For me, one of the most exciting (and hardest) parts of experiencing a new place is always becoming familiar with the local birds. No matter that I've notched 250+ species in East Africa, since I've moved to Taiwan it's been rather slow going. Sometimes species overlap, but there are differences in taxonomy and naming protocols not to mention completely new habitats, elevational gradients, local variations, and pockets of particular species.
Taiwan has an enormously vibrant community of avian enthusiasts, but a relative lack in English language reference materials. The Taipei Wild Bird Society has published some materials (and the first English-language field guide to the birds of Taiwan is dropping in October!!!), but for new-comers and non-birders alike, I decided to put together a very brief field guide of some of the more common species that I see around our home in Dashe District, Taiwan.
Feel free to download the guide for personal use either by clicking on download icon on the file embedded above or via Google Drive.
Anna painted a field of flowers this morning, which was a welcome respite in a week otherwise defined by disappointment, anger, and frustration.
Collared Finchbill, (Spizixos semitorques), from a photo taken at Poseidon's Pools in Pingtung, Taiwan
Kate was looking for a new banner for her website, sounds & bites. She had a general idea in her head of what she was looking for but it was tough to decide without actually seeing it, so about a week back I put her ideas together into a sort of working draft (sounds & bites 1, posted below). Using that, we tweaked color selections for brighter, more standard colors. We also decided to swap out the vintage radio for the Tivoli Model One that we have, use, and love. Here's the final result, which I'm quite pleased with.