Wonder Lake, Denali, Alaska
BIRDING FOR ‟LIFERS”
The Choicest Destinations to Add to
Your Life List
One of the pleasures that all birders relish is the chance to see new species; to add something rare or spectacular to your life-list and come home with the memory of birds you cannot simply see in your yard or on your local patch. However, in tough economic times like these, most of us cannot afford to roam the globe in search of one or two hyper-rare species. What people need are destinations that are affordable and within reach, but will nonetheless provide a wide range of new species in the limited vacation period available.
Fortunately, such places exist, either within the US or close enough to make journeying there practical, even on a tight budget, and we know where they are.
Starting within the US itself, Alaska is the obvious first choice. As spring approaches, hundreds of thousands of seabirds, ducks, geese and shorebirds head for Alaska’s beautiful wilderness to take advantage of the brief riches of summer and raise this year’s broods.
There are also chances for long-distance Asian and European migrants, blown off-course by the last winter storms and seeking land where they can rest and refuel. From Barrow in the far north, to the breeding colonies of St. Paul Island and Gambell and the scenic splendours of Denali and Kenai, Alaska offers unrivaled opportunities to add those sought-after Arctic species to your life-list.
Moving from the far north to the sub-tropical waters off Florida, the Dry Tortugas offer amazing opportunities to find those elusive warblers, tired out from spring migration and more interested in refueling than hiding from your binoculars or camera lens.
If you still have some annoying gaps in your coverage of US spring migrants, a trip there could fill them, while offering the bonus of some great pelagic birding.
Central America is another destination where you can find scores, maybe hundreds, of fresh species within just a few hours flying time of the US. Bridging two continents, Central America shares many birds with both, as well as being a major highway for migration. Its compact size, varied habitat and abundant wildlife makes Central America the perfect place to watch birds in pristine, natural surroundings.
We have found spectacular birding during recent visits to Honduras and Belize, and as this newsletter goes out I am leading a tour to Guatemala. Any of these locations offer some of the best birding available in the region.
Further south, perhaps the single location most likely to add hundreds of new species to your life-list in a matter of days is the incredibly bird-rich country of Ecuador.
In January 2013, we are offering an additional tour to explore Southern Ecuador, home of the recently-discovered Jocotoco Antpitta and a range of Tumbesian Endemics. This is sure to be an amazing experience, even for anyone who may have been to Ecuador before.
And if you have a little more cash available for the trip of a lifetime, not just for birds but for mammals and a range of scenic wonders, why not join us in Southern Africa in October?
I can promise you a huge range of new species, plus the chance to see in person the kinds of animals constantly shown on wildlife progams from the Discovery Channel and the BBC. You may not meet Sir David Attenborough in person, but you’ll be where he has been and see what he saw and filmed.
Our website is filled with many of the best birding opportunities from all around the world, so why not drop by and see where you could find your next few hundred “lifers?” You may they find are closer and more affordable that you think.
Here are a few upcoming LATE AVAILABILITIES:
High Lonesome BirdTours
Photo credits: Ecuador, Martin Zeise; Meldenhall Glacier, SibleyHunter; others in public domain.