“Dear Steve. I just wanted to say how much David and I enjoyed our discovery walk at Watlington Hill
and subsequently at the Warburg Nature Reserve yesterday.
From an awe-inspiring start to the day with so many sittings of Red Kites,
to encounters with butterflies and moths of every hue, exquisite orchids of many mantles,
a sea of bright yellow of many varieties from yellow rattle to St. John’s wort and birds foot trefoil;
aromatic tufts of marjoram and thyme underfoot, to the nanoscopic eye bright (which eluded my camera!)
It was a magical experience and a complete eye-opener for us.
Lovely to meet such a nice crowd of people too. With very grateful thanks and warmest regards”
Caroline & David Lloyd
Birds, Butterflies & Orchids of The Chilterns – June 2024


“Thank you for the trip report, it’s a great record of a thoroughly enjoyable few days.
I thought trip was well planned and certainly delivered all that I’d hoped for, and more besides.
Skomer itself was a fantastic experience, the close encounters with the Puffins an absolute delight!”
Ken Hudgell
Summer Seabirds of Pembrokeshire & Skomer Island – June 2024


“Thank you for the lovely trip report Steve,
you have put a lot of hard work into it and we always enjoy reading it
and mulling over happy memories.  
The Isle of Wight trip is one of our favourites as it covers such a wide variety,
A big thank you Steve for all the extra help and kindness you show Bill and I it is much appreciated.

You always go the extra mile to make sure we all see our targets.”
Rosie & Bill Perkins
Isle of Wight & Dorset Spring Wildlife Break – May 2024


“Thanks Steve for a brilliant trip – so many birds, butterflies, plants…
And a fab report and photos bringing back great memories.
Good to see Iolo visit Martin Down on Springwatch this week too.”
Liz Huxley
Isle of Wight & Dorset Spring Wildlife Break – May 2024


“Dear Steve and Annette. Thank you for a brilliant tour to The Camargue, what an amazing location.
The Flamingos were my favourite, however it was also the sheer number of other species
of birds and wildlife which made the tour so special.
With great scenery, accommodation, warm weather and company.
Thank you for my trip report which brings back happy memories of the tour.

As always can’t wait for my next Swallow Birding tour.”
Emma Robinson
Spring Delights of The Camargue, France – May 2024


“Thank you Steve and Annette for a great trip and will look forward to reading this Trip Report
and keeping it as a record of some very happy memories
The trip was a perfect balance for me and I really felt I learnt a lot”
Andrew Ducat
Birds & Butterflies of Greece & Bulgaria – May 2024


“Hi Steve and Annette.
As always, it was a memorable trip and certainly exceeded my expectations
when it came to the variety and number of birds and other wildlife that we saw.
Breaking up the journey by stopping at interesting places to birdwatch is an excellent
idea as it gives an opportunity to see even more habitats and different species.
The hotel on Mull was excellent and ideally located for our purposes.
Altogether a great tour and I thank you and everyone else for making it so enjoyable. See you again soon.”
David Wrycraft
Magical Mull – April 2024


“Hi Annette & Steve, Thank you for sending us the trip report for Mull,
great to look back on the species and variety of birds and mammals we saw along the way.

We cannot thank you enough for a really enjoyable trip,
brilliantly planned and superbly executed, you even arranged top notch weather!

The hotel on Mull was more than comfortable and with views that enthralled very morning of mountains and birds.
Steve’s knowledge and expert guiding made each day an adventure,
and there are many highlights we will remember for a long, long time; eagles and otters, puffins and gannets.
Not to forget the sounds of Great Northern divers calling on the Loch each day.

This was a fantastic experience and we look forward to another trip soon.”
Jacqui & Paul Everett
Magical Mull – April 2024


“Hi Annette & Steve. Many thanks for sending through the trip report,
it was great to catch up with all the activities of the tour and to recall so vividly all the different and fabulous species we saw.
It was a real delight to spend time with you both and the rest of the group on the tour, an experience of a lifetime!
Many thanks and kind regards.”
Kim & Paul Dawtrey
Costa Rica – Quetzals, Volcanoes & Hummingbirds – March 2024


“Hi Steve, Just a quick note to say thanks for yesterday at Minsmere which we really enjoyed.
It was good to meet up and chat with everyone and we managed to see a few lifers
(stone curlews, sandwich terns and bearded tits) which was exciting,
plus Mediterranean Gulls which we’ve probably seen but never identified. Cheers

Heather & Martin Maunders
Birding Day Trip – April 2024


“Dear Annette & Steve. Thank you for a truly memorable tour to Costa Rica
which was packed full of exciting experiences.

Each day brought so many wonderful sightings of beautiful birds,
fascinating mammals and insects and stunning flowers.

On the first day, the deluge of new birds was overwhelming,
and I felt certain that the Laughing Falcon would be one of my firm favourites of the visit.
But then we saw one amazing species after another such as Snowcap, Resplendent Quetzal,
Orange-collared Manakin, and the previous birds were almost but not quite forgotten!

Many thanks Annette, Steve, Alfredo, Freddie and my travelling companions for such a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Thank you also for such an enjoyable and incredibly detailed Costa Rican trip report.
It brings the whole visit to life again, and is such a valuable memory jogger.
I am especially appreciative of so many wonderful photographs.
Thank you for all your hard work that went into making a memento which will be treasured!”
Julie Diggens
Costa Rica – Quetzals, Volcanoes & Hummingbirds – March 2024


“Thank you for a fantastic trip and a great report to go with it! Appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this!”
Andrew Ducat
Costa Rica – Quetzals, Volcanoes & Hummingbirds – March 2024


“Just a quick note to thank you both, as well as Alfredo, Freddie and indeed all our other fellow travellers
for making it such a fantastic trip which we so thoroughly enjoyed – we really did not want to come home!
So many amazing moments..starting to work through all the photos now and realising its going to be a huge job!
Already scratching my head over my hummingbird and flycatcher photos “
Carla Davis & Simon Wood
Costa Rica – Quetzals, Volcanoes & Hummingbirds – March 2024


“Hi Steve and Annette

“Once again we have had a great tour with Steve. This time to the Somerset Levels.
Steve goes out of his way to make sure that the group have a really good time.
All members of the small group got on really well.
It definitely had the feeling of birding with friends.
The refreshment stops were good too!

The highlights of this trip were the Baikal Teal at RSPB Greylake
and the distant view of the Kentish Plover at Burnham on Sea.
The Starling Murmuration at RSPB Ham Wall was well worth seeing!
Who thought we could get so excited at seeing starlings!

We look forward to further trips.”
Sally & David Stratton
Somerset Levels – Winter Birding Spectacular – February 2024


“Thank you for a fantastic break in the West Country.
It’s the first time that Kevin and I have holidayed with a group and we really enjoyed it.
Steve worked so hard to find those elusive birds (especially the Ring-necked Duck and Baikal Teal!)
He is also so full of knowledge about the area and drove us to treat after treat.
A real safari in Britain.”
Tracy & Kevin O’Sullivan
Somerset Levels – Winter Birding Spectacular – February 2024


“Hi Steve and Annette

We just wanted to say again how much we enjoyed the Southwest Winter Birding Weekend.
You took very good care of us all and arranged excellent sightings of so many birds and in very interesting locations.

Your tour report, with its great photos,
will keep our memory of the five wonderful days alive.
Many thanks for the references to us.
I still cannot believe that I asked you about the chances of seeing a Dipper,
less than 18 hours before we did so, and seeing a Sandpiper again at Tamar Lakes,
13 years after we were last there!”
Win & David Simmonds
Southwest Winter Birding Weekend – January 2024


“Hi Steve
Just to say thank you for a great day birding.
I give it a 5* rating! 😊
Kind regards.”
Tony Pickess
Birding Day Trip – January 2024


“Another great day with Steve yesterday, thoroughly enjoyed it –
the weather was kind and we saw a great variety of birds, including some ‘firsts’ for me 🙂
Nice to see a Bullfinch – not seen one in many years. 
A big thanks to both you and Steve for these days out
Catch up with you soon. Kind regards”
Clive Joseph
Birding Day Trip – January 2024


“Would just like to say thank you for a great trip to Goa.

What can we say – the bird life was amazing.
Highlights must include Ceylon Frogmouth, Greater Hornbill, Forest Wagtail, Jerdons Nightjar,
Brown Boobook, Indian Paradise Flycatchers including the white variety and assorted Bee Eaters.
Our guide Leio certainly earned his keep. As well as being friendly and knowledgeable about the birds
and the area he earned awards for persistence.
I will remember for a long time climbing half way up a bank of earth and leaning on him to see the Oriental Pygmy Kingfisher!

This is without Jackals, Smooth-coated Otters and over 70 species of Butterflies and Dragonflies.

The hotels were excellent as usual and the food amazing.
We had never thought of eating curry at least twice a day but the food in each area was different and always freshly cooked.

How could I forget the amazing boat trip.
And the culinary highlight must be sitting on the beach watching the sun go down and eating a delicious Goan Fish Curry.
Hard to get much better than that!

The holiday exceeded the excellent standards we would expect from a Swallow Birding & Wildlife tour
and I would recommend it to anyone else without hesitation.”
Wendy & David Preston
Goa – Sunbirds, Sea-Eagles & Trogons – November 2023


“Hello Steve & Annette
The trip report is fabulous –
it was such a great trip and the report absolutely does it justice and brings back lovely memories.. thank you!”
Lesley Glassington
Goa – Sunbirds, Sea-Eagles & Trogons – November 2023


“Thank you so much for a fantastic tour to Goa,
covering so many different habitats and with such an excellent knowledgeable local guide,
who tried so hard to connect everyone with the birds. I thoroughly enjoyed everything we did, especially the boat trip.

We had three bases to cover the different habitats from the coast to The Western Ghats.
All of the rooms were comfortable and with air-conditioning.
Nature’s Nest was a delight where we were welcomed and looked after so well
with excellent and varied food, including delicious curries.

The morning’s private boat trip on the river produced five species of Kingfisher seen well
and mugger crocodiles. To see over 260 species during the tour was amazing,
most of which were new for me and the
final dinner on the beach by candlelight with a cold beer rounded off a fabulous tour to Goa!”
Gerry Johnson
Goa – Sunbirds, Sea-Eagles & Trogons – November 2023


“Apologies for a rather belated but heartfelt thank you
for taking me on the trip to the Scillies.
Your birding trips are always so unique and once again, I enjoyed every moment.
There were so many memorable moments but I will never forget
going on the boat to Bishop’s Rock to see the Red-footed Booby (so glad I did that!)
and watching the Dotterel. It was a lovely trip with good company, excellent accommodation,
mouth-watering food and a fascinating week of birds and wildlife.

Thank you for your expert guiding and making my trip so enjoyable.”
Julie Diggens
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration – October 2023


“I’ve just returned another wonderful bird watching tour with
Swallow Birding & Wildlife to the amazing Isles of Scilly. 
As with previous trips the itinerary, the company, the accommodation
were all excellent and the food was to die for. 
The bird watching was great of course and Steve’s knowledge is vast,
not just of birds, but wildflowers, insects and even aircraft! 
He always tries to ensure that everyone gets to see as much as possible,
especially if you’re new to birding as I have been. 

