committed to helping protect […]

  • 13. May 2022

    Butterflies and Trinovids

    2021 in the zodiac calendar is the year of the ox – for me it was the year of the butterfly. A birder by trade, previous butterfly seasons failed to come to fruition owing to the complex requirements of these dainty creatures and the skill needed to discern similar species […]

  • 4. May 2022

    Skomer Blog – Breeding Birds

    It’s a time of firsts over here on the island: first chicks, first wildflowers, and the first days digging out the long-buried suncream! Our earliest breeding birds, ravens, were already building their nests when we returned to Skomer back in March. Now, two months on, adults ferrying food back-and-forth to […]

  • 30. March 2022

    Return to Skomer Island

    On 1st March, the Skomer Island team, including myself Leighton Newman, Skomer Warden, Ceris Aston, Assistant Warden, and Beth Thompson, Visitor Officer, boarded the Helen Claire and headed back to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Skomer Island for the start of the 2022 season. There was, as […]

  • 7. March 2022

    Leica Ultravid HD-Plus 32 – the glass for birders

    The Leica Ultravid HD-Plus models are among the most popular binoculars for uncompromised nature observation. They turn every moment into an unforgettable experience, and attention to detail into pure passion. Fluoride lenses ensure brilliant color fidelity, unique image brightness, and razor-sharp images. The optics also suppress stray light very efficiently, […]

  • 10. February 2022

    The Big Garden Birdwatch with Kate MacRae

    Kate MacRae, also known as WildlifeKate, reports on how the Leica Trinovid 10×32 were her invaluable companions for this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch. Every year, I look forward to a very special event run by the RSPB; the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. This yearly event is called […]

  • 28. January 2022

    Every birder loves the Common Crane

    More than 4000 birders voted for their favourite migratory bird in the Bird Migration Competition that was organized by www.birdingplaces.eu. It was an exciting battle between the common swift and the common crane, but in the end the crane was the clear winner with 1302 votes. Below you can see […]

  • 10. January 2022

    Looking for Americans – in Spain!

    I have been mostly based in Spain since the beginning of the pandemic. If I am to be honest, it has been a conscious decision to stay firmly put within Extremadura, the fifth largest region in this Mediterranean country rich in hospitality, history, great food and wine. Extremadura is a […]

  • 16. December 2021

    Thoughts from Ryan Dalton of Into The Wild

    During lockdown Ryan Dalton started the fantastic podcast Into The Wild, a weekly podcast series dedicated to wildlife and nature platforming conversations with experts in the field of natural science. Now a regular in the top 10 for UK nature podcasts, Leica asked Ryan to tell us a bit about […]

  • 11. November 2021

    Experiencing Alladale Wilderness Reserve through the Leica Trinovid HD Binoculars

    Last Autumn Drew Marsden was announced the winner of the competition Leica ran with Alladale Wilderness Reserve, which meant he received a pair of Leica Trinovid HD binoculars and a stay at Ghillie’s Rest on the River Alladale. In this blog Drew shares some of his images and experiences from […]

  • 15. October 2021

    Voting for the European king of migratory birds

    An Arctic Tern that flies to the Antarctic and back. Millions of small songbirds making the journey from Europe to Africa. Nothing less than a miracle how they manage to complete this epic voyage with those tiny bodies. Cuckoos that have to cross the perilous Sahara desert to reach their […]

  • 11. October 2021

    Wolves & Wallcreepers in the Cantabrian Mountains

    Jonathan Rodríguez Ramiro is a wildlife biologist who lives in Cantabria, a mountainous area in northern Spain. In this Leica Nature Blog Jonathan writes about his home, his favourite wildlife and encounters, and how he got on when he recently took the Leica Trinovid 7×35 leathered binoculars out for a […]

  • 4. October 2021

    Discovering Europe’s Birding hotspots

    In this blog Chris van der Heijden, founder of www.birdingplaces.eu tells about how he started the idea of Birdingplaces two years ago and how it became an instant hit among European birders. “It felt like European birders had been waiting for us. Directly from the start birders from all over […]

  • 1. September 2021

    Exploring Shetland with the Leica Trinovid 10×32

    In this blog join Kate MacRae, better known as WildlifeKate, as she reports on her recent trip to Shetland with the Leica Trinovid 10×32 in hand. WildlifeKate is an advocate for being outside in the great British countryside and her LIVE cameras are followed avidly by viewers across the world. […]

  • Wild Finca
    9. August 2021

    Wild Finca Blog Part 2

    Originally from Hertfordshire, Leica Nature Ambassador, Luke Massey now lives in Asturias, Northern Spain, on an old cattle farm he’s named Wild Finca. In this two-part blog wildlife photographer and filmmaker Luke, talks about the Wild Finca vision and the wildlife that calls it home. We have a few star […]

  • 22. July 2021

    Wild Finca Blog Part 1

    Originally from Hertfordshire, Leica Nature Ambassador, Luke Massey now lives in Asturias, Northern Spain, on an old cattle farm he’s named Wild Finca. In this two-part blog wildlife photographer and filmmaker Luke, talks about the Wild Finca vision and the wildlife that calls it home. II was born in St […]

  • 22. June 2021

    Bird Island – Part II

    Come March, or rather at the start of the southeastern monsoon, a remarkable phenomenon begins to take place. Sooty terns start to gather in huge numbers around the island. During April and May they slowly take up their positions in the colony on the northern part of the island. Nesting […]

  • 1. June 2021

    Bird Island – Part I

    “Birds innumerable and many sea cows (dugongs) on the beach,” was reported in the ship’s log by the captain of the cruiser ‘Eagle’ when it sailed by the island in 1771, known at the time as ‘Ille aux Vaches’ (island of sea cows). In the late 1960’s the island was […]

  • 4. May 2021

    Snow Leopards & Noctivids

    Wildlife presenter, Dan O’Neill talks about his new series for BBC Earth, and how the Leica Noctivid became his sidekick on the shoot! Written by Dan O’Neill For our brand new series for BBC Earth, “Snow Leopards: Ghosts in the Snow”, myself and my good friend and DoP, Chris Beard, […]

  • 14. April 2021

    Spring Migration

    Leica Nature Ambassadors talk the magic of spring and who they are most excited to be welcoming back! David Lindo AKA The Urban Birder, Leica Sport Optics Ambassador Expectancy. That is the word that best sums up spring for me. It encompasses the usual eulogies of spring; the buds appearing, […]

  • 12. March 2021

    Talking Street Art with ATM

    London based street artist, ATM, has a lifelong love for nature and a particular connection to birds, their songs, calls and habitats. ATM uses his skills as an artist to celebrate the beauty of birds and communicate the extinction crisis, and his giant wildlife murals fill walls from London to […]

  • 11. February 2021

    Best UK Walks chosen by Leica Locals – Part 3

    In this three-part series we asked the Leica Sport Optics Ambassadors, and some close friend’s of Leica, what their favourite local walk is. Join Leica as we travel across the UK, uncovering new spots to inspire you to get outside and explore with fresh eyes. Ruth & Alan, Leica Sport […]

  • 29. January 2021

    Digiscoping with Aleksandar Topalov

    Aleksandar Topalov started birdwatching when he was 10, after a face to face encounter with a penguin. Since then he has travelled around the globe, his passion for birds growing with each new encounter. In this blog, Aleksandar shares his digiscoping techniques and top tips for creating bird videos using […]

  • 22. January 2021

    Best UK Walks chosen by Leica Locals – Part 2

    In this three-part series we asked the Leica Sport Optics Ambassadors, and some close friend’s of Leica, what their favourite local walk is. Join Leica as we travel across the UK, uncovering new spots to inspire you to get outside and explore with fresh eyes. David Lindo AKA The Urban […]

  • 8. December 2020

    Best UK Walks chosen by Leica Locals – Part 1

    In this three-part series we asked the Leica Sport Optics Ambassadors, and some close friend’s of Leica, what their favourite local walk is. Join Leica as we travel across the UK, uncovering new spots to inspire you to get outside and explore with fresh eyes. Iolo Williams, Leica Sport Optics Ambassador […]

  • 20. October 2020

    Alladale – A Glimpse Of A Better Future For Our Uplands

    by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller “Wilderness or wildlands are natural environments on Earth that have not been significantly modified by human activity or any non-urbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation.” Well that is one description we found online but the word “wilderness” is often used and indeed misused. […]

  • 6. October 2020

    A Day in the Deserts of Israel: The ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears take on the Champions of the Flyway

    The American Birding Association-Leica Sport Optics Subadult Wheatears are a young birder team hailing from the United States, composed of Johanna Beam (author), Aidan Place, Gautam Apte, and Marky Mutchler. Uvda valley was rich with birdlife. A wet spring meant flowers and greenery blooming in shallow washes throughout the valley. […]

  • 21. September 2020

    What is the most exotic bird you have seen? Questions to Leica Birders!

