No 1 for Specialist Birdwatching Holidays
Suffolk IP31 1BA,
Tel. 01359 269657
GOURMET BIRDS 2007/2008: OUR 25TH YEAR
GREAT black hawks in Tobago in February; white-tailed eagles in Bulgaria later the same month, pallid harriers in Cyprus in March, red-footed falcons in Bulgaria in April, lesser spotted eagles in Lithuania in May, lammergeiers in Spain in June: 2007 proved to be a good year for seeing birds of prey on Gourmet Birds trips. With luck 2008 will be even better, as we have some exciting destinations lined up.
For the last two years we have organised a short early winter break in East Anglia. This year we have brought the timing forward to mid-autumn in the hope of seeing a few of the scarce vagrants such as Pallas's warblers that are regularly recorded in East Anglia at this time. Thus this year's dates are the 23rd and 24th of October. The format is simple: arrive for lunch at Forge Cottage on the 23rd followed by local birding, possibly for stone curlews and woodlarks. Back for dinner at Forge Cottage to discuss the next two day's plans. I will collect you from your b&b the following morning for a full day's birding on either the Suffolk or Norfolk coast. Dinner at Forge Cottage, then a second day's birding on the coast. Depart from Suffolk after tea and cakes, though a third night's b&b can easily be arranged.
As 2008 is our 25th year of running Gourmet Birds, we are offering a couple of tempting new destinations. The year starts with our first African safari for some years, and our first-ever to Uganda. (I visited Uganda back in 1993, since when the tourist infrastructure in the country has improved hugely.) Attractions range from seeing shoebills to close encounters with mountain gorillas.
In March we are visiting the Sierra Guara in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees in search of wallcreepers and lammergeiers. We will be using a delightful family-run hotel where we stayed in June 2006 and 2007: the food is excellent.
April sees a return to Cyprus, still one of our favourite destinations.
In May we are organising what is surprisingly our first-ever holiday in Greece, visiting the Kerkini wetland. This little-known site offers superb birdwatching in beautiful surroundings, while the guest house we plan to use looks like a GB special: charming and idiosyncratic.
The last of the spring holidays in early June sees a return to Spain, this time to Castille-Leon where a variety of habitats, from open grasslands to wetlands and mountains, will ensure we see a wide variety of species from flocks of great bustards to colonies of lesser kestrels. This holiday will be in association with the Hawk and Owl Trust.
Bulgaria is arguably the best country in Europe to visit for the autumn migration, so in September we are planning a seven-day visit to the Black Sea coast. This holiday was inspired by the success of the two holidays run in this fascinating and bird-rich country in 2007.
For the dates and all the details click on Destinations 2008.
Lastly, is anyone interested in joining me for a reconnaissance visit to the Atlantic forest of Brazil? It's a fascinating habitat, containing 80% of all Brazil's endemic birds, while there are two lodges I would like to visit. Accommodation costs are modest, the main expense is the flight to Rio.