The groups are small and from the moment you’re picked up Steve and Annette
have a way of making you feel very welcome and part of the group,
like you’re going away with old friends. 
There is always a packed itinerary, but at the same time it’s very laid back and relaxed,
with something for everyone.
  I can’t wait for my next trip and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Swallow Birding & Wildlife holiday,
that’s if there’s any places left.”
Sandra Bell
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration – October 2023


“Hi Steve, What a day! Totally brilliant!
So many waders and ducks and so close!
It’s a great delight for us to see clouds of waders twisting through the sky and over the salt marsh,
an environment we just love. Such great views from the boat. And such good company, and the Thistle is a lovely boat and the crew were great too.
We added three species to our day list with a little walk up the promenade past the municipal park pond.
Coot, Moorhen (there was one on a moored Thames Barge too!) and a Blackbird singing at the railway station
(we got home very quickly and comfortably).
When you do more Maldon trips make sure we know about them!”
Mandy & Edward Mayer
River Blackwater Thames Barge Trip – October 2023


“Have been meaning to email just to say how much I enjoyed the trip.
It was certainly worth waiting 4 years for!
The birds were everything I expected and more, with an especial delight seeing the Bluethroats still in breeding plumage.
Accommodation, food etc were all excellent. Thank you both for an excellent trip.”
Judy Ross
Ebro Delta, Spain – Wonderful Wetland Birding – September 2023


“Once again an amazing weekend’s birding. 
Giving the group the best chance of seeing as many birds as possible is always uppermost
in Steve’s mind, come what may. 
The Lincolnshire reserves are fabulous (all with good cafes too) and Rutland Water was a joy to discover. 
Thanks also to Annette for the very efficient administration behind the scenes.”
Margaret Hutt
Wonderful Wetland Birding, Lincs & Rutland – September 2023


“Thank you Steve and Annette for a wonderful wetlands tour, it was great to revisit the reserves of Frampton and Rutland,
as well as go to new reserves at Gibraltar Point and Freiston. 

I very much enjoyed seeing all the returning waders, as well as seeing Whinchats, Wheatears,
Arctic Skua, Hobbies, lots of Spoonbills and the Ospreys before their migration. 

We were perfectly located to visit all the reserves and it was great to enjoy it with a lovely group. 

Thank you for the trip report with super photos, to bring back happy memories and help with my wader identification!

As always can’t wait for my next Swallow Birding tour!”
Emma Robinson
Wonderful Wetland Birding, Lincs & Rutland – September 2023


“Hi Steve what a great day we had yesterday thanks so much for all your organisation and superb spotting.
Looking forward to seeing you again.”
David Lennan
Suffolk Coast & Nightjar Evening – July 2023


Hi to you both. We just wanted to say thanks for a great trip to the Hebrides and to you both for sorting out the travel arrangements.
The weather was good plus great food and company. The scenery was fantastic.
Any trip that included 47 sightings of short eared owl, many white-tailed eagles
and of course the ever-elusive corncrake – a first for us both can’t be bad.
Added in great views of otter, minke whale and not forgetting the Greater Sundew!
Thanks again for a really special trip.”
Wendy & David Preston
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – June 2023


“Many thanks for a really brilliant trip to Yorkshire.
The spectacle of all the seabirds was fantastic and I don’t think I will ever forget
seeing the little guillemot chicks tucked in close to their fathers, just fabulous.
I have also never witnessed so many frogs and toads moving all over the grass and road, quite amazing,
just wish I had thought to take a video!”
Lorna Whitworth
East Yorkshire – Seabirds, Raptor & Migrants – June 2023


“Thanks so much for arranging and running the Yorkshire tour –
it was everything we could have expected, a really great 4 days visiting brilliant places at just the right time.”
Mandy & Edward Mayer
East Yorkshire – Seabirds, Raptor & Migrants – June 2023


“Thank you, Annette & Steve for a fabulous trip to the Outer Hebrides
and for choosing dates which coincided with an almost perfect stretch of weather!
There was never a dull moment as there were so many opportunities
to see the local wildlife, interesting flowers, butterflies, insects and the continuous backdrop of the stunning scenery.
Thanks especially to Steve for ensuring that there were great views of all the birds that the island had to offer.
Many thanks to you both for such a wonderful adventure.”
Julie Diggens
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – June 2023


Hi Steve and Annette. We just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful trip to the North West,
it was a really enjoyable few days spent with a lovely group of like-minded people.
We saw so many lovely wild flowers, birds and butterflies.
Steve is a really good guide and so knowledgeable on all aspects of nature
and never loses his patience with our barrage of questions.
We really appreciated Steve’s help and are already looking forward to our next adventure.

Rosie & Bill Perkins
Northwest England Wildlife Break – May 2023


Hi Annette. Just a quick note to say a big thank you to you both for yesterday’s birding day.
It was great to meet Steve at Lakenheath, we had a brilliant day 🙂
A lovely group of people, Steve was great throughout the day, very friendly and so knowledgeable – I thoroughly enjoyed the day.
I recorded 46 different species – I only recorded those that I saw and would have been able to photograph – if I had taken a camera 🙂 7 new species for me.
The highlights of the day had to be the Osprey & the Cranes.
I am looking forward to the next birding day! Thanks again & kind regards Clive”
Clive Joseph
Steve’s Birding Day at Lakenheath RSPB Reserve – May 2023


“Dear Annette and Steve. What a great tour! 
Well done on the extensive location research;
finding very appropriate, comfortable accommodation and wonderful spots for birds and other wildlife.
Many thanks to you both and my fellow participants for making it a memorable trip. Regards”
David L. Smith
Portugal –  Iberian Specialities & Spring Migration – May 2023


“Hi Steve.  Thanks for sending the trip report and the excellent photos.
As always, this was a lovely holiday with a great variety of wildlife on show.
The highlight for me was undoubtedly the display by the Red Kites, although you also managed
to find me five birds to add to my lifetime list! 
Look forward to seeing you again soon. Best wishes”
David Wrycraft
Wales –  Birding the Coast & Valleys – May 2023


“Thank you Annette and Steve for a fabulous tour to Sweden.
Will never forget the sight and sound of over 5,000 Cranes at dawn at Lake Hornborgasjon, totally magical.
Seeing five species of Grebes in their summer plumage and a Siberian Rubythroat on the last day,
I never dreamed I would get to see one of these very special birds.
The accommodation was superb, local food and a wonderful setting. Looking forward to my next tour already!”
Emma Robinson
Lake Hornborgasjon, Sweden –  Crane Extravaganza – April 2023


“Hi Annette & Steve
Many thanks for a really great trip.
Even though I had experienced it in Spain it is such an amazing sight one never gets tired of it.
I really took to the Red-necked Grebe I thought they were so smart & we had such close views of all the Grebe species it was just great.
The mill we stayed at was fascinating & the food most amazing. Thanks again. Best wishes”
Lorna Whitworth
Lake Hornborgasjon, Sweden –  Crane Extravaganza – April 2023


“The dawn Cranes were indeed an unforgettable experience,
seeing them had been a lifetime goal and I’m so glad we all hung in there.
I guess it’s unlikely I’ll see another Siberian Rubythroat in my lifetime but seeing new birds like the
Red-necked Grebes was just as special plus getting great views of others like the Osprey, Goshawk and Hawfinch. Fantastic.
Looking forward to seeing you and Steve and other Swallow comrades for more great birding in future. Best wishes”
Denise Johnson
Lake Hornborgasjon, Sweden –  Crane Extravaganza – April 2023


“Extremadura what a place!
Wonderful scenery, wonderful open spaces, wonderful wildlife especially the birds.
Just returned from 5 great days there with Swallow Birding & Wildlife.
Very well looked after by Steve and Annette from start to finish.
Our accommodation was in the wide-open countryside completely unspoilt by intensive cultivation allowing nature to thrive.
We saw many raptors, bustards and shrikes to name a few. Just wonderful.”
Gloria Lamb
Extremadura – Birding Spectacular in Secret Spain – March 2023


“A superb trip with Swallow Birding to a part of Spain I’ve never seen before.
So well organised – its so relaxing to just turn up at the airport and be taken to the nature-watching venues.
Steve finds so many birds, and other wildlife, that we would otherwise have missed,
and he intimately knows the area and the sites to visit.
Swallow Birding ‘struck gold’ again with the accommodation – a perfect location, comfortable and with good food.
It was only a short visit but has left many memories as well as some spectacular additions to the personal bird list.
It was five days that I wish I could have all over again.
Many thanks Steve and Annette and to the other customers for being such good company.
‘Great Value, Great Fun and Good Wildlife’ is exactly right ”
Neil Sumner
Extremadura – Birding Spectacular in Secret Spain – March 2023


“Hi Annette & Steve.
Thank you for the trip report – very impressive and a great reminder of our short breakaway.
Photos of the birds, butterflies and flowers are great but equally impressive is the documentation
for the trip detailing everywhere visited and everything seen and heard.
Your knowledge and enthusiasm was most appreciated as was your approach to all customers who were treated as family.
Extremadura certainly exceeded our expectations – well worth a visit.
Now just need to decide where to travel with you next time!”
Dave Webb & Jules Tinson
Extremadura – Birding Spectacular in Secret Spain – March 2023


I very much enjoyed my 3rd trip to Norfolk and the company of our small group.
Steve is completely on the ball about what rarities are about and exactly where to find them.
I confess to a certain smug amusement when we rock up somewhere and Steve finds the star bird within a few minutes
where others have already gathered patiently waiting and watching!
My best views ever of the goshawk and the long billed dowitcher are two such examples.

Steve always makes sure everyone sees all the birds, it’s impressive how quickly he spots them
but I’m equally impressed with how effortlessly he is able to describe markers
on the landscape so that the not so skilled birder (like me) can find them too – no one misses out.

Your tours are always packed with places to go and birds to see and we saw loads in Norfolk
as Steve’s comprehensive tour report and bird list will attest to.
Thank you for that, a jolly good read, I especially like the bit where I spotted a bird or two ha ha.

And finally the hotel, I love that place.
So good to have a hot bath in warm and comfy accommodation
followed by a delicious meal after a freezing cold day.
We had lots of fun and lots of laughs and saw bucket loads
of fantastic birds in the wonderful Norfolk countryside.
The sight and sound of the new F35’s were jolly exciting too.
Thank you. Catch you again soon.”
Jane Noble
Norfolk Winter Birding Break – February 2023


A huge thanks to Steve for the Norfolk tour, it included some fabulous birding (124 species),
in great locations, staying at a very comfortable and friendly hotel.
Due to Steve’s perseverance, expertise, experience and magnificent birding skills
we saw birds that others certainly would not have even found.” Thanks again.

David Smith
Norfolk Winter Birding Break – February 2023


“Brilliant holiday superbly led by Steve! Thoroughly enjoyed the birding and visiting somewhere new! Thanks as always!”
Avril & Tim Baker
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2023


“A big thank-you Steve for running a really great trip to Fuerteventura, all excellent birding, accommodation and for driving slowly everywhere.”
Clive Tanner
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2023


“I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed joining the Wallasea Island trip – my first bird watching trip!
Steve really shared his knowledge with me, as did the other people who were on the trip and they were really welcoming!.”

Emma Thomas
Winter Birding at Wallasea Island – January 2023


“From the moment we arrived in The Gambia the group was into seeing birds.
As soon as we dropped our luggage off in our rooms in Lemon Creek Resort hotel
we were soon exploring the extensive grounds with on site guide ‘Best Boy’, recording over 40 species in an hour.

The local guide Ebrima Korita was with us all week who was excellent at locating so many different species
at the various sites visited in the fully air conditioned bus. Not just ‘seen’ but seen very well.

The structure of the tour was perfect with one of the highlights being the
2.5  hour boat trip from the overnight stop at Tendaba Safari Camp with guide Wandi Touray.

