JANUARY 2024
Another successful tour to Senegal has just returned and it is a country that has become a real favourite for us! We enjoyed great views of all the Sahel specialties as well as a great selection of other West African species. Highlights were many and it was a tough call for bird of the trip between the day roosting Golden Nightjar or the incredible views of Quail-Plover and then of course there were the 5,000 roosting Scissor-tailed Kites and the White-crested Tiger Heron! The memories were special for sure and we of course enjoyed great views of many other species such as Arabian Bustard, Savile’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Little Grey Woodpecker, Sennar Penduline Tit, Allen’s Gallinule, Atlas Wheatear, Horus Swift and much more. We also enjoyed a good selection of mammals that included African Golden Wolf, African Wildcat, Pale Fox and Marsh Mongoose.
Come and join us in 2025 for a great short winter birding break with great hotels, great food and wonderful people.

Golden Nightjar by Chris Townend

Horus Swift by Chris Townend

Scissor-tailed Kite by Chris Townend

Savile’s Bustard by Chris Townend

Chestnut-beliied Sandgrouse by Chris Townend

White-crested Tiger Heron by Chris Townend

Quail-Plover by Chris Townend

Sahel Paradise Whydah by Chris Townend

Golden Nightjar by Chris Townend

Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture by Chris Townend

Allen’s Gallinule by Chris Townend

African Golden Wolf by Chris Townend

DECEMBER 2023
We have now uploaded our Brazil Mostly Mammals Tour to Emas National Park and South Pantanal – Visit the Trip Reports header link.

Ocelot, South Pantanal by Chris Townend

DECEMBER 2023

Our first tour to Oman was led by Wise Birding leader Dave Astins and was a great success with 226 species of bird recorded.
Highlights included Omani Owl, Desert Owl, Arabian Eagle Owl, Sociable Lapwing, Crab Plover, Hypocolius, Arabian Grosbeak, Jouanin’s Petrel, Masked Booby, Forest Wagtail, Dideric Cuckoo, Asian Desert Warbler, Yemen Serin and much more! Below are just a few of the tour highlights.

Abdim’s Stork by Dave Astins

Red-billed Tropicbird by John Bruce

Masked Booby by Dave Astins

Forest Wagtail by Dave Astins

Dideric Cuckoo by Dave Astins

Jouanin’s Petrel by Dave Astins

Desert Owl by John Bruce

Asian Desert Warbler by Dave Astins

Arabian Bee-Eater by Dave Astins

NOVEMBER 2023

Belated photo highlights from our Mostly Mammals tour of Brazil’s Emas National Park and Southern Pantanal where we recorded 28 mammals and a great selection of birds. Highlights included no less than 8 separate Maned Wolf encounters including animals during daylight hours, 2 Ocelots, 2 Jaguars, 13 Giant Anteaters, 2 Southern Tamanduas as well as Tapirs, Neotropical and Giant Otter, Yellow and Nine-banded Armadillos and many more!
Bird highlights included the range restricted White-winged Nightjar and Blaze-winged Parakeet.

We are running this tour again in July next year with an amended itinerary and price to that currently online.
Please email us for details as last places available.

Maned Wolf, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Maned Wolf, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Maned Wolf, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Lowland Tapir, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Toco Toucan, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Nine-banded Armadillo, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Yellow Armadillo, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Giant Anteater, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Southern Tamandua, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Giant Anteater, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Southern Tamandua, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Striped Owl, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Black-banded Owl, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Red-legged Seriemas, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Maned Wolf, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Maned Wolf, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Ocelot, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Jaguar, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Ocelot, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Band-tailed Manakin, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Blaze-winged Parakeet, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Collared Peccaries, Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Southern Pantanal on the River Aquidauana by Chris Townend


SEPTEMBER 2023

We have been busy adding some new trip reports to the website.

Hooded Warbler by Dave Astins

UGANDA MARCH 2023: African Golden Cat Quest!
GEORGIA & ARMENIA APRIL 2023: Birding the Caucasus
CANADA MAY 2023: Point Pelee & Long Point Migration

AUGUST 2023
Photo highlights from our recent Mostly Mammals tour to Emas NP and the Southern Pantanal in Brazil will be posted in the coming days….

