April 2018 emailing
April 19th, 2018 by Field Guides· Add a Comment
Greetings, birding friends! It’s full-on spring and we are delighted, with Texas Migration Spectacle, Big Bend, and Colorado Grouse tours wrapping up and ventures farther afield to Bhutan, Ghana, Portugal, and Hungary/Romania also underway. Over the next month we head to Florida, Arizona (6 tours), Northeast India, Point Pelee, and much more — it’s a wonderful and busy season! We have just a few spaces still left on May tours to Cape May, Pennsylvania, and Greece listed below if you have the itch to get out birding pronto. We have a fresh April Recent Photos Gallery with more than 100 great images (including the imposing Stork-billed Kingfisher above by Borneo participant Paul Bisson and those in the collage below of Trinidad Motmot and guides Megan Edwards Crewe and Marcelo Barreiros — hat tip to Marcelo and participant Lynn Hemink). Also linked below are a clarion call piece on insect-eating birds, a note about our upcoming Canary Islands trip, a heads-up about our new 2019 itineraries (and new guide news), a bellbird video, a fresh batch of 18 recent triplists, and 12 updated itineraries for fall 2018 tours, as well as remaining spaces on our May-September tours. Thanks for checking it all out — we look forward to seeing you in the field.
Have you birded the Canary Islands?
Field Guides is going to the Canary Islands! Our first trip to this endemic-rich island group is scheduled for Sep 24-30, 2018, as a standalone or an extension to our Morocco tour. Our itinerary includes visits to four important islands (Tenerife, La Gomera, Gran Canaria, and Fuerteventura) for targeting those island endemics, which include Bolle’s and Laurel pigeons, Blue Chaffinch, Canary Islands Chiffchaff, and Fuerteventura Stonechat. We’ll also see several near-endemics (e.g., Plain Swift, Berthelot’s Pipit, and Canary), all of which are found only on the Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Azores, as well as some interesting subspecies (Houbara Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Eurasian Blue Tit, and Goldcrest, among many others). A few spaces are still available, so contact Tour Manager Sharon Mackie and get signed up! A bonus of taking this trip will be the chance to travel with our expert European guide, Godfried Schreur, who lives in Spain, and our “Motmot” (guide Jesse Fagan). You can check out a description of our route in the extension section of our Morocco itinerary (see pages 2 and 7). The tour fee for the Canary Islands as a standalone is $2450 from Tenerife.
The Canary Islands are volcanic in origin and feature some impressive landscapes. Below is a scene from the slopes of the Teide volcano on Tenerife by guide Godfried Schreur.
Bird news: aerial insectivores, Red Warbler
Have you noticed a decline in aerial insectivore birds where you live…species such as Whip-poor-wills, Common Nighthawks, the various swallows? Certainly that’s been the sobering case for some parts of the U.S. and Canada. A recent article in the magazine Anthropocene reports on some creative sleuthing on the history and likely reasons for these declines.
On a brighter note, guide Dave Stejskal got some nice press recently when he helped document a Red Warbler that had been found on Tucson’s Mt Lemmon…an apparent first record for the US! Check out this article, which includes a fine image of the bird by Dave.
New Field Guides luggage tags
Some video fun from recent tours
2019 schedule: new tours
There is a great deal of interest in many of our 2019 tours, especially the new offerings. The Birds of Britain, Idaho, Japan in Spring, and Emperor Penguins in the Weddell Sea tours are all provisionally full. We encourage you to waitlist if you are interested, however, as those itineraries are not yet out and we generally have folks drop off when a deposit is required with itinerary release.
