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Old Saturday 24th August 2002, 02:44   #1
HelenB
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Trip Reports

I'm currently writing up a report on a trip to Alaska. It was not a birding trip as such, but nowadays I can never just go on holiday without my binoculars and camera!! We were on a 7-day cruise from Seward to Vancouver and we took the opportunity to bird whenever we could, getting about 70 species in total. We took our scope, too and were able to get quite a few new species from the deck of the ship, eg: Rhinoceros & Parakeet Auklets - both lifers.

I will be putting the report (with photos) on my website, but I thought this might be a good forum to post a text version. Whenever I'm planning a trip, I look for reports on other forums to see what hotspots other birders have been to, and get an idea of what species might be seen.

What do you think, folks?
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Old Saturday 24th August 2002, 15:08   #2
paj
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Good idea Helen
I often check out trip reports on other sites and it would be nice to see some on this Forum.

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Old Wednesday 28th August 2002, 19:44   #3
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Good idea Helen

I also read trip reports. It helps so much when planning a visit to any previously unvisited site by myself.

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Old Friday 30th August 2002, 20:20   #4
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I find trip reports very useful because I am of the opinion that without some help or doing some 'homework' you need to go to a new place twice. The first time, especially if time is short, to suss out the place as a whole and the second time to do some serious birding. If not, what can happen is that you go to a new place, find a great place and when you get back home you tell your friends and then someone asks if you went to a place about a mile up the road which is even better! .... and you haven't!

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<-------- me on holiday
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Old Saturday 31st August 2002, 21:43   #5
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Colin, I totally agree - have had that happen to me. Doesn't matter too much if it's somewhere in your own country, but if you've travelled to some foreign parts it can be very annoying. Like when I was in Calgary, Canada last summer - spent an afternoon in a rather unproductive area, when I should have gone to Weaselhead Glenmore Park! My trip report is on my birding website if anyone wants to see it:
http://helensbirds.homestead.com/canrockies1.html

The Alaska report is almost finished. Will post asap.
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 12:29   #6
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Trip report

This summer my family visited Catalonia in Spain.

I have put together a reporte here :

http://home.no.net/nofoll/

Please follow the Catalonian colurs from the menu at the left margin, and do feel free to make any comments, either here or by e-mail to me.
(The other pages are the homepages of my local branch of the Norwegian Ornithological Society - and in Norwegian only
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 14:32   #7
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Thanks for posting the trip report Hans. I really enjoyed the read
Perhaps more members ( including myself ) could post reports of their birding holiday excursions. We tend to have family holidays too, but like yourself, manage to fit in a little bird watching, even if it's just around the resort where we are staying. There is always something to see.
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 19:00   #8
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Ian

I have many reports in the Birdtours.co.uk site and would suggest that anyone going anywhere in the world should log on to that site and print of any reports relating to the areas they are about to visit. I have done that in the past and they have been invaluable. My other suggestion would be perhaps having a site within this forum solely dedicated to members trip reports. I know you can post one in the articles section but I mean trip reports only. I would be glad to contribute quite a few reports from abroad, we also had a good one for Scotland as well this year. Perhaps within this trip report section it could be further sectionalised into Europe, America etc.

There could also be a gallery soleley dedicated to members photos taken whilst on these trips so that other members can see for themselves what these places are like. I don't mean bird photos as they will go in the usual photo section relating to that topic but perhaps photos of sites visited, towns where you stayed etc.

Trip reports can enhanced a birders holiday as well as saving valuable holiday time. There can be nothing worse than losing time finding places when that time could be better spent doing something else.

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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 19:16   #9
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Hi John, I like the Birdtours site too, it's interesting to browse the reports in addition to using them as a research facility.

How about it everyone, would you like another forum, jsut devoted to trip reports along the lines that John suggests ?
I'm sure that Steve will oblige if there is sufficient interest.

Normally I am averse to any further Forums being set up as I think we still have too many, but I think that this would be a useful resource to members.
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 19:34   #10
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Yes, Ian, I'd like to see a Forum just for trip reports.

I know I promised to post my Alaskan trip a couple of months ago, but it got put to one side while we took our trip to the UK in Sept, then we also went to Southern California in Oct. So I'm going to be very busy in the future, writing up these 2 reports & sorting through all the digital photos.

I agree that reports are a very useful resource, especially if there is no book on birding sites in that area, available. Or you're going somewhere at short notice and don't have time to order a book.
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 20:06   #11
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Helen

I have used both trip reports and books that give sites and they are brilliant for getting you around but I have to say that each time go out I extend the boundaries that both trip reports and books cover. Like other birders I find places that earlier trip reports and books don't cover and this is what helps other birders. They use mine, or other peoples reports and if, like me, they try to go that bit further then further boundaries are extended. It helps complete the jigsaw of an area if you like.

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Old Tuesday 29th October 2002, 20:12   #12
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Ian

If the Forum for trip reports is set up let me know if you want all the trip reports of mine in it. I will probably have to recover some from Birdtours.co.uk as I don't actually have them saved on my computer any more. I had a very bad crash on my computer just over a year ago and lost a lot of data because of it. Still it is easy enough to get my reports from that site.

What about a trip report gallery as well. I'm sure I have a few photos that I could put in there that would enhance my reports. I'm sure that there will be other members that could do likewise.

