For many of us over the next month or two, travel may not be in the cards at all or it may be limited to within your home country. Here you will find a list of Rockjumper guides you can contact in a variety of locations who are available to lead day trips (or more) in some fantastic birding and wildlife locations right from nearly off their front door step. If you are looking for some local birding assistance see the list below and please reach out to the guide at their contact info to make your own arrangements.

 

Note also that each page has a link to the tour leaders’ Upcoming Tours page. Take a look at those too, and if you are considering travel on a Rockjumper tour and are curious about one you are also welcome to contact the guides to set up a time to chat. Have questions about a destination? Or a bird you’re looking for? Or a particular area you wish to explore? The tour leaders below are ready to answer questions about their tours as well, even if you aren’t able to go birding just now. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always ready to chat about birds, birding & travel.

Connect with a Tour Leader

If you would like to learn more about a particular destination or you have a few special species that you would like to discuss then consider setting up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable guides. The following Rockjumper Tour Leaders are all available and are very happy to share their knowledge. Feel free to contact them and set up a meeting or else get in touch with our office at info@rockjumper.com and we will be happy to make the necessary arrangements and direct your questions to the appropriate tour leader.

Lev Frid

Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 

Contact:
lev.frid@gmail.com
+1 647 883 0169 (also on WhatsApp)

 

Photos for Sale:
https://www.shutterstock.com/g/lev+frid

Birding Hotspots and highlights:

Algonquin Provincial Park – massive protected area, hosting Black Bear, Wolf, Moose Beaver, Northern River Otter, Fisher, Marten and others for unparalleled mammal-viewing opportunities and beautiful scenery. Birding includes 20+ breeding warbler species, Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, White-winged Crossbill and other boreal specialties, plus southern species such as Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush, Brown Thrasher and others. Only 2.5 hours from Toronto, with many nearby accommodations. Excellent at any time of year. Winter (Nov-Mar) and Spring (Mar-June) better for mammal sightings. 

 

Carden Alvar Important Bird Area – a bastion for threatened grassland and marshland birds, including Loggerhead Shrike, Upland Sandpiper, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Grasshopper and Clay-colored Sparrows, Golden-winged Warbler, Sedge Wren, Least and American Bittern, Sora, Virginia Rail and many others. Mixed forest nearby supports 20+ breeding warbler species. Black Bear and Moose observed relatively frequently. 1.5 hours from Toronto, Best during May – September.

 

Point Pelee National Park – world-famous park for witnessing bird migration. 100+ species days are regular in May and September. 25+ species of wood-warblers, plus all the eastern vireos and thrushes, sparrows and many others. Excellent passage of raptors in autumn, as well as extensive marshes for shorebirds and waterfowl, a nearby pier for many gulls later in the season. Very often, rare vagrants are located. Best during April-May, and late August-October. 3.5 hours from Toronto, many accomodations in nearby Leamington.

 

Rondeau & surrounding area – Excellent chunk of Carolinian forest, home to scarce breeding birds such as Cerulean, Hooded and Prothonotary Warblers, as well as Acadian Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting and a variety of others. Large marshes hold Least Bittern as well as a good selection of rails and other waterbirds, including King Rail sometimes. Rondeau park is often just as good as nearby Point Pelee during migration, with 100-species days including 25+ warbler species possible during May and September. 2.5 hours from Toronto. 

 

Amherst and Wolfe Islands – World-famous islands for viewing owls and other raptors, in some years 9 owl species can be seen in one outing, including double-digit numbers of Snowy Owls. Northern Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Rough-legged Hawk and others are regular. Flocks of Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs occur as well as Northern Shrikes. During summer, the island hosts a population of Wilson’s Phalaropes as well as grassland birds such as Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and more. Best during winter (Nov-Mar) or summer for breeding birds (no owls, May-July)

 

Snowy Owl and raptor viewing near Toronto – a half-day trip is possible to some agricultural land 40 minutes north of the city where several Snowy Owls habitually spend the winter. Other sightings regularly include Rough-legged Hawk, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs and Northern Shrikes. 

