Welcome to our website
Here you will find details of our programme of birdwatching tours which we hope will be of interest. We have tried to make our website as clear and as easy to navigate around as possible, with all the information you will need about each tour available on the relevant page.
If you have any questions about our tours, or Sunbird in general, please call us on 01767 262522, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to travelling with you. Steve Rooke
Sunbird’s ATOL 3003 protects your holiday. Click here for details.
Güldenstädt’s Redstart is perhaps easier to see on Paul French’s tour to Georgia than anywhere else in the world
The Referendum and Exchange Rates
You will all be aware that exchange rates have gone into free-fall since the UK referendum. Many of our tours have large US Dollar elements and some of these tours had already been priced before that referendum. Rather than re-price these tours at the current, post-referendum, exchange rates, we are leaving things as they are for the time being in the hope that sterling recovers against both the US Dollar and the Euro, and we will review each tour closer to the time that we send out the final invoice.
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9 - 25/30 October
with Phil Gregory and David Fisher
The Solomons archipelago stretches from Bougainville (PNG) in a south-east arc across the Pacific. Consisting of several large islands and numerous small ones, many of which are uninhabited, it is a must-see destination for serious birders. It has a high degree of endemism amongst pigeons, monarchs, fantails, myzomelas and white-eyes. It also has a couple of near legendary flightless rails and some of the least known birds on the planet. We will visit the islands of Guadalcanal, Rennell, Makira, Ugi, Gizo, and Kolombangara, and highlight species are likely to include Heinroth’s Shearwater, Solomons Sea-Eagle, Roviana Rail, Melanesian Megapode, White-headed Fruit-Dove, Ultramarine Kingfisher, Rennell Shrikebill, and Kolombangara Monarch. There will also be an optional post-tour extension to Santa Isabel, primarily to search for Black-faced Pitta, perhaps the world’s toughest pitta. We also have a chance here of seeing Solomons Frogmouth and the wonderfully-named Fearful Owl.
Iran - from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea
11 - 25 April
with an extension to Isfahan to 28 April
with Paul French
Iran is home to some very special birds, such as the striking Pleske’s Ground Jay
Now widely regarded as belonging within the Western Palearctic, Iran is a magical place where one of the world’s oldest civilisations first developed, and one that is blessed with incredibly beautiful and varied natural habitats. These are full of some great birds that will be the focus of our tour, although we will not ignore Iran’s rich cultural heritage. Other special birds will include Caspian Snowcock, Crab Plover, Sind Woodpecker, Iraq Babbler, Grey Hypocolius, Caspian Tit, Radde’s Accentor, Black-headed Penduline Tit, Persian Wheatear, and Dead Sea Sparrow. For those wishing to see more than just Iran’s natural wonders, we offer a short post-tour excursion to the fabled city of Isfahan, home to some stunning examples of Islamic architecture.
With the passage of time Iran is now welcoming visitors to sample the rich culture and fabled hospitality of this land of legend and mystery. With the re-opening of embassies and direct flights from the UK, we have a unique opportunity to visit a country that has so much to offer anyone interested in birds, wildlife, or the road less travelled.
We should see Black-headed Penduline Tit around pools bordering the Caspian Sea
Guatemala: Birding amongst the forests and Mayan ruins of Central America
30 March - 7/10 April 2018
The highlands of Guatemala’s Pacific slope are famous worldwide for three birds: the improbable-looking Pink-headed Warbler, the bizarre and critically endangered Horned Guan and the stunning Goldman’s Warbler (pictured above), soon to be split as Guatemala’s only true endemic. Less well known are the astonishing concentrations of boreal migrants that share these cool montane forests with a vast selection of Central American specialities and we’ll take plenty of time to enjoy fully the diversity of the region’s birdlife and to appreciate the charm of baroque Antigua. Our short Tikal Extension takes us even further back in time and into tropical lowland habitats with a completely new suite of birds. Watching Ocellated Turkeys, parrots and perhaps even the local pair of Orange-breasted Falcons among the ruins of one of the greatest cities ever built in the New World is an experience no birder should miss.
Panama - Bocas del Toro and the Western Highlands
17 - 26 November with Gavin Bieber
The many mangrove-fringed islands of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago have long attracted those with a sense of adventure, and a new ecolodge built on Isla Bastimentos adjacent to a large protected area of coastal forest now serves as a very comfortable base for the visiting naturalist.
The highlands of western Panama encompass a large area of lightly developed mountains. Forests draped in bromeliads over a carpet of tree ferns and mosses cloak the upper reaches of the hills, while the verdant valleys play host to small coffee plantations and rural villages, all under the shadow of multiple volcanoes. These highlands, shared with neighbouring Costa Rica, have been designated a globally-important bird area, with over 50 regional endemic birds.
For those interested in a longer tour with a truly mind-boggling diversity of birds, this trip can be combined with our tour, Panama: The Darién Lowlands where gems such as this Golden-collared Manakin await.