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2019

    

 

 

North Wales & Cheshire   (3 places left)

March 6 – 7

 

A 2 day trip to Cheshire and North Wales where our target species will include lekking Black Grouse, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hen Harrier, Chough, Purple Sandpiper, Snow Bunting, Goshawk, Hawfinch, sea duck and more.

 

 

 

The Canary Islands – Fuerteventura & Tenerife   (Full)

March 16 – 23 

 

The Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa don’t have a huge list of birds but what they lack in quantity they certainly make up for in quality with half a dozen endemic species and numerous endemic races of species and a number of excellent and sought after birds such as Plain Swift, Red-billed Tropicbird, Bolle’s Pigeon, Laurel Pigeon, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Houbara Bustard, Cream-coloured Courser, Berthelot’s Pipit, Blue Chaffinch, Trumpeter Finch, Atlantic Canary, Fuerteventura Chat, Tenerife Kinglet, Southern Grey Shrike, Barbary Partridge, Canary Islands Tit, Canary Islands Chiffchaff, Lesser Short-toed Lark, BarbaryFalcon, Spanish Sparrow, Spectacled Warbler, Laughing Dove, Stone Curlew and a number of seabirds.

On this tour we spend time on Fuerteventura before visiting Tenerife for a few nights.

 

Gloucestershire & the Somerset Levels   (3 places left)

March 25 – 29 

 

5 days in the south west of England where we visit some great sites such as Slimbridge WWT, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswold Water Park, Nags Head RSPB and Ham Wall RSPB.

We can expect to see Goshawk (we had amazing views in 2018), Hawfinch, Red-crested Pochard, Mandarin Duck, Great White Egret, Bittern, Eurasian White-fronted Goose, Common Crane, Crossbill, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier among others. 

On our 2018 trip we also saw Great Grey Shrike, Glossy Ibis, Red Kite among the scarcer species.

 

Norway - Birds & the Aurora Borealis   (Full)

March 28 – April 2 

 

A 6 day visit to Norway where we visit sites in the Varanger Peninsula and the Pasvik Valley.

Our tour is also timed so that there’s enough daylight for birding but also time in the evenings to see the amazing Aurora Borealis on the clear nights.

Among the species that we can expect are Steller’s Eider, King Eider, Siberian Tit, Siberian Jay, Northern Hawk Owl, Pine Grosbeak, Arctic Redpoll, Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Ptarmigan, White-tailed Eagle, Purple Sandpiper, White-billed Diver, Brunnich’s Guillemot, Gyrfalcon, Lapland Bunting, Glaucous Gull, and Iceland Gull.

 

Colorado – lekking Grouse   (2 places left)

April 4 – 15 

 

A 12 day tour to Colorado in the USA targets lekking sage-grouse and prairie-chickens along with numerous of other species in and around the Rocky Mountains. 

Species we hope to see include Greater Sage-grouse, Gunnison Sage-grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Greater Prairie-chicken, Lesser Prairie-chicken, Mountain Plover, Grey-crowned Rosy-finch,  Black Rosy-finch, Brown-capped Rosy-finch, Canada Jay, Prairie Falcon, McCown’s Longspur, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Juniper Titmouse, Acorn Woodpecker, Burrowing Owl,  Mississippi Kite, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Townsend’s Solitaire, Upland Sandpiper, Grey Vireo, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Violet Green Swallow and Mountain Bluebird along with a number of warblers, wildfowl and shorebirds.

 

Extremadura   (2 places left)

April 10 – 17 

 

A return to central Spain for a week’s superb birding in one of Europe’s premier wildlife watching areas.

Among the bird-packed sites that we’ll visit are the Monfrague NP, Santa Marta de Magasca, Cacares and the Belen Steppes.

Our long list of great target species will include Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Thekla Lark, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Azure-winged Magpie, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Scops Owl, Spotless Starling, Lesser Kestrel, Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Rock Bunting, Roller, Rock Sparrow, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Western Orphean Warbler, Bonelli’s Eagle, Quail, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Golden Oriole, Bee-eater, Iberian Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Alpine Swift and Red Avadat.

 

Arizona & South California   (Full)

April 22 – May 2  

 

A great 11 day tour where we visit SE Arizona and also spend some time in Southern California.

We’ll seek out a range of classic desert species along with a range of species that are found more readily in Mexico and that are rarely found elsewhere in the US.

We fly into Phoenix and head west into California where we’ll spend a few days birding at sites such as the Joshua Tree NP and the Anza Borrego Desert SP.

