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  1. claretjohn

    Scottish coast trip

    Thanks all for the links and references. I'm really looking forward to the trip, as we love the Scottish West Coast. Thanks John
  2. claretjohn

    Scottish coast trip

    Will be doing a trip around the Scottish coast in a campervan in September (hopefully!!). Starting at Arran, up the West coast, along the north and returning down the East Coast as far as Inverness with a detour to Braemar in the Cairngorms. Can anyone suggest any good birding locations en...
  3. claretjohn

    RFI south west Scotland - Newton Stewart area

    Hi Jo, my non-birding wife and I will also be in Dumfries & Galloway soon (also from Norwich) and I would welcome any recommendations that you have for good birding sites. Does the visitor centre still have the booklet referred to by Sandra ? Thanks John
  4. claretjohn

    Carretera Austral

    Thanks Niels
  5. claretjohn

    Carretera Austral

    Have booked a self-drive trip along the Carretera Austral from Puerto Montt to Guadal in November 2019. Although landscape photography will probably be prominent, can anyone advise as to any good birding locations en-route or within short detours from the main highway. Also, what basic...
  6. claretjohn

    Costa Rica Unidentified

    Thanks guys, I just couldn't be sure from my Garrigues & Dean despite going through it several times. Unfortunately the back views of 2 and 3 do not help. Cheers John
  7. claretjohn

    Costa Rica Unidentified

    Can anyone help me identify the attached 3 birds taken Feb/Mar 2017 in Costa Rica. Unknown 1. Osa peninsular area, about 6 inch in height. Unknown 2 & 3. Pacific coastal. 4-6 inch height.
  8. claretjohn

    First trip CR March 2018

    We used Geodyssey for our trip in Feb2017 and found them to be excellent. They were using a company named Costa Rica Trails for the local arrangements who were equally helpful. We did however have an issue with car hire company (Sixt) having arranged a manual and were given an automatic which we...
  9. claretjohn

    Red Kites

    Eventually got to see the Red Kites on a sunny day.
  10. claretjohn

    Kingfisher

    If you've not seen your Kingfisher yet I can recommend Lackford Lakes (Suffolk Wildlife Trust) not far from Bury St Edmunds. John
  11. claretjohn

    Costa Rica, places to visit and guides

    Hi Carol, My wife and I spent 2 weeks in CR in Feb2017 and had a fabulous time. We self-drove which was really easy (apart from San Jose) so have no knowledge of alternatives however I'm sure that this information can be sought from reputable travel companies. We used Geodyssey (UK based and...
  12. claretjohn

    First safari trip to Africa - which country?

    Just to allay your concern regarding armed guards..... all of the safaris we have taken from the "comfort" of the landrover have had no armed guard. If however you decide to do a guided walk in the bush where elephants, lions etc are possible hiding behind the next tree then an armed guard is...
  13. claretjohn

    First safari trip to Africa - which country?

    Botswana is good for animal sightings but can be very expensive. Self-drive around Namibia is great fun but sightings are less unless you stay in the reserves. The South Luangwa area of Zambia is my choice as it has a healthy population of Lions, Wild Dogs and Leopard as well as Elephants...
  14. claretjohn

    Red Kites

    I am visiting the Elan Valley in a few weeks and intend to go to see the Red Kite feeding frenzy. Any camera settings / photography tips would be very welcome. (7D Mkll + 100-400).
  15. claretjohn

    Agalychnis callidryas and few qustions

    Hi, I saw the Red Eyed Tree Frog in the grounds of Danta Corcovado Lodge on a night walk with their resident guide. Is 3 night enough ? It probably is if you're staying in one location. Personally I would have liked to explore more of the Osa peninsular......depends on what else you want to...
  16. claretjohn

    Pics from trip

    Hi Andy, superb photos ! Why didn't mine come out like that :) Poas was open when we went in February but was covered in cloud so all we saw was a squirrel ! I did see the attached which I thought was a Volcano Hummer....but I might be wrong.
  17. claretjohn

    First trip CR March 2018

    Hi Jakob, Having returned from our first visit to CR in February I can also add that driving outside San Jose is really easy but try to plan your trip so that you don't have to drive through San Jose (its a nightmare!!). Cerro Lodge is great and yes they will organise transport to Carara and/or...
  18. claretjohn

    Costa Rica.Osa and San Gerado

    Hi Daniel, thanks for your reply. I agree with the wren and the nightingale but I'm still unsure about the sparrow. I have attached another 2 photos which do highlight the stripe but there is no white throat and no yellow flash on the wing. Could it be a large footed finch as I vaguely...
  19. claretjohn

    Costa Rica.Osa and San Gerado

    Putting together a photo book but unable to identify these. 1st from OSA, 2nd & 3rd at San Gerado de Dota Cheers
  20. claretjohn

    Hummingbird, Costa Rica

    Another CR Hummingbird Thanks guys for your input. I think the Striped-tailed male is closest but I realise that other factors could mislead. Not wanting to push my luck too far how about the attached ? Is it a female white-bellied mountain gem ? Apologies for quality of photo but as you've...
  21. claretjohn

    Hummingbird, Costa Rica

    Taken at San Gerado de Dota last week. Thought it was a Magnificent Hummer but doesn't seem to match illustration in Garrigues & Dean. Any ideas ?
  22. claretjohn

    Two days to go

    Thanks for your tip, unfortunately I haven't got space in my camera bag for a grain of rice let alone the frying pan. Luckily I saved up several Silica Gel packs and I am taking these. Not sure how you can prevent fungal spores in a zoom lens apart from keeping it dry all the time to stop them...
  23. claretjohn

    Two days to go

    Thanks Andrew, and yes I was expecting problems with reduced light and its good to hear that the birds can be quite close. Did you protect your gear from the humidity (ie. bag and silica gel trick) ? We will be going to San Gerado de Dota after a few days on the Osa Peninsular so again good to...
  24. claretjohn

    Two days to go

    Hi everyone, Costa Rica here I come (at long last). However, despite all my reading about the photographic challenges I am probably not prepared for the heat, humidity and light conditions to come. Has anyone any last minute simple practical tips for rainforest bird/animal photography that they...
  25. claretjohn

    Another visit to the Smiling Coast. Gambia 2016

    I agree with Dave that Gambia should be on your list, not only for the excellent birding but also for a bit of winter sun. My wife and I have been twice staying at Farankunku lodge, a small, birding friendly establishment run by ex pat Heather and her Gambian partner Moses. Google search for...
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