Maned Wolf, Emas NP Brazil July 2023

MAY 2023
We have just returned from another fabulous trip to Georgia and Armenia on our very popular “Birding the Caucasus” tour where once again we enjoyed fabulous scenery, amazing food, great accommodation and fantastic birds!
These two countries are simply packed full of birds and always in a stunning landscape!. We recorded 221 species and even managed to see three Brown Bears too! Highlights were many but included many memorable sightings in the mountains with Guldenstadt’s Redstarts, Great Rosefinch and all three Grouse/Snowcocks with great views of Caucasian and Caspian Snowcock and Caucasian Grouse. Other fabulous birds seen very well included Levant Sparrowhawk, Radde’s Accentor, White-winged Snowfinch, Red-tailed Wheatear and Finsch’s Wheatear, Grey-necked Bunting, Menetrie’s Warbler, White-throated Robin, Western and Eastern Rock Nuthatches, Calandra and Bimaculated Lark, Green Warbler, Semicollared Flycatcher and much much more! We will be running this tour again in April 2024.

Wild Tulips in the Yeghegnadzor Mountains of Armenia by Chris Townend

Male White-throated Robin by Chris Townend

Male Great Rosefinch in Kazbegi by Chris Townend

Male Guldenstadt’s Redstart in Kazbegi by Chris Townend

The Gergetti Monastery in Kazbegi by Chris Townend

A pair of Caucasian Snowcocks in the Kazbegi Mountains of Georgia by Chris Townend

Caucasian Snowcock in the Kazbegi Mountains by Chris Townend

Caspian Snowcock in the Yeghegnadzor Mountain of Armenia by Chris Townend

European Honey Buzzard by Chris Townend

Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater at Armash Fishponds IBA by Chris Townend

Savi’s Warbler at Armash Fishponds IBA by Chris Townend

Paddyfield Warbler at Armash Fishponds IBA by Chris Townend

Male Levant Sparrowhawk on the outskirts of Tbilisi by Chris Townend

Male Semicollared Flycatcher in the Dilijan Forest, Armenia by Chris Townend

Green Warbler in the Dilijan Forest, Armenia by Chris Townend

Red-fronted Serin at Noravank by Chris Townend

White-winged Snowfinch in Armenia by Chris Townend

Radde’s Accentor in Armenia by Chris Townend

Rosy Starlings in Armenia by Chris Townend

White-tailed Lapwing at Armash Fishponds IBA by Chris Townend

White-winged Terns at Lake Sevan in Armenia by Chris Townend

APRIL 2023
Since our last update, we have been away in Uganda on our Golden Cat Quest. This was our second tour focused on looking for this very difficult cat species and we came incredibly close. In fact, we sent one of our clients on a private tour with our ground agent and they saw an animal at 5 metres range for over a minute, just a few days before we arrived!!
We have no doubt that our persistence will pay off eventually. However, the beauty of this tour is that whilst being focused on the cat, we are still seeing a fabulous selection of other mammals and birds, so even without a sighting of Golden Cat this tour has so much to offer. Despite no Golden Cat, this year’s tour was greatly enjoyed by everyone for the sheer diversity of mammals seen, as well as some great birds.

Below are just some of the highlights from the tour which included great views of Serval, Lion, Spotted-necked Otter, White-bellied Pangolin, Eastern Gorilla, Chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s Monkey, Blue Monkey, Mantled Guereza, Ugandan Crested Mangabey, East African Potto, Giant Forest Hog, East African Potto, 4 species of Galago, Lord Derby’s Anomalure and much more! Of course we also saw plenty of birds including the mighty Shoebill, Great Blue Turaco, Papyrus Gonolek and White-spotted Flufftail to name just a few. We are running this tour again in 2024 and gaining invaluable knowledge from our trail cameras, but spaces are limited so please do email if interested.

