March 2018 emailing
March 8th, 2018 by Field Guides· Add a Comment
Greetings, birding friends! March brings the first of spring in our schedule. In addition to our tropical tours this month from Belize, Brazil, Hawaii, and Jamaica to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ghana, we are heading out on two Spring in South Texas departures to observe the early push of northbound birds. We have two spaces still open on the Mar 17-25 trip if you want to catch that early wave with guide Tom Johnson. Links in this month’s emailing include our March Recent Photos Gallery with more than 95 great images (including a Costa Rica birding dawn below by guide Cory Gregory). Also linked below are a fabulous “story map” about shorebird migration, some fun recent videos from tours, a cool Gray Jay tale, a fresh batch of 14 recently completed triplists, fully annotated and illustrated, and 12 updated itineraries for fall 2018 tours, as well as remaining spaces on our late March-August tours. Thanks for checking it all out — we’ll see you in the field!
Bird news: a cool migration “story map”
Do you enjoy compelling visual storytelling? Then check out the cool story map of the long-distance migration of a Semipalmated Sandpiper linked below. Here’s a little background. Assembled by the conservation organization Manomet and our friend Maina Handmaker who works there, it features some lovely images and video clips along with informative captioning. Move through the image panels on a laptop by swiping up or down, or on a desktop computer by using the scroll button on your mouse or your up and down arrow keys. The second image panel gives you some alternate language choices…but move down past that to continue in English.
What’s so cool about it? Well, the visuals alone are pretty neat. But it also tells the story of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN or “wiz-ern” as they say), a joint conservation effort spearheaded by Manomet involving more than 35 million acres of shorebird habitat across 15 countries. The tie-in for us? WHSRN’s efforts directly support our ability to enjoy shorebirding as part of so many of our North American and Neotropical tours, from Cape May and the Texas Coast to San Francisco Bay, Nova Scotia, and the coasts of Colombia, Peru, and Brazil.
We are going to be adding a link to WHSRN efforts to our tour pages to which they most apply. If you want more information or wish to participate in supporting those efforts, you may do so through this donation page.
Added departures: Oregon II & Cape May II
We’ve added two US departures to our Aug-Sep 2018 schedule, as our original first offerings for each tour are fully booked and waitlisted. Contact our office to hold space on either of these trips.
Oregon II: Coast to Cascades
Aug 29-Sep 8 with Cory Gregory
Oregon is our exciting new offering developed by Cory for specialties of the Pacific Northwest as we explore the beautiful coast and Cascade Mountains, and we’ll be visiting famed sites such as Malheur NWR and scenic Crater Lake.
Cape May Megan’s Way II
Sep 30-Oct 6 with Megan Edwards Crewe
Cape May Megan’s Way is our long-popular tour to a fabulous migration hotspot, and with Megan’s guidance and her inside knowledge of the area we’ll see a terrific variety of migrants and phenomena.
Some video fun from recent tours
Check out these three short videos from recent Field Guides tours, one by guide Doug Gochfeld of highlights from a South Texas tour we did in partnership with Maine Audubon, a second by guide Tom Johnson of a huge coming-to-roost flight of Yellow-headed Blackbirds on his Arizona Winter Specialties tour, and the third by guide Bret Whitney of some cool birds from his recent Guyana tour. All feature in the respective tour triplists.
More bird news: Gray Jays
An interesting piece about Gray Jays from Living Bird also caught our eye this month. This well-illustrated and info-rich example of great sleuthing covers the birds’ unusual behavior of food-caching for the nesting season and the negative effects a warming climate appears to be having on their success in raising young. It’s worth a read.
If you join us on a tour to Alaska, Maine in Spring (where this image by guide Eric Hynes is from), Newfoundland & Nova Scotia, Owlberta, Colorado Grouse, Oregon, or New Mexico, watch for these birds and ponder their hardiness, amazing sense of location, and distinctive reproductive strategy.
Triplists from recent tours
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 a trip for your local birding club or Audubon? We regularly put together private departures for groups of 6 or more (recent examples include South Texas, Panama, Guyana, Colombia, Namibia/Botswana), and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of the recent Namibia & Botswana tour’s illustrated triplist, with guide Terry Stevenson at the helm. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.
