20 January 2013

Birds & People - touring Britain with Birding Frontiers

Birding Frontiers & Biotope presents : Pushing the boundaries tour!

For the next two weeks Martin Garner / Birding Frontiers and I, Tormod / Biotope, will tour a series of bird clubs in Britain. I am really looking forward to this little adventure! We are visiting bird clubs in the evenings and bird sites and nature reserves in day time. Surely it will be inspiring meeting many birders and seeing new places! For me Britain is the homeland of birding. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that most books I read growing up was bird books in English language! In Norway birding has not (yet!) become a big thing, but in Britain is seems so, well, natural. I guess it helps being a couple of millions doing it! 

Biotope is a result of my and Elins decision to work with pro nature projects. As architects and birders we saw a potential for bringing the architectural skills to the world of birding. Much too often architecture happens at the expence of nature. We wanted to be the pro nature architects, engaging in projects that highlight and promote birds and nature. When we where deciding on where to live when being pro bird & nature architects there really was little discussion. Three years ago we packed our bags and moved to the finest arctic birding destination in the world: Varanger, Arctic Norway!

The past three years have been a great adventure - of meeting people, of collaborations, of discovering, hard work - and some extraordinary birding! I will do my best to share these stories from Varanger with the birders we meet on our tour. 

Since I wrote an email to Martin some years ago asking for ID advice on an odd looking possible eastern type Bean Goose, we have stayed in touch and even collaborated on projects such as Gullfest. I cant wait to hear new stories from Martin on this tour! I am sure all who have joined a talk with Martin or gone birding with him agrees that his knowledge and enthusiasm makes good even better! Check out Martins ´Pushing the boundaries Tour´ intro, with much more details on all the places we visit, and links to the bird clubs hosting the talks. With the Pushing the Boundaries tour we aim to present engaging new stories and innovative approaches to birding.  

Below is a little taste from the coming talk by Biotope

Stories from Varanger - a nature destination in the making

Birder power!  

Birdig always bring surprises, and Varanger is the hottest place in the arctic for rarities. We are at the outer limits of Europe, and there is so much more still to be discovered. More about that on tour..

The arctic ocean is rich in fish - and birds. The local fishermen and guys at the fishery are our good friends! Like birders they appreciate productive nature. We birders may have a lot of specialist knowledge about Gulls, but these are the guys you talk to if you want to make a Gullfest! 

Birdng to the people: Gullfest 2012 - the worlds first arctic birding festival. Among a series of keynote speakers, Martin delivered inspiring talks that captivated both visiting birders and locals alike. Photos from the Gullfest base camp. 

Varanger is in the making: bird hides and wind shelters are being built at strategic sites. This is architecture dedicated to birders, both for visiting hard core birders and the nature enthusiasts of Varanger! It is also a statement of the value of the regions rich and unique birdlife. In Varanger birders are making an impact! 

By the way: There is a lot happening in the north at the moment. For those who are interested in an arctic adventure check out the Gullfest 2013 event:
Gullfest 2013 intorduction, with advice on Gullfest travel and accomodation in Varanger 

Please feel free to join me and Martin on one of the bird clubs on this tour for more stories on birds and birding.

Check out the tour map. We hope to see you at one of the bird clubs:

Follow Martin on twitter @BirdingFrontier & Tormod @BiotopeOffice for updates on the road!

Looking very much forward to meeting you all on the Pushing the Boundaries tour!

Tormod A. / Biotope