July 2018 emailing
July 31st, 2018 by Field Guides· Add a Comment
Hello, birding friends! August is almost upon us, and our annual Field Guides staff meeting is coming up in three weeks…more than thirty of us are looking forward to catching up in person and talking about next year’s plans and beyond. It should be good fun, and we’ll share some pics after the meeting. There’s much to see in this emailing: a fresh July Recent Photos Gallery with more than 100 great images from numerous recent departures (the Pauraque below in South Texas by guide Tom Johnson is just one sample). Also linked below: new and returning tours for 2020, tours with roommate options if you’re traveling solo, cool birding news in the media, videos from Brazil’s Rio Roosevelt and Peru’s Magnetic North, a fresh batch of 14 recent triplists, and 12 updated itineraries for 2019 tours, as well as remaining spaces on our August-December tours. Enjoy, and we look forward to seeing you in the field!
2020 Tours: New & Returning
Southern Africa Spectacular, Alberta, Southern India
Our Scheduling Committee has been working diligently with guides to finalize the 2020 schedule details. As part of that process, they have been evaluating both new tour ideas and the possibility of bringing back some itineraries we’ve run in the past. Here are some recent additions.
NEW—Southern Africa Spectacular
Guide Joe Grosel, based in South Africa, will be guiding a new Southern Africa Spectacular itinerary in July 2020 that will visit several marquee destinations in three countries, including Kruger National Park in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zambia, and Chobe National Park in Botswana. We have a preliminary description and some of Joe’s beautiful images on the tour page, with lots more info to come as we work up the official itinerary, checklist, etc. If you would like to hold space on this tour, contact our office.
RETURNING—Canadian Rockies: Alberta
Guide Jay VanderGaast is returning to his stomping grounds as he brings back to our schedule Canadian Rockies: Alberta — a summer itinerary with fabulous western prairie and mountain birding amidst eye-grabbing scenery. Dates are Jun 13-23, 2020.
Participants traveling recently with guide Terry Stevenson requested a tour to the endemic-rich southern reaches of India, and Terry’s been missing his travels there…so Southern India: Western Ghats Endemics is back on the calendar! Dates are Nov 1-21, 2020, with numerous geographically sourced bird names on the menu: Malabar Trogon (and M. Gray Hornbill, Pied-Hornbill, Barbet, Parakeet, Lark, Whistling-Thrush, and Starling); Wynaad, Nilgiri, Palani, Ashambu, and Banasura laughingthrushes; Nilgiri Blue-Robin and Flycatcher and Flowerpecker and Pipit; plus another 300 or so species on the list of possibilities. Terry guided this tour in 2016, 2014, and 2012…click to see the triplists.
Traveling solo, need a roommate?
If you are traveling alone and wish to get away in the next few months and would like to share a room in order to avoid single supplement costs, we have several options available for single female or male travelers. (You may also book a single with the single supplement, of course.)
For female travelers, there is one space open with a roommate to share on this tour:
- Southeast Brazil (Part One): North of the Tropic, Oct 19-Nov 4 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros
- Rio Negro Paradise: Manaus Brazil I, Sep 1-15 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros
- Bolivia’s Avian Riches, Sep 7-23 with Dan Lane (there are two spaces open in total if a couple is interested instead)
- Ethiopia, Sep 7-27 with Terry Stevenson
- Slice of California II, Sep 11-20 with Tom Johnson
Puerto Rico 2019: It’s on!
Guide Tom Johnson has been keeping in touch with our various contacts on the island, and from a birding standpoint the news is good for both access and the logistics we need for our tour. So we’re heading back (after having to cancel two full tours in 2018 due to the hurricane aftermath). Dates are Mar 17-23, 2019. We’re looking forward not only to seeing a bunch of Puerto Rico endemics but also to visiting our friends down there and giving their businesses a much-needed shot in the arm. Contact our office if you’d like to hold space; you can see the complete 2019 itinerary at this link.
Big Bend: Tom Johnson on the radio
Speaking of Tom, he just appeared in a radio interview on the joys of birding in Big Bend NP in Texas. It’s three minutes long and hosted by Texas Standard, which comes out of KUT, Austin’s Public Radio station. If you have a listen, you’ll get to hear not only Tom but Colima Warbler and Elf Owl, too!
In the news: Cool birding, cool birds
Two interesting articles caught our eye recently. The first is one in the New York Times about the Colombian llanos, a region featured in guide Jesse Fagan’s Colombia: The Llanos & More tour, with our next departure scheduled for Nov 11-21, 2018. The llanos are seasonally flooded grassy plains that span parts of Colombia and Venezuela—their version of the pantanal, if you will. Our itinerary visits the very lodge featured in the article about this area rich in birds and history, and the piece is a fun read. At right is a specialty of the region, a Pale-headed Jacamar, by Jesse.