 

Migration/winter birding in Toronto – Several greenspaces right in the city offer excellent waterfowl and songbird migration viewing for a half-day or more. In winter, parks host abundant arctic waterfowl, including several thousand Long-tailed Ducks which are easily seen and photographed at close range. Other regular waterfowl in winter include Hooded Merganser, Redhead, Surf and White-winged Scoters, Wood Duck and many others. During migration, the Leslie Street Spit can often produce 100+ species days, including 20+ species of wood-warblers. Best for migration during April-May and again September-October, and in winter during November-March.

 

Other Area Attractions: 

Toronto offers a huge range of culinary and hospitality options. It is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and excellent cuisine from anywhere on the earth is not difficult to find. Several attractions such as the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium are easily accessed by public transit from anywhere in the city. 

 

Niagara Falls is only a 1.5 – 2 hour drive from the city and is a famous world landmark, and offers excellent birding, especially during winter, when up to 12 gull species have been found on a single day! Also, a variety of wineries exist in the communities of Niagara and Niagara on the lake, many offering the world famous “ice wine” made with grapes collected after they’ve frozen on the vine during early winter. 

Erik Forsyth

Location:
Auckland, New Zealand

 

Contact:
forsytherik@gmail.com
M: 021 265 7727
H: 073 085 480

Birding Hotspots:

Tawharanui Regional Park, Tiritiri Matangi Island, Puketutu Island, Miranda Shorebird Centre and Waipu Cove 

 

Specialty Species & Possibilities:

North Island Brown Kiwi, North Island Saddleback, Takahe, Morepork, Whitehead, New Zealand Kaka, North Island Robin, Stitchbird,Spotless Crake, Red-crowned Parakeet, New Zealand Pigeon, NZ Fantail, NZ Plover, Variable Oystercatcher, Double-banded Plover and Wrybill.

 

Other Area Attractions:

Regional cuisine & dining, non-birding landmarks, Villa Maria Vineyard and restaurant, Plume the Vineyard Restaurant, Auckland city: Sky Tower and Hobbiton.

Daniel Danckwerts

Location:
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

 

Contact:
D.Danckwerts@gmail.com  |  +27 72 261 6387

 

Photos for Sale:
https://www.shutterstock.com/g/danielkeithdanckwerts
https://www.instagram.com/dan_danckwerts_photography/

Birding Hotspots:

Wider Gauteng including Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Devon, and Zaagkuildrift. Longer overnight trips are possible.

 

Speciality species and possibilities:

Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, Orange River Francolin, Striped Pipit, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Barred Wren-warbler, Black-faced and Violet-eared Waxbills and a host of migrant warblers (summer months only)

 

Other Area Attractions:

Cradle of Humankind

 

André Bernon

Location:
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

 

Contact:
andrebernon@hotmail.com

Birding Hotspots:

Sani Pass & Lesotho, Karkloof and the Midlands, Thurlow Nature Reserve

 

Specialty Species & Possibilities:

Sani Pass & Lesotho (Drakensberg Rockjumper, Drakensberg Siskin, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Bearded Vulture, African Rock and Mountain Pipits, Southern Bald Ibis, Barratt’s Warbler, Bush Blackcap, Half-collared Kingfisher, Blue Swallow and even Sloggett’s Ice Rat). Karkloof and the Midlands (Wattled and Blue Cranes, Orange Ground Thrush, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Blue Swallow, Knysna Turaco, Bush Blackcap, Cape Parrot, Striped Flufftail. Thurlow Nature Reserve (Cuckoo-finch, South African Shelduck, Denham’s Bustard, Red-winged Francolin, Orange-breasted Waxbill and many mammals).

 

Other Area Attractions:

Sani Pass & Lesotho (border crossing & seSotho culture, highest pub in Africa). Karkloof & the Midlands (Benvie Botanical Gardens, Howick Falls, great food culture in the midlands, Mandela Capture Site). Thurlow Nature Reserve (Howick Falls, Mandela Capture Site).

