Spring 2015 Newsletter(1)

oriolebirding

Spring 2015 Newsletter(1)

ORIOLE BIRDING

SPRING NEWSLETTER

2015

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

EDITORIAL 1

IN THE FIELD 2

TOUR AVAILABILITY 3

NEW TOURS 4

RARE BIRD ALERT OFFER 5

FEATURED 2015 TOURS 6

BOOKING FORM 7

For small groups and competitive prices

call NOW on +44 [0] 1656 711152

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com


Hi All,

EDITORIAL

Welcome to our latest newsletter, rounding up our recent tours and with details of availability for 2015. We are preparing for what

looks set to be our busiest year ever in 2015, as many of our overseas tours already have limited availability and number of UK trips

have been long since full—check page 5 for more details on what we currently have available.

We haven't been resting on our laurels though, and both of us have been busy working on a number of new tours mainly for 2017 and

beyond. A round-up of these can be seen in this newsletter and all are available for you to register an early interest now if you wish.

Don’t forget to check our website regularly for late availability updates throughout the spring, as we have had one or two spaces

becoming available on tours due to cancellations which have been duly snapped up by regular watchers of the Latest News page of

our site.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thankyou for your continued custom in 2015 and we look forward to posting many successful

trip reports from the busy spring period, hopefully with some of you on board!

Neil and Ashley Follow us on @oriolebirding

Every now and again, we are lucky enough to be in just the right place at the right time, and experience something a little bit special

or out of the ordinary. This was definitely the case for our group on the Spanish Pyrenees & Steppes tour earlier this month, when

they had this remarkable encounter with the ‘Holy Grail’ that is Wallcreeper. This picture was taken from a video sequence which

you can watch on the Birding Diary page of our website, by tour leader Ashley Saunders. Dont forget we’ll be running this tour again

next year, 28th February—4th March 2016.

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

1


IN THE FIELD

Our South Wales tour enjoyed some great birds in January despite rather

challenging weather! Typical over-wintering scarcities such as Black

Redstart, Glaucous Gull and Great White Egret were seen, while our day out

on the beautiful Gower peninsula allowed us to find both Slavonian and Red

-necked Grebes, roosting Hen Harrier and a great selection of waders and

wildfowl. Kenfig Pool added views of a dog Otter, a nice fly-by Great Bittern

and a Jack Snipe along the East Pool shore, and the wooded hills gave us

smashing views of Northern Goshawk and also Hawfinches, which showed

well for our group this year. Despite the wind and rain we made a good fist of

searching coastal hot-spots, enjoying Purple Sandpipers roosting on the

rocks at Ogmore and adult Mediterranean Gulls, while Great Northern Diver

and the returning drake Lesser Scaup entertained us in Cardiff bay.

Our Norfolk winter tours were very busy this year, with three departures

during January and February. It was largely a successful winter for locating

most of the specialities, and geese were present in great numbers. Roughlegged

Buzzards put on a show for us too, with three or four different

individuals seen including some memorable close-ups. Short-eared Owls,

Common Crane, Tundra Bean Geese and wild swan herds added excitement

in the Broads while Breckland gave us super views of Hawfinches on all our

visits, and Northern Goshawks & Woodlarks were already starting to

display in January. Other delights included Otter, Water Pipit, Long-tailed

Duck, Snow Bunting and a great year for Twite, several flocks being noted

during the period.

Our Spanish Pyrenees and Steppe tour in early March was another great

success, with better weather this year—temperatures in the twenties as we

arrived in Barcelona! A short visit to Llobregat delta started us off with Crag

Martins, Red Crested Pochard, Penduline Tit and two different Moustached

Warblers, adding a bit of variety to the trip list. The Pyrenean foothills of

Aragon was our home for the next three nights, and we had a great time

exploring the valleys running north into the high Pyrenees where we found

Lammergeier and Alpine Accentor with ease at our favourite site at Los

Mallos de Riglos. Common Cranes were very much in evidence as our trip

coincided with a huge passage north over the Pyrenees, so we were seeing

vast flocks spiralling skywards at almost every place we stopped. Black Kites

were just beginning their migration too, with one flock of over fifty seen

heading north, and other raptors included several Golden Eagle sightings and

large numbers of European Griffon Vultures. Once above the tree-line, we

added Alpine Chough and in the snowy pine forests, Crested Tit, Short-toed

Treecreeper, Common Crossbill and Black Woodpecker were found, the

latter giving us superb scoped views as it perched on the top of a dead tree.

Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, Dartford Warbler and

Rock Sparrow were found around rocky hillsides and of course the Spotless

Starlings greeted us each morning on the hotel roof! The attractive town of

Jaca was also a highlight, with superb views of singing Hawfinches and

Firecrests around its small park, while Cranes migrated overhead.

