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Seeking companions to share birding / mammal tours, suitable for my mobility

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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 11:35   #1
Carol Rushton
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Smile Seeking companions to share birding / mammal tours, suitable for my mobility

Hi everyone,

I am seeking companion ( s ) to share birding / mammal trips in 2019 and 2020.

I have a keen interest in birds, mammals and other flora and fauna.

I am friendly, have a good sense of humour and am a good spotter.

I have an existing knee injury, which inhibits my walking. For more than say 50 metres I use walking poles or crutches. These are as an aide to walking, I can walk without them, but find that this reduces the pressure on my kneecap, so as to prevent it swelling and dislocating.

Does anyone have any trips or are planning any which I could be considered for, given my mobility ?

Thank you, in advance, for your consideration and help.

Kind regards, Carol
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 14:39   #2
Carol Rushton
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I perhaps should add that I will consider any location, provided it is suitable to my mobility and people are happy to travel with me.

Please feel free to make any suggestions.

I am an experienced World and UK traveller, birder and Mammal watcher, over a number of years and am quite flexible.

Thank you, in advance for your help and consideration.

Kind regards, Carol
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 18:47   #3
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Are you looking at proper foreign birding trips, or shorter duration UK destinations or both? Presume you drive?
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 19:31   #4
Carol Rushton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
Are you looking at proper foreign birding trips, or shorter duration UK destinations or both? Presume you drive?
Hi Dan.

Yes I can drive.

However, in the many overseas trips I have done in the past I have always been driven by a driver or driver / guide. I wouldn't, really, want to drive overseas.
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Old Wednesday 13th February 2019, 19:59   #5
Carol Rushton
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Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
Are you looking at proper foreign birding trips, or shorter duration UK destinations or both? Presume you drive?
I am open-minded about the location.

I am fortunate that I have been able to travel fairly extensively in my almost, soon to be, 53 years ( as of the 25th February) . 

I have had a life-long interest in Natural History.

in the last 7 years I have had a marked depreciation in my mobility. An old footballing injury, from when I was 18, an undergraduate at Cambridge University and someone took out my kneecap, rather than the ball, rupturing my left cruciate ligament. 

This will limit, physically, the kind of trips which I can now undertake, so, sadly, no longer, for example, will I be able to trek through extensive rainforest, in Borneo , Sri Lanka , or Costa Rica, or Australia as I have in the past.

I think my current knee injury means that now I am most likely best suited to trips, if overseas, which involve me being driven around, with short - short / medium walks , which are not on too uneven a terrain or with steep inclines up or down.

I love Africa and would be most interested to explore further. I visited South Africa in 2007, visiting parks in The Kruger, St Lucia area and Swaziland. Last year I visited Botswana. In 2010 The Gambia. I would be very interested in visiting most parts of Africa, including Tanzania, Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, again, including for its rarer mammals 

I also enjoyed India last year and would be interested in re-visiting India - perhaps Bhangarvardh, Chambal, Bharatpur and Satpura. 

I am a friendly, welcoming and flexible person. 

I have recently become a Joint Volunteer Bird Warden for Bristol water and am hoping to inspire and enthuse others with my love of Natural History.

I don't wish to be too preclusive about locations, as I genuinely have an open mind. Although I could travel alone, I would far rather be in the company of like -minded fellow travellers. I appreciate that my travelling companions will need to be happy with the restrictions which my knee injury places on me.

I hope that helps, but please feel free to ask me any questions you wish and I look forward to any suggestions which anyone might have.

Thanking you, in advance, for your kind consideration and help.

Kind regards

Carol
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 09:40   #6
Carol Rushton
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Hi everyone

Someone who has seen this thread has kindly approached me to say that they are undertaking a tour to Ghana, this year . That is not a country that I had considered. I am not familiar with it, at all and have never birded there, before .

I am very interested in African birds . However, my concern is that this itinerary ( see below) will be beyond the mobility which my knee injury woul permit.

