Newsletter September 2000

WE have seen some terrific birds over the years on Gourmet Birds tours, but our recent visit to Cyprus produced the memorable sighting of a party of demoiselle cranes, with Eleonora’s falcons flying around them. We don’t expect to see either species when we go back next April, but it confirms Cyprus as one of our favourite destinations.

Our January holidays have attracted a loyal following over the years: for 2001 we venture outside Europe for the first time, with a visit to Egypt that takes in both birds and ancient sites. We have sufficient interest to ensure that this holiday will run.

The Norfolk weekend in February will be only our second English holiday. We have timed the trip carefully to coincide with good tides, and are confident of some good birding.

Every year we run our popular excursion to Champagne to see the cranes. We have filled our trip for this coming November, but there is still plenty of room available for next March.

After three years in a row, there’s no Eastern European destination featured in our programme next year. However, our spring 2000 trip to Hungary and Slovakia was a great success, so we are sure to be heading back east in 2002.

It is more than 10 years since Gourmet Birds first visited Spain, and we have been back many times since. Our spring visit for 2001 has already proved sufficiently popular that we will be running two trips, back to back. There are still one or two vacancies on both holidays.

Finland and Norway are our final destinations in the first half of 2001. Please note that although this is a 14-night trip, it is possible to join it for seven nights in northern Finland, when all the elusive owls should be seen.

Looking ahead, we are currently making plans for the second half of 2001. In September we are considering a week in the Parc naturel régional du Vercours, where we will be looking for ibex, mouflon, chamois, red and roe deer and wild boar, as well as such birds as pygmy owl, golden and short-toed eagle and nutcracker. For our long-haul holiday in late October, the choice looks like being either Botswana or Queensland.

David Tomlinson