Monday, 2 January 2017

Trip Reports - a new approach

I posted a couple of photos of a Hume’s Wheatear a few weeks ago, so this post is to flag that there is now a full trip report up. These are probably of only limited interest to many people who visit these pages (and certainly the stats bear this out) but I feel it is something I need to do, mainly because I have benefited hugely from the sterling efforts of other birders who have written up detailed accounts of their own foreign trips. Before I go anywhere my first port of call is a website called Cloudbirders – this is an amazing resource for birders that like to travel as there are literally thousands of searchable trip reports posted up there. They’re compiled by individuals as well as tour companies (a form of advertising I suppose, but generally superb nonetheless) and not only do they describe key species and sites, but frequently also really helpful snippets such as road conditions, amenities or where to park. Whilst birding abroad has a fair amount of luck associated with it, you can’t beat a bit of local or up-to-date knowledge. So bear with me!

Some years ago I created a page on this blog to bring all my travel-related posts together, as I often get through them piecemeal. This allows anyone interested to pull the full itinerary together, but I’d be the first to say that it isn’t really very convenient unless I’ve somehow managed to write-up the whole trip in one go. Looking back this is pretty rare, and it also means that as everything is jumbled up I’ve never actually put anything up on Cloudbirders myself. So with all the free time I have hem hem I’ve set myself a new challenge to go through all of these historic posts and create proper uploadable trip reports out of them. Even though everything is already written this still takes a surprising amount of time, mainly mucking about making sure things fit on the pages properly – a blog post does not translate very well in to a Word document. So far I have done two, my Arizona trip from February 2016, and the Icelandic photographic extravaganza in May 2016.  I’ll keep the trip page up in the current format, but I am also looking into how I can create a document ‘portal’ – perhaps this might just be links to Cloudbirders, though I am not sure that they actually ‘host’ the documents. I'm sure I'll work it out.

Anyhow, next stop my favourite day of the year, Jan 1st. Robins are exciting all over again!

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