Is anyone who has birded in Ghana able to give me an idea, please of how challenging the birding is there and the terrain, please . Thank you . :
Ghana 2019

ITINERARY

10TH APRIL ........ ARRIVAL

11TH APRIL ........SHAI HILLS AND DRIVE TO CAPE COAST BIRDING EN ROUTE

12TH APRIL ........ KAKUM NATIONAL PARK

13TH APRIL......... SUSHEN AND PICATHERTES SITE

14TH APRIL........ OPURO FOREST TO MOLE NATIONAL PARK

15TH APRIL........ MOLE NATIONAL PARK

16TH APRIL......... MOLE NATIONAL PARK

17TH APRIL......... MOLE NP TO KUMASI

18TH APRIL ....... BOBIRI FOREST TO ATEWA FARM LAND AREA

19TH APRIL ....... ATEWA FOREST AND DEPARTURE
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 12:30   #7
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Most is easy, but the Picathartes site is a trek - we arrived quite late and rushed it. If you arrive earlier, then you can take it easy, but the last stretch is steeply uphill.
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 15:28   #8
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The best birding at Atewa involves a quite steep uphill walk of at least two kilometres.

Kakum NP - the main entrance is quite steep with big and not very even steps. The canopy boardwalk there is superb but the actual boards are quite narrow and you might struggle using poles.

And yes, the usual Picathartes site involves about a half-hour walk and then a very steep scramble up a bank where you need to pull yourself up by using the small trees. But experienced guides may have alternative sites with easier access.

Mole is easy, and Bobiri probably the same as when I went there we just birded from a wide track.

Steve
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Old Friday 15th February 2019, 17:21   #9
Carol Rushton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
The best birding at Atewa involves a quite steep uphill walk of at least two kilometres.

Kakum NP - the main entrance is quite steep with big and not very even steps. The canopy boardwalk there is superb but the actual boards are quite narrow and you might struggle using poles.

And yes, the usual Picathartes site involves about a half-hour walk and then a very steep scramble up a bank where you need to pull yourself up by using the small trees. But experienced guides may have alternative sites with easier access.

Mole is easy, and Bobiri probably the same as when I went there we just birded from a wide track.

Steve
Thank you Steve for your informative answer. I think on the basis of what you have described, this will be too much for my knee. Walking back down steep inclines, of the sort you have described, puts too much pressure on my kneecap.
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Old Saturday 16th February 2019, 09:34   #10
Carol Rushton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Welsh Peregrine View Post
Most is easy, but the Picathartes site is a trek - we arrived quite late and rushed it. If you arrive earlier, then you can take it easy, but the last stretch is steeply uphill.
Thank you Welsh Peregrine, for your input and advice

On the basis of what you and Steve Lister have said, I have concluded that, sadly, some parts of the Ghana trip are beyond what my knee can cope with. That's a shame, as the Bird List sounded great.....

I remain very interested in other trip options for 2019 and 2020, which are suitable for my mobility, if anyone has any trips or are planning any ? I will consider both Bird focussed trips and / or Mammal focused trips and remain open-minded on location. Where any trip involves a reasonable amount of walking, it would need to be on terrain that does not necessitate me having to walk up and down very steep inclines.

Please continue to make any suggestions everyone.

Thank you and kind regards, Carol

Last edited by Carol Rushton : Saturday 16th February 2019 at 09:35. Reason: Typo
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2019, 20:59   #11
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Hi, Carol

I'm sure you'll be able to find people to share trips with - many places are relatively easy - and/or could be modified to suit.
My last trip to the Pantanal and Amazonia was very (for me, at any rate) easy-going. A lot of the birding was done from near the roadside on the Transpantaneira - and boats along the river (for Jaguar, etc) and perhaps a little more arduous in Amazonia - but no hill climbs, nor scrambling, at any site.
Further details if you're interested.

You could organise your own trip(s) to suit you, and invite others on them, perhaps? I'm sure you're not the only keen birder/mammal-er with mobility problems (my hip gives me increasing jip nowadays - so I could well be curtailing the amount of strain on it in future.)

Good luck,

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Old Friday 1st March 2019, 11:17   #12
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Hi Carol,

I am organising a trip this June to Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic) - there is a short thread here for this with more details:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=372377

We'll be driving around and doing some optional boat trips, so there won't be any strenuous or long-distance walking.

