I was told by the tour organizer that the best lens would be a minimum 600mm so I cancelled the trips. I looked around for other tours and Guides in South Florida, no answers so I wanted to cancel Florida. But I had come to learn a lot about the Everglades during my search on internet and it is for sure looking like an exciting birding destination.
So I decided to go to Florida, rent a car and drive around Everglades by myself.
My original plan was to go birding in New York and at Niagara Falls after Florida. And as to find a Birding Guide in Florida was hard, impossible. But I found several Gides in Colorado. And Rocky Mountains sounds very exciting.
Colorado, the people seem very friendly and I was offered a lot of help and I found a Guide. Canada, and I found a Guide at Birdingpal for the area around Peterborough NW of Toronto.
So I will arrive to Miami, pick up my rented car and drive to Florida City. At least on the map it looks to be as far south you can come before Florida turns in to wilderness. A perfect place to start my daily bird watching adventures.
So my bird watching holiday will look like this: Florida - Colorado - Canada - New York and then back home. And you will be able to find out what birds I have seen just by follow the links below.
My plans were made in 2019
So I am off three years later, the Guide I had found in Peterborough, Canada is no longer available.
I wanted to cancel Peterborough but I decided to go anyway. I will rent a car for my stay in Canada so I can go check out the birding areas around Peterborough.
And also, the coast line between Peterborough and Toronto when going back south to Toronto.
I was in contact with a birding company in San Francisco, but now they are not available as they are going on a tour to Texas, A South Texas Adventure
I asked if they had any seats and I booked this tour. And I will fly via San Francisco where I will rent a car. Just stop for three days to look for Humming birds before going to Texas.
So, my UPDATED bird watching holiday will look like this: Florida - Colorado - San Francisco - Texas - Canada - New York and then back home.
To skip the information and to go straight to the TRIP REPORT click HERE
Please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html to see if you need a VISA. Maybe you are citizens of participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Then you may be eligible to visit the United States without a visa. Visits must be 90 days or less, and travellers must meet all requirements.
Travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel approval prior to travel and meet all requirements explained below.
In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, you must have authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a U.S. bound air or sea carrier. ESTA is a web-based system operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to determine eligibility to travel under the VWP to the United States for tourism or business. Visit the ESTA webpage on the CBP website for more information.
• AOT Limousine between my home and Bangkok International Airport
I recommend the AOT or any other taxi service if you are leaving early morning. The price per trip is 1200 Baht comparing to around 220 Baht + about 80 Baht road toll. But the taxi can easily be 1000 baht if you´re getting desperate when not finding a taxi.
Early morning flight and it can be a hassle to find a taxi that want to take you to the airport so I book AOT and the car wait for me outside my apartment.
Leaving Suvarnabhumi and AOT have desks in the luggage claim area, where I use to book my car while waiting for my luggage. There are also desks just outside the custom and you cannot miss them.
• Groome Transportation between Denver Airport and my hotel in Fort Collins and return
My Guide in Colorado recommended Groom Transportation when I booked my tour. I booked a two-way ticket with Groome Transportation 6 weeks in advance. it is quite convenient to book a shuttle on their web page https://groometransportation.com/ and I chose the airport, in this case Denver.
Destination and I chose a hotel in Fort Collins on the drop-down list. Of course, you don't need to stay at any of those hotels.
But I chose Best Western University Inn, Fort Collins and I booked the ticket. Just add flight number and arrival time and they suggest a time.
Same when you leave, hotel, flight number and time and they will pick you up at the hotel. And the price is 60US each way, it is OK, no need to bother with rented cars.
You can use Lyft in USA and Canada. They say that UBER is a little bit more expensive but maybe worth trying. I had problem with Lyft a couple of times. GPS position was not correct so when I ooked a car for the hotel, both me and the Driver had the same destination.
But we arrived to a totaly different adress. And drivers that came to the wrong pick-up point. Not speaking English etc. But most of the time it was working well and I went to several birding hotspots using Lyft when I did not have a rented car.
• Best Western University Inn, Fort Collins
My guide will book hotels for the nights when we are on tour.
I will go with Quetzal Tours and they will charge me 2700 US for a 5 days tour, this is 2019 prices. They asked if I wanted a refund when Covid hit, but I asked them to keep the money until the Covid debacle was over.
But to find a guide in Colorado was very easy, at least back when I planned for the trip. Many friendly people, and I was also surprised, birding pal is usually coming up with nothing, bet here was several answers.
