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Birdfinders website is consistently the highest ranked British birdwatching holiday company on Fatbirder's 'Birding Top 1000' thanks to its regular updates on tour availability news items and photo galleries, from both the tour leaders and tour participants

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

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22 October 2017

Birdfinders slideshow

Welcome to Birdfinders, one of Britain's most successful birdwatching holiday companies: run by birders for birders. We've been in business since 1993 and have been growing and adding to our birdwatching tours list every year since. We offer exceptional value birdwatching holidays to locations around the world, so stop wishing, start packing!


Two new tours coming soon!

Dominican Republic

Tanzania

This exciting new tour will be targeting the 30 of the 31 endemic birds of Hispaniola (the other is found only in Haiti), the highest number of any Caribbean island, plus Golden Swallow following its disappearance from Jamaica. Species such as Ridgeway’s Hawk are rare and endangered, whilst Ashy-faced Owl and Least Pauraque require nocturnal excursions so we will be using top local guides. 1–10 March 2018.

With more endemic birds than Kenya and many near-endemics and a wealth of large mammals, our new tour to Tanzania, led by Steven Easley, is sure to be popular! As well as the main tour we will also be offering an extension to Pemba Island to look for the four endemic species found there.

Palmchat

Lilac-breasted Roller


Latest tour news New tour reports

Birdfinders was founded by Vaughan Ashby in 1993 and has been growing ever since. Recent years have seen amazing growth despite the world economic downturn. We run excellent value and well priced tours to locations around the world and get a lot of repeat business from satisfied customers as well as new customers joining us after they discover what good value Birdfinders is and how good and bird-filled our tours are.

With Birdfinders you get:

At Birdfinders we cater to all levels of ability and enthusiasm is more important than knowledge as our experienced leaders are always on hand to assist. Although all of our birdwatching holidays and birdwatching tours are designed specifically for finding birds, we stop wherever possible for other forms of wildlife and previous tour participants have been able to combine birds with their interests in mammals, butterflies, plants, insects etc. Furthermore, whilst the very nature of birdwatching dictates some early-morning starts to ensure that we see as many species as possible, we can frequently arrange for participants to take time off to relax or sightsee, providing that does not conflict with the itinerary of the tour.

All participants in Birdfinders tours will receive, in advance of the tour, a copy of a previous tour report (where available) or, a few weeks after returning, a copy of the current tour report (if a new tour). To keep costs down tour reports are not originated every year. However, currently we have nearly 200 tour reports, in pdf format, available on our website. We also have a list of photos from our tours – now over 6100 images!

Participants also receive in advance a blank daily bird checklist for the tour, together with an information letter detailing helpful advice such as health requirements, what to bring, recommended reading, etc. At the end of each tour, a feedback form is provided so that tours can constantly be improved.

We can also arrange customised tours to selected countries. See our Custom Tours page or contact us. Also, keep an eye on our Future Tours page to see where we're planning on going to next.

Birdfinders is pleased to announce that we now offer you the option of paying by debit or credit card over the phone. There is a 1.5% surcharge for using a credit card (cost to us) but no charge for using a debit card.

We look forward to welcoming you on one of our tours in the near future.

Vaughan and Svetlana Ashby and the Birdfinders team

Ornithological Society of the Middle East logo African Bird Club logo

Birdfinders is now a Corporate Member of OSME: the Ornithological Society of the Middle East. Nine of our tours visit countries in the OSME region: Egypt, Israel in Spring, Israel in Autumn, Georgia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, UAE, Kuwait and Uzbekistan. Join Birdfinders on one of our bird-filled tours in this exciting region.

Birdfinders is pleased to be a Corporate Sponsor of the African Bird Club. Birdfinders runs eight tours to the African continent plus to islands off the African coast: Maderia, The Canaries and Cape Verde Islands. Join Birdfinders on one of our superb trips to this amazing continent.

FLIGHTS

Birdfinders are one of a diminishing number of bird tour companies that include flights in their prices. The reason we do this is to avoid clients arriving on a number of different flights causing problems at the start of a tour. The reason that other birdwatching tour companies don’t include flights are either they do not have the capacity to deal with this or, do not want to take the risk of having to pay more for flights than quoted in their brochures or on their websites. We can totally understand this as booking flights is one of the most difficult aspects of a bird tour company’s job because firstly, we have to guess what they will be up to 2 years in advance and secondly, there is no such thing as fixed prices for flights, the airlines prices literally can change by the minute. Additionally, there is no such thing as group discounts on flights, they are always supplements, the more seats you want to buy the higher the price goes. Well, imagine going around a supermarket and buying 10 tins of bean only to find out at the checkout that the price has increased as you want so many, would you be happy, I doubt it, but that is what airlines do, it’s called supply and demand! Whilst we always try to book clients on the most convenient flights this isn’t always possible, if you check online flight websites for 2 seats then increase it to 9 or more you will see what we mean! We do of course, always try to avoid passing any flight supplements but you will appreciate that this often means that we cannot offer direct flights although we will always try to offer you the choice. Limited airport capacity in the UK also causes problems by reducing the number of direct flights available to certain parts of the world and often airlines don’t have a daily schedule of direct flights which coincide with the number of days on our tours, Costa Rica and Cancun, Mexico being prime examples with British Airways. As all tours are designed to give the best possible birding we aren’t going to shorten or lengthen a tour just to fit in with airline schedules! So please bear with us when we book your flights, we try our best but sometimes we feel that we are fighting a losing battle!

