Tour News

NEW Photographic Tour to Honduras.10-18 Feb 2017
NEW Photographic Tour to Honduras.10-18 Feb 2017

With Stuart Elsom as leader. Nestled in-between Guatemala and Nicaragua, Honduras is a Central American country with Caribbean Sea coastlines to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south (via the Gulf of Fonseca). From a birding perspective it is home to…

NEW Tour to Paraguay. 10-24 Jan 2017
NEW Tour to Paraguay. 10-24 Jan 2017

With Stuart Elsom as leader. Paraguay, located almost in the dead centre of South America, is a land-locked country sandwiched between three giants of the continent; Argentina to the south, Brazil to the east and Bolivia to the north. Its borders are more or less traced by a series of major…

NEW Photographic Tour to Peru. 24 Nov -6 Dec 2016
NEW Photographic Tour to Peru. 24 Nov -6 Dec 2016

With Stuart Elsom as leader. Playing host to a staggering array of dazzlingly colourful birds, Peru is a natural destination for a Photographic Tour. And amongst the myriad of species to be found there, it is the hummingbirds that perhaps attract the most attention.  This is easy to see why - the…

Sunbird Cuba: 27 Oct to 8 Nov 2015
Sunbird Cuba: 27 Oct to 8 Nov 2015

Arriving mid-evening in a hot and humid Havana, we travelled across to our first hotel, situated in the west of Cuba. The normally birdless journey was enlivened somewhat by a Greater Antillean (Barn) Owl flying across the road. It was only seen by those who were awake at the time but we would see…

Sunbird Brazil, Pantanal Photo Safari: Sep 2015
Sunbird Brazil, Pantanal Photo Safari: Sep 2015

Male JAGUAR Panthera onca. The Pantanal is definitely THE place to see this superb predator!

Working our way along to ‘The Gateway to the Pantanal’ - the famous Transpantaneira Road, we clocked up more exciting…

Sunbird Brazil, Mato Grosso: Sep 2015
Sunbird Brazil, Mato Grosso: Sep 2015

TOCO TOUCAN Ramphastos toco. The largest member of the toucan family.

“After completing two fairly short internal flights, we arrived in a sunny and…

Sunbird Brazil, Atlantic Forest: Sep 2015
Sunbird Brazil, Atlantic Forest: Sep 2015

DUSKY-TAILED ANTBIRD Drymophila malura. One of the species we hope to find in the rainforest around our lodge which is situated at 1000 m.Brazil was in the midst of an English style patch of…

St Lucia: June 2015
St Lucia: June 2015
Hungary, Kiskunsag: May 2015
Hungary, Kiskunsag: May 2015
Black-throated Diver, Oxon: May 2015
Black-throated Diver, Oxon: May 2015

Lucky in that one of my medium-term projects is located nearby, I called in to Farmoor Reservoir before this evening's Barn Owl survey. This superb adult Black-throated Diver has now been present for around 4 days and this evening it showed well, actually very well indeed - at times down to 40 feet!

The…

Belarus: The best of Eastern Europe. April 2015
Belarus: The best of Eastern Europe. April 2015

Male CITRINE WAGTAIL Motacilla citreola. Belovashkaya Puscha, Belarus. This species is expanding westwards, and is an established and widespread breeding bird in Belarus.

“It’s fair to say that Eastern Europe was having a cold spring…

Texas Spring Migration: April 2015
Texas Spring Migration: April 2015

Adult SWAINSON"S HAWK Buteo swainsoni. Fairview Rd, Winnie, TX. One of the many hundreds we witnessed migrating through Texas on this year's spring tour.