The second piece from The Atlantic is an exciting recounting of the discovery of the nest of a longtime ornithological enigma, Ringed Storm-Petrel. Where? Of all places, out in the middle of the barren Atacama Desert in northern Chile! It took a lot of sleuthing over a number of years, and the article reads like a mystery short story. It’s amazing how many gaps in our bird knowledge remain in this modern age.
And now, in the spirit of stepping outside ourselves for a different perspective, let us point you to another recent article. Any piece that contains the sentence “When dating a birder, everything—from religious beliefs to daily habits—is affected by avifauna.” seems like it must be worth a look. So, with no further ado, we present “A Beginner’s Guide to Dating a Birder” from Outside magazine. No chuckling allowed as you read…
New videos: Rio Roosevelt, Peru
A couple of fun video clips from recent tours below, just click on either image to see the video. First, an exciting run up Brazil’s Rio Roosevelt (the famous River of Doubt) to a morning birding’s destination by participant Jonathan Newman (there will be lots more to see about this wilderness tour soon in the 2018 triplist).
Next, check out guide Jesse Fagan’s clip from our recent Peru’s Magnetic North tour of a diminutive Ochre-fronted Antpitta doing its body-rocking thing—a characteristic behavior in the genus Grallaricula. Why? Who knows? But it’s fun to watch.
(P.S.: Click the X at top right of the screen after watching a video to get to our recent videos gallery if you’d like to look at some other clips from recent emailings.)
Triplists from 14 recent tours
Click on any image or link below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our July 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 a Namibia & Botswana tour’s illustrated triplist, with guide Terry Stevenson, and there is one more example from Portugal among the recent triplists above. 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: August through December
Check our listing below for space still available on select tours from August through December. Included are openings on two distinctive Colombia itineraries with Jesse Fagan in November: our Colombia: Cali Escape tour, from which participant Steve Parrish brought home the lovely Multicolored Tanager image last year, and our Colombia: The Llanos & More tour, to the eastern reaches of this rich country (see one of our lodges featured in the NY Times article linked above). As you can see by the dates, they can be taken back to back, too, if your schedule allows.
- 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 & Marcelo Padua (1 space)
- Bolivia’s Avian Riches, Sep 7-23 with Dan Lane (2 spaces)
- Ethiopia, Sep 7-27 with Terry Stevenson (1 space)
- Slice of California II, Sep 11-20 with Tom Johnson (1 space)
- Ecuador’s Shiripuno Lodge, Sep 20-29 with Mitch Lysinger (3 spaces)
- South Africa, Oct 4-26 with Terry Stevenson & Joe Grosel (1 space)
- Machu Picchu & Abra Malaga, Peru II, Oct 5-14 with Jesse Fagan (1 space)
- New Guinea & Australia, Oct 11-29 with Jay VanderGaast (spaces open)
- Southeast Brazil (Part One): North of the Tropic, Oct 19-Nov 4 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Barreiros (1 space)
- Madagascar, Nov 3-26 with Phil Gregory (2 spaces)
- Colombia: The Llanos & More, Nov 11-21 with Jesse Fagan (spaces open)
- New Zealand, Nov 11-29 with Dan Lane & local guide (3 spaces)
- Chile, Nov 11-Dec 1 with Willy Perez & local guide (4 spaces)
- Holiday at San Isidro, Ecuador, Nov 17-26 with Mitch Lysinger (4 spaces)
- Holiday Mexico: Yucatan & Cozumel, Nov 17-26 with Chris Benesh (spaces open)
- Brazil’s Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Nov 19-30 with Marcelo Padua (spaces open)
- Vietnam, Nov 24-Dec 14 with Dave Stejskal & Doug Gochfeld (1 space)
- Holiday Costa Rica: Rancho Naturalista I, Dec 21-29 with Cory Gregory (4 spaces)
- Holiday in Honduras, Dec 21-29 with Jesse Fagan (3 spaces)
- Panama’s Canopy Camp, Dec 28-Jan 6 with John Coons (2 spaces)
- Panama’s Canopy Lodge, Dec 29-Jan 5 with Chris Benesh (4 spaces)
- Holiday at Ecuador’s Wildsumaco Lodge, Dec 29-Jan 8 with Willy Perez (4 spaces)
Recently posted 2019 itineraries
Click on any image or link below to see the detailed itinerary for the following 2019 tours. Lots of info in these, and some great images as well!