Photo Page 2017

This page showcases photographs taken on our tours or during a trip at the planning stage.

All pictures have been taken by our leaders or customers. We have not bought pictures from libraries to make our tours look more impressive. With Bird Holidays, what you see is what you get.

 

If you have been on one of our tours and wish to show others your best shots, please send them to  info@birdholidays.co.uk

 

Copyright:  No part of this page or website may be reproduced without our prior permission.

 

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SPANISH MAMMALS 2017

 

 

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2017

 

 

Phew just back from a great tour!

Our trip was timed to miss Papua New Guinea’s rainy season and see Birds of Paradise in relative comfort and with lots of bonus species and a few cultural visits thrown in. A lot of pre-tour planning reduced the risk of the things that worry people most about PNG: crime, the worst accommodation and food hygiene, bad roads, bugs, diseases and flight delays. During the tour, the logistics and timings ran pretty much to plan with the odd mini hiccup that everyone nowadays expects from PNG. Our internal chartered flights were a godsend as other groups using long overland routes year encountered attempted robbery or had to abort trips. So our pre-tour planning definitely paid off.

 Birding is something that few locals appreciate, with most species seen as either food or something to wear on your head. Many of the birds we saw on this trip are endemic to New Guinea, with most restricted further to individual mountain ranges or river valleys. In addition, one only has to look on the internet for information about Papuan birds to see that almost nothing is known about their biology. The whole PNG avifauna is a ‘work in progress.’

 Travel logistics have improved since Attenborough trekked into the heartland to film Birds of Paradise, and being able to watch several species displaying can only be regarded as a massive privilege.

  

Highlights:

The group hit the ground running on day one with waterbirds a speciality at Port Moresby University: Comb-crested Jacana and Plumed Whistling Ducks aside, a couple of Frogmouths were the real highlight there.

At Tari, the selection of birds far exceeded expectations as it has recovered from a devastating fire and drought. The alpine grasslands and forest at Tari Gap provided Ribbon-tailed and Stephanie’s Astrapias, King-of-Saxony Bird of Paradise, both sicklebill species, Blue and Superb Birds of Paradise, and the weird Ploughbill, topped with a fine selection of parrots. The fruiting trees at Ambua gave daily doses of parotias, paradigalas, and berrypeckers, with a Boobook Owl each night. We should not forget the Wigmen who greeted us with a Sing-Sing that allowed closer inspection of local plumes: some from birds we had yet to see!

 Aircraft were in short supply as one was being serviced, but George our pilot got us to Karawari through clouds and mountains. The highlights of our days here were a most magnificent Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise lekking close to the lodge, a King Bird of Paradise, and Victoria Crowned Pigeons on the shore of a river that rose from very low levels to a point 2m higher in just a few hours.

 PNG birds are shy and hard to see following centuries of hunting, so staying near Mnt Hagen, we were at the best place to see them close-up. It was hard to turn your back on the bird table which was dominated by Ribbon-tailed Astrapia and Smokey Honeyeaters. Days out gave us Lesser, Superb and Magnificent Birds of Paradise, as well as some amusing images of tribal dancers with the Commander of Prisons for the region.  

At Varirata NP, we achieved great views of Raggiana Bird of Paradise, Growling Riflebird, Barred Owlet-nightjar and some Paradise Kingfishers.  

Overall a great adventure that, only 50 years ago, would have needed a few months and many porters to even glimpse what we had managed to see in two weeks.

 

Phil Palmer

 

 

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KAZAKHSTAN 2017

 

Black-winged Pratincole frequently nest on the vast grassy steppes of Kazakhstan

 

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CROATIA 2017

 

Black-winged Stilt picture by Malcolm Jones.

 

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SICILY 2017

Lance has recently returned from two back to back tours to Sicily.

The largest of the Mediterranean islands, Sicily is blessed with a varied and beautiful landscape, including Mount Etna the highest volcano in Europe. The island is a well known as a flyway for springtime migrating birds and our tour aimed to combine this excellent birding with a little culture, visiting as we did, some historical sites spanning the ancient Greek and Roman cultures.

With quality hotels and notable food and wine, the tour received a definite thumbs-up from all participants.

To see more photographs from the tour, click on the image of Mount Etna below.

 

 

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NORTHERN INDIA 2017

 

Bengal Tiger by Roger Gee

 

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SOUTH INDIA SAFARI 2017

 

Painted Storks were in full breeding plumage whilst we were in South India.

 

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UGANDA 2017

 

5 boat trips on one tour!   Shoebill Storks make it well worth it.

