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Spring 2018 – Spring 2019

Speyside & Mull April 16th – 23rd

An 8 day / 7 night visit to Speyside in Scotland where we’ll hope to see Capercaillie, Crested Tit, Ptarmigan, Black Grouse, Slavonian Grebe, Osprey, Black throated and Red throated Divers, Crossbills and Ring Ouzel amongst many other birds with possible mammals to include Pine Marten, Badger, Bottle nosed Dolphin and Red Squirrel and Mull where our targets will include Golden Eagle, White tailed Eagle, Great northern Diver, Short eared Owl, Otter and Hen Harrier.

Mediterranean France & The Camargue April 25th – May 2nd

A week in the south of France visiting fabulous birding areas such as the Camargue Wetlands, La Crau, Les Alpilles and Mont Ventoux amongst others.
We can expect to see Lesser Kestrel, Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Calandra Lark, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black eared Wheatear, Alpine Swift, Roller, Bee Eater, Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, various Shrikes, Nightingale, Black Kite, Subalpine Warbler, Eagle Owl, Short toed Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Citril Finch, Spectacled Warbler, Slender billed Gull, Penduline Tit, Greater Flamingo, Rock Thrush and Blue Rock Thrush along with marsh terns, herons, egrets, storks, warblers and much more.

Warbler Identification May 3rd – 4th

A 2 day / 1 night warbler identification workshop based on the Fylde Coast will help you to learn how to identify warblers by plumage, habitat, song and behaviour.
We’ll look at the differences between Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Wood Warbler, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap and Garden Warbler as well as Grasshopper Warbler.
Our warbler weekend coincides with the peak of spring migration so apart from the warblers there’s bound to be plenty of other good birds to see as it’s a great time for migrants such as Redstart and Pied Flycatcher and something a little scarcer such as a Dotterel or marsh tern species.

Northern & Western Isles May 6th – 17th

On this 12 day tour we visit the Western Isles of Mull, Iona, South Uist, Harris and Lewis and also Orkney, Fair Isle and mainland Shetland in the Northern Isles with the possibility of also visiting Fetlar or Unst or another of the Shetland Isles.
There’ll be many very scenic ferry crossings with seabirds featuring highly on this fabulous adventure.
We spend 2 nights on overnight sailings between Orkney and Shetland and between Shetland and Aberdeen, 2 nights on Benbecula, 2 nights in Stornoway, a night in Kirkwall, a night on Mull, a night in Oban, 2 nights on Fair Isle and 2 nights in Lerwick on mainland Shetland.
We’ll be in the Western Isles at the peak of Skua passage and would hope to see all 4 species – Great, Pomarine, Long tailed and Arctic. We’ll also be visiting at a good time to get good views of Corncrake. We can also expect Great northern, Black throated and Red throated Divers, White tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier and many seabirds and seaduck on this trip.
We can also hope for a number of unusual spring migrants particularly when we’re in Shetland and on Fair Isle. There should also be mammals such as Otter and perhaps cetaceans.
4 places left on this tour

British Columbia May 19th – June 2nd

A return to Western Canada for a fortnight packed with birds and mammals too. We’ll spend time on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan visiting numerous sites to include Manning Provincial Park, Merritt, Stanley Park & the George C Reifel reserve in Vancouver and Nanaimo, Tofino, Oak Bay, Clover Point, Sooke and the Saanich Peninsula while on the island. Our tour includes 2 boat trips with Orca being the main target on one with Black Bear and possibly Wolf the targets on the other. Birds should include Varied Thrush, Steller’s Jay, Gray Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Bald Eagle, Harlequin Duck, Vaux’s Swift, Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Band tailed Pigeon, Anna’s Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Black headed Grosbeak, Bobolink, Western Tanager, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Red breasted Sapsucker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Chestnut backed Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee, American Dipper, Mountain Bluebird, Lark Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Violet Green Swallow, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler and Black throated Grey Warbler amongst numerous other species.
3 places left on this tour

The Isle of Wight – Butterflies & Birds June 4th – 7th

This short trip to the south coast will primarily be to find Glanville Fritillary on the IOW but will also feature other butterflies and birds.
Among our target butterfly species will be Heath Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Grizzled Skipper, Dingy Skipper and Small Blue along with Glanville Fritillary. We’ll visit sites in the East Midlands for Black Hairstreak on our way home on the last day. We’ll visit other sites such as Titchfield Haven, sites in the New Forest and Arne RSPB with possible bird species including Montagu’s Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Stone Curlew, Hobby, Dartford Warbler and Woodlark amongst others.
1 place left on this tour

