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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


Uganda Birding Tours

The essential birds of Uganda are Shoebill (this is the easiest country to see this monster in), the 20-plus Albertine Rift endemics (including African Green Broadbill), and finally a few other birds tough to locate elsewhere, such as Green-breasted Pitta. Most other birds can be seen in other countries and are not focused on during this tour, although you’ll certainly see a lot of some widespread spectacular species such as Great Blue Turaco, Ross’s Turaco, amazing barbets, and so many others.

Birding Tour Uganda - Shoebill - Errol de Beer

Birding Tour Uganda: 14-day Shoebill and Albertine Rift Endemics 2017

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 1 - 8
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: August 01, 2017
Date End: August 14, 2017
Tour Start:: Entebbe
Tour End:: Entebbe
Price: US$7359 per person sharing, Murchison Falls NP extension US$2673 per person sharing
Summary: The main trip allows one to find the most important birds and primates that Uganda has to offer in just 14 days. Shoebill is almost guaranteed. Over 20 Albertine (Western) Rift endemics are also sought, in...

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Archer's Robin-Chat by Oz Horine - Uganda birding tour

Birding Tour Uganda: Shelley's Crimsonwing Expedition, RFCG conservation tour 2017

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: August 22, 2017
Date End: August 29, 2017
Tour Start:: Kigali, Rwanda
Tour End:: Kigali, Rwanda
Price: US$ 3585 per person sharing assuming 6 – 7 participants; US$4149 per person sharing assuming 4 – 5 participants.
Summary: This is a Rafe Finch Conservation Group conservation trip. Ten percent of the tour costs will be donated to the RFCG. We would like to try and get photos and sound recordings of Shelley’s Crimsonwing, on...

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Birding Tour Uganda - Shoebill - Errol de Beer

Birding Tour Uganda: 14-day Shoebill and Albertine Rift Endemics 2018

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 1 - 8
Date Start: August 01, 2018
Date End: August 14, 2018
Tour Start:: Entebbe
Tour End:: Entebbe
Price: US$8168 per person sharing, Murchison Falls NP extension US$2967 per person sharing - On Sale: 10 % off the currently listed price for 2018, for early booking before Dec 31, 2017
Summary: The main trip allows one to find the most important birds and primates that Uganda has to offer in just 14 days. Shoebill is almost guaranteed. Over 20 Albertine (Western) Rift endemics are also sought, in...

See full tour detail
Archer's Robin-Chat by Oz Horine - Uganda birding tour

Birding Tour Uganda: Shelley's Crimsonwing Expedition 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: August 22, 2018
Date End: August 29, 2018
Tour Start:: Kigali, Rwanda
Tour End:: Kigali, Rwanda
Price: US$ 3979 per person sharing assuming 6 – 7 participants; US$4605 per person sharing assuming 4 – 5 participants
Summary: On this tour we would like to try and get photos and sound recordings of Shelley’s Crimsonwing, one of Africa’s rarest finches. We plan to be as close as possible to the sites we feel are best for the ...

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Featured Guide - Jason Boyce

Senior Birding guide and administrative assistant for Birding Ecotours. Jason recently completed a BSc in Environmental Science and now does a lot of guiding in Africa and Europe. We’re aiming to ha ...

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What our clients say

We just returned from our trip to Thailand. It was wonderful. Thank you very much for arranging our tour with Andy Walker. He was the best guide we ever had. He is knowledgeable, easy going, hard working, and has all the qualities that people expect from a guide. We really enjoyed birding with him. We would be happy to go birding with him any time and would highly recommend him as a guide to any of our friends. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to have him as our guide. Our Best Regards, Ahmad and Sue

Ahmad and Sue, Canada
03/29/2016



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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