The final leg of the tour saw us staying overnight in Lecera to visit the

steppes of Los Monegros and the reserve at El Planeron. Both Great and

Little Bustards, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse were seen very well,

and of course the sky was full of the songs of Calandra and Lesser Short-toed

Larks. Our main target, the elusive Dupon’t Lark, was very tricky this year in

the very strong winds, but we did see perhaps three different birds and

enjoyed hearing their song and dawn on these windswept plains. A great

experience—we’re already looking forward to next year!

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

2


TOUR AVAILABILITY

Definite departures currently with limited or no availability are as follows:

APRIL 2015

SPEYSIDE - FULL

LAKE KERKINI - FULL

EXTREMADURA - FULL

CORNWALL SPRING - ONE PLACE

MAY 2015

NORFOLK SPRING - FIVE PLACES

OUTER HEBRIDES - FULL

ROMANIA - FULL

LESVOS - FULL

BULGARIA - THREE PLACES [NOW 24TH MAY - 2ND JUNE]

FOREST OF DEAN & SOMERSET LEVELS - TWO PLACES

FINLAND - FULL

NORFOLK COMPLETE TOUR - TWO PLACES

SOUTH WALES SPRING [NOW 10TH -16TH MAY] - ONE PLACE

JUNE 2015

NORTH EAST ENGLAND - FULL

MULL & IONA - FOUR PLACES

NORFOLK - SUMMER BREEDERS - FOUR PLACES

JULY 2015

NEW FOREST - TWO PLACES [ONLY ONE SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE]

NORFOLK BUTTERFLIES & DRAGONFLIES - FOUR PLACES

AUGUST 2015

HAMPSHIRE FACT FINDING TOUR - FIVE PLACES

SCILLY PELAGIC WEEKEND - [NOW RUNS 21ST - 24TH]. ONLY AVAILABLE ON A PELAGIC ONLY BASIS AS

ACCOMMODATION FULL - £275.00 per person includes Scillonian crossings.

FALSTERBO - ONE PLACE

SEPTEMBER 2015

NORTHERN POLAND - ONE PLACE

SOUTHERN PORTUGAL - FOUR PLACES

NORFOLK AUTUMN [NOW 21ST - 27TH] - FIVE PLACES

SHETLAND - FULL

OCTOBER 2015

LAKE KERKINI - FULL - ADDITONAL DATES NOW AVAILABLE OF 4TH - 9TH NOVEMBER 2015

NORFOLK WINTER THRUSHES & EASTERN VAGRANTS - FIVE PLACES - NOW 23RD - 28TH OCTOBER

NOVEMBER 2015

CENTRAL PANAMA - FULL

DECEMBER 2015

EASTERN PANAMA - ONE PLACE

2016

ISLAY - FULL

MOROCCO - FOUR PLACES

OUTER HEBRIDES - FOUR PLACES

ITALY & SLOVENIA - FOUR PLACES

COUNTY WEXFORD - TWO PLACES

MULL & IONA - FULL

Northern Goshawk by Gary Thoburn

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

3


Whats new?

NEW TOURS

We have been working hard over the last few weeks developing our tour programme for 2016 and beyond, and of course looking at

new destinations. Here is a summary of what’s new over the next few years in addition to the tours featured in the last newsletter:-

The Azores—Seabirds, Cetaceans and Endemics

10th—17th September 2016

Leader: Dominic Mitchell

£1699.00 per person, £100.00 single supplement

These Atlantic Islands offer the chance to add several sought after Western

palearctic species such as Azores Bullfinch, and Monteiro’s Storm Petrel. This

unique tour offers three pelagic trips to connect not only with the petrel, but

possibly even Sperm Whale, and on land Nearctic shorebird rarities also feature.

Northern Finland & Varanger Fjord—Arctic Magic

15th—20th May 2017

Leaders: Neil Donaghy and Finnature guide

£1999.00 per person, £175.00 single room supplement

Our previous Finland and Norway tour has now been split into two shorter trips

to allow clients to book which section most appeals to them individually—our

Finalnd—Owls, Woodpecker and Grouse Drives tour is full for 2015. This offering

focuses on the Arctic species such as King and Steller’s Eiders, Gyr Falcon, Snowy

Owl, Brunnich’s Guillemot and Pine Grosbeak.

Uganda—Albertine Endemics & Primate Tracking

1st—17th July 2017

Leaders: Neil Donaghy & Herbert Byaruhanga

£4599.00 per person, £575.00 single supplement

This incredibly diverse country offers the chance to connect with around 500

species including several endemics. Apart from the iconic Shoebill, mammals will

of course be a highlight as we go in search of Chimpanzee and Mountain Gorilla.