NE Scotland & Mull – Chequered Skipper June 9th – 13th

This 5 day / 4 night trip has 2 nights near to Fort William and 2 nights on Mull.
Our main target around the Fort William area will be Chequered Skipper butterfly. This species is only found in the UK at a few sites in this area. There’ll be birds too.
On Mull we’ll hope to see White tailed and Golden Eagles, Corncrake, Hen Harrier and Short eared Owl as well as Otters.
2 places left on this tour

Mountain Ringlet Lake District Weekend June 16th – 17th

A weekend in the Lake District where we’ll search for Mountain Ringlet butterfly. We’ll need favourable weather to have a good chance of finding this butterfly that has quite particular habitat requirements. There’ll be birds to see too such as Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Redstart.
3 places left on this tour

Somerset & Large Blue Butterfly June 18th – 20th

A 3 day / 2 night trip to Somerset where we visit the only site in the UK that the public can access to see the rare Large Blue Butterfly. We’ll also visit good birdwatching sites nearby that’ll probably include the Somerset Levels.
3 places left on this tour

Birds & Butterflies SW England July 16th – 20th

A repeat of last year’s tour where we visited sites in Gloucestershire, Dorset, Hampshire and Devon for a selection of great birds and butterflies seeing all our target species.
We should see Purple Emperor, White Admiral, Essex Skipper, Lulworth Skipper, Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Silver studded Blue, Purple Hairstreak, Brown Argus and White Letter Hairstreak amongst the butterflies on this tour as well as a number of great birds such as Montagu’s Harrier, Stone Curlew, Hobby, Cirl Bunting and maybe Honey Buzzard if weather conditions are suitable.
4 places left on this tour

South Cumbria Butterflies July 31st – August 1st

A short visit to the Arnside & Silverdale area of south Cumbria where we’ll hope to see Scotch Argus, Brown Hairstreak and Dark Green Fritillary butterflies as well as Northern Brown Argus and both Purple and White Letter Hairstreaks, Grayling and Silver Washed Fritillary amongst other species.
We’ll no doubt see some birds as well with reserves such as Leighton Moss RSPB in the area.
4 places left on this tour

Hampshire Silver spotted Skipper August 8th – 10th

Our final butterfly trip will see us visiting Hampshire for species that’ll include Silver spotted Skipper and maybe Brown Hairstreak along with others as well as birds.
3 places left on this tour

Cape May USA September 17th – 26th

A great 10 day visit to the autumn migration hotspot of Cape May at the southern tip of New Jersey on the Atlantic Coast of the USA where autumn migration will be in full swing with thousands of warblers, raptors, shorebirds and wildfowl all adding to the spectacle along with herons and egrets and numerous species of passerines too.
We’ll have one hotel base on this tour and we will be situated in the seaside town of Cape May leaving us ideally situated to bird at sites to include the Cape May Bird Observatory, Hidden Valley Ranch, Higbee Beach, South Cape May Meadows, Stone Harbour, Cape May Point SP, Lily Lake, The Beanery ( Rea Farm ), Nummy’s Island, Cape May Harbour and the Edwin B Forsyth Reserve.
3 places left on this tour

Brazil – Atlantic Rainforest & the Pantanal September 18th – October 6th

A spectacular 18 day trip to Brazil where we spend 8 days in the Atlantic Rainforest, then 7 days in the Pantanal and then 2 days in the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park.
There’ll be hundreds of different species of birds such as the endangered Hyancinth Macaw and some amazing other wildlife that will hopefully include Jaguar.
Species in the Atlantic Rainforest include gems such as Diademed Tanager, Swallow tailed Cotinga, Itatiaia Thistletail, Brazilian Ruby Toucanet, Black throated Trogon and Black & White Hawk Eagle. Wetland species could include Capped Heron, Whistling Heron, Brazilian Teal, Grey headed Kite, Masked Duck and Grey headed Kite and in the Lowland Forests we’ll look for the endemic Three toed Jacamar among many other species. On 2 or 3 evenings we’ll look for nocturnal species such as Long trained Nightjar, Short tailed Nighthawk, Tropical Screech Owl, Rusty Barred Owl and Striped Owl.
In the Pantanal there’ll many more fabulous species of birds and the chance of mammals such as Jaguar, Tapir, Giant River Otter and Capybara. The list of probable bird species is almost endless.
The opportunities for photography on this tour are excellent – particularly in the Pantanal.
We cannot take any bookings after July 1st for this tour