    You always wanted to ask Leica Birders about their favorite places for birdwatching? Or their most incredible bird or wildlife encounter? We thought so. Thats why we asked Iolo Williams, Luke Massey, Ruth Miller and Alan Davies for you. By Katie Stacey.  Iolo Williams What is your favourite place for […]

  • 18. September 2020

    Birding at Pagham Harbour with David Lindo

    by Mya Bambrick Pagham Harbour has to be one of my favourite nature reserves in my local area due to its variety of bird species which visit every year, including thousands of waders, ducks, and geese in the Winter. On Sunday, I awoke to blue skies and was excited to […]

  • 31. August 2020

    NORDIC HIGHLIGHTS – Bird watching with Adrian Jordi

    Northern Europe is one of the dream destinations for bird watchers. Great gray owl, Blue tail and King eider – these and other bird species are best found here in Europe. And all this in a wild and unspoilt landscape that is second to none. In addition, the midnight sun […]

  • 3. August 2020

    On the wing: Butterflies

    July into August can be a very productive time for butterflies, with some iconic species to be found fluttering around the country. By Chris Griffin. If you are, like me, primarily interested in birds, July can sometimes feel a relatively quiet time of year. Many species hide away at this […]

  • 1. July 2020

    Birding from the balcony: Our world out the window

    Andrea Corso describes his personal lessons and learnings from the time of isolation at his home in Italy. Read his impressive reportage here. Bird watching in the time of Covid19 is the balcony of my house. It is a small square of sky, until a few days ago cerulean blue, […]

  • 29. June 2020

    From Yellow Water Billabong to Pine Creek

    Jabiru, Yellow Water Billabong or Pine Creek, where hooded parrots hung from the sprinklers outside on the common, a great bowerbird tended its intricate bower of white trinkets, and galahs and figbirds feasted on the fruits of the wild mango trees. A sunset cruise at the Yellow Water Billabong. After […]

  • 24. June 2020

    UNESCO World Heritage Site: Kakadu National Park in Australia

    The Kakadu National Park is a 20,000 square-kilometre UNESCO World Heritage Site – in fact it is one of the only places World Heritage listed for both it’s cultural and natural aspects. The wetland was recognized as an area of international significance due to it being a major staging point […]

  • 22. June 2020

    Exploring Australia’s Northern Territory – from Darwin to Kakadu National Park

    Katie Stacey and nature photographer Luke Massey explored the unique flora and fauna of the Northern Territory in Australia. On their journey from Darwin to Kakadu National Park they encountered a multitude of birds and other species, for which the huge area is home. We document their experiences and stunning images […]

  • 15. June 2020

    Report from Ecuador: Birdwatching within two hours of Quito (part 2)

    by Katie Stacey   Our first day trip is to Refugio Paz de Las Aves, a 25-hectare nature reserve owned by Angel Paz or as I came to think of him, The Man Who Talks to Birds. Angel is primarily a beef farmer but he has a keen passion for […]

  • 9. June 2020

    Report from Ecuador: Birdwatching within two hours of Quito

    by Katie Stacey I’m peering through the scope allowing my gaze to be directed by the student who has been studying the nest for the past 2 weeks. I can see the muddy scrape, but the chick apparently sat to the right of it is just not appearing for me. […]

  • 27. May 2020

    Birding under Lockdown

    How I made the most out of birding during COVID-19 by Chris Griffin, Somerset UK Spring was in the air; chiffchaffs just starting to chiff and chaff, the snowdrops appearing on woodland floors, the swallows and house martins just arriving from their distant wintering grounds in Africa. Yet birdwatchers around […]

  • 18. May 2020

    Wild Encounters Close to Home

    In preparation for the busier months as a Wildlife Guide on the Isle of Mull, I purchased a new pair of Leica Trinovid HD binoculars. As all wildlife tourism is down during this pandemic, I would like to share some of my wildlife encounters during my daily exercise in local […]

  • 7. February 2020

    A safari like no other in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park

    The Lower Zambezi is the most beautiful place on Earth. I’d also go so far as to say that Zambia has the top three most beautiful locations on this planet – The South Luangwa National Park, The Victoria Falls and The Lower Zambezi National Park, but for me the LZ […]

  • 4. February 2020

    The Black Kite: a potential colonist

    Thanks to the most successful raptor reintroduction project in the world, the Red Kite has become a familiar bird for many of us. I live in Suffolk, where these handsome birds have yet to establish themselves, though they are sure to do so soon, as the number of breeding pairs […]

  • 14. January 2020

    Sailing Loch Ness

    The journey on their sailboat “Maverick too” took Johannes and Cati Erdmann from Germany across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and then through the Bahamas to the north of the USA – always with the Leica Geovid on board. Two years grew into five years. Instead of returning to everyday […]

  • 9. January 2020

    A Birder’s Paradise – on vacation in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe (“stone houses” in the Shona language), the former Southern Rhodesia (Africa’s breadbasket), is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is best known for its capital Harare and the spectacular Victoria Falls. It is rarely visited as a vacation destination, partly because the country is economically isolated and critical […]

  • 29. November 2019

    FIRST LIGHT Afloat in France

    FIRST LIGHT is a global partnership project by Belmond and Leica to create early morning nature experiences and explore nature in the first hours of a day. Floating slowly down the river Rhône, Leica photographer Tibo Dhermy shows us the extraordinary beauty of waking at first light, as viewed from […]

  • 21. November 2019

    Young Leica ambassador Mya-Rose Craig goes birding with US author and avid Birder Jonathan Franzen

    Recently I was presenting a two-part documentary about the decline of grassland bird species for ARD and Arte. As well as filming in Europe, I also visited the USA to interview and enjoy some birding with the bestselling US author, Jonathan Franzen, who has written The Corrections, Freedom, Purity and […]

  • 15. November 2019

    Leica Trinovid: “We are proud of this proof of quality”

    The new Trinovid binoculars from Leica pay tribute to the iconic glass of the 1960s: Shapely, slim and elegant in a classic binocular design featuring black leather, they are a statement and a timeless accessory. The Trinovid HD family of binoculars first went into series production in 1958. The name […]

  • 14. October 2019

    Small details – when good optics really matter

    A hot summer is here again, in Southern Sicily and all around the Mediterranean Sea. It seems that even moving a leg or a hand would be hard and seat drips into my eyes and blur the view. But in Linosa, or any other European island, as well as along […]

  • 27. September 2019

    Little story of a battle won –  Bonelli’s Eagle is back in Sicily

    There are some stories that have a happy end. Given the modern times we live in, it’s hard to believe and you may think that only the kids’ fairy tales could end so well. However, I have a real story that after many years of real fight could now be […]

  • 5. September 2019

    An exclusive look at Leica’s manufacturing process

    Leica is German engineering at its best, and the Leica ideal is an integral part of the culture of seeing. Leica has a long history of focusing on perception and has developed innovative instruments that offer a unique  experience. The result is a renowned series of cameras and lenses, and […]

  • 17. July 2019

    Magical Colors in Tuscany: FIRST LIGHT Experience with Marco Casino

    Dynamic Milan-based photographer Marco Casino, a Leica ambassador since 2012, specializes in a range of media and themes, from social reportage to technology and the environment. During his stay at Belmond Castello di Casole Marco illuminated the Tuscan landscape in a new and magical light. Belmond Castello di Casole is […]

  • 10. July 2019

    50th anniversary of moon landing – Leica monocular for NASA’s Apollo 11 astronauts

    The Apollo 11 moon landing 50 years ago wasn’t just a giant leap for mankind – it was also a historical event for the Ernst Leitz optical factory in Wetzlar, Germany. NASA, based in Houston (Texas), had ordered a special Leitz Trinovid from Ernst Leitz GmbH for the lunar mission […]

  • 5. July 2019

    “Avalanche of species”

    Being a beginner in the world of birding is tough. I get that. Remembering the names of all the birds let alone the actual birds themselves can seem like a tall mountain to climb. I am reminded of this feeling of confusion every time I go birding in the Neotropics. […]

  • 14. June 2019

    Brilliant beaches, rich rainforests and magical moorland

    The Isle of Mull is a dynamic mixture of biodiversity and some of the best Wildlife watching opportunities in the UK. It is the fourth largest island in Scotland and almost half of the UK’s habitats can be found on and around the landmass. Everything from brilliant beaches, rich rainforests, […]

  • 22. May 2019

    Orchid Summer

    In 1901 eight orchid collectors entered the Phillipine jungle in search of orchids, but only one returned alive – five of his colleagues vanished without trace, one was burned alive, and one was eaten by a tiger. Our appetite for orchids was insatiable, as vividly recounted by Norman MacDonald in […]

  • 14. May 2019

    “Great optics help in low light”

    Optics are important part of product development process at Cellular Tracking Technologies. We manufacture wildlife tracking systems, which, electronically speaking, work in a lot of ways like a smartphone. Wildlife researchers and managers attach our products to all kinds of animals and birds, and get the animals’ movement data though cellular, satellite […]

  • 23. April 2019

    FIRST LIGHT in Botswana – with Marc Stickler

    FIRST LIGHT is a partnership project by Belmond and Leica Sport Optics to create early morning nature experiences. At Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, situated on the Okavango Delta in Botswana, biologist and Leica photographer Marc Stickler documented life in the African bush at daybreak. by Marc Stickler Photography is my […]

  • 18. April 2019

    “My top spots for birding in the UK”

    The days are getting longer and spring officially started. So, we asked urban birder David Lindo to name ten of his top spots for birding in the UK. David is passionate about introducing new audiences to the pleasures of birding, encouraging people of all ages living in all parts of […]

