Hi, my name is Josh Crickmay, born and bred South African. At the age of 16 I dropped out of school to chase my dreams in wildlife observation and conservation, honing in on my greatest passion, birds. Walking the path less traveled has not always been easy, many challenges have made the road rocky and treacherous, but all the more interesting. Since leaving school I have explored the endless deserts of Namibia, the swamps and plains of Botswana, navigated the waterways of the Amazon much more. In doing so I Identified over 1200 species of birds, earned qualifications from FGASA and will soon publish the whole story in my new book, “Josh’s Big Year”.
Meet my mascot, Kevin the Penguin! Kevin enjoys fishing, long walks on the beach and following me on all my hare-brained missions to the ends of the earth, keep an eye out for him throughout the story, he likes to hog the camera…
We can never truly control future, but we can drop it a few hints occasionally. Over the coming years I plan to travel the world in intricate detail, studying and photographing the local flora, fauna and culture of the lesser known corners of our planet. My goal is to raise awareness through my writing and photography of struggling species and habitats in dire need of conservation in such remote places as Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Congo and all over South America.
But where did this epic adventure begin? That’s easy, rock bottom. In 2012 I dropped out of school and fell into deep depression, I became suicidal and was soon diagnosed with Aspergers and OCD. I only now realized that was the best thing that ever happened to me. After battling against my situation for the better part of a year, we finally decided to embrace it in full force, using my differences to my advantage, and with the help of my parents, I began a Big Year. A Big Year is a birders tradition dating back to the 1930’s which involves identifying as many species of bird as possible within the calendar year. My goal was never to set any records, in fact it was little more than a last ditch attempt at staying alive, but in the back of my mind I always knew that I was out to make a point, to prove that with the right understanding, and the right motivation, people with Aspergers can do some pretty incredible things.