New Year 2019 emailing
January 4th, 2019 by Field Guides· Add a Comment
Happy New Year, birding friends! We hope your holidays have been filled with family and friends and some great birding, too! We have six holiday 2018 tours still wrapping up, from Panama, Trinidad, and Arizona to Costa Rica and Ecuador. And in the next few days, of course, it’s time to launch right into 2019 with our more than 150 advertised tours plus our private groups. We have lots to see in all the links below, including recent bird news, our upcoming tours to Iceland and Hungary & Romania, a cool Swainson’s Hawk video from one of our Colombia tours, a new-tours update, comments from our participants, a fresh December Recent Photos Gallery with 100+ great images from recent trips (our Chile group amidst a swarm of birds along the coast is one teaser from the gallery). Also linked below: a fresh batch of 10 recent triplists and 8 recently posted itineraries for 2019 tours, as well as remaining spaces on our January-April tours. We look forward to seeing you in the field!
Think summer: Iceland II awaits…
We know…it’s not exactly the best time of year to be pushing a tour to Iceland as most of us are wearing coats and our new Christmas scarves! However, our original 2019 Iceland tour, Jun 14-23, has just seen its last space filled…so on to a second departure!
Anticipating additional demand for this great destination, we have reservations for a second tour ready to pull off the shelf! Demand for services such as hotels and buses is high in the summer months, and we won’t be able to hold those reservations for too much longer, so if Iceland is on your radar now is the time to act. Guide Godfried Schreur will stay over after the first tour to lead this second departure, Jun 23-Jul 2.
Amidst Iceland’s stunning volcanic landscape we’ll search for Black-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Phalarope, Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck, Pink-footed Goose, White-tailed Eagle (as in participant Judith Dunn’s image at right), and many more species in their breeding plumage or even with young. We will visit Latrabjarg, a huge cliff-nesting seabird colony with the greatest concentration of Razorbills in the world (alongside Atlantic Puffins and Thick-billed and Common murres). And with a bit of luck we should see the largest falcon of the world, the glorious Gyrfalcon. Here’s your opportunity to join us in magical Iceland this summer — contact our office to hold space.
Recent bird news of note
Three recent pieces caught our eye:
- First up, an article in Audubon magazine about one of Africa’s iconic birds, the Shoebill, and the efforts to help conserve the species via cooperation between local fishing communities and a conservation non-profit.
- Second, a post on the All About Birds site about the continuing development and evolution of detailed, animated eBird maps revealing not only range but also abundance and population trends.
- Last, if you’re as jazzed about birds-of-paradise as we are, check out this piece in the Cornell Chronicle about what drives the males’ amazing displays and dances. There are some cool pics and video clips to enjoy along with the text.
Hungary & Romania: Apr 27-May 13
If you want a great excuse for some of finest spring birding in the whole of Europe, guide Terry Stevenson (r.) has a suggestion: his upcoming Apr 27-May 13 Hungary & Romania tour with co-leader and local expert Lajos Nemeth-Boka. From the Danube Delta to the Carpathian Mountains, Dracula’s Castle, and Transylvania, it should be another great Field Guides trip to the region, with lots of waterfowl and waders, Wallcreeper, Western Capercaillie, European Roller, Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Great Bustard, and many more to be sought along the way. And there will be some rich cultural stops as well, plus an option to add day-tours to Budapest and Bucharest if you wish. Read more about this tour in an illustrated post just up on our news page. There is still some space available.
Video: Swainson’s Hawks on the move
Jesse Fagan and his recent tour group completed a fun run of our Colombia: Cali Escape tour itinerary. A highlight along the way was watching a movement of 8000+ Swainson’s Hawks over the high Andes. Click on the image at right for a short peek at the phenomenon in a video clip by Jesse and an image by participant Chris S. Wood for a sense of this wonderful experience!
New tours update: 2019-2020
We have numerous new and returning itineraries on our 2019-2020 schedule, and here’s a quick update. Our new tours typically fill very quickly once announced, but we do have a few spaces on the following three for 2019: Idaho: Snake River to Sawtooths in May with Eric Hynes & Mitch Lysinger; Brazil: Roraima Adventure in October with Micah Riegner & Tom Johnson; and New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands cruise in November with Doug Gochfeld. Our 2020 Succinct Suriname, Taiwan, Central Mexico & Baja: Birds, Butterflies & Whales (*), Southern Africa Spectacular, and South Africa: Birds, Wines & Wildflowers are tentatively full but have waitlists available, while 2020’s Michigan: Great Lakes Grandeur and Canadian Rockies: Alberta have one or more spaces. (* Have a peek at guide Micah Riegner’s video clip of the endemic Black-chested Sparrow for one of the neat endemics from the Central Mexico & Baja tour.)