CHINESE VISAS

We have just found out that the Chinese visa fees have changed and as you would expect, they have increased not decreased! Recently the UK government agreed with China that Chinese citizens visiting the UK could have multiple entry visas for a 2-year duration and the Chinese government have reciprocated. The Chinese government have therefore added a multi-entry visa to the previous arrangements for single and double entry visas for 3 and 6 months respectively but have increased the fees for the single and double entry visas to the same amount as the multi entry visa which is £85 for regular applications plus a handling fee for postal applications of £90 making a total of £175. This is a substantial increase of course but does mean that you can now get a two-year multi-entry visa for the same amount as a 3-month single entry visa so why not join us on a Beidaihe, Poyang Lake, Qinghai or Sichuan tour one year and one of the other tours the next year with no extra visa costs. Full information on the new visa fees can be found on the following link: http://www.visaforchina.org/LON_EN/upload/Attach/mrbj/289577.pdf

LATE BOOKINGS

Whilst we welcome late bookings and try to accommodate potential participants, we have noticed an increasing trend for booking enquiries received so late that it is impossible to get flights, accommodation or in some cases visas in time. Generally, we have to make a decision three months before the departure date as to whether a tour will run or not and, at that time, we have to release any accommodation held. Unfortunately, these days, it is not possible to hold flights without names and frequently the prices of these flights increase substantially the nearer we get to the departure date. Similarly, accommodation prices also increase the nearer we get to the departure date. We have even been asked if there are any discounts for late bookings, sadly, the answer is no but there may be supplements for the increased price of flights and accommodation. We recently had to cancel a tour as we had not reached the minimum required number three months before departure only to receive enough bookings and enquiries to have filled the tour subsequently. In this case it was not possible to get flights and accommodation enabling us to resurrect the tour. If there is a tour that you are particularly interested in therefore, we would strongly urge you to book as far in advance as possible, hence our guarantee that all tours booked by 31 October each year are guaranteed not to be surcharged.


WHAT'S IN THE SLIDESHOW?

Click here for the species in our slideshow


ERRATUM

In our 2018 brochure the text for our Belarus tour should read: This exciting new tour to one of the least-known Eastern European destinations includes visiting several beautiful National Parks including Pripyatsky (a famous World Heritage Site), Bielaviežškaja Pušča (the larger eastern extension of Białowieza ancient forest in Poland) and Sporaŭski Reserve, home to 50% of the world’s Aquatic Warblers. We also have an excellent chance of finding one of Europe’s most difficult birds, Azure Tit. All this will be experienced with friendly people in beautiful surroundings.


BHUTAN NEW ITINERARY

We have revised the itinerary for our fabulous tour to Bhutan. Our revised Bhutan tour now involves no camping but still visits all the best sites.


ATOL PROTECTION

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate


Zeiss logo

BIRDFINDERS RECOMMENDS ZEISS OPTICS

Victory HT

Birdwater's Yearbook cover

The Birdwatcher's Yearbook 2018 – from Calluna Books, the Dorset-based business owned by Neil Gartshore, a leader for Birdfinders.


Jankowski's Bunting

Help save the critically endangered Jankowski's Bunting – donate here. Birdfinders will be donating £5 for every client booked on any of our China tours in 2013 and future years. Birdfinders' donations to this vital appeal now stand at over £2150!


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Birdfinders is now affiliated with Natural History Book Shop

To search through their superb selection of books click below


World Land Trust logo

Latest news from the World Land Trust

Birdfinders' and Birdfinders' tour participants help save the endangered Santa Marta Parakeet. Click here for details.

Birdfinders and our clients have now contributed over £48,500 to the World Land Trust for environmental projects and in doing so have balanced the equivalent of over 1880 tonnes of GHG emissions. This money has gone towards three projects in Ecuador where we have helped protect approximately 12 hectares of wildlife habitat in three important areas:

Click here to see how you can help support this important work. Click here to view our latest certificate presented to us by the World Land Trust.