  • 28. February 2019

    In the name of the vulture

    In March, Adrian Jordi will travel to Israel with his team Birders without Borders. At the birdwatching competition Champions of the Flyway, they will have the opportunity to not only win the champion’s trophy, but more importantly to promote the conservation of Africa’s vultures. And of course to see a […]

  • 6. February 2019

    A closer look at nuts

    Late November last year, a Spotted Nutcracker turned up in an urban area in the middle of the Netherlands (Wageningen). As it is a rare bird in the Netherlands, not even seen each year, it attracted quite a crowd of admirers. Besides being seldom seen in the Netherlands it is […]

  • 29. January 2019

    Advice for young birders

    I get asked a lot for recommendations for young birders interested in working with birds. Where should I go to school? What should I study? How do I prepare myself for a career in bird conservation? Most young birders are already on a great track. They involve themselves with local […]

  • 15. January 2019

    Natural Majesty

    It doesn’t seem to matter what your passion is, different geographic areas always offer new, exciting discoveries & experiences. If you’re a foodie there are amazing new restaurants to experience, and the history buff can always find amazing historic factoids in each new town. As certainly, every region we visit […]

  • 19. December 2018

    The Winter Long-eared Owls of Serbia

    I am pleased to say that Serbia is finally finding its way into the hearts and minds of birders worldwide. The stigma of the war is finally lifting. The symbol that is rapidly replacing that gruesome history and is now representing Serbia on an international level is a much more […]

  • 30. November 2018

    Canopy Tower Pure Panama Magic

    After our Darién adventures, Athena and I returned to the Canal Zone near Gamboa to join the amazing tour group assembling at the Canopy Tower for the Eagle Optics / Leica Sport Optics tour here. Representing Eagle Optics, was our friend Ben Lizdas whom I’ve birded with and chased many life birds […]

  • 27. November 2018

    Málaga in 100 birds

    To the non-urban birder Málaga is simply an airport and gateway to the rest of the Costa del Sol. For me, and a growing army of birders, the city and its surrounds is a magnet for some really special birds. It is possible to watch Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear […]

  • 26. October 2018

    Estonia Migration

    The landscape was green and lush. Forests, meadows and wetlands flashed by us as we made our way from Tallinn airport to the West of Estonia. There was such a variety of habitats that it felt as if we were travelling across the world – not just two hours across […]

  • 17. October 2018

    Cruises aren’t just for your golden years!

    I have always been of the understanding that the enjoyment of cruising is a pastime reserved for the older crowd, and in that belief, I am quite sure that I am not alone. So when in 2016 Luke won the Wildlife category in the Travel Photographer of the Year competition, […]

  • 5. October 2018

    Eagle eyes with Leica

    Birds are his world. So it is no surprise that Manuel Schweizer has once again won the Swiss Bird Race with his team. Leica products have helped him while bird watching – along with his sense of hearing. After all, anyone who thinks that good eyesight is all you need […]

  • 31. August 2018

    The seal sanctuary in Norden-Norddeich

    The seal sanctuary „Nationalpark-Haus“ is the efficient, approved sanctuary for marine mammals. Every year the sanctuary rears between 100 and 180 orphaned common seals and occasionally grey seals and releases them into the North Sea. It is responsible for the whole wadden sea of Lower Saxony, that enjoys special protection […]

  • 27. August 2018

    This was Bird Fair 2018

    I was lucky enough to begin my birding “career” at the Champions of the Flyway event in Eilat earlier this year. I have since been birding a little in the Lower Rhine area and a lot in my backyard. And in August I got to visit yet another birders’ highlight […]

  • 13. July 2018

    Flamingos in the Camargue

    It is not really a secret that Southern France during summertime feels a little bit like heaven. Lilac lavender fields stretch out to the rolling hills confining the horizon, some cypresses scattered inbetween. After spending a few days in Avignon (where seven succssesive popes resided in the middle-ages) and Arles […]

  • 3. May 2018

    2018 Texel Big Day – Racing for conservation

    In less then 2 weeks time, on May 12th, the Dutch Knights will again be participating in an unique fundraising event in the Netherlands – The Texel Big Day. During an epic 24 hour Birding Big Day by E-bike on the Wadden isle of Texel, the Dutch Knights, together with 14 other […]

  • 30. April 2018

    The Pantanal – in search of big cats

    While Brazil’s Amazon rain forest may get all the media attention, it is in fact the Pantanal which is South America’s biggest biodiversity star. Located in the heart of South America, the Pantanal is the world’s largest wetland territory covering around 210,000 sq km which puts it at 20 times […]

  • 20. April 2018

    FIRST LIGHT in Cape Town

    Towering high above Cape Town, Table Mountain offers stunning costal vistas in a pristine natural paradise. Michael Edwards, Cape Town-based professional photographer in partnership with Belmond, has created one in a series of dawn walks and nature experiences discovering the beautiful native birds, small mammals and the dazzling flowers of […]

  • 13. April 2018

    Birding on High: welcome to Ecuador!

    In February, I joined an international crew of birding writers & professionals on a spectacular, whirlwind trip around Ecuador sponsored by Neblina Forest Nature & Birding Tours. I was the sole representative from the US and was honored to also represent the Leica brand amongst this group of enthusiastic British […]

  • 29. March 2018

    A Rookie on the Flyway

    I’ve always liked birds, although I never considered myself a birder. Well, I guess that has changed now and there is no turning back. I see birds. All the time. Everywhere. And it’s great! I’ll admit that I had kind of a head-start on this. Not every aspiring birder gets […]

  • 19. March 2018

    A bird race with a difference

    32 birding teams from all over the world are on their way to Israel this week. Their destination: the Champions of the Flyway bird race (COTF)! The COTF is staged as part of the Eilat Bird Festival by The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (BirdLife’s national Partner in Israel) […]

  • 8. March 2018

    FIRST LIGHT at Iguassu Falls

    Luke Massey, nature expert and wildlife photographer, discovers nature’s beauty and the magnificent relationship between land and water of Iguassu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In partnership with Belmond we’re creating a series of dawn walks and nature experiences – FIRST LIGHT. [threecol_two]Iguassu Falls is the largest waterfall […]

  • 27. February 2018

    FIRST LIGHT in Deià, Mallorca

    Tucked between the mountains and the sea on Mallorca’s northwest coast, Deià is entrancing at any time of the day. But at dawn, as an ethereal glow emerges, it takes on a whole new beauty. Sebastià Torrens, nature expert and photographer, discovers the sound of waves lapping the shore and […]

  • 26. February 2018

    Birding in Guatemala with Leica

    Guatemala is truly a hidden gem and a birding Paradise in Central America. Often overlooked by neotropical birders, Guatemala, in the northern central American region, never disappoints. The region holds numerous regional endemics (around 55 species divided in 3 major areas) and the Yucatan peninsula endemics in the central highlands […]

  • 16. February 2018

    Life of Prion

    Last November I made a personal dream come true by joining a 19-day expedition cruise to New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands, a trip called Birding Down Under: A seabird extravaganza around some of the remotest and wildest islands on the planet. There were many highlights, but the biggest surprise on the […]

  • 9. February 2018

    Behind the scenes – The Optical Design of the Leica Noctivid

    I was quite overawed when I began my first day of work in 1987. I feel that the lesson I was told back then still plays a crucial role: “Innovations are the consequence of constant dialogue and intense exchange with the users of our products.“ Understanding our customers’ needs is […]

  • 2. February 2018

    The Canopy Family

    After meeting The Canopy Family at the British Birdfair, Leica Optics Ambassador Luke Massey and I were looking for any excuse to visit. Luckily our opportunity arose last August, having moved to Nicaragua for four months it didn’t feel a million miles away, and so we hopped on a plane […]

  • 22. January 2018

    Birding by wire

    We didn’t have a good start. “You can’t bring that!” Me: “Sorry?” “You can’t bring that! You can’t bring your camera!” “Sorry… say again? I can’t bring my camera…? Why?” “Because I say so. It is not allowed.” “Not allowed…? Why? What? I don’t have a flash…just the camera.” “Because […]

  • 15. November 2017

    Finding two new bird species

    Linosa is a little black volcanic island south of Sicily. It is one of the three islands of the Pelagie Archipelago, alongside with Lampedusa and Lampione (both lime stone islands from the African Plateau). It is black, it is fully covered by green, it is really isolated and scarcely populated […]

  • 16. October 2017

    “I could see the Irish coast!”

