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 nature exploring/birding? Outside of Wales, my favourite place for watching wildlife is Mull. With 2 species of eagles, hen harriers, otters, basking sharks, minke whales, adders, grass of Parnassus and Scotch Argus butterflies, it’s difficult to beat!

How many bird species have you seen (if you know!) I have never kept a bird list in my life and never will. I have no idea how many birds I have seen in my garden, in Wales, in the UK or worldwide. For me, it’s about the pleasure of watching birds and how they behave, not about listing.

What is the most exotic bird you have seen? Or perhaps the most incredible bird/wildlife encounter you have had? My most incredible wildlife encounter has to be when I first saw orcas off the coast of Caithness near John O’Groats. I just couldn’t believe the majesty of the bull orca with its 2 metre dorsal fin. It’s one of the few times I’ve been lost for words!

Luke Massey

What is your favourite place for nature exploring/birding? 

My farm in Asturias, northern Spain. Every day something new could appear, and now we’ve been here a couple of years it’s great to see repeat visitors plus new species as the habitat improves. This year we have had two red backed shrike pairs successfully fledged chicks, and Egyptian vultures are daily visitors.

How many bird species have you seen (if you know!)

No idea, I don’t really count species. A lot as I’ve been lucky to travel all over the world but I’m not organized enough to make lists!

What is the most exotic bird you have seen? Or perhaps the most incredible bird/wildlife encounter you have had?

I spent two consecutive years filming and photographing and urban peregrine falcon nest in Chicago. The access we had was incredible. They’d nested in a flowerpot on someone’s balcony so we’re very used to people. I was able to photograph and film numerous hunts, but the most special moment was seeing the first time the female stood up from brooding and you could see one of the chicks bills poking out from the egg.

Alan Davies and Ruth Miller

What is your favourite place for nature exploring/birding? 

Ruth – well, apart from our home in North Wales obviously, my favourite place in the whole world to enjoy birds and other wildlife is the Pantanal in Brazil. It’s a seasonal wetland which is simply teeming with exciting and charismatic species.

Alan – the last few months during lockdown have made me realise what a wonderful birding location we have right here on the doorstep in Llandudno, North Wales: the headland of the Great Orme. Even though we have walked here almost every day, it always produces great birds and surprises.

How many bird species have you seen (if you know!)

Ruth – In 2008 we set the then world record for the most bird species recorded in one calendar year at 4,341 bird species. Since then we’ve continued our travels seeing new bird species though I haven’t really kept a detailed count. However, it’s around 5,500 species and counting.

Alan – What Ruth said!

What is the most exotic bird you have seen? Or perhaps the most incredible bird/wildlife encounter you have had?

Ruth – coming face-to-face with over 500,000 individual King Penguins in South Georgia. I’d seen plenty of photos of them before but nothing prepares you for seeing so many birds up close and personal for your very own David Attenborough moment!

Alan – Seeing Harpy Eagle. This was THE bird I most wanted to see since I was very young and I finally caught up with it in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. It was THE most magical birding moment ever.

2 Comments

  1. Increibles historias. Me inspiran a invitarlos al Valle del Cauca – Colombia, y por las diferentes rutas del pais. Seguridad plena, Comodidad y disfrutar las comunidades campesinas en el país más biodiverso del mundo. http://www.turismoparalavida.com

  2. Observed a movement or migration of a large hawk species of North America, State of Texas, U.S.A. event 9 October 2020 from 1000am to 1010am Central Daylight Savings Time in San Antonio, Texas, USA just west of the downtown area. Observed a flight of large hawks flying from north to south and pausing for the entire group to circle in flight and consolidate as a cohesive group before continuing the movement. Conservative estimate of the number of hawks would be at least two hundred but not possible to count accurately.

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