In Arizona we visits sites such as the Sanora Desert, Kino Springs, the Saguero NP, Madera Canyon, the Buenes Aries Wildlife Complex, Patagonia, Garden, Sawmill and Scheelite Canyons and Portal.

Amongst our numerous target species will be Scott’s Oriole, Greater Roadrunner, Lucy’s Warbler, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Gambel’s Quail, Clark’s Grebe, Gila Woodpecker, Crissal Thrasher, California Thrasher, Abert’s Towhee, Blue Grosbeak, Costa’s Hummingbird, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Sparrow, Hooded Oriole, Gilded Flicker, Curve-billed Thrasher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Bridled Titmouse, Montezuma Quail, Spotted Owl, Painted Redstart, Verdin, Red-faced Warbler, Yellow-eyed Junco, Zone-tailed Hawk, Blue-throated Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Phainopepla.

 

The Outer Hebrides & St Kilda   (1 place left)

May 5 – 14 

 

This 10 day trip to the Outer Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland visits the islands of Barra, South Uist, North Uist, Harris, Lewis and St. Kilda along with Mull and Iona.

We’ll visit at the best time for Skua migration with Long tailed, Pomarine, Great and Arctic Skua’s all possible if conditions are favourable. Corncrakes will be in full voice and Benbecula and Iona are possibly the two best sites to see this species in the UK. With luck Red-necked Phalaropes will have returned to their breeding lochs and other species that we can expect include White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver along with numerous seabirds and waders.

We also take a boat trip to St Kilda which allows us around 5+ hours on the island which should be enough to find St Kilda Wren and other birds as well as visiting the long abandoned village.

 

Birds & Butterflies of Cumbria   

May 17 – 19 

 

This 3 day / 2 night tour is timed to give a good opportunity of finding butterflies such as Small Blue, Duke of Burgundy, Marsh Fritillary, Small Pearl bordered Fritillary, Pearl bordered Fritillary and Dingy Skipper along with commoner species such as Orange Tip, Green Hairstreak and Brimstone.

There’ll be birds too and we’d hope to see a number of wetland and woodland species with Bittern, Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret, Kingfisher, Dipper, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, terns and roding Woodcock amongst the possibilities.

 

Alaska USA with 3 day Iceland extension    (Full)

May 22 – June 9  

 

A fabulous 19 day wildlife packed adventure that visits Iceland for 3 days before a fortnight in Alaska – the last frontier State all adding up to the trip of a lifetime.

In Iceland we’ll target the speciality species such as Brunnich’s Guillemot, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Gyrfalcon and Harlequin Duck along with numerous other species and will also visit some of the sites of geological interest too.

In Alaska birds will hopefully include Steller’s, Spectacled and King Eiders, Kittlitz’s Murrelet, Parakeet Auklet, Cassin’s Auklet, Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin, Snowy Owl, Varied Thrush and McKay’s Bunting along with many other great species. Some great mammals will hopefully include Polar Bear, Brown Bear, Muskox, Moose, Humpback Whale, Dall’s Porpoise, Sea Otter and more.

 

Isle of Mull and Chequered Skipper    (3 places left)

June 11 – 14 

 

A 4 day visit to the west of Scotland where we’ll visit the Ardnamurchan Peninsula for the rare and localised Chequered Skipper butterfly at a site where we have previously seen both Beautiful Demoiselle and Golden-ringed Dragonfly. A North American Black Duck is resident in the area and we have also seen this bird on previous visits.

On Mull we can expect to see Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Black Guillemot, Red-throated and possibly Great Northern Diver among other species. We’ll also visit Iona for a chance of Corncrake.

 

Butterflies of Glos, IOW, East Midlands & Kent  (FULL)

June 16 – 20 

 

This 5 day / 4 night trip to Gloucestershire, Hampshire and sites near Oxford and Kent specifically targets a number of the rarest and most difficult species of butterfly to be found in the UK that will include Large Blue, Black Hairstreak, Wood White, Glanville Fritillary and Heath Fritillary along with White Admiral, Marbled White, Adonis Blue, Small Blue and Brown Argus as well as birds such as Common Crane, Turtle Dove, Hawfinch, Goshawk, Dartford Warbler, Hobby and Stone Curlew too.

