Iceland

Iceland May 28- June 5 2018

Recently Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours had the unique opportunity to visit and bird in Iceland for 8 days at the end of May/beginning of June. Our mutual friend, Lorri Lilja, asked if we would accompany her on her vacation that she had been planning. First of all, let me say that I loved visiting and touring around Iceland. It’s a beautiful country and with the spring snowmelt coming off of the glaciers and volcanoes, the country-side was full of wildflowers, Icelandic ponies and sheep, and birds everywhere! There are tens of thousands of birds to one human residing in Iceland in the spring. There are breathtaking waterfalls and streams rushing to the ocean. We even got to catch a glimpse of Iceland’s only native terrestrial mammal, the Arctic Fox, shedding into his summer coat.

Arctic Fox
Arctic Fox

As is typical of Europe, the food was amazing. All the restaurants we visited had at least one vegan option on their menu. We sampled some of the beer and liquor the country had to offer as well. Kaldi Brewery not only had the very best beers we sampled in the country, but they also have a beer spa in Árskógssandur where you can go and soak in a relaxing mixture of barley and hops. There’s beer on draft and a glass in the spa with you, so you can drink as much as you want within the time they give you to soak. This establishment is one of only four currently in business globally. The other three are also located in Europe.

Our birding adventure started as soon as we picked our car up from the airport. Lorri spotted several European Starlings (in their native habitat!) foraging in a field in town. But wait, what were those larger birds behind all the starlings? We backed up and low and behold- our first life bird of the trip! European Golden Plover! We then pulled off the road to a park we were not planning to visit next to Njarðvík Bay. Right away Lorri and I picked up our nemesis birds we could not find in Florida: Red Knot for Lorri and Common Eider for me. We watched Redwings with worms to feed their chicks, Common Eider females on nests, and even mating Arctic Terns. Yes, spring had definitely hit Iceland! Except of course, for the temperature. For these two Floridian tour guides, the 40 degrees Fahrenheit plus 35 mph winds, were a bit chillier than we had anticipated.

COEI
Common Eider Female

 

The following day we picked up our friend who had booked a later flight, Terrie Leibler, and the real adventure began. We started driving further and further away from the capital to explore the areas and find new and different birds. One of the highlights of the trip was the day we visited Snaefellsjoekull National Park where we found Snow Bunting, Northern Wheatear, Rock Ptarmigan, Razorbill, Common and Thick-billed Murres, Northern Fulmar and Black-legged Kittiwakes. This was one of the only areas in the northern part of the country where you can hike on a glacier, which we did. The views from the Raudholl trail were amazing!

RAZO
Razorbill

 

We also visited Akureyri, which did not disappoint. We saw our Atlantic Puffins that everyone wanted to see and photograph. We had missed them up until this point, but when we saw them, we really hit the jackpot! We estimated 10,000 + puffins roosting on the cliff ledges and foraging in the ocean. We had Great Skua, their natural predator, fly by twice scattering all of the birds and being chased by gulls. The puffins were not on nests yet, but we did see signs of courtship displays.

ATPU Kissing
Atlantic Puffin

 

Northern Fulmar
Northern Fulmar

 

The following day we went out to Lake Mývatn to observe waterfowl. Mývatn translates to midge- and we found out the lake is appropriately named. Each time we opened the door, several flew inside and clung to our clothing. The ducks certainly had enough food to raise their chicks! Lorri and Terrie got their Harlequin Ducks as well as Barrow’s Goldeneye, Eurasian Wren, Horned Grebe, Common Scoter, and several other species of ducks. We had high hopes for White-tailed Eagle and Gyrfalcon, but unfortunately could not find any. Gyrfalcon is considered a sensitive species of concern and therefore, it’s sighting records are kept hidden.