Canon 5D Mk. III and Canon 5D Mk. IV
Canon EF 28-300/3,5-5,6 L IS USM
Canon EF 70-200/2,8L IS II USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT flash
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Panasonic HC-W585 video camera
ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder
ebird - Find birding hotspots with bird checklists from all over the world
Avibase - is an extensive database information system about all birds of the world, containing over 25 million records about 10,000 species and 22,000 subspecies of birds, including distribution information for 12,000 regions, taxonomy, synonyms in several languages
Cloudbirders - Read birding trip reports from all over the world
Fatbirder - Linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see their sister site: WAND
Fatbirder is a fantastic web page with information from, I think every country in the world. My first stop when I plan for my bird watching trips. There is information about locations and guides, well, pretty much everything you need to know. Sometimes this is the only place I need to visit to plan my trip.
BirdingPal - find a birding Guide around the world
And the web page you cannot live without. I have been around the world looking for birds. I usually have a Guide, but sometimes it is not possible to find a Guide. So, well, I have lost count on how many times I have had help to ID birds at BirdForum. Joining this forum have been very very good for my bird watching experience.
ClimaTemps.com is the place to learn about the worlds climates with more than 4000 locations documented. Each aspect of the climate is represented using colour enhanced tables and professional graphs so that data can easily be compared by switching between locations in different tabs in your browser.
AUDABON - Protecting waterbird populations has been part of Audubon’s mission even before the official establishment of the National Audubon Society. Outrage over the slaughter of millions of waterbirds, particularly egrets and other waders, for the millinery trade led to the foundation, by Harriet Hemenway and Minna B. Hall, of the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1896.
By 1898, state-level Audubon Societies had been established in Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Maine, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, and California.
In 1900, Audubon member Frank M. Chapman launched the first Christmas Bird Count – Audubon’s all-volunteer holiday census of early-winter bird populations – as an alternative to the traditional Christmas “Side Hunt,” in which hunters competed to kill as many birds (and mammals) as possible.
This is a great web page! A great rescourse for bird watchers with a lot of information and guides.
Outside your door, on your way to work, at the beach—birds are everywhere. Whether you're a beginner looking for your first pair of binoculars or an experienced birder in search of identification tips, we have it all here for you. So go on, start exploring.
To reach the BIRDING you just choose GET OUTSIDE from the drop menu. Choose BIRDING and you reach the page with the below topics to choose from:
• How to Start Birding
• What You Need
• Identifying Birds
• In the Field
• Backyard Birding
• The Birdist’s Rules of Birding
Bird Watcher's Digest - A birding magazine with an interesting web page. Click the link EXPLORE - BIRDING BY REGION - then choose a state for information about pretty much everything you can wish for..
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America - National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition is a great guide. In my review of the fifth edition I qualified my recommendation, especially for owners of a prior edition. Not so with the sixth – it belongs in every birder’s library! From beginner to expert, it will be useful to any birder. And for those interested in geographic variation, it is a must."
– Grant McCreary (29-12-2011), read the full review at The Birder's Library
National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
• Alltrails web page: Best Bird Watching Trails in Fort Collins - Explore the most popular bird watching trails near Fort Collins with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
• The Fort Collins Audubon Society offers free birding field trips throughout the year. And, The Nature Conservancy’s 1,700-acre Phantom Canyon Preserve, located 30 miles northwest of Fort Collins, is open to the public only through The Nature Conservancy guided hikes and volunteer outings, which include birding hikes. Phantom Canyon is home to an estimated 100-plus species.
Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 330 million visitors every year.
National Park Service - WOW !! And I mean WOW !! This is something I have not seen since New Zealand. What a page! All about the National Parks in USA. Chose a state from a map and a list of the National Parks are coming up. I clicked on Colorado and I had so much information about the visitor centres, trails and just about everything.
National Park Service's web page have interesting information about Rocky Mountain National Park. Rocky Mountain National Park's 415 square miles (265,807 acres) encompasses a spectacular range of mountain environments.
From meadows found in the montane life zone to glistening alpine lakes and up to the towering mountain peaks, there is something for everyone to discover. Along the way explore over 300 miles of hiking trails and incredible wildlife viewing.
Grounded in world-class science and technology– and rooted in communities–the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service connects people to nature and to each other. As a Federal agency in service to the American people, the Forest Service cares for shared natural resources in ways that promote lasting economic, ecological, and social vitality. In doing this, the agency supports nature in sustaining life.
Headquarters are located in Fort Collins, Colorado with district offices in Boulder, Fort Collins, Idaho Springs, Granby and Ault, Colorado.
• And of course, eBird. As I am only spending a day in Fort Collins I picked a couple of eBird hotspots.
