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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours





An adult Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta)

An adult Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta)

 

Pelagic Birding is a rather specific ‘art’ or aspect of birding, and it basically refers to an ocean-going trip taken on a boat in search of true ocean-going species, such as albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters, storm petrels, etc. This is usually done as a day trip but can be slightly longer. These species are almost never seen from land (except during extreme conditions when they get blown close to shore), and in order to see them one has to travel out into the ocean. Due to the rather unpredictable nature of the weather and sea conditions on the day itself, each pelagic excursion is scheduled over two days, with the second day acting as a backup.

Pelagic birding offers some of the most exciting birding out there – as one quite simply never knows what will turn up! These species are known to travel vast distances in search of food and spend the vast majority of their lives out at sea, traversing the world’s oceans. The possibilities can literally be anything! The sight alone of these unique birds with their incredible flying skills and aerial prowess is quite simply awe-inspiring, and they leave us marveling at their capabilities time after time.

The port city, Cape Town, off South Africa’s south-western coast, is world-renowned for its pelagic birding. This is due to the rich waters located off Cape Town resulting from the meeting of the Benguela and Agulhas currents. This quite simply attracts a large number of fish and, in turn, the many pelagic species that feed on these fish. This whole process is augmented by the many fishing vessels operating in these waters, which attract even more birds. Birding Ecotours now run regular scheduled pelagic birding trips off Cape Town, and we will soon start arranging pelagic outings in other Southern African destinations (such as Inhambane in Mozambique, Durban and Port Elizabeth in South Africa, and Walvis Bay in Namibia), and also in other parts of the world such as off Lima along the Peruvian coast and off the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

 

A White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis)

A White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis)

 

Antarctic Prion (Pachyptila desolata) ‘walking on water’

Antarctic Prion (Pachyptila desolata) ‘walking on water’

 

Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera)

Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera)

 

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche carteri)

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (Thalassarche carteri)

 

There are some seasonal differences during pelagics, and the austral summer brings in a few northern hemisphere species, such as Cory’s and Great Shearwaters, European Storm Petrel, etc., while the austral winter brings in many of the true Antarctic species from further south, such as Antarctic Prion, Cape Petrel, etc. One can experience a great day out at sea during any time of the year; however, the most productive months must be the period ranging from June/July through October. Here the regular frontal systems from the south bring in many rare and ‘exotic’ species from further afield, and the waters off Cape Town are regularly packed with thousands of birds – a true sight to behold!

 

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) is predominantly found during the austral winter

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) is predominantly found during the austral winter

 

Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) is predominantly a passage species (Sep – Oct; Apr – May) but also is present in small numbers during the austral summer months

Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) is predominantly a passage species (Sep – Oct; Apr – May) but also is present during the austral summer months

 

Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) is present in the austral summer.

Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) is present in the austral summer

 

Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) is present throughout the year

Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) is present throughout the year

 

Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) is present throughout the year

Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) is present throughout the year

 

The austral winter months are better for the ‘great’ albatrosses, like this Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi)

The austral winter months are better for the ‘great’ albatrosses, like this Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi)

 

The prized Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) is one of the most sought-after species

The prized Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) is one of the most sought-after species

 

Our upcoming schedule for 2017 is as follows:

  • 29/30 April — 4 places remaining
  • 27/28 May
  • 10/11 June
  • 15/16 July
  • 19/20 August
  • 16/17 September
  • 14/15 October
  • 18/19 November

 

For more information on these pelagic outings, please click on the link below:

Information Cape Pelagic Trip

 

Seasonality Table (click to enlarge):

Seasonality table.xlsx


Brazil Birding Tours

The Amazon  basin is a marvel of the world and the imagination, an ecosystem of unrivalled size and diversity, and a place of near mythical status among travellers. The Amazon River has more water than the next eight largest rivers combined, and is twice the area of India, and the basin spans eight countries. It’s a life spring of the planet, the source of so much of the air, water and weather we all depend on. However, unreasonable travel expectations – like seeing jaguars and semi-clothed Indians around every bend – can be a recipe for disappointment. For all its size, the joys of the Amazon are mostly subtle: the ghostly roar of howler monkeys, the remarkable variety of plant life, the kindliness of riverside communities, and the quiet but awesome power of the river itself.

