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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

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7 July 2016

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!


Egypt – Specialities Kazakhstan – North West
Full details to come soon
Yellow Bittern White-winged Lark

Birdfinders is delighted to announce a new tour designed to look for three of the Western Palearctic's most sought-after birds; Yellow Bittern, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and Saunders’ Tern. The former and latter only recently discovered breeding in Egypt and the sandgrouse rediscovered after an absence of a number of years. Additionally, we are likely to encounter a number of other specialty birds including Goliath Heron and Crab Plover.

Another ground-breaking tour by Birdfinders to remote northwest Kazakhstan where, to the west of the Ural River (so within the Western Palearctic boundary), we will search for a number of species reaching the edge of their ranges including Demoiselle Crane, Black-winged Pratincole, Black and White-winged Larks, ‘Steppe’ Horned Lark, Sykes’s Warbler and Red-headed Bunting with also the possibility of Caspian Plover and Sociable Lapwing.

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.


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:


We all hate surcharges for paying by credit card of course and here at Birdfinders we try to be fair to our clients by only passing on the actual cost to us which is 2%. We would prefer not to have to pass this cost on to our clients but as we work on extremely low profit margins (you can see that from our low prices compared to our competitors) we are unable to do so. From 1 December however, the company that transacts our credit card payments is reducing their charge to 1.5% so we will therefore be reducing the amount we pass on to you to the same figure. There are other costs we incur in respect of credit and debit card payments but we do absorb these and all debit card transactions will continue to be free of charge.


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.


An update on Birdfinders office producing its own electricity as part of our drive to become carbon neutral, we have now reached a total of 16,000kw generated from our 16 photovoltaic panels on our roof! We are not claiming to be carbon neutral yet but we are doing our best to get there and have returned 8,000kw to the National Grid. Over the years, we have gradually ensured that we use less of the Earth's valuable resources by recycling garden waste, paper, cardboard, tetra-paks, glass, metals, aluminium foil, polythene, plastic, batteries and printer cartridges, introducing low-energy light bulbs and dual flush toilets, changing appliances to those that are 'A' rated with the lowest energy consumption, renewing double glazing to the highest rated, increasing loft insulation and catching 1500 litres of rainwater to water our gardens. We are now changing to LED lightbulbs, our outside lights were 500w halogen, then changed to 28w low energy now 10w LED and our rooms from 100w bulbs to 20w low energy and now 8w LED so we are now using 60% less energy than even low energy bulbs. We are still trying to do more however, with underground heat-source, more photovoltaic cells with battery storage and wind generation being investigated.


Click here for the species in our slideshow


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:

Zeiss logo


Victory HT

Birdwater's Yearbook cover

The Birdwatcher's Yearbook – Now owned by 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.

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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 nearly £38,500 to the World Land Trust for environmental projects and in doing so have balanced the equivalent of 1872.67 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.