Bird Watching Holidays - Holiday Activity Guide
Bird watching is a great activity that is easy to get involved with. Many people love bird watching and call it their passion. For people who love the outdoors, bird watching can be an excellent way to spend your time and learn more about nature. Billions of dollars are spent on bird-watching holidays each year, and you never know what you're going to see. No matter where you go, you are likely to run into many unexpected things. Fresh, air, exercise, and a relaxing holiday with the ecology of earth are just a few reasons that you might like to spend some time bird watching. The holy grail of many bird watchers is to spot a "lifer". This is when a bird watcher sees a certain type of bird for the first time in his life. For someone who has a passion for birds, spotting a "lifer" can be one of the most exhilarating parts of this hobby, but it can only happen by travelling to exotic locations.
Luckily, the supplies needed to go birding aren't too expansive. You should rent or buy a good pair of binoculars so that you can get a close look at birds no matter how far away they are. You should also get a wide-brimmed hat. Since you will be spending a lot of time in the sun, this can protect you from getting a sunburn or other damage to your face. Finally, you should always take a good bird book with you. There is nothing more frustrating than spotting a beautiful new bird without the means to identify it.
Suggested Bird watching holidays:
Orkney Islands, Scotland.
The Orkney Islands lie at the northernmost part of Scotland. The archipelago consists of 70 islands, only 20 of which are inhabited. This means that there is a wealth of untapped nature for bird watchers to explore. Here you might spot many fantastic birds like the short-eared owl, kittiwake, puffin, guillemont, razorbill, and bredding fowl.
This exotic group of islands are in the South Atlantic about 480 km from the shores of mainland South America. The proximity to Antarctica means that you will get the chance to see 5 different species of penguins. It is estimated that there are over 1 million penguins on these islands. You can also view many other types of birds, like geese, albatross, cormorant, and petrel.
In southern France, around the Rhone delta, is a vast area (930 km²) of protected wetlands called The Camargue. This area is so lush that million of birds make this a stop every year on their migratory journeys. If you take a holiday here you will see the Greater Flamingo, herons, gulls, and numerous shorebirds.
Head to Japan to see some of the most exotic birds imaginable. The best time to bird watch in Japan is undoubtedly the winter. If you head to Lake Furen, you'll be able to watch Steller's sea-eagles congregate on the ice around the lake. Or head to Kyushu, where you can view hooded and white-naped cranes gather in the winter. Finally, head to Hokkaido to to watch Japanese cranes play in the snow.
Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Kruger National Park contains some of the most diverse wildlife on earth. In addition to a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, fish, and amphibians, Kruger National Park contains more than 500 unique species of birds. Some of the birds you can view here include: eagles, hornbills, shrikes, starlings, buzzards, rollers, owls, vultures, and bee-eaters.
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia.
Kakadu National Park is located about 170 km southeast of Darwin in northern Australia. This wetland paradise is the home to about 30% of the totality of Australia's bird species. Some of the bird species in Kakadu National park include: whistling kites, egrets, herons, whistling ducks, flycatchers, and finches.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
These islands might be some of the most famous in the world. Charles Darwin watched birds here, and now you can too! There was a good reason that Darwin was so fascinated by these islands: their unique geography led to the proliferation of a wide variety of animal and bird species unlike any seen in the world. A couple that you definitely don't want to miss include the cliff-diving blue-footed boobies and the enormous Albatross, which glides across the sky with a wingspan of almost 12 feet.
Okavango Delta, Botswana.
The Okavango Delta is renowned for being the largest inland delta in the world. There is a seemingly limitless supply of wildlife here, and your options for viewing them are equally limitless. You might want to hop in a boat or go on a safari in an ATV. Possibilities for sightings are: the African pygmy-goose, owls, lesser jacana, kingfishers, storks, egrets, herons, ibises, wattled cranes, starlings, ostrich, sand grouse, and vultures.
Yosemite National Park, California, USA.
Take a journey to sunny California in the States. Yosemite National Park is one of the most well known parks in North America because of both its unique geology and biology. You might be able to spot the great grey owl or the black swift. In addition to these highly sought after birds, there are more than 300 other species at your disposal.
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada.
These magnificent regions on the eastern coast of Canada aren't usually mentioned because of their fantastic birdlife, but that all may change after you visit and begin talking with your friends about it. Visit Cape Breton to see the extremely rare Bicknell's thrush playing in the forest. You might go to Cape St. Mary's and check out cormorants, razorbills, kittiwakes, gannets, common mures, and guillemots. Finally, don't miss St. John's where you can see the fantastic mating pairs of African puffins.