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2019-2020

Ornitholidays WORLDWIDE NATURE EXPEDITIONS

Wildlife Experiences Photographic Expeditions Exclusive Nature Estates Birdwatching Tours New Destinations

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Our Fifty-Fourth Year


Last year for Ornitholidays was the year of the pass of the baton and only from May 2018 we really started to realize and manage this new project in an independent way, project that is part SKUA Nature, that for ten years has been dealing with development of natural areas and naturalistic tourism. Ornitholidays has become SKUA Nature operational branch around the world, even in areas that are not part of Innate project. The work of SKUA that I coordinate is extremely challenging because it leads me to travel in different continents, which is why I needed to create an “ad hoc” team able to manage the initial phases and creation of the new look of Ornitholidays and that had the grit necessary to make this project more and more important over the years. Conscious of the fact that some of the Ornitholidays clients were mainly linked to the figure of Nigel Jones, who chose Ornitholidays more to follow his director and his guides on the road, than the name of the agency, the challenge we are about to make is to be able to transform Ornitholidays into an international tour operator capable to work on different markets, not only the English one, but also for example the Italian, Spanish, French and Central-Northern European. When I decided to ask Dobromir to collaborate with me, offering him the technical direction of Ornitholidays, I did it because for years I had seen how a small Bulgarian company had managed to conquer a significant slice of central and northern European clientele, including England, and being able to be followed on many tours not only in Bulgaria but also in several remote places in the world like Kuwait and Mongolia. Just as Dobromir itself had become a reference guide for several Anglo-Saxon tour operators including the old Ornitholidays. In him, therefore, I had seen not only technical knowledge, but above all the grit and ability of those who, although initially disadvantaged for geographical and cultural reasons, a person who managed the downside and made a weak point a strength. Sara instead comes from the experience of SKUA Nature where over the years she has managed the relationships with dozens of tour operators in the world, acquiring the necessary experience not only to manage logistics and operations, but also contributing with new ideas and fanciful impetus to work on the restyling of Ornitholidays. Along with them also Igor Maiorano, excellent naturalist and guide, trained within SKUA Nature and Innate, is in charge of following the technical development of new itineraries, and other people and friends like Nicola Scatassi, Marco Valentini, David Walsh and Simon Boyle that help us every day, not only to lead groups in the various tours around the world, but also by providing input aimed at improving things and creating new ideas. When I started SKUA Nature, many thought it was an unattainable and unmanageable project, but after ten years, I can say that on the contrary it has established itself as a farsighted project that continues to grow and give satisfaction; I am sure that even the new Ornitholidays, although at the beginning it may have difficulties for the novelty factor, will be able to surprise us by creating a new tour operator in the panorama of naturalistic tourism worldwide.

Massimiliano Biasioli SKUA Nature Group & Ornitholidays Managing Director

Some years ago, I heard that Ornitholidays, the first established birdwatching company in the world was for a sale, I really tried my best to buy it. However, it did not work out. Over the following years we have both grown and followed our own ways, but then fate decided that our paths would cross again! Last year the news came that Ornitholidays was bought by Skua Nature – a young and motivated team of naturalists and tourism professionals, led by Max a true leader. He is a visionary, innovative, tireless and hardworking friend with great devotion to developing ecotourism and true nature conservation. I could only wish him success and prosperity! Then, one evening, a day after last New Year’s Eve, while I was still in a holiday mood, I received a phone call from his assistant Paola to say that Max is arriving in Sofia from Greece and that he would like to spend the next day in our golden eagle and wolf hide. That means a wake up at 05.00 in the morning and drive there before the first light. So we did and we spent the day in the hide, waiting for the golden eagle pair, who were a bit nervous as there had been a second adult male in their territory for a couple of weeks. The photography opportunities were far less than normal but we had the chance to talk about our joint work, future projects and of course Ornitholidays. After nearly two months Max returned to the hide for another overnight stay, we had the local wild cat for an hour in front of the hide plus the wolves howling nearby. We also went into more details regarding Ornitholidays, at the end of which I was offered to become part of the company. Without a seconds hesitation I accepted the invitation! To be part of the original prestigious birdwatching company in the world, established back in 1964 is nothing short of a great honor for everybody in the birding business. More importantly it is also a great challenge. The global environment is changing rapidly and not for the better. We are very much aware of this and there is much hard work in front of us in order to keep Ornitholidays as one of the leading companies in the world in our business. However, what we have done in the field of ecotourism in the last 15 years has never only been about business. Our aim is not just to maintain Ornitholidays high standards, but to take them further and higher - making it a greener, sustainable, educational and more ethical company, but most importantly though an eco-holiday company that can change minds and hearts, policies and decisions in a world which is quickly destroying its natural environment and people getting away from the mother nature. We will build on Ornitholidays great experience, know-how and expertise and continue to offer high quality tours, covering continents and interests. We would now invite you to read on and hopefully find a holiday that suits you for 2019/2020.

Istockphoto

Dobromir Domuschiev Ornitholidays Executive Director


Tours 2019 WINTER

SUMMER

BIRDING IN MYANMAR Wrapped In Mystique Wildlife

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ITALY - BIRDS & WINE Majestic Alps, Lovely Countrysideand Italian Wine

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CARRIBEAN ENDEMIC AMAZONS Treasures From Beautiful Islands

10

KYRGYZSTAN The Best Of The Tien Shan Mountains

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CUBA - CARRIBEAN SPECIALITIES Birding In A Nature Paradise With Lots Of Endemisms

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA Birds of Paradise

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GUATEMALA Rainforests, Vulcanos And Tropical Lowland

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INDIAN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY Bharatpur & Kanha

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60 BULGARIA – MACRO Butterflies, Other Insects And Flowers In The Mountains Of Bulgaria

GREECE - KERKINI LAKE Five Days Focusing On Pelicans

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VIETNAM Land of the Dragon People

AUTUMN

20

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CAMBODIA EXTENSION Land of the Dragon People

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BULGARIA - VIA PONTICA The Secret Flyway

GHANA In search of Picathartes

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ESTONIA The Nordic Migration

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ARGENTINA Central And North-West Argentina

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SPRING

ULTIMA FRONTIERA BW The Autumnal Migration At The Majestic Danube Delta

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SPAIN 66 Raptor Migration & Whalewatching

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO The Neotropical bird life of a Caribbean Paradise

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ETHIOPIA Undiscovered Africa

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ITALY - BIRDING IN SICILY The Significant Sicilian Migration

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PERU Birding The South In Luxury

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MOROCCO High Atlas and Sahara

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CHINA Sichuan & the Tibetan Plateau

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BIRDING IN BULGARIA Prime Birds’ Habitats In Bulgaria

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ITALY - PO DELTA MIGRATION Birding At The Po Delta Enjoying A Succulent Cuisine

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MONGOLIA Eastern Steрps, Lakes and Desеrts

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ARCTIC PHOTO TOUR To The Far Far North

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SPAIN & PORTUGAL PHOTO TOUR Private Estates In Western Iberia And Portugal SPAIN PHOTO TOUR - EXCLUSIVE The very best of Extremadura

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Tours 2020

BHUTAN Birds and Rhododendron Tour In The Himalayan Kingdom

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MORE TOURS

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L. Garcia

46 ULTIMA FRONTIERA The Most Famous Wildlife Destination For Bw And Photography

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M. Mendi

Is Ornitholidays Right For Me?

There are a large number of factors that have to be considered

when booking an escorted holiday, especially one that Involves birdwatching.The first must be whether you are dealing with a reputable company and will your money be safe. Ornitholidays is the longest established birding company in the world, having started in 1965. It has grown gradually over this period to offering around 70 tours a year. From 2018 Ornitholidays is managed by SKUA Nature Group s.n.c., an Italian company that has collaborated with the previous Ornitholidays managers for years. Recently the company is pleased to have been joined by another professional Dobromir Domuschiev, who has 15 years exper ence in wildlife tourism - running his own birding tour company in Bulgaria. Ornitholidays is now officially registered in Bulgaria and holds a tour operator license under Bulgarian and EU legislation. Being a Bulgarian company, Ornitholidays does not have an ATOL license anymore, as it only applies to UK registered companies. In this period of transition we are still collaborating with IGoTravels, an italian tour operator. However, we are still licensed to offer full inclusive tour packages, including air tickets. We are fully insured under the EU requirements and your money is completely safe. Our insurance is covered by Alianz – the leading Austrian insurance company. The advantages to being a Bulgarian registered company are we benefit from low taxes and less bureaucracy which enable us to be more efficient and price our tours more attractively. An important feature that will be passed directly on to our clients. Our tours are priced in Pounds, Euros and US Dollars, dependent on your destination. You can pay in Pounds or the other currencies, the choice is yours. Monies are transferred to an Ornitholidays bank account in Bulgaria. Our bank is Procredit Bank Bulgaria – a German owned bank, specially established to work with and support small and medium enterprises. It does not mean higher taxes for you, not at all. For example, a few thousand pounds transfer will cost about £20 - less than 1% of the tour costs. It is also favorable to pay by credit card with us; as there is only a 1.5% charge of the amount, compared to most UK companies who charge

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1.8 to 2.5 %. Add to this the fact that most of our trips are already reasonably priced, you will discover the final tour costs will be very appealing. All this without any loss to Ornitholidays already high standards. Our tours range from short breaks in Europe to three week holidays further afield. To enjoy these holidays to the full, all you need is a love of birds and wildlife and the desire to travel. The vast majority of our holidays are run at a relaxed pace, but each tour has been given gradings to help you make sure you choose the right one. Our tours are escorted, so your leader is a very important ingredient of the holiday.There are many companies offering escorted holidays, but few use full-time leaders. Ornitholidays has a group of professional guides who spend their whole year taking birding parties around the world – some of them have led over 150 tours and some over 250. Their job is to make sure you enjoy your holiday and see the wildlife.They are not taking their annual holiday, but are well paid, highly motivated and dedicated leaders who are there for you and you alone. When booking a holiday consider the advantages of being led by such a leader – there is no choice really! On many holidays we also employ local guides to accompany the group, providing valuable insight into their country, its history and traditions, as well as its birds and wildlife.This means local people and services benefit greatly from our visit, which is part of the ethos of ecotourism. What about the cost of the holiday – why are some companies cheaper than others for a similar itinerary? When you compare holidays think about what each company is providing. The accommodation we use is often the best available, our tour leaders have years of experience and a very deep knowledge on the destinations and their fauna. All of them are excellent birders and some are expert in other groups of animals too. In our team we also have skilled photographers, able to help you getting the best out of your photographic holiday. We have been organizing holidays for a long time, so we know the best ground agents to use and the best areas to visit. How many other companies can boast they have been visiting many destinations for over 50 years? What about the company’s ethos? We try to run a range of holidays to suit all needs. We operate our tours as holidays, not as 24 hours a day marathons. However, please note that bird activity is often at its best early in the morning, so some early starts may be required on some of our holidays. We are there to enjoy, not annoy, the birds. In some circumstances our leaders use tape recorders in order to attract birds, but they do so sparingly. We try to operate holidays which do not damage the environment and which focus on local environmental issues. We donate money to organisations to encourage conservation throughout the world, and we sponsor projects to help protect particular species. We are concerned about the impact of air travel on the environment, so we subscribe to a well-known forest regeneration project in South America to help offset our carbon footprints. Are Ornitholidays’ tours suitable for a beginner? We always carry a range of ages and abilities on any tour. We hope that our holidays will be an enjoyable experience, where we nurture both the beginner and expert alike. The age range we cater for is from 18 to over 80, but the average is probably around 60. You are always made to feel welcome whatever your age or birding experience. Most of our tours have some “first timers” but you may be rubbing shoulders with some of our “old hands” who have travelled with us over 40 times.The fact that we have a number of clients with this tally of Ornitholidays is a great endorsement of our product.The record now stands at 94 tours! No matter what your age, experience or knowledge is, if you enjoy birds, wildlife and travel, you will be very warmly welcomed by us. At the end of the day you can always speak to us in the office to discuss any queries that you may have, and we have a large stock of reports and diaries from past tours to give you a real flavour of what to expect on an Ornitholiday.


Brochure Entries & Booking Policy Brochure entries: We make every effort to ensure our brochure entries are as accurate as possible. However, it needs to be pointed out that some of the ground arrangements for our tours are made at least 18 months prior to departure. Inevitably there are occasions when changing circumstances require us to alter published itineraries and hotel bookings. Normally we are able to advise clients of such changes before departure. Similarly, weather patterns in many parts of the world are not wholly predictable and it is virtually impossible to accurately predict the temperatures you will encounter while on tour. Thus it is necessary for there to be a degree of flexibility in our programmes that allows some freedom to do what is best in the particular circumstances. The chances of seeing certain species may also be affected by the vagaries of the weather. It is unlikely that a group will see all the species mentioned in the brochure text. We accept bookings on the understanding that these points are fully understood. Sharing rooms: Many of our clients prefer to book places on a sharing basis, in the interests of both company and economy. However, please note that your booking for a shared room is only accepted on the understanding that, should no room-mate be available, you will accept single accommodation and pay the appropriate single-room supplement (not applicable for cruises). Allocation of room- mates will be made on the basis of the date on which bookings are received. Therefore, the earlier you book the greater the likelihood of being able to share. Single rooms: Many of our clients require single rooms on tours. The single rooms, which we advertise are occasionally not always available in the quantity we need when the tour is run. If you have booked and paid for a single room and it is not available, then a pro rata refund will be made to you post-tour for any nights of such accommodation lost. It should be noted that very occasionally the standard and location of single rooms can be inferior to those

of some twin/double rooms. Hotels: We try to choose hotels that are comfortable, friendly, efficient and well situated. All rooms have a private bath or shower and W.C. unless otherwise stated in the text for a specific tour. Please see the accommodation grading for each tour. Insurance: It is a prerequisite of joining any tour that you have sufficient insurance cover in case of illness or repatriation. Smoking: If you wish to smoke while on holiday, then please refrain from smoking in the coaches and minibuses, as well as when close to the group in the field. Please do not smoke at the table while the group is eating. Also please note that smoking in public places and hotel rooms is now forbidden in some of the countries we visit. Provisional bookings: Provisional bookings: Occasionally we take names for tours before the brochure is produced.The policy is that these have to be confirmed with a booking form and deposit within 14 days of receipt of the new brochure, otherwise the booking will lapse. To book: We suggest that you phone us at the office to ascertain whether there are places left on the tour (From England: +44 20 8144 9814, From other countries: +39 0141918403). Our team speaks a fluent english, as well as spanish, russian and italian of course). If there are available places, then we shall reserve you that place. You should then complete a booking form and send it with a deposit to confirm the booking. Later, depending on the destinations, we can issue you with comprehensive party instructions, bird lists and a past report. Booking Conditions: Please note our booking conditions laid out at the end of this brochure, pages 106 to 109.

Tour Grading For each destination you will find a sort of a guide related to some aspects of the tour:

ONE

STOP Tour suggested for wildlife photography

Tour suggested for birdwatching and wildwatching

number of species to be expected on the tour (approximate)

kind of accommodation related to the tour

vehicle used during the tour.

maximum number of places available

ONE STOP is self-explanatory in that it means the holiday has one base for the duration.That is we arrive at one hotel and stay there for the entire tour. We have found that our clients have been increasingly demanding this style of holiday, so for this year we have included a number of tours that fit this criterion. INNATE Reserves it means that the tour includes the overnightstay and/or visit to one or more INNATE reserves, exclusive locations in the World entirely developed for nature tourism (with a special focus on wildlife photography). PHOTO EXPEDITIONS tour ad-hoc organized to offer the best photographic opportunities. Small groups, professional photo hides, Expert tour leaders and all the time that you need to photograph at leisure. TOUR CONNECTIONS this symbol means that the tour allows participants to connect to another following tour to a nearby destination. Obviously it’s an opportunity to enjoy two different travel experiences saving money and flights.

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One Stop & At Leisure

ONE

STOP

Our brochure this year contains a number of tours with the ONE STOP logo or else the term At Leisure, or indeed both. In order to clarify what these terms mean a few lines are included here. ONE STOP is self-explanatory in that it means the holiday has one base for the duration.That is we arrive at one hotel and stay there for the entire tour. We have found that our clients have been increasingly demanding this style of holiday, so for this year we have included a number of tours that fit this criterion. At Leisure is slightly more subjective but has been applied to tours where the pace is relaxed and the leaders will ensure that the group does not spend all their time in the field.Therefore, you should return in ample time for a wash and brush up before the evening meal and there should be time for a sundowner. Also, the leaders will endeavour to give some relaxation time during the heat of the afternoon.These tours will not be dawn to dusk affairs. However, as every tour is different the make up of each group will be taken into consideration.

Our Photo Experts Tours Passion for Wildlife Photography is growing more and more among Nature lovers all over the world and birdwatchers are starting approaching this field with interest and will to experiment. This catalogue reflects this trend and the year 2018 will represent for Ornitholidays a period rich of changes, innovation, international approach and new opportunities. SKUA Nature long-time experience in Nature and tourism photography allows us to add to this catalogue exclusive itineraries (and/or one-stop tours with dedicated hides) we have been running for years, prepared ad-hoc to guarantee the best photographic oppotunities and conditions to get memorable pictures. For the most part of our destinations we will fix a maximum number of clients which won’t be more than 7/8 photographers (but mainly not more than 6) in order to offer the best photographic opportunities and to create a friendly, easy and adventure atmosphere. To travel with SKUA Nature means to be led by expert guides, able to find the most strategic places, the best perspectives, backgrounds and lights, in order to satisfy even the most demanding photographers.

L. Ercoli

Our mission is to offer you the best opportunities to practice, experiment and improve your skills for the purpose of making you enjoy your holiday at best and enrich your portfolio.

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Exclusive Tours in our Reserves Since 2011 SKUA Nature has been developing private and public natural areas converting them into nature and photo tourism real paradises. SKUA Nature directly manages logistics and administrative aspects and builds the necessary features in order to make these areas become exclusive and relaxing places where clients can spend week-ends or longer holidays in the pursuit of wildlife watching and photographing. Without any doubt, the marriage of SKUA Nature and Ornitholidays represents a unique case. Our clients will have the chance to book a holiday in one of our estates with no mediators and they will benefit from the organizational and management guarantee that identifies the two companies. Ultima Frontiera is an authentic paradise on Danube delta where nature guides carry you exploring this beautiful land and dedicated hides have been created to allow you to take the best pictures of its numerous species. Finca La Parrilla is located in the hearth of Monfrague National Park. Here you can accommodate in the cozy casa rural and have dinner under the stars while listening to Eagle Owl call. The reserves network constantly grows and it currently includes estates in Spain, Italy and Romania but in 2018 it will involve Latvia and Portugal. Each reserve has the highest grade of exclusivity because no more than 12 clients per week are allowed in the estate at the same moment. You will be immersed in great dimensions natural areas where you will have the chance and the freedom to go around in total autonomy under our experts’ guide.

M. Ferrari

Discover all our projects on innatenetwork.com

SKUA Nature is a private and innovative company with unique characteristics. The team is made up highly motivated naturalists, who strongly believe that the main project carried on by SKUA (Ornitholidays and the INNATE Network) can give important contributions to nature conservancy, through concrete actions and by raising money for local research studies and actions. In all the reserves we develop for the INNATE Project, that are destinations for lots of the Ornitholidays tours, we dedicate to nature conservancy and biodiversity studies using funds coming from nature tourism in collaboration with several public or private organizations. We have proved, in these last few years, that if the work is done in the full respect of habitats and species ecology, and adopting dedicated actions to improve feeding, stop over or breeding sites, the results are immediate and positive also for rare or very localized species. And so our Network’s hides and reserves indeed enlarge the range of opportunities and create an ever-growing laboratory where nature and human activities coexist. Helping nature conservation means also following some good practices when travelling. So, in addition to concrete actions to increase and conserve biodiversity, we do also invest time and resources to costantly improve our working system and most of all to help our clients to reach the best ethical standards while travelling. We are sure we must accept some reponsabilities which are vital to the life of the animals leaving at our holiday destinations: · Protect the environment, particularly its landscape, flora and fauna, and minimise environmental damage by touring in small groups. · Respect local cultures, namely their traditions, religions and heritage. · Benefit local communities by using locally-owned and run accommodation, by consuming local products and by using, wherever possible, local guides.To ensure that local people receive a fair share of the benefits of our tours. · Converve natural resources by eliminating waste and, where possible, consuming renewable rather than non-renewable ones. · Minimise environmental pollution caused by waste disposal, noise and litter. · Educate clients by keeping them well-informed about wildlife conservation issues, endangered species and threatened habitats.

M. Biosioli

Green Policy & Conservation Actions

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WINTER

December - February

Wildwatching Trip Photographic Expeditions

BIRDING & WILDLIFE TOURS 8 10 12 14 16 18 24 78 78 78

BIRDING IN MYANMAR - Wrapped in mystique wildlife CARRIBEAN ENDEMIC AMAZONS - Treasures From Beautiful Islands CUBA - CARRIBEAN SPECIALTIES - Birding In A Nature Paradise With Lots Of Endemisms GUATEMALA - Rainforests, Vulanos And Tropical Lowland INDIAN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY - Bharatpur & Kanha GREECE - KERKINI LAKE - Five Days Focusing On Pelicans ETHIOPIA- Undiscovered Africa SOUTHERN SPAIN - Lynxes, Eagles and more BULGARIA - Red-breasted Geese Special DONANA & ANDUJAR - Focusing on Lynxes 2020

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS 20 22 79

VIETNAM - Land of the Dragon People CAMBODIA EXTENSION- Land of the Dragon People ITALY - Northern Italy Photo Tour

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M. Biasioli


BIRDING IN MYANMAR Wrapped in mystique wildlife

Sun 06th January – Sat 19th January 2019

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€3700 SRS €500 - flight* £3350 SRS £440 - flight*

ildlife found in Myanmar combines species from North, South and Southeast Asia. There are approximately 1035 bird species, 12% of the total number o the world bird species. In the jungles tigers and leopards are quite common. Birds are quite common with species from the exotic parrot to the common crow, from pheasants to peafowls to the widespread paddybird. The country’s highlands are home to elephants, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild boars as well as various deer species. Myanmar also houses varying monkey species. Among the reptiles, crocodiles, pythons, cobras and geckos. There are 27 different species of turtles, with seven of them being endemic to Myanmar. There are nine national parks throughout the country with Alaungdaw Kathapap National Park in Sagaing Region being the largest at 160,500 hectares. This park is home to a large population of wild elephants as well as other rare species like the Clouded Leopard, jungle cats, the Himalayan Brown Bear and the Sun Bear among others. Hunting is the biggest threat to Myanmar’s natural habitats. Commercial hunting provides animals for the local market and for international customers like China. Myanmar’s tigers and turtles are targeted most often. Conservation groups are working around the country to protect these animals and to raise public awareness to the problems commercial hunting poses. They are also safeguarding turtle nesting beaches as well as establishing captive breeding colonies in an attempt to raise the turtle population. Many groups are working to protect the freshwater population of Irrawaddy dolphins found in the Irrawaddy River.

TOUR LEADER Igor Maiorano

350 hotels in each place of the tour By 4x4 vehicles and minibus Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-7 Day 8 Days 9-12 Day 13-14

Yangon Transfer to Bagan Kanpalat Pagan Kalaw, Inle Transfer to Yangon and depart

INCLUDES

International and local flights, meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entry fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

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Myanmar Travel Expert

M. Biasioli

Myanmar Travel Expert

From 1050 € (estimated from 930 £)

M. Lorenzo


M. Valentini

Myanmar Travel Expert

M. Valentini

ITINERARY Depending on our arrival time at Yangon, we can make half day city sightseeing or take a rest at the hotel. Night stay in Yangon.

Day 2

We will take morning flight to Bagan for Myanmar endemic species, White-throated Babbler, Burmese Bushlark, Jerdon’s Minivetm, Hooded Treepie, Collareddove and Ayeyarwaddy Bulbul (Streakeared Bulbul) and other key birds such as Laggar Falcons, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Long-billed Pipit, Vinous-breasted Myna, Eurasian Collared Dove, Burmese Shrike, Rain Quail. A whole day birding at Bagan and overnight stay at the hotel in Bagan.

Day 3

After morning birding at Bagan, we take a boat for half day birding on Ayeyarwaddy river for River Lapwings, White-tailed Stonechat, Sand Lark, Plovers, Wood Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stints, and many water birds. Night stop at the same hotel in Bagan.

Day 4

After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Kanpalat by our private car. On the way to Mt. Victoria from Bagan, White-rumped Falcon, Great Slaty, White-bellied, Pale-headed, Black-headed, Greater and Lesser Yellownape and Bamboo Woodpeckers, Himalayan Flameback and Greater Flameback, Alexandrine, Grey-headed, Blossom-headed and Red-breasted Parakeets are key species. Overnight will be at Pine Wood Villa Resort in Kanpalat.

Days 5-7

In these 3 days, our target species are White-browed Nuthatch (Endemic), Burmese Tit (Endemic), Black-bibbed Tit, Mount Victoria Babax, Himalayan Cutia, Black-headed Shrike-babbler, Green Shrike-babbler, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Chin Hills Wern-babbler, Blackthroated Prinia, Hume’s Treecreeper, Striped Laughingthrush, Brown-capped Laughingthrush, Crimson-faced Liocichla, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch, Whitebrowed Fulvetta and. Crimson-breasted and Darjeeling Woodpecker, Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler, Spot-breasted Parrotbill, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, Indian Blue Robin, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker. Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Rusty-fron-

ted Barwing, Streak-throated Barwing and White-browed Shrike-babbler, Slender-billed Oriole, Hill Blue Flycatcher, Golden Babbler, Green-backed Tit, Blackthroated Tit, Eurasian Jay, Grey Treepie, Flavescent Bulbul, Sliver-eared Mesia, Green-tailed and Mrs Gould’s Sunbird. Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Bar-throated and Red-tailed Minla, Blue-winged Siva, Rufous-bellied and Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Black Eagle, Himalayan Buzzard, Chestnutheaded Tesia, Minivets, Stripe-throated and Whiskered Yuhinas, Golden-throated and Great Barbet and others rare species are easy to fine there. If we are lucky, we will see Blyth’s Tragopan, Kalij Pheasant, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, and any other Partridges, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, Grey Nightjar and other owls. Night stops will be at the same resort.

Day 8

Today, we will drive back to Bagan. On the way, some birding stops for rest species. Night stop will be at the hotel in Bagan.

Day 9

Today we take a morning flight to Heho airport and proceed to Kalaw, with some birding stops along the way. Half a day birding will be in Kalaw. Night stop will be at the hotel in Kalaw.

Day 10

A full day birding around Kalaw. Today is again one of the main highlights of the tour and we will see Dark-backed Sibia, Burmese Yuhina, Indochinese Blackwinged Cuckooshrikes, , Speckled Piculet, White-browed and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babblers, White-browed and Green Shrike-babblers, Hume’s Treecreeper, Lesser Necklaced , Black-throated , White-browed Laughingthrushs, White-crowned and Black-backed Forktails, White Wedge-tailed, Yellowfooted and Pin-tailed Green-pigeons, Mrs Gould’s, Black-throated and Greentailed Sunbirds, Little Pied, Hill-blued and Tickell’s Blue , Pale Blue, Brown-breasted, Little Pied, Taiga, Ultramarine and Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers, Bluewinded and Golden-fronted Leafbirds. Red-billed Blue Magpies, Himalayan, Rufous-winged and Long-legged Buzzards,

Website ornitholidays.com

Spectacled Barwing, Chestnut Bunting and Black-headed Greenfinch, Whitetailed Robin, Silver-eared Mesias, Whitecapped Water-redstart, Black-tailed Crakes, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta. Himalayan Black, Red-vented, Ashy, Brown-breasted, Black-headed and Flavescent Bulbuls and Crested Finchbill could be seen. Slenderbilled, Black-hooded and Maroon Orioles, Black-collared, Asian Pied, Chestnuttailed Starlings, Black-throated, Japanese [Great], Yellow-cheeked Tits, Long-tailed Broadbill, Slaty-bellied and Chestnutheaded Tesias, Black-breasted, Orangeheaded, Blue Rock and other Thrushes. Warblers and winner visitors will be seen also. Overnight stay in Kalaw. (Giant Nuthatch it’s quite easy to see!)

Day 11

After morning birding around Kalaw, we will drive to Inle lake and will make afternoon birding around the lake by boat. Night stop will be at the hotel.

Day 12

Jerdon’s Bushchat, Collared Myna and Rufous-rumped Grassbird are key species on the lake. Any other interesting species at Inle lake are White-vented, Crested, Common and Jungle Mynas, Bluethroat, Clamorous and Oriental Reed-warblers, Plain and Yellow-bellied Prinias, Striated Grassbird, Pheasanttailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas, Cinnamon and Yellow Bitterns, Sport-billed Ducks, Swamphen and other water birds. Night stop will be at the same hotel in Inle.

Day 13

After leisure breakfast, take a flight to Yangon for half day city sightseeing which inclusive of Shwedagon pagoda, the most popular land mark of Myanmar and beautifully majestic pagoda. In the afternoon, we will visit down town and historic colonial buildings in the town and China town. Night stop will be at the hotel in Yangon.

WINTER

Day 1

Day 14

After leisure morning, we will proceed to Yangon international airport and we will bring home an unforgettable wonderful holiday in this evocative country.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

9


CARRIBEAN ENDEMIC AMAZONS Treasures From Beautiful Islands

Sat 12th January – Sat 2nd February 2019 €5580 SRS €1280 - flight* £4980 SRS £1140 - flight* Sat 11th January – Sat 1st February 2020 to be announced

T

he beautiful Caribbean islands are magnet for numerous people with their fine sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea waters. But there are some hidden treasures on these islands known to a much fewer people - the very beautiful Amazon parrots. Nowadays there are 9 species of endemic amazons inhabiting 8 of the islands, and one of them - the Cuban amazon has 2 distinct subspecies on nearby smaller islands. Our tour will be focused on these beautiful and endangered birds and we shall see them in their native habitat and enjoy their behavior and beauty. We will also visit the conservation projects on most of the islands. We will also see the 2 endemic parakeets, plus a number of introduced other parrot species. For each of the amazon species we will have 2 full days and the islands we will visit have in total 100 + other endemic bird species and we shall see most of them. Sadly, once upon there were more amazons species to live on the Caribbean and at least 2, possibly 4 species of macaws. They are long gone now, due to persecution and habitat destruction. Beside the observation of the amazons in the wild, and the other birds, we will have some lectures about the extinct species and more importantly on the conservation issues and the efforts to protect and save the existing amazons. Their biology, ecology, history, survival and conservation will be discussed. We shall start from the south end of the Caribbean, from St. Vincent, making our way up and ending in Cuba.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

250 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities By minibuses and domestic flights Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4–5 Days 6-8 Days 9-11 Days 12-14 Days 15-17 Day 18 Days 19-21 Day 22

St. Vincent, Kingstown Kingstown St. Lucia Dominica Puerto Rico Dominican Island Kingstown Cayman Islands Zapata Depart from Havana

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, domestic flights, excursions and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

From 850 € (estimated from 760 £)

10


D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

Days 2-3

Watching St. Vincent Amazon, we try to see both color morphs in the wild and visit the conservation project and the aviaries with captive parrots.

Days 4-5

Today we catch our half an hour flight to St. Lucia at 07.20 am - 07.50 am local time. Here we will accommodate for two nights. We will observe the local amazon and visit the conservation project. Free time and birding around. From a birding prospective, St. Lucia is very accessible considering it’s dimensions. This island has the highest number of endemic birds in the eastern carribean region, as St. Lucia Warbler.

Days 6-8

Today we fly to Dominica at 09.00 am 09.40 am local time. We will stay overnight in hotel near Portsmouth for 3 nights. We shall have three full days in search of the Imperial and the Red-necked amazons at Northern Forest Reserve; on the flanks of Morne Diablotin and Morne Trua Pitton. A Visit of the conservation projects is scheduled too. If time permits, we will go birding around or have a free time. Option for whaling excursion.