 

Cuba: 18-31 March 2015
Cuba: 18-31 March 2015

Our first morning dawned pleasantly warm and sunny in San Diego de los Banos, with Yellow-faced Grassquits on the hotel lawn, parties of Antillean Palm Swifts coming down low to drink from the hotel swimming pool and Turkey Vultures soaring overhead. Meanwhile, smart Red-legged Thrushes hopped around…

Cuba: 05-17 March 2015
Cuba: 05-17 March 2015

After arriving in Cuba the previous evening we awoke to a pleasantly warm and sunny morning in San Diego de los Banos, with small parties of Antillean Palm Swifts coming down low to drink from the hotel swimming pool, Turkey Vultures soared overhead, smart Red-legged Thrushes were hopping around the…

Sri Lanka: Jan 2015
Sri Lanka: Jan 2015

Superb day in Bundala National Park with over 120 species seen today. One of my favourites today was the gorgeous Blue-tailed Bee-eater, which as you can see, showed rather well. Other highlights included Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Crested Hawk Eagle, Great Stone Plover, Sri Lanka Woodshrike, Jerdon's…

Brazil, Pantanal: Sep 2014
Brazil, Pantanal: Sep 2014

!Working our way down to ‘The Gateway to the Pantanal’ - the famous Transpantaneira road, we clocked up more new and exciting…

Brazil, Mato Grosso: Sep 2014
Brazil, Mato Grosso: Sep 2014

After completing 2 fairly short internal flights, we arrived in Cuiaba late morning. Having departed a cool and damp Rio early morning, the 35 degree heat of Cuiaba was a shock to the system,…

Belarus: April 2014
Belarus: April 2014

We came into land at the very compact, shiny and neat Minsk Airport set out in the open countryside. On our approach we’d flown over vast swathes of woodland, be it Birch, Beech, mixed deciduous or coniferous there was lots of it and we couldn’t wait to go birding! We were soon on our way…

Texas Spring Migration: April 2014
Texas Spring Migration: April 2014

As our plane circled above Houston mid-afternoon, unable to land due to heavy rain and thunderstorms, I was day-dreaming about what this weather may have produced - would we see a…

Israel, Champions of the Flyway: March 2014
Israel, Champions of the Flyway: March 2014

In late March I took part in an international bird race in Eilat, Israel, to raise thousands of pounds for bird conservation, specifically a project aiming to prevent the slaughter of over 10,000 migratory birds every year. If this is something about which you feel strongly please visit the COTF website…

Cuba: March 2014
Cuba: March 2014

I've just returned from leading a very succesful Sunbird tour of Cuba and with so many highlights it is difficult to know where to start!

Our tour started off in the Pinar del Rio region, about 3 hours west of Havana, we visited…

Southern Portugal: Dec 2013
Southern Portugal: Dec 2013

Some group members arrived a day or so early, so it was on 23rd that the remaining group members met Stuart and Jill at Faro Airport after their flight from the UK. With it being a late…

Peru Bird Rally: Dec 2013
Peru Bird Rally: Dec 2013

Starting off in Lima we were spoilt for choice as we had over 100 Inca Terns nesting near our hotel with Belcher's Gull and Peruvian Booby offshore or a few blocks away, both Amazilia and Oasis Hummingbird in the trees and Peruvian Meadowlarks in the grasslands. Once into the Amazon we were treated…

Gambia: Abuko, Tendaba and Kaur. Oct 2013
Gambia: Abuko, Tendaba and Kaur. Oct 2013

GIANT KINGFISHER Megaceryle maxima. Just one of the fantastic birds to be found at Abuko Nature Reserve.

We arrived in The Gambia to what can only be described as a heatwave - getting off the plane late afternoon was like the proverbial ‘sticking one’s head in the…

Brazil, Atlantic Forest: Sep 2013
Brazil, Atlantic Forest: Sep 2013

Male VIOLACEOUS EUPHONIA Euphonia violacea. A common but colourful resident of our lodge in the Atlantic Rainforest.

