Birdfinders is pleased to announce the following new tours, presently in the advanced stages of planning. Notice of interest in these tours is being accepted and those responding will be given first choice when bookings commence.
This tour will concentrate on the Malaysian part of the island and, in particular, on Mount Kinabalu, where the endemic Mountain Serpent-eagle, Whitehead's Trogon, Whitehead's Broadbill, Bornean Whistler and Friendly Bush-warbler can all be found. We will also visit the Danum Valley, where more endemics can be found in the form of Bulwer's Pheasant, Blue-headed and Blue-banded Pittas, Bornean Blue-flycatcher and Bornean Wren-babbler. The tour will be led by Frank Lambert, author of several books on the region.
Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
With 41 endemics between the two islands, this two-week combined tour is sure to be popular. As well as the island endemics, there are a number of other Caribbean endemics not found on our Jamaica tour. Highlights include Hispaniolan and Puerto Rican Parrots, Hispaniolan Trogon, Golden Swallow, Elfin-woods, Green-tailed and White-winged Warblers and Pearly-eyed Thrasher. Here are some photos we took in Puerto Rico in March 2013.
This innovative tour will visit nine of the main islands in the chain in search of 32 Lesser Antilles endemics. By utilising short inter-island flights, we will be able spend more time looking for the island specialities. Admire some of the superb birds we saw on our exploratory tour in 2009.
Like many parts of Africa, Malawi has suffered from deforestation but there are still some excellent forest reserves and in them are a number of regional endemics that are hard to see elsewhere including four species of flufftail, Boehm's Bee-eater, Racket-tailed Roller, Pale-billed Hornbill, Stierling's Woodpecker, Miombo and Whyte's Barbets, Anchieta's Sunbird, Blue Swallow, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark, Miombo Rock-thrush, Boulder Chat, Boehm's and Livingstone's Flycatchers, Cholo and White-breasted Alethe, White-winged Apalis, Black-lored and Churring Cisticolas, Souza's Shrike, Fulleborn's Boubou, Babbling Starling, Meve's Glossy-starling, Bertrand's and Olive-headed Weavers and Black-eared Seedeater. Additionally, White-backed Night-heron, Pel's Fishing-owl and Spotted Creeper easier to see than any other part of Africa we have visited. With good accommodation, excellent mammals, stunning scenery and friendly people this is sure to be a popular new tour. Take a look at some of the excellent birds we saw on our exploratory tour in 2009.
Malaysia and Java
There are approximately 37 endemics in Malaysia and we will search for many of them at Taman Negara, in the largest tract of pristine lowland rainforest remaining in mainland Asia. Specialities here include Malayan Peacock-pheasant, Blue-banded Kingfisher, Garnet Pitta and Malaysian Rail-babbler. An extension to Java is also offered, with another 20 endemics possible including Milky Stork, Javan Hawk-eagle and Pygmy Tit. The tour will be led by Frank Lambert, author of several books on the region.
With Myanmar now opening up to the rest of the world, it is a good time to visit this fascinating country. This tour will look for the four or five (depending on taxonomy) endemics as well as a number of other regional specialities. We will visit the splendid temples of Bagan, where three of the endemics are found, as well as Mount Victoria for the fourth.
This exciting new tour to the Seychelles in 2014 will be looking for all 12 endemics of these beautiful paradise islands. Many of them are critically endangered so we will be using the services of the top local guide on the islands to ensure that we see them together with spectacular numbers of seabirds. This tour can be taken either as an extension to our popular U.A.E. tour or as a stand alone tour and you can add extra nights at the end of the tour to relax on any island including the exclusive Bird Island. Check out our photos of some of the excellent and mostly endemic species we saw in 2013.
Although not quite as bird-rich as Kenya, Tanzania holds over 20 endemic species, substantially more than Kenya. This tour will visit the main areas of endemism including Tarangire N.P., the Uluguru Mountains and the Usumbara Mountains in search of the majority of them. We'll also be offering an extension to Pemba Island to look for the three endemics there: Pemba Green-pigeon, Pemba Scops-owl and Pemba White-eye.
Tunisa and Algeria
This new tour will cover the huge variety of habitats in Tunisia from the mountains and lakes in the north, with their Barbary Partridges, Moussier's Redstarts and Marbled and White-headed Ducks, to the deserts in the south, with their Houbara Bustards, Cream-coloured Coursers, Egyptian Nightjars, Fulvous Chatterer, African Desert Warblers and Desert Sparrows. We will also make a short excursion into the (now safe) Kabyle Mountains of Northern Algeria for the near-mythical Algerian Nuthatch.
With ten, Vietnam has the highest number of endemic species of any country in southeast Asia, and the most diverse avifauna. There are also a number of non-endemic specialities including White-winged Duck, White-shouldered Ibis, Blyth's and Ruddy Kingfishers and Scarlet Finch. With a rapidly developing economy and infrastructure, this long-inaccessible country with its fascinating culture is now firmly on the birding agenda.
Yemen and Socotra Island
This fabulous tour will first visit the mainland for all the Arabian endemics: Arabian and Philby's Partridges, Arabian Woodpecker, Yemen Accentor, Yemen Thrush, Yemen Warbler, Olive-rumped and Yemen Serins, Yemen Linnet and Arabian Waxbill, as well as the near-endemic Dunn's Lark, Red-breasted Wheatear and Golden-winged Grosbeak. Seabirds may include Socotra Cormorant, Jouanin's Petrel, Audubon's, Flesh-footed and Persian Shearwaters and Sooty Gull. On the island of Socotra we will look for all the endemics: Socotra Buzzard, Socotra Bunting, Socotra Cisticola, Socotra Sparrow, Socotra Starling, Socotra Sunbird and Socotra Warbler as well as Forbes-Watson's Swift and Somali Starling.