Days 9-11

We fly to Puerto Rico at 09.45 - arrival at 12.30 at San Juan airport. Overnight

in hotel near Luquillo Forest for three nights. Rest of the day and the next two full days we will be watching the endemic amazon in the wild and visit the reintroduction project. If time permits go birding looking for the 17 endemic birds in Puerto Rico such as Puerto Rican Tanager, Lizard Cuckoo, Schreech Owl, Woodpeacker, Tody, Flycatcher, Nightjar. Adelaides’s Warbler and others.

Days 12-14

We take a flight to Dominican Republic - 07.50am - 08.45 am (Hispaniola island) and stay overnight in a cosy hotel near Barahona for 3 nights. Watching the endemic amazon and the Hispaniola Parakeet and looking for the other 30 endemic birds on the island.

Days 15-17

We fly to Kingston, Jamaica - 14.00 - 16.40. Stay overnight in Green Castle Estate for three nights. Looking for the both Yellow-billed and Blackbilled amazons and the other endemics.

D. Domuschiev

Arrival at St. Vincent likely in the evening. Overnight in Kingstown for 3 nights.

Cuban Amazon stronghold, where we stay for three nights. We have 2 full days to enjoy the beautiful Cuban Amazon as well as the Cuban parakeet and many truly spectacular birds from the tiny emerald greenn and rose-pink Cuban Tody to the the Cuban Trogon to the world’s smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird.

Day 22

Transfer to Havana airport and flight back home. There is a possibility to join an after tour extension flight to the Bahamas and watch the Bahama Amazon.

Day 18

Today a flight will take us to Cayman Islands 08.55 - 10.00. Here we will stay for a single night, but with enough time to enjoy the local subspecies of the Cuban Amazon (the only species with living subspecies).

Days 19- 21

Flight to Cuba, Havana, at 12.45 - 13.45 local time. Drive to Zapata peninsula, the

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

WINTER

Day 1

D. Domuschiev

ITINERARY

11


CUBA - Carribean specialties Birding In A Nature Paradise With Lots Of Endemisms

Mon 4th February – Thu 14th February 2019 €3100 SRS €220 - flight* £2770 SRS £200 - flight* Mon 3rd February – Thu 13th February 2020 to be announced

C

uba is a fascinating country rich in nature, history, culture. It is the largest island on the Caribbean with a territory of 110 thousand sq km (43 thousand square miles), including more than 4000 islands. It has very different looking habitats - from the high mountains on the east side to the beautiful Vinales on the west side, vast lowlands, a few wetlands, forests, savanna like grasslands and endless beautiful sandy beaches. Despite the variety of habitats, most of which are well preserved, the number of species recorded is relatively small at 371 so far in Cuba. However, quantity does not always reflect quality and here in Cuba quality abounds. Of them 155 breeds on the island and we will see 150 to 160 species approximately. Amongst them there are 26 endemic species and we will target all of them except the impossible and nearly mythical Cuban Kite and Zapata Rail. Some are scattered through the island, some are widespread. Cuba is a home to the smallest bird in the world - the Bee Hummingbird at only 6 cm long. The Cuban Tody is another one, slightly bigger, but again a real beauty and it can be seen all over the country. The same can be said for the national bird - the Cuban Trogon. The two endemic and beautiful quail-dove however are rare and need early starts and being in the right location in order to see them. The most difficult species are found in the vast Zapata peninsula, wrongly called wetland. Although large parts of it are wet, there are also dry grasslands and forests. Here is found the most difficult endemic possible to be seen - the elusive Zapata Wren. We will be staying in state owned hotels and good quality sea resorts as well as in private houses. This is the only way to feel, enjoy and understand the current life in Cuba.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

150-160 hotels and sea resorts, as well as confortable private houses. By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Days 1 & 2 Fly to Havana and transfer to Vinales valley Days 3 & 4 Cayo Coco Island Days 5 & 6 La Belen Days 7 to 10 Zapata Peninsula Day 11 Depart Havana

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entrance fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

12

D. Domuschiev

M. Valentini

D. Domuschiev

From 660 € (estimated from 590 £)

M. Lorenzo


D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

Merce R. Romero

ITINERARY Arrival at Havana airport in the early evening, followed by less than two hours drive that takes us to the beautiful Vinales valley, in Pinar del Rio province, west of the capital. Stay overnight for two nights.

Day 2

Very short drive will bring us to the nearest national park and we will take a short walk into it. This is one of the best places to see the endemic Cuban Solitaire - it is not that rare but it is not easily seen, even after we understand its location by its gentle and somewhat sad song, it might take some time to really see the bird. There will be other endemic woodland birds such as Cuban Vireo, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Blackbird, Cuban Bullfinch, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Cuban Grassquit and Cuban Tody as well as many other different birds - Western Spindalis, warblers on migration, Yellow-faced Grassquit, plus many more. Broad-winged Hawk is found here as well as the very rare and endemic Gundlach’s Hawk, while Turkey Vultures are virtually everywhere. We will spend the morning here and after lunch will visit a different woodland nearby where we will look for Olive-capped Warbler, which is only found among pine trees. Other warblers will be seen too and there is a small reservoir which will bring wetland birds to the day list.

Day 3

Early morning birding for species we might have missed the previous day, followed by a long transfer to Cayo Coco Island which will take most of the day. However, we will break the journey with a few stops. Accommodation for two nights in beach resort.

Day 4

The island of Cayo Coco boasts some of the finest and most beautiful beaches in Cuba and probably in the whole of Caribbean. We will definitely take advantage of them during the day, but first thing in the morning will be to look for the local specialities - Cuban Gnatcatcher, Thick-billed Vireo,

Oriente Warbler, Bahama Mockingbird and West Indian Whistling Duck. The vegetation will reveal many different warblers on migration, while the wetlands and coast sustain large numbers of flamingos, waders, rails, herons, pelicans, gulls and terns.

Day 5

We will pack and set off to La Belen, Camaguey province further east, but before that we will have another birding session for species we might have missed the previous day. The journey after will take a few hours again but we will break it with some stops for Eastern Meadow Lark, Palm Crow etc. Arrival in the evening and overnight in La Belen for two nights a basic accommodation but perfectly situated in the middle of the park.

Day 6

The whole day we will spend in the area - an open like savanna with trees, as well as denser woodland parts. Here we will have a chance for the elusive Gundlach’s Hawk and the endemic and poorly known Giant Kingbird, plus endemics like Cuban Parakeet and Cuban Pygmy Owl, also Cuban Parrot, Plain Pigeon and Cuban Crow as well as the rare Cuban Palm Crow. A small reservoir will reveal Lesser Jacana, and the Limpkin is found in the forests nearby.

Day 7

Early morning birding at La Belen then we shall drive to Zapata Peninsula. The drive will take most of the day and again we will have few birding stops on the way. For the next four nights we will stay in private houses where we can feel the real spirit of the Cuban life. Beside the birds, which are the main target of this adventure, we will indeed also feel and experience the unique lifestyle of the Cuban people and the way things work in this country. Despite the hardship of the daily life, the people of Cuba are very friendly, relaxed, and extremely positive, readily extending a warm welcome to visiting foreigners.

Website ornitholidays.com

Days 8-10

We have three full days to explore the Zapata - It is not a swamp as it is normally called but a vast peninsula consisting of different habitats - marshland, Salinas, mangrove forests, tidal areas, dense woodlands and savanna like grasslands. A great number of birds are found here including most of the endemics - Bee Hummingbird, both Blue-headed and Grey-headed quail-doves, Cuban Parakeet, Fernandina’s Flicker, Pygmy and Screech Owl, Zapata Sparrow, Cuban Oriole, Cuban Red-winged Blackbird, Cuban Black Hawk and the most elusive of all - the Zapata Wren. Big numbers of non-endemic but equally beautiful and attractive birds are found here - Cuban Parrot has its stronghold in Zapata and some large flocks can be seen outside the breeding season, numerous warblers can be seen in the area. The very beautiful Las Salinas will reveal a great number of waders, herons and flamingos, gulls and terns and many other species are possible as it is the migration time. The Magnificent Frigate birds soar in the distance and in the evening when we return we might see Cuban nightjars foraging along the road.

Day 11

We have about three hours transfer to Havana for our return flight and we have options to do some more birding in the morning or spend few hours in the beautiful old Havana town which is full of colonial buildings, museums and fortresses and inevitably tourists. Departure in the evening and we shall arrive home next morning, hopefully with many memorable moments in this fascinating country along with a quality bird list.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

WINTER

Day 1

13


GUATEMALA

Rainforests, Vulanos And Tropical Lowland Fri 22th February - Thu 7th March 2019 €4300 SRS €500 - flight* £3900 SRS £450 - flight*

G

uatemala is the northern most country of the Central American Isthmus and it is a wonderful birding destination. The country is a gorgeous and friendly nation. The Mayan culture is vibrant and alive and plenty of Mayan history and handicrafts will be seen. The territory is divided in seven major ecosystems, from pine-oak forests to tropical lowland forest and cloud forests on the slopes of volcanoes. And travel between any two ecosystems is very easy, with distances relatively short. Lodging is in the reserves or hotels (lodges) that are in the reserves. Highlights of birds for this tour are the Ocellated Turkey, Orange-breasted Falcon, all five Kingfishers (Amazon, Green, Belted, Ringed and Pygmy), a host of hummingbirds, Agami Heron, Pink-headed Warbler, Azure-rumped Tanager to name just a few birds of the more than 700 species that can be found in Guatemala, and with a chance to see the mysterious and mythical Horned Guan. This trip offers the unique opportunity to visit other aspects of the country like Antigua Guatemala and Tikal (both are World Heritage sites) and have an opportunity to meet the friendly people.

TOUR LEADER Max Biasioli

400 Hotels in each place of the tour By minibus Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-10 Days 11-13 Day 14

Guatemala City Los Andes Los Terrales El Pilar, Antigua, Tikal Las Guacamayas Departure

INCLUDES

International and local flights, meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entry fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Merce R. Romero

Merce R. Romero

From 930 € (estimated from 830 £)

R. Hernandez

14

M. Lorenzo


Cornelio EBG

J. Such

R. Hernandez

ITINERARY You arrive in Guatemala City. The optional tour to the Cayalá Ecological Park will give a chance to see the Buffy-crowned Wood Partridge, the Bushy-crested Jay, several hummingbirds like the Azure-crowned Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird and Rivoli’s Hummingbird. Accommodations will be a Hotel in Guatemala City.

Days 2-4

Today we will go to Cayalá Ecological Park, a natural forest in the middle of the city, where we will have a chance to see the Northern Flicker, Acorn Woodpecker, and the Black Vulture. We will have our breakfast in a picnic! After our rest, we will take our bus to Los Andes Natural Reserve. This privately owned reserve, has 607 hectares and 60% of the reserve is original forest area (cloud forest). We will have a chance to see the Resplendent Quetzal, the Azure-rumped Tanager, and the White-eared Ground-sparrow. We will be here all day 3 and day 4 so we will have chance to look for Paltry Tyrannulet, Golden-crowned Warbler, Brown-backed Solitaire, and Swainson’s Thrush. Other species with at least five recorded individuals were Spotted Wood-Quail, Highland Guan, Collared Trogon, Rufous-and-White Wren, White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Wilson’s Warbler, Slate-throated Redstart, Whitefaced Quail-Dove, Emerald Toucanet, Eyeringed Flatbill, Barred Parakeet, Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner, Resplendent Quetzal, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Chestnutcapped Brushfinch, Elegant Euphonia, Hooded Grosbeak, Spotted NightingaleThrush, Violet Sabrewing, and Gray-breasted Wood-Wren. On day 4, in the afternoon, we will transfer to Los Tarrales Reserve.

Days 5-6

Los Tarrales Reserve is part of the Atitlan Important Bird Area, designated as such by BirdLife International. Located on the southern slope of Atitlán volcano. Los Tarrales is a great spot to see birds restricted in Guatemala to the Pacific slope, such as Long-tailed Manakin, Pacific Parakeet, Blue-tailed Hummingbird, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Rufous Sabrewing, and Azure-rumped Tanager. The cloud forest of Atitlán volcano is still home to the odd Horned Guan. The Horned Guan hike is a strenuous hike, but the

local guides will be monitoring and tracking it to increase our chances to get this legendary Guan. Raptors such as Black HawkEagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, and King Vulture can be seen as well as the White Hawk. On Day 6 we will visit Rey Tepepul Trail, begins with a spectacular vista of the three volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro), the community of Santiago and the Pacific Coast. The trail begins in Montane Forest and drops into Subtropical Humid Forest. Species of interest here are Azure-rumped Tanager, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Resplendent Quetzal, Hairy Woodpecker, Hooded Grosbeak, Blue Crowned Chlorophonia, Elegant Euphonia, Rufous collared robin, Blue and White Mockingbird, Green-throated Mountain-gem and Mexican Violetear. We will have lunch after our hike and in the afternoon we will head out to Rincón Suizo, where we will try for the stunning Pink-headed Warbler and the Bluethroated Motmot. We continue our drive to Antigua Guatemala, a colonial city where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Days 7-10

Today we will go to El Pilar, a former quarry with an impressive reserve forest. We will try for the Mountain Trogon, Collared Trogon, Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous Sabrewing and Violet Sabrewing. After lunch in Antigua, we will then travel to the airport to take the flight from Guatemala City to Flores. On days 9 and 10 we will have to full birding days in Tikal, where besides birding we will visit the Mayan heart, where we will be marveled by the temples and the history they tell. During our stay here, we will have an opportunity to see Keel-billed Toucan, parrots (Mealy, Red-lored, White-fronted, White-crowned, and Brown-hooded), and Neotropical raptors. Tikal is one of the best sites to see the rare Orange-breasted Falcon along with several species of woodcreepers (Northern Barred, Olivaceous, Ruddy, Tawny-winged, and Ivory-billed), Redcrowned and Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Gray-headed Tanager, and Tawny-crowned Greenlet. Several other animal wonder around the park, so there is a good chance to see Coaties, Agouties, and Gray Fox walking around the park grounds, and Spider Monkeys and Black Howler Monkeys

Website ornitholidays.com

in the forest canopy. On Day 10 we will do some more birding in the Lodge premises, where other opportunities include Collared Aracari, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Tody Motmot and Royal Flycatcher. When we are transferring to the Las Guacamayas Biological Station we will do some roadside birding and look for Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Crimson Flycatcher, and Laughing Falcon. We might have a chance to see a Jabiru. We will have a box-lunch en-route to Las Guacamayas.

Days 11-13

Las Guacamayas Biological Station has a lodge itself. The landscape consists of tropical rain forest in which are species like the Scarlet Macaw Jaguars, Tapirs, as well as a great variety of resident and migratory birds, reptiles and amphibians. During our two full day birding days we will have opportunities to see the Scarlet Macaw, Agami Heron, Great Blue Heron, Lovely Cotinga, Brown Jay, Red-capped Manakin, Grey Catbird, and hummingbirds like the Longbilled Hermit, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, White-bellied Emerald, and Purple-crowned Fairy. Along the river-boat tour, we can see Sungrebe, Bare-throated Tiger-heron, Black-crowned Night-heron, Boat-billed Heron plus five types of Kingbirds (Amazon, Green, Belted, Ringed and Pygmy) and the Northern Potoo. Several raptors are in the area, like the Black-collared Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, Short-tailed Hawk and the splendid Ornate Hawk-eagle. Highlights in this are include Gray-headed Kite, White-whiskered Puffbird, Rufoustailed Jacamar, and Gray-headed Tanager. The lodge also offers a great opportunity for owling, and species seen are the Mottled owl, Blan-and-white Owl, Barn owl and Vermiculated-screech owl. On day 13, we have a chance to do some last minute birding before heading back to Flores airport for our flight to Guatemala City. We will do some roadside birding as well, just to try other species like the Wood Stork, Snail Kite and other raptors. Our flight arrives at night and we will go directly to our hotel, where we will have a goodbye dinner.

WINTER

Day 1

Day 14

Breakfast at the hotel before heading out to the airport for your flight back home.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

15


Indian Wildlife Sanctuary Bharatpur & Kanha

Thu 7th February - Mon 18th February 2019

€4390 SRS €360 - flight* £2755 SRS £200 - flight* Thu 7th November – Mon 18th November 2019 €3980 SRS €360 - flight* £2755 SRS £200 - flight*

O

ne of the wonders of this journey is India’s amazing wildlife, which we discover as we explore the sal forests and bamboo thickets of renowned Kanha National Park, haunt of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the marshes of Keoladeo-Bharatpur, India’s famous bird reserve. Our journey promises to be a memorable experience! Bharatpur is famous for being one of the best wetlands areas in the world, and any visit to this wonderful place is always a thrilling experience for any birdwatcher and nature lover, and many of the birds offer stunning photo opportunities. Besides birds such as Sarus crane, various storks and herons, wintering ducks and raptors including Greater spotted and Steppe eagles, siberian wintering passerines and local colourful species, this is also a good place for mammals: Jackals, Nilgai, Rhesus macaque, Chital and Sambar are numerous and normally quite easy to spot. But talking about mammals, of course Kanha stands out as one of the best places in the world for seeing a tiger, and not only! During our numerous jeep safaris, guided by expert local guides, we will have the opportunity to see and photograph many different species, from the endangered local subspecies of Barasingha, to Barking deer and the huge and fascinating Gaur; Common Langur are also present, as well Sloth bear and Dhole. Obviously the Tiger will be our many target and we will maximize our chances by going on early morning and late afternoon jeep safaris, hoping to see this majestic animal crossing our track or hunting for a prey.

TOUR LEADER Nicola Scatassi

200 hotels with private facilities. In Bharatpur we stay in the compounds of an old royal palace By minibuses, jeep and scheduled domestic flights Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Day 6 Day 7 Days 8-10 Day 11 Day 12

Arrive Delhi Delhi-Bharatpur Bharatpur Bharatpur-Delhi-Raipur Raipur – Kanha Kanha National Park Kanha-Raipur-Delhi Depart from Delhi

INCLUDES

All the ground services: meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, NP entries and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

M. Biasioli

A. Khan

From 770 € (estimated from 690 £)

A. Khan

16

M. Lorenzo


A. Khan

A. Khan

M. Biasioli

Day 1

Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the hotel Radisson Blu Plaza New Delhi.

Day 2

After breakfast transfer to Bharatpur, a few hours away and check-in at The Bagh Bharatpur, our beautiful and peaceful accommodation, whose gardens and grounds are a good habitat for many species, from Oriental magpie robin to Indian grey hornbill, from Indian scops owl to siberian wintering passerines. After lunch we will have our first taste of Keoladeo Ghana NP by cycle rickshaw; we will be immediately captured by the peculiar atmosphere of this area, and birds will be very soon almost everywhere around us!

Day 3

Bharatpur Keoladeo Ghana NP was originally a vast wetland developed for duck shooting. Coaches are not allowed inside the park, so we’ll explore the 29 square kilometers on foot, and by bicycle-rickshaw (peddled by someone else!). Those whose over-riding memories of bird watching abroad are dusty and bumpy roads and whistle-stop stake-outs will find this a marvelously relaxing time. Nevertheless, it will be very rewarding, with the possibility of over 150 species ranging from Sarus Crane to Small Minivet and Ruddy-breasted Crake to White-tailed Eagle. Among the numbers of water birds, Blacknecked and Painted Storks, Intermediate Egret, Cotton Pygmy-goose and Darter will vie for our attention as we search for less usual species such as Ferruginous and Red-crested Pochards and Greater Painted-snipe. In the trailside trees we’ll look for Marshall’s Iora, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Common Wood-shrike, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, White-bellied Drongo, Coppersmith Barbet, and Ashy Prinia. Beneath the bushes the slightest movement could herald a Blue throat or, with luck, an Orange-headed Thrush or Siberian Ruby throat. In the sky above might be Greater Spotted Eagle, Redheaded Vulture or Crested Serpent Eagle. Dusk may bring us Collared Scops-Owl, Dusky Horned-Owl or a nightjar or two. It is also an excellent place to watch mam-

mals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyaena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar. The park is also rich in Otters and Monitor Lizards. After a very rewarding day we will drive back to our close and comfortable hotel.

Day 4

Today after birding inside the park in the morning, we will have the chance to enjoy a very interesting cooking class at the hotel, followed by lunch. In the afternoon some relax to enjoy the hotel’s gardens and grounds, or another visit to the park, or perhaps to the interesting local village. In the evening we shall witness Rass Leela dance performance at the hotel followed by dinner. Very interesting and picturesque indeed!

Day 5

Today we will have another full day visit to Keoladeo Ghana NP, perhaps exploring new areas where we haven’t been yet, or taking more time enjoying the more approachable species!

Days 6-7

After breakfast we will drive to Delhi (approx. 4 hrs) to have lunch at local restaurant at Delhi and then continue to airport in time to flight to Raipur, where we shall arrive shortly after 7 pm and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Next day after breakfast we will drive to Kanha NP (approx 4 hrs): we will have lunch at our accommodation, the Baagh Resort, very close to the entrance of the park. In the afternoon, we will have a visit to the local village, with its nice houses and other interesting features. Again, the hotel grounds and surroundings are well worth exploring for birds and other wildlife, such as amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies. Not to mention that Indian wolf has been seen just outside the hotel!

Days 8-10

In these days we will have 2 daily safaris by open jeeps; one in the early morning and one in the afternoon. Kanha NP is one of the largest national parks and it is also part of Project Tiger, one of the India’s most important conservation efforts. A Safari through different habitats, including Sal

Website ornitholidays.com

Forest, Bamboo Thicket, Dadar (plateau grasslands), meadows and mixed forests. Some of the species we may encounter include the endangered Hard-ground Barasingha (the only place where this sub species of deer persists), Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, the largest of all bovines Gaur, Golden-backed Jackal, Jungle Cat, Common Langur, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Dhole or Asian Wild Dog, and Chowsingha. Among the numerous bird species Asian Paradise Flycatcher, White Rumped Shama, White Bellied Drongo, Spangled Drongo. Racket Tailed Drongo, Twany Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Grey Francolin, Painted Francolin, Black Naped Flycatcher,Common Iora, Eurasian Blackbird, Gold Mantled Chloropsis, Jerdon’s Leaf Bird, Golden Oriole, Black Hooded Oriole, Common Grey Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Tickell’s Flowerpecker, Verditor Flycatcher, Twany Fish Owl, Barred Jungle Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Brown Fish Owl, Indian Scops Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Common Kestrel, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Pariah Kite, White Eyed Buzzard, Oriental Honey Buzzard and Indian Pitta. Our local guides are extremely knowledgeable about animal behaviour, and they can often tell if a tiger is present somewhere near, they can also spot all signs and tracks of the tiger, therefore we do stand excellent chances of seeing one or more of these marvellous creature. Brown fish owl, among birds, is a fantastic species which can sometimes be seen sitting on a branch overlooking a stream, not far from the bridge that we cross with our vehicle: in which case, great photo opportunities are guaranteed.

WINTER

ITINERARY

Days 11-12

A relaxing early morning birding in and around the hotel before to return to the hotel for breakfast and then drive to Raipur airport (approx 4 hrs), in order to catch our flight to Delhi in the evening. The day after our return flight bringing will bring us home with very good memories of this indian adventure.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

17


GREECE - KERKINI LAKE Five Days Focusing On Pelicans Sat 16th – Wed 20th February 2019

F

€890 SRS €140 - flight* £795 SRS £125 - flight*

or the first time Ornitholidays offers to its clients a photographic short break in one of the most famous wild areas in Europe. We go to the Kerkini Lake in northern Greece to photograph the rich avifauna of this large humid area. The diversity of habitats and ease of access all around the lake make Kerkini a photographer’s dream. Dalmatian Pelican looks its best with bright red beak and ruffled “hairstyle” offering unparalleled opportunities for both flight and close-up work from boat. Thousands ducks of more than ten species are gathering in and around the lake. The many overwintering raptors show that the ecosystem is healthy and rich of food.

TOUR LEADER Igor Maiorano

70 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. By minibuses Maximum of 6 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-4 Day 5

Sofia, Kerkini Kerkini Depart from Sofia

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

18

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

From 270 € (estimated from 240 £)


M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli M. Biasioli

ITINERARY Day 1

Meeting at the Sofia International Airport. Afterwards we move to Limneo Hotel in Kerkini.

Day 2-4

WINTER

Our days will be divided into several photographic sessions, from the boat and from the shore. We will start early in the morning with a boat excursion in order to take advantage of the first light on the surface of the lake. After a break we will take another photo session of the pelicans from the shore, then we will return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we will have another excursion around the lake. In any case the program can be flexible and modified according to the weather conditions and the photographical requirements of the group.

Day 5

After breakfast we move from the Hotel to the International Airport of Sofia. M. Biasioli

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

19


VIETNAM Land of the Dragon People

Wed 20 th February – Fri 08 th March 2019 - €3540 SRS €520 - flight* £3150 SRS £460 - flight*

V

ietnam lies in South-eastern Asia, bordering Cambodia, Laos and China and has a large coastline of over 2,100 miles (3,400kms). It has a well-known and chequered history. It was ruled by the French from 1884, until defeated by the communist forces under Ho Chi Minh in 1954, when the Geneva Accords split the country intro a pro-communist north and an antecommunist south. In 1975 the country was reunited and over the following 30 years it has finally opened up to tourism. Without a doubt Vietnam is one of the key countries in Asia for every serious birder. Habitat and bird-wise the county is diverse. Vietnam has recorded over 900 bird species and holds 10 endemic species and another 27 are almost endemic to the country as well as many fascinating and colorful families. Among these are several species new to science discovered at the end of the 20th century, like Chestnut-eared and Golden-winged Laughingthrushes, or species rediscovered after long periods without records, such as the enigmatic Grey-crowned Crocias. These are result of ornithological exploration in the last four decades.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

300 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities By 4x4 vehicles and minibus Maximum of 8 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Fly to HCM City Fly to Dong Hoi Phong Nha Ke Bang. Khe Sanh Samu Bach Ma national park Son Tra penisular Mang Ripass Mang Canh forest Mang Den, Ban Me Thout Serepok, Da Lat, Cat Tien national park Day 14 Cat Tien national park Days 15-16 Cat Tien national park, deparDay 17 ture for Ho Chi Minh City Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Days 11-13

INCLUDES

International and local flights, meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entry fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

20

Nguyen Haoi Bao

Nguyen Haoi Bao

From 740 € (estimated from 660 £)


Nguyen Haoi Bao

Nguyen Haoi Bao

Nguyen Haoi Bao

ITINERARY Arriving HMC city, if time permit we have a short birding in Can Gio. Night at Silverland Spa hotel.

Day 2

Fly to Dong Hoi then take a short drive to Phong Nha Ke Bang national park, birding in the afternoon. Night at Sai Gon-Phong Nha hotel.

Day 3

Fullday birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang. Two major targets will occupy our time in Phong Nha, the near endemic Sooty Babbler (also found in similar habitat in adjacent Laos). Here we also have further chances for a range of birds including Siamese Fireback, Red-collared Woodpecker, Brown Hornbill as well as the isolated form of Sulphur-breasted Warbler now split as “Limestone Warbler”. Night at Sai Gon-Phong Nha hotel.

Day 4

Morning birding in Phong Nha Ke Bang then drive to Khe Sanh, stop en route for birding at Samu pass to look for Rufous-cheekd Laughingthrush. Night at Thai Ninh hotel.

Day 5

Return to Samu if need for another chance of Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrush, otherwise drive to Bach Ma national park.Night at Bach Ma Villa.

Day 6

A full-day on Bach Ma mountain (1400m asl), this park is just opening after 3 years closed for road construction, we will have our best chance for Indochinese Wren-Babbler, Chestnut-collared (Indochinese) Yuhina, Black-throated Laughingthrus, Rufous-throated Partridge. Afternoon we will access the mid ranges of Bach Ma where we will search in particular for the endemic but elusive Annam Partridge. Later we do some foothill birding to look for the Mask Laughingthrus. Later afternoon will we drive to Lang Co beach. Night at Lang Co beach resort.

Day 7

Early morning drive to Son Tra penisular to seek for the queen of primate Red-shanked Duoc Langur, later on we drive to Mang Ri. Night Hoang Gia Trang hotel.

Day 8

Early morning birding at Mang Ripass, a new road cross Ngoc Linh natural reserve area has just completed building in May, 2016.Which has reached recent birding fame as the site to see the endemic Golden-winged Laughingthush, Indochinese Fulvetta,Black-crowned Barwing. Here, at the forest edge, we have a great chance of finding this recently described species and others to look for include Brown Hornbill, Indochinese Wren-Babbler (formerly known as Short-tailed Scimitar- Babbler), White-winged Magpie, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Himalayan Cutia, Green Shrike- babbler and a another chance for Yellow-billed Nuthatch. Afternoon drive to Mang Den. Night at Hoa Sim hotel.

Day 9

Full day at Mang Canh forest. Our main target for full day birding at Mang Canh is Chestnut- eared Laughingthrush but we will also be on the lookout for Blackhooded Laughingthrus, Pale- capped Pigeon, the endemic Ratchet-tailed Treepie and we have another chance for Yellow-billed Nuthatch as well as the first chance for Brown Hornbill. Night at Hoa Sim hotel. Key species: Pale-capped Pigeon, Northern Brown Hornbill, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Whitewinged Magpie, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Grey-crowned Tit, Rufous-faced Warbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Indochinese Wren-babbler, Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush, Black- hooded Laughingthrush, Greycrowned Crocias (rare), Rufous-backed Sibia, Grey-faced Warbler, Bluerumped, Blue and Rusty-naped Pittas.

Day 10

After an early morning to finalise birding in Mang Den, we then drive to Ban Me Thout city. Night at Sai Gon - Ban Me Thot hotel.

Days 12-13

Da Lat plateau: Three fullday exploring Da Lat area we will visit number of excellent birding sites including Ta Nung valley, Giang Ly, Cong Troi, Tuyen Lam lake and Langbian mt. We will have better chance to see some species that we might miss in Kon Tum plateau such as Indochinese Wren Babbler, Red-vented Barbet, Indochinese Green Magpie ... but our main target in Da Lat are many. Apart from endemism listed above we also looking for Red Crossbill, Blackheaded and Rufous- backed Sibia, local subspecies of Black-throated Sunbird, Hodgon’s Frogmouth, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl. Nights at Monet Garden hotel.

Day 14

Morning in Da Lat then drive to Cat Tien national park. Birding in Cat Tien in the afternoon. Night at Cat Tien Green hotel.

Days 15-16

Cat Tien national park: The premier National Park in South Vietnam, Cat Tien is located in Cochinchina in the Da Lat foothills and boasts an impressive mosaic of forest and seasonal wetlands which largely escaped the defoliants used in the Vietnam War. We will bird by jeep track and forest trails to seek out the endemic Germain’s PeackockPheasant, other spectacular birds such as Siamese Fireback, Green Peafowl and Scaly-breasted Partridge, endemic Pittas, the endemic Grey- faced TitBabbler and a host of other species also known from Malaysia and Thailand.

WINTER

Day 1

Day 17

Morning in Cat Tien national park then drive to Ho Chi Minh city, fly to Siem Riep. Night in Siem Reap by client’s own.

Day 11

Early morning detour for an hour driving to Serepok river for searching Mekong Wagtail. Return to hotel for breakfast then drive to Da Lat with several stop for brding en route. Night at Monet Garden hotel.

