Thursday 9 February 2012

Preparing for Bhutan

Next week I'm off to Bhutan for a two-week Ornitholidays tour with a group of seven, to learn about this remote Himalayan kingdom and its wildlife. I was there in 2002, just three years since television and internet were allowed there. It'll be fascinating to see what's changed. Bhutan has a 60% forest cover, more than 25 years ago, with flowering magnolias and rhododendrons and a spectacular bird life. There are yaks but probably not yetis; and the druk (dragon, seen here on the national flag) is a symbol that Bhutan shares with Wales! To the north lies Tibet and the lofty spine of the Himalayas, and to the south the Indian state of Assam. The previous king set Gross National Happiness as the nation's guiding philiosophy. I remember Bhutan with affection and am thrilled to be returning. I have recently learnt that Trashigang (in the east of the country) has 15 gewogs, and that its dzong is collapsing. When I return, I'll hope to expand a little on this and other features of this unique part of the world. Here's a short film about life in Bhutan:  

Friday 3 February 2012

Otter in the garden!

Here's a short clip of an Otter on the camera-trap in the stream that flows through our garden. Is it a Wales sighting or an English one? Er...  Neither, I guess, as the stream itself is no-man's-land between the two! (Blink and you'll miss it).

EDIT: A few days later we caught this on film. (8/2/12)