Gourmet Birds
No 1 for Specialist Birdwatching Holidays
Gourmet Birds
Birdwatching Holidays
Forge Cottage,
Bowbeck, Bardwell,
Suffolk IP31 1BA,
Tel. 01359 269657


Gourmet Birds Newsletter Autumn, 2006

For those of you who want a late dose of sunshine and good birds, we have slipped in a week in Cyprus this coming October, staying at Antony’s Garden House. Antony assures us that October is the nicest month of the year on the island, with the temperature pleasantly warm and the sea still warm enough to swim in. This trip will run even if no-one wants to join us.

Suffolk and Norfolk can produce some great birds in November, and we should find them with our Suffolk break. Home-cooked meals and good wine are certain: we hope the birds will be equally pleasing.

For the last 10 years we have struggled to find a warm winter destination in Europe. We have now given up, and are planning a trip to Tobago instead. It’s a real tropical island, with the best birding of anywhere in the Caribbean (except Trinidad, which is much larger).

Red-breasted geese are not only one of the world’s rarest birds, but they are also one of the most attractive. Our short break in Bulgaria should give the chance to see thousands of them.

In March we return once again to Cyprus. March is the best month to see migrant passerines, while we should gain an early taste of spring.

Our past trips to Estonia have proved to be very popular. This year we plan a 10-day trip that takes in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, giving a fine chance to see these Baltic countries before EU memberships starts to change them.

In early June the Hawk and Owl Trust holiday to the foothills of the Pyrenees in Aragon promises lots of good birds. The same trip in June this year produced wallcreeper and lammergeier, plus numerous other sought-after species and great butterflies. Though this trip has been arranged specially for H & OT members, anyone is welcome to join us.

Inexpensive airfares have made short trips to countries like Estonia much more affordable and attractive, hence our five-day autumn visit to Estonia.

Kenya is arguably the world’s best birding destination: we are currently planning a two week safari (with optional third week) in October. With the experience of several successful Kenyan safaris over the last 20 years, this trip will be carefully planned to offer the best combination of birds and big-game viewing.

There is still some flexibility on the dates of all these trips, depending on the availability of flights.

Flights are extra for all these trips. We do not book flights for our clients as we do not have an ATOL (Air Tour Operator’s Licence), but we can recommend and advise.

Prices at the moment are as follows

Cyprus: expect to pay around £195 return for flights from Gatwick or Stansted.

Tobago: a number of airlines fly to Tobago, including Virgin and BA. Cheapest flights start at around £325.

Varna, Bulgaria: Inexpensive flight to Varna are new, and make this suddenly a tempting destination. BA currently offers a fare of £60 return including taxes for the dates we want in February.

Riga, Latvia: Ryan Air flies to Riga from Stansted, so flights will probably be close to £50.

Tallinn, Estonia: Easy Jet flies to Tallin from Stansted, so expect to pay around £50 return.

Kenya: Many airlines fly to Nairobi, with fares starting at around £450.

The Gourmet Birds website, www.gourmetbirds.co.uk, is currently undergoing a major revision. It will soon include additional up-to-date information on all these holidays, and will also include David’s diaries for past trips, together with photographs.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact David on 01359 269 657, or e-mail DavidTom@aol.com .

Forge Cottage, Bowbeck, Bardwell, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 1BA