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Bucket List Suggestions

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Old Wednesday 8th July 2020, 22:09   #1
Scrambled-Megs
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Bucket List Suggestions

Hi everyone. My husband was just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. His legs are "heavy" and he trips sometimes on raised cement and feels slightly unsteady at times but he can still moderately hike right now. (No cliffs or extremely steep ups or downs.) So we have limited time to see some beautiful places that will become difficult for him in the future. So I'm asking anyone who has a moment, about a bucket list that involves a love of bird/nature watching, but is also more physically difficult. The places that will be impossible for us in the future that I will personally kick myself if we didn't go before then. The places you wouldn't want to miss if you were in our shoes.
Our first free time is in August. We may be able to get 3 weeks off. We live in Southern California- we can't fly right now because of Covid. I would drive anywhere north of here.
I'd love any bucket list ideas for August.
I'd also love anyone's bucket list ideas for when we can take a plane and visit somewhere. Please let me know the best month for a trip to your bucket list idea so I plan well.
Thank you for your help. Megs
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2020, 22:21   #2
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Sorry, I didn't mean to post this to the say hello forum. Is there a way I can move it to an appropriate forum?
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2020, 22:27   #3
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Hi again Meg!

I've moved your thread to the "Information Wanted" sub-forum and have subscribed you to the thread so that you will be notified anytime someone posts any suggestions for you Good luck girl.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 09:33   #4
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What have you already seen, and what interests you most? Mountains, deserts, glaciers? Giant redwoods? Whales, bison?

If August is not a requirement, I'd start by listing the big national parks: Bryce, Zion, Yosemite, Arches, Sequoia, Grand Canyon. These can all be seen from a car, and have some wheel-chair-friendly areas, but are much more enjoyable if you can hike a little and get away from the crowds. But don't go to the desert in August!
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 10:56   #5
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To add to the list of US parks, I'd recommend Rocky Mtn NP in Colorado.

As for flying, my wife and I had a wonderful trip to Ecuador in January, visiting the Amazon (Napo Wildlife Centre), the cloud forest (Mashpi Lodge) and the Galapagos. If there were one place in the world I'd put at the top of a bucket list it'd be the Galapagos. It requires about ten days (a seven night cruise plus transfers) and deep pockets.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 16:04   #6
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Really sorry to hear your news

I am so sorry to hear your news.

We have been lucky and travelled quite extensively but my top 5 nature places would be

Uganda - reasonable trek to see the Mountain Gorillas and some great birding in Bwindi and elsewhere plus easy to tie it into a Safari.
We did this in October.

Papua New Guinea - you don't need to walk to far to see Lekking Raggiana Birds of Paradise plus many other emdemic birds and animals at Varieta near Port Moresbyand a short flight into Mount Hagen and stay at Kumel Lodge can get up to 10 other Birds of Paradise. (we did this May/June)

Ecuador and Galapagos - as suggested.

Brazil Pantanal - not very much walking for Giant Anteaters, Hyacinth Macaws etc and then probably boat trips for Giant Otter, Jaguar and some great birds. For the scenery it is great to tie this in with Rio and Iguasu Falls. we went in October

Japan in winter. Japanese Cranes, Blakison Fish Owl and may other specials on Hokkaido in Jan / Feb
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 20:22   #7
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Thank you very much for all of your suggestions. I'm making a list and also checking the other bucket list threads below. We're heading for second opinion for treatment at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale AZ, the end of this month. I'll keep you posted about where we go in August. I'm really loving the suggestions above, once Covid dies down. Really love all of your photos! Thanks again.
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Old Thursday 9th July 2020, 20:29   #8
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Sounds like you've found a second home Megs
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Old Friday 10th July 2020, 10:25   #9
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You have to inlude Nepal, Himalayas I'd say, I did some trekking there when I was 50 as I knew the time was coming when it would be too much for me.
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Old Sunday 12th July 2020, 01:41   #10
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Close to CA that benefits from some mobility: SE Arizona. August might be a little on the warm side but special hummers, owls, etc might be a great reason to go there including such places as the Chiricahua mountains. Closer to home, some of the trails in Joshua Tree NP are definitely worth it.

For a little further on, when you have options to travel further: I have enjoyed Galapagos as already mentioned and I have enjoyed other parts of Ecuador with some lovely lodges (see the section of birdforum for South America: https://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=551). Costa Rica and Panama likewise. Yucatan has some wonderful and mostly level birding.

For later in progression: a boat up and down the Nile in Egypt can produce some wonderful sightings even without leaving the boat, only thing needed is the ability to scale a couple of stairs.

Hope things progress better than you expect right now!

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Old Monday 13th July 2020, 10:18   #11
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Hi Meg. I'm also sorry to hear your news. My time in the US has been limited so I will focus on worldwide suggestions.

My best global wildlife experiences have been where I have seen birds up close or combined with mammals.

