Sunday, December 1, 2013

Next five years

May 2019 Turkey/Cyprus (& UK) 2
Sep 2019 Ethiopia/Coromos/Mayotte 7 (9)
Apr 2020 Texas 2 (11)
Sep 2020 Lesser Sundas and S Moluccas c8 (19)
May 2021 Sumatra or N Moluccas or Japan & Palu c8 (27)

Turkey/Cyprus UK

Direct Delta-Heathrow Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat, arrive next day d513pm a1110am.
Return Sun, Wed, Fri and Sat d1230p a313p same day

Stanstead to Antalya direct Tue (720a-1320p), Wed (1535-2140p), Thu (1410-2015) Sat and Sun (both same as Wed) Thomas Cook
Return to Stanstead direct Thu, Sat, Sun, Tue w Thomas Cook (Tui also on Saturday)

Antalya to Ecran on Pegasus. Daily at 645am, Tue (also 1630), Thu (also 1015), Fri (also 12:00 & 18:55) Sat also 14:55 and Sun also 10:00

Can fly Ecran via Istanbul with early departure on Pegaus, getting into Stanstead around noon.
Possible May 25-Jun 9 (b/c of Memorial day would be 70 hour PTO) Or could go over Jul 4 ?
Sat d PDX
Sun Arrive UK
Mon-Sat UK
Sun PM direct flight to Antalya
Mon Turkey
Tue Brown Fish owl
Wed AM Flight Cyprus
Thu Cyprus
Fri AM flight to Stanstead
Sat Fi's
Sun PM flight home.

Ethiopian dep Tue, Thu and Sat Chicago 955am
return Wed, Fri and Sun  1015pm
Ethiopian (Check) dep Tue, Thu and Sat 910am-1420 to Moroni (via DES)
returns same days d1520 a 2020

AB Aviation has good flight system
Moroni to Moheli is daily (also 4 speedboats daily from the south of Grand Comore (Chindini)
From Moehli would either go back to Moroni or take a speedboat direct to Anjouan)
From Moroni to Anjouan there is a ferry (SGMT) on Tue and Sun at 11am that takes about 5 hours. AB also has daily flights
From Anjouan there is a ferry (SGMT) on Wed and Sun at noon that takes about 5 hours. AB also has flights (every day except Tue and Wed)
To return to Moroni AB has flights every day except Tue and Wed

Fri  red eye to Chicago after work 
Sat CHI- d955am 
Sun ADD a 740a drive to Bale Mtn (8 hours?)
Mon Bale 
Tue Bale
Wed Bale to ADD (8 hours)
Thu ADD-Moroni (d0910-a1420 via DES)
Fri Moroni 
Sat  Moroni -Moheli  daily w AB (or speedboat)
Sun  Moheli  
Mon Moheli-Mayotte w AB (5 days/wk, not Tue or Wed)
Tue   Mayotte
Wed  Mayotte
Thu  Mayotte-Anjouan w AB (5 days/wk, not Tue or Wed)
Fri  Anjouan 
Sat  Anjouan-Moroni  daily w AB d900-a930am,  Moroni-ADD  (d1520-a2020 via DES)
Sun Nairobi-ADD- d 1015pm                                        
Mon-CHI a 755am -PDX

Ethiopian stuff:

Measho Legesse
Abiy works as a free-lance guide for a number of different companies, and can also be contacted directly (
Merid Gabremichael of Birding Abyssinia
Elias Bayou (David's guide)

Melka Ghuba (Dawa River)

This site is on the way from Negele to Yabello and often visited shortly by visiting birders. We arrived somewhat late and had difficulties finding all targets. Hence we decided to spend an extra half day here. We camped in a backyard of one the shops in this small village. Again, the local people asked for entrance fee / tourist tax. Once arranged, people were most friendly and not obtrusive.

The stretch between Bulbul and Hudat offers some good acacia birding, but we concentrated on the area near Melka Ghuba. Next to a communication tower there is a dirt track (4.87067916617, 39.3172396084) that leads to the river (where people get their water). This area was very rewarding.

We also explored the classic site, being on the other side of the bridge. Just past the bridge there is a dirt track to the right (4.864287, 39.317107). We followed this to the end and wandered around in that area. Later on we tried our luck on the other side of the main road (left at the bridge) which worked out fine with a Pel's Fishing Owl as the surprise of the trip!

