Tag Archives: News

New gallery: Uganda

Now you can visit the Uganda Photo Gallery, with photos of the different especies we saw, some of them in danger, like the White Rhyno, some other endemic ones, like the Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bulocki), The Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) and the White and black casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes brevis), and not to forget about the Mountain Gorillas and the Chimps.

In Uganda you can see more than 1.000 bird especies. We saw around 350, but unfortunately it was not possible to take photos to all of them, only a small number of them, as the distance and the light conditions of the leafy places prevented us from doing so.

Our itinerary included the following places:

  • Mabamba Swamp, near Entebbe, the capital, where we saw the Shoebill, a huge rare bird which lives at this swamp.

  • Mburo lake
  • Bwindi NP. On the day we arrived, we did a walk thru the rainforest to see some birds, being the Great Blue Turaco among them. On the following day we did a Gorilla traking. We were lucky on one hand, as they were not far away, but unlucky on the other, as the hour we were allowed to stay with them was not so productive as they moved a lot thru the rainforest and we had to spend so much time following them thru an inclined and difficult area.

  • Queen Elizabeth NP – the only place were we saw some lions. We also saw some endemics there: the “African Wattled Lapwing” and the “Papyrus Gonolek”, the last was so hidden among the papyrus plants, its natural habitat.

  • Kibale NP. Where we did the Chimps tracking. Chimps were most of the time at the top of the trees, moving all the time, but at the begining a couple of them came to the ground and we were able to take some nice pictures. There are different groups of people tracking for the chimps which look for them in different areas, however, when one of the groups founds the Chimps family, the guide informs his/her colleagues about it and all the groups join. There could be more than 50 people for a single chimps group, which is unpleasant for both parties.

  • Kibale Swamp, round trail around a swamp, quite productive in terms of bird especies sight and also some monkey sights: Red Tailed Monkey, Red Colobus Monkey…
  • Murchison Falls NP: where we did a boat trip to the falls and back, and were we were able to see a lot of bird especies such as “Giant Kingfisher” and the “Pel’s Fishing Owl” as the more especial ones. We also saw a big number of mammals at the rest of the park: elephants, oribis, hippos, waterbuck and the “Patas Monkey”, among others.

  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary: a reserve where they breed and proctect white rhinos with the aim of reintroducing them back into the wild at some Natural Parks of Uganda in some years. This is a long-term project. They currently have 19 of them and we were able to see a female (Nandi) and a 1 year-old cub (Sonic). Being so close of these animals which are in extremely high risk of extinction was a very special experience for me.

I wish you like the photos that I have selected to create this gallery.

I’m looking forward to the next travel…

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New Gallery: Borneo

The Borneo Gallery is available from now on. Photos of some endangered species such as the Orangutans, the Borneo Pigmy Elephants and the Proboscis Monkeys can be found there.

We travelled to the Sabah region of Borneo, which belongs to the Malasian part of the isle.

Our itinerary included the following places:

  • Mount Kinabalu NP. Our visit to this area was limited to the parc services area, per the temporary closure of nearly all the paths due to an earthquake and some landslides caused by some hard rains that happened later. Some of the paths have been opened at the beginning of December 2015, but the Mesilau area, where the pitcher plants we wanted to see were is still closed and there is no tentative date for its re-opening.


  • Pooring Hot Springs, where we saw the Rafflesia, the biggest and rarest flower of the world, about which I already gave you more details at my previous post.

  • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, founded in 1964. They rehabilitate and reintroduce orphan orangutans into the nature.
  • Kinabatangan river and its inflowings, where we were able to closely see from a small boat a group of Bornean Pigmy Elephants that were taking a bath at the river. This is also one of the few remaining places where the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) lives. Endemic from Broneo, it is extremly endangered as it exclusively depends on this fragile habitat which is threatened by the Palm Oil Industry.


  • Danum Valley Conservation Area, 438 square kilometers of primary forest, mainly untouched… a paradise where we were able to see some wild Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and Red Leaf Monkeys (Presbytis rubicunda), among others.


  • Tabin, secondary forest (it is not what it used to be), but we were able to see Müller’s Bornean Gibbon or Grey Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri), two different types of otters: the Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) and the Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata) among other interesting animals.


  • Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Center (RDC), very close to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, it’s an Environmental Education Center. There is a Canopy walkway and some observation towers within the Kapili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. The Plant Discovery Garden and displays a big number of Bornean plants. We were able to see some orangutans and Hornbills here.


The photographs included in the gallery would like to represent the different species that we found thru our itinerary.

I wish you like them.

See you soon!


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Borneo… soon!!!

Dear all,

As some of you already know, last summer I travelled to Borneo, to the Sabah region at the North of the isle.

It is taking me some time to prepare the phogo gallery, again… but it will be ready soon…

In the meantime, I attach a pair of small presents… (well, 3 in fact):

  • An Orangután (Pongo pygmaeus) from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. They rehabilitate orphaned and confiscated orangutans. The younger receive medical care at the nursery. When they are adults, they are released to the Sepilok Forest Reserve, where they live free. Twice per year, some food is offered to the free orangutans at the platforms. When the rainforest is plenty of food, just a few of them go there to eat, but this food suplement is quite important for them to survive during the dry season, when there is few food available around.


  • A group of Bornean Pigmy Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) taking a bath and playing at the Kinabatangan River. When we arrived to the Kinabatangan Jungle Camp (KJC) we were told that there was an elephants group near there, but that they were moving away (they had been at KJC few days before – their marks were still visible). It was the perfect day to go to see them. The elephants were eating at the river bank and some of them started to bath and to play inside the water, actually trying to drown each other.

Pigmy elephant

  • A Rafflesia, the biggest and rarest flower of the world: it is a parasitic flowering plant, it has no leaves, no stems or true roots. It takes it 9 months to develop and once opened it lasts only for one week. The photo shows a one-day Rafflesia (right), the leftovers of a putrid one (center) and one which is still developing (left). The diameter of the one on the photo (Rafflesia Keithii) was about 65 cm. while the biggest species can reach 90-100 cm.


I will upload the entire Borneo Gallery soon and I will explain you further things about this terrific travel.

Many thanks for your patience.

Best regards,


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New Gallery: Ethiopia

You can now visit the Ethiopia Gallery, where you’ll find species as emblematic as the Ethiopian Wolf, which I already wrote a post of it, or the Gelada Baboon, both endemic of this country.

We visited the following places during our travel:

  • Awash NP, where we found a big number of birds. I would like to highlight the Beisa Oryx among the mammals.


  • Bale Mountains NP, where we visited three areas: Gasay, Saneti Plateau and Harena Forest where we were able to see the Mountain Nyala, the Ethiopian Wolf and the Bale Monkey, respectively.


  • Wondo Genet, a good place to see birds. White-cheeked Turaco and Silvery-cheeked Hornbill were the most spectacular among them.
  • Abiyata-Shala NP, where there are different Hornbill species.
  • Bishangari Lodge. Difficult access, close to Langano Lake, it’s surrounded by life and nature. A Fish Eagle is around there, but unfortunately we were not able to take a picture of it.
  • Lake Zeway. There is a fishermen harbor, and there are lots of Pelican, Marabou Stork and other water birds. Lake Koka, near there, is also full of water birds.


  • Debre Libanos. On the way to the monastery there is a group of Gelada Baboons. It was so difficult to get close because people (adults and children) throw stones to them so the Geladas are so distrustful.
  • Lake Tana. There are some isles with temples, but it is not allowed for the women to access them, so we visited an orthodox church at the other side of the lake. The paints are impressive. See this Saint George with his dragon…


  • Gondar. We visited a church and the castle.
  • Simien Mountains, the last spot of our itinerary, where we saw the Gelada Baboons, which are bigger and furrier than the ones at Debre Libanos, and much more trusting than them; as it is a Natural Park, nobody disturbs them. Other species to highlight are the Lammergeier and the Capra Ibex.


The travel took place during September, the end of the rainy season. This is the reason why we mainly found an intense green landscape, so different from the image I had from Ethiopia.

I wish that the photos show the biodiversity of the country, and that you like them.


Posted in [:ca]Notícies[:es]Noticias[:en]News[:], Àfrica, Etiòpia Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Ethiopia… Comming soon!!!

