Thanks to the wonderful Nicky Heeley for her donation. Still time to do so everyone. xxx
It is 6:00 a.m here in Eilat. Rebecca and I head off for Masada today on a short tour of Israel and Jordan.
Meanwhile just a few photographs from yesterday of the presentation of the Green Birding trophy and the other winning teams, as a white-spectacled bulbul becomes the first bird singing. Still dark but the sky is lightening for dawn over the Jordanian mountains and the Red Sea.
Thank you Viking Optical.
Not everyone can afford the higher priced binocular make and we need the variety of price ranges in order for the birding community to diversify and grow. The binoculars we used on our exciting adventure here have been excellent. Thank you so much to everyone at the company.
Anyway, thanks everyone for your continued support. It has been the most wonderful and amazing journey and experience, one that will stay with every team member and participant for the rest of our lives.
The Green Birding section may have been small, seven teams, two cycling and five walking but The SpokesFolks has set a high benchmark for the future. 122 birds seen and 55 kilometers cycled . . . it felt like a lot more with the latter! I feel that the Green Birding contingent will get larger year on year and become a much more important part of the sport.
The amount of money raised for Doga Dernegi - Birdlife Turkey will have a significant effect on saving birds in that region and i particularly love the project involving the Syrian refugees there. Turkey is sheltering three million Syrians.
Many thanks to Yoav Perlman for his initial suggestion of there being a Green Birding team at the Champion of The Flyway event. His request came out of the blue while I was attending the Norfolk Bird Fair last year. Thanks Yoav.
Thanks too to Jonathan Meyrav. His patience, dedication and gentle sense of humour has been so inspiring and for everything we thank you. I hope you enjoy returning to your family, especially your children. they have a very special father; one that they can be so proud of. A man who is making a real difference. Thanks Jonathan.
Thank you Israel and especially Eilat. The birding has been superb, the people incredibly friendly and the stunning mountain scenery away from the cosmopolitan city and seafront is magnificent. We look forward to seeing more of this wonderful country, especially Jerusalem!
Our team, I hope will be back next year and hopefully there will be more Green Birding teams taking part (hint . . Howard Vaughan)
Maybe the purest Green Birding Champion of Europe, Ponc Feliu Latorre, will be here with a lycra-clad team of real cyclists from Spain. That would be fantastic. What a place to meet such an incredible man.
Maybe Chris Mills will be here, similarly clad as Ponc. Maybe. I hope so.
International Green Birders, such as Jim Royer or Dorian Anderson from the USA, will be here. To have such Green Birding megastars would be .... (favourite word!) phenomenal.
As for The SpokesFolks, maybe we will be the Finland team in the next couple of years and retire after three races. Who knows.
To the teams . . please spread the word of Green Birding to your nations. persuade, cajole and threaten (nicely!) birders who you know are Green in their approach (or semi-green) to consider bringing a team. Now wouldn't that be good if there were as many Green teams as carbon teams?
The event has been fabulous and for so many reasons is so important to the region and to all of Europe.
Finally to the birds that pass by Eilat and to those that live here. Your journey is awesome, the stories you tell are so mind-blowing as to defy belief. The moment when Erin found a Bonelli's (Balkan) warbler stuck to a short plant with sticky leaves was insightful. The bird had no fat reserves, probably weighing less than ten grams and yet it will still now, after it's lucky rescue, be heading north. Thank you birds.