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Old Sunday 10th November 2002, 11:45   #13
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Hans

I read your Catalonia report and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have saved it onto my hard drive as I am planning to visit that area in the next few years. I am definitely interested in the National park piece as there were two birds you saw that are both top of my priority to see list. Lammergeier and Black Woodpecker. Also Alpine Chough would be an excellent addition to my list.

I have visited the Pyrenees before when I went to Andorra but I wasn't a birder then. When I think of the countries I have visited, prior to my starting to go birdwatching, it makes me wonder just what birds I might have seen. Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Holland, parts of France and quite a few parts of Spain all most likely would have introduced species I have not seen yet. Likewise armed with trip reports like yours, new areas like these would be opened up giving us all a chance to connect with the birds we want to see.

Regarding Norway. How expensive would it be to visit your country, accomodation wise, car hire costs and fuel costs?

By the way. I hate to tell you this but I was watching a White throated Sparrow a couple of weeks ago at Flamborough head here in England.
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Old Monday 22nd September 2003, 12:01   #14
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Hi Everyone,
I have been very fascinated and interested on a lot of reports posted,it goes with out mentioning it could fill a good book or two, here is my account on a trip on a family holiday.

This is an account of a walk I had up a Mountain on The Greek Island of Zante(Zakynthos),It was not a planned birding trip, merely a break from the norm on a family holiday with my wife and children.
This proves a trip off the beaten track can bring as much rewards(if not more) as sunbathing on the beach.

A Trip to Mount Skopos, (Kalamaki- ZAKYNTHOS)


An earth tremor a hour before I ascended Mount Skopos did not deter my excursion in the slightest. This was my first time I had ventured up a mountain of any sort. Indeed it was not at all steep it merely required me to ascend a well worn path upwards with a little care.
I decided to set off early as possible in order not to be exposed to the adhering mid-day Ionian sun.
The terrain was marshy scrubland with a scattering of bushes and thickets which led to the foot of Mount Skopos.As this mountain was also on the coast of the Bay of Laganas it offered a great variety of habitats to all wildlife in a very constricted area.
I continued the ascent from Kalamaki beach and caught sight of a Fantail Warbler uttering his unmistakable ''chip chip'' aerial song which was accompanied with a high jerky undulating flight pattern.
Goldfinches were in abundance thriving on the broken scrub and Teasels.
The path narrowed as I approached a flower bordered dirt track, a sub-species of Whites and Clouded Yellows flittered around me as I walked,their wing pattern was not the familiar patterns one would associate with British varieties.
The path got steeper as it meandered between broken and rocky scrub enabling me to witness a pair of Sardinian Warblers to the right of me in some bushes,their conspicuous red eyes and sockets and white chins were clearly visible.More goldfinches with their young could be seen everywhere.Piercing staccato bursts of Cettis Warbler could be heard as Wall Brown butterflies floated across the path only to momentarily disappear amongst the roadside vegetation. A Rose beetle flew inches past me and all manner of insect life came to life. Painted Ladies,Grayling, Swallowtail/Southern Swallowtails flew into a smudge of violet coloured flowers which led us to some Cleopatras further up the path.
The scrub was getting sparse and was giving way to more rocky outcrops,when a movement to my left caught my attention and I was able to identify it as male Black Eared Wheatear.It's black mask and buff plumage tinted with a hint of pink,contrasting with the green foliage behind it.
Minutes later I saw a very good view of a Cetti's warbler singing loudly from the top of a bush,he's rounded tail flicking in a downward motion.I got a glimpse of movement further up the path (now the green terrain was in the minority giving way to larger rocky areas.) A Blackbird sized bird was jumping from rock to rock. On closer inspection this bird's tail was somewhat shorter than a blackbird.The sunlight then revealed it's blue-black plumage to the full,it was unmistakable, I had seen my first Blue RockThrush.
I decided to walk up to a small quarry and then planned to descend via the town of Argassi.
As the din of the working quarry got louder I sighted a kestrel.Lesser Kestrels have been known to frequent the area, but it was definitely the former.I headed downward only to give a wide birth to some yellow and brown hornets collecting mud from a nearby diminishing puddle,no doubt for their nest, further down the path I couldn't help stop to admire the view of the westward descent to Argassi. The unnatural blue bay of Laganas flecked with silver reflections of the sun, was down to the right of me,Swallows and Red Rumped swallows were below me catching insects on the wing as I looked down on them from a height.I could stay up here all day,but my water was getting low and I decided to carry on.The rocks gave way to scrub and a lone Male Linnet was feeding on the roadside.Whilst again admiring the view I saw some Grayling Butterflies, but one of them really stood out it was twice as big as the others,one to look up on when I get home.
A Black Kite Greeted me as the path disappeared into bushy terrain, It perched on a small bare tree and gave a high pitched squeal and took off again over the green slopes.
The lower descent to Argassi was littered with lots of sightings of Sardinian,Cettis Warblers,Greenfinches and Goldfinches and I almost trod on a Green Balkan Lizard before it scurried into the undergrowth.
I arrived in Argassi four hours after I set off,leg weary but nether the less very fulfilled.

Last edited by goonerz : Monday 22nd September 2003 at 12:09.
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