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 LIPU Italia. The very first time I have been there was when I was a little kid, only eleven years old. At that time I had huge, old fashioned binoculars 10×50 that my granddad bought for me when I was six and started birding with him.
Back then, to watch raptors, you needed strong armmuscles and a powerful neck. We were standing all day, scouring the deep blue or grey clouded sky. We were waiting until some far away little dark dots started arriving from the south.
They came closer and only when they were really close, we could properly identify them through our old binos. What a pleasure when my identification of that little black dot proved to be correct.
Now, more than 30 years later, I am looking at the same sky. Only this time I am sitting, not standing and I have long since bought new binoculars. I am using my light and compact Leica Ultravid 10×42 Plus. I still love to identify these distant black dots, but it has become much more easy now thanks to my Leica.
Never mind the windy spring this year: the simple joy, the breathtaking moment when you see every single feather, their colour, their varied pattern… that is worth every minute every minute spent outside.