Erik Forsyth

What our clients say about Erik

  • I just have to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the N. India trip and how superb the leaders are… Erik and Rich worked so well together and both are so funny, such a great combination…. With much gratitude to RBT for bringing birds and mammals into my life.

    NM, Northern India
  • Dear Erik, Thanks for the trip report of a fantastic tour. Wow, what an experience and I am so glad we did it – most importantly with Rockjumper. Everything was taken care of and we moved smoothly from one place to the next with no problems (well none that we knew of!)
    All the best!

    CG, Northern India
  • Erik was a delight to be with, as his sense of humour was a constant. Having him at the helm added an unexpected and pleasurable dimension to the whole trip. The entire trip was terrific: beautiful scenery, nice people, good beer and food, and comfy accommodations.

    DE & NE, New Zealand
  • Erik is a wonderful guide with great birding skills and the ability to help everyone possible see the bird. He is funny and has a pleasant manner to everyone at all times.

    EL, Japan
  • The trip sounded good in the write-up but far exceeded our expectations.  The pelagic trips were outstanding.  The number of participants was perfect.  Erik knew the birds and their calls/sounds and was very effective in getting everyone to see the birds.  He called many pelagic IDs well before other people had even spotted the birds.  Erik’s skills in managing the participants showed and his sense of humour added to his effectiveness.  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.

    DM & SM, New Zealand
New Zealand - Comprehensive II 2017
23 Oct 2017 - 8 Nov 2017 (17 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension II 2017
On Special: NZD 8,300 NZD 7,450
1 Space Available on this guaranteed departure
New Zealand - Comprehensive III 2017
16 Nov 2017 - 2 Dec 2017 (17 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension III 2017
Tour Price (Per Person): NZD8,300
No Spaces Available on this guaranteed departure
New Zealand - Comprehensive I 2018
5 Jan 2018 - 21 Jan 2018 (17 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth

Tour Price (Per Person): NZD8,650
3 Spaces Available
Japan - Winter Birding I 2018
16 Feb 2018 - 6 Mar 2018 (19 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Japan - Southern Islands Extension I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): JPY795,000
Spaces Available
Japan - Southern Islands Extension I 2018
6 Mar 2018 - 11 Mar 2018 (6 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Japan - Winter Birding I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): JPY285,000
Spaces Available
Bhutan - Assam Birding & Big Game Extension I 2018
13 Mar 2018 - 17 Mar 2018 (5 days)
Tour Leaders: Greg de Klerk, Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Bhutan - Birding the Buddhist Kingdom I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): INR97,500
Spaces Available
Bhutan - Birding the Buddhist Kingdom I 2018
17 Mar 2018 - 5 Apr 2018 (20 days)
Tour Leaders: Greg de Klerk, Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Bhutan - Assam Birding & Big Game Extension I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): USD7,850
Spaces Available
Bhutan - Assam Birding & Big Game Extension II 2018
8 Apr 2018 - 12 Apr 2018 (5 days)
Tour Leaders: Greg de Klerk, Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Bhutan - Birding the Buddhist Kingdom II 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): INR97,500
4 Spaces Available
Bhutan - Birding the Buddhist Kingdom II 2018
12 Apr 2018 - 1 May 2018 (20 days)
Tour Leaders: Greg de Klerk, Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Bhutan - Assam Birding & Big Game Extension II 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): USD7,850
1 Space Available
The Philippines - Endangered Endemics 2018
12 May 2018 - 31 May 2018 (20 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: The Philippines - Visayan Islands Extension 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): USD5,500
Spaces Available
The Philippines - Visayan Islands Extension 2018
31 May 2018 - 5 Jun 2018 (6 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: The Philippines - Endangered Endemics 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): USD1,900
Spaces Available
The Philippines - Highlights 2018
6 Jun 2018 - 15 Jun 2018 (10 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth

Tour Price (Per Person): USD3,450
Spaces Available
Indonesia - Sumatra & Java 2018
1 Jul 2018 - 15 Jul 2018 (15 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth

Tour Price (Per Person): IDR62,500,000
Spaces Available
Southwest Pacific Islands - 2018
29 Jul 2018 - 17 Aug 2018 (20 days)
Tour Leaders: Adam Walleyn, Erik Forsyth