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

21


CAMBODIA Extension Land of the Dragon People

Fri 08th – Wed 13th March 2019

€1790 SRS 230 - flight* £1590 SRS 205 - flight*

C

ambodia is covered more deciduous dipterocarp forests that once spread across much of Indochina and Thailand were formerly home to the greatest aggregation of large mammals and water birds that have existed beyond the savannas of Africa. These forests have largely disappeared from Thailand and Vietnam; currently, the Northern and Eastern Plains of Cambodia form the largest remaining contiguous block of this unique and critically important habitat. Visiting several sites in Cambodia, we have a lot of chances to see both rarest ibises (White-shouldered and Giant), as well as many endangered waterbird species such as Bengal Florican and Greater Adjutant, Milky Stork, Black- necked Stork and Sarus Crane.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

200 hotels in each place of the tour By 4x4 vehicles and minibus Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22

Angkor Wat Angkor Wat, Tmatboey Tmatboey Siem Reap Tonle Sap Ang Trapeang Thmor and depart

INCLUDES

22

Nguyen Haoi Bao

M. Valentini

Nguyen Haoi Bao

International and local flights, meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entry fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader and local guide.

M. Lorenzo


M. Valentini

M. Valentini

Merce R. Romero M. Valentini

ITINERARY Full day for Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom. This day we will spend our time for a must visited historical site, the largest first Hindu, and then Buddhist temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. Overnight at Angkor holiday hotel.

Day 19

In early morning visiting to the grasslands that run alongside the perimeter of the huge Tonle Sap in search of Bengal Florican. Large numbers of wintering migrants make these grasslands their home, especially large numbers of Eastern Marsh and Pied Harriers, we could even come across some water-birds including Sarus Crane, Lesser Adjutant and Painted Stork. Mid-morning will see us heading north into the remote Preah Vihear province. This province is home to some of the rarest species in south-east Asia. The landscape is dominated by open, dry savannah interspersed with extensive tracts of deciduous forest along the waterways. We shall arrive into our comfortable guesthouse in the mid-afternoon in time for some late afternoon birding. Night at Tmatboey Ecolodge (2 nights).

Day 20

During our two full days exploring the area surrounding Tmatboey we can hope to see most of our target species. We will walk through the open forest in search of small waterholes, or ‘trapeangs’, which offer us the best chance of locating the nearmythical Giant and White-shouldered Ibises, which use these trapeangs to feed. In between visiting these waterholes good numbers of other species will be encountered, including an array of wintering passerines found in large feeding flocks. Up to sixteen species of woodpecker make this forest their home, including the spectacular Black-headed, gigantic Great Slaty and striking White-bellied. Other localised species here include Burmese Shrike, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Rufous-winged Buzzard, 4 species of prinia including the localised Brown Prinia, Blossom-headed, Red-breasted and Alexandrine Parakeets, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Indochinese Bushlark, Golden-fronted Leafbird, Black-hooded Oriole and White- rumped Falcon. Night-birding is often productive; Spotted and Brown Wood Owls, Collared and Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Fish Owl and Spotted Owlet all being possible along

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with Savannah and Large-tailed Nightjars.

Day 21

After a final morning’s birding in the area searching for any missing species, we will head back to Siem Reap. Overnight at Angkor holiday hotel.

Day 22

This day we leave early in the morning for a full day birding at Tonle Sap by visting Peak Toal sanctuary where we look for Greater Adjutant, Milky Stork and lot of other waterbirds. Return Siem Reap in the afternoon for another night at Angkor holiday hotel.

WINTER

Day 18

Day 23

Leave Siem Reap after breakfast for a full day trip to Ang Trapeang Thmor, a nature reserve based around a reservoir dating from the Khmer Rouges era. The reserve now harbours a unique wetland set amongst grasslands, dipterocarp forest and rice fields. Other highlights of Ang Trapeang Thmor are the breeding colonies of Spot-billed Pelican and Painted Stork and often large numbers of waterfowl including Spot-billed Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Garganey, Black-backed Swamphen, Pheasant-tailed and Bronze-winged Jacanas. Return to Siem Reap for tour conclusion.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

23


SPRING

March - May

Wildwatching Trip Photographic Expeditions

BIRDING & WILDLIFE TOURS 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 78 78 78

GHANA - In Search of Picathartes TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - The Neotropical Bird Life Of A Carribean Paradise ITALY - Spring Migration In Sicily MOROCCO - High Atlas and Sahara CHINA - Sichuan And The Tibetan Plateau BIRDING IN BULGARIA - Prime Birds’ Habitats In Bulgaria ITALY - PO DELTA MIGRATION - Birding At The Po Delta Enjoying A Succulent Cuisine MONGOLIA - Eastern Steрps, Lakes and Desеrts SPRING IN SPAIN - EXCLUSIVE - Andalusia & Extremadura ITALY - Sardinian Tour GEORGIA & ARMENIA

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS 42 44 46 48 79

ARCTIC PHOTO TOUR - To The Far Far North SPAIN & PORTUGAL PHOTO TOUR - Exclusive Photo Estates SPAIN PHOTO TOUR - The very best of Extremadura ULTIMA FRONTIERA - Danube Delta, Unlimited Wildlife Photography SWEDEN PHOTO TOUR

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L. Ercoli


GHANA

In search of Picathartes Fri 01st – Thu 14th March 2019

€3600 SRS €400 - flight* £3200 SRS £355 - flight*

G

hana is an independent republic with a democratic government, lying on the Gulf of Guinea. The country has a great system of National Parks and they have just begun to realise the importance of eco-tourism. What makes the country special for us is the variety of habitats that it encompasses: there is the coastal wetland zone, the dry Sahelian savannah, the Upper Guinea Forest and some pristine broad-leaved Guinea Woodland. Our 14-day tour gives us the chance to explore these habitats, as well as visiting the famous Kakum canopy walkway. There will be exciting species here, such as Yellow-headed Picathartes, Congo Serpent Eagle, Black and Blueheaded Bee-eaters, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Standard-winged Nightjar, African Finfoot, Spotted Creeper and Blue Cuckoo-shrike – to name just a few! The birds of this country will not be the only focus of our attention, as the other fauna and flora are excellent. The sheer number of butterfly species to be found here is outstanding. Couple this with a colourful backdrop of Ghanaian life and a visit to some of the costal forts made infamous during the slave-trading period and you have the basis for a fascinating holiday.

TOUR LEADER Victor Owusu

340 Comfortable accommodation in twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities By minibuses and coach Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-6 Day 7 Days 8-11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14

Arrival in Accra Kakum National Park Kumasi Mole National Park Kumasi Koforidua Depart Accra

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, transport, services of the leaders, VAT

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

26

L. Lombardo

L. Lombardo

From 350 € (estimated from 310 £)


L. Lombardo

M. Valentini

L. Lombardo

ITINERARY We arrive in Accra and transfer to our hotel on the coast for the night.

Days 2-6

We can begin our West African birding adventure in the hotel’s grounds, looking for Doubletoothed Barbet, African Thrush, Splendid Sunbird and Ethiopian Swallow. We then head a short distance eastwards to the Sakumona Lagoons where Black Heron, Intermediate Egret, Marsh Sandpiper, African Wattled Plover and many other shorebirds gather to feed. Offshore should be many wintering terns, perhaps being harassed by both Pomarine and Arctic Skuas. Later, we transfer to our hotel near Kakum, for a stay of five nights. We make some early starts over the next few days so we can enter Kakum National Park, where the Kakum canopy walkway gives us a unique chance to find some amazing rainforest species. Overhead we may hear Grey Parrots shrieking and from the walkway we can look for Red-headed and Red-vented Malimbes, Nakedfaced and Hairy-breasted Barbets, White-crested and Black-casqued Hornbills, Yellow-billed Turaco, Sabine’s Puffback, Blue Cuckoo-shrike, Sharpe’s Apalis, Collared and Olive-bellied Sunbirds and Honeyguide Greenbul. Without a doubt this area will yield many exciting birds for the group. During the heat of the day we can rest, but we can return to the walkway during the afternoon as the bird life becomes more active as the heat drops. At Kakum we will also visit the forest trails where we might find Black Bee-eater, Redbilled Dwarf and Piping Hornbills, Redbellied Paradise Flycatcher, Red-fronted Parrot, Olive Sunbird and Levaillant’s Cuckoo. Rainforest mammals are not obvious, but we may find various squirrels, Geoffroy’s Pied Colobus Monkey, Potto and maybe even an arboreal Pangolin. Both African and Rufous-sided Broadbills are possible in the forest close by, while birds of prey may include African Goshawk, Crowned Eagle and Cassin’s Hawk Eagle. Preuss’s Swallows are common near some roadside culverts, so we should obtain some good views of this localised species. A small reservoir is home to African Finfoot. We shall also visit the Elmina Slave Fort, built by the Portuguese and run by the Dutch; this was one of the main centres for trade in African slaves and serves as a remin-

der of the European influence on this inhuman practice. Nearby, we can also visit the Cape Coast Fort, built by the British.

Day 7

After a morning birding in the Kakum area, we drive north and stop in some remnant forest at Aboabo. Here we can look for Black Dwarf Hornbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Western Nicator, Green Hylia and a suite of greenbuls, including Swamp Palm, Slender-billed and Western Bearded. In the afternoon we reach a village where local guides will take us along a narrow forest track to a nesting site of the enigmatic Yellowheaded Picathartes. This is a truly magical experience. Later, we retrace our steps back to the village and drive to Kumasi, where we stay overnight.

Days 8-11

We head northwards towards Mole National Park today and pass into a new habitat. The drive will take most of the day and we arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon, where we stay for four nights. The park is large and covers an area of 4,840 sq km of undulating terrain with steep escarpments. The vegetation is pristine Guinea savanna woodland with gallery forests along the rivers and streams. The park boasts some mammal species and we should see Elephant, Kob, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Warthogs, Patas and Green Monkeys, Olive Baboons and perhaps Roan Antelope. We plan to be out early and then return to relax during the heat of the day before venturing out again as the day cools off. Birds of prey are a feature here and we can look for Grasshopper, Lizard and Rednecked Buzzards, Lanner Falcon, Bateleur, Martial, Longcrested and Short-toed Eagles, Brown Snake and Ayres’ Hawk and African Hawk Eagles. Seedeaters are common and we look for Yellowfronted Canary, Orange-cheeked and Lavender Waxbills, Bar-breasted and Red-billed Firefinches and Red-winged Pytilia. The woodlands here hold many colourful species and we shall look for Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Violet Turaco, Scarletchested and Splendid Sunbirds, African Blue Flycatcher, Broad-billed, Abyssinian, Rufouscrowned and Blue-bellied Rollers, African Golden Oriole, Red-headed Weaver and Oriole Warbler to name a few. More sombre birds include Stone

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Partridge, Double-spurred Francolin, African Thrush and Northern Black Flycatcher. Specialities we shall look for include Pel’s Fishing Owl, Standard- winged Nightjar, Greyish Eagle Owl, Forbes’s Plover and Spotted Creeper. The lodge has a lovely pool for cooling off during the heat of the day.

Day 12

After breakfast we leave Mole and can visit the 500 year old mosque at Larabanga. Later, we head southwards, stopping en route to look for any savannah birds we may have missed. We will also pay a short visit to the scenic Kintampo Waterfall, near to our lunch stop. We stay overnight in Kumasi.

Day 13

We spend the morning in Bobiri which is famous for its abundance of butterflies and birds. Along the forest paths we will look for specialities including Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, African Piculet, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Red-chested Goshawk, Narina’s Trogon, Blue-headed Wood Dove, Afep Pigeon, Redbilled Dwarf Hornbill, Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher and Red-billed Helmet- shrike. In the afternoon we drive to a small clearing at the foot of the Atewa range and bird around some cultivated fields and streams. Here we look for African Hobby, White-spotted Flufftail, Buffspotted Woodpecker and the tiny Tit-hylia. We stay overnight near Koforidua.

Day14

In the morning we visit the Atewa Mountains where we can bird along the cool forest trails here, looking for Blue-headed Bee-eaters, this being the only place in Ghana where they are found. We hope to see many of the following birds: Blue-headed Wood Dove, Yellow-billed Turaco, Yellowbill, Yellow-spotted and Hairybreasted Barbets, Red-tailed, Icterine and Spotted Greenbuls, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Lemonbellied Crombec, Blackand- white Flycatcher, Grey Longbill, Western Black-headed Oriole, Maxwell’s Black, Yellowmantled and Grosbeak Weavers, Crested, Red-vented and Red-headed Malimbes, Greyheaded and White-breasted Negrofinches, White-tailed Ant Thrush and Forest Robin. After lunch, we return to our hotel for packing and then leave for the drive to Accra where you will take your flight home.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

SPRING

Day 1

27


TRINIDAD & TOBAGO The Neotropical Bird Life Of A Caribbean Paradise Mon 1rd April – Sat 13th April 2019

€4480 SRS €780 - flight* £3965 SRS £690 - flight*

T

rinidad and Tobago – the southernmost pair of islands in the Carribean – make up one of the world’s smallest states. The national language is English and the birds are typically South American. These islands provide an easy introduction to a bewildering new set of families that confront the first-time visitor to Latin America. We visit a wide range of habitats on these small islands, including elfin forest, montane and lowland rainforest, savannah grassland, mangrove, fresh and saltwater swamps, ocean beaches and coral reefs. Our stay on Trinidad will be based at the famous Asa Wright Nature Centre. This is a former coffee, cocoa and citrus plantation where it is a delight to stay. The view from veranda over the Arima Valley is breathtaking, and to be able to see seven species of hummingbird visiting the feeders outside the window is something never to be forgotten. The Centre is conveniently situated near the island’s Nothern Ranges – essentially a spur of the Andes – and is excellent for many montane bird species. Later, our stay on Tobago will enable us to see a few specialities that do not exist on Trinidad, and we shall be able to explore an excellent sea-bird island and some beautiful coral reefs. Bring your mask and snorkel if that takes your fancy! Without a doubt, these tours will offer not only excellent birding, but also good food and a warm welcome from these Carribean people. We have now run over 60 tours to the islands, and we are proud to announce that Ornitholidays has carried more birdwatchers to Trinidad and Tobago than any other birding company in the world. Our experience here is unrivalled and we believe we have the right formula to make sure that this is a holiday that you will never forget!

TOUR LEADER Simon Boyes

200 Rooms with private facilities at Asa Wright Centre and Blue Waters Inn. By minibuses and private coach Maximum of 14 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-8 Days 9-12 Day 13

Arrival to Trinidad Transfer to Tobago Depart Tobago

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, domestic flights, excursions, services of the UK tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

28

R. Coomber

Merce R. Romero

R. Coomber

From 1890 € (estimated from 1680 £)

M. Lorenzo


R. Coomber

J. Such

J. Such

ITINERARY We arrive in the late afternoon to Trinidad and transfer to the Asa Wright Centre for a stay of six nights. We awake to an early morning bird watch from the Centre’s veranda and we can expect to see 30 or more species before breakfast, as the birds are attracted to feeders and fruiting bushes. Our first hummingbirds should include White-necked Jacobin, Tufted Coquette, Copper-rumped and Bluechinned Sapphire. Crested Oropendolas and Orange-winged Parrots will be calling loudly; Palm Tanagers and Bananaquits will be everywhere. After breakfast, we will explore the extensive grounds of Asa Wright. Sightings should include colourful species like Trinidad Motmot, Channelbilled Toucan and Golden-olive Woodpecker as well as a range of flycatchers and tanagers. After lunch, we will continue birdwatching with a visit to a White-bearded Manakin lek, where the displaying males dance and utter a sound that resembles exploding popcorn. Other exciting birds we may find include the noisy Bearded Bellbird and three species of trogon. A full day will be spent on a visit to the Nariva Swamp and the eastern coast. The nearby mangrove is one of the best sites to see Silvered Antbird, Black-crested Antshrike and American Pygmy Kingfisher while on Trinidad. The coast here has a long fringe of coconut palms and we shall search for Grey Hawk, Yellow-headed Caracara and Pearl Kite. Water levels within the swamp fluctuate and influence the birds recorded, which may include Pinnated Bittern, Long-winged Harrier, gallinules, Limpkin and White- tailed Goldenthroat. On one day, we shall drive up to the Northern Ranges and pass over the ridge towards the sea. At this high point we can hope to see trogons, more flycatchers and maybe a beautiful White Hawk or Swallow-tailed Kite, as well as White-collared and Chapman’s Swifts. Turkey and Black Vultures will be a common sight as they patrol the slopes. Fantastic blue Morpho butterflies float between the trees here. Two special tanagers here are Speckled and Blue-capped. We will have a picnic lunch at Brasso Seco, watching Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigatebirds and you

may decide to have a dip in the sea here. We spend one morning visiting the Oilbird caves in the grounds of AWNC where some of these unique nocturnal frugivores will be seen at their roost. The rest of the day can be spent exploring the trails, looking for Little Tinamou, Guianan Trogon, Ochre- bellied Flycatcher and Black-faced Ant-Thrush. On another day, we visit Waterloo on the west coast for shorebirds and a variety of gulls and terns that should include Black Skimmer, Large-billed Tern, Willet, Semipalmated Plover and Greater Yellowlegs. Later that day we will take a boat trip through Caroni Swamp to see the spectacle of hundreds of Scarlet Ibis coming to roost, setting alight the mangrove bushes with their colour. Several species of heron and egret can also be seen in great numbers. On the outward part of the cruise, we will keep a lookout for Masked Cardinal and Common Potoo, whilst during our return to the landing stage Boat-billed Heron and Yellowcrowned Night-Heron might be seen.

Days 7-8

After breakfast we visit Aripo, part of the only remaining grassland in Trinidad which provides a home to many unusual species of birds. We can hope to see Savannah and Zone-tailed Hawks, Sulphury Flycatcher and Yellow-rumped Cacique. The Aripo area is used for raising water buffalo for meat production, and the open fields are good for seeing Southern Lapwing, Red-breasted and Yellow-hooded Blackbirds, Giant and Shiny Cowbirds as well as Green-rumped Parrotlet, Yellowthroated Spinetail and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater. Later, we transfer to the Mount Plaisir Estate, on the coast at Grand Riviere. The next day, our main goal is to find the endemic Trinidad Piping Guan, a bird that has been hunted to near extinction but has a small population here. We also hope to find Grey-headed Kite, Turquoise Tanager, Giant Cowbird, Violaceous Euphonia and Rufous-browed Peppershrike. In the evening we shall spend some time on the beach by the hotel, hoping to watch enormous Leatherback Turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs.

Website ornitholidays.com

Days 9-11

After breakfast, we drive to Piarco Airport and catch the late-morning flight to Tobago. Near to the airport we might see our first Blue-backed Manakin, as well as Rufous-vented Chachalaca and Red-crowned Woodpecker. Afterwards, we will spend a little time at some wetlands where we hope to find White-cheeked Pintail, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and American Purple Gallinule, as well as adding to our list of waders. We then transfer to Blue Waters Inn, our base for the next three nights, with its idyllic beach setting and views across to the island of Little Tobago. One afternoon we take the glass-bottomed boat to Little Tobago and during the crossing marvel at the coral reefs with their multi-coloured fish and varied sponges. On the island, we look for Red-billed Tropicbird, Magnificent Frigatebird, Audubon’s Shearwater, Brown and Red-footed Boobies. Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls will be in attendance. There will be one full-day excursion and this will be to the rain forested hills to the north of Roxborough. We start by walking along the Gilpin Trace, where we may find the endangered White-tailed Sabrewing. Venezuelan and Fuscous Flycatchers, Blue-backed Manakin, Plain Antvireo and Yellow-legged Thrush are among other species we would hope to see. After a picnic lunch at the lookout overlooking Bloody Bay, we will walk down part of the Roxborough road. Species to be sought include Red-legged Honeycreeper, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Great Black Hawk. We can also walk along the Starwood Trace up behind the hotel. This will allow us to catch up with some of Tobago’s special birds, such as Scrub Greenlet, Black-faced Grassquit, White-fringed Antwren, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird and Caribbean Martin.

SPRING

Days 1- 6

Days 12-13

Morning can be at leisure, taking a last swim or walking along one of the local traces. Later, we catch our return flight.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

29


ITALY - Birding in Sicily Spring Migration In Sicily

Sat 6th April – Sat 13th April 2019 €1890 SRS €160 - flight* £1670 SRS £140 - flight*

S

icily is located in the heart of the Mediterranean, and in many ways it epitomises its characteristics, with its sunny beaches, a very pleasant climate all year round, gardens and orchards full of flowers and vegetables, and its relaxed way of life. Yet it is hard to put down in words the magic of Sicily: the combination of the charm of its ancient Greek ruins with the more recent architectural splendour, as well as the wonderful landscapes combined with the wealth of birdlife, make for an unforgettable destination for any nature lover. Add to all of this the world famous quality of Sicilian food and its fantastic wines, and well, it’s hard to resist! Bird watching in Sicily is very good all year round, but probably April offers some of the best chances of seeing both migrating and breeding species: at this time of year the passage of passerines can be spectacular, with many species of warblers on show, including Subalpine, Spectacled and Sardinian, as well as larks, shrikes and the first European Bee-eaters and Eurasian Golden Orioles. Waders and ducks are also numerous, with the more widespread species accompanied by less frequent ones, such as Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole and Ferruginous Duck. Other interesting species include Common Rock Sparrow, Sicilian Rock Partridge and Audouin’s Gull. Also, Sicily is home to the last Italian population of Bonelli’s Eagles with 20 pairs still remaining and there are also some breeding Lanner Falcons. We will explore the extensive wetlands, headlands and rocky areas near Syracuse, where we will be based for the first five nights, including a visit to the foothills of the majestic Etna volcano; the last two nights will be spent near Ragusa. From there we will visit the Gela area in order to take in some different bird habitats.

TOUR LEADER Nicola Scatassi

150 twin/double and single rooms with private facilities By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-5 Days 6-7 Day 8

Fly to Catania, Syracuse Ragusa Depart from Catania

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

30

L. Ercoli

M. Mendi

L. Ercoli

From 245 € (estimated from 215 £)


M. Biasioli

ITINERARY Days 1-5

sting, such as a Glossy Ibis, Osprey, Squacco Heron or a Marsh Sandpiper. Later, we can visit the Capo Murro di Porco, the eastern tip of the island, and look for migrants, such as Isabelline and Black-eared Wheatears, Tawny Pipit and Pied and Collared Flycatchers. Near the lighthouse we can seawatch and try to find passing Scopoli’s and Yelkouan Shearwaters. The nearby Lido d’Avola is a good place for watching gulls – Audouin’s, Mediterranean and Black-headed. Mount Etna dominates the eastern landscape, with its cone at 3,290m high (10,990ft); in Europe it is surpassed in size only by Mount Teide on the Canary Islands. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and is in an almost constant state of activity. Black magma covers much of the upper slopes, but lower down, amongst the rock scree, scrub and oak, we can search for Sicilian Rock Partridge, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Cirl Bunting, Short-toed Treecreeper, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and the local race of Common Crossbill. The spring migration will be in full swing and in the vineyards and orchards of the lower slopes we can hope for a fall of birds, which may include Wood and Subalpine Warblers, Woodchat Shrike, Pied and Collared Flycatchers and Common Redstart. The Magnisi peninsula is another migrant stopover for species such as harriers, pipits, wagtails, pipits and larks. Calandra Lark actually breed here, as do Stone Curlew. At the nearby Priolo saltpans (now designated a nature reserve) we can hope for Ferruginous Duck, Slender-billed and Little Gulls and the opportunity to hone our skills distinguishing Pallid from Common Swifts. In the early afternoon we

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will take a break from birding and walk through the delightful centre of Syracuse with its Greek and Roman remains.

Days 6- 7

Today we spend the morning checking out one or two of the migration hotspots or revisiting the Riserva Naturale Cava Grande del Cassibile before driving to Ragusa, where we stay for two nights. Having checked in, we will take a walk around the centre of this historic town that figures regularly in the Italian TV series ‘Montalbano’. Even here, we will be able to continue birdwatching with sightings of Blue Rock Thrush, Grey Wagtail and Eurasian Hobby pursuing flocks of Common Swift. The next day we visit the Biviere di Gela nature reserve. The lagoon here is another Sicilian migration hotspot. The plains behind the industrial town of Gela are home to some large colonies of Lesser Kestrel and good numbers of Stone Curlew. Collared Pratincoles also breed here. At the Lago Communelli we look for Purple Swamphen and check to see what species of heron, egret and warbler are using it as a stopover.

SPRING

We met our tour leader, Nicola Scatassi, at the Catania airport. We travel close to the shores of the Golfo di Catania, heading just south of Syracuse, where we check- in to our hotel for a stay of five nights. During the next four days we can make a variety of excursions to different habitats. On one day, we can visit the Vendicari Reserve which protects some important coastal wetlands and we can stroll along its paths and visit some of the hides where we can hope to see flocks of Greater Flamingos, along with diving ducks such as Tufted, Pochard and the scarcer Ferruginous; there may also be some pairs of Garganey. Other birds we hope to find include Eurasian Spoonbill, Wood Sandpiper, Slender-billed Gull, Western Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron and Purple Swamphen, while warblers may include the noisy Great Reed, as well as Sedge and Common Reed. From there it is a short drive to Capo Passero, the southernmost part of Sicily. Virtually anything can turn up on this promontory, from Pallid Harrier to Collared Flycatcher. We need an early start when we visit the impressive Riserva Naturale Cava Grande del Cassibile. The winding road takes us to various viewpoints overlooking the spectacular limestone gorges of this nature reserve. Here we can look for the endemic Sicilian Common Rock Partridge, Rock Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon, Spectacled Warbler and the amazingly smart Sicilian version of the Common Stonechat. Down on the coast, the Syracuse Salinas may hold migrant waders and we can look for Curlew and Wood Sandpipers, Little Stint, Little Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Pied Avocet and Black- winged Stilt. We might also find something more intere-

Day 8

We take a leisurely cross-country route towards Catania that will allow us some birdwatching in three different habitats, namely a protected area of cork oak, an area of deeply-cut limestone and the margins of Lago di Lentini, a huge reservoir. Late additions to the tour list might include Eurasian Wryneck, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush and Cattle Egret. In the afternoon, we catch the return flight to London from Catania Airport.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

31


MOROCCO High Atlas and Sahara

Tue 9th April – Thu 18th April 2019 €3000 SRS €200 - flight* £2650 SRS £176 - flight*

M

orocco is just a short flight from Europe but has birds, culture and scenery which seem a world away! Our spring tour focuses on the mountains and deserts of inland Morocco, avoiding the long drives to and from the coast. April is an excellent time to visit the country, as we will not only see a superb array of soughtafter resident species, but also a range of migrants heading north from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. The variety of scenery on this trip is truly awe-inspiring! During our stay we will visit a wide range of habitats: superb mountain sceneries with their snow-covered peaks, inland lakes, pine forests, spectacular gorges, stony desert and, perhaps most exciting of all, breath-taking sand dunes on the very edge of the Sahara. By the roadside, boys attend stalls crowded with gems and fossils, products of the local mountainsides and valleys. We hope to see some real specialities including African Crimson-winged Finch, Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Egyptian Nightjar, Spotted Sandgrouse, Desert Sparrow, African Desert Warbler, Creamcoloured Courser, Fulvous Babbler, Moussier’s Redstart and several wheatears and larks including Thick-billed, Temminck’s, Greater Short-toed and Bar-tailed. The distinctive North African race of Common Chaffinch is numerous in the valleys, whilst the songs of Common Nightingale and European Serin will become very familiar sounds. Moroccan Hairstreak and Scarce Swallowtail are among the butterfly possibilities.

TOUR LEADER Neil Glenn

150 twin/double and single rooms with private facilities. By minibuses and 4x4 vehicles on day 7 Maximum of 8 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-2 Day 3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10

Arrive in Marrakech Ouarzazate Boumalne du Dadès Merzouga Ouarzazate Marrakech Depart Marrakech

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

D. Walsh

From 460 € (estimated from 410 £)

32

M. Biasioli

L. Ercoli

M. Lorenzo


D. Walsh

D. Walsh

ITINERARY We spend the first two days in Marrakech. The following day we head for the alpine area around the ski resort of Oukaïmeden. Here we hope to find African Crimson-winged Finch, Horned Lark, Common Rock Sparrow and the recently split Seebohm’s Wheatear. Large flocks of Alpine and Red-billed Choughs frequent the area, whilst other likely species for us to enjoy include Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush and White-throated Dipper. After the first of many fine tagine lunches, we will drift down to an area of pines, orchards and woodland hoping to find Common Crossbill, Firecrest and Rock Bunting alongside Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker and Moussier’s Redstart, two species endemic to the Maghreb region. Other typical birds of the area include Sardinian Warbler, African Blue Tit and Hawfinch.

Day 3

This morning we keep a look out for Crested Lark and Great Grey Shrike of the desert race elegans along the way. We then head south-east, travelling uphill through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Morocco. Our route takes us over the Tizi-nTichka Pass at around 2,260m. Our journey should provide opportunities to view Thekla Lark, migrant European Bee-eaters and Woodchat Shrikes and several raptors, including perhaps Booted and Short-toed Eagles. Tristram’s Warbler favours the stunted vegetation of the dry slopes and we will search for it, but it can sometimes be a difficult species to locate. From the dizzy heights of the High Atlas, we drop down into the desert and should start to notice smart White-crowned Wheatears. We have our first opportunity to locate the elusive Maghreb Wheatear, a recent split from Mourning, before heading to our hotel in Ouarzazate.

Days 4-5

Having woken to the sounds of House Bunting and Common Bulbul, we make the five minute drive to Mansour Lake, a magnet for both resident and migrant species including White Stork, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Spoonbill, Squacco Heron and both Gull-billed and Black Terns. The Saharan race of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler breeds here, whilst we have our first chance of seeing Fulvous Babbler, the colourful Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and the long-billed race of Crested Lark

which is given specific status by some authorities. After spending much of the morning around the lake, our journey will continue eastwards along the picturesque Dadès valley, aptly named both the ‘Valley of a thousand Kasbahs’ and the ‘Valley of Roses’: the beautiful pink roses are harvested annually to make scented rose water. After lunch overlooking the river we reach our impressive hotel in Boumalne, our base for the next two nights. The late afternoon, and the following morning, should be among the most exciting of the trip! We make the short drive to the arid plain south- east of the town, the “Tagdilt Track”. Species to be anticipated include Trumpeter Finch, Cream- coloured Courser, both Desert and Red-rumped Wheatears and an amazing array of larks including Thick-billed, Temminck’s, Greater Short-toed and Bar-tailed. We will take time to watch these closely and enjoy noting how different they are from each other! This area also holds Black-bellied Sandgrouse which we may see as they fly to and from their watering holes. We return for a late breakfast before heading to the magnificent Todra Gorge. Eurasian Crag Martin and Desert Lark breed here and we will scan the high cliffs for the local pair of Bonelli’s Eagle. Migrants might include Eurasian Wryneck and Western Subalpine Warbler. After lunch we drift back westwards, looking for migrating flocks of raptors seeking roosting sites in the late afternoon as well as further passerine migrants; if we are lucky we may find a feeding Eurasian Hoopoe, or a Rufous Bush Robin strutting between the bushes.

Days 6-7

We leave Boumalne searching for Spectacled and Saharan Scrub Warblers en route before, beyond the town of Errachidia, turning off the main road and heading south along the wonderful Ziz valley towards the edge of the Sahara. We should see Common Raven and Long-legged Buzzard overhead before, having passed through the town of Erfoud, we reach our hotel near Merzouga, on the edge of Erg Chebbi. The following day, using 4x4 vehicles, we first head into the desert bordering Erg Chebbi. Target species in this area include Greater Hoopoe Lark, Brown-necked Raven, Barbary and Lanner Falcons, the beautiful African Desert

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Warbler and the very local Desert Sparrow. The most likely sandgrouse is Spotted, joined occasionally by Pin-tailed and Crowned. If we are lucky, our local guide may be able to show us Egyptian Nightjar and Pharaoh Eagle Owl at their daytime roosts.