We arrived in Brazil to find that spring was well under way and birds were singing all around us. The daily early morning…

Sicily: 25 April to 01 May 2013
Sicily: 25 April to 01 May 2013

We arrived at Catania Airport mid evening after the flight from the UK. We were greeted  with pleasantly warm temperatures, even though it was already mid-evening it already felt a great deal warmer than the weather we’d said goodbye to earlier that day. We headed off…

Texas Spring Migration: April 2013
Texas Spring Migration: April 2013

Adult SORA RAIL Porzana carolina. This obliging bird just wandered out onto the track in front of us!

When we arrived in Texas the weather was hot and sunny with light southerly winds; admittedly very pleasant but completely useless for witnessing migration. 

Morocco, Ouazazarte: Feb 2013
Morocco, Ouazazarte: Feb 2013

Traveling down to the Sahara we watched the sunrise over the iconic dunes at Erg Chebbi. The day was to be a memorable one as we enjoyed Houbara Bustard, African Desert Warbler, Cream-colored Courser and numerous Hoopoe Larks; their strange piping song echoing around the dunes. At least 5 species…

Morocco, Erg Chebbi: Feb 2013
Morocco, Erg Chebbi: Feb 2013
Morocco, Boumanie: Feb 2013
Morocco, Boumanie: Feb 2013
Colombia, Los Nevados: Sept 2012
Colombia, Los Nevados: Sept 2012
Colombia, Santa Marta: Sept 2012
Colombia, Santa Marta: Sept 2012

A remarkable tour which in 12 days saw us record at least 418 species of bird. Highlights were many including Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, 51 species of Hummingbird, numerous raptors including Bat Falcon and King Vulture and a delightful selection of tanagers…

Sicily: May 2012
Sicily: May 2012

The group members met Stuart at Catania Airport after the flight from the UK. With Lloyd’s expertise of handling large bulky items, the luggage was carefully packed into the minibus and we headed off into the warm mediterranean night which all agreed was already warmer…

Canada, Manitoba Part 2: Jun 2011
Canada, Manitoba Part 2: Jun 2011
Canada, Manitoba Part 1: Jun 2011
Canada, Manitoba Part 1: Jun 2011
Southern Thailand: Mar 2011
Southern Thailand: Mar 2011
Central Thailand: Mar 2011
Central Thailand: Mar 2011
Thailand, Khao Yai. Mar 2011
Thailand, Khao Yai. Mar 2011

ha ha ha

 

Northern Thailand, Doi Ang Khang: Feb 2011
Northern Thailand, Doi Ang Khang: Feb 2011
Northern Thailand, Doi Lang: Feb 2011
Northern Thailand, Doi Lang: Feb 2011
Southern Portugal: Sep 2010
Southern Portugal: Sep 2010
Sunbird Poland: May 2010
Sunbird Poland: May 2010

This was my first visit to Poland for 3 years. It is fair to say that yes, the country has changed but definitely for the better. A much improved road network speeded up our journey down to the south east corner of Poland and allowed us more time than in previous trips for roadside birding. Leaving…

Hong Kong: Aug 2009
Hong Kong: Aug 2009
Australia, S Queensland: Aug 2009
Australia, S Queensland: Aug 2009
Australia, Barrier Reef: Aug 2009
Australia, Barrier Reef: Aug 2009
Papua New Guinea, Kumul Lodge: Aug 2009
Papua New Guinea, Kumul Lodge: Aug 2009
Australia, N Queensland: Aug 2009
Australia, N Queensland: Aug 2009
Ohio, Crane Creek: May 2009
Ohio, Crane Creek: May 2009

‘This year’s eastern Midwest tour produced a wide variety and quantity of migrants.  Crane Creek was particularly noteworthy with large quantities of eastern warblers, many of which were literally at arm’s reach.  In the end, we recorded 36 species of warblers missing only the scarce Connecticut and…

Michigan, Tawas Point. May 2009
Michigan, Tawas Point. May 2009

After a final early morning at Pt. Pelee we departed west and then north for Tawas Point.  Migrants were more numerous than at Pelee and we had an enjoyable evening walk. Stuart and Ian briefly saw a Gull-billed Tern, which would be a second state record and to my knowledge a first record for interior…

Ontario, Point Pelee: May 2009
Ontario, Point Pelee: May 2009

With north winds Point Pelee was much slower and we only saw a small fraction of the migrants we had at Crane Creek.  But the trails were lovely and we did see a good scattering of migrants, including our only Olive-sided Flycatcher, a rare migrant in the East.  Most of the birders’ attention was…

Texas Spring Migration: April 2009
Texas Spring Migration: April 2009

Male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER Vermivora chrysoptera. One of the most wanted of all the warblers at High Island, and arguably the best!

