Back from South Africa

We've just returned from guiding three wonderful trips to South Africa. Each was unique, with personalized itineraries, great birds, incredible wildlife, fun people, and many fantastic experiences. We'll add photos and trip reports in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! Next year's South Africa trip, 15-31 October 2018, is guaranteed to run and there are a few spaces remaining. Check out the tour details here and don't hesitate to contact us with questions or to get a customized itinerary for you and your friends. 

Here's a photo of one of our recent groups looking at the rare Short-clawed Lark near Magoebaskloof, Limpopo Province.

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Red Hill Birding is off and running!

We're just back from two wonderful CAPE MAY MIGRATION MADNESS trips, the first two "official" Red Hill Birding trips! They were great trips, if we do say so ourselves. We had awesome raptors, shorebirds, and saltmarsh birds, though passerine migration wasn't quite as "mad" as we hoped for. We'll be posting additional photos and trip reports for both trips later. Here's a photo of a Merlin from a spectacular Merlin and kestrel day on the first tour in the meantime. 

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Many more trips added!

We've added itineraries and trip details for a number of trips, especially in late 2018 and early 2019. Check out our Minnesota in Winter tour in February 2018, Best of South Africa trip in October 2018, Chicago: Birds & Architecture tour in fall 2018, Cape May: Migration Madness in fall 2018, and Texas: Hill Country & Big Bend in April 2019.

We've added photo galleries to most of those pages, too. And there's still plenty more to come!

South African Shelduck, which we see on our South Africa tours and Namibia & Botswana tours. Photo by Josh Engel.

South African Shelduck, which we see on our South Africa tours and Namibia & Botswana tours. Photo by Josh Engel.

Bhutan tour details added!

We are very excited to have added a Bhutan tour page, which includes a link to the trip details for our November 2018 Bhutan tour. It's a spectacular country at a spectacular time of year. And, of course, the birds are amazing! One of the top Bhutanese birding guides, Norbu (who, like many Bhutanese, goes by one name), will be our host and will accompany us for the trip. Red Hill Birding founder Josh Engel first met him on Josh's first trip to Bhutan in 2008. And even though this is a birding trip (White-bellied Heron! Black-necked Crane! Rufous-necked Hornbill! Himalayan Monal!), we always find time in Bhutan to take in some of its unique and beautiful temples and other cultural sites. Also be sure to check out our Bhutan photo gallery on the tour page. 

One of many lovely lunch spots along the road in Bhutan. Photo by Josh Engel. 

One of many lovely lunch spots along the road in Bhutan. Photo by Josh Engel. 

Announcing Panama with the Illinois Ornithological Society!

We are very excited to announce our collaboration with the Illinois Ornithological Society--Panama 2018! This trip will take in the very best of Panamanian birding. The main tour, 26 June-5 July, 2018, will take in Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge, two of Panama's finest birding lodges. We will have top local guides to take us to the best birding locations in the lowlands around the Panama Canal and in the foothills of El Valle de Anton, where we expect to see a wonderful range of tropical birding, including toucans, motmots, mannakins, antbirds, and many, many more. 

The trip's extension (5-11 July) takes in the remote Darien of eastern Panama, home to Choco endemics and Harpy Eagle. We will have five nights in the stunning Canopy Camp to explore the remote lowland forests of this region, including a full day to search for the world's biggest raptor. 

This tour stays entirely in comfortable lodges, the food is delicious, and the logistics are easy. There are direct flights to Panama City from Chicago. The trip is great both as an introduction to the Neotropics and for veterans of the region. We hope to see you there! 

Illinois Ornthithological Society Shorebird Weekend

We had a great time leading trips at the Illinois Ornithological Society's Shorebirding Weekend! The event was centered around Emiquon and Lake Chautauqua National Widllife Refuges, some of the Midewest's most important shorebird stopover sights.  In total, we found an amazing 23 species of shorebirds (including a vagrant Ruff!), wonderful company, and a great event. A personal highlight for us was leading the Big Sit at the Lake Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge Crossdike--there's nothing quite like picking a good spot with loads of birds and seeing what comes to you. And it was great to promote our IOS-sponsored Panama tour that is coming up next June! We'll see you there again next year!

The Big Sit. We found 49 species in 2.5 hours, including 15 species of shorebirds. Slow birding like this is a great learning experience! (That mass of white on the right side of the photos is hundreds and hundreds of American White Pelicans.) Photo by Amanda Zeigler. 

The Big Sit. We found 49 species in 2.5 hours, including 15 species of shorebirds. Slow birding like this is a great learning experience! (That mass of white on the right side of the photos is hundreds and hundreds of American White Pelicans.) Photo by Amanda Zeigler.