Richard’s Big Year — Birds in Taiwan

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in blog, Taiwan | 2 Comments

What is a ‘big year?’

A ‘big year‘ is a twitcher (birder) challenge in which birders try to spot as many different bird species in a specific area in one year. Richard Foster of Barking Deer Adventure Tours, a local tour company specializing in personalized trips of Taiwan, has begun a ‘big year’ exercise which can be seen on his site: Birding in Taiwan. Lots of great information there!

A colorful bird, Muller's Barbet (Megalaima Oorti), rests on a Flame Tree (Delonix Regia) branch in Tainan City, Taiwan
A Muller’s Barbet (Megalaima Oorti), a common but colorful bird, rests on a flowering Flame Tree (Delonix Regia) branch in Tainan City, Taiwan


While I’m no twitcher, (mostly because bird lenses and scopes are prohibitively expensive for me)– I’m following with interest and am impressed with what Taiwan has to offer bird-wise. Richard is at 227 bird species in a mere month and a half.

Hawk in tree
A Chinese Goshawk follows a cicada with his eyes in Hooppine Tree, Tainan City, Taiwan


These two bird photographs are the result of looking up at trees during a two month assignment on trees for Topics Magazine. I probably would have never noticed them otherwise. Both were taken with my Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S VR lens! My Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S zoom lens would have improved the shots greatly, but it isn’t a lens that is particularly useful for trees.

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