David Hoddinott

Location:
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

 

Contact:
davidhoddinott@yahoo.co.uk  |  +27 72 38 38 463

 

Photos for Sale:
Contact David directly

Birding Hotspots:

Gwahumbe Game Reserve, Doreen Clark NR, Tala Private Game Reserve, Midmar – Thurlow Game Reserve, Albert Falls GR, Karkloof – Benvie, Sani Pass, Darvill Bird Sanctuary, Bisley NR, Maroetswa & Xumeni Forest, Wingfield NR

 

Specialty Species:

Cape Parrot, Blue Swallow, Bush Blackcap, Orange Ground Thrush, Striped Pipit, all 3 Cranes, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Barratt’s Warbler, Striped, Buff-spotted & Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, Half-collared Kingfisher, Magpie Mannikin, Ground Woodpecker, African Grass Owl, Cape Eagle Owl, Crowned Eagle, Martial Eagle, Bearded Vulture, Eurasian Bittern, Olive Bushshrike, Fairy Flycatcher, Fan-tailed Grassbird, Buff-streaked Chat, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Holub’s Golden Weaver, Grey Waxbill, Green Twinspot

 

Other Area Attractions:

Taste of Thai, Sagewood, Tandoor – Midlands Meander, Howick Falls

Glen Valentine

Location:
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

 

Contact:
glnvalentine@gmail.com  |  +27 83 733 4566

 

Photos for Sale:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/186903170@N04/albums

Birding Hotspots, specialties & possibilities:

Karkloof & Marutswa Forest – Cape Parrot, Orange Ground Thrush, Swee Waxbill, Narina Trogon, Olive Woodpecker, Wattled, Grey Crowned and Blue Cranes, Fan-tailed Grassbird (summer), Forest Buzzard, Olive Bushshrike, Bush Blackcap, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Buff-streaked Chat, Chorister Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Knysna Turaco, Buff-spotted Flufftail

 

Palmiet Nature Reserve – Spotted Ground Thrush (winter), Half-collared Kingfisher, Mountain Wagtail, Grey Cuckooshrike, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Crowned Eagle, Grey Waxbill, Green Twinspot, Brown-backed Honeybird, Southern Tchagra, Magpie Mannikin

 

Sani Pass & Drakensberg Foothills – Drakensberg Rockjumper, Ground Woodpecker, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Drakensberg Siskin, Buff-streaked Chat, Bush Blackcap, Cape and Sentinel Rock Thrushes, Mountain Pipit (summer), Sickle-winged Chat, Grey-winged Francolin, Barratt’s Warbler, Half-collared Kingfisher, Grey Crowned Crane, Southern Bald Ibis, Southern Grey Tit, Layard’s Warbler, Fairy Flycatcher (winter & spring), Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture)

 

Hella Hella/Highover Nature Reserve – Blue Swallow (summer), Fan-tailed Grassbird (summer), Pale-crowned Cisticola (summer), Lazy Cisticola, Striped Pipit, Forest Buzzard

 

Midmar Game Reserve & Cedara – Red-headed Quelea (summer), Cuckoo-Finch (summer), African Grass & Marsh Owls, Denham’s Bustard, Black-winged Lapwing, Pale-crowned Cisticola (summer), Orange-breasted Waxbill

 

Ladysmith, Weenen & Spioenkop Nature Reserves – White-bellied (Barrow’s) Korhaan, Melodious Lark, Shelley’s Francolin, Baillon’s Crake, Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, Little Bittern, excellent bushveld birding

 

 

Other Area Attractions:

Sani Pass – incredible scenery and a chance of mammals like Grey Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, Eland & Sloggett’s Ice Rat

 

Gareth Robbins

Location:
Cape Town, South Africa 

 

Contact:
garethrobbins82@gmail.com  |  +27 82 525 3946

 

Photos for Sale:
Contact Gareth directly

Birding Hotspots:

Rooiels & Betty’s Bay, Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point), Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and West Coast National Park.

 

Specialty Species & Possibilities:

Birds, mammals and bird photography. 

 

Other Area Attractions:

Guided Nature Walks, Cape Peninsula Tours.

Rob Williams

Location:
UK, Somerset, Devon and Dorset – I can also do trips elsewhere in the Uk including East Anglia and Scotland if required.

