Migratory birds have always had a certain theoretical romance. But during the past two years I have started looking at Black-bellied Plovers with legitimate longing and even a certain jealousy. This bird might just have flown in from the Russian tundra when I took these pics. Vast worlds are open to it that are completely closed to me. A viral pandemic washes over the anthroposphere, and forces it to a halt. People become prisoners in urban apartments, or on strange islands; their arrogant mobility suddenly stripped from them. Meanwhile, the plovers continue to follow their ancient paths through the sky. Fragile but free. Knowing lack but self-sufficient. Vulnerable but unafraid. Biding their time until the demise of the naked apes and their shotguns and nets.
11 APRIL 2021 | CRAB PLOVER
Although my travel has been severely restricted during the pandemic, I have enjoyed many trips to local mudflats to watch Crab Plovers, along with other shorebirds. This bird is endlessly weird and fascinating, and is at its best in full breeding plumage, like this individual, photographed in February.
17 JULY 2020 | LION & SOUTHERN ORYX
One of the most remarkable moments and favorite photos from my last decade of guiding. Arriving at Salvadora waterhole, in Namibia's Etosha NP, something felt strange. After a few minutes of wating, a lion's head appeared, then disappeared in an impossibly tiny clump of grass next to the waterhold. After another 30 minutes of waiting, a young Southern Oryx walked into the trap. It took a bit of a chase, but the lion eventually took down the oryx, and immediately afterwards, another EIGHT lions appeared from the surrounding landscape, and quickly devoured the hapless antelope. This photo shows the chase, which seemed like it lasted for hours, but in reality was only a few seconds.
10 JULY 2020 | FLAMECREST
The pandemic has given me much more time than I would normally have. I have poured some of it into creating this website! A year ago, I was just returning home from a wonderful short trip to Taiwan. Saw all the endemic birds and photographed most of them, including this Flamecrest. Has to be the best member of the "Kinglet" family.