What were the TB Guides up to during the Soccer World Cup?
Well, I should have been birding during the World Cup, but Mother Nature had dierent plans. I was in Northeast Brazil, checking out a site for a custom tour next year staying in a park ranger’s house next to two reserves in the state of Pernambuco. There is hardly any native forest left at all in the Atlan- tic Rainforest of NE Brazil, since over 99% of it has been cleared for sugar cane elds. These reserves protect some of the most endan- gered bird species in South America. Unfortunately, I timed my recce during the wettest month in decades! A few weeks
towns had been
Well, I still spent the mornings out in the rain doing my best to see what I could, and I still got a lot of the birds, but the afternoons were pretty much washouts, so I stayed in and watched the World Cup in the ranger’s house, where amaz- ingly he had satellite TV! But soccer is a religion for most Brazil- ians, so I really wasn’t surprised. My camera got wet and my lens
fogged up on the second morn- ing, so photos were few, but I did get this Pinto’s Spinetail before it fogged up, and this bold Purple Gallinule that we raced out to photograph during halftime. Of course, the day I had to leave, it was a beautiful sunny day. As I wandered around enjoying the sun with a still fogged-up lens, a White-collared Kite sailed by right in front of me for a brilliant view. It’s one of the rarest raptors in the entire world and few birders have been lucky enough to see. It made up for a lot of the disappointment of previous days!
Tropical Birding guides take us through their very different experiences during soccer´s biggest event during Summer 2010
I was lucky enough to be in South Africa and to have my brothers visiting during the world cup. Though we mainly spent our time 'in the bush', we drove into civilization at Polokwane to watch Algeria play Slovenia. When I found this small town packed to the gills, and could hear the droning stadium full of vuvuzelas several km away, it dawned on me what a big deal the world cup actually was! Though neither team was well known or even favored to advance, the atmosphere was electric, with the crowd rmly behind fellow Africans Algeria. We spent the heart of the rst round
in Kruger National Park. After long morning game drives watching the incredible birds and mammals on oer in the park, we returned to the park's rest camps for long afternoons of beer, braaiing (that means barbe- cuing), and watching soccer. The other match I went to was Italy vs. New Zealand, where puny NZ played to a draw with the mighty but dysfunctional Italy. The Kiwi fans at this match were amazing, and the crowd watched in awe as maybe 200 of them bellowed out the national anthem so loudly that it lled the whole stadium! In the second half, as NZ tried to hold on against the charg- ing Italians, all the Kiwis stripped o
their shirts and started twirling them over their heads - this despite the very cold winter evening temps! The fans and players celebrated wildly after the draw, and my All-Blacks hat provided a pass into the celebration. After my brothers left, Charley and I went all-out in our support for the Dutch in the nal, but I'll leave the telling of that to him…