Dear all,

As some of you already know, last september I travelled to Ethiopia.

Due to several reasons (professional, personal and technical ones) the gallery with the photos is still on the way… but it will come soon, so soon… in fact, I already did the photo selection and I am preparing them to be uploaded to the website soon.

tic, tac, tic, tac…

In the meantime, enjoy this small present: a Gelada Baboon from the Simien Mountains!!!

… see you soon!!!


Posted in [:ca]Notícies[:es]Noticias[:en]News[:], Àfrica, Etiòpia Also tagged , , , |

Endangered Species: The Bale Mountains Monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis)

The Bale Mountains Monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis), discovered in 1902, is one of Africa’s least known primates. As other vervet species, they are sexually dimorphic, being the males slightly larger than the females and having brightly coloured genitals.


They are diurnal and spend most of their time feeding. Their diet is mainly based on African montane or highland bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) on the wet season (77% of their diet), they also eat some fruits on the dry season. Flowers and insects are included in their diet.

Endemic to the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, appear to almost exclusively inhabit bamboo forests, being found at high elevations of up to 3,000 meters.

The Bale Mountains Monkey is listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List, and is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

vulnerable 2

The Bale Mountains Monkey is most threatened by habitat loss: ever increasing human populations in Ethiopia, conversión of land for agriculture, forest fires and logging are all reducing the available bamboo forests on which they depend.

The future survival of the Bale Mountains vervet depends on effective management and conservation of the bamboo forests in which it occurs.

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Sea Birds in the UK

During the past months I had no time to write any post for this blog. I always had something more urgent to do or, simply, the dayly work made me not to think about it. So I would like to apologize for that.

At around mid-June I spent some days in Northumberland (UK) with the main goal of visiting the Farne Islands. We also took the opportunity to visit a Nature Reserve located at the south of Scotland and few other places around the area. We would like to take photos of the sea birds that nest in the area during summer.


The Farne Islands can be visited thanks to the boat tours that depart from Seahouses. Sometimes it is not possible to land, due to the ties and the sea conditions.

There are different boat companies that organize tours to the islands. We took the Billy Shiel’s ones, which allowed us to spend some hours on the islands. We went 3 days. On the first one (a saturday) we did the “All Day Bird Watch” tour, which lasts 6 hours and we were allowed to land at the 2 bigger islands: Stapple Island and Inner Farne. There was a lot of people, about 200 or even more (too much for us). We were lucky we had booked it in advance thru the net… The tour also includes a boat route around the smaller islands, which allowed us to see the nesting colonies at the cliffs from the water and approach to the grey seal (halichoerus grupus) groups which rest on the rocks at the smaller islands.

In Staple there were some European Shags (phalacrocorax aristotelis), as well as Puffin (fratercula arctica), Black-headed Gull (larus ridibundus), Razorbill (alca torda), Common Murre (uria aalge),…


At Inner Farne we saw 3 species of Terns: Common Tern (sterna hirundo), Sandwich’s Tern (sterna sandvicensis) and the Artic Tern (sterna paradisaea), as well as Puffins, Razorbills, Common Murres…


On the second day we decided not to go to Farne Islands (we supossed that on Sunday it would be even more crowdy) and we went to St. Abb’s Head, a Nature Reserve located at the South of Scotland, at few kilometers from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, were we stayed in a B&B.

We did the route on food, what allowed us to enjoy the landscape and to take some photos of some of the orchids we found there.


Near the lighthouse we meet 2 Spanish guys that went there by car to take photos of the sea birds, from the cliffs… On the way back, we enjoyed the company of a Mute Swan (cygnus olor) family, while we were on the path close to the pond.


On the third and fourth day, we went back to Farne Islands with Billy Shiel’s boats. Unfortunately none of the two days we were allowed to land on Staple, due to the sea conditions, so the boats departed later and did a longer route among the smaller islands (visiting the grey seals again) and did a longer stop at Inner Farne. We take advantage of the time we stayed in the morning at the port to take some photos of the Common Eiders that were around there.


On the fifth day, the last one, we went back to St. Abb’s Head and we spend all the day taking photos of the sea birds that were nesting on the cliffs: Northern Fulmar (fulmarus glacialis), Black-legged Kittiwake (rissa tridactyla), European Herring Gull (larus argentatus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (larus fuscus)… among others.


