Destinations far & wide

I also lead trips further afield as a freelance guide for other tour companies such as Bird's Wildlife & Nature, Wings and Oriole Birding. 

Some may be to far flung places while other short breaks may be closer to home

 

 

2024 Adventures:

It has been a great year so far for Blue Eyed Birder and I have had the privilege to guide in the UK, Europe and much further afield.   Below are the links to my blogs for these amazing trips that I undertake for Bird's Wildlife & Nature and Oriole Birding.  As you will see there is still more to come. I hope some of you will join me soon.

The Trip Reports:

Somerset Levels & the Forest of Dean with Oriole: March 2024

Winter out west is always exciting

Day 1 , Day 2 , Day 3 , Day 4 and Day 5

Sri Lanka with Bird's Wildlife & Nature: March 2024 

It was spectacular! 237 species of bird with all 34 endemics seen, 19 mammals with three Leopards, 50 Asian Elephants, Water Buffalo and a Fishing Cat, 19 Snakes, Lizards and such like, 56 Butterfly and 28 Dragonfly species, amazing scenery, tasty food and the friendliest people I have ever met.

Day 1 , Day 2 , Day 3 , Day 4  , Day 5 , Day 6 , Day 7 , Day 8a , Day 8b , Day 9 , Day 10 , Day 11 , Day 12, Day 13 , Day 14 & 15

Lesvos: April 2024

We had a fantastic week on this most magical of islands. Anyone interested in next spring?

Day 1 , Day 2 , Day 3 , Day 4 , Day 5 , Day 6Day 7 Day 8

Hungary with Bird's Wildlife & Nature: May 2024 

This short break was a perfect introduction to the wonders of Hungary. The steppes of the Kiskunság take you a step back in time to a non-intensive farmland while the unspoilt Bükk Hills give you a taste of primeval forests.

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7

Estonian Summer with Oriole Birding: June 2024  

A trip to remember with special summer breeding warblers, tricky woodpeckers and owls, dancing Great Snipe, Corncrakes, Eagles, Moose and a host of butterflies

Day 1-2Day 3Day 4; Day 5; Day 6; Day 7; Day 8.

The Scottish Highlands in early summer with Bird's Wildlife & Nature: 2024

The weather made things a little challenging at times and we managed to connect with most of the target species.  Eagles soared, Divers serenely swam, Crested Tits churred and Ospreys fed their young at the nest.  There were plenty of good inverts too and some sunshine brought out the local specialities while Badgers and a Pine Marten performed on the last evening.

Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4; Day 5; Day 6;

Upcoming trips:

Uganda with Bird's Wildlife & Nature

20th July - 2nd August 2024

Our new and improved tour itinerary is probably the very best tour to Uganda you will find. Uganda, also known as the pearl of Africa has an equatorial climate and lies within the Nile basin. There are an incredible 1,090 species of bird and over 300 species of mammal, making Uganda a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. 

During our trip we will visit the magical Murchison Falls NP, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kibale Forest, Lake Mburo NP, Queen  Elizabeth NP and not forgetting Mabamba Swamp, home of the legendary Shoebill.  

We will not only be looking for birds on this tour with the opportunity to see Chimpanzees, the unique tree-climbing Lions and not forgetting the endangered Eastern Mountain Gorillas.  It is certainly an experience not to be missed! 

Nearly time to go!

Hampshire & Dorset Summer Wildlife with Oriole Birding 

4th - 8th August 2024 - good to go! two spaces left

A short break, with the butterfly- and dragonfly-enthusiast particularly in mind, where we are based once again in the delightful New Forest town of Lyndhurst for this Dorset & Hampshire wildlife tour. 

We have timed this holiday to optimise the chances of seeing some of Britain’s most localised, and scarcest, butterflies, such as Chalkhill, Silver-studded and Small Blue, Brown Hairstreak, Grayling and Lulworth and Silver-spotted Skipper. A supporting cast of Silver-washed Fritillary, White Admiral, Wall Brown  and  Purple Hairstreak may also be available should the season be slightly late. 

The rarer Odonata will be represented by Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Southern Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly, Black Darter and Beautiful Demoiselle. 

