Important Covid-19 day trip considerations

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Our general comments and considerations on Covid-19 and the running of tours can be found on our frequently updated blog here. Please carefully read the latest update. Certain further information will be provided on booking each day tour (such as the latest specific considerations in the area of your tour, if they differ from the general considerations outlined below). For our UK day tours we will have a maximum group size of five people at the moment, this number will likely increase in a post-Covid world, when it is safe to do so. For day tours in Ohio and South Africa we can potentially accommodate larger groups, however we will assess this on a case-by-case basis. We also run pelagic/seawatching trips off Cape Town, South Africa, however during Covid, for safety reasons, we have decided to suspend these trips until March 2021, please see our 2021 pelagic schedule here. Currently we have some specific ‘rules’ to adhere to during the day tours and they follow government advice and good general practice, such as:

Norfolk birding toursSnow Bunting can be seen on our Norfolk day tours in winter.


  1. Participants are to arrive at set meeting points as specified in the itinerary. No group transportation will be provided during the tour. Usually on our day tours we have to change locations as we move to different birding sites and this will need to be done in personal vehicles.
  2. We will aim to stop for lunch/toilets at a suitable location in the middle of the day. Bringing a packed lunch would likely be preferable. Please bring an adequate supply of drinking water to last the day. A thermos flask of hot water for tea/coffee/hot chocolate is also recommended. We will advise of specifics depending on the tour you book and the pertinent conditions at the time of the tour.
  3. Please bring your own face masks, tissues, and hand sanitizer. The wearing of masks will be determined by the situation but all participants will be expected to have all items listed above and use them when necessary or as directed by the guide.
  4. Common sense will be important regarding social distancing during the day tours and we ask you to maintain and respect, at least a two yard/two meter distance between our guide and other members of the day tour that are not part of your family group/household. Please also maintain this two meter/yard distance from other members of the public who may be present in the area we are birding in (though we have tried to organize tours to quieter areas of the countryside where possible).
  5. Suitable clothes and footwear are a must (even more than usual) as we may not be able to make our usual stops for warming up if reserve visitor centers etc. are closed or have other restrictions in place. Please maintain hygiene protocols while using indoor facilities/toilets etc.
  6. Please bring your own optics – binoculars are essential and a telescope is highly recommended if you have one. Usually our guide would share a scope, however due to the current situation this is not to be the case, although in some cases we have a partial solution: some of our guides have digiscope adapters whereby a phone can be connected to the scope eyepiece which ensures clients can see the subject on the phone’s screen without having to look down the eyepiece. This will help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  7. During the current scenario, please also bring your own field guide/app if you feel like you would need one. Our guide will be able to point out and identify all of the birds for you but if you would usually like to check these features in a guide book you will need to have your own book/app to hand to do so at this time. If you use eBird we will of course be able to share checklists from the day with you as we would do in normal circumstances on our tours.
  8. If you, or someone who you have been in close contact with, is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (the main symptoms being a high temperature, a continuous cough, and/or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), or if you receive an alert from your healthcare system/agency (such as the NHS tracking service, Track and Trace, in the UK), you must not travel under any circumstance. This applies for 14 days prior to travel. If you get any Covid-19 symptoms up to a month after the tour please notify us as soon as possible so we can let any other members of the party know to get tested and start an isolation period.

Birding Ecotours