Senior Tour Leader and UK Office Manager
Andrew (Andy) Walker is Birding Ecotours’ UK representative and runs the Birding Ecotours UK office from his home in York, North Yorkshire, England. Andy has spent the last 30 years birding extensively across the world with a focus in the Oriental, Australasian, and Western Palearctic regions, where he leads/guides many of our tours, but he can also be found occasionally dipping into the biodiversity of the Afrotropical, Neotropical, and Nearctic regions in search of new and interesting birds and other wildlife.
A love of traveling came about after he spent two years living and studying (mainly birding!) in Kenya, followed by two years living in Costa Rica, where he worked as a bird guide and tour leader. Andy has recently led tours in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, West Papua, Costa Rica, Australia, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa, and he has scoped out numerous birding tour locations, including Taiwan, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Colombia, Peru, USA, Uganda, and various European birding destinations (e.g. the UK, Iceland, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Sweden, Canary Islands, Israel, Latvia, and Poland). He gains great satisfaction from being able to show people new and exciting birds and help them learn about their behavior and biology. He enjoys putting in the hours for those secretive, yet highly rewarding forest skulkers, especially pittas, his favorite family.
Andy holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Countryside Management and Ornithology (Hull University), has over 10 years ornithological consultancy experience, and has managed a large team of ornithologists, working on a range of medium- and large-scale developments for a variety of sectors including renewable energy (wind, solar etc.), industrial, commercial, transport, and residential developments throughout the UK and South Africa. His involvement in ecological projects ranges from design and implementation of diurnal and nocturnal ornithological survey methodologies, consultation, report writing (e.g. Environmental Statement Chapters, Technical Baseline Reports, Monitoring Reports, Habitat/Environmental Management Plans, and Habitat Regulation Appraisals), and data analysis (including Collision Risk Modeling and Population Viability Analysis) to mitigation advice. This work gets Andy birding in some incredible environments and results in continued professional development and learning.
Andy’s enthusiasm is completely infectious, and like all our guides he’s excellent with people, which go hand-in-hand with his impeccable birding skills and knowledge. He loves giving presentations to bird clubs around the world to spread awareness of the incredible birds on our planet; recent talks he’s given include: Australia East Coast, Thailand Winter Birding, and Papua New Guinea Birds of Paradise.
Join Andrew on the following upcoming tours:
Read Andrew’s feedback from clients:
Our small group had a great trip birding Iceland with Andy Walker. Andy’s knowledge, tenacity, organizational skills, patience and fun personality allowed us to maximize this opportunity to see every possible bird within our range.Claudia Flaiz
Because of Andy’s scientific knowledge as well as field skills I learned a great deal. His enthusiasm kept us going even when the weather attempted to dampen and freeze mine! Iceland is an awesome country and Ecotours did a great job of arranging an itinerary that provided excellent food and lodging along the way. Very well organized. I’d go with this company and guide again!
Birding with Andy through western Iceland was marvelous. He’s a wealth of birding knowledge and information, down to the most minute details of all the birds we viewed. He has tremendous patience and perseverance in locating the birds, and worked hard with each individual to make sure we were satisfied with all sightings. He kept us on track and in motion, as we passed through the vast and rugged expanses of western Iceland. He has non-stop energy and a great personality. Couldn’t ask for better.Kristine Merrill
We just returned from our trip to Thailand. It was wonderful. Thank you very much for arranging our tour with Andy Walker. He was the best guide we ever had. He is knowledgeable,easy going, hard working, and has all the qualities that people expect from a guide. We really enjoyed birding with him. We would be happy to go birding with him any time and would highly recommend him as a guide to any of our friends.
Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to have him as our guide.
Our Best Regards,
Ahmad and SueAhmad and Sue – Canada
We spent three weeks with Andy in Thailand and enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Andy worked so hard to find the birds, and get us on them. He was very patient and took the time we needed. He knew all the best places to go, knew what birds would be expected, identified them in an instant and still managed to find some pretty good rarities along with the “known birds”, Himalayan Cutia anyone? And we spent literally hours getting great looks at Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Andy got us very close without disturbing the birds or any other birders. It was a highlight of the trip. We are hoping to see Andy in York later this year for a days birding on his home patch!
Bob and Terrie, Idaho, USABob and Terrie – Idaho, USA
The 2016 Northern India Birding Ecotours trip was everything I had hoped for and more. As a novice both when it came to Asian birds and Indian travel, the trip couldn’t have been better. Andy Walker, our guide, was brilliant at finding the expected birds and some amazing rarities and getting us good looks. I managed close to 400 lifers combined with Fatehpur Sikri, the Taj Mahal, some fascinating glimpses of rural India and a spectacular time in the Himalayan foothills. Our driver, van, train travel and hotels were all comfortable and worked like clockwork. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime.Hume Martin – Toronto, Canada
Andy is a superb guide with a wonderful knowledge of birds and where to find them. He is enthusiastic and keen, great company and a real pleasure to bird with. Our Australian trip was very successful in terms of sightings and also really enjoyable. Andy played a big part in that with his superb organisation, excellent birding skills, easy-going nature and positive attitude. I would happily join Andy on a birding trip again and hope to be able to do so later this year!Janice – Kent, UK
I had an awesome two weeks’ trip in northern India in January 2016 with Andy Walker of Birding Ecotours. Total bird species seen by the group was 401. Highly recommended for life birds, “collecting” bird families and beautiful scenery. Some highlights included: Hill Partridge, Painted Spurfowl, Koklass and Cheer Pheasants, Black Bittern, Himalayan Vulture, Sarus Crane, Barred Buttonquail, Ibisbill, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Indian Courser, Painted Sandgrouse, Sirkeer Malkoha, Crested Treeswift, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Himalayan Flameback, Collared Falconet with prey (Cinereous Tit), Chestnut-headed Tesia, Striated Laughingthrush, White-rumped Shama, White-tailed Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, Brown Dipper, Pink-browed Rosefinch, Crested Bunting and Altai Accentor. The group total also included 10 owls and 17 woodpeckers, all seen.Lisl van Deventer – Pretoria, South Africa