    A week’s guiding with Nature Scotland on the wonderful Scottish island of Islay meant that it was time, once again, to put my Leica Noctivid 10×42 binoculars and my Apo Televid spotting scope to the test. A seven hour, early morning drive from mid-Wales saw me arrive at Kennacraig in […]

  • 22. September 2017

    Nearly on the verge of extinction: European Lanner close to its end

    The Slender-billed Curlew is nowadays considered extinct, with no birds officially observed in the last nearly 20 years or so worldwide (Corso, et al. 2014; Kirwan, et al.2015), while the Bald Ibis seems to be recovering with a rather small but increasing wild breeding population in Morocco (though the other […]

  • 7. September 2017

    Borneo – When The Birding Gets Tough You Need Leica’s

    We have recently returned from a Birdwatching (and mammal watching) Trip on the island of Borneo. This huge tropical island lies south of Malaysia, the area we visited belongs to Malaysia. Stepping off the air-conditioned plane we were smacked in the face by hot humid air, very hot and very […]

  • 16. August 2017

    Discovering nature in Italy

    Italy hosts among the richest biodiversity in Europe. The variety of geographic, geo-morphological and climatic conditions that characterizes its territory makes it an extraordinary concentration area of ​​both species and habitats. In Italy, several “high-density” points of biodiversity of planetary importance (called “hot spots” in scientific terms) have been identified, […]

  • 10. August 2017

    “These are binoculars for life”

    I had the pleasure of using the latest Leica 10-42 binoculars for a week of birdwatching in Israel in March. I was there to take part in the Eilat Bird Festival and follow the “Champions of the Flyway” a 24 hours Bird Race organised by the Society for the Protection […]

  • 8. August 2017

    2017 Texel Big Day – Racing for conservation

    Ever since participating in the first awesome Champions of the Flyway (COTF), in Eilat, Israel, I dreamed about a nation specific version of the event, and in particular in the Netherlands. The concept of the COTF was in my opinion so strong that, for me, it had no doubt it […]

  • 21. July 2017

    ET proves new migration route for spoonies

    In 2013, Leica Camera teamed up with Wildfowl & Wetland Trust (WWT) to support their ‘Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper’ project. As well as financial help, Leica provides optical equipment to help field workers locate the breeding spoon-billed sandpipers and record their behaviour. WWT’s Head of Conservation Action, Dr Baz Hughes, […]

  • 11. July 2017

    A trip to Speyside

    TV presenter Iolo Williams has been a Leica brand ambassador since 2015. Here, the Welsh birder recounts a trip to northeast Scotland. The most difficult problem with an early spring guiding trip to Speyside is knowing exactly what to pack. Will it snow? Is it going to be wet? Do […]

  • 19. April 2017

    Deep in Colombia’s rainforests

    Do you really know what mud is? I did not know. I am a “desert man” – I have visited North Africa, the Maghreb, the Sahara and many other deserts as Sinai and the Negev many times. I truly love the desert. So I was actually not ready to be […]

  • 4. April 2017

    Champions of the Flyway 2017

    The Sempach Snowfinches (Switzerland), the Victorious Bird Nerds VBN (Netherlands) and the Cape May Bird Observatory American Dippers (USA) started for Leica at The Champions of the Flyways in Israel this year. Leica also sponsored the „Artists for Nature Foundation“. The Snowfinches and the Bird Nerds started their races in […]

  • 2. April 2017

    Digiscoping experiments with Huawei Mate 9 smartphone

    The new Huawei, Mate 9 smartphone features dual lenses co-engineered by Leica. One lens shoots in color and the other in stunning 20 mp monochrome. I got to briefly experiment with the Mate 9 mounted to a Leica APO Televid spotting scope at the Leica Store Los Angeles back in […]

  • 30. March 2017

    Spend a fantastic birding-week in Sicily!

    A journey that indulges in nature, history, archeology and the art of cooking – led by Italian Leica birding ambassador Andrea Corso. Take part and discover Sicily, the islands of birds, orchids and archeology. We will observe some of the rarest birds in Italia (Marbled Duck, Lanner feldeggii, Sicilian Rock […]

  • 16. March 2017

    Linosa Island – a paradise for Mediterranean birders

    Ten years ago, a small group of intrepid fanatic birders decided that big national parks, nature reserve and woodlands were not their favourite birding destination. Instead, they love small islands and peaceful places where they can observe migrant birds and dragonflies. So they decided to visit Linosa Island, one of […]

  • 14. March 2017

    24-hour adventure 
for a good cause

    Well-equipped with binoculars, spotting scopes and eyepieces from Leica, the Swiss team will take part in the international birdwatching competition “Champions of the Flyway” in Israel on 28 March. The Leica Sempach Snowfinches’ goal? To have fun and to improve on their performance last year. It all began back in […]

  • 6. March 2017

    Champions of the Flyway 2017

    A big event is coming closer! Champions of the Flyway 2017 will take place place on Tuesday March 28th.. All birding teams are also competing to raise the most conservation funding to help stop the illegal killing of birds in Turkey. The donated money goes directly to this cause and […]

  • 28. February 2017

    Birding in Kamerun

    Mein Name ist Ross Murphy. Ich bin 62 Jahre alt, aus den USA und habe mein Leben lang in der Ölndustrie gearbeitet. Gerade deswegen bin ich Naturfreund und Birder. Ich war an vielen Stellen der Welt, von den USA bis Asien und immer hatte ich mein Birding Equipment dabei. Mein […]

  • 16. February 2017

    Extended Seasons

    A personal awareness of one’s natural surroundings can provide daily discoveries, wonder, and even stir the soul. It also makes one keenly aware of the natural seasons. Even though the official „first day of spring“ on the calendar is listed as March 20th, „spring“ from a birding perspective is defined […]

  • 15. February 2017

    Norfolk Birding House Parties

    Part 2 Following on from a successful week’s birding in Norfolk, Alan Davis and Ruth Miller are back and ready to go with another group for their second Birding House Party. When the first bird of the trip is a barred warbler just yards from our base for the week, […]

  • 13. January 2017

    Norfolk Birding House Parties

    Part 1 Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, AKA ‘The Biggest Twitch’, have visited far flung corners of the world in pursuit of exotic birds. However, they are still hugely passionate about the species found closer to home in Great Britain as seen here in their latest trip; a week of […]

  • 2. January 2017

    Streets ahead

    “They’re the best pair of binoculars I’ve ever picked up,” said TV presenter, naturalist and wildlife guide Iolo Williams when we asked him how he was getting on with his new 10×42 Noctivids. “I was at RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk recently watching a barn owl until dark. The light got […]

  • 19. December 2016

    California dreaming

    Things are well and truly wintry in Britain at the moment, so the Leica Birding UK team decided to banish the blues temporarily by chatting about sunnier summer days with one of our ambassadors. Naturalist, TV presenter and wildlife guide, Iolo Williams had bad luck with the weather earlier this […]

  • 12. December 2016

    Birding between the Black Sea and the High Caucasus

    We proceed slowly along the edge of a stony mountain rim. Only there, some of the target bird species of our trip to Georgia are observable: Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Caucasian Great Rosefinch and Guldenstadt’s Redstart – the frosty grey giant of the rocks, the velvet black puffy guardian […]

  • 2. December 2016

    The Leica Trinovid HD – A Life Changing Experience at ABA Camp Colorado

    I have been interested in dinosaurs for as long as I can remember. Inhabitants of a time so far from our own and yet a fundamental part of its history made an impression on my mind from a young age and continue to be a source of interest, wonder, and […]

  • 22. November 2016

    The Bekantans of Balikpapan Bay

    “Ten years ago this was all forest,” says Stan Lhota, a primatologist from the Czech Republic, as he casts a hand over Balikpapan Bay which now resembles an industrial site. “And this was a romantic little fishing village.” We are standing at Gersik harbour looking out at the horizon of […]

  • 16. November 2016

    The Biggest Twitch and the Best of Anglesey

    Alan Davies and Ruth Miller have been birding all around the world, but they still love a tour close to their home in north Wales. Here they talk us through a tour of the Isle of Anglesey back in the summer, separated from the spectacular mainland by the Menai Strait […]

  • 10. November 2016

    One big birding fiesta

    This summer I decided that I wanted to see more seabirds in life. 
Despite having the new Noctivids already in my possession since the official launch at the British Birdfair, lack of time made sure the bins hadn’t left the bag. After the birdfair there are just so many things […]

  • 4. November 2016

    A Quest for Bicknell’s Thrush Leads to Thoughts of Conservation

    Spring is one of the best times of the year to be in the beautiful, birdy, nature-rich state of Maine. The frigid, snowy weather and very short daylight periods move along giving way for long days of warm sun, vibrant green leaves, wildflowers rich with purples, whites, yellows, and more. […]

  • 31. October 2016

    The Queens of the Skies

    You could easily miss the dusty little village of Khichan, situated close to the Pakistan border with India in the state of Rajasthan, its appearance much like the previous hundred or so we had passed through on our fourteen-hour drive from Delhi, were it not for the cacophony of noise. […]

  • 27. October 2016

    Reflections from ABA Camp Colorado

    This summer, I was granted the opportunity to attend ABA Camp Colorado, and I can’t begin to illustrate what an enriching experience this privilege truly was. Over the course of six days, I was able to explore an incredible diversity of habitats in the state of Colorado. The experienced Camp […]

  • 24. October 2016

    Wildlife Photographer Award for Luke Massey

    A massive congratulations to Leica Optics Ambassador, Luke Massey, who has been announced as a winner in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. The 52nd award ceremony was at the Natural History Museum. A total of 50,000 entries from 95 countries were whittled down by an expert judging […]

  • 17. October 2016

    Birding in the land of the midnight sun – part two: Norway

    Previously, we heard how Alan and Ruth enjoyed endless days of birding and some amazing birds in Finland earlier this year. In the second instalment of their midnight sun diary, we hear how they fared in Norway. Their accounts of fabulous birds in the northern summer makes cheering reading to […]

