Last Saturday I went to Washington DC to meet with our colleagues, WLT-US, and discuss our priorities for the next few months. We can do a lot using phone, email and Skype, but ultimately a face to face meeting is usually needed. Byron Swift (Director of WLT-US and also on the WLT Council) and I spent three days going through all aspects, ranging from donation statistics to which habitats in which countries were priorities. And because it was largely discussions, we did quite a bit it walking around. Along the canal that runs parallel with the Potomac. Hairy Woodpeckers, cardinals, Carolina wrens, Mergansers and very few other birds of note. It was cold, and we had 8 inches of snow on Sunday night.
Conservation-wise, we both agreed that grasslands are neglected. The Paramo of Colombia is the priority for WLT-US and the Kenyan Highland grasslands is likely to be a priority for us.
I often feel that it is difficult to justify international flights, but always the result justifies the means. The world is moving so fast that the alternative modes of transport are often unfeasible, but as I wrote at the beginning, the overwhelming majority of our communications are now electronic.