Day 8

Before breakfast we have a further opportunity to search the tamarisks near our hotel for migrants. Then we head westwards via Jorf and Tinejdad through Boumalne and onwards to Ouarzazate for a one night stay. We have another chance to see some of the special desert birds, whilst migrants could be found almost anywhere, seeking verdant oases in the otherwise dry habitat. Hopefully we will bump into resident ‘Moroccan’ White Wagtails as well as groups of Yellow Wagtails, giving us the chance to separate the various distinctive subspecies. Warblers could include Western Olivaceous and Western Bonelli’s, whilst yet more flocks of European Bee- eaters are likely to pass overhead.

Day 9

In the morning, we have a second opportunity to look for waterbirds at Mansour Lake, where there are likely to be a number of different migrants for us to enjoy. Black Kites or Montagu’s Harriers might be seen passing overhead, whilst waders could include Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper and perhaps even a group of Collared Pratincoles. We then stop to enjoy another relaxing lunch at a well-positioned restaurant from where we can look for Barbary Partridge as well as Knapweed Fritillary and Black-eyed Blue. In the afternoon we pause in the pine forest where we hope to locate the Moroccan race of Shorttoed Treecreeper and have another chance to find Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker.

SPRING

Days 1- 2

Day 10

There may be time for some final sightseeing before we fly from Marrakech to London (or Manchester).stay. We have another chance to see some of the special desert birds. Hopefully we will bump into resident ‘Moroccan’ White Wagtails as well as groups of Yellow Wagtails. Warblers could include Western Olivaceous and Western Bonelli’s, whilst yet more flocks of European Bee- eaters are likely to pass overhead.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

33


CHINA

Sichuan & the Tibetan Plateau Fri 3rd May – Fri 17th May 2019

€4450 SRS €490 - flight* £3945 SRS £434 - flight*

N

ot least because of its ancient cultural traditions, China has always had a particular fascination for Western travellers. Ornitholidays’ tour to the country heads to Sichuan, a province noted both for having some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and for its superb cuisine! Bordered to the west by Tibet and to the east by the Red Basin, the avifauna of Sichuan is a mixture of Palearctic and Oriental birds. We shall be visiting areas first introduced to a Western audience by the French missionary Père Jean Pierre David in the second half of the 19th Century. Starting south of Chengdu in a little-known sub-tropical forest, we hope to find a range of parrotbills and warblers as well as laughingthrushes including Emei Liocichla. The stunning Temminck’s Tragopan, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant and Firethroat are three of the mouth- watering specialities at Erlangshan, before we head to Wolong, famous for its Giant Pandas. On the high mountain slopes towards Balangshan we will search for Wood Snipe, Chinese Monal, Tibetan Snowcock and Grandala, with White-browed Tit Warbler and Himalayan Rubythroat found just over the pass. Pheasants and rosefinches are amongst the targets in some wonderful coniferous forests before, along the rim of the Tibetan Plateau, we round off our holiday searching for species typical of the high level grasslands including Black-necked Crane, Tibetan Lark and Upland Buzzard. Simon Boyes, expert Ornitholidays’ tour leader, will show you this wonderful and exotic location. Tang Jun is one of the most sought- after ornithological guides in China and is ideally placed to lead us on what is widely recognised as one of the most exciting and fulfilling birding tours in this continent: do join us!

TOUR LEADER Simon Boyes

230 Comfortable rooms with private facilities. By minibuses Maximum of 10 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-2 Days 3-5 Days 6-7 Days 8-10 Days 11-12 Days 13-14 Day 15

Arrive Chengdu Longcanggou Erlangshan Wolong Maerkang Ruoergai, Dujiangyan Depart from Chengdu

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entry fees, services of the UK tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

T. Jun

From 800 € (estimated from 710 £)

34

T. Jun

T. Jun

M. Lorenzo


T. Jun

T. Jun

T. Jun

ITINERARY Fly to Chengdu and check-in at our hotel in the city before some introductory birding in a nearby park where we expect to see feeding flocks of Vinous-throated Parrotbills and obtain close views of inquisitive White-browed Laughingthrushes. Other possibilities include Chinese Blackbird, Chinese Grosbeak and both White-cheeked and Red-billed Starlings.

Days 3-5

After breakfast we drive south, making stops along the way to look for localised species such as Swinhoe’s Minivet, Dusky Fulvetta, Ashy-throated Parrotbill and Chinese Hwamei. Eventually we reach our lodge on the edge of Longcanggou Forest Park, our base for three nights. Longcanggou has only recently come to light as a superb alternative to Wawu Shan; its mix of woodland types gives rise to an impressive species list. It is one of the best areas in Sichuan for Laughingthrushes; some are real skulkers, some more obliging, and we will search for Buffy, Spotted and Red-winged Laughingthrushes as well as Emei Liocichla. The area is also noted for parrotbills amongst which we hope to find Golden, Brown and, if we are lucky, the rare Greyhooded. We have our first opportunity to get to grips with a number of Phylloscopus warblers such as Emei, Kloss’s and Claudia’s Leaf Warblers, whilst our identification skills will be tested even further as we distinguish between Seicercus warblers including Alstrom’s and Greycrowned! Other possibilities include Père David’s, Grey-crested and Rufous-vented Tits, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Sichuan Treecreeper, Chinese Blue Flycatcher, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Large Hawk Cuckoo and perhaps even a stunning Temminck’s Tragopan or the rare Goldenfronted Fulvetta. Red Panda is one of several exciting mammals found in the area.

Days 6-7

After some final birding at Longcanggou we head to Luding county where we stay for two nights. Early birding time along the old main road near Erlangshan. This mountain is home to a number of highly sought-after birds such as Slaty Bunting, Chinese Babax, Daurian Redstart, Rufous-tailed Babbler, Black-streaked Sci-

mitar Babbler, Barred Laughingthrush, Brown- breasted Bulbul, Godlewski’s Bunting, Sharp’s Rosefinch, Chinese Wrenbabbler, Moustached Laughingthrush and Mrs Gould’s Sunbird. We have another chance of seeing Temminck’s Tragopan and will also make a special effort to find both the wonderfully attractive Firethroat and the majestic Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, hopefully a male with a full length tail!

Days 8 -10

Enjoying yet more diverse scenery as we head north and up into the hills, our next destination is Wolong, famous for its population of Giant Pandas (although it is highly unlikely we will see one in the wild). We spend three nights here at an altitude of 1,900 metres, pleased that there is once again a base for us after the region was devastated by the earthquake in 2008. We have two full days to explore; on at least one morning we will make an early start in order to arrive before first light at a site just above the tree-line where the increasingly rare Wood Snipe is known to lek. Chinese Monal and White Eared Pheasant also occur in this area but we will require good fortune to see them. The scenery at Balangshan Pass is spectacular, peaks rising to well over 4,000 metres, and it provides a wonderful backdrop as we search for Tibetan Snowcock, Grandala, Snow Partridge, several rosefinches and both Brandt’s and Plain Mountain Finches. Heading just over the pass will give us the chance to search for two more stunning passerines, Himalayan Rubythroat and White-browed Tit Warbler as well, perhaps, as the imperious Lammergeier.

Days 11-12

We travel up and over the Balangshan Pass, birding en route, and have lunch in a local restaurant in Rilong, a Tibetan-style town full of character. In the afternoon we continue our journey, encircled by awe-inspiring mountains, making for Maerkang which will be our base for two nights at an altitude of 2,700 metres. We have a full day in the magnificent coniferous forests on Mengbishan, between 3,000 and 4,000 metres above sea level. The forest covered slopes are home to such specialities as Przewalski’s Nuthatch, Sichuan Jay and

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Giant Laughingthrush, and we also hope to find Crested Tit Warbler, Sichuan Tit and Chinese Fulvetta. In open areas we hope to bump into family parties of Blood and Koklass Pheasants and, with luck, Verreaux’s Monal Partridge. Rosefinches include Common, Chinese White- browed, Beautiful and Pink-rumped.

Days 13-14

Today another exciting phase of the tour as we head toward Ruoergai on the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of 3,500 metres; we spend two nights here. Our journey, and the full day which follows, give us the opportunity to see high altitude grasslands, forests, scrubby hillsides and vast wetlands which unsurprisingly contain a very different avifauna from other areas. Beautiful Black-necked Cranes, Upland Buzzards, Tibetan Larks and both White-rumped and Rufousnecked Snowfinches inhabit fields near a lake where we may encounter a variety of wildfowl such as Ferruginous Duck and Red-crested Pochard; smart Tibetan Wagtails and Horned Larks feed on the muddy margins. Other birds in the general area include Père David’s Laughingthrush, White-browed Tit, Azure-winged Magpie, Daurian Jackdaw, Kessler’s Thrush, Tibetan Grey Shrike, Saker Falcon and Oriental Skylark. Typical mammals of the grasslands include Himalayan Marmot and Plateau Pika. In Baxi Forest we will search for species that are difficult to find at the other sites we visit. These include Blue Eared Pheasant, Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush, Severtzov’s Grouse, Severtzov’s Tit Warbler and Chinese Nuthatch. If we have time, we may visit a scrubby area where a small population of Przevalski’s Rosefinches has been discovered recently; this species is the only member of its family (Urocynchramidae)

SPRING

Days 1- 2

Day 15

Some final birding near Ruoergai before we begin our journey back towards Chengdu. We stay overnight in Dujiangyan. Next day we return to Chengdu Airport for our return flight bringing back home such beautiful memories.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

35


Birding in BULGARIA Prime Birds’ Habitats In Bulgaria

Tue 7th May – Sat 18th May 2019 €1350 SRS €190 - flight* £1195 SRS £170 - flight* Individual €1620 SRS €190 - flight* £1450 SRS £170 - flight*

T

his tour is specially prepared to show you the best of the Bulgarian birdlife under an optimal time schedule. You will arrive at Varna airport and thus our tour will start from the north Black sea coast where we will catch most of the northern migrants, some of them already in full breeding plumage. After it we will drive down to the south sea coast to explore the wetlands here for more migrant and breeding birds. The second half of our tour will be spend into the mountains of south Bulgaria where the late breeders have already arrived. Our tour will end up at Vitosha Mountain, and your departure f light will be from Sofia airport. We are going to see more than 200 species, including some of the rarest European and Bulgarian specialties - Olivetree and Paddyfield warblers, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Isabelline and Pied wheatears, Wallcreeper, Black-headed Bunting, Long-legged Buzzard and the Levant Sparrowhawk. There will be plenty of opportunities to see butterf lies, plants and magnificent scenery.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

200+ accommodation with double/ twin and single room with private facilities. By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Day 8-9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12

Arrival at Varna airport, transfer to Shabla Durankulak, Shabla lakes Kaliakra steppe Burgas wetlands Burgas wetlands, Strandzha mountain Krumovgrad, Eastern Rhodopes, Krumovitsa river valley Trigrad gorge Trigrad gorge, transfer to Vitosha Mountain Transfer to Sofia, departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entrance fees for natural parks and services of the tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

M. Valentini

D. Domuskiev

From 250 € (estimated from 220 £)

36


D. Domuskiev

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

T. Jun

ITINERARY Arrival at  Varna  airport  and  transfer  to Shabla lake. Check-in in an hotel next to the lake, an excellent location to explore  the  area.  If  time permits birding around. Next day  we  explore  both  Durankulak  and Shabla lakes.  Here  we can  see  Paddyfield,  Savi’s,  Great  Reed,  Marsh, Reed,  Cetti’s  and  other  warblers,  Caspian, marsh and Little terns, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Ferruginous Duck, Squacco Heron, Lesser Grey Shrike, Bearded Reedling, waders, Garganey and  many  more.  Forests  around  the lakes  provide  Lesser Spotted  and  Syrian  woodpeckers, Spotted and Red-breasted flycatchers, Hawfinch and Golden Oriole.

Day 3

We devote the day to the area around cape Kaliakra-the last remaining steppe habitat in Bulgaria. It is a place for Pied Wheatear, Roller, Short-toed and Calandra larks,  Black-headed Bunting, Stone Curlew, Long-legged  Buzzard and  Shag. Here we can enjoy the last migrating Red-footed falcons, flying just around us. Despite a bit early in the season Rosecoloured  starlings are  also possible. Then we visit the nearby river valley  where we have good chance for Eagle  owls family. Back to Shabla for our last overnight here.

Day 4

After breakfast we head south. We have several stops on the way mainly in forest habitat where we can see several species of woodpeckers as well as Semicollared Flycatcher, Wood and Bonelli’s warblers, Booted and Lesser  Spotted  eagles, Short-toed Treecreeper, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch and many  more. Overnight in Pomorie, north

of Burgas for the next four nights.

Days 5-6

Both days we  explore the Burgas wetlands - Ramsar and IBA sites. Here we  can  observe  Terek,  Broad-billed, Wood, Marsh  and  Curlew sandpipers,  Red-necked Phalarope,  Little  and  Temminck’s  stints, Spoonbill,  Glossy  Ibis,  Dalmatian  and  White pelicans,  Gull-billed,  Black,  White-winged and Whiskered terns,  Mediterranean and Slender-billed gulls;  Ruddy  Shelduck,  Little  Bittern, Penduline  Tit  and  Bearded  Reedling,  Oliva-ceous Warbler, Black Stork and many more.

Day 7

We drive south to Strandja Mountain looking  for woodpeckers -  White-backed, Grey-headed,  Middle and  Lesser  Spotted, as well as other woodland birds - treecreepers,  Cirl Bunting, Hawfinch.  Nightjar is also very  possible. On  our  way  we  will  visit  coastal wetland  for  more  waders,  herons,  terns,  gulls, Pygmy  Cormorant,  White-tailed  Eagle,  Hobby, Garganey, Little Grebe and many others.

Days 8-9

We transfer to Eastern Rhodopi mountain. We  will have one  main  stop on the way - the site is optimal for Olivetree Warbler,  Masked  Shrike,  Barred Warbler, Chukar, Levant Sparrowhawk, Cirl  and Black-headed buntings,  Calandra  and Short-toed larks. Lesser  Spotted  Eagle,  Egyptian Vulture and Black Stork are also presented. From now on, we shall enter the realm of the Eastern Imperial eagles in Bulgaria and we will be looking for a good views of these majestic raptors. Late in the evening  we arrive  in  our hotel  near  the  town  of Krumovgrad,

Website ornitholidays.com

where we stay the next two nights. Next day we explore  the  nearby  Krumovitsa  river  valley  and  here  we  enjoy  Rock Nuthatch,  Orphean,  Sardinian and Olivetree warblers, Nightingale, Black Stork, Levant Sparrowhawk,  Black-eared  Wheatear (both  western and  eastern  races),  Wryneck,  Roller,  Rock  and Blue  Rock  thrushes, Chukar and many others. Great Spotted Cuckoo is also possible. After dinner we look for the tiny  Scops Owl in the poplar trees around our hotel.

Day 10

Today we head west to reach Trigrad gorge - a magnificent area,  the  best place  for watching the Wallcreeper.  We will also have several stops on the way. Late afternoon  walk  can  provide  Rock  Bunting, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Bulfinch, Serin and Black  Redstart. Overnight in family hotel in the village of Trigrad.

Days 11-12

We will spend the morning looking for Wallcreepers  in  the  gorge  and  other birds  will  be  Alpine  Swift,  Grey  Wagtail,  Crag Martin, Dipper, Rock Bunting, Black  Redstart, Honey  Buzzard  and  Peregrine.  Afterwards  we drive  north  and  reach  hilly area next to the Rhodpi Mountain where we can  see  Imperial Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Stone  Curlew, Isabelline  Wheatear,  Woodchat Shrike, Bee-eaters and many others. Late in the afternoon we drive to Vitosha mountain,  right  next  to  Sofia  city,  to an  hotel  situated  on  the  mountain slopes. Last  morning  we search for Nutcracker,  Ring  Ouzel,  Water  Pipit,  Pallid Swift and  other  birds to then go to Sofia airport.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

SPRING

Days 1-2

37


ITALY - Po Delta Migration Birding At The Po Delta Enjoying A Succulent Cuisine Thu 9th May – Thu 16th May 2019

€1760 SRS €140 - flight* £1570 SRS £125 - flight*

T

he Po Delta has been rated as the area with the highest biodiversity in Europe, ranking it as one of Europe’s greatest wetlands. We journey at a time when the breeding birds will be at their nests and there are still migrants to be found passing north on their way to Arctic breeding grounds. Our first days will be dedicated to the Apennine hills of Emilia, to admire Lesser Kestrel and Red-footed Falcon, and if we are lucky, Eurasian Honey Buzzard and Short-toed Eagle. Then we move towards the coast to the huge expanses of reed beds, marshes and rich farmland, with amazing landscapes, where we can enjoy such species as European Bee-eater, Collared Pratincole, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Greater Flamingo, Bearded Reedling, Montagu’s Harrier, Golden Oriole, all nine species of the European breeding herons, hundreds of waterfowl and lots more!! Two relaxing boat trips are a special feature of this itinerary, which should get us close to many of the waterbird specialities and be excellent for the photographer. Add to this the delicious local food and wine so rightly famous worldwide and the historical villages and abbeys of the area, and you will have the perfect setting for an outstanding, unforgettable and extremely enjoyable birding holiday!

TOUR LEADER Luca Boscain (fluent english speaker)

130 wonderful old benedectine Grancia and hotel & spa in the delta. By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1

Day 2 Days 3-7 Day 8

Arrival in Bologna and transfer to Parma Parma Delta Po area Depart from Bologna

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, boat trips, entrance fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

38

M. Lorenzo M. Premoli

C. Pedriali

F. Rovedo

From 160 € (estimated from 140 £)


M. Premoli

G. Bissattini

Days 1-2

We meet the tour leader and driver to the Bologna airport. One hour transfer will take us to our amazing hotel in the countryside near the historical town of Parma, where we stay for two nights. Depending on our arrival time we may have some time to go birding. This is a unique area in Italy with a great rural landscape extremely rich with localised species. The Taro riverbed is particularly productive for Stone Curlew, which is abundant here, while in the rolling hills of the countryside we can look for other typical species, and some real specialities, such as Lesser Grey Shrike, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe and Red-legged Partridge. The next morning we can go birdwatching, looking for other specialities such as breeding Lesser Kestrel and Red-footed Falcon as well as Shorttoed Eagle, and in the afternoon we can visit a nearby famous LIPU oasis, which will provide exceptional opportunities for photographers, with close views of many species from photo hides, such as Black winged Stilt, Squacco Heron and many migrants as well. Meals will not disappoint us: Parma and its surroundings are rightly famous world-wide for the quality of the food.

Days 3-7

After a final morning birding in the Parma area for any species we might have missed so far, we go for a two hour drive to the Po Delta. Here we’ll spend the next five nights. Among the highlights here, a visit (one of at least two that we will make) to a famous observation tower from where we are sure to get stunning views

directly on the nests of many breeding species, including Pygmy Cormorant, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, all the European breeding herons, Penduline Tit, and possibly White-winged Tern and many others. One day we can visit the Comacchio Valley, a huge lagoon particularly rich in waders but in general a great area especially during this spring migration time for many species. We can explore the area with leisurely walks. After a tasty lunch we can visit another area with extensive marshlands and more reed beds. Birds should include Greater Flamingo, a variety of waders including Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and Collared Pratincole, Gull-billed Tern and Bearded Reedling. Overhead we should look for Eurasian Hobbies as they catch soaring dragonflies on the wing. Another area we can visit is a very large complex of wetlands, where from a famous and strategically positioned observation tower, we can have very close views of many interesting species, and where it will be pleasant and rewarding to spend a few hours. In the afternoon we reach one of the last large flooded plain forests in Italy and we explore this fascinating wood with more leisurely walks. Birds present here include Little Bittern, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey and a variety of other ducks, herons and terns, Montagu’s Harrier, Little Crake, European Bee-eater and Golden Oriole. Woodland birds we can look for include Eurasian Wryneck, Short-toed Treecreeper, Melodious Warbler, Eurasian Tree Sparrow and Common Nightingale.

Website ornitholidays.com

On one day we will take a very pleasant and rewarding boat trip in a bird rich area, reaching the sea and having great chances to add more species to our list. Boat rides are always an enjoyable part of any tour, as they are relaxing and often allow a close approach to the birds. It is also an excellent way to explore the area, reaching many parts that cannot be seen from tracks and paths. We shall keep an eye out for the many species of dragonfly that inhabit the marshes and waterways. On our final full day we can search for birds in some saltpans, in the seaside pine woods and along the extensive sandy beaches. Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Kentish Plover, Slender billed Gull, Eurasian Scops Owl, Italian Sparrow and Fan-tailed Warbler are some of the species we may see. In the afternoon there will be another highlight of the tour: an exclusive boat excursion to the Valli di Campotto Natural Reserve usually closed to public but included in the INNATE Network of nature estates specially developed for nature tourism. Here we will have the opportunity to see Pygmy Cormorant, Whiskered and Black Terns, and different species of breeding herons, such as Blackcrowned Night Heron and Squacco Heron.

SPRING

ITINERARY

Day 8

After some final birding in one of the many productive areas in the delta we head towards Bologna Airport where we catch our return flights with very good memories of this experience in eastern Italy.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

39


MONGOLIA Eastern Steрps, Lakes and Desеrts Mon 20th May - Wed 05th June 2019

M

€3750 SRS €140 - flight* £3330 SRS £125 - flight*

ongolia is situated in the heart of the great Asian continent, sandwiched between China in the south and Russia in the north. With its size of 1.5 mln sq. kilometers and 2.5 million people, of which one and a half million live in the capital city of Ulan Bator, it is one of the least densely populated countries on the planet. The vast open spaces are a true wilderness, giving you a wonderful feeling of freedom and loneliness. The nature here is shaped by the climate, which except in the spring is nothing but harsh. Bitterly cold winters with temperatures as low as minus 50 and baking hot summers at 50 + Celsius have resulted in huge deserts and steppes with little vegetation. The Himalayas further south also contribute; by receiving all the rains very little precipitation reaches Mongolia’s southern parts. Despite this, Mongolia is a home to numerous wildlife and some of the rarest animals in the world are found here - the Gobi bear, the only true wild camels, Snow Leopard, Argali Sheep, Wild Ass and the recently reintroduced Prezhewalski’s Horse, which was once extinct in the wild. There are two ways of exploring Mongolia in search of its birds - an easy one in June where one can use ger camps and hotels throughout the tour and still see a good variety of local species. However, there is a second option. It needs to be early in the spring and requires camping in tents throughout most of the tour. This is not a holiday, but a tour, or better expedition, but the reward is in the form of excellent chances of seeing Mongolia’s special birds - Relict Gull, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Black-billed Capercailie, Hodgson’s Bush Chat, Oriental and Greater Sand plovers, Altai Snowcock, Asian Dowitcher, Henderson’s Ground Jay, Saxaul Sparrow, Siberian Rubbythroat, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Demoiselle and White-napped cranes and Azure Tit. To see all that variety we will visit various habitats - the vast steppe, with some steppe lakes, taiga forests, sand dunes, saxaul “forest” and some rocky gorges. We will need to do some driving in order to cover all these habitats. We expect over 250 birds species to be recorded.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

single and double room with private facilities and tents By minibuses Maximum of 6 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY

UB, Gun Galut National Park Hustai National Park Camping near great lakes and wetlands Days 12-13 Baga Bogd Mountain Days 14-15 Yolin Am UB Day 16 Departure Day 17 Days 1-2 Day 3 Days 4-11

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, boat trips, entrance fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

40

T. Humbaa

M. Mendi

T. Humbaa

From 800€ (estimated from 710 £)


T. Humbaa

T. Humbaa

T. Humbaa

to stay overnight camping but if there is a need we can be flexible and save or spend an extra night here and there. It depends on what we see and weather of course. Major wetlands will be Ogiy, Sangiyn Dalay, Orog and Boon Tsaagan lakes plus numerous small ones. We will record many wetland birds - cranes the very common Demoiselle, White- naped and Common and if lucky we can see the Siberian crane too; Bar-headed, Swan, and Bean geese, Falcated Duck and Baikal teals; Relict, Greater Black-headed, Brownheaded, Mongolian and other gulls, Asian Dowitcher, Red-necked Stint, Citrine Wagtail, Blyth’s Pipit, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Paddyfield Warbler, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler plus very many other familiar ducks, grebes, waders, terns and passerines. Raptors will be Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Saker Falcon,Steppe and Golden eagles, Black and Griffon vultures, Blackeared Kite. With some luck we will also find the smart Hogdson Bush Chat. Along the roads we will find many commoner species such as Ruddy Shelduck, Rock Sparrow, Pere David’s Finch, Hill Pigeon and many more. On the evening of day 12 we will arrive at Baga Bogd mountain - one of the many Gobi-Altai ridges. We will drive through most of the day to get there but will break the journey with few birding stops - here we will see the beautiful Pallas’s Sandgrouse, it is virtually everywhere and we will carefully look for the even more beautiful Oriental Plovers, also for the Greater Sand Plovers. We will reach the camp in the evening and will accommodate for 2 nights here.

Ground Jay, also a pair of Greater Sand Plover. When ready - long drive and our destination is the famous Gobi’s sand dunes. On the way we will see numerous Sandgrouses, Pied and Desert wheatears, Rock Thrush, Ortolan Bunting, Saker, Long-legged and Upland buzzards, Griffon and Black vultures. We will look again for the ground jays as it is a bird wonderful to watch, but also for our first encounter with the handsome Saxaul Sparrow. Goiterred Gazelles are also in the area so we have to be quick to spot them as they will disappear fast. Arrival at the ger camp in front of the sand dunes latter in the evening.

ITINERARY Upon arrival we shall quickly sort out the border formalities at the small airport in UB and less than two hours or so drive will bring us into Gun Galuut National Park, east of the capital city. If there is no need of a rest after the night flight we can visit a couple of wetlands where we will find Demoiselle and White-naped Cranes, the beautiful Goldeneye, Bar-headed Geese, Velvet Scoter, White-winged Black tern and many more. Houbara Bustard may also be seen and if we are lucky enough we can spot the rare Argali sheep. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 2

Drive further east for a couple of hours until we reach the taiga edges where we will look for one of the prime species - Black-billed Capercaillie. Stops en-route at a few smaller wetlands which despite being small may need most of the day to be checked carefully. Arrival at the camp late in the afternoon where we will have an early night as the next day requires very early start. Overnight in a tent camp.

Day 3

Early morning start as we need to be near the lek as early as possible. We will also search the forest for Hazel Grouse as well as Red-throated Thrush, Daurian and Common redstarts, woodpeckers, plus Daurian Jackdaw, Olive-backed Pipit, Eyebrowed Thrush and Pine and Meadow buntings in the surrounding meadows, where we will spend the rest of the day. When ready we head west, passing UB and our goal is Hustai National Park. On the way we will stop at a couple of sites near UB where we will look for Azure Tit, Fork-tailed Swift, some warblers - Two-barred, Yellow-browed, Pallas’s Leaf, Arctic and Dusky, also Brown Shrike etc. Late in the afternoon we will arrive in the national park where we will stay for one night. If time permits we will explore the park’s territory, which is a home to the recently reintroduced Prezhewalski’s Horse. The animals have adapted surprisingly well to the extremes of the climate and the predators and there are now more than 70 foals born in the wild. We can see the horses late in the afternoon when they come to drink by the small creeks; with some luck we can also see Mongolian Gazelle and even a Wolf. Driving and walking on the set trails into the park we can see many raptors - Oriental Honey Buzzard, Amur and Saker falcons, Upland and Long-legged Buzzards, Black and Bearded Vultures. Great Bustard is also possible.

Days 4-12

From now on we will drive west and then south visiting few large lakes and many smaller wetlands in the steppe. We will have rough plan where

Day 13

Today we will have earlier start, and it will be good to wake up as early as possible and explore the picturesque gorge and home of the Altai Snowcock - another Mongolian highlight. Here, unlike most of the sites where this bird is looked after we can see the calling males from the point where our vehicles will bring us. A bit of a climb however, half a mile walk and ascend about 200 meters or so will bring us even near to the displaying males and we can enjoy there gentle whistling calls, watch them feeding and eventually one will fly above us, crossing the narrow gorge and landing on the opposite slope. Another member of the family we can see here is the Chukar. Other birds we will see in the gorge are the beautiful Wallcreeper, White-winged and Mongolian finches, Common Rosefinch, Brown and Alpine accentors, Godlewski’s Bunting, Chough, Golden Eagle, Hill Pigeon, Rock Sparrow and Rock Thrush. When ready we will descend a little and will be soon looking again for another of our targets - the Henderson’s

Website ornitholidays.com

Day 14

After breakfast we will visit the sand dunes and the bird we really need to find here is the Saxaul Sparrow. In order to see it we will spend some time along the river, where the sparrows usually come to drink. There are also a few more pairs of the Ground Jay around, plus many Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Desert Wheatear, Isabelline Shrike, Short-toed and Horned larks. When ready, a few hours drive, with a couple of short stops, will bring us to Yolin Am in the valley of the Lammergeyers.

Day 15

Explore Yolin Am we will see these magnificent raptors, also Saker Falcons, Golden eagles, Goshawk and Upland Buzzard. Mongolia’s only endemic bird lives here - Kozlov’s Accentor, as well as Brown Accentor, Common and Chinese Beautiful Rosefinches and Godlewski’s Buntings, White-winged Snowfinch and again the Wallcreeper. The Spotted Great Rosefinch is much rarer, but we also have a chance for this one. The gorge itself is a spectacular formation and being here is a privilege. Towards it lower end the gorge is less narrow, but more open smoothly turning into a wide valley. Here we can see Barred Warbler, wheatears, Shorttoed Lark etc. Stay overnight in a nearby camp.

SPRING

Day 1

Day 16

Early start in order to get our return flight to UB where after arrival we can continue birding and look for the species we might have missed the previous days - Azure Tit, Azure- winged Magpie, Baikal Wagtail, Pine and Meadow Buntings. The capital city of Ulan Bator is strikingly different compared with the traditional life in the countryside gers and small settlements. There are a couple of historical and cultural sites we can visit, provided there is an interest. We can also buy some fine cashmere products to bring home as presents.

Day 17

Morning flight will take us out of Mongolia and we will arrive home latter in the evening.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

41


Arctic Photo Tour To The Far Far North

Thu 14th March – Thu 21 March 2019

€2500 SRS €290 - flight* £2212 SRS £256 - flight*

A

rctic Scandinavia and, in particular, theVarangerfjord area are classic destinations for birdwatchers, usually during late spring, when most migrant species have arrived on their breeding grounds but lots of northern species have already gone further north to even more polar latitudes. Our tour has a different timing, as we will visit the area towards the end of the winter season, thus seeing an unusual Varangerfjord, still largely covered in snow, and therefore even more fascinating. We will have the rare chance to see and photograph the not many, but extremely charismatic species which dare to spend the winter in these remote areas: King Eider, Steller’s Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Iceland Gull, White-tailed Eagle, Gyrfalcon, Siberian Tit, Siberian Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Ptarmigan and more. We shall visit seabirds colonies where we will closely approach the amazing Puffins, Brunnich’s and Black Guille-mots, Kittiwakes and Shags. Already actively displaying and busy finding a partner. We will get the best out of this evocative destination, being able to photograph some of the more sought-after northern species with a snow-white background, while days are already long enough, and mild enough, to allow great photo oppor tunities while enjoying this arctic paradise.

TOUR LEADER Max Biasioli

150 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. By minibuses & boat Maximum of 7 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1

Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-6 Day 7 Day 8

Fly to Ivalo and transfer to Kongs ord Kongs ord Vadso Vadso and Hornoya island Ivalo and surroundings Depart Ivalo

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, hide session and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

42

M. Lorenzo M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

From 400 € (estimated from 360 £)


M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli M. Biasioli

Day 1

Arrival at Ivalo airport in the morning. The tour leader will drive north through boreal coniferous forest to then more sparse woodland in Norway and eventually open tundra: various stops along the way, with chances for Pine Grosbeak and Arctic Redpoll among others. Night in Kongsfjord.

