News from the Field - Autumn/Winter 2023
With a number of our overseas trips returning in the past few weeks, we thought it would be a good opportunity to share news from the field. Pete Cosgrove has highlights from his Costa Rica trip, Ian Ford discusses his recent Kenya tour and Mike Coleman tells us all about how the new Botswana holiday went. Holly Page has also just returned from the Gambia where she has been researching our new and improved Gambia 2024 departure!
“Botswana was fantastic, so many great birds - it's difficult to pick a favourite highlight! The omnipresence of a stunning bird like the Lilac-breasted Roller stands out; all the mammals were outstanding – particularly the Hyena, the Leopard and the Jackals.
I also loved the Warthogs, especially the really dinky youngsters! Similarly, the first drive when I nearly had a gigantic male Kudu on my lap in the front seat, the first morning looking over a waterhole at 50 species, the wonderful scenery, the morning birding at Victoria Falls, the camp, the fun and hilarity amongst the group and the best moment of all was the Wild Dog hunt." – Mike Coleman
“Our most recent Costa Rica holiday was a roaring success! Target species such as Resplendent Quetzal were seen very well, along with 36 species of hummingbird. With a little more time than our standard ‘Costa Rica Classic’ holiday, we managed to see an impressive 405 bird species, c. 4% of the world’s birds in under three weeks! Three species of monkey, and close encounters with White-nosed Coatimundi and Tamandua were brilliant, but White Tent-making Bats stole the mammal show." – Peter Cosgrove
“With a bit of time off from guiding in December I went on a birding holiday to The Gambia. It was my third visit to the country known as "The Smiling Coast of Africa" and I wanted to check out some of the sites on our newly launched itinerary for 2024.
With 225 bird species seen over 10 days I packed a lot in including 8 species of Bee-eater, 7 species of Kingfisher plus plenty of raptors such as African Fish-eagle, Bataleur and Long-crested Eagle. My favourite two species, however, were Egyptian Plover and Exclamatory Paradise Whydah - both beautiful birds and seen incredibly well. With an excellent supporting cast of 3 monkey species, Baboons, Mongoose and Crocodiles next year's trip looks sure to be incredible!" – Holly Page
“Our fantastic tour with outstanding local guides and drivers covered a wide range of habitats, from near sea level to nearly 11,000 ft above sea level, hot dry bush and low grassland to montane heath, in primary rainforest and light woodland, plus visiting soda lakes and freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley. Over the two weeks we saw over 450 bird species, including a range of Kenyan and East African endemics and threatened species, six Owl species, eight Bee-eaters and 17 Sunbirds. Clients loved the excellent close views of perched raptors too. A wide range of mammals included Gerenuk, Mt Kenya Sykes’ Monkey, two races of Black-and-white Colobus Monkey and three races of giraffe
as well as White Rhino and Lion.
The weather ranged from very hot near desert at Samburu to hats and gloves in the Aberdare National Park and we enjoyed two boat trips.” – Ian Ford