Pushing the Boundaries Tour - the Movie
A series of Iphone video fragments recorded on tour, and edited on my way home. Basic and doable during a hectic tour around Britain (Iphone screenshots above).
This tour have been a fantastic experience, and a more personally engaging experience then I expected. As I have spoken of in our talks at the numerous bird clubs we have visited, I really own much of my birding knowledge and enthusiasm to English bird litterature - being practically raised on it! During this tour the highlights have been many! Meeting so many engaged birders is a privilegie. There are too many meetings to name them all, but meeting Ian Lewington certainly stands out for me. Simply because the Rare Birds book from 1991 sparked my interest in birds outside Europe. As a young birder I read this book, and studied its art in detail. It widened my horizon. Visiting Ian now and seeing his art in progress today was great. Simply amazing work! Birding with new birders all the time was fantastic too. Seeing new places and talking birds with new people non stop for 15 days was brilliant. Being in a place where phrases like "the abietinus is really the Baltic Gull of the warbler world" is part of a normal conversation is good (thats Martins phrase, by the way). I wish to thank all the bird clubs who hosted our evening talks, and all the kind birders we stayed at - grand thanks for your hospitality! During my talks I also spoke of an amazing visit to the Scilly Isles in 2008 - a trip that strengthened me an Elins ambitions to be pro bird architects. Talking to so many birders after our talks have also been a great experience. So many encouraging words and good ideas have been shared. Thanks all!
Also touring with Martin have been a brilliant experience. We connected early in 2010, when I wrote Martin a mail about a strange looking Bean Goose I had photographed in Varanger (probably an eastern type, ssp middendorfii-ish kind of bird). We have stayed in contact ever since. I really admire the openess and inquisitive approach of Martins Birding Frontiers concept. He proves over and over again that new discoveries is within reach - it is all about your own perceptions and eagerness to learn more. Being two rather entrepeneurial birder types on the road has been a great experience! Sharing ideas and fine tuning concepts over so many hours have been the on-the-road privilegie! Thanks Martin! Much more to come... Meanwhile, do check out the Birding Frontiers blog for an eyeopener in the world of birding.
The Pushing the Boundaries Tour was an idea that me and Martin have been talking about for a while. The idea was simply to make an extended event, a tour, and share stories of birds, people, discoveries, conservation work and new and innovative approaches to birding. I have shared my story from Varanger / Arctic Norway. This is where I live and work, and run the pro bird architectural office Biotope. Varanger is without a doubt one of the worlds birding hot spots, and certainly the easiest accesible arctic birding destination in the world. In my talks I have told stories from the work with the development of this amazing destination. No birding destination just exists, it is built, with infrastructure, bird guides, local nature awareness, mapping and loads of enthusiasm from locals and visitors. During our tour in the UK I have also met several of the british birders who are contributing to the building of Varanger as a birding destination. Among them the Brewood Ringers (photo above) who have made the Nesseby Ringing Scheme possible. I have also spoken much of the locals in Varanger, and how people like Ørjan Hansen in Båtsfjord, fisherman gone bird guide, have made a great impact in Varanger and for visiting birders. I have talked about Varanger gardens, of the kind with grenades and Snow Buntings. I have also shown a series of photos of unique arctic bird life (f.ex the Phalarope story and the fighting Puffins). I am very happy for all the encouraging comments from birders we have met about our birder architecture projects - both mapping and bird hide designs. I hope to meet many of the birders we have talked to during the past weeks in Varanger at some point. Or perhaps in the UK. I will certainly be back! It has been very inspirational.
Back in Varanger
Two busy weeks on tour in UK was grand, but being back is fantastic. I made little attempt to hide my enthusiasm for Varanger in winter and early spring. February is one of my favourite birding months in Varanger. The light is simply spectacular and the birding is fantastic too. Just got back from a walk in the harbour (photo above fromyesterday). The Stellers Eiders, King Eiders and flocks of Gulls are enjoing life in the harbour.
The photo below is taken yesterday just after sunset at 15.00, from the mainland, with a view towards Vardø island. A pretty cool place to live, work and bird!
We are in the mood for action: next project is the Gullfest 2013!
To be continued...
Tormod A. / Biotope