Isles of Scilly September 28th – October 3rd

A 6 day / 5 night visit to the stunning Isles of Scilly situated 28 miles off the tip of Cornwall.
Late September to mid October is the peak time for scarce and rare birds on ‘Scilly’ and we’ll spend our time visiting sites that are renowned for attracting these species.
We’ll be based on the main island of St.Mary’s but will also visit at least two of the other islands.
Over the years we’ve enjoyed dozens of rare species such as Black and White Warbler, Eye browed Thrush, Cream coloured Courser, Common Nighthawk, Northern Waterthrush and Blackpoll Warbler with regular and almost guaranteed species such as Firecrest, Common Rosefinch, Wryneck, Red breasted Flycatcher and Yellow browed Warbler.
4 places left on this tour

Shetland & Fair Isle Late Autumn Migration October 9th – 18th

Our late autumn tour to the most northerly islands in the UK will see us spend time on Fair Isle and the Shetland mainland while also visiting Unst and other islands around the archipelago.
As well as expected scarcities such as Yellow browed Warbler, Little Bunting, Icterine Warbler, Red breasted Flycatcher, Barred Warbler and the like it’s a good time for top notch rarities such as Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Lanceolated Warbler and Pechora Pipit while there’s always the chance of a Siberian Rubythroat or Red flanked Bluetail if the winds are in a favourable direction. The fact is that you can’t predict rarities but if you put yourself in the right place at the right time of year then you increase your chances dramatically.
We’ll stay on Fair Isle for 3 nights and the Shetland mainland for 4 nights on this tour.

Australia – East Coast & Tasmania October 29th – November 15th

Our tour of the east coast of Australia visits the Brisbane, Cairns, and Sydney area’s as well as Tasmania taking in the Great Barrier Reef, the Lamington National Park, the Atherton Tablelands, the Blue Mountains and Bruny Island among other sites and also includes a pelagic for seabirds.
Among the many birds that we’ll hope to see will be numerous endemic species such as Cassowary, Emu, Blue winged Kookaburra, Superb and Albert’s Lyrebirds, Bowerbirds, Riflebirds, Fairy Wrens and Honeyeaters. We usually record around 280 - 300 species on this tour and with around 45% of the species found in Australia being endemic that’s a good number of new birds for a visitor.
As well as the endemics there’ll also be shorebirds and seabirds that’ll include a species or two of Albatross.
It’s not just birds in this amazing country and hopefully we’ll see Platypus, Echidna and various kangaroos, wallabies and pademelons along with the odd cetacean while on the pelagic trip. Koala is now extremely difficult to see and if we’re very lucky we’ll bump into one on our travels.
4 places left on this tour

Costa Rica October 29th – November 12th

Our 16 day tour to Costa Rica visits the Caribbean Lowlands, the Braulio Carrilo NP, the Talamanca cloud forest, the Carara NP, the Tarcoles river and mangroves, the Arenal Volcano and the Guanacaste mountain range staying at La Selva, the Savegre Mountain Hotel, Cerro Lodge, the Arenal Observatory Lodge, the Heliconias Lodge, the Buena Vista hotel and in San Jose.
We usually record c380 species of birds on this fabulous adventure and these will hopefully include Resplendent Quetzal, King Vulture, Spectacled Owl, Black and White Owl, Scarlet Macaw, numerous different Hummingbirds and Tanagers, Bare throated Tiger Heron and much more.
There’ll be mammals and other wildlife too including some primates and Sloth.

Wader Identification Weekend November 17th – 18th

Another chance to join one of our popular Fylde Coast based shorebird identification weekends where we’ll show you how to confidently identify those sometimes tricky winter waders in their dull non breeding plumages. We’ll look at structure, behaviour, habitat and plumage to help you separate Sanderling, Knot and Dunlin, Bar tailed and Black tailed Godwits, Redshank, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank, Common and Green Sandpiper, Snipe and Jack Snipe and Plovers too.

