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Birdfinders website is consistently the highest ranked British birdwatching holiday company on Fatbirder's 'Birding Top 1000' thanks to its regular updates on tour availability, news items and photo galleries, from both the tour leaders and tour participants

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11th September 2021

Birdfinders is now affiliated with Natural History Book Shop

To search through their superb selection of books click below

Birdfinders slideshow


This is the eighteenth in our marathon series of updates. Sadly, the recent government travel update has been of no help at all for the travel industry and with Covid19 rates in the UK substantially higher than most of the countries on the amber and even red lists it really makes no sense to encourage holidays to high Covid19 areas of the UK but not to countries with far better statistic. ‘Following the science’ certainly seems to have gone out of the window! From September 7 Canada will reopen for fully-vaccinated British visitors but not the US yet. With India added to the amber list and travel via red-listed Qatar and UAE now permitted without quarantine this opens up a number of our tours from November onwards including two tours to the Goa and South India (brought forward from next year) before the end of the year. We are accepting bookings for all tours without deposits for the time being and whilst it is possible to run tours to destinations like Gambia and Ghana which are on the amber list, the government prevents us from doing so as it is against Foreign Office advice so you will not be covered by travel insurance. We will not be running tours to red-listed countries and unfortunately, most countries on the green lists are not accepting tourists.

International travel for leisure was permitted from 17 May under a ‘traffic light’ system but the rules are changing frequently and countries are being moved between categories at short notice. Legally, travel to ALL countries is permitted BUT under different restrictions as per full list of red, amber and green countries can be found on the following link:

Red, amber and green list rules for entering England

Any tours which we do run will almost certainly need proof that you have been double-vaccinated and/or have a negative Covid-19 PCR test within a certain timescale (often between 48 and 120 hours). Many Boots the Chemist branches are offering Covid-19 PCR tests with a 48-hour turnaround for £85:

In-store COVID-19 PCR Testing Service.

And a company called Randox (we have used them and they are reliable) are offering a similar service with a 24-hour turnaround for £43 and an ‘amber’ travel package including days 2 and 8 testing for £86 by putting in the discount code BritishAirways43 at checkout:

In Clinic/Travel Centre PCR Testing.

Costs of tests are however, continually falling. PCR-type Covid-19 tests are also required from your destination country not more than 72 hours before departure for re-entry to the UK in all categories and the cost of these will vary locally but are invariably cheaper than in the UK. You will also need to complete a Passenger locator form.

Vaccination data has already being uploaded to peoples’ NHS Apps so we strongly recommend that you download this app to your smart phones if you don’t already have it. At the present time there is no international standard of proof that you have been vaccinated but we believe that the NHS app is the way forward. Regarding Travel Insurance, most companies are now offering cover including if you catch Covid-19 before you travel, are advised by your doctor not to travel for health reasons, test positive abroad and need hospital treatment but you will need to check your policy wording carefully. What will NOT be covered is if the Foreign Office changes which category the destination country is in prior to travel (i.e. changed to ‘amber’ or ‘red’ lists) OR the country you are due to visit goes into lock down. You will note however, that travel insurance costs (including our own Gold Cover) have risen substantially in views of the risks involved.

Like all responsible birdwatching tour companies, we are keeping our clients as up-to-date as possible but with no help from the government. We are receiving an unprecedented level of interest in our 2022 tours which is encouraging although demand may exceed availability for some destinations especially as sadly, some of our friends in other bird tour companies are no longer operating. Whatever happens, you can be assured that when we can all start travelling again, BIRDFINDERS will continue to be there for you offering the best of birdwatching tours. Of our tours, there is presently only one, Isles of Scilly 16–23 October definitely running as scheduled before the end of October but subsequently other destinations may be opening up. A further update will be issued before the end of September.

Welcome to Birdfinders, one of Britain's most successful birdwatching holiday companies: run by birders for birders. We've been in business since 1993 and have been growing and adding to our birdwatching tours list every year since. We offer exceptional value birdwatching holidays to locations around the world, so stop wishing, start packing!

Latest tour news New tour reports



The extraordinary island of New Guinea supports most of the world’s 50 plus species of birds-of-paradise with the majority of these found in the eastern part in Papua New Guinea. With improved infrastructure this destination is less physically demanding than in the past and we will enjoy excellent views of a number of them including the spectacular Raggiana Bird-of-paradise as well as bowerbirds, parotias, manucodes, riflebirds and sicklebills.

Visit ten small Caribbean islands with around thirty endemic species and forty-five Caribbean specialties on this adventurous new tour. We will be looking for endemic parrots, tremblers, thrashers and hummingbirds amid stunning scenery ranging from volcanoes, mountains, lush rainforests and azure seas in this chain stretching between Puerto Rico in the north to Trinidad and Tobago in the south, all in warm winter sunshine.