At this time of the year, birding should also be very interesting in the New Forest. Honey Buzzard and Northern Goshawk will now have young on the wing and we also stand a good chance of finding Dartford Warbler, Woodlark and Firecrest. Our visit to Portland may be rewarded with early migrants such as sea birds warblers and waders. 

For more details and booking information please visit here: 

 

Latvia Autumn Migration Special with Bird's Wildlife & Nature

14th- 21st September 2024 - still places available

The largely undiscovered country of Latvia offers the birder a truly magical experience. With migration in full swing set alongside stunning scenery, this is an opportunity not only to visit a new country but to experience nature at its best. The sheer number of birds on some days when the weather and other forces all align can be simple breath-taking with hundreds of thousands of birds making their way south.

For more details and booking information click here.

Norfolk Autumn Migration with Oriole Birding 

29th September - 5th October 2024 FULLY BOOKED

September is one of the most eagerly awaited months in the birding calendar, and Norfolk is a destination synonymous with the mass arrival of migrant birds heading south towards continental and African wintering grounds. Migration in autumn is a more leisurely affair, with birds in less of a hurry than spring, and the numbers are swollen by the recently fledged juvenile birds. Weather is of course everything, and our exact destinations on this Norfolk autumn birding tour will be influenced largely by wind direction and to incorporate as always the best of what has been seen locally.

For more details and booking information click here.

Costa Rica with Bird's Wildlife & Nature 

3rd - 18th November 2024 - still places available

We will visit a variety of bird rich hotspots in central Costa Rica, staying at some of the country’s very best lodges offering superb value for money and the chance to see nearly half the country’s birds in just one trip!  

From the Caribbean lowlands, to Pacific coast and then the forested highlands we offer the opportunity to experience a wealth of differing habitats that all hold their own special birds. Zipping Hummingbirds can be seen coming to feeders alongside colourful Tanagers, absurd Oropendolas, toucan-like Aracaris, Honeycreepers and Uphonias. 

We have three fantastic boat trips takes us along a bird filled estuary and into the mangroves, and also two slow flowing rivers where countless species allow close approach and ideal photo opportunities. We can expect Sungrebe, Pinnated Bittern, kingfishers, crakes and much more. In the highlands we will look for one of the world’s most beautiful birds, the Resplendent Quetzal along with other cloud forest specialties. 

With huge butterflies, dragonflies, lizards, several monkeys, sloths, and forests laden with orchids and flowers this is a must visit destination for anyone with an interest in wildlife. Rest assured that Bird's Wildlife &B Nature are envied for setting up and running Costa Rica’s very best birdwatching tours with itineraries that work. 

For more details and booking information click here.

Brazil - Atlantic Rainforest endemics with Oriole Birding 

4th-13th December 2024 - an updated itinerary with Golden Lion Tamarins and Giant Snipe now included!

For our foray into this endemic-rich region, we will be based throughout at the delightful Itororo Eco-lodge, set within the 58,000ha Tres Picos State Park in the heart of the Atlantic rain forest, south-east Brazil. The lodge sits at an altitude of 1200m, tucked away in its own private valley of 50 acres and offering not only excellent birding opportunities in its own grounds, but with easy access to all of the other key birding spots in the area. 

The lodge is surrounded by forest and the flora and fauna in the gardens alone is quite spectacular and over 180 species have already been recorded, of which 60 are Atlantic forest endemics! This makes Itororo Lodge a prime location in which to stay in the Atlantic rain forest.

 The grounds also have a number of bird tables, feeding stations and hummingbird feeders, which offer a chance to see a number of species close-up, offering guests superb opportunities for photographing some of the rare and colourful endemics. 

We have two other treats in store on this trip new for 2024 though – the first is an exclusive trip to see the endemic Golden Lion Tamarin Monkeys and the second is a one night stay at the famous REGUA reserve to trip for Giant Snipe, owls and other wetland birds. 

I will be your leader and will be working throughout with Andy Foster, an expert in the birds of the region who has been guiding tours to the Atlantic Forest region since 1995. You can expect to see approximately 270 species of which 80 are endemic.