 

Norway – the Varanger Peninsula and Pasvik NP   

June 24 – July 1 

 

This 8 day tour to Norway visits sites such as the Pasvik Valley NP, Nyrud, the Varanger Peninsula, the Batsfjord Mountains, Nesseby NR, Vadsoya NR and Hornoya NR in search of great species to include Northern Hawk Owl, Smew, Taiga Bean Goose, Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit, Waxwing, Arctic Warbler, Arctic Redpoll, Little Bunting, Black-throated Diver, Temminck’s Stint, Dotterel, Velvet Scoter, Red-necked Phalarope, Long-tailed Skua, Rough-legged Buzzard, King Eider, Steller’s Eider, Gyrfalcon, White-tailed Eagle, Brunnich’s Guillemot, White-billed Diver, Bluethroat, Red-throated Pipit, Lapland Bunting, Shorelark and Great Northern Diver.

 

Birds & Butterflies of SW England   (3 places left)

July 10 – 14 

 

A 5 day / 4 night visit to sites in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Dorset and Hampshire where butterflies on the wing could include Purple Emperor, White Admiral, White letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak, Silver washed Fritillary, Essex Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Marbled White and Black Hairstreak with the possibility of Marsh Fritillary, Chalkhill Blue and Large Blue too.

Birds could include Hobby, Nightjar, Stone Curlew, Montagu’s Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Woodlark, Tree Pipit and Dartford Warbler among many others.

 

Australia – the Top End and the Wet Tropics   

July 16 – August 1 

 

This 17 day tour visits two areas of Australia as we spend 10 nights at the ‘Top End’ and 5 nights in the Wet Tropics to the north of Cairns.

In the Top End region we visit numerous sites such as Fogg Dam, the Kakadu NP, the Keep River NP and Lake Argyle with target species such as Rainbow Pitta, Rufous Owl, Black breasted Buzzard, Gouldian, Masked, Long tailed, Crimson and Star Finches, Rufous banded Honeyeater, Black Bittern, Great billed Heron, Emu, Jabiru, Partridge Pigeon, Chestnut quilled Rock Pigeon, Banded Fruit Dove, White lined Honeyeater, Arafura Fantail, Buff sided Robin, Purple crowned Fairywren, Yellow Chat, Spinifex Pigeon, Sandstone Shrike Thrush and 6 species of Kingfisher among many others.

In the wet tropics we have a boat trip on the Daintree River, a visit to Michelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef and also visit the Atherton Tablelands and the Julatten area. Here our targets will include Southern Cassowary, Golden Bowerbird, Satin Bowerbird, Tooth billed Bowerbird, Great Bowerbird, Victoria’s Riflebird, Apostlebird, Blue winged Kookaburra, Australian Bustard, Red backed Fairywren, Beach Stone Curlew, Papuan Frogmouth and Double Eyed Fig Parrot.

There’ll be a selection of kangaroos, wallabies and pademelons too as well as Platypus.

 

Butterflies of Oxfordshire and Seabirds of Scilly   (FULL)

August 7 – 12

 

A 6 day tour with two bases takes in some excellent butterfly sites close to Oxford where we’ll hopefully see Brown Hairstreak, Silver spotted Skipper, Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue and Brown Argus amongst others before heading for the south west where we’ll spend the weekend on the gorgeous Isles of Scilly off the tip of Cornwall enjoying 2 pelagic trips for seabirds while we’re there. Possible pelagic species on the boat trips include Wilson’s Storm Petrel, British Storm Petrel, Balearic Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater, Great Shearwater and Sooty Shearwater along with skua’s, terns, gulls and phalaropes. There’s always a chance of good birds on the islands too.

 

California and Monterey Bay   (2 places left)

September 9 – 24 

 

A great 16 day visit to California and Monterey Bay where we’ll have a couple of boat trips to see seabirds and cetaceans to include Blue Whale and mammals such as Sea Otter and Elephant Seal.

Sites that we’ll visit will include Point Reyes, Santa Cruz Island, Morro Bay, Monterey Bay, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and the Yosemite National Park.

Among the birds that we can hope to see are Black footed Albatross, Pink footed Shearwater, Heerman’s Gull, California Gull, Black-vented Shearwater, Scripp’s Murrelet, Craveri’s Murrelet, Cassin’s Auklet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Tufted Puffin, Sufbird, Greater Roadrunner, California Condor, California Towhee,  Acorn Woodpecker, Elegant Tern, Black Turnstone, Western Grebe, Wrentit, Snowy Plover, Northern Spotted Owl, Black-headed Grosbeak, Phainopepla, Santa Cruz Scrub Jay, Yellow-billed Magpie and more.

There’s a long list of possible cetaceans and pinnipeds that include Blue Whale, Humpback Whale and Elephant Seal.

