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The North Coast of California is a special place full of special people with local birding that ranges from good to epic.

The Godwit Days bird festival in Arcata California exemplifies the North Coast vibe, and of the birding tribe, Rob Fowler (owner and operator of Fowlerope Birding Tours – is the finest of specimens.

Join Rob has he takes Athena on her first pelagic birding adventure offshore of Humboldt Bay, California in this dispatch from the field.

Well, that is the common understanding of the “navel of the earth” as the locals used to refer to one of the most isolated islands on earth, Easter Island or Rapa Nui.

The perception is that human induced ecological collapse left a wasteland, a place empty of wildlife but full of archaeological riches.

There are nuances, and new information about the ecological collapse idea, particularly that the co-culprit in the extinction of the local trees was the introduced Polynesian Rat, but that is another story.

So how is it that a place that is empty of wildlife can become one of my favorite to use my Leicas in the world? Doug Gochfeld takes you once again to the Mangrove-laden north coast of South America, where new avian discoveries lurk around every corner.

The Northern coast of South America is the winter home to millions of waterbirds, and it’s this aggregation that brings researchers down to this area of the world.

However, the results of the research itself aren’t the only productive things that come from these projects; a side benefit of these trips is that it puts a attentive eyes in one of the most under-birded, and difficult to bird, regions of South America, which leads to discoveries of things previously thought to be continental rarities.

If you’ve been following along with the Leica Birding Team, no doubt you’ve heard of Tiffany Kersten by now.

In any case, Tiffany has been up to a lot recently, and we’re glad teammate Rafael Galvez was able to catch up with her and get the skinny on her latest adventures, as well as some interesting stories about her influences along her journey to being a top birder and environmental educator.

There seem to be a lot of sightings of “Black Swans” lately.