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Dedicated ST birding safari?


Game Warden

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Game Warden

With the fantastic submissions already coming in for the Big Year 2018, would there be interest in organising an ST birding safari I wonder? If so, where, when, led by whom? Just a thought. If there is anyone interested, perhaps as a group, members could discuss it in more detail and make a plan?

 

Matt

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Peter Connan

I would be interested in principle, but of course my actual availability would depend greatly on where, when and how much.

Rands don't go far :D

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I just love birdwatching and birdwatching tours are cheaper than wildlife safaris. I would absolutely be interested.

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janzin
11 hours ago, Peter Connan said:

I would be interested in principle, but of course my actual availability would depend greatly on where, when and how much.

Rands don't go far :D

 

 

So maybe we should do it in South Africa :) 

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kittykat23uk

Sounds tempting! . But not this year as I have already got two trips planned out.

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Dave Williams

Birding can be split in to two groups really, listers and photographers. What suits one doesn't necessarily suit the other as listers are happy to tick and move on, photographers are more likely to want to spend ages getting a better shot. 

Big groups are not a good idea either as the more the number the greater the disturbance and I personally like to split my time between wandering around and sitting, maybe in a hide, and waiting.

 

That said I'm open to ideas. Cost is an obvious consideration.

 

In terms of who will lead, there are two obvious options. 

 

1) Hire a local guide wherever the destination might be.

 

2)Volunteer to guide at your home location.

 

We all have places we go to on a regular basis, the birds we might think are of little interest as we see them so often may well be an extremely attractive proposition to a foreign visitor.

 

 

 

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Game Warden

Perhaps @Peter Connan will lead a group to the sewage plant? :o

 

But seriously, perhaps Peter could be our go to guy (guide) for birding in South Africa, of course, if he has time...

 

What do you think mate?

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kittykat23uk

I never did get to visit the sewage plant! We should also look for cape rockjumper! :)

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Peter Connan

I would enjoy the challenge @Game Warden, but if it's in the Cape, may i suggest @Elsa Hoffmann. That is her back garden and she knows it much better than I do.

 

If it can be on the highveld, i have a plethora of destinations which could keep us busy for a long time indeed!

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Dave Williams

The sewage works in Mindelo, Cape Verde form part of a series of murals on the harbour wall advertising local tourist attractions to new arrivals, and at Kotu,The Gambia they have started charging birders to walk around theirs too. Sadly, the latter have also cleaned their act up too so there aren't nearly as many birds... or the chance of picking up a nasty disease either!

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This is one great idea, @Game Warden! As organising and executing a group thing is a bit complicated, with all of our different locations and annual agendas re. travels, why not expand it in a way the Birdingpal is working?! 

 

Example: @Peter Connan knows well his backyard, and when interested members are flying to JNB they could add a night or two (mostly over weekends) and arrange a birding trip with him?! Usual financial sceme is that the guest is paying for the car & the food (lunch or dinner). Those members that are willing to participate in this could post their address, the birding locations they are familiar with, and calendar when they are available.

 

Personally I am also intersted in joining other birders on their trips, but based on recent experience it is quite difficult to find a time slot that is working for 3-4 persosns, less so for more. However it would be a great help if those members going on a shorter birding trips would post their timing and itinerary, if they are willing to share the birding with others.

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Dave Williams

That's a brilliant idea @xelas, a Birdingpal type of scheme that sticks to the original ethos. The one and only Birdingpal trip I have arranged cost $180 for a day out, 6 - 7 hours. He wasn't a pro guide, just took the day off work . He provided car and fuel but we travelled few miles , maybe be 40 altogether. He had his lunch and drinks paid for too, albeit a snack.

That was top pro rates as far as I was concerned. He did no more than I could do. We drove to a couple of sites and we got on with looking for our own birds. Enjoyable but expensive.

Birdingpal is now full of pro guides and I think it possibly puts lots of people off even looking now.

 

So yes, I would love to take anyone out who was in my area, I just enjoy sharing what we have to offer in this part of the world. Getting my petrol paid for is a bonus. Count me in on such a scheme @Game Warden 

 

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Indeed the original idea has been diluted / exploited over the years, however basic are good and if respected, I think this might work, specially in such a great community of travellers as are members of Safaritalk.

 

Whoever interested in giving assistance to their Safaritalk birding pals should post some basic information like (using myself as an example):

 

Where: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Who: male, limited birding knowledge, communicating in 3 languages (English, Italian, German), car&driving license, ....

Availability: weekends and Slovenian public holidays

Speciality: clicker (bird photography)

Main locations: Ljubljana Marsh Nature Reserve, Arboretum Volčji Potok, Škocjanski Zatok Nature Reserve, Cerkniško jezero Nature Reserve

 

@Game Warden should open a new thread under Birding section, and each interested member would post basic info as above, maybe starting with town/country in title, and others that will plan to visit that town/country could contact her/him through posts or PM.

 

Fee should be fixed, fuel for car and food/drinks for guide.

 

 

 

Edited by xelas
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I think @xelas 's idea is a great one, no matter if a ST birding safari develops or not.  I've been doing as much anyway, through our local bird club for which I am webmaster and on the "council." So I am the first to see the inquiries that come in looking for birding help around the NYC area, and if available, I usually offer to take folks around. Over the last few years we've taken birders from Denmark (twice), Ireland, South Africa, Trinidad, and the UK--and made some friends in the process. They usually just buy me lunch (we aren't really driving far so there's not much fuel involved :)

 

 

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kittykat23uk

I agree, I looked at the birding pal site but it has limited value now being full of professionals. I would be happy to participate,  although I don't currently have my own transport. It doesn't have to be just birds either as I know a nice spot for badger watching and we also get grey seals breeding in the winter time.

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Dave Williams

@kittykat23uk Badgers..... I'll be in touch if I'm heading your way!

Edited by Dave Williams
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We have started with birds, as they are the most easy wildlife sighting, but as @kittykat23uk has mentioned, we should not be limited to them only! In fact, this idea could develop into any kind of guiding, being it wildlife, nature, history, or any other aspect of travel. We have had a great day with a ST member exploring Ravenna, Italy ... and with so many friendly members living in all those fantastic places, we all could benefit from each other local knowledge, and knit this ST fabric even tighter!

 

Most of travellers usually rent a car, or in the bigger towns, one is not needed. Only the willingness to "meet and greet and assist" a fellow ST member is all we need :).

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Game Warden

I was going to post some ideas earlier but had to head out: I think @xelas read my mind, where each member can start their own topic and also I'll see if I can do something on the avatar box, (appearing to the left of each post.) Leave it with me to sort out, but if you come up with other ideas, please do post them in this topic.

 

Matt

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Dave Williams

I'm up for anything! Can give advice and information on lots of things if anyone is visiting my region of Wales.

@Game Warden  I think you need to try a whole new section under Travel Talk headed something like "Travel contacts", well maybe  a bit more imaginative than that but along those lines!

Edited by Dave Williams
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Yes, that would be more visible; the title of the section might be: ST Travel Contacts or Come visit me(us) or By Safaritalker to Safaritalker; other ideas for the title of the section are welcomed.

Once the section will be up, I will post my data with a title Ljubljana - Slovenia so others will now from the title which country and where in the country. For those people living in larger countries, like UK or USA, the title should contain even more informations. The opening post should contain basic informations about the host, and what kind of services she/he can offer. This should be and remain strictly Safaritalk members section, no pros or tour operators etc (if not willing to apply the "fuel&food" concept of costs; if yes then they are most warmly welcomed to participate :D).

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