The Gambia November 17th – December 2nd

This 2 week tour to the bird filled Gambia in north west Africa will yield around 260 species that should include Egyptian Plover, Violet Turaco, Martial Eagle, Swallow tailed Bee Eater, a number of kingfishers, Gabar Goshawk, Verraux’s Eagle Owl and Hamerkop along with sunbirds, glossy starlings, rollers, bee eaters and much more.
We will be based near to Banjul for 10 nights and will also spend nights in Tendaba and Georgetown.

Mediterranean France Winter Wallcreeper November 19th – 22nd

A 4 day / 3 night visit to the south of France where targets will be wintering species to include Wallcreeper, Eagle Owl, Little Bustard, Southern Grey Shrike, Citril Finch, Alpine Accentor, Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Slender billed Gull, Rock Bunting, Short toed Treecreeper, Bonelli’s Eagle, Crested Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Black Kite, Red Kite, Common Crane and White Stork with a chance of Pin tailed Sandgrouse, Penduline Tit, Snow Finch, Moustached Warbler and Spotted Eagle too.
We had numerous fantastic views of Wallcreeper on our February 2018 tour.

North West Bird Fair Martin Mere WWT November 24th – 25th

We’ll have our usual stand at the annual NWBF at Martin Mere Wildfowl Trust centre where you can ask about any of our future tours.

Mull, Islay & Ireland ( North & South ) November 26th – December 9th

This tour visits Mull for Golden and White tailed Eagles, Great northern Divers, Hen Harriers and Otters and Islay for huge flocks of Barnacle and Greenland White fronted Geese as well as Chough, Golden Eagle, White tailed Eagle, Twite, seaduck, divers and harriers and there is also the likelihood of a rarer goose or two with Richardson’s Cackling, Todd’s Canada, Red breasted and Snow Geese all being seen on our recent visits.
We then cross the sea by ferry to Northern Ireland where there’s usually a sprinkling of unusual and Nearctic species of wintering ducks. We also visit the Giant’s Causeway.
In the Republic of Ireland there’ll be more wintering wildfowl and seaduck too. On recent visits we’ve found drake King Eider and Surf Scoters in the seaduck flocks. We’ll also find Great northern, Black throated and Red throated Divers, rare gulls such as Ring billed, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls and with luck the regular wintering Forster’s Tern from the US. There’ll also be good numbers of wintering geese that usually have unusual species with them.

Mediterranean France Winter Wallcreeper 2 December 14th – 17th

See our November 19th – 22nd tour above for all details


Thailand January 7th – 23rd

A return to Thailand where we start our tour just to the south of Bangkok before meandering through central Thailand and into the northern part of the country as far as the Myanmar border.
We can expect in the region of 350 species of birds on this tour as well as a number of mammals that included amazing views of Asian Elephant on our 2018 visit.
Our target species will include Spoon billed Sandpiper, Asian Dowitcher, Nordmann’s Greenshank, Himalayan Cutia, Siberian Rubythroat, Green Bee Eater, Chestnut headed Bee Eater, Blue Pitta, Mrs Hume’s Pheasant, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Pied Harrier, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Malaysian Plover, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Crested Treeswift, Large tailed Nightjar, Indian Roller, Great Hornbill, Tickell’s Brown Hornbill, Black capped Kingfisher, Orange breasted Trogon, Red headed Trogon, Golden throated Barbet, Moustached Barbet, Laced Woodpecker, Black and Yellow Broadbill, Black and Red Broadbill, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Blue naped Pitta and much, much more.

Arizona & New Mexico January 7th – 21st
This tour is in preparation. Full details available April 2018.

SE Spain – Iberian Lynx & Birds January 23rd – 30th

This tour is primarily designed to see one of the rarest mammals in the world – the Iberian Lynx although we’ll also spend a great deal of our time birding.
The Andujar NP along with the Donana are the best places in Spain to see Iberian Lynx and our local guides have a very high success rate in locating these rare and elusive cats.
Probable avian interest will also be provided by White headed Duck, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Greater Flamingo, Audouin’s Gull, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Iberian Grey Shrike, Crag Martin, Azure winged Magpie ( also known as Iberian Magpie ), Iberian Green Woodpecker, Thekla Lark, Woodlark, Blue Rock Thrush, Booted Eagle, Golden Eagle and more.