Jabiru - Johan Paulussen

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal 2017

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Spaces Available:: 5
Date Start: August 28, 2017
Date End: September 11, 2017
Tour Start:: Cuiabá
Tour End:: Cuiabá
Price: US$7865 per person sharing
Summary: Please note: On this Birding Tour Brazil 1.5 days will be spent searching for the magnificent jaguar. Welcome to the first of our 2017 Birding Tour Brazil itineraries! In a country well known for its stagg...

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Cock-tailed Tyrant - Carlos Sanchez

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser 2017

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: September 12, 2017
Date End: September 20, 2017
Tour Start:: Belo Horizonte
Tour End:: Belo Horizonte
Price: US$4323 per person sharing
Summary: Many people know of the immense Brazilian Amazon with its astonishing biodiversity. Some people might know about the highly endangered Atlantic Rainforest that once stretched across large sections of the B...

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Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part I 2017

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 20, 2017
Date End: October 02, 2017
Tour Start:: Rio de Janeiro
Tour End:: Rio de Janeiro
Price: US$5,896 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

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Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part II 2017

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: October 02, 2017
Date End: October 15, 2017
Tour Start:: Vitória
Tour End:: São Paulo
Price: US$6,014 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

See full tour detail
Jabiru - Johan Paulussen

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal 2018

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: August 28, 2018
Date End: September 11, 2018
Tour Start:: Cuiabá
Tour End:: Cuiabá
Price: US$8652 per person sharing
Summary: Please note: On this Birding Tour Brazil 1.5 days will be spent searching for the magnificent jaguar. Welcome to the first of our 2018 Birding Tour Brazil itineraries! In a country well known for its stagg...

See full tour detail
Cock-tailed Tyrant - Carlos Sanchez

Birding Tour Brazil: Cerrado Endemics and Brazilian Merganser 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 12, 2018
Date End: September 20, 2018
Tour Start:: Belo Horizonte
Tour End:: Belo Horizonte
Price: US$4755 per person sharing
Summary: Many people know of the immense Brazilian Amazon with its astonishing biodiversity. Some people might know about the highly endangered Atlantic Rainforest that once stretched across large sections of the B...

See full tour detail
Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part I 2018

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 20, 2018
Date End: October 02, 2018
Tour Start:: Rio de Janeiro
Tour End:: Rio de Janeiro
Price: US$6,486 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

See full tour detail
Saffron Toucanet - Charly Sax

Birding Tour Brazil: Comprehensive Southeast Brazil, Part II 2018

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: October 02, 2018
Date End: October 15, 2018
Tour Start:: Vitória
Tour End:: São Paulo
Price: US$6,615 per person sharing
Summary: When they first landed on its shores in the 1500s, the Portuguese discovered a vast stretch of verdant rainforest cloaking much of the Atlantic coast of what would one day be Brazil. Through centuries of d...

See full tour detail

Featured Guide - Eduardo Ormaeche

Head of our South/Central American office in Peru, and senior tour leader in this region. Since 2004 Eduardo Ormaeche has not stopped working for Birding Ecotours. He started guiding tours in his nati ...

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What our clients say

Recommendation for Eduardo/Raul/Peru staff Birding Peru for the first time in July 2012 with Eduardo, a professional and very knowledgeable local Peru guide, ensured a smooth, safe and hassle-free trip filled with south Peruvian endemics such as Junin Canastero, White-bellied Cinclodes, Great Inca-Finch and Inca Wren. Eduardo, with the assistance of Raul, were quick to spot birds and ensured that all in the group got onto the birds as fast as possible. While birding, Eduardo also enlightened and amused us with his vast knowledge of birds and other fauna of the area. At the end of each day Eduardo assisted the group to complete a list of birds seen and heard for the day. A briefing each evening prepared participants on what to expect the next day. The accommodation was clean and safe, even in off-the-beaten-track areas. I can highly recommend the Birding Ecotours bird guide in Peru.

Lisl van Deventer, Pretoria, South Africa



We can run any of our tours privately any time and we can also arrange custom itineraries - send us your wish-list and we'll put the itinerary together! Please click here.

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