White-bellied Pangolin in Bwindi by Chris Townend

White-bellied Pangolin in Bwindi by Chris Townend

Uganda Kob in Queen Elizabeth NP by Chris Townend

Lord Derby’s Anomalure in Ruhija by Chris Townend

Serval in KIbale by Chris Townend

Marsh Mongoose in Kibale by Chris Townend

East African Potto by Chris Townend

Lions in Queen Elizabeth NP by Chris Townned

Lioness in Queen Elizabeth NP by Chris Townend

Black Bee-Eater in Kibale by Chris Townend

Black Bee-Eater in Kibale by Chris Townend

Ruwenzori Three-horned Chameleon in Ruhija by Chris Townend

Shoebill in Mabamba Swamp by Chris Townend

Chimpanzee in Kibale by Chris Townend

Crowned Hornbill in Kibale by Chris Townend

Black-and-White Casqued Hornbills in Kibale by Chris Townend

Green-throated Sunbird in Kibale by Chris Townend

Verreaux’s Eagle Owls in Queen Elizabeth NP by Chris Townend

Silverback from the Bitukura group by Chris Townend

Elephants on the Kazinga Channel QENP by Chris Townend

Bitukura family group of Gorillas by Chris Townend

L’Hoest’s Monkey in Ruhija by Chris Townend

Red-tailed Monkey in Bigodi by Chris Townend

Spectacled Galago in Ruhija by Chris Townend

African Finfoot on Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

African Finfoot on Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Great Blue Turaco in Kibale by Chris Townend

Handsome Spurfowl in Ruhija by Chris Townend

 

FEBRUARY 2023

We have just returned from a pioneering winter tour to Mongolia looking for Snow Leopard and Pallas’s Cat and it was a great success!
Our small group enjoyed no less than 18 hours of watching Snow Leopard and 1.5hrs with Pallas’s Cat! Being winter, other mammals were in short supply but we had good views of Argali and Przewalski’s Horse as well as Siberian Ibex, large herds of Mongolian Gazelles and a single Black-tailed Gazelle.
Though not the best time for birding, we still saw a number of good species including Lammergeier, Saker, Henderson’s Ground Jay, Azure Tit, Long-tailed Rosefinch and both Red and Black-throated Thrushes. Below is a short video of just some of the tour highlights from this fabulous country.

We will be running this tour again in Jan/Feb 2024. Please email us to secure your places as it will be another small group.

 

JANUARY 2023

We have just returned from our first tour to Senegal and what a fabulous country! We saw all the speciality birds that we hoped to find and a good selection of other West African species and all whilst staying in some very nice accommodation with great food too! Highlights included at least 4 Quail Plovers including incredible views of one bird on the ground, 2 Golden Nightjars seen well pre-dawn and dusk, Little Grey Woodpecker, Sennar Penduline Tit, West African Crested Tern and an incredible 3 White-crested Tiger Herons! Other species included Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Temminck’s Courser, Spotted Thick-knee, Goliath Heron and much more! We also saw some good mammal including Patas Monkey, Marsh Mongoose, Four-toed Hedgehog and African Golden Wolf. Why not join us in January 2024?

Quail Plover by Chris Townend

Scissor-tailed Kites by Chris Townend

White-crested Tiger Heron by Chris Townend

Caspian and West African Crested Tern by Chris Townend

Temminck’s Courser by Chris Townend

Scissor-tailed Kite by Chris Townend

Just part of the 2,000 roost of Scissor-tailed Kites by Chris Townend

Sennar Penduline Tit by Chris Townend

Little Grey Woodpecker by Chris Townend

Our perfectly placed hotel at the Saloum Delta by Chris Townend

Goliath Heron by Chris Townend

Atlas Wheatear by Chris Townend

African Golden Wolf by Chris Townend

Marsh Mongoose by tour participant David Walker

Our two successful Eurasian Lynx Quest Trip Reports from November 2022 are now online.
See Trip Reports

Eurasian Lynx in Estonia by Martin Piispea

Our Uganda tour report from July is now online at Trip Reports
Another great trip to this fantastic country with a total o4 477 birds and 45 mammals

Grauer’s Broadbill at Mubwindi Swamp by Chris Townend

DECEMBER 2022
Recent tour reports from our two successful Lynx Quest Tours to Estonia in November and our West Papua tour will be posted soon.

SEPTEMEBR 2022
Our visit to Uganda in March this year involved a pioneering tour to look for African Golden Cat.
Trip report now added –Trip Reports

We are running 2 similar tours to search for African Golden Cat in March 2023 and putting much of what we have learned over the last year into practice to what will hopefully be a successful result! Please contact us to secure last  places.

 

AUGUST 2022
New mammal focused trip reports from Finland and Western Sahara now added.