  • 5. October 2016

    Birding in the Land of the Midnight Sun

    Part one: Finland As the nights get longer across Europe, we look back to some almost endless summer days in the land of the midnight sun with birding guides Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, famed for their world record breaking ‘Biggest Twitch’ world tour. As their diary shows, more daylight […]

  • 22. September 2016

    Desert Island binoculars

    Members of the public, journalists and audiences in general like asking me questions. First they want to know what my favourite bird is (swallow). Then they want to know my favourite colour (purple – a homage to Prince). Then my “Desert Island Disc” (more Prince please!). Finally, they ask if […]

  • 8. September 2016

    The Tyrrhenian Flycatcher

    Birders, and most people in general, often think that to find and enjoy a nice bird species or an interesting animal, we need to move far from our cities, or even far from our home countries. But big cities can reveal big surprises. In July I cycled along the Tevere […]

  • 5. September 2016

    Iolo Williams in Shetland

    Naturalist, TV presenter, writer and wildlife guide Iolo Williams has spent a lot of time on islands this spring and summer. After spending a fabulous – if cold – three weeks on the Farne Islands off the east coast of northern England for BBC Springwatch, he headed further north in […]

  • 23. August 2016

    Birdfair 2016: the official Noctivid launch

    The British Birdwatching Fair, popularly known as Birdfair, is always a highlight in the year for the Leica Birding team. This year, however, was extra special – with the event seeing the launch of our new Noctivid binoculars. In spite of decidedly inclement weather conditions on the first morning of […]

  • 19. August 2016

    The New Leica NOCTIVID – A reality built on a whole century of knowledge and expertise

    The U.K. is an important country for optics in the nature market and with the imminent launch of Leica’s exciting new binocular, a number of important nature market retailers were invited to the HQ in Wetzlar to hear a presentation from product manager Nanette Roland and to thoroughly test the […]

  • 18. August 2016

    Helping WWT get youngsters birding at BBC Countryfile Live

    Summer weather has finally reached the UK and the Leica Birding team spent a sun-kissed few days by the lake at Blenheim Palace earlier this August. There was no time to put our feet up, however, as we were busy introducing families to the delights of birding in partnership with […]

  • 10. August 2016

    Iolo Williams and the white binoculars

    It’s been a busy year for Leica Birding ambassador, wildlife TV presenter Iolo Williams. We caught up with him recently to find out how filming the BBC’s ever-popular Springwatch had gone this year. For the latest series, Iolo found himself on the Farne Islands, a collection of igneous outcrops off […]

  • 3. August 2016

    Hope and heartbreak for Spoonies at Slimbridge

    All the political news in the UK over the past month has obscured some other rather exciting news – the spoon-billed sandpipers at WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire have laid their very first eggs! Whether this resulted in live births or not, this represented a huge milestone for the project, of […]

  • 27. July 2016

    82 or 65 the Televid Quandary

    The big question most users have when selecting a new Leica spotting scope is, „Which model is the best for me?“ The Leica APO Televid is offered in body styles with either a straight through or 45º angled eyepiece design. While the former seems more intuitive for use at first […]

  • 11. July 2016

    Early morning in Tanzania

    Why a pair of Leica binoculars is the most important companion on every safari – Madeleine Jansen tells us her story. It’s five o’clock in the morning. Our zebra-striped Jeep has been bouncing along the bumpy roads by the Ngorongoro Crater for the past half-hour. I envy Gert, on the […]

  • 6. July 2016

    See, show and share!

    See, show and share nature in exceptional quality with Leica’s new integrated digiscoping package. Leica’s new, all-inclusive digiscoping package transforms wildlife observation and photography into an incomparable and shareable experience at unbeatable discounted prices. The package contains a Leica APO-Televid spotting scope, a Leica T camera, a Leica 25-50x WW […]

  • 4. July 2016

    The birdlife of Darwin and Kakadu

    Led by British wildlife presenter David Lindo, AKA The Urban Birder, a camera crew recently spent ten days in the Northern Territories of Australia shooting two mini films on the bird life. Guided by birding extraordinaire Luke Paterson of NT Bird Specialists we were in bimbo heaven as soon as […]

  • 30. June 2016

    Pining for Pine Flycatchers

    What do you do when a first U.S. record shows up about two hours from where you live? If you are me, and you live in southeastern Arizona, and the bird in question is the Pine Flycatcher, you watch your Facebook newsfeed fill up with brilliant pictures taken by all […]

  • 20. June 2016

    Hope for the helpless on Kotok Island

    We are led to the darkest, dingiest corner of this large cruel beast, the frantic beating of wings against metal cages surround us. “It’s for our father,” we had told the man, “he has just moved here and he wants to see what you have before he buys.” An easy […]

  • 13. June 2016

    Living Unicorn

    Birds have wings and many migrate great distances, so there is always a chance that a “rare bird” could show up far away from where it normally occurs, just like the Curlew Sandpipers that the US-based Leica Birding Team ran into at multiple birding events this spring (Biggest Week in […]

  • 7. June 2016

    A day with the Spoon-Billed Sandpipers at Slimbridge

    It was a cold and blustery November day when I joined a privileged few for a sneak preview of an ambitious operation being run at WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. A project to save one of the most threatened species in the world – the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper. The Spoon-Billed Sandpiper, a […]

  • 30. May 2016

    Spring at the Straight of Messina

    Wind, strong wind, thick clouds, heavy rain, cold … that does not sound like a typical Sicilian springday, does it? But this how it was. And I went to the Strait of Messina (on the Sicilian side) to study and protect raptors against the illegal shooting for LIPU UK and […]

  • 13. May 2016

    Leica for all seasons with Iolo Williams

    Last time Leica Birding caught up with TV presenter Iolo Williams, he told us about scaring off a bear using only a pair of Trinovid binoculars. Since then, he’s been extremely busy on and off screen, filming and guiding around the UK and beyond. There haven’t been any more bare-knuckle […]

  • 29. April 2016

    Are You Watching TV?

    The TV, or Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) as it is more formally known, is a common and widespread New World species that birders largely take for granted. In terms of identification, beginners enjoy learning the differences between TV and BV (or Black Vulture), and later on the TV is a […]

  • 21. April 2016

    Champions of the Flyway 2016 – every bird counts!

    It is perhaps the most fascinating phenomenon in the birding world, but unfortunately not without danger: bird migration. And Eilat, Israel, is one of the best places in the world to experience this spectacular phenomenon. It should therefore come as no surprise that here, for the third time, the international […]

  • 18. April 2016

    Birding in Morocco

    March 2016. Late evening, the light is changing into a deep orange-red. I am driving up the mountains in the High Atlas, Middle Morocco. By Andrea Corso. I’m thinking about the many exlorers who came in the 18th and 19th century to North Africa to study the fauna and discover […]

  • 11. April 2016

    Early Start For A Wonderful Wash

    You hear a lot about the importance of having optics that work well in low light conditions. A recent trip to East Anglia provided a perfect illustration of why it’s so important for Leica Birding ambassadors, Alan Davies and Ruth Miller. Warning: this blog contains a high number of “wow” […]

  • 22. March 2016

    Tale of two Adapters – new digiscoping accessories from Leica!

    Leica Q camera & matched adapter (left) Leica T camera with Universal 35 mm adapter (right) So after weeks of anxious anticipation, I FINALLY received the shipment I’d been eagerly awaiting. The shipment arrived late Friday evening as I was literally heading out the door for a scheduled appointment. On […]

  • 21. March 2016

    Biggest isn’t always best

    Size isn’t everything, especially when it comes to binoculars. I have always been amused and bemused by the fact that in movies whenever people use bins they are enormous. The bins, that is. By BILL ODDIE Fair enough if it is a black and white naval saga – binoculars were […]

  • 19. March 2016

    What did the DSP ever do to Them?

    One of the unique and most charismatic birds in South America, high if not top on any birders’ list of target species when they visit its range, is Phegornis mitchellii, long known as Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, or affectionately abbreviated as DSP. Its long and droop-tipped bill is unlike that of typical […]

  • 9. March 2016

    Army Ants and Antbirds

    We were bumping down the road in the pick-up when suddenly Domi stomped on the brakes, put the truck in park, and jumped out of the driver’s seat. “ARMY ANTS!” he exclaimed in an excited voice, quickly pulling down the ladder to let our group climb down out of the […]

  • 8. March 2016

    Champions of the Flyway – Team „Dutch Knights“

    It is perhaps the most fascinating phenomenon in the birding world, but unfortunately not without dangers – bird migration. And Eilat in Israel is one of the best places in the world to experience this spectacular phenomenon. Champions of the Flyway – Team „Dutch Knights“ It is perhaps the most […]

  • 7. March 2016

    Counting spoonies

    Geoff Hilton is Head of Research & Chief Scientist at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. The work of Geoff and his team supports the conservation of numerous species including spoon-billed sandpiper, Madagascar pochard, Greenland white-fronted geese, red-breasted geese and common scoter. The Gulf of Mottama is the ideal place to […]