TUDU
Tufted Duck
EUWR
Eurasian Wren

On the way back to Reykjavik, we stopped and picked up two new birds for the trip. We did find our White-tailed Eagles- two of them nesting on a rock island outside of Borgarbyggð. We also found Goldcrest at Fossvogur Cemetery in Reykjavik. The Goldcrest looks like a kinglet and sounds like a Cedar Waxwing. We were able to pick up on it’s soft, high-pitched sounds and locate a couple of these adorable birds. Not a bad evening for our last night in Iceland, I’d have to say. We ended our trip with a total of 73 bird species seen. I would definitely recommend anyone to visit this country if you get the chance. We will be leading tours here in the future, or upon request. One week’s time is only just enough to scratch the surface of the natural areas, culture, and scenery Iceland has to offer.

Goldcrest
Goldcrest
Uncategorized

Palm Coast Birds of a Feather Fest

We  lead 3 trips for the Bird of a Feather Fest and met lots of new birders and had a great time. Beck got Ruff as a state bird on Saturday’s trip. Friday’s trip nabbed Ash-throated and Vermilion Flycatchers. Got to spend more time with Greg Miller as well.

Greg Miller
Greg Miller, Rebecca Smith, and Gallus Quigley
Paynes Prairie
Paynes Prairie
Ruff
Ruff Sweatwater Wetlands by Rebecca Smith
20180211_095539(0).jpg
Pellicer Creek
20180209_131157.jpg
Lake Apopka
Copenhagen, Birdlife International Store Danish Ornithological Society
BIRDING TOURS AND INFORMATION

Birding Tours-United States

Bell's Vireo (Bell's) feeding chicks
Bell’s Vireo (Bell’s) feeding chicks

Reservation Deposits

5% DISCOUNT FOR TOURS PAID IN FULL 120 DAYS PRIOR TO TOUR

10% deposit is required to reserve your space.

50% is due 120 days prior to start of tour.

100% is due 90 days prior to start of tour.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT IS $500.00 UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE

Refunds and Cancellations

100% Refund 120 or more prior to start of tour.

50% Refund 90-119 days prior to start of tour.

25% Refund 60-89 days prior to start of tour.

NO REFUNDS LESS THAN  60 DAYS PRIOR TO START OF TOUR UNLESS SPOT CAN BE FILLED IN WHICH A 25% REFUND WILL BE ISSUED.

Harlequin Duck

Road Trip Birding Tour to Southern New Jersey

January 20-27, 2021

Cost: $1399 per person, minimum 2 – maximum 4 double occupancy. please add $600 for singles supplement

COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS – ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST SHOW A NEGITIVE COVID-19 TEST 73 HOURS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE


We’ve decided to try something a little different for our January
tour of 2021. We’ll be offering a road trip tour from the Orlando,
Florida area to Southern New Jersey. We’ll be renting a minivan to
give everyone plenty of space for their gear and luggage. Because of
covid-19, many people do not wish to fly and do not view it as a safe
mode of travel until the vaccine can become more readily available.
Everyone on the tour will have to show proof of a negative covid test
and we’ll have disposable masks and hand sanitizer available. We’ll
begin our journey from Orlando and spend the night in Fayetteville,
NC (about an 8-hour drive straight through, but longer since we’ll be
making stops occasionally). We’ll do some local birding in the
morning and continue on the rest of the drive up to New Jersey.
Southern New Jersey has a unique variety of habitats and therefore a
diverse number of bird species that spend the winter in this area.
We’ll be targeting Evening Grosbeak, Black, Surf, and White-winged
Scoters, Harlequin Duck, Purple Sandpiper, Red-throated Loon,
Canvasback, Brant, American Black Duck, Long-tailed Duck, and
perhaps even a Snowy Owl or a Snow Bunting if we’re lucky.
Between Cape May Point State Park, Forsythe National Wildlife
Refuge, and Barnegat Lighthouse in the north, we won’t run out of
things to do, or birds to see. Here is a breakdown of the itinerary:
1/20- Depart Orlando, Florida in the morning and begin our drive
north. We’ll be making stops for food, gas, or restrooms along the
way. We’ll be spending the night in Fayetteville, NC
1/21- A visit to Smith Lake Recreation Area in Fort Bragg, NC. We’ll
bird until around 10am and target species such as Dark-eyed Junco,
Red and White-breasted Nuthatch, Field and Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Northern Flicker, Bufflehead, and American
Woodcock. We’ll get to Atlantic county, New Jersey late at night and
check into our accommodations
1/22- We’ll start birding a little later in the day to make sure everyone
is well-rested after the long drive. At 10am, we’ll start the tour at
Edwin B. Forsythe NWR wildlife drive to look for Brant, American
Black Duck, Canvasback, Peregrine Falcon, Clapper Rail, and
wintering shorebirds. Possibility for rarities such as Short-eared Owl,
Snowy Owl, and Rough-legged Hawk. We’ll take a break for a late
lunch at Mott’s Creek where we’ll have additional opportunities to
locate Short-eared Owl, Rough-legged Hawk, and Snow Bunting
1/23- Barnegat Lighthouse State Park for Purple Sandpiper,
Harlequin Duck, Long-tailed
Duck, American Pipit, and
Common Eider. Rarities
include Razorbill and King
Eider as well as assorted
gulls and terns.
1/24- A trip to Cape May
county. We’ll begin the
morning at South Cape May
Meadows for American
Woodcock, Tundra Swan,
Bufflehead, and other
wintering waterfowl. Then
head to Cape Island/Sunset
Beach for Surf Scoter,
Black Scoter, Northern Gannet
and Red-throated Loon. Also, Cape May Point State Park for Evening
Grosbeak, Fox Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Golden-crowned Kinglet and
Winter Wren. Possibility for Purple Finch, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Nashville Warbler. On our drive back up north
to Atlantic county, we’ll make a quick stop at the 8th Street Jetty in
Avalon to check for any additional species we may have missed the
previous day.
1/25- Pole Farm at Mercer Meadows County Park for Short-eared
Owl, Great Horned Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Northern Harrier,
American Tree Sparrow, and Ring-necked Pheasant
1/26- Get on the road early for our drive south. We’ll be making a
short stop at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware for
American Avocet, Tundra Swan, shorebirds, and waterfowl that can
Harlequin Duck
be seen along the wildlife drive. We’ll then continue driving south and
spend the night in Florence, South Carolina
1/27- Continue our drive back to Orlando. Stop at Savannah National
Wildlife Refuge in Georgia for a little birding from the wildlife drive. We
should be able to see Sora, shorebirds, Ruddy Duck, Redhead, and
Vesper Sparrow. We’ll arrive back home in Orlando that evening.
Cost per person will be $1399 (+$600 singles supplement). The price
includes professional guide, lodging, transportation, park entry fees,
and light snacks/water. A checklist of all birds seen will be provided
to each participant upon completion of the tour. Please contact us at
archaeopteryxtours@gmail.com or call/text 609-553-0757 if you’re
interested in more information or to book a space on this tour.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Bird & Butterfly Tour of Rio Grande Valley, Texas

