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.
China – Poyang Lake
Starting near Beijing we explore nearby mountains for Siberian Accentors and Pallas’s Rosefinches. We look for Red-crowned Cranes and the highly-localised Reed Parrotbill. Poyang Lake is where virtually the entire world population of Siberian Cranes and Oriental Storks spend the winter together with vast numbers of other wildfowl including Baikal Teal. We will visit a wintering site for Scaly-sided Merganser and Long-billed Plovers, Pied Falconets are also here, as are Yellow-throated Laughingthrush, Short-tailed Parrotbill and the endemic Grey-sided Scimitar-babbler. Emei Feng Mountain is where Elliott’s, Koklas and Silver Pheasants can be found together with a chance of the rare Cabot’s Tragopan. The coast may give us the critically-endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper together with Black-faced Spoonbills whilst the beautiful Fuzhou Forest Park gives us a chance for a number of other species including White-necklaced Partridge and wintering Japanese Robins. To see some photos of the super birds of this part of China take a look at our photo gallery.
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.
With stunning scenery from smoking volcanoes to the amazing Tikal ancient pyramids and temples from the Mayan age to compliment a number of superb limited-range birds this new tour is sure to be a popular. Speciality birds include the rare and bizarre Horned Guan, Blue-throated Motmot, the stunning Pink-headed Warbler and the highly-localised Orange-breasted Falcon. The full itinerary will appear in the new year but in the meantime enjoy the photo gallery of some of the wonderful birds we saw on our exploratory tour.
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.
On this exciting new tour we 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. We should also see spectacular numbers of seabirds. We will be staying in lovely beachside accommodation on both Mahe and Praslin, also visiting Cousin and La Digue islands. There will also be the option to extend your holiday with extra nights on any island including the spectacular Bird Island. This tour can be taken either as an extension to our popular tour to the United Arab Emirates or as a standalone tour. Our exploratory tour was a great success as you see from the 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.