Day 2

Today we have a full day to explore the very beautiful and wild areas of this remote part of Norway: the little harbours and sheltered bays might hold some interesting ducks, waders or gulls, while in higher, open areas species likeWillow and Rock Ptarmigan are present. On the mammal side, we have very good chances for Moose and Mountain Hare.White-tailed Eagle is widespread, Gyrfalcon is not rare but rather unpredictable. Night in Kongsfjord.

Day 3

Kongsfjord is a little fishermen village by the sea, the Barents Sea, in the extreme northern Norway: in these recent years it has become famous for being arguably the best place for taking stunning close- up photos of various sea ducks from

a floating hide and today we will take advantage of this wonderful facility. King and Steller’s Eider together with Longtailed Duck are the most beautiful and most wanted species, but other ducks are present and, being at such a northern latitude,it is always well worth keep an eye on the gulls, hoping for some arctic rarities. After an early morning session inside the hide, we will drive towards Vardo to the very nice birder basecamp hotel.

Days 4-6

in these days we will have the privilege to visit the rightly famous island of Hornoya, lying a few hundred metres offshore from the village of Vardo. Hornoya is a an absolute gem: over 100,000 seabirds breed here, on the steep cliffs of this small island, offering a truly amazing spectacle, and seeing these birds at very, very close range is an unforgettable experience. Puffins, Blacklegged Kittiwakes, Brunnich and Black Guillemots, Razorbill and European Shags are constantly on the move and very active at this time of year, and photo opportunities are simply exceptional, especially if we will be lucky enough to have snow flakes

Website ornitholidays.com

falling as a backdrop. Other species might include Glaucous Gull,Twite and Gyrfalcon, often chasing seabirds here. The days after visit to some surrounding areas and good spots for birding. At this time of year the ice should still be covering vast expanses of the sea surface, and there are great chances for stunning photos. The first migrating birds will be on the move, and species like Short-eared Owl and various waders, including Purple Sandpipers should be around and active.Whitetailed Eagle and Rough- legged Buzzard are present here virtually all year round, as well as the beautiful Hawk Owl and lovely Snow Buntings. Nights in Vardo.

SPRING

ITINERARY

Day 7

Today we will drive south, passing from open tundra back to dense taiga forests: many chances for taking photos, hopefully finding species, such as Siberian Jay and Siberian Tit, and perhaps a Capercaillie and a Black or a Hazel Grouse. Night near Ivalo.

Day 8

Possible morning photo excursion and transfer to the Ivalo airport.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

43


SPAIN & PORTUGAL

Exclusive Photo Tour In Our Estates

Sat 27th April – Sat 4th May 2019 €1650 SRS €160 - flight* £1500 SRS £150 - flight*

A

n exclusive photo expedition to Western Iberia with the opportunity to visit two private properties specially developed for nature tourism and included in the INNATE Network. We will be accommodated in a magnificent “casa rural” at La Parrilla, where we’ll be able to relax in the garden admiring the stunning landscape with vultures, swallows and other species flying just over our head! Tens of Griffons and Cinereous Vultures, together with Ravens and Black and Red Kites, in flight, perched, fighting or feeding. But also mammals, like Genet, Beech Marten and Red Fox and a huge number of small passerines like Blue Rock-thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Iberian Magpie, Spotless Starling, Rock Sparrow, Hawfinch and Cirl Bunting. Monte Barata, the second estate we’ll visit, is located between the villages of Malpica do Tejo, Monforte da Beira and Municipios de Castelo Branco (Portugal). The typical landscape of this area is dominated the Mediterrean Hills, which host holm and cork oaks, as well as olive trees and grazing lands. Located in “Tejo Internacional” Park and close to Marmelal coast and Juncoso Valley, the landscape is dominated by Mediterranean scrub. Eagles and Vultures are the stars of the estate, but the oak woods and the rock walls host also many mammals (like Deer, Wild Boar, Genet, Otter, Egyptian Mangooses and Badgers), passerines and the beautiful Black Stork.

TOUR LEADER Max Biasioli

100 Hotel in private estate By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-3 Day 4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Madrid and transfer to La Parrilla estate (Serrejon, Extremadura) Escursions to Las Vinas and transfer to Monte Barata. Monte Barata Departure from Madrid

INCLUDES

Madrid to Madrid all inclusive. Sessions in photo hides, meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

44

Merce R. Romero

F. Rovedo

M. Valentini

From 230 € (estimated from 210 £)


L. Garcia

M. Premoli

Merce R. Romero M. Premoli

ITINERARY Meeting with the tour leader at Madrid airport and transfer to La Parrilla private estate in Monfrague National Park, in Extremadura. We arrive to enjoy a late Spanish lunch and, in the afternoon we will have a photo session in one of the hides of the estate. We will stay here four nights in total exclusivity, being the only guests in the reserve. Among the others, we’ll be able to photograph Iberian Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Hawfinch and Eurasian Nuthatch, Crested Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, European Serin and much more. The “muladar” hide is dedicated to Griffon Vultures and Black vultures. We’ll make excursions to humid areas like Saucedilla, home to Little Bittern, Purple Heron and Purple Swamphen, the territory of the National Park of Monfragüe with Iberian Imperial Eagle, Black Stork and Rock Bunting. We will also visit Santa Marta and Monroy steppes looking for Great Bustards, Little Bustards and Montagu’s Harriers. Should ma-

cro photographers be also present, they will enjoy superb orchids: the endemic Ophrys Apifera var. almaracensis, Woodcock, Common and Black bee-orchid, Common and Small-flowered tongueorchid. In case of thunderstorms and rain showers, we will also go and look for amphibians such as Iberian ribbed and Southern marbled newt, Western Spadefoot and Perez’s frog.

Day 4

Early departure from La Parrilla to reach Las Vinas private estate, close to Portugal border, where the typical Spanish dehesa meets wineyards, vegetable gardens and olive trees. The two drinking hides present are set for Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Western Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Woodchat Shrike. There is an elevated hide which offers the possibility to photograph flying Red and Black Kites with unique perspective and backgrounds. Another hide is dedicated to Griffon Vultures, Black Vultures and Egyptian Vultures. In the evening,

Website ornitholidays.com

transfer to Monte Barata private estete in Portugal.

Days 5-7

Staying in Monte Barata, the Eagles and Vultures reign: Golden Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Red and Black Kites, Short- toed Eagle can be photographed from the dedicated hides. One of them is three metres high and offers fantastic photographic opportunities. The drinking hide close to the lodge hosts Hoopoe, Woodchat Shrike, Nightingdale, Spotless Starling and other species. From the “River Hide”, located just next to the small river which crosses the estate, it is possible to photograph Kingfishers and Bee-eaters. Black Storks stop here during summer time. Monte Barata is the perfect place for photographers who want to enjoy all the best of the Iberian Peninsula.

SPRING

Days 1-3

Day 8

Transfer to Madrid airport and departure .

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

45


SPAIN PHOTO TOUR

The Very Best Of Extremadura

Sun 5th May – Sun 12th May 2019 €1650 SRS €160 - flight* £1500 SRS £150 - flight*

A

n exclusive photo expeditions to western Iberia as we will have the opportunity to visit two private properties specially developed for nature tourism and included in the INNATE Network. We will lodge in a magnificent “casa rural” inside one of the 2 properties, La Parrilla, at the top of an hill from where to enjoy a stunning panorama and to relax in the garden with vultures, swallows and other possible species flying just over you head! During this spanish expedition, we will have the possibility of observing and photographing many of the most typical birds of the Spanish dehesa made of Evergreen, Pyrenean and Cork oaks. Placed along the estate professional photographic hides will be available for morning and afternoon photo sessions. Among the species that will be possible to photograph, first of all the raptors, staring with vultures: hundreds of Griffon and Cinereous Vultures, together with Ravens and Black and Red Kites, in flight, perched, fighting or feeding quite often only a few meters away from the windows of the hides. But also mammals, like Genet, Beech Marten and Red Fox, with the aid of state-of-the-art night hides, and a huge number of small passerines like Blue Rock-thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Iberian Magpie, Spotless Starling, Rock Sparrow, Hawfinch and Cirl Bunting. Excursion will be made to visit the famous Monfrague National Park, being La Parrilla estate in part inside its borders. We will also visit a second private property with photo hides inside to enrich even more the portfolio of western Iberia species that you will bring home.

TOUR LEADER Igor Maiorano

100 Hotel in private estate in the Monfrague NP By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1

Days 2-7

Day 8

Fly to Madrid and transfer to La Parrilla estate (Serrejon, Extremadura) Escursions to Las Vinas private estate and in the surrounding areas. Daily hide sessions included. Depart from Madrid

INCLUDES

Madrid to Madrid all inclusive. Sessions in photo hides, meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

46

M. Lorenzo

M. Lorenzo

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

From 360 € (estimated from 320 £)


R. Lucetti

M. Biasioli

Merce R. Romero C. Galliani

Days 1-4

Meeting with the tour leader at Madrid airport and transfer to La Parrilla private estate in Monfrague National Park, in Extremadura.We arrive to enjoy a late Spanish lunch and, in the afternoon we will be able to enter the photographic hides of the estate. We will stay here four nights in total exclusivity, being the only people in the reserve (apart from the local staff) and with the use of several kinds of photographic hides located in strategic places within the reserve for morning and afternoon photographic sessions. There is an elevated drinking hide set among the foliage where you will be able to photograph Iberian Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Hawfinch and Eurasian Nuthatch and other passerines. In addition to that, there are hides set for Crested Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, European Serin and much more. The “muladar” hide is ideal for Griffon vultures and Black vultures that can be photographed at close distance. And it’s a show not to miss! Excursions will be organised near the estate in various places: humid are-

as like Saucedilla that are home to Little Bittern, Purple Heron and Purple Swamphen, the territory of the National Park of Monfragüe with Iberian Imperial Eagle, Black Stork and Rock Bunting. We will also visit Santa Marta and Monroy steppes looking for Great Bustards, Little Bustards and Montagu’s Harriers. Excursions program: Monfrague National Park - afternoon Santa Marta steppes - afternoon Saucedilla wetlands - morning. Should macro photographers be also present, they would enjoy fascinating orchids: we will be able to photograph the endemic Ophrys Apifera var. almaracensis, Woodcock, Common and Black bee-orchid, Common and Small-flowered tongue-orchid. In case of thunderstorms and rain showers, we could also go and look for amphibians such as Iberian ribbed and Southern marbled newt, Western Spadefoot and Perez’s frog.

olive trees. The two drinking hides present there are set for Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Western Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Woodchat Shrike. There is an elevated hide which offers the possibility to photograph flying Red and Black Kites with unique perspective and backgrounds. Another hide is dedicated to Griffon Vultures, Black Vultures and Egyptian Vultures.

Day 8

Depending on the flight schedule, a possible morning session can be done to then transfer to Madrid airport and come back with a wonderful portfolio of western iberia wildlife!

SPRING

ITINERARY

Days 5-7

Early departure from La Parrilla to reach Las Vinas private estate, close to Portugal border, where the typical Spanish dehesa meets wineyards, vegetable gardens and

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

47


ULTIMA FRONTIERA

ONE

STOP

Danube Delta, Unlimited Wildlife Photography

Fri 19th – Sat 27th April 2019 €1899 SRS €150 - flight* Fri 05th – Sat 13th July 2019 £1700 SRS £140 - flight*

T

he newly constructed lodge boasts large rooms, all with their own en suite facilities, and grounds that extend to over 2,500 acres of fish ponds, reedbeds, lagoons, riverine forest and salt steppe. On the property there are more than 30 hides that are available for our use. Over 130 bird species will be present when we visit in May/June and September but you may want to choose which you wish to photograph, as these hides will provide you with some great photographic opportunities for many exciting species. The late summer tour see large numbers of Pygmy Cormorants, waders, egrets, herons, pelicans, terns and passerines passing through. On both tours we shall also make use of their “photographic boat”, kitted out as a floating hide and we can hope to take photos of Dalmatian and White Pelicans, Whiskered Tern, Ferruginous Duck and both Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes. There will also be a range of other species to be seen, such as Pallas’s Gull, Bearded Reedling, Penduline Tit and a great variety of ducks, herons, egrets and waders. Mammals you may see include Golden Jackal, Muskrat, Otter and Danube Delta Horse (one of the four “wild horses” of Europe).

TOUR LEADER Local guides

110 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. By minibuses and boa Maximum of 7 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8 Day 9

Fly to Bucharest Ultima Frontiera Bucharest Departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

48

M. Lorenzo M. Premoli

F. Rovedo

M. Premoli

From 260 € (estimated from 230 £)


F. Rovedo

Merce R. Romero

Merce R. Romero F. rovedo

Day 1

Arrival in Bucharest and meeting with the driver. Overnight in Bucharest.

Days 2-7

Transfer from Bucharest to Tulcea, where we board a water taxi and make the 90 minute transfer on the Danube to Ultima Frontiera, where we stay for the next six nights. Our time here will be spent visiting the hides and photographing a range of species. There are over 30 hides to use, so we will have to choose which species interest us most while we are here. In May and June, to photograph some of the nesting species there will be hides set up near the nest of European Bee-eaters, European Rollers, Little Owls and Western Marsh Harriers. Other nests are subject to water-levels in the lagoons and also to what stage the birds may be at in their breeding cycles. Thrush Nightingales sometimes come to water at the drinking hide, while Tree Sparrows and Common Magpies are common at the feeders. The extensive sand dunes of

Letea are amazing and they hold a number of interesting flowering plants and insect life for macrophotography. In September there will be a large numbers of Pygmy Cormorants present and they make great subjects with a background of flowering yellow nymphea water lilies. Good numbers of Red- backed Shrikes will be present, attracted by hand-outs of mealworms, while the waterbird numbers will be swollen by many passage waders, egrets and ducks. Common kingfisher will be present feeding in front of a few of the hides, while many European Bee-eaters will be perched on tamarisk bushes. We shall also make two boat excursions, one to the main lagoons (Matita and Merhei) to have close encounters with Dalmatian and White Pelicans, and to see Whiskered Tern, Caspian Gull, Ferruginous Duck and probably both Black- necked and Rednecked Grebes. The other will be to the edge of the Black Sea where there will be opportunities to see Pallas’s Gulls.

Website ornitholidays.com

The lagoons of Ultima Frontiera are teeming with fish and they provide rich feeding grounds for egrets and herons, and bothPygmy and Great Cormorants. It is here that we might hope to see Otters, which are frequently encountered. In May and June you also have the chance to see Eurasian Wryneck. However, a bird that you will encounter in large numbers is Eurasian Hoopoe as they will be feeding in family groups along the sandy tracks. The lodge provides electric buggies that can be driven between the lagoons and along the pathways and which also act as mobile hides for photographing many of the common species around the grounds.

SPRING

ITINERARY

Day 8

We transfer back to Tulcea, using a water taxi, and then drive back to Bucharest.

Day 9

Depart from Bucharest Otopeni airport.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

49


SUMMER

June - August

Wildwatching Trip Photographic Expeditions

BIRDING & WILDLIFE TOURS 52 54 56 79 79 79

ITALY - BIRDS & WINE - Majestic Alps, Lovely Countryside And Italian Wine KYRGYZSTAN - The Best Of The Tien Shan Mountains PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Birds of Paradise BULGARIA IN SUMMER - Wallcreepers SPAIN - CANTABRIA SRI LANKA

PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS 58 60 79

ULTIMA FRONTIERA BW - The Magic Of The End Of Summer BULGARIA MACRO - Butterflies, Other Insects And Flowers In The Mountains Of Bulgaria HUNGARY PHOTO EXPEDITION - Professional Hides At The Hortobagy Np

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M. Premoli


ITALY - BIRDS & WINE Majestic Alps, Lovely Countryside, Italian Wine Mon 3rd June – Mon 10th June 2019 Tue 11th June – Tue 18th June 2019

€2080 SRS €250 - flight* £1850 SRS £230 - flight*

A

n amazing tour dedicated to birdwatchers who love nature and good wine. 8 days of pure birdwatching in the lands of wine. You will have the chance to watch many interesting and rare bird species combined with high quality wine tastings and visits to local cellars in some of the best wineries of the areas we will stay. Thanks to the closeness of different kind of Italian landscapes you will experience 3 days in the Alps, with its rugged mountains, forests, meadows and flowing streams, and 4 days in the Monferrato area, lowlands where to explore hilly landscapes, the river valleys of the Po, the woodlands and rice paddies in order to have a complete overview of the attractive bird species living in Northern Italy. Accommodations are the top of the top, you will enjoy a mountain-style hotel in the first part of the journey, to then relax in a wonderful wine resort and spa in a little village in the Monferrato hills. Butterflies are particularly abundant to add to this tour a wildwatching experience too. In the Monferrato area cellars we will visit are small local cellars that follow a special and natural process to make wine, called “personal wine”, and it differs from all the standard, more known and industrial productions.

TOUR LEADER Igor Maiorano

140 Mountain-style hotel, wine resort and spa hotel By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-4

Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Milan Malpensa and transfer to Monferrato area Transfer to Valnontey, Alps Depart from Milan Malpensa

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, restaurants, entrance fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader. Possible use of photo hides.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

52

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

From 260 € (estimated from 233 £)

M. Lorenzo


G. Bissattini

G. Bissattini

M. Premoli

Days 1-4

We will meet our english-speaking local tour leader at the Milan Malpensa airport and transfer to Piedmont region, where Po River flows at Alps foothills. Our base is a great central base for our three days spent exploring the region and its bird and wildlife (and the many fine wines of the area, for example near Moncalvo an organic winery with its wonderful Grignolino). The Apennine foothills are home to an interesting selection of birds including Moltoni’s Warbler (a race of Subalpine, considered by many to be a separate species), Red-backed Shrike, Ortolan, Cirl and, luckly, Black-headed Buntings, Black Kite, European Honey Buzzard and colourful species such as Eurasian Hoopoe, European Bee-eater and European Roller. By the Po and the Scrivia River, the flood plains are good for various wetland species, and we will spend at least one morning birdwatching and looking at flowers and butterflies. One of the most common birds in this particular area is the Bee-eater where they dig nesting holes in level ground rather than in embankments – like some other species of bee-eaters. At the rivers themselves, Stone-curlews and Little Ringed Plovers nest; Black-winged Stilts wade in the shallow waters, whilst Hobbies and Black Kites are often about in good numbers after the many dragonflies. The Po is known for its paddies growing rice, with the famous Arborio rice coming from this region – from Arborio believe it or not! The San Genuario Reserve is a superb sanctuary for wildlife and here we will search for Great and Little Bitterns, Squacco and Purple Herons, maybe hear a Little Crake or two (even luckier if we see them), Night Heron and Little, Great and Western Cattle Egrets. The reeds are home to good numbers of ‘brown’ warblers, including Great Reed, Reed, Marsh and Cetti’s. Nearby is an interesting area that is managed to attract breeding Blacktailed Godwits – of the continental race, in decline in Europe. Also locally there is a large colony of breeding herons, and numbers can be very impressive with over 3,000 pairs of Night Herons thought to breed, plus many egrets, Grey and

Purple Herons, an increasing number of Glossy Ibis and Eurasian Spoonbills. White Storks are sometimes seen in the area too. Not difficult to win the challenge to observe all the Herons in one day! We will also visit a private estate included in the INNATE Network that has been object of a big restoration project to create a wetland oasis among extensive ricefields. This region produces a great number of fine Italian wines. We will have a number of chance to savour the wines, at meals and at a couple of tastings, where Barbera, Timorasso and many others are likely to be much-appreciated.

Days 5-7

After a possible morning excursion, transfer to our hotel in Valnontey in the Aosta valley region, on the edge of the famous Gran Paradiso National Park. In the afternoon, we will breath the fresh alpine air, we will explore the valley environments and botanic garden for some of the local birds that should include Serins and Redbacked Shrikes. In the evening will enjoy good wine and a lovely meal prepared by locals. In the next two days we will make a couple of drives into different valleys allowing us to explore this delightful park, bordered to the north and west by the high Alps and Mont Blanc massif. Visiting sites up to 2000m in altitude at La Thuile, Valsavaranche and Mont Avic we will have constantly changing landscapes: snow-capped mountains, alpine forests and streams and rich alpine meadows. Birdlife is varied and we will hope for a number of alpine specialists: Alpine Chough, Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Rock Thrush in the open areas; Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Firecrest and Lesser Redpoll can be found in the pine forest, over which Goshawks sometimes soar; on the streams we will hope to find bobbing Dippers feeding their scaly young and all the time Serins and Black Redstarts sing from rocks, wires or village buildings. By June snow will be restricted to the high mountain peaks, and in the rough rocky places we will have a great chance of seeing the alpine race of Ring Ouzel, pale Northern Wheatears, Water Pipits, Whinchats, Rock Buntings, Citril Finch, plus

Website ornitholidays.com

Alpine and Red-billed Choughs that wheel above in mixed flocks. Crag Martins are often found zapping around bridges or villages. In the highest places Snowfinches will be nesting, whilst there is always a chance of the butterfly-like Wallcreeper in narrow gorges or rock faces – by June they are often nesting. In such a rich environment there is much to look for beyond the birds: butterflies are particularly abundant and our sightings should include alpine specialities such as Apollo, Mountain Clouded Yellow, Piedmont and de Prünner’s Ringlets, Alpine Grayling and Shepherd’s Fritillary. On lower meadows and woods, Black-veined White, Green Hairstreak, Purple Emperor, Hungarian Glider, Scarce Copper and many others should all be about in the warmer days of summer. As Golden Eagles quarter the slopes, we will no doubt hear the alarms of Alpine Marmots and find them lolloping about; Alpine Chamois and Alpine Ibex should be seen well, sometimes in small groups with plenty of young. If the season is not late, the rich meadows can be truly spectacular for flowers. The high meadows are often bedecked with swathes of Alpine Pasque-flowers, Globeflowers, Common Butterworths, Burnttip and Elder-flowered Orchids, Alpine Sainfoin, Trumpet and Spring Gentians, St Bernard’s Lilies – too many to mention... The Aosta Valley is Italy’s smallest winemaking region and the Valdigne area south of Courmayeur at 1300m is home to the highest elevated vineyards in Europe. 75% of the area’s production is red wine made mostly from the pinot noir, gamay and petit rouge varieties. A white wine is made from the indigenous prié blanc grape. We will taste some of the local wines with our fine evening meals and we plan to visit a wine cooperative.

SUMMER

ITINERARY

Day 8

Next day depending on the flight schedule we might have time for some final birding to look for ducks – including Red-crested Pochard and Ferruginous Duck, grebes and terns, as well as a local speciality Lesser Grey Shrike. Return to the Malpensa airport.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

53


KYRGYZSTAN The Best Of The Tien Shan Mountains Sun 16th June – Thu 27th June 2019

€2450 SRS €350 - flight* £2200 SRS £310 - flight*

F

or the first time Ornitholidays presents a tour in Kyrgyzstan. A Country that only recently opened to tourism, therefore it preserve its natural and cultural heritage and can be considered a new frontier for European birdwatchers. We will explore different habitats: green alpine valleys, marshes and semideserts. We will cross a pass above 4000mt, we will sleep in yurts on a lake shore. Someone might also like to swim into the refreshing waters of Salt Lake (optional) and we will hike before the high and harsh snowy peaks of Tien Shan mountains. Each day we will look for the many different species that live in the Country: the White-browed Tit Warbler, nice endemism of Kyrgyzstan and southwestern China; the restless Rufous-naped Tit; the colorful Eversmann’s and Blue-capped Redstart; the tipical inhabitants of high altitudes like Guldenstadt’s Redstart, Altai Accentor, Lammergeier, Himalayan Griffon and those of the arid areas like Syke’s Warbler and Hume’s Whitethroat. The night we will spend camping on a carpet of Edelweiss waiting for dawn to look for the Himalayan Snowcocks singing from the rocky peaks will stick in our minds. The tour focuses mainly on birdwatching but we will have the chance to observe species like Gray Marmot, Tien Shan Ground Squirrel and Himalayan Ibex. Moreover, visiting the archeological site of Burana we will discover the ruins of an ancient culture settled along the Silk Road. A journey that will requires a bit of flexibility but that will repay us revealing step by step the uncontaminated beauties of this land a few steps from the sky.

TOUR LEADER Igor Maiorano

130 Hotel, guesthouse, yurts and tents By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2 -4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Days 9-10 Day 11 Day 12

Arrive in Bishkek Ala-Archa National Park Burana Tower, Issik-Kullake Jari Saz Karakole Jeti Oguz Kochkor Bishkek Departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, restaurants, entrance fees and services of the English-speaking tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

54

M. Lorenzo I. Maiorano

I. Maiorano

I. Maiorano

From 580 € (estimated from 520 £)


I. Maiorano

ITINERARY Arrive in Bishkek early in the morning. We first visit the fishing ponds north of Bishkek where we look for Clamorous Reed Warbler, Indian Oriole and the first Azure Tits. Then we transfer to the Ala-Archa National Park. Night at the Ala-Archa Hotel.

Day 2

After breakfast hiking along the Ak-Sai Trail. Between Asian Spruce, Junipers and alpine meadows we will look for species like White-tailed Rubythroat, White-browed Tit Warbler, Whitewinged Grosebeak, Himalayan Griffon, Lammergeier, Eversmann’s Redstart and Blue-capped Redstart. Greenish Warblers and Hume’s Leaf Warbler are abundant. In the afternoon hiking along the River Trail looking for Ibisbill, Brown Dipper and Blue-whistling Thrush. Night at the Ala-Archa Hotel.

Day 3

After breakfast hiking along on the other side of the valley for the species we eventually Night at the Ala-Archa

a trail looking missed. Hotel.

shore of the Issik-Kul lake, the second biggest mountain lake in the world. Along the road we visit the spectacular Grigorievka and Semenkova gorges where Isabelline Wheatear and Red-fronted Serin can be seen in good numbers. Night in Karakol in a guesthouse managed by the Community Based Tourism Association.

Day 6

After breakfast we move to Jari Saz. In the valley we can find Ibisbill, Red-fronted Serin, Guldenstdt’s Redstart, Plain Mountain Finch, White-winged Snowfinch, Hill Pigeon, Altai Accentor. Night in tents.

Day 7

We wake up at dawn and spend the first hours of light looking for the fascinating Himalayan Snowcock. Lunch in Karakol.In the afternoon vist to the ponds around Karakol. Night in a guesthouse.

Day 8

After breakfast, transfer to the Burana Tower. In this site, in addition to the archeological riuns, we can observe Rosy Starling, Long-tailed Shrike, Turkestan Shrike and Red-headed Bunting. Transfer to the Ashuu Guesthouse where we will have lunch. In the afternoon visit to the nearby hills where we will possibly observe Pied Wheatear and Meadow Bunting. Dinner and night at the Ashuu Guesthouse.

After breakfast visit of Jeti Oguz, in this beautiful scenery we can find Blue-whistling Thrush, Blue-capped Redstart, Black-throated Accentor, White-winged Grosebeak and many other species. In the afternoon we visit the Kyzil-Suu lagoon looking for the Rufoush Bush Robin, a rare bird probably breeding in Kyrgyzstan. Later we spend few hours in the Skazka gorge, a suggestive place with peculiar rocky formations and where Grey-necked Bunting and Pied Wheatear breed. Dinner and night at the Bel Tam yurt camp on the shore of the Issik-Kul lake.

After breakfast we move to the northern

We wake up early and we move to Salt

Day 4

Day 5

Lake where we can find, among other species, Syke’s Warbler and Hume’s Whitethroat. Then we have breakfast on the shore of the lake. Who wish to do so, can swim in it. We have lunch at the CBT guesthouse in Kochkor where we’ll have the possibility to have a shower to wash away the salt of the lake. Transfer to Song-Kul lake where we will find Horned Lark ssp. albigula and the beautiful Citrine Wagtail ssp. calcarata. Night in the CBT yurt camp.

Day 10

Breakfast, birding in the area around the lake. Afterwards we move towards Naryn. Birding at the Papugai pass looking for Eversmann’s Redstart, Black-throated Accentor, Brown Accentor, White-tailed Rubythroat, Redmantled Rosefinch and the ubiquitous Common Rosefinch. Transfer to Naryn, night at the Khan Tengri Hotel.

Day 11

It will be a long day. We have breakfast at 7am and then we move to Bishkek passing by the Eki-Naryn Gorge. Here we will have the possibility to find Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Himalayan Vulture, Twite, Cinereous Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, Blackthroated Accentor. Night in Bishkek.

SUMMER

Day 1

Day 12

We go to the Bishkek airport to take our flight back home bringing with us incredible memories of this wild expedition.

Day 9

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

55


PAPUA NEW GUINEA Birds Of Paradise

Fri 12th – Fri 26th July 2019 Extension Fri 26th July – Thu 1st August 2019

F

€8950 SRS €1000 - flight* £7980 SRS £890 - flight* €4729 SRS €1000 - flight* £4200 SRS £890 - flight*

or many people, New Guinea represents the ultimate birding goal. Certainly Sir David Attenborough regards the country as ‘the greatest unclaimed prize in ornithological filming.’ His classic programme about the splendours of the birds of paradise and bowerbirds has created a widespread public interest in experiencing New Guinea at first hand. Until recently, the island’s remoteness and lack of tourist infrastructure prevented this dream from becoming reality. Now, with the help of some well-located lodges, we can explore the best Papuan habitats and their unique birdlife in comfort and safety. We will divide our time between lowlands – Kiunga, and highland lodges (Kumul Lodge and Ambua Lodge) before finishing our tour in the capital Port Moresby. This itinerary is specially prepared and should give us a wonderful opportunity to watch many species of birds of paradise, in fact 21 species and 1 subspecies. We will also see a wide variety of pigeons and fruit-doves, parrots, cuckoo-shrikes, kingfishers and bowerbirds. Less familiar groups include fairy-wrens, whistlers, berrypeckers, butcherbirds and honeyeaters. We will also be able to observe some of Papua’s colorful people, with their distinctive tribal dress and customs. There is an option of breaking the outward or return journeys in Singapore for those who wish. This will be Ornitholidays’ sixth tour to Papua New Guinea.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

200 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. By minibuses, local flghts, boat Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Day 8 Day 9 Days 10-11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15

Port Moresby Varirata National Park Ambua Lodge Mount Hagen Kama Baiya Kiunga Fly and Elevala Rivers Kwatu Camp Port Moresby Departure

INCLUDES

accommodation, leaders, all meals, transport, internal flights and entry fees.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

56

M. Lorenzo I. Maiorano

I. Maiorano

From 1550 € (estimated from 1380 £)


I. Maiorano

I. Maiorano

I. Maiorano

ITINERARY Arrival at Port Moresby and transfer to the hotel for check-in and if time permit birding around the town in the afternoon.

Day 2

Our day begins with a very early departure for Varirata National Park, looking for the Raggiana and Magnificent Riflebird birds of paradise. The dry eucalypt forests that flank the quiet access road to Varirata provide superb birding and noisy screeches will reveal pairs of stunning Black-capped Lory and/or flocks of busy Coconut Lorikeet and Red -cheeked Parrot. Here we will find a mix of New Guinea endemics and species shared with Australia.

Days 3-4

A short charter-flight takes us to Ambua Lodge, over intact forests and alpine grasslands. Seven species of bird of paradise (Black Sicklebill, Superb, Loria’s and Blue Birds of Paradise, Short-tailed Paradigalla, Lawes’ Parotia and Stephanie’s Astrapia) regularly come into the gardens. During our two full days here, we will look for species such as Brehm’s Tiger-Parrot, Papuan Lorikeet, Bluecapped Ifrita, Dimorphic Fantail, Belford’s Melidectes and both Crested and Tit Berrypeckers. Again, birds of paradise will be a focus of our expeditions: King of Saxony Bird of Paradise, Ribbon-tailed Astrapia and Brown Sicklebill are usual above the lodge. We may see Crested Bird of Paradise, Macgregor’s Bowerbird and Mid-mountain Berrypeckers coming to feed. Many other rarely seen mountain species are possible too, such as New Guinea Harpy Eagle or Painted Tiger-Parrot.