Highlights: Juba Weaver (2 birds near the river - 4.8698026, 39.307501), White-winged Collared Dove (easily heard and seen in the morning and evening, rather quiet during the heat of the day; later on we also found one bird in the next village), Yellow-vented Eremomela (after some searching we found up to 5 birds in the acacia scrub), Black-bellied Sunbird (on both days a few seen, 6 in total), Pel's Fishing Owl (a nice surprise! a single bird flushed from its day roost near the river - 4.8640351, 39.320298), Black-faced Sandgrouse (50+ flying overhead near the river), Magpie Starling (on both days, 7 birds in total),Shelley's Starling (daily good numbers), Somali Crombec (a single bird), Acacia Tit (a few).

Bishangari Lodge has African scops and wood owls

Palau and Philippines
Apr Palau owl, Mindoro Scops and Mindanao boobook

Japan and Palau for the endangered Blakiston's (while they have a regular location) and Palau owls. Philippines and either Taiwan or Malaysia/Thailand to pursue the missed Philippine owls.

1. PDX-Addis (approx $1800 return)
2. Addis to Bale Mountains (8hr) (Abyssinian owl, African scops, Mackinder's,  African wood)
3. Bale Mountains
4. Bale Mountains*
5. Bale Mountains to Addis (8hr). Addis to Awash** NP (3hr) (Ethiopian Little owl, African scops owl)
6. Awash NP
7. Awash NP
8. Awash to Addis (3hr). Addis to Mombasa (c250 via Nairobi), taxi to Sokoke (Sokoke scops, African wood owl, African barred owlet)
9. Sokoke
10. Malindi-Mombasa (2 hours by bus), Mombasa-Tanga 4 hours by bus
11. Tanga-Pemba fly $95 (daily afternoon) (Pemba scops owl)
12. Pemba-Tanga-Amani NR 4 hours by bus (Usumbara eagle owl, Sokoke scops and African wood owl)
13. Amani-Nairobi, 698km
14. rtn home

African scops, Spotted eagle and southern white-faced owl are also possible. (All occur at Tsavo East for example)

*Public Transportation (8 hours):

Buses leave from the Mercato bus station where you are advised to purchase your tickets the day before you plan to travel. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket windows located behind the bus parking lot. To locate the specific ticket window, listen for people calling for either Goba or Robe. Buses are divided into three levels, with Level 1 being the most comfortable, and Level 3 the least. Ticket prices reflect the level, but average around 150 Birr each way.

Buses are scheduled to leave at 6am although they don’t always leave on time. You are advised to arrive around an hour before departure. Buses stop for a brief lunch break. If your destination is Dinsho, you must call werage (rhymes with garage) once you have reached town, and the bus driver will stop to let you off. Dinsho is the first substantial town after passing through the mountains. The entrance to the park is at the top of the hill on the outer reaches of town.

Getting Around

Minibuses leave Dinsho from the center of the main road in town (unless it is a market day when larger buses pass through). There may be a wait, and a “broker” may put you on a list for when the minibus arrives to guarantee you a seat. They may ask for payment in return; 5 Birr is sufficient. Buses go to the Robe bus station, and from there other buses leave for Goba, Shashemene, Adaba, Agarfa, Dodola and further afield. Bus destinations are identified by attendants who call out names of towns and cities. Travel time between Robe and Dinsho is about 40 minutes, and between Robe and Goba only about 15 minutes.

If you are travelling with a lot of bags or large bags, they may be tied to the top of the vehicle and you may be charged a fee of 2-5 Birr per bag. When taking public transportation, it is strongly advised to start early in the day as schedules are highly unpredictable. Travel on large market days is usually much smoother as more buses are traveling between towns. Hitchhiking is not recommended.
** Little owl occurs between the campsite and the lodge
Madagascar and East Africa
1. PDX-Nairobi
2. Nairobi-Thompson Falls, 185km, (Mackinder's Eagle owl)
3. Thompson Falls-Lake Baringo, 157km,  (African scops owl and Spotted eagle owl)
4. Lake Baringo-Kakamega, 231km, (African wood owl, red-chested owlet and African grass owl)
5. Kakamega
6. Kakamega-Nairobi, 348km, Midday flight to Malindi, taxi to Sokoke (Sokoke scops, African wood owl, African barred owlet)
7. Sokoke
8. Malindi-Mombasa (2 hours by bus)
9. Mombasa-Tanga 4 hours by bus
10. Tanga-Pemba fly $95 (daily afternoon) (Pemba scops owl)
11. Pemba-Tanga-Amani NR 4 hours by bus (Usumbara eagle owl, Sokoke scops and African wood owl)
12. Amani-Nairobi, 698km