For more details and booking information please visit here: 

Pic is of a Plovercrest by Ashley Saunders

Japan- Cranes, Eagles & Snow Monkeys with Bird's Wildlife & Nature

4th-15th February 2025 - The trip of a life time.  Two spaces remaining

To visit Japan in winter is a unique and wonderful experience. Tens of thousands of Cranes of at least 5 species can be seen dancing and displaying on the snowy fields or flying into roost against the backdrop of glorious sunsets. As well as the highlight of seeing these cranes, we will also get to see the awesome Steller’s Sea-Eagles and hordes of seabirds, and winter ducks on Hokkaido.  

Our stay at Rausu will give us opportunities to see the highly sought after Blakiston’s Fish-Owl and we will take the famous Bullet Train to see the ever popular and famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani as they entertain us in their hot thermal pools. 

Among the many special birds here we will look for Japanese Accentor, Baikal Teal, the very difficult Copper Pheasant, plus a short boat trip to see Japanese Murrelet near their breeding grounds. This trip will be filled with stunning scenery, and many photographic opportunities, which will include many very special birds.

For more details and booking information please visit here: 

Pic of Steller's Sea Eagles - Paul Manning

Forest of Dean & Somerset Levels with Oriole Birding

9th-13th March 2025

A trip of two halves - winter forest birding with Goshawks, Hawfinches and Dippers before experiencing the spectacles of wildfowl, Cranes and Egrets across the Levels.  

For more details click here

Lesvos - week one with the Blue Eyed  Birder

20th-27th April 2025

Join me in my happy place for a week of migration wonders along with breeding specialities like Krüper's Nuthatch, Rüppell's  Warbler, Cretzschmar's and Cinereous Buntings.  Butterflies, Dragonflies and some stunning botanical delights will keep us busy.

I use the Jet2 package option to run this trip and stay at the Pela Hotel.  For more details please email me here: 

Lesvos - week two with Oriole Birding

27th April - 4th April 2025

This second week will follow a similar format but with a chance of some later migrants such a Bushchats and Olive- Tree Warblers and possibly some migrantn big Raptors. For more details please visit here: 

The Birds & Orangutans of Borneo - Sabah  
(+ Borneo Rainforest Lodge Extension) with Bird's Wildlife & Nature

3rd - 13th June 2025 with extension 13th - 17th June

The Malaysian state of Sabah occupies the northern part of the tropical island of Borneo and is famous for the country’s highest peak Mount Kinabalu. This rainforest-cloaked island is one of the richest natural places on our Earth and a must visit destination for anyone interested in birds and wildlife. 

We will be concentrating on the northern state of Sabah, which harbours large remaining tracts of lowland and montane rainforest and is home to vast array of wonderful birds including over 40 endemics. This is a birdwatchers and naturalists heaven, where we can search for birds such as brightly coloured Pitta’s and Broadbill’s, the extraordinary Great Argus, Bornean Bristlehead, Whitehead’s Trogon, Storm’s Stork, plus exciting reptiles, unusual plants and sought-after mammals that include Proboscis Monkey and incomparable Orangutan. 

Starting off in the Rafflesia Reserve in the Crocker Mountain Range for our first endemics we will then move to the famous Mount Kinabalu and it’s National Park. After several very exciting days here we will visit Poring Hot Springs before descending into the lush forests around Sepilok and then Kinabatangan for some river birding. 

For those that wish we are offering a short extension to the famous Borneo Rainforest Lodge at Danum Valley. This is a luxury lodge set in a private area of bird rich forest with many incredible and desirable species. 

And do not forget an enviable list of other magnificent creatures while in the hands of our fantastic local guide. It will undoubtedly be a highlight of our 2025 tour diary. Join us on yet another trip of a life-time.

For more details and booking information please visit here: 

Pic of Rufous Collared Kingfisher - Steve Bird

Mull & Iona – Midsummer Magic with Oriole Birding

29th June - 5th July 2025

Rugged scenery and long summer nights epitomise the romantic Western Isles of Scotland. Our tour to these evocative and wild places captures the true spirit and tranquillity of the islands . It will not just be about Eagles, Corncrakes, Auks and Otters but all a host of Wildflowers and insects  and after fifteen years of visiting these islands, Oriole know the best spots well. Join us for an island odyssey and see for yourself why this trip is so popular!

Click here for more details

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.