Whiskered Auklets, Alaska (photo: Kirk Zufelt)
STILL MORE ‟LIFERS”
Destinations to Add Luster to
Your Life List
Last month, I wrote about destinations offering the chance to expand your life-list. This month, I'm thinking more about either filling in stubborn blanks and "nemesis" birds, or adding species that are spectacular in some way: extremely colorful, extremely elusive, or extremely rare. All of us, perhaps secretly, nurse records of a few "special" birds and maybe like to drop the fact that we have seen them into conversations with birding friends, usually in anticipation of envious looks and exclamations of wonder!
Before time runs out this year, I'd like to remind you of some special tours for which we still have vacancies: tours that could allow you to add a little sparkle to your life-list—or fill a few gaps that have maybe eluded you for some time.
Alaska is truly a spectacular destination and especially so for birders. It provides breeding grounds for millions of birds that migrate in from as far away as the Anarctica every spring.
Birds that occur nowhere else in North America, such as Bristle-thighed Curlew, Arctic Warbler, Bluethroat and Rock Ptarmigan can be seen on an Alaska trip. The "Siberian Express" that runs up through the Bering Strait sometimes brings fall-outs of Asian species not normally seen at all in North America.
We are offering special discounts for newsletter readers on selected Alaska trips this year! Please contact us for details.
A trip to the imposing Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park offers a spectacular migration.
Spring is the ideal time to maybe catch up with one or two of those elusive warblers that are so hard to see, high in the tree-tops. What better place to see them then than the place where they first reach land, exhausted from crossing the Gulf of Mexico, desperate to find rest and food to replace lost fat reserves, careless of concealment, heedless of humans walking around with binoculars?
Migration fall-outs in the area of the Dry Tortugas Ecological Reserve can include more than 20 warbler species. In addition, we spend time looking for the vagrants and specialties that can often be found in the Key West area, as well as raptors in the area of Loggerhead Key, the Magnificent Frigatebird nursery at Long Key, and a good range of the pelagic species to be found on the sea trip to the islands.
Our trip is based on a comfortable yacht, and we limit the number of participants to eight, thus ensuring more comfort and space for all. On our final day, we leave the boat early and spend the day in Key West seeking out Mangrove Cuckoo, Antillean Nighthawk and yet more rarities.
We only have three spaces remaining for our trip to Southern Ecuador, home of the recently-discovered Jocotoco Antpitta and a range of Tumbesian Endemics. This is sure to be an amazing tour, with around 550 to 650 species likely on the trip list, including a fabulous range of endemic or near-endemic species. If you are thinking about coming with us, you need to make a booking quickly or risk missing out.
Our website provides details of tours to some of the best birding locations all around the world, so why not drop by?
Here are the upcoming LATE AVAILABILITIES:
High Lonesome BirdTours
Photo credits: Great Gray Owl, Colin Bradshaw; Mangrove Cuckoo, birdphotos.com; Jocotoco Antpittta, Juan Carlos Calvachi .