Dr Svetlana Ashby
Svetlana was born in Russia but lived in Kazakhstan for many years where she led scientific research in wildlife biology and was a lecturer in environmental studies at the State Agricultural University in Almaty. She has birded widely around the world including Russia and other former Soviet Union countries. She is founder of and principal tour leader for Kazakhstan Bird Tours having extensive knowledge of all aspects of Kazakhstan’s natural history and culture.
Vaughan became interested in birds in the early 1960s and started birding seriously in the mid 1970s. He founded Birdfinders in 1993 running tours for local RSPB groups and in 1996, after 24 years working as an assistant bank manager, turned it into a full time occupation. He has since travelled extensively around the world and has led over 200 tours to every continent on earth. He is former treasurer of Portland Bird Observatory and former Dorset Bird Report editor.
Suchit was born in the eastern Terai of Nepal and worked as a full time naturalist in the Royal Chitwan National Park for five years during which time he accumulated an invaluable knowledge of its flora and fauna. He started work as a full time wildlife leader in 1994 and his great enthusiasm, cheerful and friendly disposition, together with exceptional ornithological knowledge has made him a very popular leader of our Nepal tours.
Solomon has been interested in birds since childhood in Tigray province. After gaining a Natural Science degree at Addis Ababa University, he developed experience of Ethiopia’s birds and habitats as he travelled to various parts of the country with his work in the coffee industry. He then began working as a birdguide and 10 years ago, started his own ground agency.
Tudor is a forest engineer by profession in Romania but now leads birdwatching and wildlife tours on a full-time basis. He is an enthusiastic ornithologist with a keen eye and all-round wildlife ability and has a great love for all aspects of natural history. The Carpathian Mountains are his ‘local patch’. It is an area he knows better than anyone, making him the perfect guide on our tours.
Taya is a writer, wildlife film-maker (he has made over 20 full-length wildlife films), narrator and presenter. As well as being an expert on the birds of Sri Lanka, Taya also has in-depth knowledge not only on the reptiles and butterflies of his country but also on its archaeology and history.
Silverio was born in the rainforests of Peru and comes from the Ese-Eja indigenous community on the Tambopata River where he has spent most of his life. He has worked for many years as a rainforest natural history guide in the Tambopata-Candamo National Park and has specialized in leading bird tours for the last few years. He has the eyes and ears of a true native of the rainforests and is incredibly adept at spotting quietly sitting birds. He has broadened his horizons and is now one of our top bird tour leaders in Manu and Machu Picchu and North Peru. He is reknowned for his fieldcraft and knowledge of all aspects of rainforest ecology.
Steven was born and raised in Arkansas but now lives in Costa Rica. He lived in Kenya for 5 years and has led many birding tours to the country where he has seen nearly 1000 species. He was head guide at Rancho Naturalista, the famous birding lodge in Costa Rica, for several years and now leads a number of Birdfinders’ tours.
Sid's background ranges from being a shepherd on the Falkland Islands to eight years as a Red Cross worker in a refugee centre. Several years ago however, he decided to retrace some of his early birdwatching adventures but after meeting his wife to be, Meggie, he never got further than the birding hotspot of Sichuan and is now based in Chengdu. Sid and Meggie have for the last 3 years made ornithology their full-time profession; both with helping organise and leading bird tours into Sichuan and through Sichuan bird surveying work.
Neil was formerly the Senior Warden of the RSPB’s Arne-based reserves in Dorset and Dorset County Bird Recorder. From 1983 his work in nature conservation took him to many places, both in the UK and overseas, before arriving at Arne in 1991. Neil has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, North America, Australia and the Far East and, since marrying his Japanese wife, Japan is now a regular destination.
Dimiter has been working on conservation projects for over 25 years, 18 of which have been spent monitoring wintering geese around the Black Sea. Dimiter has been interested in birds since 1975 and has led birdwatching and natural history tours in Bulgaria since 1992.
Gerard is the author of several books, including Where to Watch Birds in Eastern Europe, The Birds of Hungary, Woodpeckers of Europe: A study of the European Picidae, and the monograph The Black Woodpecker. He is one of the foremost experts on birds in Eastern Europe and is now working on a guide to all of the world's picid species and travelling the globe to see them! English by birth, Gerard now lives in Hungary.
Solomon is a Gambian national who has an extensive knowledge of the birds, sites and people of his country. He is president of the West African Bird Study Association and organises Habitat Africa, a group of the best birdguides in The Gambia. Solomon’s enthusiasm for birds and his easy-going nature cannot fail to make an impression on you.
Andy began his career in conservation and leading wildlife holidays in the UK. He was a warden on Skomer Island, a ranger with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the RSPB's senior investigations officer and a Wildlife Trust director. He trained as a geologist and is an enthusiastic bird and whale-watcher. He has been leading wildlife holidays for more than twenty years and runs his own successful business in Iceland with his wife.