The itinerary covered so many different habitats and when local tour manager Lamin Touray
turned up in the middle of the savannah with flasks of hot coffee and tea
and trays of fresh danish pastries and croissants following our early start, well what more can I say.

The hearty breakfasts in the hotel set us up for the full days birding, at a leisurely pace
with adequate refreshment breaks and lunch stops at excellent lodges with tasty food and fresh fruits.
These stops provided more opportunities to watch birds coming to drink at pools.
The evenings were relaxed with varied tasty dinners in the hotel restaurant after doing the days Bird-list, which reached 267 for the week.

I could not fault anything about this excellent tour to The Gambia,
everything was catered for and nothing was left to chance or missed,
and I look forward to joining further Swallow Birding tours in the not to distant future.”

Gerry Johnson
The Gambia – Winter Birding in West Africa – November 2022


Since arriving home, I have been relating to the family the highlights of the past week:- 
seeking absent otters at Leighton Moss; clambering over Arnside Knott looking for High Brown Fritillaries;
staggering through boggy grassland and ankle deep water at Ingleborough
when searching for a lone Small White Orchid (seedhead);
having similar success in finding a pair of minute leaves of what might have been a Lesser (or very much lesser) Twayblade Orchid
at Cliburn Moss; managing to get my third pair of socks equally wet on the ascent of Irton Fell,
while trying to follow the flight path of two jet-propelled Mountain Ringlets – and generally having a thoroughly great time.

The truth of the week’s activities was, of course, much less dramatic,
but far more successful, than my tongue-in-cheek report. It was a fabulous few days.
At each of the venues where we didn’t see something good, we did see something better, –
Spoonbills, Bittern and Peregrine at Fairburn, Osprey at Leighton Moss, Red Squirrel at Cliburn – and a super tea shop near Irton Fell.

So enthusiastic has been my report that my daughter
has insisted that if an opportunity should arise for a similar adventure next year, she wants to come along too!”
Alan Waddoups
Northwest England Wildlife Break – July 2022


My first trip away with Swallow Birding and it certainly lived up to all expectations.
The journey there and coming home was broken up with a number of stops including a welcome break
to walk round a nature reserve to whet our appetites of what was to come, and on the way home to see the Great Reed Warbler.

Our visit to the Farne Islands was the highlight, to experience seeing so many seabirds
at such close quarters was something I will always remember. 

Thank you Steve for finding so many birds I have never seen before.
I wish I had found Swallow Birding years ago, so many wonderful tours to choose from, I have already booked my next one.”
Nadine StClair
Northumberland – Seabird Spectacular – June 2022


“ Hi! Just to say thank you for another glorious trip.
The accommodation and food were of the expected high standard and the wildlife lived up to the promises.
Highlights must be the magnificent owls, the Siberian Tit and loads of White-tailed Eagles
plus of course the dainty and lovely Calypso Orchids.
But the best of the bunch has to be the Brown Bears.
You made me cry in Costa Rica when seeing the sloths and did so again this time. It’s becoming a habit!

Thanks must also go to Niko who worked very hard and tirelessly to ensure we all saw what we wanted to which mostly we did.
He made great use of the information available and the guide’s network. All with a great sense of humour.

Finland is a beautiful country and thank you Steve for the driving and guiding. Thank you again
Wendy & David Preston
Finland – Land of the Midnight Sun – June 2022


Steve and Annette, thank you for a amazing tour to the Shetlands,
it’s been somewhere I have dreamed of going to since watching Shetland Diaries back in 2010. 

The tour was actioned packed with the fabulous boat trips to Mousa and Isle of Noss,
staying in two locations which saw us going to Unst the most northerly island of the UK.
The seabirds, wildlife and landscape were fantastic, notably for me lots of Puffins! 

It was a fantastic group and we were very lucky with the weather, was great to see Shetland at it’s best.
Thank you so much again, as always looking forward to my next trip.”
Emma Robinson
Shetland Summer Birding – May 2022


Dear Annette & Steve. Thank you for an amazing tour to Shetland which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Every day brought us so many experiences. Among the most memorable were the boat trips to Mousa and Noss.

And a special thank you for your time and patience spent on teaching two newbies how to birdwatch.
We learnt such a lot from you and we are enjoying using our newfound skills when we are outdoors.
Thank you again for a brilliant time and Best wishes.”
Julie & Trevor Diggens
Shetland Summer Birding – May 2022


“Dear Steve and Annette. Thank you for two marvelous trips this year, to the Somerset Levels in March and to Mull in May. 

The former included so many wonderful sightings:  the Great White Egrets in breeding plumage,
Common Cranes and nesting Herons but my highlights were the Penduline Tits and the Baikal Teal both hard to find and firsts for me.
  An unexpected and enjoyable bonus (though probably not for the driver) was a scenic tour through the Cheddar Gorge
and the glimpse of Stonehenge due to the closure of the M5 on the return journey.

Mull was indeed magical.  A brilliant, comfortable family-run hotel (with a great vegetarian menu) in a tranquil location. 
And once again, fantastic sightings, too many to list but my highlights were
the White-tailed and Golden Eagles (firsts) as well as old favourites, Common Eiders.

So much work goes into these trips; the superb ‘background’ organization by Annette and the excellent guiding by Steve.
Not only does he know where and how to find the most elusive of birds
(and to make sure everyone sees them), he also knows the best places to stop for coffee and cake, essential additions to the outings! 
Many thanks to you both.  I look forward to my next trip.”

Margaret Hutt
Somerset Levels – Winter Birding Spectacular – March 2022 & Magical Mull – May 2022


“Dear Steve and Annette, I just wanted to write and thank you for 2 great recent trips to Costa Rica and to Holland

Costa Rica was a brilliant introduction to Central America and gave us 324 new life birds.
I will never forget standing near the hummingbird feeders and listening to the hummingbirds whizzing round never mind the toucans,
parrots and other wonderful birds. And of course the highlight of the trip – 2 sloths, one with a baby.
The accommodation was the usual excellent standard and the trip as a whole was really well organised and thought out.
Some long journeys were unavoidable but were broken up by birding and/or refreshments
stops giving the chance to sample the local ice cream!
The knowledge of the guide and the driver was vast – not just regarding birds but the local culture and way of life.

I would recommend the trip to anyone and would love to go again.

Holland was completely different though just as good. I had expected Holland to be flat and open
and was surprised by the extent of the lovely Birch woods.
Again another life tick for the Bluethroat for both of us and tremendous views of White-tailed Eagles.
As for the hotel – what can I say – the food was amazing including the packed lunches.
For anyone who wants a short break with good birds and good food then this trip is a must.
Thanks again”
Wendy & David Preston
Costa Rica – Quetzals, Volcanoes & Hummingbirds – March 2022
Holland – Spring on the Polders – May 2022


“Magnificent, mind-blowing and a life-time of memories in the space of twelve days!”
David Smith
Costa Rica – Quetzals, Volcanoes & Hummingbirds – March 2022


“Thank you Annette and Steve for a super tour to the Somerset Levels.
The thousands of Starlings coming into roost a sight I will never forget, booming Bitterns,
Great White Egrets in their breeding plumage, watching Grey Herons nesting on the treetops,
the big open sky views and the wonderful light.
With the added bonus of two new birds, the stunning Baikal Teal and the delightful Penduline Tits.
I throughly enjoyed the tour from start to finish, with a lovely group of people. Looking forward to my next tour already.”
Emma Robinson
Somerset Levels – Winter Birding Spectacular – March 2022


“The Somerset Levels weekend was most enjoyable, good company, good locations and good weather.
The various sites we visited were well chosen and produced a remarkable variety of sightings including a few ‘lifers’ for me.
I know that the success of these trips is the result of much hard work in researching and
organising and for all of that my thanks to Annette and to you.

Ken Hudgell
Somerset Levels – Winter Birding Spectacular – February 2022


“Just a note to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip to Somerset.
It was a good group and as usual Steve worked so
hard to ensure everyone saw the birds and had their questions answered.

 Thank you again for sharing your skill and knowledge with us,
not just about birds but many other aspects of wildlife, plants and history of the area”
Sandra & Francis Muldoon
Somerset Levels – Winter Birding Spectacular – February 2022


“We recently returned from a lovely winter birding trip to Norfolk with Swallow Birding. 

Steve is a brilliant tour leader, who delights in sharing his seemingly limitless bird spotting ability, knowledge and infectious enthusiasm with the tour participants. This was our first birding  tour and we felt immediately welcomed by Steve
and the others in the small group, who ranged from experienced birders to newcomers like us. 

The tour gave us the chance to observe many beautiful, often rare, birds, most of which we would not have even noticed
without the expertise of Steve and other group members.
The tour was well organised and the hotel and food were lovely. 

In summary, for us the tour fully met the advertising on the Swallow Birding website:  ‘Great value – Great fun – Great wildlife’!
Yvonne Jepson & Steve Pavitt
Norfolk Winter Birding Weekend – February 2022


“Just a quick email to say how much I enjoyed yesterday at Wallasea Island;
dry, bright skies, wide vistas, good paths, good company and amazing birds. Thank you very much.”
Adrian Mitchell
Steve’s Birding Day to Wallasea Island – December 2021


“Dear Topsail. Thank you so much for a wonderful day last Sunday on board The Thistle.
It was the perfect combination of birding & boating; the weather was the icing on the cake as well as the scrummy lunch!
Will certainly recommend to friends & family. 
Both yourselves & Swallow Birding & Wildlife were well organised, friendly & knowledgeable. Kind regards”
Beverley McVey
Maldon Walk and Sail Thames Barge Trip – November 2021


“Thank you for the Norfolk trip report, it’s going to be hard to better those 4 days away, especially when they occurred, my first trip since the start of the pandemic.
I had high expectations (after the paranoia leading up to it of getting Covid or a cold and having to cancel) but all expectations were exceeded.
I enjoyed every minute and every aspect of it, in a funny way, Covid made it even better and more appreciable! “
Jane Noble, Witham, Essex
Norfolk – Autumn Migrants Special – October 2021


“Hi Steve, Thanks for this comprehensive report that I think faithfully reflects another excellent trip.
Also thanks for hosting this break which I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end.
I thought the hotel was just right, not too big, comfortable and with good, friendly staff.

As usual you managed to get us into the right places to have some great views of the birds and other wildlife.
The highlights for me were the close ups of the owls and the sheer numbers of birds migrating in from the sea. An amazing sight!”
David Wrycraft, Colchester, Essex
Norfolk – Autumn Migrants Special – October 2021


“Hi Annette & Steve. A cracking four days; my first Swallow Birding tour for over two years produced 122 bird species,
including a ‘worldie’ (Jack Snipe) and a UK ‘lifer’ (Shore Lark). Some memorable encounters, including four owl species in one day! 
The hotel is in an ideal location, very comfortable, with attentive staff and provides a good range of excellent food (and drink).

With many thanks to Steve, Swallow Birding & Wildlife and my fellow participants”
David Smith, Witham, Essex
Norfolk – Autumn Migrants Special – October 2021


“Hi Annette and Steve. I thought this trip would never be as good as my first visit to the Scillies but I was wrong!
What an amazing week, the birds and wildlife (5 new UK birds), the scenery, the weather,
the helicopter rides, the food (cakes) and accommodation, and super company.
Have really enjoyed reading the memories in the excellent trip report.
It was certainly a very special trip and much needed after the last 18 months.