March 24-29, 2021

Cost: $1729.00 per person double occupancy. Minimum 2 – Maximum 4

Join Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours this March for a 6—day tour of the Rio Grande Valley, TX! Starting March 24th through 29th, 2021, we’ll visit such iconic places as the Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge, the National Butterfly Center, and the Estero Llano Grande State Park. Also included in the cost is a boat tour on the Rio Grande river- the perfect location for viewing and photographing waders, Long-billed Curlew, and Green and Ringed Kingfishers! We’ll also be targeting such local specialties as Great Kiskadee, Plain Chachalaca, Altamira Oriole, Green Jay, Olive Sparrow, and Pyrrhuloxia. Not only is this area unique for birding and butterflying, but it’s also a known source for delicious Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants! Afternoon/evening activities will alternate between the National Butterfly Center and the parrot roost, depending on what we’d like to see. Here’s a breakdown of our daily morning activities:March 24th: Arrival by 3pm at the McAllen airport. Eat dinner and check into hotel. Parrot roost for Red-crowned Parrots and Green Parakeets. Possibility for Yellow-headed and Red-lored Parrots as well.March 25th: Santa Ana NWR for Olive Sparrow. Possibility for Franklin’s Gull, White-faced Ibis, Broad-winged Hawk, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Plain Chachalaca, Inca Dove, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Black-crested Titmouse, and Stilt Sandpiper, as well as wintering ducks and shorebirds.March 26th: Estero Llano Grande State Park for Lesser Nighthawk, Common Pauraque, and more wintering ducks and shorebirds.March 27th: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park for Couch’s Kingbird, Swainson’s Hawk, Verdin, Least Grebe, White-tipped Dove, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Neotropic Cormorant, Curve-billed and Long-billed Thrashers, Lesser Goldfinch, Olive Sparrow, Long-billed Curlew and possibility for Green Kingfisher.March 28th: Rio Grande Riverboat tour for additional waterbird species and possible Ringed Kingfisher!March 29th: Morning birding and butterflying at the National Butterfly Center for Pyrrhuloxia, Green Jay, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Clay-colored Thrush, Hooded Oriole, and Altamira Oriole
Flights home in afternoon or evening.We’ll also attempt to locate any rare birds that are reported in our tour area, or visit the Brownsville area depending on remaining time. Cost per person will be $1729. The price includes professional guide, lodging, transportation, park entry fees, and light snacks/water. Rooms will be double-occupancy. A checklist of all birds and butterflies seen will be provided to each participant upon completion of the tour. Please contact us at archaeopteryxtours@gmail.com or call/text 609-553-0757 if you’re interested in more information or to book a space on this tour. Minimum 2 participants to run this tour.

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Winchat
International Birding Tours

Birding Tours – International

International Tour General Information

Reservation Deposits

5% DISCOUNT FOR TOURS PAID IN FULL 120 DAYS PRIOR TO TOUR

10% deposit is required to reserve your space.

50% is due 120 days prior to start of tour.

100% is due 90 days prior to start of tour.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT IS $500.00 UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE

Refunds and Cancellations

100% Refund 120 or more prior to start of tour.

50% Refund 90-119 days prior to start of tour.

25% Refund 60-89 days prior to start of tour.

NO REFUNDS LESS THAN  60 DAYS PRIOR TO START OF TOUR UNLESS SPOT CAN BE FILLED IN WHICH A 25% REFUND WILL BE ISSUED.

Trips DO NOT include airfare, food, drinks, tips, or other expenses not specifically mentioned in the tour description.

CDC and Local Guidelines for Covid-19 will be followed.

Birding in Costa Rica’s Five Main Habitats

Resplendent Quetzal
RESPLENDENT QUETZAL

February 15-22, 2021 *Date may change slightly*

Cost: $1780.00 per person, 2 Person Minimum – 4 Person Maximum

Join Archaeopteryx Birding & Nature Tours as we explore the 5 habitats of Costa Rica for the largest diversity of bird species you can find in the country. We’ll be staying 4 nights in the Pacific lowlands at Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas and 3 nights at the Poas lodge and restaurant. The 5 habitats we are set to explore are the Pacific slope, the Atlantic slope, the mangroves, the dry forest, and the cloud forest. Our 2 accommodations will be natural, but comfortable ecolodges off the beaten path of most tourism. Here is the tentative itinerary for the tour:

2/15- Arrive in San Jose and travel to Playa Hermosa that evening. We’ll have dinner and begin birding early the next morning

2/16- Calle Conga Hill. Here we will be looking for Scarlet Macaws, Yellow-throated Toucan, Fiery-billed Aracari, Great Kiskadee, Streaked Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Montezuma Oropendola, Lesson’s Motmot, Palm Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Roadside Hawk, Inca Dove, and Masked Tityra

