We missed a newsletter since the whole team has been out birding even more than usual! We aim to send six newsletters a year, but in reality we sometimes only manage four or five, but that might not be a bad thing as we don’t wish to swamp anyone. Anyway, here’s to wishing you a brilliant and bird-filled 2016. And a special welcome to the folks we met at the Space Coast Festival in Florida.
- A brief summary of some of our most exciting trips since October 2015:
The last few months have been incredible, with many spectacular highlights. Andy’s eastern Australia and Tasmania tour went marvellously, cleaning up on all the Tasmanian endemics and doing remarkably well on the main tour as well. We also did a south-western Australia trip just for fun and found 15 of the 16 endemics (Western Bristlebird heard only – this year when we run a proper tour we need to see all of them!). The trip reports are at https://birdingecotours.com/trip-reports/australia (and please do ask for reports from earlier years which we can e-mail to you).
Staying on the Australian side of Wallace’s Line, we also did an incredible tour which we now like to call “the very best of Attenborough’s Paradise” because in just 12 nights it included Wilson’s Bird of Paradise as well as ten other Birds of Paradise, Spotted Jewel-babbler, Western Crowned Pigeon and, basically, the most spectacular birds on Planet Earth! This is West Papua, which is just as amazing as PNG, if not even better (but how does one choose between Wilson’s and Blue Birds of Paradise?). The trip report is at
Western Crowned Pigeon digiscoped on our latest West Papua (Indonesia) birding tour
Crossing the enigmatic Wallace’s Line into Asia (where Australian birds such as honeyeaters and fairy wrens get replaced by woodpeckers and a suite of brilliant Oriental bird families such as yuhinas, fulvettas, wren-babblers, scimitar-babblers, Ibisbill and others), we birded Sulawesi, India (two different trips), Bhutan, Thailand (three different trips) and more. Trip reports will be appearing at https://birdingecotours.com/trip-reports/ (quite a few of them are online already; since the trip reports section on our website is new, we are just starting to populate it properly). Or you can of course ask us to e-mail you trip reports for specific destinations if you prefer – please just ask.
Across the Indian Ocean to “The Eighth Continent” of Madagascar, this huge island always keeps us very busy each October and November and just one sample trip report is at https://birdingecotours.com/trip-reports/madagascar (we did numerous other trips so, again, kindly ask if you want us to e-mail you more).
Southern Africa also always keeps us spectacularly busy between October and January each year, and we ran three big Namibia/Okavango/Victoria Falls Birding Tours, two incredible Zimbabwe/Mozambique tours, many South African trips, etc., during this time. The trip reports are starting to appear at https://birdingecotours.com/trip-reports/. We also did some East African tours e.g. Uganda.
Eduardo (who heads up our South American office) has hardly stopped, with Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador crammed into the last three months.
- A few upcoming trips we advise booking soon, before they are full:
Ethiopia Mar/Apr 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-ethiopia-complete-abyssinia-2015-2
Abyssinian Owl in Ethiopia (photo by Niall Perrins)
Morocco Mar/Apr 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-morocco-birding-adventure-2016
Northern Bald Ibis in Morocco (photo by Pieter Verheij)
USA: the Florida Peninsula Apr/May 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-united-states-florida-central-south-and-the-keys-2016
Reddish Egret in Florida (photo by Carlos Sanchez)
Taiwan Apr/May 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-taiwan-birding-extravaganza-2016 – can be combined with our three mainland China tours shown at https://birdingecotours.com/tours/destination/country/china
Fairy Pitta in Taiwan (photo by Andy Walker)
A range of European tours in spring including a new “long weekend of birding in Sweden”
Ruff (photo by Jari Peltomaki)
Peru – comprehensive north, classic south-east, central highway and more, Jun/Jul 2016
Marvellous Spatuletail (photo by Niall Perrins)
Brazil – several different tours that can be combined
Dylan and Eduardo also just did Panama and we’ll be updating our tours there shortly – please ask if you are already interested in early 2017.
Australia, Oct 2016 (Tasmania, the East and we’ll also be adding south-western Australia shortly – please ask now and we can send you an itinerary prior to it going online) https://birdingecotours.com/tours/destination/country/australia
Golden Bowerbird (photo by Andy Walker)
Azure Tit in Mongolia (photo by Sundev Gombobaatar)
Shoebill (photo by Oz Horine)
Kenya, Sep 2016 (also Tanzania in various months) https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-kenya-2016
Cheetah (photo by Martin Benadie)
Shelley’s Crimsonwing conservation expedition to Uganda with the Rare Finch Conservation Group, Aug 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-uganda-shelleys-crimsonwing-expedition-2016-rfcg-conservation-tour-2016
Shelley’s Crimsonwing (photo courtesy of www.gorilla.org)
Zambia/Malawi combo tour, Aug/Sep 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-zambia-and-malawi-2016
Livingstone’s Flycatcher (photo by Hugh Chittenden)
South Africa: Namaqualand and Kalahari, Aug 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-south-africa-cape-namaqualand-and-kalahari-2016
South Africa: the Cape, Oct 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-south-africa-western-cape-october-2016
South Africa: the subtropics, Oct 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-south-africa-subtropical-birding-adventure-october-2016?type=country&where=South%20Africa
South Africa: off the beaten track, Nov 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-south-africa-north-eastern-south-africa-2016
Long-tailed Widowbird near Jo’burg, South Africa (photo by John Caddick)
Highland Zimbabwe to coastal Mozambique – African Pitta and more, Nov/Dec 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-zimbabwe-and-central-mozambique-2016
East Coast Akalat (photo by Hugh Chittenden)
Namibia/Botswana/Victoria Falls, Nov 2016 https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-namibia-okavango-and-victoria-falls-18-day-2016?type=country&where=Namibia
Southern Carmine Bee-eater (photo by Andre Stapelberg)
Madagascar, Oct/Nov 2016 (main Oct trip is full, extensions still each have four places left, we’ve just added Nov departures of all four tours though!) https://birdingecotours.com/tours/destination/country/madagascar
Dwarf Chameleon, Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar (photo by Niall Perrins)
Collared Aracari at the Lodge at Pico Bonito in Honduras
Comprehensive Costa Rica in two parts, Mar/Apr 2017. This is a Neotropical Bird Club Conservation Tour https://birdingecotours.com/tour/birding-tour-costa-rica-parts-1-and-2-2017
Resplendant Quetzal (photo by Kevin Easley)
Last but certainly not least, please do support the Birding Ecotours bandits (https://www.champions-of-the-flyway.com/the-birding-ecotours-bandits/) in the 2016 Champions of the Flyway bird race for conservation. You can go to that link and make a donation, which this year will go directly towards protecting birds in Greece. Last year, we very nearly won the “Guardians of the Flyway” prize (by raising the most conservation money), but were beaten at the last minute by two superb teams (the rivalry is always very fun and friendly!). Although last year was our first attempt at this conservation race, we did remarkably well and this year, with a spectacularly strong team (Trevor Hardaker, Jason Boyce, Dylan Vasapolli and Andy Walker) perhaps we’ll win the actual race as well! We value your support! Please see https://birdingecotours.com/trip-report-champions-of-the-flyway-bird-race-for-conservation/ for a trip report from last year’s one, in which a large sum of money was raised to protect birds in Cyprus.
We are also proud to support Birdlife South Africa, the African, Oriental and Neotropical Bird Clubs, Waderquest and other fine bird organisations doing sterling conservation work. We donate a minimum of 10 % of profits to bird conservation and we also strive to be carbon neutral (see https://birdingecotours.com/about-birding-ecotours/).
Good Birding, from the Birding Ecotours team!