 

Our first trip for a while was a massive success. We managed to see all of the star 'creatures', ranging from gorillas, chimps and half-a-dozen Shoebills,, to some very hard to see birds like Green-breasted Pitta, Finfoot and papyrus Gonolek. We saw Nubian Giraffe which is one of Africa's most threatened mammals and some magnificent dancing Crowned Cranes.

The infrastructure has improved massively, with very good roads, several new lodges and even the gorillas seem to need a less strenuous hike these days. Our guides Alfred and Johnny need more birdwatchers to visit as they are doing a great job in raising awareness among local people and training new guides. They help lodge owners to encourage birds into their gardens and one of this year's tour participants  donated some binoculars to Uganda Bird Guides Association. Uganda was THE place to visit in Africa as it was possible to see 500 species in a couple of weeks. It probably still is the best birding destination on the continent, but this has been forgotten as we never saw another birdwatcher during our visit.

We have placed a few photographs on the Uganda photo page to entice you to join us in 2019. Click HERE to see them.

 

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CAMARGUE, FRANCE, MAY 2017

 

Members of the Stockport RSPB Group (and Paul) enjoying a day at Pont du Gard near the Camargue, on our May 2017 holiday.

Click here to see more of co-leader Mark Newsome's photographs.

 

 

 

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LAKE KERKINI, MAY 2017

 

This year we ran a spring tour to beautiful Lake Kerkini for members of the East Yorkshire RSPB Group. These Red-footed Falcons were the highlight of the first day.

Click here to see a few more of Ian Smith's superb photographs.

 

 

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LATVIA 2017

Just back from a trip  to Latvia where I had the pleasure of showing Leeds RSPB some super birds.

We managed to get great views of Capercaillie, Black and Hazel Grouse, Little Crake, white-headed race Long-tailed Tits, Golden Eagle, various woodpeckers, Ural and Pygmy Owls.

Now one of my favourite trips and countries, I cant get enough of Latvia. So I went out a few days early to visit some places I have not been to before, with my friend Gaidis.

This gave me the time needed to enjoy views of Great Snipe (above) and lekking Black Grouse without impacting on their activities, something I have wanted to do for many years.

see a few more pictures HERE.

 

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PANAMA  2017

 

The White-tipped Sicklebill was one of many highlights of our tenth tour to Panama

See a few more pictures from the 2017 tour HERE

 

 

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ASSAM AND DARJEELING  2017

 

In March, Paul undertook a recce to NE India. In Assam he visited the beautiful Manas National Park, with its abundant grassland species as well as endangered Indian One-horned Rhinoceros. He then moved west into West Bengal, spending time at the hill station of Lava, as well as the Queen of the Hills, Darjeeling. A new trip is featured in our 2018 brochure, and a few of his photographs on this link.

 

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UGANDA  2017

 

Back from Uganda. Having seen the expected megas like Shoebill, Crowned Cranes, Gorilla, chimpanzee, one moment that I will treasure for a long time was spent with a Finfoot.
A pair of them were pecking flies from the bum of a Buffalo, when a Common Sand walked down the buffalos back, towards the male Finfoot to join in with the picnic!

Phil

 

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SRI LANKA  2017

 

Pied Thrush is probably the most beautiful thrush in the world.

See a few more pictures from the 2017 tour HERE

 

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CANARY ISLANDS February/March 2017

Lance has just returned from the sunny Canary Islands, where all the sought after speciality birds performed admirably.

Click here for more images.

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YUCATAN February  2017

 

A male Painted Bunting which we found in a corn field near Santa Elena. See more photographs from this successful tour by clicking here.

 

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MYANMAR (BURMA) 2017

Myanmar in January was Phil's first trip of 2017. Time in ancient Bagan allowed us to take a trip up the Irrawaddy River in search of White-tailed Stonechat but

bird of that trip was this Rain Quail. The country is growing in popularity and this year we saw our first other birdwatcher!

 see photographs from the trip by clicking here

 

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NE Ecuador 2017

 

NE Ecuador in January was Paul's first trip of 2017. We visited the usual sites of Antisana, San Isidro, Wild Sumaco and the unsurpassed Napo Wildlife Center. Thanks to Bob Martin for this wonderful photograph of male Lineated (left) and Crimson-crested Woodpeckers.

Click here for more photographs from the trip.

 

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South India 2017

 

This year's first group were incredibly fortunate with sightings, especially mammals. The group was also very jolly, and we enjoyed the culture, lodges and cuisine.

Click here for a few more photographs from the trip.

 

 

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