Days 5-7

Short domestic flight to Mount Hagen, in the Central Highlands. From here, a 90 minute drive brings us to Kumul Lodge, set at 2,800m just over the border in Enga Province, where we stay for three nights and have our first close-up experience of birds of paradise! Notable visitors to the garden feeder are Brown Sicklebill and Ribbon-tailed Astrapia,

Brehm’s Tiger-Parrot, and with luck the shy Bronze Ground Dove and Archbold’s Bowerbird. The photographic opportunities are wonderful. We can walk the trails below the lodge and look for Lesser Melampitta, as well as Blue-capped Ifrita, a bird with a poisonous plumage. Excursions we can take from the lodge may enable us to find Lesser Bird of Paradise, Crested Satin Bird of Paradise, Brown Sicklebill, Torrent Flycatcher, Yellowbreasted Bowerbird and with luck Torrent-lark.

We can expect to see large numbers of Collared Imperial Pigeons, mixed with smaller numbers of Pinon Imperial Pigeons, as they erupt from the treetops as we pass by. Large flocks of Blyth’s Hornbills flap lazily from tree to tree and strange, spiky-crested Palm Cockatoos and Glossy-mantled Manucodes are a feature of the journey. Parrots are everywhere, especially Eclectus Parrots and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. Here we shall be on the lookout for the gorgeous King Bird of Paradise.

Morning birding in Kama areas for Blue and Superb birds of paradise and afternoon transfer from Kumul to Highlander hotel where we stay for two nights.

Morning excursions around Kwatu Camp looking for Southern Crown Pigeon, Flame Bower Bird and Blith’s Honbill. In the afternoon we shall return to by boat to Kiunga for one more night.

Day 8

Day 9

Early morning start to Baiya river where we will spend the day searching for Carola’s Parotia.

Days 10-11

Again we will take short flight to Kiunga and at noon we will check-in hotel Kiunga where we stay two nights. The sparsely populated lowlands of southwestern Papua New Guinea around Kiunga are still one of the least disturbed areas in the country. One of the highlights will be a visit to the mixed display ground of both Greater and Raggiana Birds of Paradise and we may also find some hybrids. Other species might include Grey-headed Goshawk, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Yellow-capped Pygmy-Parrot, Ivory-billed (or Greater Black) and Lesser Black Coucals, Obscure, Plain, Green-backed and Streak-headed Honeyeaters, Scrub Honeyeater (or Scrub White-eared Meliphaga), Meyer’s Friarbird and Trumpet Manucode. One full day we will devote to birding executions to Kilometer 17 looking for King and Greater birds of paradise.

Day 13

Day 14

Return flight to Port Moresby where we stay the last night. Afternoon birding in the area for Crinkle-Collared Manucode, Trumpet Manucode and King BoP and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher.

Day 15

If time permits we will make some final birding in the area then head to the airport for our flight home. For those joining the extension the adventure continues.

SUMMER

Day 1

Day 12

We shall set off early in a small boat in order to explore the Fly and Elevala Rivers and their tributaries. We shall be aiming to reach a display post of the beautiful Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise.

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

57


ULTIMA FRONTIERA BW

ONE

STOP

The Magic Of The End Of Summer

Fri 23rd – Fri 30th August 2019 €1750 SRS €150 - flight* Fri 30th August – Sat 07th September 2019 £1560 SRS £140 - flight*

T

he late summer tour see large numbers of Pygmy Cormorants, waders, egrets, herons, pelicans, terns and passerines passing through. On both tours we shall also make use of their “photographic boat”, kitted out as a floating hide and we can hope to take photos of Dalmatian and White Pelicans, Whiskered Tern, Ferruginous Duck and both Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes. There will also be a range of other species to be seen, such as Pallas’s Gull, Bearded Reedling, Penduline Tit and a great variety of ducks, herons, egrets and waders. Mammals you may see include Golden Jackal, Muskrat, Otter and Danube Delta Horse (one of the four “wild horses” of Europe). The newly constructed lodge boasts large rooms, all with their own en suite facilities, and grounds that extend to over 2,500 acres of fish ponds, reedbeds, lagoons, riverine forest and salt steppe. On the property there are more than 30 hides that are available for our use. Over 130 bird species will be present when we visit in May/June and September but you may want to choose which you wish to photograph, as these hides will provide you with some great photographic opportunities for many exciting species.

TOUR LEADER Local guides

70 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities By minibuses and boat Maximum of 7 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Bucharest Ultima Frontiera Bucharest, departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

58

M. Premoli

M. Biasioli

C. Pedriali

From 270 € (estimated from 240 £)


L. Boscain

M. Biasioli

A. Maestri F- Rovedo

Day 1

Arrival in Bucharest and meeting with the driver. Overnight in Bucharest.

Days 2-7

Transfer from Bucharest to Tulcea, where we board a water taxi and make the 90 minute transfer on the Danube to Ultima Frontiera, where we stay for the next six nights. Our time here will be spent visiting the hides, photographing a range of species and in nice birdwatching excursions in many different habitats. There are over 30 hides to use and many different excursions to join, so we will have to choose which species interest us most while we are here. At the end of August many waders inhabit the lagoon, among them is possible to find Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank, Glossy Ibis and Broad-billed Sandpiper. In the same habitat Gull-billed Terns are feeding chicks and Caspian Terns are abundant. It is here that we might hope to see Otters, which are frequently encountered. At the end of August and the beginning of September the Rollers are leaving Ultima Frontiera and day by

day they become scarcer. In September there will be large numbers of Pygmy Cormorants present and they make great subjects with a background of flowering yellow nymphea water lilies. Good numbers of Red- backed Shrikes will be present, attracted by hand-outs of mealworms, while the waterbird numbers will be swollen by many passage waders, egrets and ducks. Among passerines, Red-breasted Flycatcher is a migrant regularly seen around the estate. Woodpeckers are numerous and we have good opportunities to see Grey-headed, Black, Great-Spotted and Lesser-Spotted Woodpeckers. In the nearby villages is possible to find Syrian Woodpecker. Golden Jackals and White-tailed Eagles are frequent encounters visiting the estate. Migration is on the move and every day there are new birds to find. The extensive sand dunes of Letea are amazing and they hold a number of interesting flowering plants and insect life for macrophotography. We shall also make two boat excursions, one to

Website ornitholidays.com

the main lagoons (Matita and Merhei) and in late summer is easy to have close encounters with Dalmatian and White Pelicans, to see Squacco Heron, Whiskered Tern, Caspian Gull, Ferruginous Duck and probably both Blacknecked and Red-necked Grebes. The other will be to the edge of the Black Sea where there will be opportunities to see Pallas’s Gulls. The lodge provides electric buggies that can be driven between the lagoons and along the pathways and which also act as mobile hides for photographing many of the common species around the grounds.

SUMMER

ITINERARY

Day 8

We transfer back to Tulcea, using a water taxi, and then drive back to Bucharest and departure.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

59


BULGARIA - MACRO

ONE

STOP

Butterflies, Other Insects And Flowers In The Mountains Of Bulgaria Tue 18th June – Tue 25th June 2019 Individual

B

€940 SRS €130 - flight* £835 SRS £115 - flight* €1130 SRS €130 - flight* £1010SRS £115 - flight*

ulgaria in summer offers excellent macro photography opportunities due to its rich biodiversity and variety of habitats. Our main targets will be the butterflies, but the summer season and the various sites we shall visit will provide numerous other insects - dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, spiders, beetles etc, as well as flowers and orchids. We will have early starts and late evenings in order to take advantage of the best light and it is also the time when butterflies and other insects are normally motionless. Early afternoons we may have siestas to rest, avoiding the harsh midday sun. Our tour will start with a two night stay in a small village east of Sofia, where we will explore the areas around for fritillaries, the first blues, gliders and emperors. After which, we will be based in Koprivshtitsa for the next two nights, a nice traditional village. One of the very few in Bulgaria designated as architectural reserve, situated in the heart of Sredna Gora mountain (Middle Forest). These days we will explore the immediate surroundings, having only short transfers. At the end we will move to the beautiful Dobrostan ridge in the Western Rhodope mountain, where we will stay for three nights, exploring the butterfly rich surroundings. We will also have a moth trap with us which will allow us to photograph a good number of moths, additional to the many butterflies we will get.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

80 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. By minibuses Maximum of 7 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Arrival at Sofia, Mirkovo Mirkovo Koprivshtitsa Dobrostan Transfer to Sofia, departure.

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions and services of the Englishspeaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

60

C. Galliani

D. Domuskiev

C. Galliani

From 170 € (estimated from 150 £)

M. Lorenzo


C. Galliani

D. Domuskiev

D. Domuskiev C. Galliani

Day 1

Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to the village of Mirkovo, about an hour drive, for a two nights stay. If time permits, we will have an afternoon session along a small river, not far from the hotel, where we can find Map Butterfly, Spotted, Niobe, Twin-spot and Marbled Fritillaries.

Day 2

Day in the area, looking for fritillaries, hairstreaks, Freyer’s Purple Emperor, Southern White Admiral, Yellow-banded Skipper, Lattice Brown, Large, Sooty, Lesser Fiery and Purple- shot coppers and many more. A very short drive, less than 10 kilometers will bring us down to a big river and we shall explore two of its small tributaries entering it east and west through a small village. Beside the butterflies we will also find dragonflies and damselflies, praying mantises, grasshoppers and other insects. If too hot, we can return to the hotel for a lunch and siesta, otherwise the whole day will be spent our and we shall have a picnic lunch. That will be the

Days 3-4

Short transfer will bring us to our next base, the picturesque village of Koprivshtitsa, where we will stay again for two nights. Both days will be spent in local meadows, having only short transfers. Here we will find Chequerred, Large,

Alcon and other blues, Balkan and Scarce coppers, Black-veined White, White Admiral, many fritillaries and skippers, as well as dragonflies and damselflies. That is our main site for the Purple Emperor and we shall secure enough time to make sure we take good pictures of this really most fascinating and not easy to photograph European butterfly. A late Poplar Admiral can also be seen, depending on the recent weather and the whole area is very suitable for another special butterfly – the Camberwell Beauty. We will also have a walk in the village as many of the houses and its six museums (these were houses of historical heroes or wealthy traders at the time with unique architecture).

Days 5-7

We will have morning session, followed by a transfer to our last base for the holiday - the beautiful Dobrostan Plateau, in the Western Rhodopes Mountains. Here we will stay for three nights in a lovely hotel, situated in a tiny village, providing excellent panoramic views. En-route we will take a longer road that will lead you to another village where we may find a late Eastern Festoon – again one of the most beautiful European butterflies and Bulgarian specialty. There will be several excellent opportunities to stop and photograph Purple Emperor, Silver-washed

Website ornitholidays.com

Fritillary, Scarce Copper, Shady Hawker, Large Tortoiseshell and many more. Arrival late in the afternoon, check-in and dinner in the garden out in the open. Red-rumped Swallow, Black Redstart and Swifts will add to the atmosphere of the Rhodopes. Next two days we shall visit several lovely meadows full of flowers. As at the previous places we will have the options to make early starts when the butterflies are motionless and hopefully covered in due. We will then return for a breakfast and afterward we shall drive to the meadows where we spend the rest of the day. Here is the home of the stunningly beautiful Apollo butterfly, a species you cannot resist photographing it again and again. We will try to get on various perches and backgrounds and in different light. Exploring the meadows around we will also find and photograph Balkan and Scarce coppers, Niobe, High Brown, Dark Green, Twin-spot and other fritillaries, Yellow-banded Skipper, many blues, hairstreaks, Swallowtail and some late orchids. A moth trap in that area can also provide a lot of very good subjects for good quality macro photography.

SUMMER

ITINERARY

Day 8

Option for another early session, time permitting, followed by a three hours transfer to the airportfor your flight back home.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

61


AUTUMN

September - November

Wildwatching Trip Photographic Expeditions

BIRDING & WILDLIFE TOURS 64 66 68 70 72 74

BULGARIA VIA PONTICA - The Secret Flyway SPAIN - Raptor Migration & Whalewatching ESTONIA - The Nordic Migration ARGENTINA - Central And North-West Argentina ETHIOPIA - Undiscovered Africa PERU - Birding The South In Luxury

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M. Valentini


BULGARIA - VIA PONTICA The Secret Flyway

Sat 7th - Sat 14th September 2019 €1300 SRS €350 - flight* £1095 SRS £310 - flight* Individuals €1600 SRS €350 - flight* £1425SRS £310 - flight*

A

fter we have been running our Via Pontica tour for more than ten years, it is a time for a change now to a holiday which will still provide you with a lot of good birds and spectacular views of the true migration, but it will be even more relaxing and near to a high quality holiday. For the entire holiday we will be staying in one hotel only, perfectly situated between the Black Sea, with a fine sandy beach right in front of it, while Pomorie Lake is just behind and both are a few minutes walking distance. The hotel itself is a luxury, five stars one and offers high quality spa services. Having the hotel as a base, we will explore the nearby Burgas wetlands at our leisure. These are four big lakes designated as Ramsar sites and IBAs. We will be also visiting woodlands, grasslands and scrubby habitats. All will be done at leisure and we will make sure we have spent enough time at each location. We will have early evenings and even siestas provided everybody is happy. In case the group is bigger we will have two vehicles which will give us great flexibility. This tour gives you the opportunity to see more than 140 bird species and to witness the spectacular autumn migration on the Black Sea coast. Along it is the second biggest migration route in Europe - Via Pontica. Every autumn more than 90 000 raptors, 30 000 pelicans, 240 000 storks as well as thousands of waders and passerines fly over this way to their wintering grounds. The Bulgarian Black Sea coast and especially its southern part is a ‘bottle-neck’ for the migrating birds from all Eastern Europe, also Scandinavia and Russia. That’s why it is likely to see more than 10 000 storks, 3 000 pel cans or 2 000 Lesser Spotted eagles just in a single day. The other difference between them is that the first period is more suitable for waders, terns and storks, while the second period is characterized with more intensive raptor and passerine migration. We will also see mammals - Golden Jackal and Otter, as well as good number of butterflies too.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

150 5 stars Spa Hotel By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Arrival at Burgas, Pomorie Pomorie wetlands Depart from Burgas

INCLUDES

Ground transport, breakfast, accommodation, guide, entrance, fees for all reserves

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

64

L. Boscain

M. Biasioli

F. rovedo

From 340 € (estimated from 300 £)


M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

D. Domuskiev E. Natali

Day 1

Arrival at Burgas airport followed by short transfer to Pomorie and check-in at the hotel we will be staying for the entire holiday. Time permitting we will explore the lake next to the hotel for waders, terns, gulls, grebes etc.

Days 2-7

Six full days to explore the wetlands and some neighboring different habitats. The lakes have many excellent spots for very productive birding and we will be visiting each one more than once as during the migration things change quickly. Waders will be everywhere, including rarities as Terek, Broadbilled and Marsh sandpipers, but also Curlew Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Little and Temminck’s stints, Spotted Redshank, both godwits, plovers, and virtually every European waders is possible to be seen including real rarities as Great Snipe for example. Other wetland birds will be Dalmatian and White pelicans in great numbers, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Gull-billed, Caspian, Black, White-winged and Whiskered terns;

Caspian, Mediterranean and Slenderbilled gulls; Ruddy Shelduck, Garganey, Ferruginous Duck, Little Bittern, Bittern, Purple Heron, all the crakes, Pigmy Cormorant etc. Almost all European raptors can be see seen here, in fact all, except the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the Gyr Falcon. At this time of the migration the most numerous will be the Honey and the Steppe buzzards but eastern specialties such as Lesser Spotted Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Pallid Harrier, Red-footed and Saker falcons can be seen along all the other raptors. In order to see them we will spend some time at certain raptor watching points. Large flocks of White and Black storks will be seen too. Passerines include Redbreasted and Semicollared flycatchers, Hawfinch, Cirl Bunting, Sombre Tit, Penduline Tit and Bearded Reedling; Olivaceous Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Icterine Warbler and many more. Flocks of Bee-eaters, also Roller and Hoopoe as well as numerous Red-ba-

Website ornitholidays.com

cked Shrikes, Redrumped Swallow as well as woodpeckers - Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Grey-headed, Black, Green, and Great Spotted woodpeckers, possibly Wryneck and we even stand a chance for the White-backed Woodpecker. We can also visit the nearby old towns of Nessebar (Unesco World Heritage Site) and Sozopol in the south.

Day 8

Birding in the morning, depending on your return flight. Departure.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

AUTUMN

ITINERARY

65


SPAIN

Raptor Migration & Whalewatching Thu 12th – Thu 19th September 2019

€1950 SRS €155 - flight* £1750 SRS £140 - flight*

T

his tour is designed to admire the spectacular migration of raptors across the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the busiest wildlife migration corridors on the planet. September offers the most spectacular migration both in terms of quantity of raptors and diversity of species. Short- toed Eagles, Booted Eagles, Black Kites, Egyptian Vultures, Montagu’s Harriers, etc. fill the skies in Tarifa. Thanks to the expertise of local guides based in Tarifa we will, at all times, visit the best observatories according to wind direction. Moreover, Tarifa is surrounded by some of the foremost birding areas in Southern Spain including, La Janda, El Estrecho Natural Park and Los Alcornocales (Cork Oak) Natural Park. Here we will find iconic species such as Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, large flocks of Giffron and the reintroduced and Globally Threatened Northern Bald Ibis. The Strait of Gibraltar is a hotspot for African species colonizing Europe, such as Little Swift, White-rumped Swift, Long-legged Buzzard and Rüppell’s Vulture. Also, we will explore the outskirts of Doñana in Cádiz, East of the Guadalquivir River. Here, the mosaic of saltpans and fish farms warranties good levels of water and a galore of waders, flamingos and the sough-after White-headed Duck and Marbled Duck. This tour includes a very exciting whalewatching trip off Tarifa where up to seven species of whales and Dolphins are regularly observed. Next we will change the scenery and visit the nearby mountains in Serranía de Ronda (Málaga) and the adjacent Grazalema Natural Park (Cádiz) with the magnificent Ronda as a second base to the tour. Here we will search for mountain species including the Black Wheatear, Bonelli’s and Golden Eagle, Rock Sparrows, Red-billed Chough, Alpine Swifts and Eagle Owl, to name a few. Iberian Ibex, Monarch Butterfly, Two-tailed Pasha, Mediterranean Chameleon and Northern Banded Groundling are additional non-feathered highlights on this tour.

TOUR LEADER Javier Elorriaga

155 twin/double and single rooms with private facilities By minibuses Maximum of 7 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8

Arrive in Malaga Los Lances beach Bolonia, Sierra de la Plata Doñana National Park in Cádiz Tarifa, Algeciras Càdiz, Màalaga Grazalema Natural Park Ronda, depart from Malaga

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entrance fees and services of the tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

66

J. Elorriaga

J. Elorriaga

J. Elorriaga

From 260 € (estimated from 230 £)


J. Elorriaga

M. Biasioli

ITINERARY Right after arrival to Málaga we will visit the nearby Guadalhorce River Mouth Nature Reserve. Here we will have time to relax after the trip and get an excellent introduction to the Mediterranean bird community including: Greater Flamingo, White-headed Duck, European Bee-eater and Redrumped Swallow, to name but a few. Next we will keep traveling towards Tarifa where we will admire the first raptors on migration and the striking views of the African continent, just 14km away from Europe.

Day 2

We will start the day visiting the nearby Los Lances beach within El Estrecho Natural Park. Here we will look for Audouin’s Gull, waders and terns. The surrounding pastures are excellent for Tawny Pipit, Calandra Larks, Corn Bunting and passerines on migration. By midmorning we will head to the best raptor migration observatories in the Tarifa. Remarkable numbers of Short-toed and Booted Eagle, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Marsh and Montagu’s Harrier, Egyptian Vulture and Eurasian Sparrowhawk are to be expected. In the afternoon we will embark in a 2 hours whalewatching boat trip. Navigating halfway between Europe and Africa we will get excellent views of Pilot Whale, Bottlenosed and Stripped Dolphin. We will also keep an eye for seabirds, with special attention to the endangered Balearic Shearwater.

Day 3

Bolonia and Sierra de La Plata, within El Estrecho Natural Park, offer the most beautiful views of the Strait of Gibraltar, sand dunes and the ancient Roman city of Baelo Claudia. In the cliffs Griffon Vultures and Blue Rock Thrush should be easily found.

Following the coastline up north, we will visit the Barbate Marshes, where the recently reintroduced Northen Bald Ibises forage in the wild after the breeding season. We will dedicate the second half of the day to explore Barbate and La Janda area, a real birding hotspot in southern Spain. Here Northern Bald Ibis forage and breed in the wild after a successful reintroduction project. The high density of Pheasant and Rabbit attracts a remarkable number of raptors including both Spanish Imperial and Bonelli’s Eagle. Black Winged Kite and the melanistic morph of the Montagu’s Harrier will be additional targets. Besides, the large extensions of flooded rice paddies attract sizeable numbers of White Storks and Glossy Ibises. Day 4 We will have an early start to visit the Outskirts of Doñana National Park in Cádiz (1:45h drive from Tarifa), East of Guadalquivir River. This is one of the least visited and most rewarding birding areas in Doñana. A mosaic of fish farming and salt work facilities, along with lagoons, vineyards and pastures, creates a diverse wetland. Large numbers of Flamingos, waders (ca. 20 species), Slenderbilled Gull, Caspian Tern, Purple Swamphen and Lesser Short-toed Lark are easily spotted here. White-headed Duck and Marbled Teal will be additional targets. In the afternoon, in our way back to Tarifa we will look for the rare Little and White-rumped Swifts.

day, we will visit some strategic locations between Tarifa and Algeciras looking for close-up views of raptors in active migration. Good numbers of Bee-eater and Alpine Swift are to be expected as well. In addition, we will have time to focus on some of the local specialties including the so-called “Gibraltar Buzzard” and the Rüpppell ‘s Griffon.

Today we will visit some of the inner forested valleys in the Strait of Gibraltar where migrant raptors often gather in communal roosts. Next, during the central part of the

Day 8

Day 5

Website ornitholidays.com

Day 6

After breakfast in Tarifa we will head inlad, up to Cádiz and Málaga mountains. We will cross extensive Cork Oak forest in Los Alcornocales Natural Park, the Mediterranean Jungle. Here we will add Short-toed Treecreeper and a varied array of forestdwelling species to our list in a completely different landscape. During the second half of the day, we will visit the iconic and charming Ronda, our second base in the tour. The city is located on a mountainous area of an enormous outcropped rock approximately 750 meters above sea level where Crag Martin, Alpine Swift and Red-billed Chough are widespread. Peregrines of the MediterraneanBrokeeisubspeciesbreedtoo.

Day 7

AUTUMN

Day 1

We will dedicate the day to explore the nearby Grazalema Natural Park (30 minutes drive from Ronda). Here we will have an easy hike in the limestone landscape targeting Black Wheatear, Rock Sparrow, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Rock Bunting, and Cirl Bunting, among others. This is also the home of the Spanish Ibex and the endemic Spanish Fir. Early morning birding around Ronda and transfer to Málaga airport (1h 45min).

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

67


ESTONIA The nordic migration

Mon 30th September – Mon 7th October 2019 €1700 SRS €210 - flight* £1510 SRS £190 - flight*

O

ver 10 per cent of the country is protected in an effort to preserve its flora and fauna and so many areas remain wild and unspoilt. This autumn tour allows us to witness one of the planet’s great spectacles – that is the visible migration of literally hundreds of thousands of birds as they move from their northern arctic breeding areas to their winter quarters, via strategic land masses in Estonia. Our itinerary explores the western coastal headlands, where these large numbers of migrants pass. It will not only be the visible migration that we hope to see as we shall look for some of the other exciting species to be found here at this time of year which may include White-tailed Eagle, Hazel Grouse, Grey-headed, Black and White-backed Woodpeckers, Tengmalm’s and Eurasian Pygmy Owls, Great Grey Shrike, Bohemian Waxwing and possibly Yellow-browed Warbler. There is also the possibility we may see an influx of species such as Spotted Nutcracker or Common Crossbill. Of course there will be mammals too, which may include Elk, Raccoon Dog, Wild Boar and Red and Roe Deer. Estonia is one of the closest destination that can be reached just with a few hours flight with one of the highest number of species. This tour is an exciting trip into the northest continental part of Europe migration.

TOUR LEADER Neil Glenn

150 twin/double and single rooms with private facilities By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8

Arrive in Tallinn, to Pärnu Kihnu island Kabli & Soometsa, to Saaremaa island Sõrve & Viidumäe Sõrve, to Haapsalu Matsalu National Park Põõsaspea & Haapsalu Departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, entrance fees and services of the tour leader and local guide.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

68

Estonian Nature Tours

M. Piacentino

M. Biasioli

From 250 € (estimated from 220 £)


M. Biasioli

Estonian Nature Tours

D. Domuskiev

ITINERARY We arrive in Tallinn and transfer to Pärnu town. After checking-in we have our first dinner at the restaurant.

Day 2

After breakfast we drive to Munalaiu harbour where we take the ferry to Kihnu island. The crossing takes about one hour and already from Munalaiu harbour you may spot the first Sparrowhawks crossing the sea and White-tailed Eagles hunting the seaduck. The ferry trip also produces good views of Greater Scaup,Velvet Scoter and Long-tailed Duck. Although Kihnu island is the least-visited migration point by local birders, the most southern tip of the island, Cape Pitkänä, is definitely one of the most interesting place for migratory passerines and raptors in Autumn. On the last week of September and first two weeks of October, days with over 100,000 migrants are not rare. Kihnu is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga and the seventh largest in Estonia. Originally used by seal hunters and fishermen Kihnu is now a culturally significant and essentially matriarchal society.

This morning we drive to the Sõrve Peninsula and Sääre Spit. It is the best place in the country to watch Skuas, Waders, and diving ducks. The Sõrve is famous for its frequent sighting of rare birds and, especially during autumn migration, the chances are good. Migrant raptors can be seen in good numbers, especially Sparrowhawk, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons but also Lesser Spotted and other eagles. The migration of passerines at peak times often includes enormous numbers. It is an unforgettable experience to follow the passage of hundreds of thousands of Chaffinches, Bramblings and Siskins from the watch point atop an old Soviet military concrete fortification. After lunch at the hotel and a short rest we visit Viidumäe Nature Reserve where we can see or hear Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Nutcracker, Great Grey Shrike, Rough-legged Buzzard and, hopefully, Tengmalm´s and Pygmy Owl.

Day 5

Day 3

After breakfast we continue our birding at Loode coast and Lõu Bay and also have a short visit to Sõrve Bird Observatory again. We return to the mainland in late afternoon and drive to the northern shore of Matsalu Bay.

Day 4

Following our coastal pursuit of migratory and staging waterbirds we reach Matsalu National Park. This is the most famous birding area in Estonia, known as one of the most important breeding and stop-over areas for waterfowl and shorebirds in the whole of Northern Europe. Matsalu Bay is typically covered with the white spots of about 10,000 Whooper and Bewick Swans, tens of thousands of Goldeneye, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal and waders. Also, several thousand Barnacle, Bean, Greylag and White-fronted Geese harvest the grass of local meadows and fields. The Matsalu area is also well known as an autumn Common Crane staging area. As many as 20,000 birds gather around the bay and feed in the adjacent fields (peak time is mid-September!). We will drive to the Puise Peninsula in the early morning and explore a variety of Põgari-Sassi coastal habitats. We also visit Haeska watchtower. Besides passerine migration we hope to improve our bird list

We depart early in the morning and visit the Kabli bird station near the Latvian border where one can witness bird-ringing and often see birds in the hand, including stunning white-headed europaeus race Long-tailed Tits, Willow Tits, Crested Tits, Nuthatches and other woodland passerines as well as Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and eastern vagrants such as Yellow-browed and Pallas´s Warblers. After a very nice lunch in Häädemeeste village, we will visit a lookout tower and wooden pathway in the Tolkuse bog. As the Soometsa woodlands hold a nice mixture of deciduous as well as coniferous trees, an afternoon here is remarkably good for finding several interesting forest birds. Grey-headed, White-backed and Black Woodpeckers, Hazel Grouse and Nutcracker are all frequently encountered here. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Virtsu harbour where we take the ferry to Muhu island and drive to Kuressaare town in Saaremaa island.

Day 6

Website ornitholidays.com

with several raptors, such as Rough-legged Buzzard and maybe even Hawk Owl! When it gets darker, we shall watch from viewing platforms and while enjoying the geese or late Cranes we’ll also look out for White-tailed Eagles, Harriers – and Elk.

Day 7

We will start from the most north-easterly point, Cape Põõsaspea. This small northstretching spit is situated at the migratory crossroads where masses of waterbirds coming from the gulfs of Bothnia and Finland meet. Cape Põõsaspea is the best place for autumn passage waterbirds. During one season, nearly 2.5 million Arctic-breeding wildfowl passed this narrow bottleneck, with daily totals sometimes exceeding 100,000. The biggest daily counts here include 8,400 Velvet Scoter, 6,000 Greater Scaup, and over 2,000 Red-throated and Black-throated Divers. Around 300,000 Long-tailed Duck pass the point during the first two weeks of October. Rare waterbirds seen from this location include White-billed Diver, King Eider, Grey Phalarope and Little Auk. Rare or scarce passerines have included Desert Wheatear and Yellow-browed and Dusky Warblers. After a lunch at Roosta, we will visit Haapsalu town, nearby. This region has many shallow sheltered bays, coastal lagoons, marshlands and reedbeds. The spectacular view from the coastal promenade over Haapsalu Bay can deliver tens of thousands of Goldeneye, Coot, Greater Scaup, Tufted Duck, Wigeon and other wildlfowl, including Smew. Regular distractions include White-tailed Eagles, and Common Cranes, swans, waders and other exciting birds are all present

AUTUMN

Day 1

Day 8

On our way back to Tallinn, we will make a short visit to some old-growth coniferous and mixed forest where we hope to be entertained by Black Grouse, whilst other attractions in this area include Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Wryneck, and some interesting woodpeckers. We will return to Tallinn by late morning and have a pleasant guided tour of Tallinn Old Town, before driving you to the airport for your flight.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

69


ARGENTINA Central And North-West Argentina Tue 15th October – Mon 28th October 2019

€3920 SRS €650 - flight* £3490 SRS £580 - flight*

N

orthwestern Argentina holds some of the most spectacular landscape settings, ranging from humid forests to extremely arid lands and from lowlands to mountains more than 4,000 m (13,000 ft) high. A host of localized and endemic birds are present making this a prime birding trip. Throughout the Andes, we’ll experience the diversity of climates and habitats at every turn as we enter the valleys and climb the mountain tops. Deep in the valleys live the endemic Moreno’s Ground-Dove, Yellow-striped Brush-Finch, Tucuman Mountain-Finch, and White-browed Tapaculo.The Torrent Duck and Rufous-throated Dipper will have us scanning every stream. The humid Yungas Cloudforest and Montane forest are host to the Alder Amazon, Red-faced Guan, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Fulvousheaded Brush-Finch, Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch,Fawn-breasted and Rust-and-Yellow Tanagers, among others.Higher up, there are open grasslands and shrubby ravines inhabited by the rare Rufous-bellied Saltator,Maquis and Scribble-tailed Canasteros, Band-tailed and Plumbeous Sierra-Finch.In the arid valleys covered with “Monte” desert we will look for the endemic Sandy Gallito, White-throated Cacholote and Steinbach’s Canastero.While walking through the beautiful colonial village of Yavi, we can find Citron-headed Yellow-Finch, Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Giant Hummingbird and noisy flocks of Mountain Parakeet.Finally, at the highest point of our trip we reach the lakes of the barren Puna, home of large concentrations of water birds usually including three species of both coots and flamingos.Besides its rich birdlife, this journey is an opportunity to experience the authentic culture of the Andes and to enjoy magnificent scenery as well as superb “Malbec” wines.

