NBC fundraising trip to Mexico April 2018

Led by Michael Carmody our 2018 fundraising tour offers the chance to experience one of North America’s finest birding routes where more than 50 endemic species is a reasonable target. Specially designed for NBC by Michael Carmody, this trip crosses five unique endemic bird zones from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, and includes spending five days in the Sierra Madre del Sur de Guerrero for some of Mexico’s finest endemics including Long-tailed Wood-Partridge, Short-crested Coquette, White-tailed Hummingbird, Wagler’s Toucanet, White-throated Jay and Red-headed Tanager.

In addition, we will take in:

  • Pacific coastal plain for Flammulated Flycatcher, and Happy and Sinaloa Wrens;
  • Transvolcanic Range altiplano for Sierra Madre and Striped Sparrows;
  • Caribbean slope for Mexican Sheartail and Blue-capped Motmot; and
  • Botanical gardens for Hooded Yellowthroat and Black-backed Oriole.

Other endemics we will be searching for include West Mexican Chachalaca, Banded Quail, Aztec Rail, Balsas Screech Owl, Colima Pygmy-Owl, White-naped Swift, Mexican Hermit, Bumblebee and Dusky Hummingbirds, Golden-crowned Emerald, Citreoline Trogon, Golden-cheeked, Grey-breasted, Grey-crowned, Bronze-winged, and Strickland’s Woodpeckers, Lilac-crowned Parrot, White-striped Woodcreeper, Pileated Flycatcher, Golden and Slaty Vireos, San Blas and Transvolcanic Jays, Sinaloa Martin, Sclater’s, Rufous-naped, Spotted, and Boucard’s Wrens, Russet Nightingale-Thrush, Rufous-backed Robin, Aztec Thrush, Blue Mockingbird, Red Warbler, Black-polled Yellowthroat, Black-chested Sparrow, Collared Towhee, Green-striped Brushfinch, Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow, Rufous-capped Brushfinch, Red-breasted Chat and Orange-breasted Bunting.

At this time of year wintering migrants from western North America are still present in Mexico. So we will be on the look out for a number of flycatchers including Willow, White-throated, Least, Hammond’s, Dusky, Grey, Pine, Pacific-slope, Cordilleran and Buff-breasted. Wintering new world wood warblers could include Ovenbird, Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes, Black-and-white, Orange-crowned, Colima, Lucy’s, Nashville, Virginia’s and MacGillivray’s Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Northern Parula, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Magnolia, Yellow, Audubon’s, Black-throated Grey, Townsend’s, Hermit, Black-throated Green, Wilson’s, and Red-faced Warblers.

Detailed Itinerary: see here. Please note that this itinerary may change due to local conditions such as weather or accommodation unavailability. Start and end dates will be confirmed when you are advised that there are sufficient participants for the trip to run.

Price: US$ 3,795* per person (Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo to Veracruz). Please see below for what is not included in the price including on the first and last days.

Single supplement: US$ 570* per person for single room throughout the tour.

Bookings and terms & conditions: please see below.

*Price increase: The above prices have been set over 12 months in advance of the trip. Unfortunately it is feasible that costs might increase. Thus, Legacy Tours reserves the right to increase those prices to reflect any such increase. If the increase exceeds ten percent participants will be offered the chance to withdraw without penalty.

Flights: The trip is offered without international flights. (The trip involves no flights.)

Group size:  Maximum 7.

Your leader:  Michael Carmody has led groups of birders to the tropics for the past twenty-five years.  In his home state, Michael served three terms as President of the Washington Ornithological Society.  He is a member of Neotropical Bird Club and The American Birding Association.  Michael has written for publications that specialize in tropical avifauna.

First and last nights: The trip begins on Sunday 8 April in Ixtapa-Zihuantanejo at the tour’s hotel. The night’s accommodation is included in the tour price, but airport transfers and meals are not.  The trip ends on Sunday 22 April in Veracruz at the tour’s hotel. Participants should not plan to fly out on that day. The tour price includes accommodation and meals for that night. Subject to demand it may be possible to organise birding for new species on Monday morning for those taking late afternoon/evening flights from Veracruz to Mexico City and beyond.