On a similar trip last year, we saw 3 Blue Whales, 60 Beluga Whales, 3 Polar Bear, 10 Bearded Seals, 20 Walrus, 5 Arctic Foxes regularly, and lots of Reindeer.

Many great birds too like fabulous views of Red-Necked and Grey Phalarope, King Eider, Svalbard Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, Pink-Footed Goose, Purple Sandpiper, Little Auk, Brunnich's Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Common Guillemot, Puffin, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull........and even a Snow Goose and 2 Steller's Eider.

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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 13:00   #13
Carol Rushton
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Originally Posted by halftwo View Post
Hi, Carol

I'm sure you'll be able to find people to share trips with - many places are relatively easy - and/or could be modified to suit.
My last trip to the Pantanal and Amazonia was very (for me, at any rate) easy-going. A lot of the birding was done from near the roadside on the Transpantaneira - and boats along the river (for Jaguar, etc) and perhaps a little more arduous in Amazonia - but no hill climbs, nor scrambling, at any site.
Further details if you're interested.

You could organise your own trip(s) to suit you, and invite others on them, perhaps? I'm sure you're not the only keen birder/mammal-er with mobility problems (my hip gives me increasing jip nowadays - so I could well be curtailing the amount of strain on it in future.)

Good luck,

H
Dear H,

Thank you, very much, for your recent reply, which I really appreciate.

I have just sent you a PM.

Kind regards, Carol
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Old Tuesday 5th March 2019, 03:35   #14
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Hi Carol

When my herniated disc was giving me sciatic pain I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes, I was mobile but couldn't go too far, so I imagine your situation is somewhat similar.

If you have not done Galapagos yet, there's a company that specializes in tours for people with restricted mobility, they can take you to the Ecuadorian Amazon and then to the Galapagos, check them out at https://www.latinamericaforall.com/ecuador-12-days/

Also in Ecuador and Colombia there's plenty of "fincas" with bird feeders, so you can observe many bird species (hummingbirds, tanagers, honeycreepers, flycatchers, and even tucanettes) from the comfort of a chair.
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Old Tuesday 5th March 2019, 14:14   #15
Carol Rushton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Collins View Post
Hi Carol,

I am organising a trip this June to Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic) - there is a short thread here for this with more details:

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=372377

We'll be driving around and doing some optional boat trips, so there won't be any strenuous or long-distance walking.

On a similar trip last year, we saw 3 Blue Whales, 60 Beluga Whales, 3 Polar Bear, 10 Bearded Seals, 20 Walrus, 5 Arctic Foxes regularly, and lots of Reindeer.

Many great birds too like fabulous views of Red-Necked and Grey Phalarope, King Eider, Svalbard Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, Pink-Footed Goose, Purple Sandpiper, Little Auk, Brunnich's Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Common Guillemot, Puffin, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull........and even a Snow Goose and 2 Steller's Eider.

Paul
Hi Paul,

Thank you for drawing your venture to my attention.

I have looked at your thread and website. I have given it very careful consideration.

I am shortly due to go away on a short 5 night trip, to somewhere where it will be very cold , primarily in the hope of seeing Stellar's Eider. For this year, I feel that your trip is not right for me.

I hope that it goes well for you and wish you all the best.

Kind regards. Carol
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Old Tuesday 5th March 2019, 18:38   #16
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Some areas good for walking or cycling, but other areas better for watching out of car or watching from one or different points.

Porto Moniz on Madeira, seabird migration ist the from hotel Sagueiro terrace.
I would also possible from balcony of the room, which was 5 m from terrace, but so so good like from the terrace.
Seabird watching at Seychelles at La Digue and Praslin is the best from the higest point of the beach or hotel terrace ( but I do not know from which one ), I used beach.
For watching waders in Laem Pak Bia/ Pak Thale in Thailand, is better watch from car, otherwise birds fly away. Watching at beach is harder for low mobility.
In Kaeng Krachan nationalpark last March, we had many birds at camping place.
Not so last year in December.
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