 

Contact:
robsrw@gmail.com  |  +44 (0) 7548 689430

 

Photos for Sale:
Coming soon

Birding Hotspots: 

  • Somerset Levels – Avalon marshes
  • Quantock hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – moors and oak woodlands
  • Exmoor National Park – moors and oak woodlands
  • Exe Estuary – waders (best in migration or winter)
  • Dartmoor National Park – moors
  • South Devon Coast

 

Speciality Species: 

  • Common Crane
  • Bearded Reedling
  • European Nightjar
  • Dartford Warbler
  • Eurasian Bittern
  • Cirl Bunting
  • wintering waterfowl and waders
  • also mammals (Red Deer, Eurasian Otter), Butterflies (including Large Blue) and Dragonflies.

 

Other Area Attractions: 

  • Literary Walks in the Quantock Hills – this is where Coleridge and Wordsworth lived in the 1790s and it inspired much of their writing.
  • Castles: (Tintagel – Cornwall), Corfe Castle (Dorset)
  • Cathedrals (Wells and Exeter)
  • Jurrasic Coast – fossils and scenery

Adam Walleyn

Location:
San Diego, CA

 

Contact:
adamwalleyn@gmail.com  |  442-235-2168

Birding Hotspots:

San Diego area, Salton Sea, Anza Borrego, Laguna Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, Joshua Tree

 

Specialty Species & Possibilities:

California endemics and near endemics like California Gnatcatcher, Wrentit, California Thrasher; renowned diversity of species with coastal birding, chaparral, pine and oak forests, desert, and wetlands all easily accessible including famous Salton Sea; pelagic birding opportunities; the county has 122 species of mammal and I know sites for almost all of them, highlights include Blue and Gray Whale, Bighorn Sheep, California Sea Lion, Bobcat, four species of kangaroo rat; amazing herpetological diversity with about 70 species in the county and I know sites for almost every species

 

Other Area Attractions:

Great Mexican food and sea food; fantastic hiking for all levels; great snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, I know great spots to snorkel with things like Leopard Shark, Guitarfish, California Sea Lion, Garibaldi; tidepooling; floral diversity

Forrest Rowland

Location:
Livingston, Montana USA

 

Contact:
rowbird2005@gmail.com  |  arthousebilly@gmail.com
+18145731391

 

Photos for Sale:
www.forophoto.com

Site A: Greater Yellowstone Ecoregion

The World famous, most-visited National Park region on Earth is home to more than 200 species of breeding birds. The diverse and stunning landscapes of Yellowstone National Park and the surround Wilderness areas, not to mention the scenic Grand Tetons National Park, include habitats ranging from Sagebrush Steppe and grasslands up to alpine forests and tundra above treeline. The wide river valleys and incredible access into pristine habitats provide outstanding proximity to some of the most-wanted birds and mammals of North America and allow for outstanding photography opportunities possible only here. While many of the visitors to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons come for the geothermal features (after all, it is the World’s largest volcano) and landscapes, the visiting birder will find himself/herself in the backcountry with Grey Wolves, Grizzly Bears, Badgers, River Otters, Coyote, Red Foxes, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Elk, and Moose in search of desirable Great Grey Owls, Northern Pygmy Owl, Northern Saw Whet Owl, Boreal Owl (rare), Dusky Grouse, Greater Sage Grouse, Trumpeter SwanHarlequin Duck, Barrow’s GoldeneyeWilliamson’s Sapsucker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeak, and Black Rosy Finch, to name a few. With ample time, a visit to iconic geothermal features like Old Faithful Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Grand Prismatic will require driving some of the more productive stretches of highway for Bison and Elk herds, which are often within feet of the road! Given the rightful popularity of the area, infrastructure is great. Fine dining options are numerous, accommodations ranging from clean but economic up to world-renowned luxury accommodations with en-suite jacuzzi tubs and heated flooring. A few local bird-enthusiasts are happy to cater to birders through Air BnB and vacation rentals, as well as simply invite us to enjoy the species visiting their feeders which include Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole, Black-headed Grosbeak, Cassin’s Finch, Red Crossbill, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Calliope and Broad-billed Hummingbirds and the stunningly beautiful Evening Grosbeak. This are has it all, for every visitor, including families. Wildlife watching, photography, the best fly fishing on Earth, hot springing, hiking, and cultural opportunities at the Museum of the Rockies, Buffalo Bill Museum, and several concert venues and social events in the quaint cities of Bozeman, Livingston, Cody, and Jackson are some of the other enjoyable activities the visiting birder can enjoy. 

