We are not “twitchers”; I don’t even keep a lifetime list. But we both like bird watching and using birding as a vehicle to visit and explore new places. I (John) have always been a bit of a birder since I was at school although I never took it particular seriously. In Africa there was the opportunity to see a very wide variety of, sometimes splendid, birds and if I recall correctly I had a count of about 270 species during the 18 months I was there; but the list is long gone and forgotten. Again in Bahrain I often carried a pair of binoculars with me but I never made a record of what I had seen.
While I was at Wardell’s birding became a little more serious, not least of all because there were a few others with a similar interest; we went on a three bird races in Staffordshire and we came first on one occasion and won a trophy of sorts. Since I retired I have had the time an opportunity to take it a bit more seriously and on some holiday trips we have made an effort to see endemics or birds that we would not otherwise see in UK. There have been some memorable forays to the Canary Islands, Majorca and in spare hours during numerous business trips to Cyprus. But still no list.
We have also recently been on four organised bird trips, with Naturetrek http://www.naturetrek.co.uk/, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience not least of all visiting places that we would never found on our own and also talking to like minded people.
Our first trip with Naturetrek was to Morocco in 2006 and this was by far the best and most memorable; we went back in the camper van to visist some of the haunts in 2014. In 2007 we went on their Extremadura and Doñana trip. It was good but not as exciting as the Morocco trip and while the two leaders were both excellent birders they were novices when it came to organisation and management. Nonetheless we enjoyed it very much and, again, we have visited many of the locations in the camper over the past few years.
Later on in 2007 we tagged a birding trip to Goa on the back of a visit to see Liz in India. Again this was with Naturetrek; the birding and the countryside were marvellous but the management and accommodation disappointing. Our fourth trip with Naturetreck was to Ethiopia. The tour was good and the leader, an Eritrean, Merid, was excellent. Unfortunately this opinion was not shared by other members of the party that put something of a sour note on the trip. We also stayed on for a few nights in Addis on our own.
In 2008 we went to Barbados, with Linda and Robin, for some Winter sunshine and took the opportunity to do a bit of birding.
At South Low we are privileged to live in an area that is a birders delight. I have kept something of a list of what I have seen from the garden or overflying. A list as below 2016 (to be added to as and when) although it is quite likely there is some omissions as my record keeping is rather lax!
Below are links to pictures taken on our various birding expeditions.