New 2019 offerings with spots still open are:
New Mexico, Jan 26-Feb 1, with Doug Gochfeld & Cory Gregory
Brazil: Minas Gerais & Tocantins — Blue-eyed Ground-Dove and Beyond, May 25-Jun 9, with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros (tour page just added)
Brazil: Roraima Adventure, Jul 23-Aug 3, with Micah Riegner (tour page just added)
Maine in Fall: Seabirds & Coastal Migrants, Sep 9-17, with Eric Hynes
Holland: Birds & Art — Waterfowl Spectacle & Dutch Masters, Dec 1-8, with Godfried Schreur & Jay VanderGaast(a description of the tour just added to tour page)
You’ll note above, too, the names of new guides Marcelo Barreiros and Micah Riegner. Marcelo is a young Brazilian who has been working with us over the past few years in Brazil as well as in Guyana and Trinidad on tours with Bret Whitney, the “Manakin” (Marcelo Padua), Dave Stejskal, and Megan Edwards Crewe. Micah is based in Arizona but has spent considerable time in recent years in the Brazilian Amazon as well as elsewhere in the Neotropics; he’s been working on tours with Bret, John Coons, and Tom Johnson. Both Marcelo and Micah are ace birders, of course, but just as important, each is a generous guide with a ready laugh — a Field Guides kind of guide. We’ve just added a guide bio page for each on our website: check out Marcelo’s page and Micah’s page. We think you’ll enjoy traveling with them as much as we do!
Our tried and true 2019 departures are also filling, so reserve your spaces early!
Triplists from recent tours
Click on any image or link below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our April Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)
Private tours for your group or organization
Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides or for your local birding club? We regularly put together private departures for groups of 6 or more to many different destinations, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of the recent Namibia & Botswana tour’s illustrated triplist, with guide Terry Stevenson. Just contact our office to start planning your group’s next great birding trip.
A recent private-group Panama participant noted: “We were so pleased to do this tour with our friends and with John Coons as leader. Everything went smoothly. All we have to do now is decide where we all want to go next!”
Tour openings: May through September
- Classical Greece, May 5-19 with Megan Edwards Crewe (1 space – single supplement waived!)
- Spring in Cape May, May 13-19 with Tom Johnson & Doug Gochfeld (4 spaces)
- Pennsylvania’s Warblers & More, May 22-27 with Tom Johnson & Micah Riegner (2 spaces)
- Mongolia, May 31-Jun 17 with Phil Gregory (1 space)
- Iceland, Jun 27-Jul 6 with Godfried Schreur (1 space)
- Newfoundland & Nova Scotia, Jul 1-11 with Chris Benesh & Cory Gregory (1 space)
- Brazil: Jaguar Spotting I, Jul 9-20 with Marcelo Padua & John Coons (1 space)
- Brazil: Jaguar Spotting II, Jul 21-Aug 1 with Marcelo Barreiros & Jesse Fagan (spaces open)
- Brazil’s Mouth of the Amazon & Rio Xingu, Aug 2-17 with Marcelo Padua & Jay VanderGaast (spaces open)
- Arizona’s Second Spring II, Aug 4-13 with John Coons (4 spaces)
- Peruvian Rainforests of the Tambopata, Aug 6-16 with Jesse Fagan (4 spaces)
- Oregon: Coast to Cascades I, Aug 29-Sep 8 with Cory Gregory (1 space)
- Rio Negro Paradise: Manaus Brazil I, Sep 1-15 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros (1 space)
- France: Camargue & Pyrenees II, Sep 5-15 with Jay Vandergaast (2 spaces)
- Slice of California I, Sep 6-15 with Chris Benesh (spaces open)
- Bolivia’s Avian Riches, Sep 7-23 with Dan Lane (spaces open)
- Slice of California II, Sep 11-20 with Tom Johnson (3 spaces)
- Rio Negro Paradise: Manaus Brazil II, Sep 16-30 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros (1 space)
- Ecuador’s Shiripuno Lodge, Sep 20-29 with Mitch Lysinger (4 spaces)
- Cape May Megan’s Way II, Sep 30-Oct 6 with Megan Edwards Crewe (2 spaces)
Recently posted 2018 itineraries
Click on any image or link below to see the detailed itinerary for the following 2018 tours. Lots of info in these, and some great images as well!