Annette and Steve I can’t thank you enough. Looking forward to my 3rd Scillies trip already!”
Emma Robinson, Copford, Essex
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration – October 2021


“Dear Steph. Just wanted to thank the crew of Thistle for an excellent birdwatching cruise yesterday.
My friend and I really enjoyed the boat, lunch, helpful crew and birders who pointed out so many highlights. 
I repeated this cruise from last year as it was so enjoyable and have recommended it to many friends. 
We will be booking further Topsail cruises and would ask you convey our appreciation to the Thistle team”
Arlene Rose
River Colne Thames Barge Trip – October 2021


“Dear Steph at Topsail Charters. I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip last Thursday.
The two guides from Swallow Birding & Wildlife were lovely and very generous in sharing their expertise.

We saw a huge variety of birds.  I really enjoyed being able to identify (with certainty) some of the birds I see regularly from the Prom. 
The wonderful view we had of a kingfisher diving in turn from each of the Crane Blocks (near the Basin) will stay with me forever.

Being on Hydrogen was very special.  Ian and his Mate ran the ship so calmly and professionally.
The way the sails were tied up so neatly, and deftly, and the climbing of the rigging, were fascinating.

The food was lovely.  As two ‘veggies’ we enjoyed the colourful meal, especially. All produced in a tiny galley! 
We would love to join you for a Spring (Whole day) Birdwatching trip. Best Wishes”
Carol John
River Blackwater Day Sail Thames Barge Trip – October 2021


“Hi Annette and Steve,
Thanks very much for the superb day at Titchwell yesterday.
Some amazing sightings with a group of very nice people. A really great selection of birds.
See you in Costa Rica”
Mike Thomas, Ailsworth, Cambridgeshire
North West Norfolk – Autumn Vagrants Day Trip – October 2021


“Hi Steve & Annette
Thank you for a fabulous 4 days in East Yorkshire.
Birding started from the moment we left the pick up point until our return home.
I really appreciated the stop off en-route to see the Great Reed Warbler.
Every day was incredibly full and we saw so many fabulous birds. The day at Bempton will live long in the memory!
The organization was excellent – even the weather was perfect.
I have never come across a guide as good as Steve – nothing escapes his eagle eyes or ears.
He always ensures everyone gets to see the birds – I would never find half the species we saw without his skills.
I really hope to join you on another tour very soon.”
Paula Moore, Braughing, Hertfordshire
East Yorkshire – Seabirds, Migrants & Raptor Special – June 2021


“Hi Steve and Annette
Thank you for such a comprehensive bird report and so quickly, with some fantastic photos too.
What a great reminder of such a wonderful trip to Yorkshire with a lovely group of people, the first of many I hope.

I don’t know how you manage to fit so much in to each day, but still keep it relaxed and fresh for everyone too.
It was thrilling for me as a fairly new birder to see so many new species of bird for the first time,
not to mention all the other flora and fauna that you and others in the group willingly and enthusiastically shared of your knowledge.

The choice of accommodation was also perfect for the trip, friendly staff, comfortable rooms
and good selection of delicious food on the menu each night, with something for everyone.
Finally I’d just like to say how easy you make it for me personally as a non-driver,
you’ve taken the headache out of train timetables and missed connections!
I felt very safe with Steve’s driving and was made to feel welcome and part of the group right from the moment I stepped into the minibus.

Loved it and can’t wait for the next one”
Sandra Bell, Maldon, Essex
East Yorkshire – Seabirds, Migrants & Raptor Special – June 2021


“Thank you for the bird list.
It was a brilliant day and I enjoyed seeing the different plants, insects, wildlife
and birds and also meeting such a lovely group of people.”

Julie Diggens, Brentwood, Essex
Suffolk Coast & Nightjar Evening – June 2021


“Hello Annette and Steve
Now that I’ve had time to recover and gather my thoughts I think it time I offer a few words
of thanks for all your efforts in putting together the Isle of Wight tour.
It really was very well done, great locations, very well researched, an array of alternatives, wonderful wildlife,
and great people to share the experience with. I was most impressed and enjoyed it greatly so a very big thank you.
The trip report is an excellent souvenir of it all. I shall return.”
Ken Hudgell, Hatfield Peverel, Essex
Isle of Wight, Hampshire & Dorset Wildlife Break – May 2021


“Dear Annette and Steve
A great big thank you for a wonderful four days spent with like-minded people enjoying our beautiful wildlife.
Steve found us all our target species and took us to some beautiful places full of birds, butterflies and flowers.
Thank you for looking after us so well.”
Rosie & Bill Perkins, Doddinghurst, Essex
Isle of Wight, Hampshire & Dorset Wildlife Break – May 2021


“Hi Steve. Thanks again for a wonderful few days. We both enjoyed it so much. Such lovely places and wonderful views.
Some good butterflies and lots of laughs, well done for organising such a memorable trip. Love to you both.”
Margaret & Jim Dalgarno, Doddinghurst, Essex
Isle of Wight, Hampshire & Dorset Wildlife Break – May 2021


“I did want to say to both of you a really, really big thank you;
last week was just such a fantastic experience
and one that neither of us would have missed for the world (or COVID).
Great organization and guiding in the most magical surroundings.”
Ann & Steve Harris, Great Maplestead, Essex
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration – October 2020


“I just wanted to write to say how much we enjoyed our birdwatching trip
 on Saturday and to congratulate you and your staff
on such impressive organisation.
We were made very welcome and felt extremely safe
 and on top of that had some delicious lunch
and saw many birds, the object of the exercise of course!

The two bird experts were extremely helpful and knowledgeable
and I know without them we would have missed some of the birds,
 well I know I would have done and of course help with recognition was very useful,
 as well as all the other information we were given.”
C. Elliott
Thames Barge Trip – October 2020

“I just wanted to say a big thank you for the holiday to The Gambia.
I really enjoyed the trip with a really friendly group of like minded people.
Ebrima and Steve G. were superb at leading us and finding the birds.
The other Steve was also very good at organising our days/meals
and resolving accommodation issues.
Suzanne was excellent at checking we were all ok.
The young Gambians that also helped out were really nice guys
and Yaya was a very safe driver.
The bird sightings were amazing and a testament to the richness of the local habitat
that allows the birds to flourish in a relatively small geographical area.
For me it was a great introduction to West African bird species.
Thanks again Swallow Birding.”

Michael Thomas, Ailsworth, Cambridgeshire
The Gambia – Winter Birding in West Africa – November 2019


“Hi Steve and Annette, Wow that was a quick turn around for a trip report; only just got back yesterday!
Your trips are always good fun and well researched.
I certainly enjoyed the new experience of ‘lay-by birding’; what an unusual but rewarding location to find the endemic pigeons.
And the many varied locations you drove us to meant we were able to appreciate much of the Tenerife landscape.
The hotel was charming; a beautiful building and a wonderful garden. Delicious food and very comfortable accommodation.
Tenerife didn’t feel like a new location for SB as you seemed to know the place inside out, a credit to the research, planning and effort you put into all your trips.
So thank you both for another superb birding experience.”

Jane Noble, Witham
Tenerife – A Quest for Island Endemics – November 2019


“Just a few lines to say how much we enjoyed the week on the Scilly Isles in October.
The weather could have been kinder but was actually much better than the forecast had led us to expect.
The bed and breakfast was excellent and the setting superb.
Great company and some very good birds, four lifers for me.
This was I believe our third or fourth trip to the Scillie and it is always nice to have a week birding with no motor transport except the boat trips.
Now looking forward to our trip to Holland with you next year.”

Pat & Howard, Copford, Colchester
Golden Isles of Scilly – October 2019


“Thank you both for such a wonderful time in the Scilly Isles and for the excellent trip report containing some fab photos.
I now fully understand why these beautiful isles are a birder’s mecca. It was so much fun ‘twitching’ that grosbeak and running with the excitement of it.
All the birders we encountered were so friendly and helpful and the walkie-talkie and the evening bird log in the Scillonian just made the whole experience unique, eccentric and fun.
The best B&B by far and totally agree the breakfast was epic. Can’t wait to return for another seven lifers in one week!”

Jane Noble, Witham
Golden Isles of Scilly – October 2019


“Thankyou Annette and Steve for organising a memorable visit to the Scilly Isles, with extra special birds,
fabulous accommodation, great food, boat trips, and all lovely people!
It was really special all thanks to your dedication.”

Mo Jackson, Wivenhoe
Golden Isles of Scilly – October 2019


“I thoroughly enjoyed today’s outing at Gunners and Two Tree, thanks. It demonstrated to me what is on my doorstep,
but I’d miss 90% of it without expert guidance!
Cheers, Richard .”

Richard Hooper, Westcliffe on Sea
Localbirder – Gunners Park & Two Tree Island – October 2019


“We just wanted to say a BIG thank you for another brilliant holiday on the Isles of Scilly
We both greatly appreciate the help you give us with our luggage and on difficult paths, we are very grateful.
There were some lovely highlights and we had four new lifers! They were a lovely group of people and you made the whole week fun.
We look forward to our next trip.
We received your trip report today and you have done a superb job.
How you remember all that information I don’t know especially the plant names!
We have enjoyed looking through it and remembering all the happy times.”

Rosie & Bill Perkins, Doddinghurst
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration -October 2019


“Have to tell you how much I enjoyed today. I’ve been birding for more than 40 years but still need assistance and you both provided it in spades today.
Can’t wait to do it again!
Many thanks, Alan.”

Alan Emmerson, Great Maplestead
Localbirder – Mersea Island – September 2019


“Thank you for yet another superb trip made so by the brilliant birds, delicious food,
comfortable accommodation and very warm and welcoming local Swedish people. Your guiding as always was excellent especially the black woodpecker and eagle owl that were my particular favourites.
I would also like to thank you for helping me with my new phone skope adaptor
that I was struggling with, you always go that extra mile and without your help I
wouldn’t have those fantastic shots of the totally awesome eagle owl. Watching so many birds on their migration route and seeing those buzzards circling above deciding on whether to cross the sea between Sweden and Denmark now or later
was a moving experience as well as a memorable one. Sweden is definitely on my return to list, loved every minute of it.
Sorry I couldn’t keep it to one paragraph, your fault though as these trips are so great!”

Jane Noble, Witham
Autumn Migration in Southern Sweden – September 2019


“Thanks for a great comprehensive report following a wonderful tour to Pembrokeshire.
Just so enjoyable!!
Many thanks, Chris.”

Chris Davis, Rowhedge
Summer Seabirds of Pembrokeshire & Skomer Island – June 2019


“I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your hard work in making our trip to Wales so enjoyable. I hope that you have recovered!
It really was great. I loved the birds, the accommodation, the food, and all with a really nice group of people.
I would love to join you again in the future if possible.
Think I may have become a little obsessed with puffins!
Thank you again, Regards, Debbie.”

Debbie Savage, Chelmsford
Summer Seabirds of Pembrokeshire & Skomer Island – June 2019


“Thanks for sending the trip report, I’ve just had a chance to give it a proper read through and it’s an excellent reflection of our time, with some particularly memorable photos.
Once again I loved the tour and especially the wide range of wildlife we were able to see.
It certainly adds variety by being able to stop off at various locations on the journeys to and from the main destination.”

David Wrycraft, Colchester
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – June 2019


“Thank you both so very much for a fantastic tour and all the time you put into it.
The close up views of iconic Scottish birds, in stunning scenery and with a lovely group of people was just brilliant,
with the detailed trip report bringing back many happy memories.
Looking forward to my next trip already! Emma.”