Comments from participants
We read carefully each post-tour evaluation we receive from our participants, so that we may continue to offer the best possible birding experiences and service on Field Guides birding tours. Here are a few representative recent comments. From all of us at Field Guides, our thanks for all your valuable feedback.
“This was an excellent tour experience. This was our first organized birding tour, so we have no way to compare. But if this is the ‘usual’ Field Guides treatment, then you’ve set a very high bar. The combination of Marcelo Padua and lodge owner Andy Foster as guides was dynamite — they complemented one another and definitely enhanced the overall experience.” T.K., Serra dos Tucanos, Brazil 2018
“I took this tour because of my wonderful experiences on many past Field Guides tours. It was absolutely outstanding! David Stejskal and Tom Johnson are truly outstanding guides, educators, and hosts. Your office service was, as always, outstanding as well.” C.H., Southern Argentina 2018
“A wonderful tour. Megan Crewe is an excellent leader. Her tours are well planned and executed. She’s a great birder but, more importantly, a caring guide. Her co-leader, Uditha Hettige, was an amazing naturalist and great guy. They worked very well together.” B.C., Sri Lanka 2018
“Field Guides has never disappointed us, and we had always wanted to visit Australia. With so much unique bird life, koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, the platypus, Tasmanian Devil, Spotted Quoll, Flying Foxes, and the lure of Australia we wanted to see it all, and we did, including Tasmania. It was an exceptional experience. John Coons has been to Australia so many times, and with his friendly personality, gift of gab, memory of people’s names, the right places to go, and knowledge of local birders who are current with their bird finds, it makes the trip very special. John Coons and Cory Gregory were exceptional guides and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.” J.R., Australia 2018
“Absolutely wonderful. I loved this tour. Bret Whitney and Marcelo Barreiros were outstanding guides, and the birds and experiences were really good. Your office staff does an outstanding job. Field Guides manages to provide excellent tours on a regular basis.” L.R., Spectacular Southeast Brazil 2018
Triplists from 10 recent Field Guides tours
Click on any image or link below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our December 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. Just contact our office to start planning your group’s next great birding trip.
A private-group Panama participant noted: “Wewere 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: January through April
Our tours from January through April listed below have, for the most part, just one or two spaces still open, so this is a good time to make your plans for an early-2019 birding adventure. Included below are two spaces on our Brazil Nutshell tour, Mar 9-23 with guide Marcelo Padua—it’s a wonderful three-site introduction to the very diverse and endemic-rich birding of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and Pantanal biomes…not to mention some spectacular landscapes (including Iguazu Falls) and great food, all with Marcelo, who is himself based in Brazil. Contact our office to join this tour or to request any of the open spaces below.
- Costa Rica: Birding the Edges (Part I), Jan 5-14 with Tom Johnson (1 space)
- South Texas Rarities, Jan 12-18 with Chris Benesh (3 spaces)
- Costa Rica: Birding the Edges (Part II), Jan 13-22 with Tom Johnson (1 space)
- New Mexico: Birding the Land of Enchantment, Jan 26-Feb 1 with Doug Gochfeld & Cory Gregory (3 spaces)
- Northern India, Jan 26-Feb 15 with Terry Stevenson (2 spaces)
- Guatemala: Shade-grown Birding, Feb 9-17 with Jesse Fagan (1 space)
- Cambodia: Angkor Temples & Vanishing Birds, Feb 9-24 with Phil Gregory (4 spaces)
- Owlberta: Alberta’s Owls & More, Feb 16-22 with Jay VanderGaast (1 space)
- Nowhere but Northeast Brazil II, Feb 19-Mar 8 with Marcelo Barreiros (1 space)
- Spring in South Texas, Mar 9-17 with Chris Benesh (spaces open)
- Brazil Nutshell, Mar 9-23 with Marcelo Padua (2 spaces)
- Costa Rica, Mar 16-31 with Jay VanderGaast (spaces open)
- Jewels of Ecuador, Mar 16-Apr 2 with Willy Perez (1 space)
- Puerto Rico, Mar 17-23 with Tom Johnson (spaces open)
- Bahamas, Mar 23-27 with Jesse Fagan (1 space)
- Guyana III, Mar 30-Apr 10 with Marcelo Barreiros (spaces open)
- Bhutan, Apr 6-25 with Megan Edwards Crewe (1 space)
- Colorado Grouse II, Apr 13-23 with Doug Gochfeld & Cory Gregory (1 space)
- Texas’s Big Bend & Hill Country, Apr 20-29 with Chris Benesh & Micah Riegner (2 spaces)
- Northeast India: Eaglenest, Kaziranga & More, Apr 20-May 7 with Phil Gregory (spaces open)
- Hungary & Romania, Apr 27-May 13 with Terry Stevenson & Lajos Nemeth-Boka (spaces open)
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!