  • 28. February 2016

    Assumptions versus the dark-morph Pink-footed Shearwater

    Whether Pink-footed Shearwater has a (very rare) dark morph, or whether occasional individuals are melanistic, are interesting semantic questions. But the bottom line for field observers is that apparently dark-plumaged Pink-footed Shearwaters are out there, and they could be confused with Flesh-footed Shearwater. Although some have questioned this assumption (e.g., […]

  • 26. February 2016

    The Urban Birding Experience in Málaga

    Málaga, situated on the sun-kissed Costa del Sol in Andalucia, southern Spain would hardly seem like a venue for urban birding. But surprisingly, it has a lot to offer. The city, which is one of the oldest in the world, is one of Spain’s major tourist spots but yet even […]

  • 22. February 2016

    Forging Champions

    In August 2013, my friend Jonathan Meyrav of the Israel Ornithological Center approached me at the British Bird Fair & first told me of the Champions of the Flyway. A fantastic new bird race (or Big Day) to benefit bird conservation along the flyways between Africa & Eurasia. The event […]

  • 19. February 2016

    Champions of The Flyway – Team Extremadura

    In 2016 a team of expert birders is being formed by members of Lonely Birder in conjunction with The Urban Birder. We are being sponsored by the Department of Tourism at the Regional Government of Extremadura (Spain) and suported by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Leica to take part […]

  • 18. February 2016

    Urban Treasure Hunting

    The Las Vegas strip is a dream location for some. However, if nature is your thing, this sterile, urban environment makes it real challenging to get your daily wildlife fix. Recently, I found myself in the middle of the strip and decided to pit my skills against that challenge. I […]

  • 15. February 2016

    Leica Birding visit to Slimbridge

    There’s a lot more to birding than bright colours and big wingspans – it’s often the unobtrusive, smaller species that can give the most pleasure and awe-inspiring observation experiences. This was the case when Leica took a group of journalists and dealers to WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre at the end […]

  • 8. February 2016

    Leica Stories: Ana Ágreda

    Last September I found myself on Chincoteague Island, setting of the mythical Misty of Chincoteague, a favorite book from my childhood. I’d arrived about a day and a half before to help facilitate a workshop to develop the Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy. Partners from all over the Pacific coast […]

  • 7. February 2016

    Cape May Bird Observatory’s American Dippers

    In March 2015, the Leica / Cape May Bird Observatory „American Dippers“ achieved the improbable, when we returned home from Eilat, Israel with the coveted Champions of the Flyway cup in hand. While less familiar with the Eastern birds, we carried the experience of well over 100 individual big days […]

  • 29. January 2016

    Slow it Down

    When in Honduras for the new Trinovid HD press trip, we were hiking on a challenging trail that wound down a steep slope in the rain forests of Pico Bonito Park. As we were heading down hill we were separated on various switchbacks, when a mixed flock passed us bouncing […]

  • 9. January 2016

    My Log from the Sea of Cortez

    “Let’s go wide open….let us go,” we said, “into the Sea of Cortez, realizing that we become forever a part of it; that our rubber boots slogging through a flat of eel-grass, that the rocks we turn over in a tide pool, make us truly and permanently a factor in […]

  • 31. December 2015

    First At-sea Images of Ainley’s Storm-Petrel – but who cares?

    Leica team member Steve Howell is back recently from a ten-day pelagic trip off northwest Mexico, where he saw plenty of ‘Leach’s Storm-Petrels’ – including the enigmatic Ainley’s Storm-Petrel, endemic as a breeder to Mexico’s Guadalupe Island (about 170 miles west of the Baja California Peninsula), described as new to […]

  • 26. December 2015

    Big Year home stretch, for Noah!

    It was July 2014 when I first heard about Noah Strycker’s ambitious plan to see 5,000 different bird species in a single year and have to admit I skeptically thought, „Hmmm… that’s pretty ambitious!“ He posted the same publicly on October 2014, and I know for a fact that others thought the […]

  • 25. December 2015

    Wild Night Life in Honduras

    So after great anticipation our entire crew finally arrived at the Lodge at Pico Bonito just as sun was setting. We were eager to explore but the birds had all retired for the night and we still needed to get checked in and make our way to our cabins. With […]

  • 24. December 2015

    Bill Oddie on binoculars

    Ever since he was a boy wielding his first pair, Leica Sport Optics UK ambassador Bill Oddie has been very particular about the binoculars he uses. These days, he’s just as discerning, and over the years he’s come to realise that, for him, it’s about principles as well as performance. […]

  • 23. December 2015

    Endemism in a Disappearing Rainforest

    The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is simply ridiculous. Located in the southeastern portion of the country, it is characterized by lush montane and coastal rainforest and is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and several other unique Brazilian ecoregions such as caatinga, cerrado and pampa. This isolation meant one particular outcome: […]

  • 7. December 2015

    An Urban Safari

    Deyrolle is a scientific and educational institution which exists since 1831. Temple of observation of Nature, reference in the field of taxidermy and entomology, Deyrolle is also a unique Cabinet of Curiosities whose exceptional collections inspire artists, collectors and visitors from all around the world. It is in this spirit […]

  • 4. December 2015

    Amazing Crew of Birders heads Toward Honduras

    So about a month ago I started contacting some VIP’s in the birding industry (and most friends as well) asking „I know it’s short notice, but would you like to go to Honduras with me next month?!?….“ Not surprisingly it didn’t take me long to fill the trip! The purpose […]

  • 2. December 2015

    „Cleverly designed neoprene-system“

    Leica raises the bar with the new generation of the 42 mm models in the Trinovid HD family. Thanks to the new optics, Trinovid HD binoculars guarantee an exceptionally bright and clear view, pin-sharp resolution, superb colour fidelity and perfect contrast. For the first time, the Leica Trinovid HD models […]

  • 25. November 2015

    Dual Citizens: South Florida’s and Brazil’s Shared Avifauna

    As a native of South Florida, making the transition to living temporarily and birding in Brazil was in some ways easier than say, moving here from the Midwest. For one, I am fairly accustomed with Latin American culture having grown up in Miami, a city where the vast majority is […]

  • 22. November 2015

    Lush tropical rainforests, amazing birds, AND…

    While I’ve never required or demanded much service OR luxury when it comes to my birding obsession, I have to admit as I get older (and more spoiled) I find that I may just be acquiring a taste for it! My main priority remains as always though… put me outside […]

  • 17. November 2015

    Quarter of a million seabirds

    Since 15th August this year two Leica APO Televid 82 field scopes have been scanning the sea at Peniche, Portugal. They are part of the Peniche Seabird Count, a project initiated by Professor Johan Elmberg from Kristianstad University, Swedish birder and author Erik Hirschfeld and local birder Helder Cardoso. With […]

  • 12. November 2015

    An Icelandic Ballad

    Isolated in the middle of the North Atlantic and bordering the Arctic Circle, Iceland stands sentinel to the meteorological depressions of the Great North. At the young age of 20 million years, this island offers a landscape known for its birding and midnight sun. By Philippe Jaeger After leaving Iceland’s capital, […]

  • 31. October 2015

    Bird Mentor: Advanced Skills for Beginning Birders

    Leica Interview with Kristi Dranginis I first met Kristi two years ago during the predawn hour at our bird banding station along the Animas River in Colorado. I remember she was sipping a fragrant homemade chai while we waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. We exchanged small talk […]

  • 30. October 2015

    Of Unlucky Magpies and Gangs of Redwings

    Alan Davies and Ruth Miller have been guiding clients around North Wales and the Dee Estuary this autumn and shared some of the best moments with us. “Our latest Birdwatching Magazine Birdwatching Trip was a huge success! Not only did we enjoy amazing birds in stunning scenery but we had […]

  • 27. October 2015

    Camaraderie through Cotingas

    Experiences are often the most enjoyable when shared with other people. Here at the Cristalino Private Reserve in the Brazilian Amazon, residential guides and visitors are joined by the birds, where over 600 species have been recorded. As a guide at Cristalino, I am fortunate to be amongst species such […]

  • 13. October 2015

    Magic over the Islands

    Each fall season for the past few years, hawk counters at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch have broken their own world record for the most Peregrine Falcons tallied at a single migration monitoring site in a season. Recent Peregrine Falcons totals @ FKH 2012 – 3,836 Peregrine Falcons tallied 2013 – 4,010 Peregrine Falcons tallied […]

  • 12. October 2015

    Pounding Hearts and Beating Wings: Cape May Migration Madness

    Cool morning temperatures and crisp organic scents saturate the forest floor while lush blankets of red, yellow and gold adorn the treetops; autumn has fallen across North America. The chaos and excitement of breeding season is over. Young birds are learning the ins and outs of functioning on their own […]

  • 8. October 2015

    The binoculars and the bear

    We all know that binoculars are one of the most important pieces of wildlife observation equipment. Manufacturers are always keen to tell you about long lists of amazing selling points – image quality, brightness, contrast, transmission, waterproofing and so on – but one they don’t often mention is how much […]

  • 30. September 2015

    World Record in Hand

    The Date – September 16th, 2015, the place – the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, India. You can see the rain drops clinging to the branches and leaves in the image above. Definitely not Noah’s most technically perfect image he’s shared, but likely the one that was shared the most! On a […]

  • 26. September 2015

    Amazonian Yard Listing

    There isn’t anything too much more indescribably exciting than nearing the end of a long journey to a foreign birding location. You’ve spent evenings gawking at Google images, worn the pages of a formerly new field guide, you’ve read dozens of trip reports in the weeks leading up to the […]

  • 13. September 2015

    Stay tuned – Countdown to the new world record in…

    Let the countdown begin. Noah Strycker is a mere 39 species from seeing more bird species in a single year than any other human being! Think about that, approaching half of the world’s bird species in just nine months time! No one can appreciate the magnitude of this amazing accomplishment […]

  • 4. September 2015

    Flocking to Rutland from around the globe

    The Leica team is catching its breath after a great few days at this year’s Birdfair, which took place at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve from 21st to 23rd August. It was a busy few days: we unveiled a fantastic new product; launched a special offer on spotting scope package; […]

  • 21. August 2015

    Split or Get Off the Pot: Genetics and the AOU vs. Reality?