 

Site B: Prairie Specialties of Central Montana

Perhaps the single most imperiled habitat in North America is the shortgrass prairie. Montana has the largest, contiguous, tracks of shortgrass prairies in the United States, with a healthy does of tallgrass prairie to boot! With a backdrop of towering mountain ranges and beautiful, wide, rivers such as the Missouri as the backdrop, Montana is the place to come enjoy these open habitats. While a few hours at the right spot can yield most of the prairie specialists such as Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk, Short-eared Owl, Upland Sandpiper, Sprague’s Pipit, McCown’s and Chestnut-collared Longspurs, Grasshopper and Baird’s Sparrows, a full day is required to enjoy photographic opportunities, soak up the astounding display flights of these entertaining species, and visit adjacent habitats. A few of the harder-to-find, rarer species we will look for include Greater Sage Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Gray Partridge, Mountain Plover and LeConte’s Sparrow. Adjacent pine slope and riparian areas often harbour Clark’s Nutcracker, Pinyon Jay, Green-tailed and Spotted Towhees, Lark Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat, Least, Dusky and Willow Flycatchers, Cassin’s Kingbird, Plumbeous Vireo, and more! Accommodations and dining in the region are limited but of very good quality and surprising variety, given the rurality and vast distances between towns and people. Nowhere else in the state is it more noticeable or appreciable that Montana benefits from the 3rd lowest population density in the United States of America, then while exploring the great state’s prairies. From a general naturalist and photographic standpoint, this region is wonderfully rich. Pronghorn, Mule and White-tailed Deer, Coyote, Red Fox, Black-tailed Prairie Dog, White-tailed Jackrabbit, and Wapiti (Elk) are all relatively common. Butterflies are abundant in the Spring. Snakes frequent the roadways for easy viewing including Bull Snake, Western and Checkered Garters, and, with luck, Rubber Boa or Prairie Hognose! With a little extra time, one might venture a bit farther towards the Northeast, to find Sedge Wren, Nelson’s Sparrow, and the opportunity for migrant shorebirds including Baird’s, White-rumped, Semipalmated, Pectoral, and Stilt Sandpipers, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalarope, Marbled Godwit, and Long-billed Curlew, all in breeding plumage!!!

 

Site C: Glacier National Park and the Flathead

Glacier National Park is the backcountry hiking capitol of the lower 48. It also happens to be the most photographed National Park in North America, and with good reason. The geology and glacial erosion of the tri-divide area of Montana, in Glacier National Park, is unique and nothing short of breath-taking. With names like Rainbow Peak, and the Goat Haunt, the truth of the colors and beauty and one sees in Glacier National Park meet every expectation that the imagination creates. That same dramatic geology also hosts an amazing diversity of habitats, ranging from Pacific Northwest rainforest, to alpine scrub, down to Sagebrush steppe. Wildlife viewing opportunities along the Going-to-the-Sun road rival Yellowstone National Park’s experiences, with Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Mountain Goat, and Hoary Marmot being some of the highlights. For the visiting birder, a few days in Glacier offers the chance to see species typically considered endemic to Boreal forests of Canada, rainforests of the far Northwest, and tundra of the highest Rocky Mountain peaks. Basing a visit to the park out of the West side offers an incredible array of accommodation level and dining opportunities to enjoy, while exploring the park’s bounty. By venturing to the far corners of the park of both sides, the following incredible list of special birds can be seen: Trumpeter Swan, Harlequin Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ruffed, Spruce, and Dusky Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, Black and Vaux’s Swift, Calliope Hummingbird, Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Western Screech Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Barred Owl, Boreal Owl (rare), Northern Saw Whet Owl, Long-eared Owl, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Lewis’s, American Three-toed, and Black-backed Woodpeckers, 8 species of Flycatchers, Cassin’s Vireo, Chestnut-backed and Boreal Chickadees, Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush, Grey-crowned Rosy Finch, White-winged Crossbill, Slate-colored Fox and LeConte’s Sparrows, and 11 species of breeding Warblers! With time, extending the visit for a day onto the prairie habitats of North-Central Montana can create the complete Montana experience, netting most of the prairie specialists that entice birders out of the mountains under the Big Sky. For the visiting naturalist, the floral variety and corresponding butterfly show from late-May through August is unbelievable, and the mammal and photographic opportunities undeniably world class. 