It is fair to say that it was a very different Texas that greeted us as we arrived for this year’s tour. Last autumn, Hurricane Ike…

Japan: Kyushu: Jan 2009
Japan: Kyushu: Jan 2009
Japan, Snow Monkeys!: Jan 2009
Japan, Snow Monkeys!: Jan 2009
Japan, Honshu: Jan 2009
Japan, Honshu: Jan 2009
Japan, Steller's Sea Eagle! Jan 2009
Japan, Steller's Sea Eagle! Jan 2009
Japan, Hokkaido: Jan 2009
Japan, Hokkaido: Jan 2009
Spain, Aragon: May 2008
Spain, Aragon: May 2008
Texas Spring Migration: April 2008
Texas Spring Migration: April 2008

Male KENTUCKY WARBLER Geothlypis formosa. One of the normally shy and retiring species which give such good views on migration!

It is fair to say that it was a very different Texas that greeted us as we arrived for this year’s tour. Last autumn, Hurricane Ike had…

Gambia: Feb 2008
Gambia: Feb 2008
Brazil, Atlantic Forest: Nov 2007
Brazil, Atlantic Forest: Nov 2007
Poland: May 2007
Poland: May 2007

Unusually for our spring tour of Poland, it was cold and wet as our plane touched down in Warsaw. Despite the inclement weather we were soon heading south-west towards the Carpathian Mountains. The writing was ‘on the wall’ for a successful trip when our first stop for lunch produced immature White-tailed…

Texas Spring Migration: April 2007
Texas Spring Migration: April 2007

Male CERULEAN WARBLER Dendroica cerulea. This tired newly arrived migrant showed down to 10 feet during our visit to Sabine Pass.

Having flown out 3 days earlier than the group I could not believe that when they touched down at Houston it would be warmer in London…

Southern Finland: Feb 2007
Southern Finland: Feb 2007
Northern Finland: Jan 2007
Northern Finland: Jan 2007

We collected our hire car @ 1200 and drove to Tampere. No sign of recently present Hawk Owl near lake edge but several Magpies, Fieldfares and the odd Waxwing noted. A large accipiter over an industrial estate was considered by SME & RT to be a male Goshawk, but SJMG…

France, Les Baux: Nov 2006
France, Les Baux: Nov 2006

A long weekend which certainly didn’t go to plan! Our main aim was to see the wintering Wallcreepers at Les Baux, Provence. Whilst we did see and photograph Wallcreepers, Alpine Accentor, Crag Martin and Blue Rock Thrush the whole weekend was turned on its head when the Long-billed Murrelet turned…

Spain, Extremadura: May 2006
Spain, Extremadura: May 2006

A great, laughter filled long weekend with keen bird photographers, Chris Turner, Mike McKee and Trevor Warwick saw us concentrate on the plains of Extremadura and Monfrague National Park. Our highlights included Black, Egyptian and Griffon Vultures, White-rumped Swift, Great Bustard, Black-shouldered…

Poland: May 2006
Poland: May 2006

This was my ninth trip to Poland but the first with a digital SLR. Highlights on this Sunbird Spring Tour included all ten European Woodpeckers, singing male Collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Great Snipe, Spotted, Lesser Spotted and White-tailed Eagles, 4 Black Storks soaring overhead, Little…

Poland: May 2005
Poland: May 2005

Adult LITTLE GULLS Larus minutus. Siemianowka Lake. It's always nice to see these in immaculate breeding plumage.