    „Surely one of the core virtues of birding is its independent, even anarchic spirit“ (Gordon, 2015). The North American Classification Committee (NACC) of the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) comprises appointed members who pass judgment and make determinations on species limits, English names, and related issues for the birds of North […]

  • 16. August 2015

    Bill the Adventurer heads to the North Pole!

    If you have been to past ABA conventions or many US birding festivals, or if you enjoy bird photos, or if you’ve attended ABA Young birding camps… hopefully you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Bill Schmoker. The smile is real and ever present and he is one of the most […]

  • 6. August 2015

    Keeping up with Noah Strycker

    When we last touched base with Noah he was enjoying scenery, birds and wildlife with Jennie Duberstein one of our Leica Birding Crew at famed California Gulch, in southeast Arizona (May 24, 2015). By that days end, Noah had already tallied an amazing 2625 bird species, in countless locales in 2015 alone. He […]

  • 3. August 2015

    Migration Magic in the Land of Milk and Honey-buzzards

    May 3, 2015. I stand at my station in the Eilat Mountains, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, at the north end of the Red Sea. Stretching away to southwest, the mountains of Israel seamlessly give way to the mountains of Egypt, the boundary only recognizable thanks to the hand of […]

  • 3. August 2015

    Leica Stories: An Interview with Jennie MacFarland

    “I have a question for you about volunteering for the Arizona Important Bird Areas program.” I can’t tell you how many times someone has come up to me asking something like this. “I’m not the Jennie you are looking for,” I tell them. “You are Jennie, the bird biologist who […]

  • 1. July 2015

    Capturing Raptors with the Leica V-Lux (typ 114) camera

    As typical, last weekend I went birding locally and as usual, I carried the Leica V-Lux (typ 114) camera with me to preserve digital memories along the way. I’ve said on numerous occasions, „this is the best wildlife camera we have ever produced“ and I mean it. Why?!?… the simple answer is: […]

  • 29. June 2015

    „An incredible thing to experience“

    Roland Digby is an expert aviculturist. His skill at breeding and rearing birds has helped return cirl buntings and Eurasian cranes to parts of southern England. He’s spent long periods working in remote parts of the world including the Madagascar highlands, where he helped set up breeding facilities for the […]

  • 23. June 2015

    Exploring Gulf Coast Waters

    In most coastal areas, bird distribution off shore is generally much less understood than than that of land birds. The reason is simple, the cost and logistical difficulties of getting off shore is a challenge, requiring much greater planning and effort than merely peering into backyard brush for migrants. The water […]

  • 10. June 2015

    One Gal, Three Guys and Five-striped Sparrows: Chasing Birds with Noah Strycker

    Have you ever seen a Five-striped Sparrow? It’s a Mexican species that just makes its way into the United States in a few spots in southeastern Arizona. The phrase “death march” often accompany a description of an attempt to find Five-striped Sparrow in Arizona. The roads require high clearance and […]

  • 7. June 2015

    Putting Your Scope to the Ultimate Test!

    So did you hear the one about the guy who fought off a Grizzly Bear with his spotting scope?!?… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, I know, but this is a true and amazing story. In spring 2013 the Leica Birding Facebook page was tagged in the rather random […]

  • 5. June 2015

    Feathers Over Freeport

    Now in its 9th year (see previous post LINK), the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch in Pownal, Maine attracts an average of over 1200 visitors annually. Furthermore, many times that number visit the summit throughout our two month season and briefly chat with the Official Counter or read our count board and […]

  • 3. June 2015

    Travis is traveling to Antarctica

    Leica contributor Oliver Vogler took a trip to Antarctica. He was accompanied by Travis the traveling trinovid. We interviewed Oliver to learn more about their adventures at the south pole. Leica Sport Optics: How come you travelled to Antarctica and why was Travis with you? Oliver: We frequently accompany the tour operator […]

  • 1. June 2015

    The first half is the quickest: An update from Noah’s World Big Year

    I was thrilled to get another field update from Noah Strycker a full 5 months through his worldwide big year effort, Birding Without Borders. Read on to hear his take on the effort thus far. Photos & Text by Noah Strycker After four and a half intense months in Latin America, I’ve […]

  • 26. May 2015

    Leica Stories: An Interview with Danielle Brigida

    I met Danielle Brigida (pronounced like London BRIDGE-i-da, as she’d tell you) three or four years ago when she taught a social media course I was taking at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. At the time she was in charge of social media for the National Wildlife Federation. We […]

  • 21. May 2015

    Closer look at the American Woodcock

    The American Woodcock is a secretive nocturnal bird that acts as unique as it looks! This warm, earthy shorebird makes its living in moist grassy margins near wooded lots. A common breeder along the shores of the Great Lakes these are always a highlight at The Biggest Week in American Birding with specialized night […]

  • 10. May 2015

    How Leica’s “RED DOT” got me my 522nd species in California

    Author & artist Keith Hansen knows a thing or two about the birds of California, read below how a Leica logo helped him see an amazing bird! Whatever title you give it, that red dot connected me to a wonderful, rare and bewitchingly ghoulish treat from the southland. I first became aware of […]

  • 6. May 2015

    Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatching!

    Here in New England, it sure hasn’t felt much like spring. But the sun is getting higher, the days are getting longer, and finally, those snowbanks are being reduced – if ever so slowly. And believe it or not, birds are on the move. In fact, hawkwatching season is here! […]

  • 4. May 2015

    Telling the story – documenting a worldwide big year!

    Noah Strycker has posted the totals from day 118 of his 365 day quest to see 5,000 birds worldwide. He has 2320 bird species and counting, having birded Antarctica, then up through South America, and just now polishing of Central America, moving to Mexico in the next days and then on […]

  • 1. May 2015

    David A. La Puma: Operation Springwatch

    Cape May is a Mecca for birders, especially those interested in migration. In Autumn, Cape May represents one of the best locations in the world to witness visible migration of songbirds, raptors, and waterbirds, a spectacle that peaks in September and October after most of the summer vacationers have left […]

  • 27. April 2015

    David Lindo: The Vote National Bird Campaign

    Britain does not have a national bird. That is an unbelievable fact, given that Britain – the birthplace of birding – is well known as a nation of animal lovers. So why does the nation, in which I was raised, not have an emblemic bird? After all, many other countries […]

  • 24. April 2015

    There’s Always Time for Birding

    I recently had the honor of attending the 2015 Polar Educators International Conference in Hannover, Germany. Being my first trip to Continental Europe, I was keen on seeing some new birds in new places. The conference, however, was booked pretty solidly with activities, workshops, and presentations relating to polar education, not birds. […]

  • 22. April 2015

    Local Patch Birding

    Do you have a local patch? A spot near your home where you regularly go to bird? I live in Tucson, Arizona, and my spot is a wastewater treatment facility called Sweetwater Wetlands. The City of Tucson has created a spot that not only uses natural processes to help clean wastewater, […]

  • 20. April 2015

    Champions of the Flyway Part IV: The Race is On!

    It was the morning before the race and our intention was to scout the immediate Eilat area and formulate the final part of our route. We started at Ofira Park in town where we could check the potential and look for the White-throated Kingfisher that had been reported here, while also […]

  • 17. April 2015

    Zhao Xinru: Tragopan in the Deep Fog

    It was thirty years ago, with cold fog covering the mountains, unlocking the secrets of the moment’s feeling. In the spring of 1984 I was fortunate enough to be an assistant accompanying China’s famous ornithologist Professor Zheng Guangmei to southern Zhejiang Wuyanling Reserve. We had only one goal: to find […]

  • 15. April 2015

    Champions of the Flyway Part III: Piecing it Together

    This is part three in a series of blog posts about the Champions of the Flyway event, an annual bird race (big day) for conservation held in Eilat, Israel. A true international event, birders from all over the globe are coming together to make a difference during Champions of the Flyway: a bird race […]

  • 13. April 2015

    Backyard Birding in Wales

    We, Ruth Miller and Alan Davies, are two British birders that some of you may have heard of. Back in 2008 we set off on a birding adventure, The Biggest Twitch. Birding in 27 countries, we set a new world record for the number of species recorded in a single […]

  • 10. April 2015

    Photographing Critically Endangered Owls of Madagascar

    Alan van Norman, a neurosurgeon from Bismarck, North Dakota, spends much of his spare time traveling the world to photograph owls. In November 2014, he excitedly boarded a flight destined for some remote Indian Ocean islands off the east coast of Africa. Not only did he want to find and […]

  • 8. April 2015

    Dessi Sieburth: ABA Young Birder of the Year 2015

    Each year the American Birding Association honors young birders from all over the country with the coveted „ABA Young Birder of the Year“ awards. This year, the winners were Marky Mutchler of Liberty, Missouri and Dessi Sieburth of Montrose, California. These and the other young birders competed in an intense year-long competition that might […]

  • 6. April 2015

    Champions of the Flyway Part II: The Lay of the Land

    This is part two in a series of blog posts about the Champions of the Flyway event. A staggering 2,500,000 birds are illegally hunted, trapped and killed on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus each year. Birders from all over the globe are coming together to make a difference during Champions of the Flyway: […]

  • 3. April 2015

    Contrasting & Comparing Big Years

    The movie „The Big Year“ brought the concept of seeing as many birds as possible in a single year to the attention of many for the first time, but hardcore birders have known about these events and have been taking up the challenge for as long as I remember. In the […]

  • 1. April 2015

    Ma Xuejun: The Pied Falconet

    On a weekend trip to Wuyuan, I went out in search of the Pied falconet. The first time I saw one was with a friend at rainforest birding time the year before on the nearby Yunnan-Burma border. It was around noon, and most of the birds tend to hide in […]

  • 30. March 2015

    Champions of the Flyway Part I: A Race With a Cause!