Blakinson's fish owl
Mindoro Scops
Mindanao hawk-owl
Japanese scops owl
Oriental scops
Rykuyu Scops owl

.Pryer's scops
Rykuyu hawk owl
Northern boobook

Togakushi has Oriental and Japanese scops and northern boobook. To get there take a shinkasen (1 1/2 hr) from Tokoyo to Nagano, and then a frequent hourly bus to Togakushi.
Okinawa has Rykuyu scops, Pryer's scops and Rykuyu hawk owl. the two scops occur at Kin reservoir in the center of the island and the hawk owl and Pryer's scops occur at Kijoka in the north of the island. A rental car would be the best way to get around. Good info on Okinawa
Mt Halcon is the location for Mindoro scops.
PICOP is the location for Mindanao hawk owl.
Possibly could add Taiwan for Lanyu scops, himalayan wood owl, collared scops and Oriental scops (Dasyueshan Forest)

2 MNL-Mt H
3 Mt H
9 OK
10 OK
15 HOK

2 Tawny fish-owl
3 Mountain scops and Himalayan Tawny
4 Collared scops
5 Lanyu Scops
6 Lanyu Scops
8 OK
9 OK
14 HOK

Highway 18 runs past Alishan up to the visitors centre (with increasing km markers). At the visitorscentre the road changes to Highway 21 (with decreasing km markers thereafter) as it winds its waydown into the Toroko Gorge. We had Mikado Pheasant (male) at km 94 on Highway 18 on twoconsecutive days (at 1600hrs) and we had two Chinese (Taiwan) Tawny Owls between km 91.5 and93.5 also on Highway 18 (bathing in puddles). We also had Chinese (Taiwan) Tawny Owls around thevisitors centre. 
 Asia in Jan or Feb 2015

Japanese scops owl
Blakinson's fish-owl
Singapore scops
Reddish Scops
White-fronted scops
Oriental bay owl
Collared scops
Brown fish owl
Oriental scops
Tawny fish owl

Rausu in NE Hokkaido has reliable Blakinson's fish owl. Best to fly from Tokyo to Kushiro, then rent a car and drive 4 hours to Rausu. (Or take a bus).
Sime Forest, Bukit Timah, Alexandra Hill, Bukit Brown, Palau Ubin, Sungei Buloh, Bukit Batok and Pasir Ris in Singapore is a good location for Singapore Scops.
Panti forest reserve Oriental bay owl and reddish scops owl, near southern Malaysia. 21KM N of Kota Tinggni, which is 41 km north of Johor Bahru-about 2 hours from Singapore. From Johor Bahru it's possible to fly affordably via KL to BKK.
Or Taman Negara (Oriental scops Nov-Mar) or Negeri Sembilan (Malaysia) for Reddish scops owl. Taman Negara-4 hour from JB to KL, 4 hour from KL to Jerantut.
Krabi occasionally has brown fish owl
Kaeng Krachan (West Thailand) has bay owl, white-fronted scops, oriental scops, collared scops. Also has brown fish owl-but probably not easy. Hourly buses to Phetchaburi (2hours), from Bangkok then 52km to park, takes about 2 hours.
Khao Yai has brown fish owl and collared scops
Nam Nao national park (Central Thailand) brown fish owl. Three daily flights from Bankok to Khon Kaen, or 6-7 hour by bus or 8 hours by train. Hours buses to the park (2 1/2 hours).
Preng Veng, Cambodia has brown fish owl and collared scops owl
Nam Bai Cat Tien national park, just north of Saigon has brown fish owl. Best to reserve accomodation and avoid weekends and holidays. Take a Dalat bound bus and get off at Park entrance, then 24km by bike. Total time from HCMC c 4hours. A visa is required to enter Vietnam.

Note fly into Tokyo. Fly from Tokyo return to Hokkaido. Then fly Tokyo to Singapore, travel overland to Saigon, then fly from Saigon to Tokyo. This trip works best if can purchase discount tickets between Tokyo and SE Asia.

pdx-Quito $650
Mindo for cloud forest pygmy
Near Quito for Andean pygmy
Amazon for Northern tawny bellied
fly Quito to Galapagos for $450, plus $100 permit for Galapagos barn and short-eared owl
Fly Quito to Guatemala for Guatemalan pygmy $720