2/17- Jaco Mamedales Quebrada Bonita- Yellow-billed Cacique, Red-breasted Meadowlark, Crane Hawk, Grayish Saltator, Variable Seedeater, Yellow Tyrannulet, Morlet’s Seedeater, Scarlett-rumped Tanager, Blue-black Grassquit, Thick-billed Seed-finch, Common Black Hawk, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, and White-crowned Parrot

2/18- Mangrove boat tour- Mangrove Swallow, Northern Jacana, Southern Lapwing, Common Potoo, Gray-cowled Wood-rail, Boat-billed Heron, Ringed Kingfisher, Crimson-fronted Parakeet, and Pale-vented Pigeon

2/19- Carara National Park- Ruddy Quail-Dove, Great Tinamou, Long-billed Hermit, Stripe-throated Hermit, Purple-crowned Fairy, Mealy Parrot, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Blue-vented Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Cocoa Woodpecker, Northern Barred-Woodcreeper, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Long-tailed Manakin, Orange-collared Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin, Lesser Greenlet, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Plain Xenops, Buff-rumped Warbler, White-necked Puffbird, Double-toothed Kite, Short-billed Pigeon, Green Honeycreeper, Collared Forest-Falcon, and Tawny-crowned Greenlet. After our second day of birding in Carara National Park, we’ll drive to the Poas Valcano area and stay at the Poas lodge and restaurant

2/20- Poas volcano- Fiery-throated Hummingbird, Mountain Elaenia, Acorn Woodpecker, Collared Redstart, Red-billed Pigeon, Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, Yellow-thighed Brushfinch, Flame-throated Warbler, Volcano Hummingbird, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Common Chlorospingus, Flame-colored Tanager, Salamanca Hummingbird, Red-faced Spinetail, Yellow-winged Vireo, Blue-and-white Swallow, Black-billed Nightingale-thrush, Golden-browed Chlorospingus, Large-footed Finch, Resplendent Quetzal, and Black-cheeked Warbler

2/21- Braulio Carrillo National Park & El Tapir- Carmiol’s Tanager, Pale-vented Thrush, Olive-backed Euphonia, Speckled Tanager, White-necked Jacobin, Green Hermit, Black-throated Trogon, Streak-crowned Antvireo, Tawny-crested Tanager, Black-faced Grosbeak, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Crowned Woodnymph, White-shouldered Tanager, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager, Green Shrike-vireo, Ashy-throated Chlorospingus, Hepatic Tanager, Black-and-yellow Tanager, Crested Guan, Snowcap, and Green Thorntail

2/22- We’ll pack up and leave for San Jose with a 1/2 day stop for birding at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. There we’ll see White-collared Swift, Brown-headed Parrot, White-bellied Mountain Gem, Band-tailed Pigeon, Crimson-collared Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Blue-throated Goldentail, Prong-billed Barbet, Zeledon’s Antbird, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Tufted Flycatcher, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, and Gray-breasted Wood-wren.

The cost for this tour will be $1780.00 per person shared occupancy with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 participants. A meal plan for our initial 4 days is available upon request with full dinners including an appetizer and dessert for $17.50. A packed lunch can be included as well for $7.50. Breakfast is included from 2/16-2/19.

5% DISCOUNT FOR TOURS PAID IN FULL 120 DAYS PRIOR TO TOUR
10% deposit is required to reserve your space. $70 of this deposit is not refundable, as we need to book your space on the mangrove boat tour

Trip DOES NOT include airfare, food, drinks, tips, or other expenses not specifically mentioned in the tour description. The cost DOES include all park entry fees, professional birding guide, shared checklists, all transportation costs, and water & snacks. Please message us directly through Facebook, or call +1-609-553-0757 to book this tour with us, or to request additional information.

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