New trip reports from some of our cat focused tours now added.
MINNESOTA NOV 2021 and FEB 2022
CALIFORNIA FEB 2022

Bobcat, Point Reyes California by Chris Townend

JULY 2022: UGANDA Birding Tour Plus Gorillas & Chimps
We have just returned from yet another tour of the wonderful country that is Uganda! This time our itinerary focused on birding, though we still managed to see a fabulous selection of mammals too! We recorded over 460 birds including numerous stand-out highlights which included the following.

The fabulous sight of a Shoebill catching a Lungfish on the Mabamaba Swamp, a Green-breasted Pitta feeding recently fledged young in Kibale Forest, Grauer’s Broadbill feeding young near the nest at Mubwindi Swamp, hundreds of African Skimmers skimming within metres of our boat at Murchison Falls NP, White-backed Night Heron at the nest and two female African Finfoots on Lake Mburo, ridiculous views of a Dwarf Bittern in Queen Elizabeth NP and a fabulous day of Kingfishers at the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest with Chocolate-backed Kingfisher and African Dwarf Kingfisher within minutes of each other. Plus numerous Albertine Rift Endemics such as Regal Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Apalis, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe and Archer’s Ground Robin to name just a few!

The mammals were equally impressive with memorable time spent with the Chimpanzees of Kibale and the Gorillas of Bwindi, as well as an impressive list of other mammals including Leopard, Lion, Elephants, Oribi, Hartebeest and Eland. Come and join us next year and experience why Uganda really is the Pearl of Africa!

Shoebill, Mabamba Swamp by Chris Townend

African Broadbill, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest by Chris Townend

African Skimmers, Murchison Falls NP by Chris Townend

Black-billed Turaco, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Brown-chested Lapwing, Lake Mburo Np by Chris Townend

Young Gorilla, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest by Chris Townend

Silverback Gorilla, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest by Chris Townend

Red-throated Wryneck, Uganda by Chris Townend

Leopard, Murchison Falls National Park by Chris Townend

Crowned Hornbill, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Rock Pratincoles, Murchison Falls NP by Chris Townend

Chimpanzee, Kibale Forest by Chris Townend

Red-tailed Monkey, Bigodi Swamp by Chris Townend

White-backed Night Herons, Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Grauer’s Broadbill. Mubwindi Swamp by Chris Townend

Dwarf Bittern, Queen Elizabeth NP by Chris Townend

Grey-crowned Crane, Uganda by Chris Townend

Goliath Heron, Kazinga Channel by Chris Townend

Tree Climbing Lion, Ishasha by Chris Townend

MAY 2022: GEORGIA & ARMENIA

Bluethroat, Georgia April 2022

Just returned from a fantastic tour of both Georgia and Armenia where we enjoyed wonderful people, great food, stunning scenery and of course, many fantastic birds! Highlights included Caucasian Grouse and Caucasian Snowcock, Great Rosefinch, Mountain Chiffchaff, Menetries’s Warbler, Grey-necked Bunting, Red-tailed Wheatear, Radde’s Accentor and much much more.

We will be running a new Mostly Mammals Tour here in 2023 as well as our standard Birding Tour.

Although this was primarily a birding tour, we also had some great mammal sightings including numerous Brown Bears and a fabulous Eurasian Lynx watched for 40 minutes! 

Male Great Rosefinch, Kazbegi Georgia by Chris Townend

Male Menetries’s Warbler, Armash Ponds Armenia by Chris Townend

Male Caucasian Snowcock, Kazbegi Georgia by Chris Townend

APRIL 2022
We have just returned from an exciting new tour to Uganda: African Golden Cat Quest: Plus Gorillas, Chimps and Shoebill The main aim of this tour was to focus on mammals with a particular effort on trying for the incredibly elusive African Golden Cat! Despite coming close, we did not see the Cat, but we still saw a fabulous selection of other mammals which was always our intention. We also learned a great deal from local people on finding the Golden Cat, so we are very excited for our tours next year!

Highlights from the tour included 43 species of mammal including two species only recorded on trail camera (Yellow-backed Duiker and Rusty-spotted Genet). Species seen included Forest Elephant, Alexander’s Cusimanse, Black-fronted Duiker, African Civet, Spectacled Lesser Galago, Thomas’s Dwarf Galago, Thick-tailed Greater Galago, Lord Derby’s Anomalure, Angola Colobus, Ashy Red Colobus, Mantled Guerza,  L’Hoest’s Monkey, Blue Monkey, Uganda Crested Mangabey, and of course the fabulous Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees.

