Extremadura, Coto Doñana, & the Straits of Gibraltar
August 28 – September 10, 2018
Leader: Aaron Steed
& One Local Guide
An excellent 2-week Venture to Central & Southern Spain, combining some of Europe's best autumn migration birding with world famous Spanish gastronomy & wine. This tour includes 3 different wine tastings, delicious food, comfortable accommodations in small towns & villages, a walking cultural tour of Trujillo (birthplace of conquistador Francisco Pizarro), a boat trip in the Straits, and a whole lot more!
Needless to say – this Venture has it all! Between the delicious food & wine, lovely villages chocked full of cultural delights, and the incredible birding, you may never want to leave – and we wouldn't blame you!
"Jaguars in the Pantanal & Hummingbirds in the Coastal Rainforests"
October 5 – 18, 2018
Canastra Extension: October 18 - 26, 2018
Brazil’s Southeastern Coastal Rainforests are incredible. With a huge list of tanagers, hummingbirds and antbirds possible, this is a must-do tour! On our preview trip a few years ago, we had outstanding views of such rarities as Black-hooded Antwren and Spotted Bamboowren (a Tapaculo), as well as many other species found only in these forests. We will visit Itatiatia National Park and Ubatuba before heading inland to Mato Grosso and the Pantanal.
The Brazilian Pantanal: With birds such as Hyacinth Macaws and Harpy Eagles possible, every birder has to make the pilgrimage down to this amazing part of the world. The Pantanal is the richest ecosystem in Brazil, with a huge number of aquatic and marsh birds. Over 700 species of birds occur in the Pantanal and surrounding region, including 26 species of parrot, such as the endangered Hyacinth Macaw. We also hope to see Giant Otter, Jaguar and Tapir.
Birds & Culture
October 31 – November 12, 2018
Our program begins in Cuba’s Western Mountains, a beautiful landscape dominated by towering, lushly-vegetated, limestone monoliths called ‘mogotes.’ Next, we’ll explore the Zapata Peninsula, an area covering more than 2800 square miles and featuring accessible, Everglades-like wetland habitat. Bordered by the pristine coastal environment of the notorious Bay of Pigs to the east, the peninsula contains vast open swampland, low coastal forests, sparkling white sand beaches, healthy coral reefs, and refreshing limestone pools. We then turn north to Cayo Coco & Cuba’s northern keys. These previously uninhabited and relatively unexplored barrier islands provide excellent birding opportunities - Cuban Gnatcatcher, Oriente Warbler, Thick-billed Vireo, West Indian Whistling Duck, and Gundlach’s Hawk, as well as numerous shorebirds and aquatic birds, can be found here. We finish in Havana.
Suriname is located on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America and is located in the Guianan endemic zone. Although rarely visited by birders from the USA, over 700 birds have been observed in Suriname and we hope to see over 300 of these in our 10-day trip. We hope to see such iconic birds as the Capuchinbird, Crimson Topaz, Crimson Fruitcrow, Pompadour Cotinga and even Harpy Eagle. Once outside the capital, our accommodation will be simple and relatively comfortable, but convenient to the best birding spots across the north-central Suriname.
World class birding in the Darien
December 1-8, 2018
The Darién, as the entire eastern-most region of Panama is called, is one of the most diverse and species-rich regions of Central America. Here, some of the last large, relatively untouched swathes of lowland rainforest await to be explored. Long revered by avid birders as a haven for rare species, including the majestic Harpy Eagle, Panama’s national bird, this region is now readily accessible by a new highway, extending through the spine of Panama right into the heart of this bird-rich land!
"Shoebills, Mountain Gorillas, Chimps and Albertine Endemics"
December 10-26, 2018
Uganda has been described as the 'Pearl of East Africa' and was regarded as the most beautiful country in East Africa. From the source of the White Nile on the huge papyrus-fringed Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Rwenzori Range, the luxuriant montane forests of the Virunga volcanoes, harboring some of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas, to the extensive savannas around the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, Uganda is an equatorial country of substantial contrasts and variety. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats and this richness is reflected in its incredible bird list of over 1000 species.
December 16 - 22, 2018
Leader: Mike McCloy
Endemic birds abound on the island of Jamaica and with more than 25 species and distinct subspecies this rank it first among Caribbean islands in endemics, or species restricted to one locality. While these Jamaican specialties will be the focus of our quest, we should expect to see a total of over 100 species of birds during our relaxing week on this tropical isle.
"Endemics, Lions, and Spectacular Scenery"
February 4-19, 2019
Optional Cape Town Extension:
Feb 19-22, 2019
South Africa is one of the most unique and fascinating countries in Africa, being home to a marvelous diversity of birds (including quite a few endemics), wildlife, wildflowers, and landscapes. Add to that an excellent infrastructure, comfortable accommodation, and delicious food and wine, and it is no surprise that South Africa is one of the premier birding destinations in the world.
"Northern Lights and Winter Birding"
March 21-28, 2019
As well as enjoying the Northern Lights, we will be looking for many of Iceland's wintering birds. If we are lucky we may get a few early migrants as well. Waterfowl, such as Whooper Swan, Harlequin Duck, Common Eider and Barrow's Goldeneye all spend most or part of the winter in Iceland. We will also search for any wintering King Eiders, always an exciting bird to find. As well as waterfowl we will look for Iceland's National bird, the Gyrfalcon, so will keep an eye open around large concentrations of ducks. Landbirds are few, but could include Snow Bunting, Redpoll and Redwing (a beautiful European thrush).
“Atlantic Coast, Deserts & High Atlas Mountains”
April 14-30, 2019
We start our tour in the historic city of Marrakech which is one of the economic centers of Morocco. Mosques break the skyline and gardens and planted areas add to the green of this desert city. Our hotel is situated near the picturesque Katoubia Mosque, and the nearby gardens are home to Little and Pallid Swifts, European Blackbird, Serin and European Greenfinch. The nests of White Storks seemingly perch atop every mosque and tower and migrating Black Kites and Booted Eagles are a daily sight as they migrate north over the city.
Our accommodation will be comfortable and convenient to the best birding spots. The food is excellent and the people very friendly and accommodating. If you have never been to North Africa before, this trip will open your eyes to the beauty and diversity that is Morocco.