Emma Robinson, Colchester
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – June 2019


“Thank you both so much for arranging and leading the most wonderful birdwatching trip to Norfolk.
The sightings were amazing and in amongst all the other birds, both rare and smart,
I had never thought to have such wonderful views of a Turtle Dove!!
That was my absolute favourite, only just better than the two Kingfishers (doing goodness knows what in full sight!!).
Thank you again; really looking forward to the next one. Ann.”

Ann & Steve Harris, Great Maplestead
Norfolk – Spring Birding Break – May 2019


“Thanks for a great trip Steve, you went out of your way to give us a good 8 days birding.
Great company, great location of hotel which was very comfortable and a great selection of birds and wildlife.
You took us to brilliant locations, always with lots to see.
Good to see the Capercaillie, even if it was only a head!
Thanks once again. Regards, Richard.”

Richard Stanley, Pitsea
Speyside, Scotland – Highland Fling – April 2019


“Thank you for two more fantastic trips.
The energy and endless enthusiasm you show
and the extra mile you go made my trips very memorable,
can’t wait for the next ones to come.”

Yvonne Watling, Colchester
Mallorca – Balearic Spring Birding & Speyside, Scotland – Highland Fling – April 2019


“Yet another excellent trip, this time to Mallorca.
Excellent guide, company, food and weather followed by another superb report which
allowed us to relive the four action packed days. What more can one ask?” Now looking forward to Sweden!”

Jane & Mike Overall, Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire
Mallorca – Balearic Spring Birding – April 2019


“I enjoyed the weekend in Spain perhaps even more than I thought I would.
Your attention to detail is unsurpassed as is your knowledge of where to find the birds we hoped to see.
It was difficult choosing a favourite bird and moment as there are so many that are memorable.
Your care of us as a group also added to the success of the weekend.
I think we were lucky with the group members as everyone got on well and were keen to help one another.
I’m not surprised that so many people come back again and again.”

Margaret Hutt, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
Early Spring in Extremadura, Spain – March 2019


“As usual I was delighted with the whole trip.
The travel arrangements worked well and the hotel was extremely comfortable and in a great location.
The venues we visited were excellent with some stunning views and a great range of birds and other wildlife to see.
Also I was impressed with the level of concentration on the job in hand; spotting a long-eared owl, in the dark, on the way home from the airport was well above expectations!!
See you soon, David.”

David Wrycraft, Colchester
Early Spring in Extremadura, Spain – March 2019


“This was just such a wonderful trip, my first birding adventure abroad and I really don’t think that anyone
could have done it better than Swallow Birding.
The attention to detail that you both put into making sure that everything goes smoothly really paid off.
The birds of course were magnificent and Steve’s knowledge about them and the other wild life that we
encountered just made the whole adventure such a memorable experience!!
I am sure I will return for more but meanwhile thank you so much..”

Ann Harris, Great Maplestead, Halstead
Early Spring in Extremadura, Spain – March 2019


“Many thanks for the trip report, reminding me of a super trip and one of many that I have enjoyed in your company.
Your trips are becoming one of the highlights of the birding year.
Thanks again and am looking forward to the next one.
Best wishes David.”

David Broadley, Richmond, Surrey
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2019


“Thank you for the trip report…it was a very pleasant trip with a nice small crowd from RSPB Richmond and Twickenham Group.
Staying in a conveniently located and comfortable hotel with good food to look forward to after a day’s birding.
Steve the tour leader and driver did a splendid job, leaving no stone unturned in his quest to ensure
we all saw our target species and more besides.
Would thoroughly recommend this tour to anyone.
Best regards Steve.”

Steve Boyce, Old Woking, Surrey
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2019


“Another excellent trip report and some great photos too, thank you.
I enjoyed Fuerteventura so much I didn’t want to go home and could have done the same four days all over again!
There were lots of special moments, three of which I filmed on my phone; the stone curlews in the early morning stillness;
so close to us from the van, the spectacle of the squawking parakeets and a selfie of the ravens feeding from my hand.
Didn’t realise at the time these would become treasured little videos!
Of course the bittern sighting was totally mesmerising and I’ll never forget it.
Hotel, food, company all great, but the birding was brilliant and testament to your birding skills
and the research you put into all your trips.
Can’t wait for the next one. See you soon, Jane”

Jane Noble, Witham
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2019


“Thank you both very much for another brilliant trip to the South West,
it’s such a great tour to start the birding new year within the stunning scenery of Devon and Cornwall.
Looking forward to my next tour already.”

Emma Robinson, Colchester, Essex
Southwest Winter Birding Weekend – January 2019


“I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed the West Country weekend.
You searched out some really interesting birds and the last stop near Wadebridge was a lovely contrast to the
coast and estuaries we had visited earlier.
The Hayle Estuary was probably the highlight as there was such a profusion of birds there.
You usually ask ‘what is the bird of the trip’. I would be hard pressed to say which –
maybe Chough or Cirl bunting and such a good view of the totally unexpected Temminck’s Stint.
Thank you too for being so considerate and thoughtful as always and for your attention to detail, as well as finding the birds!
I hope the remainder of your journey home went as well as the trip up to where you dropped me off. I reached home very quickly.
I look forward to seeing you next month.
My best wishes to you both, Diana.”

Diana Housley, Hampton, Middlesex
Southwest Winter Birding Weekend – January 2019


“Thank you for a great break in the Spanish Pyrenees. It was a wonderful weekend. I think of trips with you as,
Good Birds, Good Company in both senses of the word and definitely good fun.
I keep thinking of the wallcreepers flitting up the cliffs, the stunning scenery and the spot below the castle on Friday
with all those different and wonderful birds.”

Jenny Shalom, Richmond, London
Spanish Pyrenees in Winter – November 2018


“Another outstanding tour this time to the Pyrenees. The effort and time you both put in, made my trip extremely enjoyable.
I am looking forward to my next trip with you, if it is as good as this one I’m in for a treat.
Thank you, Yvonne.”

Yvonne Watling, Colchester, Essex
Spanish Pyrenees in Winter – November 2018


“Thank you for a totally enjoyable and fun trip to the Pyrenees.
With vast amounts of unspoilt countryside and shedloads of birds, especially raptors, what a bird watching extravaganza Spain is!
The morning we spent at Mallos de Riglos was definitely a highlight for all the group when our patience was extremely well rewarded with a 10/10 sighting of the much anticipated Wallcreeper, what a superb little bird.
The glorious sunshine, stunning landscape, impressive rocks (and rock climbers), made this special bird a very memorable ‘tick’.
The Bearded Vultures, Golden Eagle and Griffin Vultures at Santa Cillia de Panzano were absolutely fabulous as were the
Great Bustards on the Bujaraloz plains – and seeing the bustards in flight.
I saw so many birds, and so many birds I’d never seen before, delighted also to see the Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear,
Sardinian Warbler and choughs.
And what a magical time of year to visit the Pyrenees, with so many beautiful trees clothed in rich autumnal colours of reds, yellows and golds – a truly breathtaking landscape.
Steve, you certainly know how to pack a short break with lots of places to go and plenty of birds to see. It still impresses me how quickly you can locate and identify ANY bird – you ARE the Collins Bird Guide –
The most complete guide to birds of Britain and Europe personified! – with an added sense of humour.
And all other stuff that made the break so enjoyable, lovely hotel, great food, good company, well organised and lots of humour. Can’t wait for my next trip.
Thank you both again, Jane.”

Jane Noble, Witham, Essex
Spanish Pyrenees in Winter – November 2018


“A big thank you to you both for a wonderful extended tour on the Isles of Scilly.
It truely is a magicial place to be with beautiful beaches, coastal paths and scenery, in all weathers!
The birds are a bonus, however it’s great fun being part of the birding community and adding more ticks to the life list.
Looking forward to my next trip already!”

Emma Robinson, Copford, Essex
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration – October 2018


“A really big thank you Steve for calmly coping with the trials and tribulations of an amazingly hot birdwatching weekend;
you made it really good fun and very informative and I am now a real dragonfly fan!!
A Goshawk, a Hobby and a Bar-headed Goose all added to what became a very memorable,
and thoroughly enjoyable Swallow Birding Tour. Thank you so much.”

Ann & Steve Harris, Great Maplestead, Halstead
South Coast Wildlife Weekend – July 2018


“What a brilliant tour of Iceland that was.
Thanks to you and Godfried for putting together a stupendous trip, the scenery
and density of bird life was far above my expectations.
One of the many memories and possibly the highlight was seeing the young Gyrfalcons strengthening their wings.
Sorry for all the superlatives, but it was a fantastic trip.”

David Broadley, Richmond, Surrey
Iceland – Land of Fire and Ice – June 2018


“We just wanted to say a BIG thank you for a lovely four days,
You put so much effort into it all and tried to please everyone, it is much appreciated.
We saw so many interesting things, and visited so many lovely places. Bill is over the moon to get the new butterflies
and as for the orchids they were stunning.”

Rosie & Bill Perkins, Doddinghurst, Brentwood
Northwest Wildlife Weekend – May 2018


“Thank you for a wildlife filled weekend in Northwest England. It was great to see the birds,
butterflies and wildflowers of the area within stunning scenery and with a lovely group of people.
Look forward to seeing you both soon.”

Emma Robinson, Copford, Colchester
Northwest Wildlife Weekend – May 2018


“Thanks for the trip report Steve and thanks again for a really excellent tour.
The area was a real eye opener and you managed to show us such a wide variety of habitats and species.
A great break!.”

Chris Davis, Rowhedge
Northwest Wildlife Weekend – May 2018


“Thank you so much Steve for the trip report as a record of a wonderful trip.
It just went too quickly -I wished I could have it all again just as it was!
Fantastic photographs in the report too. Best Wishes.”

Neil Sumner, Billericay
Northern Greece & Southwest Bulgaria – Pelicans & Pygmies – May 2018


“Thanks Steve for a great week on Mull. Good accommodation and
well located. Great company. Birds and wildlife magical. Great report,
photographs and a good memory of the holiday.”

Richard Stanley, Pitsea
Magical Mull – April 2018


“Dear Steve and Annette. many thanks for my trip report which I thoroughly enjoyed reading,
it was lovely to relive our time on Mull and all the many wonderful things we saw.
I look forward to my next trip in June and even more new experiences. Until then….”

Gillian Faulder, Great Baddow, Chelmsford
Magical Mull – April 2018


“Thank you Steve for a fabulous tour of Mull and neighbouring islands.
I saw all the wildlife on my wish list and more.
The scenery was stunning, hotel was comfy, well situated and provided lovely food.
Great company and you were very accommodating of everyone’s needs and wishes.
The only down side is that I have gained a couple of pounds!”

Caroline Faulder, Knighton, Powys, Wales
Magical Mull – April 2018


“Magnificent, Majestic, Magical Mull – a brilliant tour. I didn’t want it to end.
Many thanks for a great tour.”

Graham Russell, Chelmsford
Magical Mull – April 2018


“Many thanks Steve and Annette for yet another excellent tour, this time to a new location,
which hopefully will become a regular destination.
Superb birding in some stunning locations, comfortable accommodation, great food and very good company.”

David L Smith, Witham
Ebro Delta, Spain – Wonderful Wetland Birding – April 2018


“Thank you so much for the most fabulous bird watching day at Rutland Water on Saturday.
You are both such stars and your attention to detail on these bird tours is amazing.
My first real life Ospreys and I could almost believe that you arranged for them to be there for us.”

Ann Harris, Great Maplestead
Rutland Water – Day trip – April 2018


“I really have enjoyed reading the trip report!
I’ve already been feeling nostalgic about the trip because I enjoyed it immensely, such a nice place and so many wonderful birds.
Your report is a lovely keepsake, comprehensive and well written with some superb photos.”