Ethiopia—Endemic Birds & Mammals

26th September—14th October 2018

Leaders: Steve Cale & Measho Legesse

£3699.00 per person, £150.00 single supplement

Ethiopia is a land of extremes covering an area of over one million square

kilometres ranging from Mount Ras Dashen at 4620 metres to Lake Asal at one

hundred and fifty metres below sea level. It boasts 31 endemics among the 500

species possible on this exciting new tour.

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

4


RARE BIRD ALERT OFFER

We are pleased to be working alongside our friends at Rare Bird Alert on a couple of promotional projects this year, and

some of you may have seen our adverts in their excellent Weekly Birding Roundup, delivered each Wednesday by email

and completely free! We can thoroughly recommend this well produced summary which provides statistics, photos and

video clips of all the weeks rarities around the British Isles. You don’t have to be an RBA customer to benefit, anyone

can sign up to the newsletter for FREE.

Additionally, for all clients taking a tour with

us in 2015, we are happy to be able to offer

you an exclusive introductory offer to the

RBA news service online and via their

excellent smartphone app. The normal RBA

free trial is 3 days, but by joining us on a tour

you will be eligible for a whole month free!

We appreciate that many of our clients now

use smartphones and tablets, and so

accessing bird news has never been easier for

you. All you have to do is to register with

RBA for free and then drop them an email

asking them to extend your free news service

trial, with details of the tour you were on

with Oriole Birding. You can even do this

while you are with us, and we can help you

set it up!

AND THATS NOT ALL! After, or indeed during, this time if you decide to subscribe to this superb service you can get a

30% discount on ANY of the RBA services!

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

5


Featured Tour—Mull & Iona

Midsummer Magic

• Excellent hotel in stunning surroundings

• Otters seen from the hotel!

• Both species of Eagle

• Boat trips to Iona & Treshnish Isles

for Corncrake & seabirds

• Hen Harriers & Short-eared Owls

• Transport possible with pick ups en route

Still spaces available for 2015 on what is always one of our most

popular tours—book NOW to avoid missing out!

22nd—28th June 2015 £999.00, single supplement £150

Featured Tour—Hampshire & Dorset

Summer Wildlife

• Specialist tour led by expert in all things with six-legs, Adrian

Riley!

• Well-placed guest house all en-suite

• Lulworth & Silver-spotted Skippers

• Chalkland Blues and Fritillaries

• Visit to Portland Bill

• Honey Buzzard & Northern Goshawk

• Firecrest & Dartford Warbler

Join us for this new tour in 2015 and spread your wildlife-watching

wings this summer!

3rd—7th August 2015 £699.00, single supplement £75.00

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

6


BOOKING FORM

We require a completed and signed booking form for each individual booking you wish to make, and further

copies are available to download from our website. By signing this form you agree that you have read and

accept our terms and conditions, and again, these are available for you to read on our website. Please note that

unsigned booking forms will be returned, so make sure you complete all the relevant sections. Passport

information is not required for any of our UK holidays. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays in this

publication and on our website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be

supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked [flights,

hotels and other services] is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more

information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

I/we wish to book places on the following holiday [Title as shown] …………………………………………………………………………...

……………………………………………………………………………………………..Dates …………………………………………………………………….

Full name including title [Client 1]…………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

[Client 2] ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...

[Please ensure that this matches exactly to that on your passport as mistakes cannot be rectified once tickets are issued.]

Address ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………... Postcode………………………………………………...

NB * Passport number including start and expiry dates……………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

It is vital that we receive this information at the time of booking as it can result in delays to booking seats and

potentially cause problems prior to departure including airlines refusing you permission to fly. You must also now have

at least six months still valid on your passport for entry into most countries and three blank pages for entry to South

Africa**

Date of Birth……………………………………. Telephone………………………………………...Mobile……………………………………………….

E-mail…………………………………………………………………………………………………………...Deposit………………………………………

Name of insurer and policy number………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Please indicate the type of room you require. Single………………… Twin………………….. Double …………………….

I am/am not prepared to share. Please note that if you do not wish to share or a suitable roommate cannot be found, you

will be required to pay the single room supplement.

Special Needs………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Smoker/Non Smoker…………………

I/We have read the conditions of booking and agree that this reservation will be subject to them

Signature………………………………………………………………………………..

Date……………………………………………………………..

Please make all cheques payable to Oriole Birding Ltd and forward to 8 Newcastle Hill, Bridgend CF31 4EY.

If you wish to pay by bank transfer, please contact us for account details

Oriole Birding 8 Newcastle Hill Bridgend CF31 4EY

+44 [0] 1656 711152 +44 [0] 7971 983227

www.oriolebirding.com oriolebirding@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter

@OrioleBirding

7

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