Unusually for our spring tour of Poland, it was cold and wet as our plane touched down in Warsaw. Despite the inclement weather we were soon heading south-west…

Texas Spring Migration: April 2005
Texas Spring Migration: April 2005

A two-week trip with my wife Jill, Simon Buckingham and Howard Jolliffe, which concentrated on the upper Texas coast and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. My personal highlights ‘down south’ included Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, Green Jay, Altamira Oriole and a stunning Crimson-collared…

Minnesota: Jan 2005
Minnesota: Jan 2005

My wife Jill & I joined our good friend Alex Alexander in his home town of Duluth, Minnesota to witness the largest owl invasion of modern times. In our short 5 day stay we saw 38 Great Grey Owls, 7 Hawk Owls and single Great Horned, Barred, Boreal, Northern Saw-whet and Snowy Owls. We also managed…

South Africa: Sep 2004
South Africa: Sep 2004

I co-led and with my wife Jill alongside, joined the Sunbird trip ‘Cape to the Kalahari’led by Steve Rooke. The birding was great with highlights including Shy Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel and Sub-Antarctic Skua seen on the pelagic. Black Harrier, Orange-breasted and Malachite Sunbirds on the…

Poland: May 2004
Poland: May 2004
Tobago: April 2004
Tobago: April 2004

A 3 day stay under the expert guidance of Newton George saw us ‘clean up’ with Blue-backed Manakin, White-throated Spadebill and White-tailed Sabrewing as well as Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-cheeked Pintail, Great Black Hawk and Blue-crowned Motmot. Our visit to Little Tobago Island produced Audubon’s…

Trinidad: April 2004
Trinidad: April 2004

Our first trip to South America and what a trip it was. Highlights included Scarlet Ibis, Bearded Bellbird, Swallow-Tanager, Barred Antshrike, Pearl Kite and the endangered Trinidad Piping Guan. Our stay at the world famous Asa Wright Centre produced stunning hummingbirds such as Tufted Coquette,…

Poland in winter: Feb 2004
Poland in winter: Feb 2004
Poland: May 2003
Poland: May 2003
Arizona: April 2003
Arizona: April 2003

This trip with my wife Jill, Richard Patient and Alan Hitchings mainly concentrated on the area around Green Valley, close to the Mexican border. The most productive birding was in Madera and Miller Canyons. Highlights were the stunning Red-faced Warbler, Elf Owl, Cactus Wren and Greater Roadrunner,…

Colorado: April 2003
Colorado: April 2003

This trip with my wife Jill, Richard Patient and Alan Hitchings was to see all the grouse sp in Colorado. and we were largely successful. Greater and Lesser Prairie Chickens were easily seen whilst Greater Sage Grouse and the rare Gunnison Sage Grouse required early morning stake-outs. Wild Turkey…

Poland: May 2001
Poland: May 2001
Cambs Birders in Extremadura, Spain: May 1998
Cambs Birders in Extremadura, Spain: May 1998

After several months of planning, the time had arrived. We flew from Gatwick at 0730 and landed at Malaga at 1050. Once through the airport we picked up our hire cars and headed North on the N831 towards our first site. The weather was hot and sunny and we soon had changed into shorts and T-shirts.

Laguna…

Florida: April 1997
Florida: April 1997

Jill & I left Cambridge Bus Station at 0700 and we arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 at 0945. We departed Heathrow on BA 293 1230 to Miami. We travelled on a Boeing 747-400, an amazing experience. Plane called ‘City Of Westminster’.

While I’m writing this page the pilot has informed us that we…

Cambs Birders in Eastern Poland: May 1996
Cambs Birders in Eastern Poland: May 1996

After many months of planning the time had come – At Last!  We left Cambridge at 2000hrs and headed to catch the midnight ferry from Ramsgate to Oostende.

We docked at Oostende on time at 0445 and headed east on the E-40…