Jane Noble, Witham
Early Spring in Extremadura – Spain – March 2018


“Steve – thanks a zillion, it was a brilliant trip and you work so hard to ensure we all have a great time, which we did.
I love your friendly informal and fun style and your energy, expertise and knowledge of the area is impressive.
All those wonderful birds totally dazzled me and as a novice birder and my first overseas trip, it’s just left me wanting more.
I have promised myself a return visit to Extremadura and can’t wait for my next trip with Swallow Birding!. Thank you both again.”

Jane Noble, Witham
Early Spring in Extremadura – Spain – March 2018


“Thank you for the Estonia report, as prompt and accurate as ever. It was a most enjoyable trip with good company,
accommodation and food as well as your normal excellent guiding.”

Christopher Cox, Canterbury, Kent
Estonia – Steller’s Eider and Woodpecker Break – March 2018


“Wonderful stuff Steve, thanks again for everything. I really don’t know how you maintain such a pleasant disposition all the time.
I hope you have had a chance to get a good rest. I spent a lot of time sleeping over the weekend. It feels positively
tropical in Essex now.”

Ann & Tony Gales, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
Estonia – Steller’s Eider and Woodpecker Break – March 2018


“A big thank you for Saturday and yesterday. As always your knowledge and enthusiasm
made both days extremely enjoyable despite the weather!
Yesterday we saw an amazing variety of birds, most of which I would have missed had I been there on my own.
Thanks again!”

David Saville, Chelmsford
Old Hall Marshes Localbirder – January 2018


Thank you Steve for a very enjoyable bird filled tour to the Southwest and a great trip report to remember it.
I added three new birds to my UK list and my favourite part was surprisingly observing the artic gulls in the harbour!
Looking forward to my next tour already.”

Emma Robinson, Colchester
Southwest Winter Birding – January 2018


“Many thanks for an absolute blast of a trip – really enjoyed it!”
Graham Russell, Chelmsford
Extremadura – Cranes & Cork Oaks – November 2017


“Thank you both for an amazing Gambian experience! It was fun and at times quite adventurous!
Thank you to Steve and all our guides who worked so hard to help us see as many birds as possible.
The group were great and I shall miss them.
I love being on Swallow birding trips, my life has been enriched by all that I have learnt and by the different people I have met.”

Jill Canning, Feering
The Gambia – Winter Birding in West Africa – November 2017


“Dear Steve and Annette, as you know, I am not often lost for words, but have to confess in struggling to describe the tour.
All I can manage is; amazing!
With many thanks to you both, the support team and my fellow participants.”

David L Smith, Witham
The Gambia – Winter Birding in West Africa – November 2017


“We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and thought that the group ‘jelled’ really well,
we would be more than happy to be with any of them on a future occasion!
I also must say that your Trip Reports are second to none.
Although we have had, in the past, very good reports, ‘Swallow Birding Trip Reports’ are definitely top of the class!!
Quite how you remember all those details defeats me.
Look forward to joining you on another trip in the future.”

Jane & Mike Overall, Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire
Southern Sweden – Autumn Migration – September 2017


“Many thanks Annette & Steve for another excellent tour. As usual; comfortable accommodation, wonderful food,
great company, combined with superb locations and a smorgasbord of birds!”

David L Smith, Witham
Southern Sweden – Autumn Migration – September 2017


“Thanks for a brilliant day yesterday, I was thrilled to see the Swallowtails, something I have long wanted to see
and I thought the Marsh Helleborine was just stunning.
It’s always a joy to go out with you, your depth of knowledge is just amazing.”

Lorna Whitworth, Manningtree
Summer Wildlife of the Norfolk Broads – June 2017


“It was a memorable 4 days with the most delightful group. Missed them all immediately you departed Hillingdon Station.
Thank you for the most comprehensive report of the 4 days.
And by the way, I wish you the very best on your wedding day and future together,
I can see that you have clearly already made an extraordinary partnership.”

Andrew Slack, Indiana, USA
Mid-Wales & Anglesey – June 2017


“We thought Mid Wales & Anglesey was a very good trip indeed, lots of new places for us, a great sea bird colony,
and so many Red Kites it was unbelievable!
Those Pied Flycatchers were ace too! Thanks so much for organising it so smoothly
and getting us all over the place in good time, whatever the weather!
All the very best.”

Mandy & Edward Mayer, London
Mid-Wales & Anglesey – June 2017


“Thank you for the enjoyable trip report and the great photos.
The tour was well organised and guided and we enjoyed your company very much.
Everyone on the tour was really nice, which made the holiday special.
We will keep looking at your website as we know we will join you again, your trips get booked up quickly
and we can understand why!
Once again, thank you very much for the tour and we hope to see you soon.”

Pat & Ian Taylor, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
Northumberland – Seabird Spectacular – June 2017


“Thank you both for a brilliant Puffin filled tour to Northumberland. It was an amazing experience to visit the seabird colonies at the Farnes and Coquet Island. With great birds, scenery, accommodation and a lovely group of people, it is definitely a holiday to remember. Looking forward already to my next tour.
A big thank you again.”

Emma Robinson, Copford
Northumberland – Seabird Spectacular – June 2017


“Many thanks Steve, I really enjoyed reading through your trip report as a reminder of everything we saw. The pictures are superb and I really appreciate all your hard work in putting it together.
Hungary is an amazing place, I love Eastern Europe – it is fascinating and to see all the birds and wildlife was a real privilege.”

Andrew Ducat, East Hanningfield
Hungary – Wildlife of the Kiskunsag National Park – May 2017


“I enjoyed the Hungary bird trip very much thank you: good food, wonderful wildlife, beautiful birds, excellent company and a very interesting trip report to follow!”
Sue Small, Barking
Hungary – Wildlife of the Kiskunsag National Park – May 2017


“Thank you for the trip report, it is so good, such lovely memories of the time spent on the trip, thank you very much.
Thank you once again for such a lovely break with so many birds, beautiful meadows and good company!”

Penny Grace, Hainault, Ilford
Hungary – Wildlife of the Kiskunsag National Park – May 2017


“Just read your excellent report and would like to thank you again for a great trip. We really enjoyed the birds, company,
location, hotel, food and drink. In fact the whole experience!”

Margaret & Bernard Harris, Tolleshunt Knights
Mallorca – Balearic Spring Birding – May 2017


“Thank you so much for a really brilliant trip to Dorset, I thoroughly enjoyed it. We were so lucky with what we saw,
I particularly enjoyed the summer warblers and to see all those waders in summer plumage was a real treat and so unexpected!”

Lorna Whitworth, Bradfield, Suffolk
Portland Bill, Dorset – Migration Weekend – April 2017


“Thank you both for a superb trip to Dorset. We had a great time with some great highlights and memories of superb birds.
Our personal favourites are the Little Terns at Lodmore for Marilyn and Wood Warbler and
Spotted Flycatcher at Portland Castle for me.
But then there was the Turtle Dove, Eastern Subalpine Warbler and the sea watching, not forgetting the Black Terns…..terrific!
Thanks again for a lovely holiday and we hope to catch up again soon”

Marilyn & Mark, Leigh-on-sea
Portland Bill, Dorset – Migration Weekend – April 2017


“Many thanks for a “great” week of Highland Birding and keeping me in suspense until the eleventh hour
for the Sea Eagles. Life can be fun if you take part!”

Gillian Faulder, Great Baddow
Speyside, Scotland – April 2017


“Comfortable accommodation, wonderful food, great company, excellent birding and mammal watching, in superb locations,
with some dramatic weather, all making for a memorable tour!”

David Smith, Witham
Speyside, Scotland – April 2017


“Here are a few photos from the trip.
Thanks for your company, a very memorable experience for me with a lot of laughs!
All the best and hope to see you soon on further trips”

Michael Thomas, Ailsworth, Cambridgeshire
Speyside, Scotland – April 2017


“My parents and I very much enjoyed the Barge trip on Saturday. My mum especially enjoyed seeing places from her childhood.
With the added addition of excellent bird spotting by yourselves, great company, food and weather
it is definitely a day to remember”

Emma Robinson, Copford
Birds of the River Colne – Barge Cruise from Brightlingsea – April 2017


“Once again thank you for your efforts in making the recent tour to Morocco an absolutely superb and unforgettable experience.
Having travelled with several tour operators I can honestly say that your trip reports are easily the best.
With a detailed daily diary of events, a comprehensive bird list plus an extensive photographic selection of the birds actually seen,
they make a phenomenal record of this and every other tour you operate”

Peter Hobbs, Noak Bridge
The Magic of Morocco – Grand Tour – March 2017


“Thanks for the wonderful trip report.
Just printed it off and my colour print cartridge managed to not run out in the middle, so the photos came out beautifully.
Why would I need to take photos when you and Chris take them for me! I didn’t have to lose the moment worrying about which shutter speed to use and so got the whole rounded experience.
You managed it yet again – beautiful scenery, lovely food and a likeable cast of characters plus loads of birds that just seemed to appear out of desert, rocks and trees at the right moment.
Thanks for your tireless efforts, greatly appreciated.
All the best”

Rob Usher, Harlow
The Magic of Morocco – Grand Tour – March 2017


“Just to say what a great day it was yesterday – Birding – Socially – Food!
Thankfullly, that glass of red wine I partook did not have me calling out bird species first for the Western Palearctic!”

John Smart, Billericay
Birdwatching Barge Trip – Day Sail from Maldon – March 2017


“Really enjoyed reading the report with some great photos. Brings back memories of a fantastic weekend, wonderful birds,
so much fun. Thanks again for everything.
See you on 23 March for a Thames barge trip, already booked.
Very best wishes”

David Parrott – Billericay
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2017


“Thank you for another great trip report which does bring happy memories of an amazing trip away.
Fuerteventura was ‘Island of the Sun’ with amazing birds, wildlife, scenery and beaches. The trip was the perfect winter break away with a lovely group of people!
Look forward to seeing you soon”

Emma Robinson – Copford
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2017


“Thanks for the trip report produced with impressive speed and illustrated with your excellent photos, as usual!
Yes, the trip was greatly enjoyed and we have tried to ‘hunker down’ to the usual chores feeling rejuvenated by a break, though going out birding has greater appeal! Cheers”

Pat & Simon Cox – Clacton-on-Sea
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun – February 2017


“Thanks for another lovely day on Saturday. The birds and the company were both excellent. Your enthusiasm is completely infectious and you are a great host”
Susan & Nico Deveraux – Colchester
Blackwater Boat Trip – December 2016


“Thank you for a great day on Saturday. I have not yet totted up how many different species of birds we saw but I had not expected to see so many. To become almost blasé about seeing Marsh Harriers was extraordinary and to see so many coming in to roost was quite wonderful, let alone the Bearded Tit, Mediterranean Gull, Merlin, Crane and Short-eared Owl.
Your knowledge and enthusiasm are infectious. Kind Regards”

Robert Macaulay – Thorpe-le-Soken
Winter Birding on the Isle of Sheppey Day Trip – November 2016


“Many thanks for the lovely trip report, you’ve put so much work into it and it makes such interesting reading. We loved your Jack Snipe video on Twitter!!
We both had a wonderful week on the Scillies and enjoyed your good company, you always take care of us so well and it is much appreciated, a big thank you to both of you!
We look forward to seeing you very soon”

Rosie & Bill Perkins – Doddinghurst
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration – October 2016