    This is the first part in a series of blog posts about the Champions of the Flyway event. A staggering 2,500,000 birds are illegally hunted, trapped and killed on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus each year. Birders from all over the globe are coming together to make a difference during Champions of the […]

  • 27. March 2015

    Wood Stork Feeding Strategy

    This past January I had the privilege of joining Jeff Bouton, Raymond VanBuskirk, and Rafael Galvez at the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida. For this Coloradan the change in climate was welcomed, but even more awesome for me was the chance to spend quality time with birds I […]

  • 25. March 2015

    Birth of a Birder

    How do you get a five-year-old interested in birds? Tell him the scientific name of American Robin. Hilarity will ensue. I promise. Earlier this year I took a trip east to visit my brother and his family. My nephews Freddy and Benny are eight and five. Since we live across the country […]

  • 23. March 2015

    Out of Albuquerque: The New Face of Leica Birding

    With well over 100 hundred years of providing the world with the best optical equipment it’s probably safe to assume that Leica also takes care to hire only the best of the best to represent the company in the global marketplace; birding is serious business after all. Last year when […]

  • 20. March 2015

    Rich Hearn: Tracking the Spoon-billed Sandpiper

    Rich heads up WWT’s species monitoring team and chairs the Wetlands International/IUCN-SSC Duck Specialist Group. He joined WWT in 1995 after taking part in an expedition to Argentina to look for Brazilian mergansers. He has since taken part in waterbird surveys and research and helped set up monitoring programmes all […]

  • 18. March 2015

    Spring Has Sprung

    The thought of spring may seem like a fairy tale for those in the Northern US buried under record amounts of February and March snowfalls, but here in sunny Florida, spring has definitely sprung and believe it or not, it’s coming your way! The first migrants to return to Florida each „spring“ are the Purple […]

  • 16. March 2015

    Monitoring Migrations in Israel

    Hello from sunny Eilat, Israel! I’m out here this spring taking part in the intensive bird monitoring efforts put on by the Israeli Ornithological Center, and the International Birding and Research Center, Eilat. I’m participating in the survey side of things, rather than the banding (ringing for all of our […]

  • 13. March 2015

    Champions of the Flyway 2015

    The Mediterranean is a danger zone for millions of migratory birds that pass the region on their travels to and from Africa — twice every year. Malta is an infamous example of the hazards these birds face by hunters and poachers, but the island of Cyprus is a hotspot for […]

  • 11. March 2015

    Colorful or Cryptic?

    From California to Mexico, Leica team member Steve Howell has recently been contemplating the beauty and plumage patterns of some ‘colorful’ birds… We all know about nightjars and bitterns having cryptic plumage, even green parrots in green trees. But some other species, when seen in a field guide, don’t seem […]

  • 9. March 2015

    New: Leica Introduces the Ultravid HD-Plus 50 at IWA 2015

    Yesterday marked the last day of IWA Outdoor Classics 2015 in Nuremburg, Germany. IWA is one of the world’s leading exhibitions for outdoor and hunting equipment in the world. Over the weekend, Leica Sport Optics introduced a range of new products for naturalists, the highlight being the Ultravid HD-Plus 50. With the […]

  • 6. March 2015

    Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Three Painful Steps

    When you live in Ontario Canada, you see lots of Black-crowned Night-Herons. I’ve seen so many individuals over the years I couldn’t begin to try giving you a number here. What I remember most about them is the bird next to it in my old Golden Field Guide to Birds […]

  • 4. March 2015

    Professor Dr. Ralph Tollrian: Taking Leica Sport Optics to the Field

    In Egypt 2011 the political system was changing, but the people were friendly as ever. Twenty-five students from the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany traveled the Sinai from the mountains to the coral reefs to study Ecology and Biodiversity of the diverse ecosystems. They visited the Ras Mohammed national park, St. […]

  • 2. March 2015

    The Central Coast of Australia NSW- A Birder’s Paradise

    The Central Coast of Australia is a one and one half hour drive or train ride north of Sydney so it is an easy day trip for the visiting birdwatcher. It encompasses the local government areas of Gosford and Wyong. For the keen birder, it provides a wide variety of […]

  • 27. February 2015

    Advanced ID Tip: Sharp-shinned or Cooper’

    Sharp-shinned & Cooper’s Hawks are 2 of the most mis-identified birds in North America based on their similar markings & structure. The smallest members of the Genus „Accipiter“ in North America, these birds are woodland hawks characterized by long tails & short wings, which aid them in chasing avian prey through […]

  • 25. February 2015

    Gyrfalcon Invasion

    As many people are aware, starting with the winter of 2012/2013, Snowy Owls staged a dramatic and widespread invasion into southern Canada and the northeastern United States, with the biggest numbers being from December to February. Gyrfalcons, the other massive arctic raptor, also pushed further south and in larger numbers […]

  • 23. February 2015

    Chasing Noah

    Noah Strycker is an enthusiastic birder, a great writer, and is presently on the adventure of a lifetime! For many years he penned a featured column in WildBird magazine and was affectionately referred to as „BirdBoy“. He has long since outgrown that nickname, and currently works as an Associate Editor of „Birding“ […]

  • 20. February 2015

    Kimberley Birdwatching’s Ashmore Expedition October 2014 Summary

    The 2014 annual Spring eight-day Broome-Ashmore-Lacepedes-Broome expedition through Queensland, Australia, organized by George Swann of Kimberley Birdwatching (KBW), ran from October 20 – 27, 2014. The birding personnel were Tim Faulkner, Liz Faulkner, Rob Gibbons, Ian Halliday, Brian Johnston, Peter Madvig, Wayne Merrit, Scott Ryan, Jenny Spry, John Weigel, George Swann & […]

  • 19. February 2015

    ID Tip: Green-Winged Teal

    If it looks like a sandpiper, acts like a sandpiper and flies like a sandpiper it must be a sandpiper, except when it’s a duck. There is only one duck that regularly and artfully pulls off a sandpiper impersonation: the Green-winged Teal. Green-winged Teal frequently forage on mudflats, busily poking […]

  • 18. February 2015

    Spoonies: Headstarting

    Chukotka, Russia is where I’ve spent the last three Summers, coaxing spoon-billed sandpiper chicks from eggs to fully-fledged birds. The village of Meinypil’gyno – a multicoloured cluster of stilt houses with no roads in or out – is surrounded by moraine hills which are the only known breeding ground for […]

  • 16. February 2015

    David Lindo: Exploring Serbia

    When I start talking to people about Serbia, the images that most people conjure up in their minds is the vision of the devastating atrocities that occurred during the Yugoslav Wars of the nineties. I, too had the same thoughts when I was originally invited to visit Serbia’s capital, Belgrade in […]

  • 14. February 2015

    ID Tip: Immature Night Herons

    Something new to look at on juvenile night-herons? Adult Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned Night-Herons look quite different, rarely presenting an identification challenge. Juvenile night-herons on the other hand can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. There are a number of well-known differences. Yellow-crowned have longer legs and […]

  • 14. February 2015

    ID Tip: White Geese

    As winter approaches, birders in North America will soon be confronted with the identification challenge of separating Snow Geese from Ross’s Geese. Typically this is pretty easy, but the small numbers of Snow X Ross’s goose hybrids that exist add an additional layer of difficulty. In this photo, we have […]

  • 12. February 2015

    ID Tip: Yellowlegs & Stilt Sandpipers

    Like many species of waterbirds, shorebirds often fly in mixed flocks. Call me crazy, but looking through a mixed flock of fast-moving birds trying to sort out all the species involved is one of my favorite things to do. It can be quite a challenging exercise and requires concentration, stable […]

  • 12. February 2015

    ID Tip: Large Terns

    I was out at Tybee Island, Georgia over the weekend and was able to get some good comparison shots of Royal and Caspian Terns. These are the two largest terns in North America (Caspian is the largest tern in the world), and though they are quite different, they can still […]