Hailing from the Mississippi Valley of eastern Iowa and growing up on his family’s restored tallgrass prairie, Bobby Wilcox has always been an avid nature-lover and conservationist. With a degree in geology and no interest in oil drilling, he embarked upon a string of mini careers bartending, fishmongering, small-scale organic farming, building mud houses and working in yarn stores. Bobby finally got the opportunity to pursue his dream job when he was hired as a seasonal field technician by Great Basin Bird Observatory to survey riparian songbirds along the Colorado River in western Arizona. He has been an itinerant birding nomad ever since, banding birds in California, Canada and American Samoa, studying cavity-nesters in northern Argentina, surveying vulnerable populations of sagebrush birds in Nevada’s Great Basin, and monitoring critically endangered Hooded Grebes in the windswept Patagonian steppe.

Dušan Brinkhuizen

Location:
Ecuador

 

Contact:
d.m.brinkhuizen@gmail.com

Dušan Brinkhuizen is a biologist and Rockjumper leader who resides in Ecuador. He graduated from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with an MSc specializing in avian research. Dušan has been an avid “Dutch Birder” from a young age.

 

His studies included projects on extra-pair paternity, breeding systems, evolution of song, speciation and community ecology in countries including Australia, China, Hungary, Zweden and Ecuador. During fieldwork, he got seriously hooked on Neotropical biodiversity and wilderness. Dušan lives in the capital Quito where he has been actively involved in the ornithological community since 2007. Activities apart from leading birdwatching tours include scientific research, bird sound recording and bird photography. Dušan is a member of CERO (Comité Ecuatoriano de Registros Ornitológicos), Ecuador’s rarities committee.

Born in Miami, Florida, Carlos Sanchez has had a fascination with wildlife as far back as he can remember — the first books he checked out of the library were Beehler’s “Birds of New Guinea” and Stiles and Skutch’s “Birds of Costa Rica.” While studying at the University of Miami for his International Studies degree, he began to bird in earnest throughout Florida, as well as Costa Rica and Australia. After graduating, Carlos accepted a position to do shorebird and waterfowl surveys across the northern Gulf coast, as well as taking advantage of an opportunity to do pelagic bird surveys in the Gulf of Mexico on a NOAA ship — the Gordon Gunter. However, the Neotropics were beckoning for his return — in 2010, he guided at Bellavista Lodge in Ecuador as well as spending time to extensively travel throughout the country. In 2013, Carlos returned to South America again to guide at Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Brazil. He has since lead tours from Costa Rica to Cuba, from Brazil to Madagascar.

Julian Parsons

Location:
South Africa

 

Contact:
info@julianparsons.com

Born on the beachfront of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and raised in a small town bordering the picturesque city of Cape Town – Julian is a coastal soul with a strong affinity for the natural world and a great love for the outdoors.

 

What started off as a childhood fascination with the colourful bird-of-paradise family, Julian quickly developed a deeper love and interest for birds, earning him his first bird book and binoculars at the age of 6. Shortly after his schooling, and driven by his lifelong passion for the natural world – Julian left suburban life and pursued a career as a nature guide, specializing in birding and wildlife photography. Julian’s career began in with overland safari tours where he guided groups of guests across the diverse and contrasting environments of Southern Africa. Thereafter he spent several years in KwaZulu Natal, guiding at various lodges in the pristine and bird rich Maputaland wetlands. From there, his career and passion for birding and photography have led him further afield to the untamed wilds of Zambia, spending a year in the breath-taking Lower Zambezi Valley; traversing the red sands and golden savannas of the Kalahari Desert; island hoping eastern Indonesia and getting somewhat lost in the tropical forests of West Africa. The incredible experiences gained along the way have developed and refined his style as a guide and photographer, further fuelling his passion to explore and discover the hidden beauties of this planet’s breath-taking natural history.