“I had a wonderful trip with a very friendly group of birders. I have never seen so many birds and I’ve learned a lot about them from you all. I would very much like to join you again on future birding trips. Best wishes”
Sue Small – Barking
Southern Spain & Morocco – Marsh Owls and Migration – September 2016


“Thank you yet again for a super trip, lovely food, good accommodation and wonderful close up views of so many birds.
I’m so pleased I came on the trip as it was a never to be forgotten experience!
You can tell people about it but you need to experience it for yourself.
I love the report and what a terrific collection of photos, absolutely great and it brings back the dive-bombing memories!
Once more, thank you so much for organising these wonderful trips and for being so kind and considerate to your clients.
I will see what you have on offer next year and encourage my friend to join me.
With every good wish for all the lovely times and grateful thanks”

Diana Smith – Westcliff-on-Sea
Northumberland – Seabird Spectacular – June 2016


“Thank you for an amazing weekend. It was very me, seeing the birds up very close
and successfully breeding with their young was great!
The valley and RSPB site were beautiful and with the flowers it all had a feeling of serenity.
The hotel had a view that will stay with me forever!
Thank you Annette for recommending the trip”

Jill & Paul Pearsons – Chelmsford
Northumberland – Seabird Spectacular – June 2016


“Thank you very much for the trip report, an excellent read with excellent photos!
It was a truly memorable holiday, with quality birds and excellent company.
Look forward to seeing you again in the near future. Best regards”

Mark Farrar – Fleetwood, Lancashire
Lapland & Varanger – Arctic Birding Adventure – June 2016


“Many thanks once again – another thoroughly enjoyable trip and, rest assured, I’ll be joining you on others! I thought the accommodation and food were excellent, the birds and photo opportunities superb. As for the driving, you won’t need a co driver when you enter the Le Mans 24 hour!
All the best to you both”

David Acfield – Ingatestone, Chelmsford
Lapland & Varanger – Arctic Birding Adventure – June 2016


“Just a quick thank you both for a fantastic trip. I was so impressed with the Hebrides, it was beautiful and I loved seeing the summer plumaged waders. The ‘machair’ was just amazing, it was great to see the difference between the two islands. We really caught the right week with sunshine better than at home by all accounts. You certainly made an excellent choice of hotel, the food was fantastic and the staff so obliging.
Best wishes”

Lorna Whitworth – Manningtree
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – May/June 2016


” Great to read your trip report and bring back the happy memories. Loved the surprise ode to the Outer Hebrides by Avis!
Another fantastic and fun filled trip, still can’t believe we had such good weather,
hoping to book another trip soon.
Once again many thanks”

David Parrott – Billericay
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – May/June 2016


“There must be a better word in the English dictionary than ‘thankyou’ !! I absolutely loved the trip and really appreciate everything you do, and did for us. Yes, we were lucky with the weather, but your planning, experience, knowledge and care for us all just enhances everything. We all appreciate it and it’s lovely that you can share and enjoy the experiences with us. I don’t think any of us will ever forget the corncrake experience!! What a laugh we had!
I now really look forward to coming to Northumberland with you and a few more puffins!
Once again a heartfelt thankyou for a wonderfully successful trip.
Also thank you for the wonderful trip report and all the lovely photos. The dolphin one is amazing! Very clever to catch that as it all happened so quickly.
And you are right – it did bring back happy memories. It was a great trip and we haven’t seen such good weather since!!
With every good wish”

Diana Smith – Westcliff-on-Sea
Outer Hebrides – Islands on the Edge – May/June 2016


“Just to say a big thank you for the fantastic holiday in Bulgaria, for all your hard work in putting it all together and for doing all the
driving, both Lesley and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, thank you for some great birding!
Excellent Value, Excellent Fun and Excellent Birds!
There were 39 lifers for us, countless memories, and I now have 1300 photographs to go through!
The trip report is perfect thank you, lovely to look back on especially with all the photos, well done!
See you soon and thanks once again”

Lesley & Steve Collins – Colchester, Essex
Bulgaria in Spring – The Grand Tour – May 2016


“Many thanks for a really fabulous trip to Bulgaria, I loved every minute of it!
Apart from the birds, there was a wonderful rich tapestry of flowers and butterflies and it was every bit as good as
Dobry our guide had lead me to believe.
Best wishes and see you soon”

Lorna Whitworth – Manningtree, Suffolk
Bulgaria in Spring – The Grand Tour – May 2016


“My first trip with Swallow Birding was a spectacular introduction to birding holidays – great company,
excellent guiding and superb birds!
Regards and thanks”

David L Smith – Witham, Essex
Bulgaria in Spring – The Grand Tour – May 2016


“Just letting you know how much we enjoyed the trip to Poland. We have been on a number of organised birding trips in the past and this one was probably the most ‘all round’ enjoyable.
The whole group seemed to get on extremely well and the leader wasn’t bad either!!
We were most impressed by the superb trip report – definitely the best we have ever received.
So thanks once again for the excellent birding and leading etc etc!!
Hope to join you on another trip in 2017″

Jane & Michael Overall – Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire
Poland – Bialowieza Forest & Biebrza Marshes – May 2016


“Many thanks for a superb trip to Poland. Your skill at being able to locate birds and help everyone to see them is really first class. As a novice I really appreciated your help in being able to tell the difference between birds by sight and song and it is so much easier doing that in somewhere like Poland. It really is an amazing place and definitely somewhere I would be interested in going back to in the future”
Andrew Ducat – East Hanningfield, Essex
Poland – Bialowieza Forest & Biebrza Marshes – May 2016


“Just unpacked from another Swallow Birding “Spectacular”. Birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, plants – all packed into an enjoyable, exhausting, exhilarating and excellent experience. Magical forests with views of hawfinch feeding young, superb views of several types of woodpecker, elks in the mist and to upstage Springwatch “three White-tailed Eagles in a tussle with two foxes. Thanks again for another outstanding and fun experience with good company.
Looking forward to seeing you both again soon.
Best wishes”

Sandra & Francis Muldoon – Sible Hedingham
Poland – Bialowieza Forest & Biebrza Marshes – May 2016


“Just a quick email to say thank you for a really enjoyable day yesterday – great birds, great company and a well-run day. What more could you ask – even the weather was kind to us.
Hope you all got home safely and that we get the chance to do something else together in the future.
Best wishes”

Iain Kimberley – Wetherby, Yorkshire
Rutland Water Day Trip – April 2016


“Many thanks for an excellent boat trip yesterday. I really enjoyed it and the light was fantastic, it really wasn’t too cold. I have been wanting to do it for a long time and it certainly was well worth the wait!”
Lorna Whitworth – Manningtree, Suffolk
Blackwater Boat Trip – March 2016


“Howard and I really enjoyed our trip to Fuerteventura. And, of course all the good company.
Good hotel, lovely food, and last but not least really good birding. THANK YOU xx”

Pat Brand – Billericay & Howard Manners – Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex
Fuerteventura – Island of the Sun 2016


“Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed our day bird watching with you and the group. Not only did we see many birds I hadn’t seen before but the knowledge you provided was excellent. Great company with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere – hopefully we’ll book again for a trip later in the year.
Thank you very much.”

Heather & Martin Maunders – Ely, Cambridgeshsire
Northwest Norfolk in Winter – Day Trip 2016


“Many thanks to you both for a really fabulous week on the Scillies, thanks for finding us so many lovely birds and for your help
with our luggage etc. The memories of the lovely things we saw and picnics on
beautiful deserted beaches will remain with us forever.”

Rosie & Bill Perkins – Doddington, Essex
Golden Isles of Scilly – Autumn Migration 2015


“Thank you for the excellent report on the superb trip to Finland. I am very impressed with the quality and number of photos included in the account of our day to day excursions and with the outstanding birds we were lucky to see!
Very best wishes to you both.”

Bill Kilby – Teddington, Middlesex
Finland – Land of the Midnight Sun 2015


“We had extremely high expectations of the “Land of the Midnight Sun” trip to Finland following the day trips I had been on with Swallow Birding. Those expectations were not only met but regularly exceeded as we daily saw impressive numbers of new species. Steve and the local guide, Antti, worked tirelessly to ensure we had every opportunity to get incredible views of each bird and time to appreciate their behaviour. Steve has an innate ability to spot birds in thick cover but, more importantly, the ability to clearly describe their location to the party and find positions where we could often obtain brilliant photos. Hotels and food were very good and it is very noticeable that you continually manage the trip to ensure each guest has a wonderful time and achieves their ambitions. Julie absolutely adored all the Owls while my high point was the Red Flanked Bluetail, an Osprey and a Golden Eagle all competing for our attention at the same time. Thanks once again for a most enjoyable holiday.
Kind regards.”

Julie & Colin Brown – Chelmsford
Finland – Land of the Midnight Sun 2015


“Thank you so, so much for a terrific week. It was a holiday I’d been looking forward to but never dreamed I would have enjoyed quite so much. Everything from the company, the scenery, the sightings, the visits, the accommodation, the food and even the weather couldn’t have been better. Congratulations on arranging and planning it and being such a considerate and patient ‘kingpin’, it was all wonderful! Hope the rest of the season’s trips go as well for you as this one did. It deserved full marks on every count. And more particularly thank you Steve for always watching out for me whether it was clambering over boulders or ensuring I could view the birds. It was a first birdwatching trip for me – and I look forward to the next one!! It really was a Magical Mull experience – in every respect, and thank you Annette for convincing me last year that it was the trip for me!!! Usually at the end of a holiday I’m more than ready to come home, but I would have been more than happy to continue on this one!! Steve’s ability to spot a bird almost before it becomes a speck in the sky is an amazing talent, and because of that I saw more birds than I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s certainly found his niche in life. Not only good with birds but with people too.

An ode to Steve, Bird Group Leader Extraordinaire

I went to see Puffins
And saw much much more
Like Eagles so golden
And Grouse on the moor

There were Great Northern Divers
And otters and seal
And Wheatears and Corncrakes
And Gadwall and Teal

There were Lapwings and Plovers
And Turnstones and Doves
A white Gull from Iceland
And quite a few Ruffs

We were lucky to see
Five Woodcock so rare
Eiders and Shearwater
That took to the air

The week went so quickly
We had so much fun
While talking of weather
And what we had done

Your patience was tried
As we struggled to spell
The lochs we had seen
But that you knew so well

I’ve learnt such a lot
And give thanks so sincere
As for me it’s most surely
The break of the year!

