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, Bornean Bulbul and Friendly Bush-warbler can all be found. We will also visit the Danum Valley, where there are more endemics in the form of Bulwer’s Pheasant, Blue-headed and Blue-banded Pittas, Bornean Blue-flycatcher and Bornean Wren-babbler.
Cameroon forms the intergrade between Central and West Africa, and harbours a vast range of habitats. We will look for the 26 endemic or near-endemic species, as well as a host of other West African specialities. We will visit Mount Cameroon and Korup National Park, famous for its colonies of Grey-necked Rockfowl. We will also look for the fabled Mount Kupe Bushshrike and other rare endemics, including Bannerman’s Turaco, Banded Wattle-eye and Bannerman’s Weaver.
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 may 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 fantastic new spring tour will search for such rarely-seen species (by western birders!) as Sind Pied Woodpecker, Iranian Ground-jay, Iranian Babbler, Caspian Tit, Hypocolius and Sind Sparrow all amongst stunning scenery, friendly people, living history and culture.
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.
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.
Saudi Arabia and Socotra Island
With Yemen being effectively ‘out of bounds’ this fabulous tour will visit southern Saudi Arabia where all but one of the Arabian endemics can be found: Arabian and Philby’s Partridges, Arabian Woodpecker, 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. 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. Seabirds may include Socotra Cormorant, Jouanin’s Petrel, Audubon’s, Flesh-footed and Persian Shearwaters and Sooty Gull.
There are a number of Sahel species that are either scare or absent in The Gambia. The new tour will fly into Dakar and visit Djoudj National Park with its globally-endangered Arabian Bustard, little-known River Prinias and spectacular numbers of wintering Palearctic birds. Further north on the Mauritanian border, we will search acacia woodland for two limited-range species; Little Grey Woodpecker and Sennar Penduline-tit as well as Black Scrub-robin. We visit a location where spectacular numbers of Scissor-tailed Kites can be seen coming into roost. The rarely-seen Quail-plover also occurs in the area although Small Buttonquail and Common Quail are more likely. Further east towards the headwaters of The Gambia River, we will visit Niokolo-Koba National Park for African Finfoot and Adamawa Turtle-dove. There will be an element of exploration here as very few birders have visited the area so there is much to be discovered including possibly even Mali Firefinch. Some of the wonderful species we saw on our first visit can be seen in our photo gallery.
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.
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.