Places to visit
• Fort Collins
- eBird hotspot: Ft. Collins City Park and Sheldon Lake
- eBird hotspot: Grandview Cemetery
- eBird hotspot: Colorado State University campus
• Rocky Mountain National Park
• Pawnee National Grasslands
• Pawnee Buttes
• Town of Wray and Greater Prairie-Chicken lek in the evening.
I never use any bird lists, but since I try to make it in to Cloudbirders. A very helpful site when planning your birding trips. But they ask for a bird checklist, and if I use their service, of course I want to contribute as well. My two first bird watching trip reports was rejected by Cloudbirders.
So I started to take ideas from the reports I found on Cloudbirders. So I have started to use bird lists, eBird generate one for me and I can post it on Cloudbirders. I will post my birds on eBird and on my different “BIRDS THAT I HAVE OBSERVED” pages.
Check lists can come in handy to find out the local name of the bird etc. And Avibase have a list with pictures and sounds, excellent!
So I will post bird checklists here and if my Guides provide me with checklists I will also post them here.
Rocky Mountains bird checklist from Avibase, click HERE
Avibase is providing you with bird checklists from all over the world. And I´m impressed by their web page. Select country and area and you get the bird checklist. Like the PDF files I got from Avibase on the links above. You also get the checklist with pictures and sounds.
The best part is that you get the local names of the birds and the online checklist gives the names in English plus the language you have selected. But it seems like the PDF cannot handle some alphabet.
For example the Japanese language so it is blank in the PDF checklist. But it worked excellent with Ethiopian. But you get them in the local language on the online version.
See My eBird checklists and the DAY TO DAY report in the itinerary below.
I have decided to use the eBird Life List function instead of doing my own time-consuming Life List. I discovered eBird Trip Report in April 2023 during my bird watching in North America, a new function that I now do for my bird watching trips.
And as this working beautifully I decided to use their Life List function and I will save hundreds of hours doing my own lists.
Pictures and location available by clicking the links in the pdf document. If you are using eBird you should be familiar with how it works.
Click on the below links for daily bird watching reports:
Day 1: 5th of April 2023 - Bird watching in Fort Collins by myself - Changed plan, my Guide will pick me up. We had been out looking for bird yesterday evening and we decided to look for birds today Estes Park to go look for the endangered Brown-capped Rosy-Finch. Big Thompson Canyon, Masonville Valley west of Fort Collins including Sunrise Ranch/Glade Reservoir.
Day 2: 6th of April 2023 - Pick up from Fort Collins, awnee National Grassland/eastern plains/ Wray Prairie Chicken Lek (Bledsoe Cattle Farm). Lodging at Cobblestone Inn at Wray, Colorado
Day 3: 7th of April 2023 - Greater Prairie-Chicken lek. Loveland Pass for White-tailed Ptarmigan.Lodging at Silverthorne, Colorado
Day 4: 8th of April 2023 - Loveland Pass for White-tailed Ptarmigan. Drive to North Park via Poudre Canyon. Lodging at North Park Inn, Walden, Colorado.
Day 5: 9th of April 2023 - Greater Sage Grouse lek at Coalmont. Return to Fort Collins via Denver with birding stops. Lodging in Fort Collins, Colorado
Since April 2023 eBird offer a new feature, to create Trip Reports. At least this is when I first heard of this feature and I have decided to make the eBird Trip Reports instead of my list of OBSERVED birds.
And of course, this also means that I will HAVE TO go back and do the same for my old birding adventures, WHEN I HAVE THE TIME!
Today's Trip Report: Colorado birding with Quetzal Tours - 4 April to 11 April 2023 | Click HERE
Icons for lifers used in the eBird trip reports
Species lifer: First time that someone observes a species in their life
Photo lifer: First time that someone photographs a species in their life
Audio lifer: First time that someone audio records a species in their life
Exotic species flags differentiate locally introduced species from native species.
Naturalized: Exotic population is self-sustaining, breeding in the wild, persisting for many years, and not maintained through ongoing releases (including vagrants from Naturalized populations). These count in official eBird totals and, where applicable, have been accepted by regional bird records committee(s).
Provisional: Either: 1) member of exotic population that is breeding in the wild, self-propagating, and has persisted for multiple years, but not yet Naturalized; 2) rarity of uncertain provenance, with natural vagrancy or captive provenance both considered plausible.
When applicable, eBird generally defers to bird records committees for records formally considered to be of "uncertain provenance". Provisional species count in official eBird totals.
Escapee: Exotic species known or suspected to be escaped or released, including those that have
bred but don't yet fulfill the criteria for Provisional. Escapee exotics do not count in official eBird totals.