Despite being more mammal focused, we still saw a great selection of birds including a number of Albertine Rift Endemics that included Strange Weaver, Regal Sunbird, Mountain Masked Apalis and Stripe-breasted Tit. Our last day of the tour also allowed some great views of the mighty Shoebill.

L’Hoest’s Monkey, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Blue or Gentle Monkey, Ishasha Road by Chris Townend

Ashy Red Colobus, Bigodi by Chris Townend

Angola Colobus, Manwa Forest by Chris Townend

Female African Finfoot, Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Crested Barbet, Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Common Bushbuck, Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Chimpanzees, Kibale Forest by Chris Townend

Buffalo, Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Black-fronted Duiker, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Black Bee-eater, Kibale Forest by Chris Townend

Brown-crowned Tchagra, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Male Regal Sunbird, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Young Giraffe, Lake Mburo by Chris Townend

Rwenzori Batis, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Strange Weaver at the nest, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Mountain Buzzard, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Great Blue Turaco, Bigodi by Chris Townend

Handsome Francolin, Ruhija by Chris Townend

Shoebill, Mabamba Swamp by Chris Townend

Shoebill, Mabamba Swamp by Chris Townend



MARCH 2022

We have just returned from two of our favourite winter tours to North America where, once again we enjoyed the fabulous wildlife of California and of course our Canada Lynx Quest to Minnesota. Below are highlights from each tour:

Our Minnesota Canada Lynx Quest in Feb 2022 was our seventh successful tour.
We are proud to have started this pioneering tour back in 2016. This year we guided a private tour of six fellow cat fanatics and the Lynx forced us to work for it. However, the views were simply incredible in the end!! On our last day we were rewarded with the simply magical sighting of a mother with three yearlings. Other mammal highlights included American Marten, Moose, Snowshoe Hare and Coyote. Bird highlights included Spruce and Ruffed Grouse, Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Arctic Redpoll, Boreal Chickadee and Bald Eagle.

Canada Lynx family on the move, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Canada Lynx yearling, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Two of the three Canada Lynx yearlings, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Two of the three Canada Lynx yearlings, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Adult female Canada Lynx with two yearlings, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Common Redpoll, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Arctic Redpoll, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Pine Grosbeaks, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Male Pine Grosbeak, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Snowshoe Hare, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Moose, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Female Pileated Woodpecker, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Canada Jay, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Boreal Chickadee, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Male Spruce Grouse, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Andrew Stanbury

Female Canada Lynx with three youngsters, Minnesota Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Canada Lynx habitat by Chris Townend

Canada Lynx tracks by Chris Townend

In California we were treated to 161 wonderful species of bird and 19 mammal species.
Bird highlights included thousands of Snow and Ross’s Geese, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ridgway’s Rail, Sandhill Crane, a great selection of waders including Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone and Surfbird,  Rhinoceros Auklet, Yellow-billed Magpie, Townsend’s and Prairie Warblers, Varied Thrush Northern Saw-Whet Owl and many more!  Mammal highlights included Grey Whale, Risso’s Dolphin, Sea Otter, North American River Otter, Coyote and multiple Bobcats!

Male Bobcat, Point Reyes Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Male Bobcat, Point Reyes Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Black Oystercatcher, Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Long-billed Curlew, Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Surfbird, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Least Sandpipers, Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Sea Otter, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Rhinoceros Auklet, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Townsend’s Warbler, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Prairie Warbler, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Golden Gate Bridge by Chris Townend

Grey Whale, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Risso’s Dolphins, Monterey Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Red-winged Blackbird, Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Northern Elephant Seals, Ana Nuevo SP Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Ridgway’s Rail, San Francisco Bay Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Monarch Butterflies, Pacific Grove Feb 222 by Chris Townend

Western Meadowlark, Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Sandhill Cranes, Sacramento Valley Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Family of Snow Geese, Sacramento Valley Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Female Northern Harrier, Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Male Bobcat, Point Reyes Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Male Bobcat, Point Reyes Feb 2022 by Chris Townend

Snow Geese at sunset, Sacramento Valley Feb 2022 by Chris Townend