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Bird Watching the Hard Way

MADAGASCAR | Tuesday, 15 October 2013 | Views [371]

Bloodied birder, Spiny Forest

Bloodied birder, Spiny Forest

Stereotypical birders, gray-haired pensioners in photographer’s vests and cute little old ladies bedecked with bird books and binoculars, sedately migrate with the seasons like the flocks they pursue.  Birding in Tulear is a bit more strenuous.  Awakening while the rooster still snores is only the beginning.  Roads that more resemble a cratered no-man’s land lead to places with names like the Spiny Forest where some truly nasty flora await with razor-sharp thorns, stiletto spikes and a tangle of undergrowth guaranteed to stop you in your tracks.

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   You have to get down and dirty to see them

To paraphrase the old Johnny Horton song, we crawled through the briars, and we crawled through the brambles, and we crawled through the bushes where a rabbit couldn’t go!  And we have the cuts, scrapes and scratches to prove it. 

So if you want to see the cuoas and ground rollers and other endemic birds of the Spiny Forest, grab your binos, some antiseptic cream and a handful of band-aids and head to southern Madagascar.  The birds will appreciate it.

 

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Easter Island, 2012

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