Legacy Tours will be pleased to advise on travel from and to the local airports to the tour hotels.  These travel costs will be for each participant’s own account. In Mexico airport transfers and airport taxi service is straightforward and easily accomplished.

The price of this trip includes: comfortable lodging & meal options for a small birding party, transport with a local driver at all times, the services of Michael and the activities as described in the itinerary. Bottled water will be provided.

The price does not include: airport transfers, meals on 8 and 23 April, international (or national) flights, alcoholic drinks, laundry, travel or other insurance, additional nights due to flight delays or cancellations, excess weight charges on flights, any international departure tax, any passport and visa fees, all other items of a personal nature, and any activities apart from those detailed in the itinerary.

The (land package) price per person is based on double occupancy. Please see above for details on the single room supplement.

Passports etc: you should ensure you have the travel documents (including visas and vaccination certificates) required. Advice for UK passport holders can be found at www.fco.gov.uk/knowledgebeforeyougo.

Insurance: You are strongly advised to ensure you have appropriate insurance. This should cover personal accident, medical expenses, repatriation, personal liability, loss of luggage or money, flight delay and cancellation insurance (by you or Legacy Tours). Also consider insuring against loss or damage to equipment you bring (e.g. camera, lenses and binoculars).

Note Legacy Tours are not ATOL bonded.

Health: While this is not a particularly strenuous trip participants need to have a reasonable level of fitness. Time will be spent in vehicles and walking birding sites. There will be a few early morning starts & meal times will vary. Please contact Legacy Tours (see below) if in any doubt about the required physical and mental fitness.

Participants should consider relevant vaccinations and medications. Please contact your medical practitioner well in advance of the tour’s departure as some medication must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. Helpful information can be found on government websites. For example the USA’s CDC Travel Health Website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/mexico. More general health and other information can be found on the British Government’s foreign travel advice website http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico.

Other information from Legacy Tours: for further information including reservations, baggage (amount & handling), tour materials, tour cancellations, refunds, release from liability, vaccinations and medications and insurance  please see Legacy Tours website (see below). If you are in any doubt please email: contact@legacy-tours.com

Bookings and terms & conditions: As noted above, the trip is operated by Legacy Tours and their terms and conditions apply to all bookings. Participants must book through Legacy’s website. Please visit their website at www.legacy-tours.com, click on registration form and complete as directed. A deposit of $ 500 per person applies.

Joint NBC/BOC/NHM meeting 17th September 2016

The club held a joint meeting with the British Ornithologists’ Club and the Natural History Museum, at the museum in London on 17 September 2016. Along with the Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), there were several brilliant talks by experts on Neotropical birds and their conservation.

The first talk was by Cristina Banks-Leite (Imperial College, London) who showed how the majority of Atlantic Forest species and their habitat can be preserved for a considerably less than is currently spent on agricultural subsidies in Brazil. (Click here to see the presentation). NBC Council member Dr Alexander Lees outlined what he called the ‘Shortfalls in Brazilian ornithology’. Alex showed how gaps in our knowledge of different facets of biodiversity — the Darwinian, Linnean, Wallacean, Hutchinsonian, Prestonian, Raunkiaeran and Eltonian shortfalls respectively — can influence conservation priority setting in space and time (Click here to see the presentation). Raymond Jeffers (Neotropical Bird Club) gave details of the Club’s past and future fundraising trips, which have collectively visited swathes of the Neotropics.