I whish I can upload a new gallery to the web soon. I’ll keep you informed.

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Last April I went to Extremadura, where I visited the Monfragüe National Park and its surroundings; the Caceres plains, Los Barruecos, La Serena and I also did a hide session at the ones from Photo Raptors, located in Sierra de San Pedro, close to the Portugal border.

The Monfragüe National Park gave us the opportunity of seing a big number of nesting species. It is an amazing place to do birdwatching, even from the car parks located along the road that crosses the park. We saw: white stork (ciconia ciconia), black stork (ciconia nigra), griffon vulture (gyps fulvus), black vulture (aegypius monachus), Egyptian vulture (neophron pernopterus), Eurasian eagle owl (bubo bubo), booted eagle (hieraaetus pennatus) and Spanich imperial eagle (aquila aldalberti), among others.


At the Caceres plains we could see little bustard (tetrax tetrax) and great bustard (otis tarda). We also saw a few European rollers (coracias garrulus).

The visit to Los Barruecos was a bit stressfull: there were a big number of people (spanish) who not respect nature. There were no guards and most of the people were screaming, running or going too close to the nests, despite of the posted signs. It was so clear that they were disturbing the white storks, because some of them start flying as soon as people get too close, leaving the nest alone, which could compromise the eggs/chicks. The place is so nice, but if the human preassure is always like this…


The morning session at the hide from Photo Raptors was amazing. It was my first time in a hide like this; I did a few in the past in a portable hide, at a feeder, but nothing compared with this one. This hide offers the possibility of being turned to choose the background and the light direction, and as it has 2 levels, it is also possible to choose if you want to stay up or down. The upper part is better for flights and the lower to take photos of the birds on the ground… we choose down. It seemed that nothing was coming at the beginning… but after half an hour a common raven (corvus corax) came and, just after it, a Spanish imperial eagle (aquila aldarberti) came. After then, it became busier and some black vultures (aegypius monachus), griffon vultures (gyps fulvus) and a Egyptian vulture (neophron pernopterus) came.

Black Vulture

The number of vultures, not only griffon vulture but also black vulture, increased and it draw my attention the way they measured their strength among them, to decide which one started eating the carrion. Sometimes it was enough to approach one each other: it was so clear which was the most experimented one so the other one moved away like accepting its inferiority. At other occasions the strenght difference was not so evident so it was necessary to open the wings and sometimes to show one of the legs, like showing their “weapons”. Finally, on those cases when the strengths were so similar they had to do a small attack, in the air, very close to the ground, usually with the two legs on the front… it never went any further.

Griffon Vulture

A small group of azure-winged magpies (cyanopica cyanus) also did a short visit. Some black kites (milvus migrans), came sometimes, in pairs, and the Spanish imperial eagle come back several times. A small group of sparrows came to collect some feathers for their nests.

Having all these species so close and seeing how they interacted was a quite interesting experience I recommend to everybody.

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Endangered Species: Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus)

The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus) is the largest of the 3 bamboo lemurs.


Their diet is mainly based on the giant bamboo (Cathariostachys madagascariensis). A small portion of their diet (5%) comprises other bamboo species, fruits and other foods (soil and mushrooms).

Endemic to Madagascar, nowadays this species is restricted to areas in and around Ranomafana National Park.


The destruction of the habitat is the major threat to the survival of the greater bamboo lemur. It includes both the destruction of its rainforests for slash-and-burn agriculture as well as the intensive cutting of bamboo. It is also hunted with slingshots in some areas.

It is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN list 2002 and is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Critically Endangered

It was also included in the list of the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates (on 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010) published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC PSG), the International Primatological Society (IPS), and Conservation International (CI), and it has an estimated population of between 100-160 individuals.

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Happy New Year 2014!!!


2013 has become again, a very hard year for a lot of people.

There was a big number wishing it to end, and looking forward to see starting a new one… The New Year is here!!!!

Now we can go ahead and start it with hope.

I wish that the hopes of the new year will help us facing the issues with new eyes, strength and courage.

Happy New Year 2014 to everybody!!

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