For another example, check out guide Doug Gochfeld’s compilation of some of the highlights from a recent South Texas tour with Maine Audubon.
What? Hot showers and macaws?!
Have you heard? Things just got a whole lot more comfortable at TRC, which we visit on our Peruvian Rainforests of the Tambopata tour. TRC stands for Tambopata Research Center, an incredible wildlife destination located along the Tambopata River in wild southeastern Peru. Originally designed in 1989 to study and protect the ccollpa de guacamayos, or macaw clay lick, TRC now also functions as an ecolodge. The site is situated within the immense 3.7 million-acre Tambopata Nature Reserve, which in turn is part of a larger system of protected areas in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. This is a huge expanse of forests and rivers, one filled with lots of birds and mammals. The area protects more than 600 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, and 1000+ species of butterflies! It also protects a way of life and culture for the indigenous Ese-eja people.
TRC is one of three impressive birding locations we visit on our Peruvian Rainforests tour, aptly subtitled Macaw Lick Extraordinaire. In 2017, TRC received a much-welcomed remodeling plus the addition of several new cabins with four room types to choose from. It is now possible to sleep in modern comfort, all the while enjoying the sounds of the Amazonian night. TRC also added more than 300 meters of new elevated walkways within the forest, along with a canopy tower, more forest trails, and two parrot clay licks, which makes this is a birder’s paradise.
There are spaces still available on this year’s departure, Aug 6-16. Consider joining me for jaguar spotting, a macaw frenzy, a long bird list, and some tangy pisco sours. I can’t wait to share the experiences with you! –Jesse Fagan, aka Motmot, in Peru
Tour openings: late March through August
Winter is waning across even the northern states and the first whiff of spring is in the air. That means it’ll soon be time for the fantastic show of returning warblers and other northbound migrants. Our upcoming Pennsylvania’s Warblers & More tour hits all the highlights, with up to 30 species of warbler beauties possible, both residents and migrants (how about Cerulean, Worm-eating, Prothonotary, Blackpoll, and the lovely Blackburnian above?), and a wonderful array of other much-wanted species, from Upland Sandpiper and Ruffed Grouse to Eastern Whip-poor-will, Grasshopper and Henslow’s sparrows, and Bobolink.
You can join Tom and Micah on this 6-day Eastern extravaganza May 22-27 — there are still 2 spaces open as of this writing. If you’re interested, contact our office. You can also have a peek at our 2017 illustrated and annotated triplist here.
- Spring in South Texas II, Mar 17-25 with Tom Johnson (2 spaces)
- Ghana, Mar 29-Apr 17 with Phil Gregory (1 space – single supplement waived!)
- Texas’ Big Bend & Hill Country, Apr 21-30 with Chris Benesh & Cory Gregory (1 space – single supplement waived!)
- N.E. India: Eaglenest & Kaziranga, Apr 21-May 9 with Phil Gregory (1 space) (move soon on this one if interested, to allow time for a visa if you need one)
- Florida, Apr 28-May 6 with Doug Gochfeld & Mitch Lysinger (1 space – single supplement waived!)
- 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)
- Uganda, May 19-Jun 8 with Jesse Fagan (2 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)
- Spitsbergen Cruise: Arctic Norway, Jun 20-30 with John Coons (1 space)
- Brazil: Alta Floresta & the Northern Pantanal, Jun 22-Jul 7 with Marcelo Padua & Marcelo Barreiros (1 space)
- Peru’s Magnetic North, Jun 23-Jul 5 with Dan Lane & Jesse Fagan (1 space)
- Amazonian Ecuador: Sacha Lodge, Jun 29-Jul 8 with Mitch Lysinger (2 spaces)
- Newfoundland & Nova Scotia, Jul 1-11 with Chris Benesh & Cory Gregory (4 spaces)
- Brazil: Jaguar Spotting I, Jul 9-20 with Marcelo Padua & John Coons (4 spaces)
- Arizona’s Second Spring I, Jul 14-23 with Chris Benesh (3 spaces)
- Brazil: Jaguar Spotting II, Jul 9-20 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 (spaces open)
- Oregon: Coast to Cascades II, Aug 29-Sep 8 with Cory Gregory (spaces open)
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!