Tour Price (Per Person): USD8,650
4 Spaces Available
Australia - Southwest Extension I 2018
14 Sep 2018 - 20 Sep 2018 (7 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Australia - East Coast I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): AUD3,750
Spaces Available
Australia - East Coast I 2018
20 Sep 2018 - 10 Oct 2018 (21 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Australia - Southwest Extension I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): AUD12,250
Spaces Available
Australia - Tasmania Extension I 2018
10 Oct 2018 - 14 Oct 2018 (5 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: Australia - East Coast I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): AUD2,750
Spaces Available
New Zealand - Comprehensive II 2018
22 Oct 2018 - 7 Nov 2018 (17 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension I 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): NZD8,650
Spaces Available
New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension I 2018
7 Nov 2018 - 10 Nov 2018 (4 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Comprehensive II 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): NZD2,250
Spaces Available
New Zealand - Comprehensive III 2018
15 Nov 2018 - 1 Dec 2018 (17 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension II 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): NZD8,650
2 Spaces Available
New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension II 2018
1 Dec 2018 - 4 Dec 2018 (4 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Comprehensive III 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): NZD2,250
2 Spaces Available
New Zealand - Highlights 2018
5 Dec 2018 - 15 Dec 2018 (11 days)
Tour Leader: Erik Forsyth
Can be linked with: New Zealand - Chatham Islands Extension II 2018
Tour Price (Per Person): NZD5,850
Spaces Available

Erik Forsyth is a long-standing Rockjumper leader now living in New Zealand. He is a superb birder who currently leads for Rockjumper in Asia and Australasia. Erik is also blessed with a contagious sense of humor and a wonderful gift for sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge in the field. Erik has been an avid birder his entire life.

Erik Forsyth originally hails from Scotland but lived in South Africa for thirty years, during which he became one of Africa’s most experienced birders. He now lives in New Zealand with his family, where, soon after arriving, he discovered a new bird for the country and is again fast becoming one of the nation’s top bird watchers. His expertise is backed up by a three-year Nature Conservation Qualification, as well as several years of hands-on conservation experience at various National and Regional game reserves in South Africa. Erik mainly guides in Asia and Australasia.

 

More about Erik

How did you get into birding?
When I was a youngster living in Scotland, I would often watch birds in the garden or nearby woods. We then immigrated to South Africa and, when I was about 18, I went on my first bird outing with the Witwatersrand Bird Club, seeing about 70 species on the day. The defining moment, though, was when we were standing under some acacia trees near the camp when a pair of stunningly beautiful Crimson-breasted Shrikes appeared and started duetting right in front of me. Needless to say, I was totally hooked for life!

What led you to choose a career in tourism?
Having a passion for the outdoors and all wildlife, it was a natural progression for me to become a Nature Conservation Officer with the KZN Wildlife Organization, where I was a guide, and then an eco-tourism manager in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. Here my time was devoted to showing people the diverse wildlife and amazing reserve that I worked in. Joining Rockjumper Birding Tours thereafter, I am now able to meet many fellow birders and show them beautiful birds in far-off and exotic locations.

What are your other hobbies and interests?
I am very keen on sports and watch cricket, rugby and football. My other interests are helping with census and survey work (birdwatching of course!) for bird organisations.

What do you enjoy most about being on tour?
The excitement that follows from having the whole group see the birds well is very satisfying and rewarding; catching up with clients from previous tours; seeing new birds.

What are your strengths as a tour leader?
Knowledge of the areas we visit and of the identity and calls of their respective birds; being very flexible, patient and compassionate; remaining unflappable when difficult situations arise; and, of course, having a good laugh with the clients whenever the opportunity arises!

Are you a keen bird photographer?
I am, but don’t have the right camera!

Are you a lister and if so, which lists are your main focus?
My Papua New Guinea and Asian lists are definite focuses of mine. I have a healthy African list which was last at 1780.

Any interesting stories or anecdotes from recent tours?
While birding in Papua New Guinea in 2011, I was telling the group that we would be very lucky to even catch a mere glimpse of the mythical Shovel-billed Kookaburra, only for a bird to then land on a stump 3m from us right in the open! That became a bit of a poor excuse for shy birds thereafter! On another occasion, while looking for South Island Brown Kiwi with two clients, I was tapped on the shoulder and heard the words, “Look behind us.” Turning around, we were surprised (and very pleased) to see that a kiwi was in fact following us, and then even forced us off the trail so that it could get past!

What are your future goals as a birding tour leader?
To gain more experience in Asian birds and to lead tours to China and Japan.

What is your favourite place/country to guide?
Ethiopia is my favourite African destination; I love birding with groups there. Papua New Guinea is fast becoming a home from home, with a range of some of the most beautiful birds in the world. One can quite simply never get used to the stunning beauty that the Birds-of-paradise have to offer!

India, however, is still my all-time favourite, with its superlative mixture of big game, diverse range of birds, cultural beauty in terms of temples and palaces, very hospitable people and, of course, the magnificent Bengal Tiger!

What is your advice to people who want to go to….?
Papua New Guinea: be prepared for an amazing adventure to a remote part of the world, where exotic looking birds display in the largest natural untouched forests!
Philippines: visit soon as these wonderful birds are disappearing fast due to an expanding population and shrinking forests. It’s getting harder and harder to find some of the more widespread species!