Martyn was an active birder in Sussex for 30 years before marrying and moving to Trinidad, where he now works as a freelance ornithologist and is Honorary Secretary of the Trinidad & Tobago Rare Birds Committee. He has extensive experience of South-east Asia, East Africa, North America and the Western Palearctic.
Kamol lives in Thailand and, as well as being an expert on its birds, is a superb artist. With his wife Patcharee organising all of the ground arrangements for our tour, we are in very safe hands.
Przemysław works in the Polish Forestry Department and has been involved in many conservation schemes including those for Ural Owls and Wolves. Przemek’s knowledge of the sites and birds of Poland is excellent. He has led Birdfinders tours to Poland for the past ten years.
Peter has been bird recorder and report editor for Glamorgan, a member of the British Ornithologists Union Records Committee and chairman of the British Birds Rarities Committee. His main interests are bird identification, migration and recording. He has written many published papers and is co-author of Birds of Glamorgan. Peter is a regular Birdfinders tour leader.
David is an ex-pat who has lived and worked in Canada for many years. Over the past few years he has also visited many other countries throughout the world. He has a great deal of knowledge, not only of the birds of North America but also of its many other forms of wildlife, and his expertise is greatly welcomed on our Canadian Point Pelee and Michigan tour.
Michael splits his time between guiding and conducting research on birds. He holds a masters degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town, and is currently assisting in research on birds in Angola. His interest in wildlife was sparked at a young age, having grown up in the Kalahari Gemsbok and Kruger National Parks. He has lived in Kruger for 15 years, and knows the area's birds and wildlife intimately. He has also travelled extensively, to 16 countries in Africa, plus Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe, The Philippines, India, Argentina, Ecuador and the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Besides birds, he has a strong interest in mammals, particularly in small carnivores and African primates.
Xavier is a conservationist by heart and is Neblina Forests founder, owner and guide by profession. He has been working as Board Member and been mentor for both AVES & CONSERVACION (previously known as CECIA) and the Jocotoco Foundation. Guiding Ecuador since 1997, Xavier nowadays also guides birding trips to Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana and Peru and is always looking for new destinations in the neotropics.
Loven, together with his partners Leio De Souza and Pramod Madaikar, operates Backwoods Camp in the Western Ghats of Goa. He is an excellent field birder who also has an in-depth knowledge of his country, its habitats and its people.
James P. Smith
James is a staff leader and has led many tours for us over the past 5 years. James was originally from Yorkshire but now lives in the northeastern US. He leads all of our US tours as well as tours to Gambia, India and Israel, where he still retains his position on the rare birds committee.
Attila has been a keen naturalist and birdwatcher since childhood. Prior to becoming a bird and nature guide he worked for WWF on species conservation and wildlife trade issues. He has travelled extensively around the world and has a good knowledge of the sites and birds of Central and South Mexico.
Chubzang was born and brought up in Trongsa, Central Bhutan. He strongly believes in his country’s environmental protection and has extensive knowledge of his country, its culture, traditions and people. Chubzang began leading birding tours in 2000 and has worked with the International Crane Foundation. Chubzang is now acknowledged as one of Bhutan's top birders. He has travelled widely in the USA, India, Thailand and the UK but returns to Bhutan to lead birding groups and to research for documentary films, photography and editorials. He is a passionate photographer and has exhibited his work in Nature Reserves and Art Centres.
Although born in Adelaide, South Australia, Peter has lived in the ‘tall timber country’ of Manjimup, in the southwest of Western Australia (a hotspot for endemic birds and plants) for the past 10 years. He works as a freelance wildlife tour guide, having forsaken a comfortable career with the government to follow his true passion for birds and birdwatching. He is also a regional organiser for the Australian Bird Atlas project in Western Australia. Peter leads our Western Australia endemic bird tours and from 2011, will also be leading our new Southern Australia & Tasmania endemic bird tour.
Toni lives on the west coast of Finland where he works as an environmental engineer. He started birdwatching in the late 1980s and over the past few years has led a number of birdwatching tours in Finland and Norway including for Birdfinders. The combination of Toni’s knowledge, energy and enthusiasm makes him a very popular leader.
Cirilo Rodrigues Vieira
Cirilo is the full time bird guide at Serra dos Tucanos Lodge. He graduated as a Biologist from the Santa Ursula University in Rio de Janeiro in 2005. Before joining them he spent 3 years working in the ornithological department in the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. He has spent numerous hours in the field working alongside taxonomists, mist netting and undertaking research into the birds of the Atlantic rainforest. With his fluent english and relaxed nature he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the local birds with guests.
Nigel works for In Focus and is a well-known figure in the south-west birding scene. His extensive birding experience in the Western Palearctic, North America and Asia, combined with his sense of humour, makes him a popular leader.