TOUR LEADER Dobromir Domuschiev

300 twin/double and single rooms with private facilities By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Days 5- 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Days 11-12 Day 13 Day 14

Arrival in Buenos Aires Cordoba Dean Funes Tafi del Valle Calchaqui valleys Quebrada de las conchas Cuesta del Obispo Humahuaca Puna grassland and Yavi area Yala village Departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, domestic flights and services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

M. Valentini

M. Valentini

From 1430 € (estimated from 1280 £)

G. Pugnali

70

M. Lorenzo


M. Valentini

M. Valentini

M. Valentini

ITINERARY Arrival in Argentina and transfer to the hotel in downtown. Afternoon excursion to Costanera Sur Nature Reserve marshes, located by the Rio de la Plata. White-tufted Grebe, Coscoroba and Black-necked Swans, 3 sps. of Coots, Rosy-billed Pochard, Silver Teal, Wattled Jacana, Monk Parakeet, Picazuro Pigeon, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Checkered Woodpecker, Rufous Hornero, Freckle-breasted Thornbird, Spectacled Tyrant, Masked Gnatcatcher, Rufous-bellied Thrush, Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Red-crested Cardinal, Black-and-Rufous Warbling-Finch.

Days 2-3

Transfer to the domestic airport and fly to Cordoba. Upon arrival, meet guide and drive to “Pampa de Achala” to look for the highlands endemics. Later descend to the valley and check-in at hotel located in proximity to “Chaco” type woods. Next day full day walking and birding the Sierran Chaco habitats around the hotel. Brushland Tinamou, Andean Tinamou, Andean Condor, Spot-winged Falconet, Red-tailed Comet, Black-bodied Woodpecker, Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, Chaco Earthcreeper, Rufous-banded Miner, Olrog’s Cinclodes, Cordoba Cinclodes, Crested Hornero, Lesser Canastero, Lark-like Brushrunner, Little thornbird, Great Antshrike, Least Shrike-tyrant, Salinas Monjita, Grey-crowned Tyrannulet, Chiguanco Thrush, Black-and-chestnut Warbling-Finch, Crested Gallito, Olivecrowned Crescentchest, Chaco Puffbird, Black-crested Finch, Stripe-capped Sparrow, Many-coloured Chaco-finch, Goldenbilled Saltator, Band-tailed Sierra-Finch.

Day 4

Morning birding near the hotel. After lunch, depart to Dean Funes, located deeper in the chaco woods. Afternoon excursion to the “Salinas Grandes”, one of the largest Saltflats in the country, home of some bird endemisms.

Day 5

Morning birding near Dean Funes at the dry chaco woods. Depart to Tucuman, arriving in the afternoon to Yungas Cloudforest habitats as we climb to the

village of Tafi del valle, located at 2000 m.

Day 6

Tafi del Valle is a quiet mountain retreat nestled in the Aconquija mountain range from where we’ll explore Yungas Cloudforest and high altitude grasslands. Ornate Tinamou, Andean Tinamou, Andean Goose, Andean Lapwing, Andean Coot, Rufous-throated Dipper, Torrent Duck, Andean Swift, Giant Hummingbird, Black-winged Ground-Dove, Moreno’s Ground-Dove, Burrowing Parrot, Mitred Parakeet, Andean Hillstar, Red-tailed Comet, White-throated Cacholote, Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Slender-billed Miner, Rock Earthcreeper, Brown-capped Tit-spinetail, Steinbach’s, Puna and Scribble-tailed Canasteros, Azara’s Spinetail, Spot-breasted Thornbird, Sandy Gallito, White-browed Tapaculo, White-winged Black-Tyrant, Slaty Elaenia, White-throated Tyrannulet, Paramo Pipit, Brown-capped Whitestart, Twobanded Warbler, Fawn-breasted Tanager, White-tipped Plantcutter, Plain-colored seedeater, Greenish Yellow-Finch, Rufoussided Warbing-Finch, Ringed WarblingFinch, Yellow-striped Brush-Finch, Tucuman Mountain-finch, Common Brush-Finch, Band-tailed Sierra-Finch.

Day 7

Today we leave Tafi and drive up to the high pass of El Infiernillo (3042 m), descending into the semi desertic “Calchaqui” valleys, home of an endemic biome of Argentina, the “monte” scrub. Vineyards and wineries are also part of this beautiful landscape, where the village of Cafayate will be our ideal base.

Day 8

After a morning excursion to the ruins of Quilmes, a pre-hispanic fortified village, we continue our trip north driving along the scenic “Quebrada de las Conchas”.

Days 9-10

Today we take a full day excursion to the “Cuesta del Obispo” (route of the Bishop), a scenic mountain drive lined with forests, cacti fields and grasslands. Next day on our way to Humahuaca gorge, we’ll take the scenic “Camino de cornisa”, a narrow road that winds

Website ornitholidays.com

through the mountain side allowing magnificent views of the forest between Salta and Jujuy. An early afternoon arrival to the village of Humahuaca will allow us to walk in the surrounding habitats.

Days 11-12

Today we climb higher into the Altiplano, stopping en route at high andean lakes near Abra Pampa. Ascending gradually up to 4000 m, we’ll find Puna grasslands and high altitude lakes. Puna Rhea, Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, three species of flamingos (Chilean, Andean, puna), three of coots (Giant, Horned and Andean), Puna Teal, Andean Goose, Puna Ibis, Andean Avocet, Puna Plover, Giant Hummingbird, Golden-spotted Ground-Dove, Mountain Parakeet, Rufous banded and Puna Miners, Andean Swallow, Puna Yellow-Finch, White-winged Negrito, Brown-backed Mockingbird, Black-hooded Sierra-finch, Black Siskin. Next day a trip to Yavi area to look for high andean valleys specialities. Wedge tailed Hillstar, Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Andean Swallow, Black Siskin, Citron-headed Yellow-finch.

Day 13

Going down to Jujuy we’ll retrace our steps back stopping at any place we liked to check again for birds before arriving in Yala, a small village with montane forest habitats nearby. Bat Falcon, Dusky-legged Guan, Rufous Nightjar, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Montane Screech-Owl, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Speckled Hummingbird, Slender-tailed Woodstar, Blue-crowned Trogon, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Giant Antbird, Sclater’s Tyrannulet, Buff-banded Tyrannulet, Mountain Wren, Spotted NightingaleThrush, Glossy-Black Thrush, Palelegged Warbler, Black-backed Grosbeak, Fulvous-headed Brush-finch.

AUTUMN

Day 1

Day 14

Morning excursion to Yala lagoons and Montane forest habitats. Transfer to Jujuy airport for flying to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, transfer to the international airport.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

71


ETHIOPIA Undiscovered Africa

Sun 13th – Mon 28th October 2019

€3990 SRS €320 - flight* £3550 SRS £285 - flight*

E

thiopia is a vast country, situated in north-eastern Africa, the so called Horn of Africa, to which it also belongs along with neighbouring (correct spelling in English, not American!) Eritrea and Somalia. It is predominantly a mountainous country and a green one too as it receives a lot of rain. Ethiopia has an amazing 850 bird species of which at least are 30 endemic (some are shared with its neighbor Eritrea). Moreover, the birds seem to be everywhere, wherever you turn your eyes there are birds nearby and often in good numbers. They are also quite approachable as they are not persecuted and hunted here by the local people. There is also a good diversity of mammals (279 species) and other wildlife and we will be looking for them too. The main one is the unique Ethiopian Wolf - endangered and endemic, but also the Mountain Nyala, Menelik’s Bushbuck and many more. Our tour will coincide with the bird migration period so besides seeing nearly four hundred bird species many of them in considerable numbers too. We will be visiting various habitats in order to record all this variety - the remote and beautiful Bale Mountains, the Rift Valley, few wetlands and big lakes, one of the few remaining forests and the Blue Nile tributaries.

TOUR LEADER Neil Glenn

380 single and double room with private facilities in hotel and motel By minibuses and boat Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4- 5 Day 6 Day 7-9 Days 10-11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16

Debre Libanos Debre Birhan Melja Gebdu, Gemasa Gedel Awash National Park Debre Zeit, Lake Langano Bale Mountain National Park Negele Acacia savannah Yabello Lake Awassa Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary Addis Abeba and departure

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, services of the English-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

72

D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

From 760 € (estimated from 680 £)


D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

D. Domuschiev

ITINERARY Upon arrival we drive north to Debre Libanos via Entoto Hills and cross a pass at 2,602 metres to reach the Solulta Plains, a region of grassy uplands with a good selection of birdlife. Upon getting at the cliff edges of Debre Libanos, we will look for the endemic Ruppell’s Chat, White-billed Starling as well as White-winged CliffChat. This area is also good for raptors - Lammergeiers, Ruppell’s Griffons, Lanner Falcons, Fan-tailed Ravens, Black Kites, and Black Eagles can be seen soaring from the lodge. The splendid Gelada Baboon, found in no other part of the world, can also be seen in this area. One night at Ethio-German hotel.

Day 2

We set off early to Debre Birhan but first we will make a little diversion into Jemma Valley to look for the localized endemic Harwood’s Francolin and elusive Lineated Pytilia. Other species include Black- winged Lovebird, Banded Barbet, Rüppell’s Black Chat, White-winged Cliff Chat, Ethiopian Boubou, Abyssinian Oriole, White-billed Starling, and Yellow-rumped Seedeater. In the afternoon, we will continue to Debre Birhan where we will stay for the next two nights.

Day 3

Excursion to Melka Gebdu and afternoon to Gemasa Gedel. O/n Getva Hotel Our target species for this morning’s excursion to Melka Ghebdu River area is the Yellow-throated Seedeater. In the afternoon we will visit Gemasa Gedel for the localised Ankober Serin, a rare and elusive Ethiopian endemic discovered only in 1976 that survives along a few kilometres of this grand escarpment, and the Gelada or Lion-headed Baboon.

Day 4

Drive to Awash National Park so we descend from the Central Highlands to a location in the Rift Valley; Awash National Park. Home to over 400 birds, Awash, provides best opportunity for a pleasant birdwatching . Species we may encounter en route include Yellow-throated Seedeater, Black Scrub Robin, Litchenstein’s and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouses, Sombre Chat and Yellow-breasted Barbet.

Day 5

We will spend today exploring Awash. The beauty of Awash is that visitors can explore it on foot, for it is free from typical east African park restrictions, and most dangerous mammals. We hope to find Beisa Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Defassa Waterbuck, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Warthog, Salts Dik-dik, Olive and Sacred Baboons. The birdlife is exceptional and includes Buff-crested, White-bellied, Kori, and even Arabian Bustards, Rosy-patched and other shrikes, plus many species of hornbills, weavers, woodpeckers, vultures, doves, pigeons, guineafowl, glossy starlings, bee-eaters and barbets to name but a few!

Day 6

We stop at Debre Zeit to bird at the Lake Chelekle-

ka. Continuing from here, we will have a brief road side stop at Lake Koka and move on to Lake Ziway where we will have some time to visit the lake looking for the spectacular Black Crowned Crane, Pink-backed Pelican, African Darter, Goliath Heron, Yellow-billed and Saddle-billed Storks. Strolling along the lakeshore at Lake Ziway will allow us excellent views of confiding White Pelican, while Northern Carmine Bee-eater and the less colourful Ethiopian Cisticola can be seen around the lake edge.

Day 7

Drive a little way to the forested section of Lake Langano. Here we will look for Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Lemon Dove, Narina Trogon, Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguides, African Hill Babbler, Double-toothed and Banded Barbets, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, endemic Yellow fronted Parrot, Abyssinian Ground Thrus and Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike and Redheaded Weaver..

Day 8

From Lake Langano we journey south through the Rift Valley, a drive that will allow us to see flocks of White-collared Pigeons and Wattled Ibis along the roadside and Dusky Turtle Doves become common. We make a stop at a traditional roost site for Cape Eagle Owl, before continuing to the Bale Mountain National Park headquarters where we explore the rich juniper woodlands for roosting Abyssinian Owl and perhaps even African Wood Owl or Montane Nightjar. Overnight in Goba Wabe Shebelle Hotel for two nights.

Day 9

The Bale Mountains, where the beautiful Ethiopian Wolf roams in small groups and is invariably seen, host Klippspringers, Abyssinian Hares, Warthogs, Rock Hyrax, the peculiar endemic Giant Root-rat and the ubiquitous but difficult to observe Blick’s Grass Rat may also be encountered. Amongst an interesting collection of upland birds we are likely to see several of Ethiopia’s 24 endemics including the Blue-winged Goose, Rouget’s Rail, Spot-breasted Lapwing, White-collared Pigeon, Golden- backed Woodpecker, Abyssinian Longclaw, Abyssinian Catbird, White-backed Tit, Black-headed Siskin and Thick-billed Raven.

Day 10

Today we have a long drive to Negele via the Sannete Plateau. As we lose altitude we will exit the forest zone and enter progressively drier thorn savannah in this remote, southern section of Ethiopia. Finally, we reach a dry wadi on the Genale River; home to Ethiopia’s most sought after endemic, Ruspoli’s Turaco.

Day 11

East of Negele lays a unique open grassland, the Liben Plains, to which the little known Archer’s (Sidamo) Lark is restricted. This species belongs to the

Website ornitholidays.com

unusual genus Heteromirafra, which also includes the South African Rudd’s Lark, and is considered one of the most endangered birds on Earth. We should also find small parties of hovering Lesser Kestrel, the giant Kori Bustard (the world’s heaviest flying bird), Black-winged Lapwing; the range restricted Somali Short-toed Lark, Plain-backed Pipit and Pectoral-patch Cisticola.

Day 12

Today we head towards the home to two of Ethiopia’s most sought-after endemic birds; the enigmatic Stresemann’s Bushcrow and glistening White-tailed Swallow. Several birding stops will break the journey including the breakfast stop that often comes with White-winged Dove and Blackfaced Sandgrouse. Other noteworthy birds we may encounter en route to Yabello include the scarce Somali Courser, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Magpie Starling, Black-capped and Grey-capped Social Weavers, Steel-blue Whydah and its host, Blackcheeked Waxbill. Two nights at Yabello Motel

Day 13

We have a full day to bird the Yabello area and get better acquainted with Stresemann’s Bushcrow and White-tailed Swallow. Other birds we will be looking for are Gabar Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Yellownecked Spurfowl, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Mottled Swift, Foxy Lark, Tree Pipit, the localised Bare-eyed Thrush, Spotted Palm Thrush, African Grey Flycatcher, Pale Prinia, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Banded Parisoma, Hunter’s and Shining Sunbirds and White-winged Widowbird. A night drive in this exciting area could produce DonaldsonSmith’s and Slender-tailed Nightjars, Greyish Eagle-Owl, Northern White-faced Owl and Threebanded Courser.

Day 14

Depart Yabello and late afternoon we will reach our comfortable hotel, on the shores of Lake Awassa, where we hope to see Lesser Jacana, Greater Painted-snipe, Black Crake and African Swamphen on a boat trip. The hotel garden is also excellent place for birding. Two nights and United Africa hotel.

AUTUMN

Day 1

Day 15

A day devoted to Senkelle Swayne’s Hartebeest Sanctuary set aside to protect the largest population of Swayne’s Hartebeest in Ethiopia, a mammal endemic to the country.

Day 16

Today we drive back to Addis birding en route planning to reach there in the mid-afternoon hours. We will have day rooms to freshen up and a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant before being transferred to the Bole International Airport for final departure.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

73


PERU

Birding The South In Luxury Wed 16th – Mon 27th October 2019

€4500 - flight* £4010 - flight* SRS to be announced

S

ince 1975, Inkaterra has pioneered ecotourism and sustainable development in Peru, and is committed to scientific research and conservation. A new Birding Program will take travellers from the heart of the Amazon rainforest of southern Peru, to the mists of the Andean Cloud Forest, discovering the richness and biodiversity within the country’s most breathtaking and varied environments. Birdwatchers will have the chance to spot some of the 700 bird species registered by world renowned birders during past Birding Rally Challenges. Impossible to list them all, among the others, the Inca Wren, endemic of the stunning Macchu pichu bamboo forest, the emblematic Andean Cock of the Rock, which can be spotted in one of the lodges garden, not to mention the incredible number of tanagers, trogons and other species visible from the 30 mt Canopy Tower located in the Amazon Forest Inkaterra Guides Field Station. But the real treat of this tour is the combination between one of the most beautiful birding experiences in the world and the luxurious lodges where you’ll be accommodated. Food is superb and the lodges sophisticated details will make you feel like cuddled, while the beautiful framework and the extremely high quantity of species will fill you up with satisfaction.

TOUR LEADER Local guides

500 Luxury resorts By minibuses and boat Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY Days 1-2 Days 3-6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12

Lima Puerto Maldonado Sacred Valley Machu Picchu (Cusco) Cusco Fly to Lima International flight

INCLUDES

Most meals, accommodation, local transports, excursions, and entrance fees, services of the English/Spanish-speaking tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

74

M. Lorenzo M. Valentini

M. Valentini

Inkaterra

From 870 € (estimated from 770 £)


M. Valentini

Inkaterra

Inkaterra

ITINERARY Upon arrival in Lima, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. Take an excursion to “Pantanos de Villa” or Villa Wetlands, about 1 hour south of the Capital, and one of the few protected areas found within the Metropolitan city of Lima where it is possible to observe Peruvian Thick-knee, Peruvian Meadowlark, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Peruvian Pelican, Kelp Gull, Belcher’s Gull, American Oystercatcher, among others.

Days 3-6

Transfer to the airport and catch your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred by road to the river port, before taking a 55-minute boat ride on the Madre de Dios River, to Inkaterra Guides Field Station. Visit the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway: ascend the first tower, 30 meters (99 feet) above the forest floor. Spend an hour-and-a-half walking along the bridges that stretch between seven platforms, as you see giant strangler fig trees, orchids, toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, and with luck, monkeys or a three-toed sloth. The visit will take place either in the morning, or the afternoon, depending on the weather. Excursion to Lake Sandoval: Take a 40-minute upriver boat ride to the Tambopata National Reserve, and spend an hour-and-a-half walking the scenic 3km (1.8mile) trail through wildlife-rich reserve where parrots, macaws and the rare Black-faced Continga are likely to be dwelling. Once at the lake, you will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the endangered Giant River Otter. Some types of monkey also reside in and around the lake, like the rare Red Howler, Brown capuchin and Common Squirrel monkeys, red-bellied macaws, black caymans and side-neck turtles. In the afternoon, take a walk through the trails of Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción. Boat trip to Lake Valencia: 4-hours down the Madre de Dios

river in the middle of an enchanting Brazil Nut Forest. On route, stop in Gamitana Farm, located 25-minutes from the lodge, to look for birds such as tanagers and flycatchers among others, that feed on the agricultural fields of the farm. Continue to Lake Valencia where it is possible to see Oropendolas, Caciques, Flycatchers and the Prehistoric looking Hoatzin bird. There is a trail into Terra Firme forest in Lake Valencia where it is possible to find interesting birds of that habitat as the Pale-winged trumpeter, Pavonnine Quetzal, manakins, antbirds and more. An afternoon workshop will be organized for the group, the topic of which will be based on the current projects taking place at the lodge.

Days 7-8

River and land transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by an Inkaterra representative, before taking a road transfer to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. On the way to the hotel, stop at Huaypo lagoon with the possibility of seeing Puna Ibis, Ruddy Duck, Puna Teal, Yellow-winged Blackbirds, and with luck Andean Goose, Giant Coot among others. Early departure to visit Abra Malaga, an interesting Polylepis forest located at 4.200 m (13,780ft).a.s.l.. This is a good place to look for the rare and endemic Royal Cinclodes and White-browed Tit-Spinetail, and you may find birds such as the Stripe-headed Antpitta, seedeaters and finches among others. Other species that can be seen include Andean Goose, White-winged Diuca-Finch, Giant Conebill,Tit-like Dacnis, Blue mantled Thornbill, Purple-backed thornbill, Line-fronted Canastero, Puna Thistletail, Streak-throated Canastero – Tawny Tit-Spinetail, White-browned Tit-Spinetail, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Scytalopus Simonsi and Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant. Finally, visit the “Peñas”, where there is a possibility to find birds such as the White-tufted Sumbeam, Shining Sumbeam,

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Great Sapphirewing, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Rusty-fronted Canastero, Black-throathed Flowerpiercer, Cinereous Conebill. Uncommon: Junin Canastero, Bearded Mountainer, Tit-like Dacnis, Chesnut-breasted mountain finch. Transfer to the train station to go to Machu Picchu Village. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by an Inkaterra representative and taken to Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

Day 9

Make the short transfer to the bus station for a 25-minute journey to Machu Picchu, and enjoy a guided tour of the world-renowned Inca Citadel, one of the best spots to find the endemic Inca Wren, and other bird species like Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Mountain Caracara and Golden-billed Saltator. Visit the tropical gardens within Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, where there is a strong chance of finding tanagers, hummingbirds or the emblematic Andean Cock of the Rock. You can also find the world’s largest collection of native orchid species in their natural setting within a private facility (372 species- World record according to the AOS).

Day 10

Those that are interested can take an early birding excursion,beforetakingthetraintoOllantaytambo. Upon arrival, transfer by road to Cusco, stopping off at the Maras Inca open-air salt mines. Cusco was the ancient capital and spiritual heart of the Incan Empire, as well as an important colonial center. Strolling its cobblestone streets, you will spot both marvelous Incan architecture and Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial Period. Afternoon excursions to the main attractions of the city.

AUTUMN

Days 1-2

Day 11

Transfer to the airport in Cusco to take your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Day 12

Check out and transfer to the airport for your International flight.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

75


BHUTAN

Birds and Rhododendron Tour In The Himalayan Kingdom Mon 13rd – Thu 30th April 2020

€4500 SRS €370 - flight* £4010 SRS £325 - flight*

B

irdwatching in Bhutan is a sublime experience as it is a small sparsley populated country with a small towns that are frequently surrounded by untouched habitat. In the valleys, the wide rivers provide excellent wintering habitat for the Ibis bill-that strange and enigmatic wader from the Tibetan plateau. On the upland mires, Black-necked Cranes (the worlds least known Crane species) maybe encountered, prior to their North ward departure to their breeding grounds in Tibet. The forests are the best-preserved anywhere in the Himalayas and other species we can seek include Himalayan Monal, Blood and Kalij Pheasants, Wallcreeper, Crested Kingfisher, Great Barbet and Yellow Billed Blue Magpie. We should come across many colourful minivets, fulvettas, minlas, yuhinas and sunbirds, and three species of forktails are possible. Although birding is our main priority, we can take time to appreciate the Buddist culture and, in particular, we shall have several opportunities to see Dzongs, which blend the role of both fortress and monastery, playing a central part in Bhutanese life.

TOUR LEADER Nigel Jones

400 Single and double room in hotel and lodge + tents By minibuses Maximum of 12 clients

OUTLINE ITINERARY

Samdrup Jongkhar Valley of Morong and Orong Yongkola Thrumshing La National Park Chummey, Sengor Village, Thrumshing La TrongsaviaTharpalingMonastery Day 9 Tingtibi via Wangduegang Day 10 and Dakphai Valley Days 11-12 Royal Manas National Park Trongsa via Wangduegang Day 13 Phobjikha Day 14 Punakha, Dangchu farm road Day 15 Paro Day 16 Chele La Day 17 Flight to Delhi Day 18 Days 1-3 Day 4 Day 5 Days 6-7 Day 8

INCLUDES

Meals, accommodation, local transports, all activities and excursions, camping equipment’s, museum entrance fees, services of the tour leader.

*INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

76

Inkaterra

Inkaterra

From 670 € (estimated from 600 £)


Inkaterra

Inkaterra

Inkaterra

ITINERARY Fly from Delhi into Guwahati Airport and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar (110kms), stopping en-route at Garchawk garbage dumpsite. Other expected species; Lesser and Greater Adjutants (both very rare); Little cormorant; White-throated Kingfisher, Purple Heron, Bronze-winged Jacana and Yellowwattled Lapwing.

Days 2-3

Two full days are spent in the tropical forests of SamdrupJongkhar,astretchof70kmsisfulloftropical birding and wildlife excellence. Expected species; Oriental Honey-buzzard, Greater Coucal, Longtailed Broadbill, Sultan Tit, Yellow-bellied Warbler, Strip Tit, Jungle, Rufous-capped, Grey-throated and Golden babblers, White-bellied Yuhina, Grey Wagtail, Black Kite, Savanna Nightjar, Emerald and Red-collard doves, Coppersmith and Blue-eared barbets, Collard Scops Owl, Common and Himalayan flamebacks, Rufous Treepie, Greater rackettailed Drongo, Black-nape Monarch, Oriental Pied, Great and Wreathed hornbills and more.

Day 4

Deothang to Trashigang, 170kms. Birding along the sub-tropical forests of Morong and Orong village. Apart from excellent birding you will also enjoy the ever changing landscape and the view across the Eastern Himalayas. Expected species; White-tailed and Beautiful (rare) Nuthatch, Black-tailed Crake, Long-billed Thrush (rare), Mountain Tailorbird (rare), Red-headed Trogon, Whistlers and Greycheeked Warblers, Slaty-Blue, little Pied and Whitegorgeted flycatchers (the later is rare) and more.

Day 5

Start early and bird along the Kore La road. This cool broadleaved forest is full of birding excellence. After breakfast we will continue to Yongkola stopping along the famous Lingmethang road for more birds. Expected species; Pallas Fish Eagle, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Ultramarine and Little Pied Flycatchers, Blanford’s Rosefinch, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler.

Days 6-7

Two full days are spent along the famous Namling – Lingmethang road, the 70kms stretch is excellent for birds, wildlife and flowers. The area is considered to be one of the best birding hotspots in all of Asia. Expected species; Satyr Tragopan, Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Hill Partridge, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Speckled Wood-Pigeon, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Blue-fronted Robin, Wedge-billed

and Pygmy (Cupwing) Black-chinned yuhinas, the exquisite Yellow-throated Fulvetta (rare and virtually unknown elsewhere), Greater Rufousheaded and Black-throated Parrotbills, Wards Trogon, Scarlet Finch, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar Babble.

Cuckoo Dove, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, the amazing Rufous-necked and Great hornbills, Whitebrowed Piculet, White-hooded Babbler (found only in this area), Rufous-faced and Yellow-bellied Warblers, the very rare Pale-headed Woodpecker and the rare Beautiful Nuthatch.

Yongkola to Chummey via Ura by pass, 150km. Early morning birding along the Sengor Valley, looking for high altitude birds. After breakfast we will continue to Chummey, crossing over Thrumshing La (3890m). Expected species; Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Gray-crested, Coal, Yellow-browed and Black-browed tits, Mrs Gould’s and Green-tailed sunbirds, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Ashy-throated, Lemon-rumped, Large-billed and Blyth’s Leaf-warblers; Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Chestnutbellied Rock Thrush, Snow Pigeon, Himalayan Forest Thrush New split from Plain-backed Thrush.

Tingtibi to Trongsa via Wangduegang by pass, 130kms. Birding along the Wangduegang road. Expected species; Himalayan Bulbul, Long-tailed Broadbill, Blue Rock Thrush, Blue-capped Rock Thrush, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Crested Bunting, Striated Yuhina, Crimson Sunbird, Spotwinged Starling, White-crested Laughingthrush, Common Rosefinch, Bay Woodpecker, Greyheaded Parrotbill, Little Forktail, Black Eagle and Blue-winged Minla.

Day 8

Day 9

Chummey to Trongsa (69kms) via Tharpaling Monastery for pheasants. After breakfast drive over Yotong La, 3450m to Trongsa. Expected species; Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Stipe-throated Yuhina, White-winged Grosbeak, Himalayan Griffon, Himalayan Buzzard, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Crimson-browed Finch, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Gold-naped Finch, Brownish-flanked Warbler, Red-headed Bullfinch and Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler.

Day 10

Trongsa to Tingtibi via Wangduegang and Shemgang, (160kms). Birding along Chunjey Pang, Dangdung, Koshala, Wangduegang and Dakphai Valley. Expected species; Eurasian Jay, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Greater Yellownape, Hill Prinia, Large Niltava, Blue-capped Rock Thrush, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Little Forktail, Striated Prinia, Striated Yuhina, Crimson Sunbird, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Blue-throated Barbet, Rufous and Bay Woodpeckers, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Rufous-necked Hornbill.

Days 11-12

Two days are spent, exploring the sub-tropical forests of Tingtibi, Dakphai and Gomphu. We are in the heart of Royal Manas National Park and a prime location for the rare Golden Langur. The area is also considered to be one of the best birding hot-spots in the world. Expected species; Rufousthroated and Chestnut-breasted partridges, Barred

Website ornitholidays.com

Day 13

Day 14

Trongsa to Phobjikha, 85kms. Stopping for birds along the Pele La road (3350m). We will plan to get to Phobjikhabeforelunchsothatwecanenjoythevalley and the wintering Black-necked Cranes in flocks.

Day 15

Phobjikha to Punakha, 87kms. We will rise early to bird along the Lawa La pass and further along the Nobding road. In the late afternoon we will visit the magnificent Punakha dzong before driving to our hotel. Expected species; Spotted, Black-faced and White-throated Laughingthrushes, Goldenthroated and Great Barbets, Crested Serpent Eagle.

Day 16

Punakha to Paro, 125kms. Stopping en-route at Menchuna, Lampelri Botanical park and Dochu La (3150m) for birds. Expected species; Mrs. Gould’s and Green-tailed sunbirds, Black-tailed Crake, Lemon-rumped and Chestnut-crowned warblers, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Green Shrike Babbler, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Fire-capped Tit, Red-billed Leiothrix, Scarlet Finch, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Brown Parrotbill.

AUTUMN

Day 1

Day 17

Early morning drive to Chele La (3,780m) for high altitude birding, after a picnic lunch return to Paro, 130kms. Expected species: Kalij Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, Blood Pheasant, Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch, Blue-fronted and Hodgson’s Redstarts, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Orange-flanked and White-browed Bush Robins and Rufous-breasted Accentor.

Day 18

Fly to Delhi for your onward connection.

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

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MORE TOURS SOUTHERN SPAIN - Lynxes, Eagles And More

M. Mendi

A tour based upon seeing one of the country’s most endangered mammals, the iberian Lynx. A combined birding and mammal holiday; being a feline in the wild it can not be 100% guaranteed but chances are high! The bird life in this area of rolling mountains and hills is also interesting with Spanish Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Griffon Vulture and Hawfinch often in view among many others.

Thu 24th January – Thu 31th January 2019

€1740 SRS €120 - exc.flights £1549 SRS £106

D. Domuschiev

BULGARIA - Red-breasted Geese Special

In January and February nearly the whole world population of the Red-breasted Geese can be found around Durankulak and Shabla lakes in north-east Bulgaria: 20-30.000 specimens. It is a spectacle you can’t see anywhere else. Moreovere, we are going to see about 80 more species, as Lesser White-fronted Goose, Pygmy Cormorant, Long-legged Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, White-tailed Eagle, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Spotted Eagle, possible Saker Falcon, Moustached Warbler, and many others.

Wed 6th – Sun 10th February 2019 €625/individual €750 SRS €95 - exc.flights £560/individual £670 SRS £85

Merce R. Romero

DONANA & ANDUJAR - Focusing on Lynxes

A tour based upon seeing one of the country’s most endangered mammals, the iberian Lynx. A combined birding and mammal holiday; being a feline in the wild it can not be 100% guaranteed but chances are high! The bird life in this area of rolling mountains and hills is also interesting with Spanish Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Griffon Vulture and Hawfinch often in view among many others.

Mon 28th January – Sun 03th February 2020

Price to be announced

M. Mendi

SPRING IN SPAIN- Andalusia & Extremadura

In Extremadura we will have the wonderful opportunity to stay in a private estate in part included in the famous Monfrague National Park. An estate specially developed for nature tourism and with photographic hides where several species can be seen at a close distance! The remaining 3 nights will be spent in a high quality hotel located in a very peculiar town in Andalusia: El Rocio. It has an old taste, with its dirty road everywhere. It seems to be in the wild wild west rather than in southern Spain.