Vancouver Island February 2nd – 12th

Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Western Canada has a relatively mild winter which makes it an ideal wintering area for a large range of fabulous birds as well as cetaceans and other mammals such as Sea Otter and Sea Lions. On a previous tour we also had a huge bull Elephant Seal.
Our avian possibilities include Varied Thrush, Steller’s Jay, Rough legged Hawk, Snow Goose, Surfbird, Surf Scoter, Marbled Murrelet, Yellow billed Loon, Black Turnstone, Rock Sandpiper, Rhinoceros Auklet, Golden crowned Sparrow, Western Grebe, Fox Sparrow, Cackling Goose, Glaucous winged Gull, Red breasted Sapsucker, Chestnut backed Chickadee and American Dipper.
It’s also a great time of the year for wintering Snowy Owl. Humpback Whales are likely and Orca is possible too ( spring / summer better for Orca )
Sites that we’ll visit will probably include the George C Reifel Migratory Bird Centre, Boundary Bay, Beacon Hill Park, Clover Point, the Nanaimo Estuary, Buttertubs Marsh, Neck Point Park, Martindale and Stanley Park in Vancouver city.

Wallcreeper Weekend Med France Feb 15th – 18th
See our November 19th – 22nd tour above for all details

Australia Top End Feb 20th – March 6th
This tour is in preparation. Details available April 2018.

Morocco - Deserts, Mountains and Coast March 9th – 21st

A bird packed tour to North Africa will yield some great birds that should include Northern Bald Ibis, Lanner, Crowned Sandgrouse, Black bellied Sandgrouse, Cream coloured Courser, Mahgreb Wheatear, White crowned Black Wheatear, Dupont’s Lark, Red rumped Wheatear, Greater Hoopoe Lark, Trumpeter Finch, Bar tailed Lark, Desert Grey Shrike, Western Desert Sparrow, Spotted Sandgrouse, Western Desert Warbler, Pharoah Eagle Owl, Blue cheeked Bee Eater, Levaillant’s Woodpecker, Moussier’s Redstart, Tristram’s Warbler, Blue eyed Magpie, Crimson winged Finch, Fulvous Babbler, Seebohm’s Wheatear, Houbara Bustard, Black crowned Tchagra and Egyptian Nightjar.
We visit numerous sites such as the Sous Estuary, Oukaimedan. The Tamri Estuary, the Ourika Valley, the Tagdilt track, the Barrage Al Mansour, the Zeida Plain, Rissani and Merzouga.

Extremadura April 10th – 17th

A return to central Spain for a weeks 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.

This tour runs in the week up to Easter so we need early bookings to secure accommodation in Trujillo.

Arizona & California April 20th – May 3rd

A great 2 week 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.

New York Warbler Migration May 3rd – 6th

A long weekend in New York where our time will be spent in and around Central Park enjoying the spring migration of warblers and other migrants.
This tour is ideal to be taken as an addition to our Arizona and California or Ohio and Michigan tours which precede and follow this weekend. It can of course be taken on it’s own.

The cost will be adjusted ( to take into account any savings made on flights ) if the weekend is taken with either our Arizona tour which precedes the weekend or with our Ohio tour which follows the tour.

Ohio and Michigan May 6th – 18th

We spend 8 days in Ohio and 3 days near Tawas in Michigan at a time when the spring warbler migration is at it’s peak. We can hope for around 30 different species of American wood warbler on this fabulous trip plus many other great birds such as Bald Eagle, Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Brewer’s Blackbird, Yellow headed Blackbird, Trumpeter Swan, American Woodcock, Hairy Woodpecker and Eastern Screech Owl plus much more but the highlight is bound to be the numerous dazzling plumaged warblers that show down to a few feet at Magee Marsh.
Amongst the warblers we’d hope for Prothonotary, Cape May, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Bay breasted, Black throated Blue, Chestnut sided, Golden winged, Canada, Wilson’s, Yellow and Blackpoll amongst others at Magee Marsh and the rare and very localised Kirtland’s Warbler in Michigan.
We even had amazing views of a Snowy Owl and one of our recent tours.

Alaska USA with 3 day Iceland extension May 22nd – June 9th
This tour is in preparation. Full details available April 2018

Yellowstone & Grand Tetons NP’s June 10th – 25th
This tour is in preparation. Full details available April 2018

California and Monterey Bay September
This tour is in preparation. Full details available April 2018

Tel: 01253-312043 Mob: 07954-584359 Email: smrbt@blueyonder.co.uk
4 Sunnyhurst Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 2HP