 

Cape May, New Jersey   (4 places left)

September 25 – October 4 

 

A bird packed visit to New Jersey in the USA where the autumn migration of warblers, shorebirds and raptors as well as Monarch butterflies will be gathering pace.

In the Cape May area we’ll visit sites to include the CM State Park, the CM Bird Observatory, the Beanery, the South CM Meadows and Higbee Beach. Other sites that we’ll visit will include the Forsyth NWR, Nummy’s Island and the Tuckahoe WMA.

It’s migration time so the exact species that we’ll see on our tour is difficult to predict but there’ll be numerous species of warblers, waders, wildfowl and raptors throughout our visit.

 

Shetland and Fair Isle   (4 places left)

October 6 – 14 

 

Our 9 day tour to the northern isles of Shetland include 2 nights at sea, 3 nights on Fair Isle and 3 nights in Lerwick allowing us to visit Fetlar, Unst or Yell as well as many mainland sites.

Our 2018 tour produced fabulous views of male Snowy Owl, Swainson’s Thrush, Booted Warbler, River Warbler, Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Pallas’s Warbler and Surf Scoter along with Velvet Scoters, Yellow browed Warblers, Great Grey Shrike and Slavonian Grebe along with skua’s, divers and more scarce species. Who knows what our 2019 tour will turn up!

 

Australia – Queensland & New South Wales  

October 16 – 31 

 

This great 16 day tour to the east coast of Australia visits numerous sites in Queensland and New South Wales situated in areas around Brisbane, Cairns and Sydney.

These sites will include the Atherton Tablelands, the Great Barrier Reef, Lamington National Park, the Royal National Park, the Daintree River, the Julatten area and we’ll also have a pelagic trip.

Among the species we’ll hope to see will be Blue winged and Laughing Kookaburras, numerous other kingfishers, Albert’s and Superb Lyrebirds, 5 species of Bowerbirds, 2-3 species of Frogmouth, many different species of wildfowl, waders such as Beach and Bush Stone Curlews, Great Knot and more, Fairywrens, Pardalotes, raptors, seabirds including Albatrosses ( 4 species on our 2018 tour ) and shearwaters plus many more great species with a very high percentage of endemics and near endemics.

 

India - Crab Plover, Ibisbill & Tiger   (3 places left)

November 21 – December 8   

 

This wildlife packed 16 day tour to North East and North West India will yield a huge list of fabulous birds and mammals that will hopefully include Crab Plover, Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, various Cranes, Sandgrouse, Owls, up to 50 species of raptor, numerous waders, Laughing Thrushes, Hornbills, Pheasants and more along with Tiger, Asian Elephant, Asiatic Wild Ass, Asiatic Lion, Blackbuck and the very elusive Indian Wolf.

We spend time in the Kutch district, Dasada, Sattal, Pangot and the Corbett National Park.

 

2020

 

Sri Lanka - Endemic Birds & Mammals & Blue Whale   

January 6 – 21 

 

This fabulous tour to one of the most biologically rich countries in the world will target birds, mammals, butterflies and cetaceans.

Sri Lanka has 34 endemic species of birds that include Ceylon Blue Magpie, White-faced Starling, Layard’s Parakeet, Ceylon Small Barbet, Brown-capped Babbler, Crimson-backed Flameback, Ceylon Bush Warbler, Ceylon White Eye, Serendib Scops Owl, Ceylon Hanging Parrot, Ceylon Woodpigeon, Ceylon Grey Hornbill and Green-billed Coucal along with gems such as Ceylon Scaly Thrush, Indian Pitta, Black-backed Dwarf Kingfisher and Brown Fish Owl.

Among the many mammals that we’ll hope to see will be the endemic Purple-faced Leaf Monkey, Toque Macaque and Red Slender Loris as well as Asian Elephant and Leopard.

We have two boat trips to see cetaceans and sea birds at the end of the tour. Sri Lanka is possibly the best place in the world to see Blue Whale in winter and we also hope to see Sperm Whale and Bryde’s Whale along with various dolphins such as Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin.

We don’t have to travel too far to see the cetaceans as the continental shelf is only 4 miles from land.

 

 

Our overseas destinations in 2020 include Vancouver Island, New Zealand, Florida USA, South Korea, Cuba, Ohio & Michigan USA, Panama, Brazil, South Africa and British Columbia along with a number of European and UK destinations.

 

Please contact us for details and costs of any of our birdwatching tours.

 

 

 

Tel: 01253 980886  Mob: 07954-584359 Email: smrbt@sky.com 
4 Sunnyhurst Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 2HP