The Club then held its’s AGM, during which members approved the Club’s 2015 account (for which see tinyurl.com/NBC2015Accounts). After a lunch break, Thomas Donegan (Fundación ProAves de Colombia) used mathematical modelling to test avian speciation in Colombia and then applied it to highlight potential new splits (Click here to see the presentation). Fabrice Schmitt (Sunbird/WINGS) gave details of an expedition to find White-masked Antbird Pithys castaneus that nearly failed—but ended up discovering  a new population of this Near Threatened near Peruvian endemic (Click here to see the presentation). The meeting was bought to a close by Dr Nigel Collar (BirdLife International) who explained the process by which he and Josep del Hoyo (Lynx Edicións) had produced the HBW–BirdLife Checklist of the Birds of the World (Click here to see the presentation).

Published accounts for 2015

The 2015 accounts which were approved at the 2016 AGM on 17th September during the meeting at the Flett Lecture Theatre in the British Museum of Natural History, London can be viewed here

NBC Costa Rica tour

NBC Fundraising tour: Costa Rica (13 March to 5 April 2017)

“Costa Rica Complete” is a trip put together by our Corporate Sponsors Birding Ecotours. The tour plans to visit the Caribbean slope, the highlands and the Pacific slope of one of Middle America’s most bird-rich countries. Target birds will include Snowcap and Resplendent Quetzal together with other endemic and range-restricted species plus representatives of colourful Neotropical families such as hummingbirds, trogons, toucans and tanagers. Birding Ecotours will make a donation to the NBC Conservation Awards Fund for each member who participates. So do think about helping NBC by joining this trip in 2017.

For the full itinerary, pricing and booking information: please see here.

Snowcap

Snowcap

Resplendent Quetzal

Resplendent Quetzal

NBC on Facebook

NBC now has its own Facebook Group, entitled Neotropical Bird Club. If you are a Facebook member, please join the group, post photos, and take part in discussions! Read more»

Back issues of Neotropical Birding

Due to overwhelming demand from both members and non-members, the NBC council has elected to make individual back issues of Neotropical Birding (for those years prior to the current year and last year) available for sale for £9 each. The price includes shipping and handling, and there is no limit on the number of issues you can order. If you’ve missed an issue or two — or if you’d like to share a past issue with a friend — now’s your chance! To place an order, click here.

Helping on Neotropical Birding

Now that Neotropical Birding is well established, we are looking to add new members to our editorial team. If you have ideas for articles that should be commissioned, a flair for design, an eye for an image and/or expertise in copy-editing, please e-mail us at: neotropical.birding@neotropicalbirdclub.org

Neotropical Notebook: Invitation to Submit Records

If you have significant records — new country records, first state records, range extensions and other noteworthy observations — that you are willing to share, we encourage you to submit them by e-mail to our editor, for publication in the Neotropical Notebook section of our next issue of Neotropical Birding. The deadlines are 31 October for our Spring issue, and 31 March for our Autumn issue, but we would welcome submissions at any time.

James Lowen – Senior Editor
E-mail: neotropical.birding@neotropicalbirdclub.org

Articles for Neotropical Birding

We are looking to commission articles for future issues of Neotropical Birding for our regular columns. If you:

  • have an idea for a feature on Neotropical birds;
  • want to share your experiences of birding at the cutting edge;
  • fancy telling birders about great birding sites;
  • would like to push back the frontiers of bird identification;
  • have advice on how readers can improve their Neotropical birding;
  • want to showcase high quality colour photos of rarer birds

Please discuss your idea with the editor at neotropical.birding@neotropicalbirdclub.org. Read more»

Gift Aid — Give More Without Giving More!

Are you a UK taxpayer? If so, have you filled out a Gift Aid form for the club yet? By doing so, you can increase the amount of your donation by 20% or more, at no additional cost to you. The government’s Gift Aid scheme allows registered charities like the Neotropical Bird Club to reclaim the basic tax rate (currently 20%) on the gross equivalent of your contribution. For every £10 you pay in subscriptions or donations, the club can claim £2.50. Though these amounts may seem small, they certainly add up; our recent Gift Aid claim netted £891.18 in additional funds! Help us to boost the club’s funds by sending your Gift Aid form today.