Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Highlights

2013 Highlights
Slaty-legged Crake - pleased to find reliable spot.

Anyone who has spent time with me will know I am proud of Taiwan, and the Taiwanese way of dealing with most things. Large tracts of Taiwan are in pristine condition, and many Taiwanese have a progressive attitude to conservation issues.

You will also know I voice lots of criticism - so I am delighted that 2013 saw the release of the documentary-movie Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above that so vividly highlights challenges to Taiwan’s environment. It has been the trigger for much debate and ‘action’. Please go see it, it has relevance anywhere we humans touch, not just Taiwan.

Chinese Thrush spotted in Wulai,
3rd record of Taiwan. Not my photo.
Well funded, top directors, and breaking records at the box office it ranks with the likes of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a wake up call for change. Filmed entirely from the air, it starts and ends with dazzling views of Taiwan. But this is not pretty tourism-promoting propaganda, complex issues are tackled: pollution, over-development, resource extraction, production, transport, emissions, energy use, and most importantly our connection to it all.

I hope this stunning film, warts and all, brings changes in 2014 and beyond.
A Baer's Pochard. Found twice in December. Chuffed!

...and to all the other resident and visiting birds (and birders). Happy New Year!