Raggiana Bird-of-paradise
White-breasted Thrasher

Birdfinders was founded by Vaughan Ashby in 1993 and has been growing ever since. Recent years have seen amazing growth despite the world economic downturn. We run excellent value and well priced tours to locations around the world and get a lot of repeat business from satisfied customers as well as new customers joining us after they discover what good value Birdfinders is and how good and bird-filled our tours are.

With Birdfinders you get:

At Birdfinders we cater to all levels of ability and enthusiasm is more important than knowledge as our experienced leaders are always on hand to assist. Although all of our birdwatching holidays and birdwatching tours are designed specifically for finding birds, we stop wherever possible for other forms of wildlife and previous tour participants have been able to combine birds with their interests in mammals, butterflies, plants, insects etc. Furthermore, whilst the very nature of birdwatching dictates some early-morning starts to ensure that we see as many species as possible, we can frequently arrange for participants to take time off to relax or sightsee, providing that does not conflict with the itinerary of the tour.

All participants in Birdfinders tours will receive, in advance of the tour, a copy of a previous tour report (where available) or, a few weeks after returning, a copy of the current tour report (if a new tour). To keep costs down tour reports are not originated every year. However, currently we have nearly 200 tour reports, in pdf format, available on our website. We also have a list of photos from our tours – now nearly 9000 images!

Participants also receive in advance a blank daily bird checklist for the tour, together with an information letter detailing helpful advice such as health requirements, what to bring, recommended reading, etc. At the end of each tour, a feedback form is provided so that tours can constantly be improved.

We can also arrange customised tours to selected countries. See our Custom Tours page or contact us. Also, keep an eye on our Future Tours page to see where we're planning on going to next.

We look forward to welcoming you on one of our tours in the near future.

Vaughan and Svetlana Ashby and the Birdfinders team

Ornithological Society of the Middle East logo African Bird Club logo Neotropical Bird Club logo

Birdfinders is a Corporate Member of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East. Many of our tours visit countries in the OSME region: Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel in Spring, Israel in Autumn, Kazakhstan, UAE, Kuwait in Winter and Kuwait in Spring and Uzbekistan. Join Birdfinders on one of our bird-filled tours in this exciting region.

Birdfinders is pleased to be a Corporate Sponsor of the African Bird Club. Birdfinders runs ten tours to Africa and Madagascar, south of the Sahara, along with four in the Western Palearctic plus two to islands off the African coast: Maderia and The Canaries. Join Birdfinders on one of our superb trips to this amazing continent.

Birdfinders has become a Corporate Sponsor of the Neotropical Bird Club. We have 14 tours to the neotropical area of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Join Birdfinders on one of our fantastic trips to this bird-filled part of the world.


Birdfinders is one of the few bird tour companies including flights with all of its tours and we are pleased to advise you that we will continue to include flights going forward. Because of the unpredictability of flight costs for future tours however, unfortunately, we will have to reserve the right to pass on potential additional flight costs to you. When international flights return to anything resembling normality, some predict that costs will rise due to reduced availability; others predict that, initially at least, costs will fall to encourage us back into the air. At this stage, we simply don’t know which of these predictions will come to pass. We have therefore had to estimate the flight costs for all of our 2022 tours. If the actual cost of the flights is more than 25% higher than our estimate, you will have the option to pay the additional cost or withdraw from the tour without penalty. Equally, if we secure the flights for 25% or more below our estimated price, we will deduct the difference from your final invoice. We believe that this is the fairest way to operate all of our tours from now until the end of 2022, when we will hopefully have a clearer idea of “the new normal” for flight prices. Also, f you book late for a tour, it is likely that you will need to pay a flight supplement as prices generally tend to increase nearer to departure.


Click here for the species in our slideshow

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All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

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Victory HT

2021 calendar

Our 2021 calendar is available to download (39Mb), click here

The Birds of Pamirs, Hissar, Alai and Tien Shan book cover

A superb new book from our friend Sergei A. Toropov The Birds of Pamirs, Hissar, Alai and Tien Shan. Vol. 1. Non-passerines. Part 1

Birdwater's Yearbook cover

The Birdwatcher's Yearbook 2021 – from Calluna Books, the Dorset-based business owned by Neil Gartshore, a leader for Birdfinders.

Jankowski's Bunting

Help save the critically endangered Jankowski's Bunting – donate here. Birdfinders will be donating £5 for every client booked on any of our China tours in 2013 and future years. Birdfinders' donations to this vital appeal now stand at over £4900!


Birdfinders and our clients have now contributed £55,995 to the World Land Trust for environmental projects and in doing so have balanced the equivalent of over 1880 tonnes of GHG emissions. And we have good news – the money donated by Birdfinders' and raised through Birdfinders' tour participants has helped save the endangered Clarke’s Weaver, Sokoke Scops-owl (below) and Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew, all resident in Kenya's threatened Sokoke woodland. Click here for details.

Sokoke Scops-owl

Click here to see how you can help support this important work. Click here to view our latest certificate presented to us by the World Land Trust.