Thu 18th April – Thu 25th April 2019

€1740 SRS €120 - exc.flights £1549 SRS £106

D. De Rosa

ITALY - Sardinian Tour

Being in the middle of the western Mediterranean between Europe and Africa, this wonderful island lies on the mediterranean flyway and is an important refuelling stop for migrating birds. Wetlands are the most important sites in springtime and during the breeding season these are very important for Greater Flamingo, Audouin’s Gull, Little Tern and several other species of waders, gulls and terns. Other special resident like Litte Bustard and Corsican Finch can be seen, as well as many others.

Sat 13th April – Sun 21th April 2019

Price to be announced

GEORGIA & ARMENIA

M. Biasioli

A full week to explore wonderful country, rich in interesting birds and evocative landscapes. We will visit wetlands like the Armash fish ponds, a private area that can be visited thanks to special permits, teeming with birds like White-tailed Lapwing, Paddy field Warbler and Blue-cheecked Bee-eater, but also the immense Lake Sevan, holding the world’s largest concentration of Armenian Gull. We will look for very localized species such as Grey-necked Bunting, Upcher’s Warbler and Persian Nuthatch.

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Fri 03rd – Fri 10th May 2019

Price to be announced


M. Premoli

ITALY - Northern Italy Photo Tour

Many will be the target birds of this tour: the colourful Bee-eaters and Kingfishers, all the nine European species of Egrets and the wonderful Red squirrels. We will visit public reserves where local companies have joined SKUA Nature in a profitable cooperation for conservation and promotion of these lands. There are dozens of nesting pairs of Black-winged Stilts, Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls and Yellow Wagtails, and take refuge hundreds of other waders, terns, herons and egrets.

Sat 11th – Sat 18th May 2019

€1820 SRS €160 - exc.flights £1620 SRS £145

K. Lundstrom

SWEDEN PHOTO TOUR

During this photo tour we will have the opportunity to take pictures of some of the most representative birds living in this wild Country. We will use some photographic hides deep in nature and each day we will have the chance to take pictures of different subjects in various moments of the day. Our photo tour aims to take shots of Golden Eagles in a mountain coniferous forest, Black Grouses on their courting ground, Common Cranes catching fishes and mating Whopper Swans on a lake surrounded by the taiga. We have access to two land-based, some portable and one floating hide.

Wed 03rd – Sun 07th April 2019

€1100 SRS €70 - exc.flights £970 SRS £65

D. Domuschiev

BULGARIA - Wallcreepers

One of the most enigmatic birds in the whole plane is the Wallcreeper with its butterfly-like flight, color pattern, amazingly unexpected call and habitat. Bulgaria’s population is estimated to about 350 pairs and in the south of the country near the Greek border lies the stronghold of the species in the country. Trigrad gorge is arguably one of the best places in Europe to see the Wallcreeper. Here we can see this beauty from a very close distance and enjoy its behavior. The area is also home to Rock Bunting, Rock Thrush, Black Redstart, Alpine Swift, Black and Grey-headed woodpeckers and many more attractive species.

Tue 4th – Fri 7th June 2019

Price to be announced

This holiday will be a Natural History tour of Northern Spain, but focused mainly on the observation of two of the great carnivores of the Cantabrian Mountains, the Iberian Wolf and the Brown Bear. We will visit some of the best preserved habitats, as the Cantabrian range is an unexplored part of Spain, yet is a wild natural landscape with a rich mixture of rugged terrain and extensive forests.

Wed 28th August – Wed 4th September 2019

€1999 SRS €120 - exc.flights £1788 SRS £106

D. Domuschiev

HUNGARY PHOTO TOUR - Pro Hides At Hortobagy Np Photo expedition in one of the holdest destination for bird photography. We will also focus on rare and localized eastern species. Daily sessions in professional photo hides places inside the famous Hortobagy NP, in the heart of the hungarian puszta: Red-footed falcon, Bee-eater, various woodpeckers including Black and Middle Spotted, Collared Flycatcher and much more. June is the top season for colourful birds such as Rollers, Hoppoes etc. Photographic results are stunning.

Thu 6th June – Wed 12th June 2019

€1300 SRS €120 - exc.flights £1160 SRS £106

OTHER TOURS

Wildwatching Spain

SPAIN - CANTABRIA

D. Domuschiev

SRI LANKA

An abundant birdlife flourishes in a great variety of beautiful tropical habitats from palm-fringed coasts to relic patches of lowland rainforest; from the cool, mountainous tea-estates to the sun-baked lagoons of the arid southeast. Nature conservation has an ancient history in Sri Lanka: one-tenth of the island is set aside as national parks, nature reserves and other sanctuaries. There have been exciting taxonomic changes here recently, resulting in the island now having 33 endemic birds, almost all of which we should find.

Wed 28th August – Wed 4th September 2019

Website ornitholidays.com

€3500 SRS €400 - exc.flights £3120 SRS £350

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

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Our Team of Leaders SIMON BOYES was brought up and learnt his birds in the Cotswolds. He graduated in Classics (helpful for scientific names of birds!) from Oxford University in 1974, and took his Master’s Degree in Environmental Conservation in Edinburgh. Before leaving college he had already travelled round Kenyan and Tanzanian game parks, overland to India and round Scandinavia. In 1976 he worked for the RSPB as a summer warden on Fetlar and at Minsmere. In 1977 Ornitholidays invited him to co-lead a tour to the Seychelles, which turned out to be the first of many international tours. Since then he has become one of Ornitholidays’ principal leaders and has now led over 300 tours to all seven continents. There can be few bird tour leaders in the world that rival Simon’s knowledge of world birds. He is especially interested in bird-song and taxonomy; and his other interests include swimming, snorkelling, wildlife gardening, cricket and playing the mandolin. He lives with his family in the Welsh borders. NIGEL JONES His interest in birds and natural history led to a degree in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, then to employment as Assistant Warden on Fair Isle in the Shetlands and as an ornithologist working in the Camargue, France. Subsequent posts in teaching and research have finally culminated in his position running Ornitholidays since 1990. He has travelled extensively to all seven continents in search of birds. NICOLA SCATASSI has been interested in birds, and nature in general, since he was young. He is an excellent birdwatcher, as well as a very good all-round naturalist. His ornithological interest is perfectly combined with his great passion for travelling through the Italian Peninsula and to all continents, including trips to Iran. Since 2000 he has been guiding nature and bird watching tours. He speaks fluent English and he has co-led our tours to Italy and Georgia for the past few years. IGOR MAIORANO is a nature lover since he was young. He has been travelling around Western Palearctic for years birdwatching in many countries from the Arctic to the deserts of Northern Africa. He is passionate about sharing his love for nature and birds to other people and he loved being a guide in SKUA Nature Ultima Frontiera and Spain reserves for one year. He speaks fluent English. DAVID WALSH has recently retired from teaching and lives in Suffolk. He has been a keen birdwatcher for most of his life. Over the last few years he has led many tours to Europe, Africa and North America. His other interests include butterflies and dragonflies. David has proved very popular with Ornitholidays’ clients on the tours

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he recently led to Brazil, Morocco, Hungary, Corsica, Camargue and the Canary Islands. He has travelled widely in Asia and South America and the other countries he has visited include China, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Peru and Venezuela. LUCA BOSCAIN is one of SKUA Nature’s guides who has worked at Ultima Frontiera in the Danube Delta in Romania, as well as on some of the Spanish photographic estates. He is fluent in a number of languages, including English, and is a great birder with a good sense of humour. NEIL GLENN Neil started birdwatching as a child when he can remember getting very excited about seeing his first Reed Bunting and Goldeneye near his Nottingham home and identifying them from a book without any help! Neil has led tours all over the world and his birdwatching exploits have taken him to every continent apart from Antarctica (New Zealand is the closest he’s come!). Neil’s other obsession is football and when not wildlife watching he spends a lot of time travelling the country visiting non-league grounds: It’s called Groundhopping! DANIEL MITEV Daniel has more than 30 years of experience as ornithologist and conservationist. He has been guiding birding tours since 2012.In the last 6 years he was closely involved in the conservation of the wintering population of the Red-breasted Goose in North-eastern Bulgaria, responsible for the field conservation activities. Part of his tasks included the protection of the NATURA 2000 sites in the region. Other projects in which he has participated are studying the autumn migration of soaring birds along the western Black sea coast, establishing the NATURA 2000 network of protected areas in Bulgaria, studying raptor population in Kamtchiiska Mountain and others.Daniel holds masterпїЅs degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Thracian University in Stara Zagora. He has worked for almost 6 years in USA and has got a good experience with North American birds too. MARCO VALENTINI Marco Valentini, Italian born, is a nature photographer based in Rome. He has been able in a few years of digital photography to glean more than 1200 species of birds, and several mammals, visiting nearly 100 countries. He has been involved in conservation matters since many years, as well as in environmental education. He is s fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

David Walsh UK

Dobromir Domuschiev Bulgaria

Simon Boyes UK

Nigel Jones UK

Neil Glenn UK

Nicola Scatassi Italy

Max Biasioli Italy

Igor Maiorano Italy

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com


About Us and our Partners New Ornitholidays goes pink​! Sara and Paola will be in charge for logistics and in contact with local agencies around the world, guides and companies we deal with. A tight-knit team that will be able to count on SKUA Nature Group experience. Max, Managing Director of this group, supported by Igor and Nicola, will lead this new project with passion and its huge experience in nature tourism, developing fresh itineraries and starting new international partnerships for the purpose of offering you the most exclusive tours. MASSIMILIANO BIASIOLI is SKUA Nature Group Managing Director. He’s been interested in nature since he was young and he has delved deeper into ornithology, herpetology, entomology, therology and botany. He has developed various conservation and popularization projects qorking with public and private companies and organizations. He is also the author of several books about conservation and ornithology. For years he’s been travelling around Western Palearctic and beyond and he is an expert guide able to get clients involved into the research and discovery of every gift nature can offer. DOBROMIR DOMUSCHIEV Dobry is a co-owner of Ornitholidays. He is born Bulgarian and has been a keen naturalist since he was 11 and his main interests are birds, butterflies and photography. Dobry holds an MSc degree in economics and management. Nevertheless his love of birds and nature have been his main reason for his involvement in their conservation and he has been working on a number of environmental projects. His true wish is to make the local people believe that sustainable tourism is a real alternative to poverty and to try and preserve the natural resources in the beautiful countryside of his home country Bulgaria. Beside his native Bulgarian, Dobry also speaks English and Russian. After several years running his own nature based tour company in Bulgaria he is now looking forward to using his skills and knowledge to take people further afield to some of the best destinations on the planet. SARA GENOVESE Since passion for natural world and wildlife grew in me, I’ve been wishing to share my interest in animals and wild destinations. I graduated in Natural Science from Pavia University and then I got my phd in Sustainable and Responsible Tourism (A phd in Nature Tourism didn’t exist in Italy). Since 2008, year of the constitution of SKUA Nature Group, I have been in charge for tours logistics, marketing and promotion management and clients and BtoB relations. I have lived abroad for many years and I speak English, Spanish and, of course, Italian. I will co-manage Ornitholidays and I must admit I’m really excited to start this new and thrilling experience! I look forward to speaking with you to give to you my best advices and informations about our worldwide and exclusive tours. IGOR MAIORANO is a nature lover since he was young. He has been travelling around Western Palearctic for years birdwatching in many countries from the Arctic to the deserts of Northern Africa. He is passionate about sharing his love for nature and birds to other people and he loved being a guide in SKUA Nature Ultima Frontiera and Spain reserves for one year. He speaks fluent English and Spanish.

I Go Travel is a family-run tour operator specialized in planning and fulfilling travel experiences recalling the nature of authenticity, art of living and tradition. In order to do so I Go Travel has chosen Italy as its base, a land of undeniable worth and priceless beauty.The teamwork of excellent collaborators who put their experience and knowledge at your disposal is the frame of a unique context of which we will avail, thus creating a “haute de gamme” experience able to give emotions, seduce, and give back to you the sense of “small things”. I Go Travel is associated with FIAVET (Italian Federation of Associations of Travel and Tourism Company), the trade association par excellence of Travel Agencies and more generally of tourism businesses. It was founded in February 1961 and it is by far the most wellestablished representative of Italian Travel Agents.

M. Valentini

Website ornitholidays.com

E-mail info@ornitholidays.com

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CONDITIONS OF BOOKING

Conditions of Booking 1. INTRODUCTION: CONCEPT OF TOURISTS AND TOURIST SERVICE I GO TRAVEL proposes the sale at an inclusive price of the following tourist services: a. transport b. accommodation c. tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation It’s a tourist and/or client to the effects of these general conditions, the party requesting to I GO TRAVEL availability of the tourist services proposed, each of the parties listed by the applicant as the beneficiary of the tourism services, each of the beneficiary parties of the services offered by I GO TRAVEL. 2. AUTHORISATIONS The technical organization is I GO TRAVEL’s which carries on business as a result of SCIA January 23, 2013. I GO TRAVEL signed with Generali S.p.a. policy no. 332128010 on January 14, 2013, Insurance for General Liability. 3. INFORMATION REQUIRED TO THE TOURIST: TECHNICAL SHEET I GO TRAVEL prepares a technical sheet in the programme out of print, even on electronic support or on-line. The elements required to be included in the technical catalogue or off-catalogue programme are: a. extremes of S.C.I.A.; b. Civil Liability insurance policy details c. period of validity of the catalogue or programme out of print, or any travel; d. terms and conditions for the replacement of the traveller; e. parameters and criteria for adjusting the cost of the trip; I GO TRAVEL will also be able to enter any further conditions of the tourist services offered into the technical sheet. Following the conclusion of the contract and, in any case, before the departure, I GO TRAVEL inform passengers about the identity of the actual carrier/s. 4.a. RESERVATIONS AND CONCLUSION OF THE CONTRACT BY WEBSITE The request for availability of the tourist service shall be edited on ​​ the appropriate information form on this website www.igotravelnetwork.com, completed in its entirety. After receiving this request of information and availability, I GO TRAVEL send a contract proposal with the characteristics of the tourist service offered and its price to the email address provided by the customer in the form. The client, accessing the private area of the website www.igotravelnetwork.com with the credentials received in the proposal referred to in paragraphs above, will confirm the tour package by clicking on ACCEPT and will make the payment of the price in the manner set out in Article. 5. The contract shall be considered concluded when I GO TRAVEL will have an understanding of the accepted proposal. It being understood that the successful conclusion of the contract, in accordance with the preceding paragraph, I GO TRAVEL, before the departure, it will send to the customer, by email, the document containing details of the tourist service purchased and the information not provided previously and not included in the catalogue, in the contractual documents, brochures or, in any case, on the website www.igotravelnetwork.com. 4.b. RESERVATIONS AND CONCLUSION OF THE CONTRACT BY E-MAIL The request for availability of the tourist service must be performed either by filling in the information request form, available on the website www.igotravelnetwork.com, completed in all its parts, or by submitting a free request by e-mail. Receiving that request for information and availability, I GO TRAVEL will send, to the email address of the customer, the following documentation: - Contract proposal with characteristics of the tourist service offered and its price; - General terms and conditions of I GO TRAVEL; - Privacy form; - Acceptance form - The offer submitted by i go travel will be considered valid for the duration of 72 h. - The acceptance of the proposal by the customer, is made in accordance with the following procedures : - acknowledgement of contract proposal, general terms and conditions, privacy form and acceptance form to be sent via email by i go travel; - after viewing the documents the client will fill in and sign the special acceptance form in its entirety; - after filling out and signing the acceptance form, the customer will trinsmit the same by email to the e-mail address info@igotravelnetwork.com - the contract is considered concluded when i go travel will receive the acceptance form, completed and signed, and the price is paid by bank transfer, with the rules of art. 5. After the successful conclusion of the contract in accordance with the preceding paragraph, I GO TRAVEL, before the departure, it will send electronically to the customer the documents containing the details of the purchased tourist service and the information not previously provided and not in the catalogue, in contractual documents, brochures or, in any case, on the website www.igotravelnetwork.com. 5. PAYMENT AND DEPOSIT The customer, when accepting the tourist service pursuant to in art. 4, should make the full payment in the manner specified by I GO TRAVEL on its website. The customer can make the payment: - Directly on the website, by electronic basket, following the instructions provided by I GO TRAVEL (in the case that the reservation has taken place entirely on the site); - By bank transfer in favour of I GO TRAVEL, to be made not later than 72 hours since the quotation is accepted; The failure of the payment at the moment of the confirmation of the proposal constitutes an express termination clause of the contract.

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For further information please call from UK: 020 81449814 from other Countries: +39 0141 918403


6. PRICE The cost of the tourist service is indicated in the proposal. The price could be changed by I GO TRAVEL up to 20 days before the date of the departure and only as a result of changes in: - Transportation costs, including the cost of fuel; - Duties and taxes on certain types of tourist services, such as dues, landing taxes, embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports; - Exchange rates applied to those services. For the changes the organizer refers to the cost of the exchange rate and costs mentioned above in effect on the date of publication of the programme, as reported in the technical file of the catalogue or on the date shown in the updates. The increasing revision cannot be more than 10% of its original amount. The price of the proposal is expressed in Euro. Unless otherwise stated, the price does not include: vaccination costs, insurance, drinks (water, wine, coffee, etc.) not included in the travel proposal, excursions out of programme, tips and personal expenses. 7. MODIFICATION OR CANCELLATION OF TOURIST SERVICE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE Before the departure I GO TRAVEL, if there is a need to change significantly one or more elements of the contract, gives immediate notice in electronic writing to the tourist (indicating the type of change and the changing price that follows) for the purposes of acceptance. In case the tourist doesn’t accept the proposed amendment referring to the preceding paragraph, he can alternately require the return of the sum already paid or the enjoyment of the offer of a replacing tourist service pursuant to art. 8. Tourists can employ the above rights also when cancellation depends on causes of force majeure and fortuitous events, related to the tourist service purchased. For cancellations due to different causes from force majeure, fortuitous events, as well as for those different from the non-acceptance by the tourist of the tourist service offered alternatively, I GO TRAVEL returns to the tourist the double sum of the deposit equal to 25% of the price. It should not be considered as significant changes, referring to the last chapter, those relating to a different hotel from that one indicated in the tour proposal, provided that the new facility is of the same level and is situated in the same geographical and cultural area as originally proposed. In the last case I GO TRAVEL will communicate to the tourist references and details of the different hotel facilities, while the tourists will have no rights of withdrawal.

CONDITIONS OF BOOKING

The parties expressly agree that the sum of 25% of the price paid by the visitor shall be deemed as a security deposit pursuant to art. 1385 of the Civil Code Any charges for the credit of the amounts provided have to be paid by the consumer. The documentation required for the trip will be sent to the customer after the payment of the price.

8. WITHDRAWAL OF TOURIST AND PENALITY The tourist can withdraw from the contract without penalty, in the absolute hypotheses below: a) more than 10% of increase of the price referred to art. 6; b) significant modification of one or more elements of the contract considered fundamental to the enjoyment of the whole tourist service and proposed by the organizer after the conclusion of the contract but prior to departure, and not accepted by tourists. In the cases mentioned above the tourist has alternately right: - To make use of an alternative tourist service, with no extra cost or with refund of the price if the second tourist service has a lower value than the first; - To the return of the price already paid. The refund must be made within seven working days since the request for reimbursement is received, the tourist must communicate his decision (to accept the change, or withdraw) no later than two working days since he received the communication of increase or change. In the absence of express notice within the time limit, the proposal made by the organizer is considered accepted. In the case in which the tourist withdraws from the contract before the departure, out of the cases listed at paragraphs a) and b) of this article, I GO TRAVEL retains the following penalties: - In case of cancellation after the booking, the organizer will keep the amount equal to 25% of the price referred to Article. 6, paid pursuant to art. 5 and can hold an additional sum equal to 5% of the price paid, as penalty for the reimbursement of the cost of individual practice management, cost of insurance coverage required at the time of conclusion of the contract or other services already given, except, in each case, the claim of the major damage pursuant to Art. 1382, paragraph 1, of Civil Code; - In case of withdrawal from 119 days to 90 days before the departure, the organizer will keep an amount equal to 50% of the price paid; - In case of withdrawal from 89 days to 60 days before the departure, the organizer will keep an amount equal to 75% of the price paid; - In case of withdrawal from 59 days to day of departure an amount equal to 100% of the price paid will be retained to the tourist. The withdrawal terms and penalties mentioned above are valid for land services. The flight tickets are always 100% non-refundable. The conditions expressed above (point n.8) are considered valid unless otherwise specified by the organizer. It is, however, expressly excluded - pursuant to art. 32, paragraph 2, Code of tourism - the right of withdrawal of the customer as provided for in Art. 64 and ss. Legislative Decree no. 206/2005. 9. CHANGES AFTER DEPARTURE If after the departure there is inability to provide an essential part of the services included in the contract, for any reason, except for a cause of the tourist, I GO TRAVEL will provide alternative solutions without additional cost to the contractor and, if the services provided are of a lower value than those provided, will refund the difference. If there are no alternative solutions, or the solution proposed by the organizer is refused by the tourist for proven and justified reasons, I GO TRAVEL provides, at no additional cost, a vehicle equivalent to the original one for the return to the starting point or other place as may be agreed upon, depending on the availability of resources and means, and refund the difference between the cost of benefits provided and the services performed up to the time of early return. 10. ASSIGNMENTS OF CONTRACT The tourist who renounces can assign the contract to another person provided that: a) the organizer is informed about it in writing at least 10 working days before the date set for the departure, receiving communication of the reasons for the change and the substitute’s personal details; b) the substitute satisfies all the conditions for the use of the service and in particular the requirements for passports, visas, health certificates;

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CONDITIONS OF BOOKING

c) the same services or other substitute services can be provided as a result of the substitution; d) the substitute reimburses the organizer for all additional expenses due to the substitution process which will be quantified before the sale. The tourist and the substitute shall be liable for the payment of the balance due and the amounts referred to subparagraph d) of this Article. Any additional terms and conditions of substitutions are indicated in the technical file. 11. TOURISTS AND CONSUMERS’ OBLIGATIONS During the negotiations and before concluding the contract, all general information in writing of the date of publication of the catalogue, relating to health requirements and necessary documentation to travel abroad will be provided to the Italian and foreign citizens. Foreigners have to get the relevant information through their diplomatic missions and/or their official government information channels. In any case, the tourists will provide, before the departure, to verify the updates with the competent authorities (for Italian citizens, the local police headquarters or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the site www.viaggiaresicuri.it or the Central Office Telephone number 06.491115 ) adapting to them before the trip. In absence of such verification, the intermediary or the organizer have no responsibility if one or more customers are not able to depart. Consumers must inform I GO TRAVEL about their citizenship and, at the time of departure, will definitely make sure to own their vaccination certificates, individual passport and every other document valid for all countries and places visited, as well as stay visas, transit and health certificates that may be required. In addition, in order to assess the health and security of the countries of destination and, therefore, the objective usability of the services purchased or to be purchased, the tourist will retrieve (using the information sources listed in paragraph 2) the official general information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which expressly suggests if the destinations are or aren’t subject to formal discourage. Consumers will also have to follow the rules of prudence and diligence and to those specifications in force in the countries of destination, all the information provided to them by I GO TRAVEL and regulations, administrative or legislative instructions relating to the service tourism. Consumers will be liable for all damages that I GO TRAVEL, the organizer and/or the intermediary also may suffer because of the non-compliance with the obligations listed above, including the costs necessary for their return. The tourist is required to furnish to I GO TRAVEL all documents, information and evidence in its possession relevant to the exercise of the right of subrogation to third parties responsible for the damage and is responsible to I GO TRAVEL of injury caused to the right of subrogation. The tourist also communicate in writing to I GO TRAVEL, at the time of the inquiry and in any event prior to conclusion of the contract, any special personal requests that may be subject to specific agreements on travel arrangements, provided that the implementation is possible. The tourist is always required to notify I GO TRAVEL of any needs or special conditions (such as, but not limited to, pregnancy, food allergies, disabilities) and to explicitly specify the request for personalized services. 12. HOTEL CLASSIFICATION The official classification of hotels is provided in the catalogue or other informative material only on the basis of explicit and formal indications by the competent authorities of the country where the service is provided and in accordance with national and Community law. 13. ASSISTANCE OBLIGATION I GO TRAVEL must provide the assistance to the tourist imposed by the criterion of professional diligence only in respect of obligations required by law or contract. I GO TRAVEL is exempt from all responsabilities when non-compliance of the contract is chargeable to the tourist or third parties due to unforeseen or unavoidable facts, or was caused by a fortuitous event or force majeure. 14. CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS Any failure in the contract must, on pain of forfeiture, to be contested by the tourists to I GO TRAVEL while travelling through timely submission of written complaint, even for the purposes of art. 1227 cc, so I GO TRAVEL, its local representative or the guide may promptly remedy the situation. Otherwise the breach of the contract cannot be contested. The tourist must, under penalty of forfeiture, complaint by sending a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, or other means to ensure proof of receipt to I GO TRAVEL, not later than ten working days after returning to the location of departure. i go travel is not responsible for any inconvenience caused by: - lost, stolen flight tickets; - not presentation or presentation of expired documents (identity card, visa, passport, certificate of vaccination), not valid documents or not in accordance with the applicable laws at the time of arrival to customs or during the check-in. - unexpected accident caused by a third party: wars, political upheavals, strikes. technical problems outside i go travel, traffic on the streets or in the air space, hijacking, adverse weather conditions, delay, damage of the engine of the means of transport, theft of luggage or personal objects or something else. no refund of any kind will be made as a result of delays and itinerary changes and accidents of the above mentioned - for example change in length of the planned route or connection. any additional expenses (fees, hotel, parking) will be charged to the customer. 15. INSURANCE COSTS OF CANCELLATION AND VARIOUS RISKS Unless otherwise specified, no insurance is included in the prices that we offer. I GO TRAVEL advices to tourists signing with insurance companies and/or Third Parties special insurance policies for all risks, but not limited to, expenses and damages arising from the cancellation of tourist service, from injury, from diseases, loss and other events relating to the luggage. Tourists can also stipulate insurance contracts and/or assistance covering the cost of repatriation in case of accident, illness, incidentals and/or force majeure with insurance companies and/or Third Party. The tourist will employ the rights arising from such contracts exclusively against Insurance Companies and Third Parties stipulating the conditions and in the manner provided by such policies. 16) GUARANTEES TO THE TOURIST I GO TRAVEL informs that organized tourism contracts are supported by appropriate guarantees provided by the Organizer and the Travel Agent which, for both international and national travels, guarantee the refund of the price paid for the purchase of the tourist package and the immediate return of the tourist in case insolvency or bankruptcy of the intermediary or organizer in accordance with II or III comma of art.. 50 Decreto Legislativo 23 May 2011 n. 79: Consorzio FOGAR - Filo Diretto Assicurazioni - Policy N°

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For further information please call from UK: 020 81449814 from other Countries: +39 0141 918403


17. OPERATIONAL CHANGES Considering the catalogs containing information on how to use the services are published very far ahead of the departure, it should be noted that the timetables and flight routes indicated in the proposal of the services may be subject to variations as they are in any case subject to a subsequent validation. Therefore, the tourist / traveler must request confirmation of the services at his / her agency prior to departure. The Organizer shall inform the passengers about the identity of the actual carrier(s) within the timeframe and in accordance with the provisions of Art. 11 of Reg.EC 2111/2005. (referred to in Article 3). ADDENDUM - GENERAL CONDITIONS OF SINGLE TOURIST SERVICE SALES CONTRACT a) Legal provisions Contracts that have the sole purpose of providing a single transportation service, accommodation only service, or any other separate tourist service, as they cannot be considered as a negotiating arrangement of a travel organization or a tourist package, are regulated by the following provisions of the CCV : Art. 1, n. 3 and n. 6; articles from 17 to 23; articles 24 to 31 (limited to parts of these provisions that do not refer to the organization contract) and other arrangements specifically related to the sale of the single service contracted. A vendor who undertakes to provide to a third party a separate tourist service, which may be done in electronic form, is obliged to issue to the tourist all documentation pertaining to the service, which shall include the sum paid for the service, shall in no way be considered as travel organizer.

CONDITIONS OF BOOKING

5002002211L

b) Contract conditions The following clauses of the general terms and conditions of the sale of the above-mentioned tourist packages are also applicable to these contracts: art. 4, paragraphs 1 and 2; art. 10; art. 15. The application of these clauses does not absolutely determine the configuration of the relevant services as the subject of a tourist package. The terminology of the aforementioned clauses relating to the tourist package contract (organizer, travel etc.) should therefore be understood with reference to the corresponding figures in the sales contract of individual tourist services (vendor, stay, etc.). Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and the subsequent amendments Personal data processing, which is required for the conclusion and execution of the contract, is carried out in full compliance with the European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and subsequent amendments in paper and digital form. The customer may at any time exercise the rights of that particular European Directive by contacting the data controller: I Go Travel Snc., con sede in Tronzano Vercellese, Via Monte Grappa 14, Fiscal Code and VAT number 02529930022, email: info@igotravelnetwork.com Obligatory notification pursuant to Article 17 of the Italian Law No. 38/2006. “Italian law punishes with imprisonment crimes involving prostitution and child pornography, even if committed abroad.” Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. I GO TRAVEL snc Headquarter: via Monte Grappa n. 14 comune di Tronzano Vercellese cap 13049 Itlia: (+39) 0161 1681122 – World (+39) 0161 1681123 www.igotravelnetwork.com; e.mail: info@igotravelnetwork.com VAT N°: 02529930022 C.C.I.A.A. of Vercelli N. 02529930022

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Ornitholidays is a Project developed by SKUA Nature Group Have a look to our brochure visiting our website

skuanature.com


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Istokphoto

You can enjoy huge savings on your photo tours and sessions until the end of 2019 by subscribing to SKUA Card Hides or SKUA Card Travels. You will have the chance to go through the entire SKUA Nature world (exclusive reserves, dedicated photo hides, workshops, birdwatching and photo tours, shortbreaks) with huge discounts on each one of these activities. Don’t miss our biggest ever promotion, get rewarded!

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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”

M. Biasioli

Winston Churchill

EDITOR Massimiliano Biasioli, Paola Traspedini, Sara Genovese, Teresa Rocchi DEPARTMENT EDITORS Sara Genovese, Paola Traspedini, Teresa Rocchi, Igor Maiorano, Dobromir Domuskiev TEXTS Sara Genovese, Teresa Rocchi, Paola Traspedini, Dobromir Domuskiev, Nicola Scatassi, Igor Maiorano, Nigel Jones and local agents. TRANSLATIONS & TECHNICAL REVIEWERS Sara Genovese, Teresa Rocchi, Paola Traspedini, Dobromir Domuskiev GRAPHIC DESIGN SKUA Nature Group


Starting from 2018 Ornitholidays is a new Project developed by SKUA Nature Group

skuanature.com innatenetwork.com ornitholidays.com General Headquarters

Cascina Picus - Via Valle 4 - 15020 - Castelletto Merli (AL) Piedmont - North West of Italy - Italy Tel/Fax: from UK 020 81449814 other Countries +39 0141918403 info@skuanature.com - info@ornitholidays.com

Operational Partner

Cover Photo: Rose-coloured Starling - Massimiliano Biasioli

Profile for SKUA Nature Group

ORNITHOLIDAYS 2019/2020 BROCHURE  

From May 2018 SKUA runs the famous Ornitholidays tour operator. Lots of worldwide birding/wildwatching tours and photographic expeditions, e...

ORNITHOLIDAYS 2019/2020 BROCHURE  

From May 2018 SKUA runs the famous Ornitholidays tour operator. Lots of worldwide birding/wildwatching tours and photographic expeditions, e...

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