For the former, the Galapagos is a must really and can be easily combined with a trip to mainland Ecuador where there are some superb reserves and it would be worth doing a trip into the Amazon basin. Antarctica, the Falklands and South Georgia would give you a similar up close experience. Obviously not cheap but maybe not as expensive as you think either and there are some deals out there.

For the later, well you should do a big game safari if you have not already done so. You would get a lot out of a trip to South Africa or Botswana. I haven't made it to East Africa yet.

Other places to consider, Madagascar (birds, lemurs, chameleons), Borneo (orangutans, proboscis monkeys). The Danum Valley is the best eco lodge I have stayed in by far. I really like south-east Asia (Pitta hunting) and central and south America (worth going for the hummingbirds and tanager flocks alone in my opinion).

I would love to go to PNG, the Pantanal and I should be in Uganda watching the gorillas right now.

Probably worth take a look at a book like Mark Carwadine's Ultimate Wildlife Experiences for further suggestions.
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Old Monday 13th July 2020, 10:27   #12
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Also the top 100 birding sites of the world by Dominic Couzens is a great read. I take a lot of inspiration for future trips from that. That said, it is nice to make your own top 100 maybe.
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Old Monday 13th July 2020, 20:11   #13
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Japan is easy to get around - good in winter for Steller's Eagle, Blackiston's Fish Owl, Cranes, pelagic species, all very accessible.
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Old Tuesday 14th July 2020, 20:16   #14
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Checking back in today! Wow those trips above sound great! Thanks so much. We live in the desert of S. California and had temps of 120s/49C. I spent the weekend adding big blocks of ice to our fountains so that the birds could get some cool water. I changed out the hummingbird feeders every 2 hours during the afternoon heat with cool nectar. We have some garden shade so I had about 20 hummers in my garden sitting in the shade. They were sharing the feeders and the fountain water. It was so hot they didn't do their regular jousting. Fortunately all made it and we are supposed to remain 10 degrees cooler. They've returned to their territorial jousting. Thanks again for the suggestions. My husband is keen on Galapagos. Still not sure where we will go in August as we have a Covid surge here. I'll keep you posted.
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Old Tuesday 14th July 2020, 21:09   #15
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For Galapagos check what your targets are. For example, the Flightless Cormorants are only on Isabella and Fernandina, whereas Waved Albatross only breed on Espaniola.
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Old Sunday 19th July 2020, 14:04   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
What have you already seen, and what interests you most? Mountains, deserts, glaciers? Giant redwoods? Whales, bison?

If August is not a requirement, I'd start by listing the big national parks: Bryce, Zion, Yosemite, Arches, Sequoia, Grand Canyon. These can all be seen from a car, and have some wheel-chair-friendly areas, but are much more enjoyable if you can hike a little and get away from the crowds. But don't go to the desert in August!
Yosemite you can combine with Mono lake. Maybe in August already started migration saison.
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Old Sunday 19th July 2020, 14:09   #17
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Originally Posted by foresttwitcher View Post
Japan is easy to get around - good in winter for Steller's Eagle, Blackiston's Fish Owl, Cranes, pelagic species, all very accessible.
If you go to Japan, you have to go 2 weeks in quarantane.
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Old Sunday 19th July 2020, 14:13   #18
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Originally Posted by Scrambled-Megs View Post
Checking back in today! Wow those trips above sound great! Thanks so much. We live in the desert of S. California and had temps of 120s/49C. I spent the weekend adding big blocks of ice to our fountains so that the birds could get some cool water. I changed out the hummingbird feeders every 2 hours during the afternoon heat with cool nectar. We have some garden shade so I had about 20 hummers in my garden sitting in the shade. They were sharing the feeders and the fountain water. It was so hot they didn't do their regular jousting. Fortunately all made it and we are supposed to remain 10 degrees cooler. They've returned to their territorial jousting. Thanks again for the suggestions. My husband is keen on Galapagos. Still not sure where we will go in August as we have a Covid surge here. I'll keep you posted.
I higher areas in California like Mono lake is much cooler in August ?
Also in Monterry bay at the coast ?
I was in July there and it was not to hot.
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Old Monday 20th July 2020, 09:11   #19
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Dependent on your finances, assuming you haven't already visited and once travel restrictions change, etc.

Visiting New Zealand was my top bucket list item.
Sit on a boat on the ocean at Kaikoura and watch whales.
Sit on a much smaller boat at Kaikoura and have albatross, petrels and shearwaters feeding within a metre or two.
Sit in a grandstand and watch Little Blue Penguin walk up the beach to their nesting burrows at Omaru.
All fabulous in January.

I can also recommend South Africa, although not right now !!
Sitting on the back of a Landcruiser viewing Elephant, Hippo, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Hyena, Warthog, etc, etc.
I was there in June a few years ago and the weather was delightful.


I could go on listing fabulous stuff for ages.

Last edited by Mike C : Monday 20th July 2020 at 09:16.
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