The key to a successful holiday is a carefully planned itinerary giving the right balance between time in the field, time spent travelling, free time and sightseeing. Furthermore, we believe that holidays are about having a good time in friendly company, and in a relaxed atmosphere. A lot of satisfaction can be had from pushing oneself to the limit of oneís physical ability. However, that is not what our holidays are about. Some companies take their clients 'twitching' from dawn till dusk and simply ignore all non-bird 'distractions'. Others believe that the most important factor in deciding where to birdwatch is the provision of a coffee shop and having rolled up at 10am they stop for elevenses. There is, of course, a wide range in-between these extremes and it is always important before booking a holiday that you know exactly how it will be run.
We believe that we have got the balance of our holidays just right, listening to the comments and suggestions of our clients. The emphasis throughout the holidays is on birds (not ignoring other wildlife), but when the opportunity presents itself the leader will accompany you to a local place of interest. The key to it all is flexibility and our leaders have great experience in judging what each group wants. Pre-breakfast birdwatching is normally low key and optional. However, we usually take breakfast quite early so that everyone is out in the field whilst the birds are still at their peak of activity. Packed lunches or picnics are generally the order of the day as they have the advantage of convenience and flexibility, and can be enjoyed outside in beautiful scenery. Whenever possible, we will plan toilet stops at visitorsí centres, service stations etc. However, this isnít always possible, so you should be prepared to use Mother Natureís facilities on some occasions!
No two destinations are exactly the same with regard to the amount of effort required to join in all of the excursions. For this reason we have given each holiday a paragraph or two explaining the pace to be expected. This can be found at the end of each holiday description.
The pace of the birdwatching also varies from site to site within the same trip. Whenever possible we will walk through an area, but, especially around large wetlands, this is not always practical. In this case much of the day will be spent in and out of the vehicle, but this type of watching is kept to a minimum. Most of the holiday is spent walking through good areas at a sensible pace. Birdwatchers, by their nature, are usually quite fit, and after a full day in the field the feeling is usually of pleasant tiredness. Anyone with basic fitness, capable of taking regular short to medium walks, including some gentle uphills, whatever their age, is perfectly capable of joining in most of the activities on any of our holidays. If a steeper walk is required to see a particular bird, this is clearly explained. Of course, it doesn't matter whether you are an expert birder or a complete beginner. We are happy to cater for all abilities on all our holidays.
A day's birdwatching will normally finish about one hour before the evening meal to give you time to relax and change. Dinner times vary depending on local custom but average around 7.30pm. On some trips when there is a chance of owls or nightjars we will bring this forward an hour or so, and have a special trip out afterwards. These evening trips can be very special indeed!
We differentiate clearly in the brochure between those trips that can be described as tours (where there are regular hotel moves) and those that are single or twin centre. In all cases, we plan our itineraries to avoid unnecessary hotel moves. For those people who do not want to 'live out of a suitcase' we try to find destinations where a one or two centre holiday will provide a sufficiently wide range of habitats to ensure a rewarding experience. By joining us you can be sure of seeing lots of birds in a variety of habitats, at a pace that allows sufficient time to appreciate and enjoy what you are looking at.
Of course, if you wish to do something besides birdwatching there is absolutely no obligation to join the group on every excursion.
Now that you know everything there is to know about us please read through our selection of exciting holidays. We look forward to seeing you soon!