Mark Beevers

Location:
United Kingdom

 

Contact:
markbeev@aol.com

Mark Beevers hails from the UK and, while having been a police officer for over 30 years, he has now retired to become a full-time birder, dedicated to his local patch and travel. Mark has done 23 tours to Africa, including six to Morocco and three to Egypt, and is one of few birders to have passed the 1800 mark for his Africa list. In addition, Mark has developed enviable people skills in his career and has an incredible knowledge of Palaearctic birds, much to the advantage of our North African tours.

 

Mark’s interest began in migrating birds and finding rarities in his local ‘patch’ and over the years has matured to a passion that has seen him travel the world for birds; including over 20 tours to Africa. He now, having enjoyed many years in his professional capacity as a PO, takes the time to indulge in his passion for birds and this includes, inter alia, planning and leading bird tours, acting as voluntary manager at his local reserve and penning birding articles for journals and popular publications.

Nigel Redman

Location:
United Kingdom

 

Contact:
nigelredman28@gmail.com

Nigel Redman lives in Norfolk, UK, the best county for birds in Britain, and has been obsessed with birds for as long as he can remember. He had a successful career as a publisher of bird books, but an even longer one as a bird tour leader, and he loves sharing his experience and knowledge with others.

 

Nigel has had a lifelong interest in birds and wildlife. Over the past three decades he has led more than 120 bird tours, and has visited over 80 countries on all seven continents. Nigel’s travels have frequently involved getting off the beaten track, beginning in the late 1970s when he travelled the overland hippie trail to Kathmandu in search of exotic Asian birds. Since then, he has led pioneering expeditions to a wide variety of places including Siberia, Central Asia, Yemen, Bhutan, Indonesia and Ethiopia. In 1992 he led the first-ever birding tour to West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), and in 2012 took an intrepid birding group to northern Somalia. He has escorted several cruises to the Antarctic and Arctic, as well as guiding many tours to Asia and Africa, and now has field experience of more than half of the bird species of the world.

Stephan Lorenz was born in Germany, but moved to the United States at a young age and began birding in Texas, one of the most biologically rich areas of the US. He completed a Master of Science degree focusing on grassland birds, before joining various research projects in Australia, Jamaica, Costa Rica and especially Alaska. Stephan also has a broad background in education, including teaching college-level biology and working as a biologist educator for the National Audubon Society.

 

Stephan Lorenz resides in Texas, but has mainly been on the road for the past two years. He has guiding and birding experience throughout North, Central and South America with forays into Southeast Asia, South Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific. After looking into a career in outdoor education, he realized that he could combine his passion for birds and travel by joining various research projects. He spent several seasons as a field biologist, working for the Smithsonian Institute in Jamaica, Max Planck Institute in Australia and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. In addition, he spent four years teaching biology at a community college, and then pursued guiding full-time, leading tours throughout the Americas.

Stuart Elsom

Location:
United Kingdom

 

Contact:
stuartelsom@btinternet.com

Stu Elsom is a professional ecologist, tour leader and wildlife photographer who is based in Cambridgeshire, from where he runs his own consultancy, Stuart Elsom Ecology. A keen naturalist from an early age, his passion for wildlife conservation has seen him serve on several regional environmental and conservation forums and he is a former chairman of his local bird club.

 

Stu’s lifelong interest in birds and insects has taken him to over 50 countries on six continents. Recently he has specialised in the birds of the New World with the avifauna of both North and South America, and The Caribbean being the focus of his attention. Stu is an enthusiastic wildlife photographer and a member of the Royal Photographic Society Nature Group, through which he was awarded his Licentiate Distinction (LRPS) in 2012. Over 800 of his images have appeared in various natural history journals, magazines, CD guides and books including the recently published Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds; Owls of the World; Birds of Brazil; The Crossley Guide series and Stokes Birds of North America.