With thanks and every good wish.”.
Diana Smith – Westcliff-on-Sea
Magical Mull 2015


“Thank you so much for the super report of our New Forest trip. It’s a good total of birds seen, even if one or two did elude us! (I’m sure there really are goshawks – somewhere!!) We had a great time and the weather was kind to us – the hotel was very good too. Thank you for looking after us so well and inspiring us with your enthusiasm and passion for birding. On my walk yesterday I chatted to 2 people who are joining you on the trip to Mull next week. They too were singing your praises! Hope you see the Sea Eagles – and perhaps a Golden? Have a good trip. Hope to see you again next year!”
Pam Shankland – Basildon
Spring Birding in the New Forest 2015

“Thank you both very much for giving us such a great holiday in Cyprus. The characterful hotel, great birds, locations and fellow travellers all added up to make a super trip! It was very hard to find just one special moment and today we’ve had time to reflect on just how many we had; the Garganey flying in over the sea, appearance of the Little Crakes, numerous Pallid Harriers, the variety of Waders and Warblers, fabulous flowers, great sewage works birds and lots more, not forgetting the unexpected Reptiles! Thanks again. “
Marilyn Pritchard & Mark Bridges – Leigh-on-Sea
Cyprus – Spring Birding on Aphrodite’s Isle 2015


“Thank you so much for another fun trip full of wonderful birds and other wildlife. It was a great group and superb friendly accommodation. A special thank you to Steve and his field work skills in going the extra mile to find those delightful Black-winged Kites – a real highlight of the tour. Looking forward to our next trip! “
Sandra & Francis Muldoon – Sible Hedingham
Extremadura – Secret Spain 2015


“Thank you very much for giving us a super trip to Dungeness on Saturday. Didn’t we have some brilliant birds despite the weather! It’s hard to pick our favourites but the Peregrines displaying took some beating not to mention the Lesser Yellowlegs for a UK tick for us and then there were the Cattle Egrets and lovely views of the Kingfisher…… Thanks again for getting our year off to such a great start “
Marilyn Pritchard & Mark Bridges – Leigh-on-Sea
Dungeness Day Trip 2015


“Just wanted to say thank you for another “action packed” few days. We both enjoyed it enormously. I had five new birds and today overheard Francis enthusing about the weekend to one of his biking friends! The group were great fun and really helpful in sharing information and birding tips for ID. Steve as usual was superb finding the birds and making sure we all saw what we needed to see and we had 3 days of fantastic scenery and even more fantastic birds, flowers and wildlife. The accommodation was excellent as was Esther’s hospitality and cooking. Every trip we do, we think “this cannot be equalled” and then it always is! Looking forward to our next trip.”
Sandra & Francis Muldoon – Sible Hedingham
Early Winter in the Spanish Pyrenees 2014


“Thank you for such a superb day, it was well organised and executed from the outset in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. I managed to see 60 species today, I was a bit slow on occasions and missed a few you pointed out, but was really delighted that the 60 species included 21 year ticks and 6 lifers! It speaks volumes that although most of the party were repeat custom, it was great that everybody made us newcomers feel welcome. This was my first trip with Swallow Birding, the first of many I am sure.
Thanks again! “

Colin Brown – Chelmsford
Pager Day Trip 2014


“Just to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Bulgaria, the sights were amazing, will we ever see so many eagles again? Beautiful weather, good hotel, and best of all fantastic birds, what more could anyone want? Please convey our thanks and appreciation to our Bulgarian guide who is a great guy and who worked so hard, as did Steve, to make the trip such a success. Once again many thanks! “
Pat Brand – Billericay & Howard Manners – Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex
Bulgaria – Black Sea Coast Migration 2014


“We would just like to say that we really enjoyed the recent tour Sea Watching in Cornwall. Steve, you looked after us all fantastically and made sure that we were comfortable at all times. Even with the changeable weather one morning, we saw an absolutely amazing amount of birds. A great group ensured that we had plenty of laughs, especially at the hotel. We will certainly be joining you again, and again. Thank you! “
Lesley & Steve Collins – Colchester
Cornwall – Seabirds and Migrants 2014


“Once again many thanks for the brilliant day yesterday. I was thrilled to see a Marbled White butterfly which I have wanted to see for a long time and we were so lucky with the orchids. It’s really good that there are still such wonderful hidden spots in this country with all these special things. Many thanks for the trip reports too with amazing photos as ever.”
Lorna Whitworth – Bradfield, Manningtree
Wildlife of the Chilterns Day Trip 2014


“At last I have got round to thanking you for a superb trip. My first with you but not my last! I had a quite splendid time, and with the two of you looking after me it was so good. You both have such different talents, but oh, how they fit together to make Swallow Birding unique in my experience. I have just seen the trip report – great – you write reports as well and take photographs!! Many thanks again.”
Audrey Cowie – Colchester
Northumberland – Seabird Spectacular 2014


“Remarkably I feel fresh enough this morning to pen a brief note to thank you for one of the best birding trips I’ve been on from all points of view – guide, birds, accommodation, transport, food and company were all excellent. Steve, I do hope you recover from the driving experience which was above and beyond the call of duty and many thanks for working so hard to get us to see the specialities. Annette, many thanks for ensuring I was OK at all times and for being a very entertaining flight companion. The downside of your joint success is that you will be seeing me again.”
David Acfield – Ingatestone
Finland – Land of the Midnight Sun 2014


“Great trip report. Love the photos. It was definitely Magical Mull. A fab week. Cant wait for the next trip. Many many thanks.”
Jill Canning – Feering
Magical Mull 2014


“Well what can I say, except a big thank you for the last ten days of terrific birding, it was an amazing experience, great quality birds, phenomenal scenery, cracking weather and the best ever pre-breakfast walk. I’ve had some good, some really good and also some great birding trips with yourselves but this is the best so far!”
Peter Hobbs – Basildon
Turkey -Western Palearctic Wonders 2014


“Thank you so much for the comprehensive Trip Report for the Day Trip. I really appreciate all the hard work you both put in and can easily understand why people return so often!!”
Alan Blois – Layer-de-la-Haye
North Norfolk Day Trip 2014


“Thanks for yet another good trip. I went to a new place, saw new birds, learnt something new and laughed a lot! Great combination!”
Jill Canning – Feering
Dungeness Day Trip 2014


“We had such a good day today birdwatching with you. We learned so much and had such a happy time. A big thank you to yourself Steve, and Andrew for being such good instructors and also for being so patient! Guess what! On our way home, the Barn Owl flew across the road at head height just in front of the car (lucky we didn’t hit it!). Maybe you were still on the lookout for it and spotted it in the dusk as it came over your way, I hope so. A brilliant end to a brilliant day! Thank you again from both of us!”
Charlotte Scott-Barrett – Colchester
Abberton Reservoir Localbirder 2014


“The birding was lovely. I had a great time, thanks to you and the other birders. The Marsh Owls were amazing and truly a species I am sure I won’t see again. Watching Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles and Black Storks trying to migrate was an amazing spectacle. Thanks for that! However, I really liked seeing the Hoopoe fly and perch on the wire, great!
I want to congratulate you and Steve on the great trip report. I have never received such a detailed list with commentary, photos, and documentation. I have travelled with 3 American birding companies and your trip report is miles ahead of theirs! I have just looked at the photos as well on your website and they are great. Thanks again for a wonderful experience!”

Jane Stavert – California, USA
Southern Spain & Morocco – Marsh Owls & Migration 2013


“Thank you for the trip report, it’s really good! It included fabulous photos which made lots of memories come flooding back. The trip was one of the best holidays I have ever had, I enjoyed every minute! The birds were amazing and being able to use your telescope added a whole new dimension to my enjoyment, thank you. It was also nice to be part of such a lovely bunch of people. I can’t wait to do my next trip!”
Jill Canning – Feering
Southern Spain & Morocco – Marsh Owls & Migration 2013


“Many thanks for a great trip to Wales which I thoroughly enjoyed! It’s an area I was unfamiliar with and it is beautiful! It was so hot and sunny and I was thrilled with the Pied Flycatchers. I had no idea that there are so many Choughs in Wales and they are one of my favourite birds. Thanks also for the trip report and the wonderful photos.
What I really enjoy about your trips is that it is not just birds but all natural history and your knowledge just never ceases to amaze me. Thanks once again!”
Lorna Whitworth – Bradfield, Manningtree
Wales 2013


“Thank you for a brilliant trip to Hungary! We enjoyed the birds, flowers and lovely isolation from the manic life we normally lead.
The group were great! They were diverse and friendly people, everyone loving birds and the countryside. Unique!
We would love to join you again next year!”
Jill & Paul Pearsons – Chelmsford
Hungary 2013


“Many thanks for the very comprehensive report on our great trip to Norfolk! It was a super trip, full of interest and variety and all the more rewarding for having your expert guidance. We hope to be able to join you again and thanks for a great holiday!”
Elizabeth & Geoff Forward – Billericay
Norfolk Coast & Heath 2013


“Thank you so much for the report. It is a super record of what was an excellent bird watching tour. Thank you so much for your dedication and enthusiasm in pointing out (and finding!) so many different species, which on our own I am sure we would have overlooked. You were also very considerate in looking after our personal welfare, and I think the hotel was an excellent choice of accommodation – the food was delicious and hospitality very good. I am sure we shall be coming back to you for another tour.”
Pam Shankland – Basildon
Norfolk Coast & Heath 2013


“Many thanks for a most enjoyable trip to Extremadura! Hitting the birding hotspots, whilst avoiding the rain all around us was indeed a major achievement! Thanks to your help, I managed to see 28 new species. A very rewarding 4 days! As far as I am concerned (as a novice birder), Swallow Birding has been a marvellous experience for me. I cannot find words to praise you and Steve enough!!”
David Parrott – Billericay
Extremadura 2013


“Wow! What a trip!
As always it was superbly organised. The birds that we saw were truly magnificent, giving us 25 new species to add to our WP list. The hotel was also superb, run by a great family. It was a pleasure to be able to try traditional local food and wine that they were obviously proud of.

Even the weather behaved itself, the only real rain coming as we were in the minibus. Definitely well done to you!”
Kathryn & Stephen Buxton – Thorpe-le-Soken
Extremadura 2013


“Thank you for running an excellent trip to Extremadura! The hard work you put in with the planning and preparation certainly benefitted everyone. It was very evident that your preparation included being very familiar with sites and alternatives, that again added to the ease with which the trip ran. Thanks also to Annette for all her hard work behind the scenes.”
Adrienne & Derek Tollesbury
Extremadura 2013


“Just to say thankyou for all your hard work for another excellent weekend’s birding. As usual good birds, good food and accommodation, good company and plenty of good laughs! Excellent!”
Roy Ledgerton – Braintree
Cornwall 2013


“Just a note to thank you for a tremendous week in Shetland! It’s a place I have always wanted to visit but really knew very little about! I was amazed at some of the scenery, just incredible!
This, plus some fantastic birds, the bonxies were just awesome! The 2 boat trips were out of this world and I will long remember the churring of the Storm Petrels at the nest and the sea cliffs around Noss.
But what really made the week was the people. I was a little concerned, booking so late and not knowing anyone apart from one person. These concerns were totally unfounded of course as you made me welcome from the moment we met at Aberdeen airport. There was plenty of good ‘craic’ amongst the group and it really made the week. I will book again with you!”
Phil Hampson – Stockport, Cheshire
Shetland 2012


“Another great spectacle of wildlife! Such excellent close views of the birds; where else could you get that close to bonxies? We are still talking about the boat trip, the Storm Petrels singing in the broch walls and the colours of the Red-necked Phalarope in breeding plumage. So many highlights and so many memories of another fabulous trip with you. Thankyou!”
Sandra & Francis Muldoon – Sible Hedingham
Shetland 2012


“Many thanks for a most enjoyable trip to Poland. About ten years ago we were put off joining birdwatching groups but this time we found everyone very friendly and accommodating. Of course this is all down to you being an excellent leader; so easy going, cheerful and friendly. Your incredible talent for spotting and identifying birds at a glance or by just a chirp always amazes us. It is great to be able to add to our birdwatching knowledge, although the more we learn we realise how little we know! All in all it was an excellent trip with nice people, lots of birds seen well, including eight new birds for us (you cannot beat the woodpeckers and owls) comfortable accommodation and good food. We also found it interesting visiting a variety of habitats. We are both looking forward to reading the trip report that you have kindly sent us. Once again many thanks to both you and Annette. We look forward to joining another trip in the future”
Tina & Doug Holden – Great Baddow
Poland 2012


“I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed the trip – I had high expectations and they were exceeded. I will recommend Swallow Birding even more highly than before. It was such good fun, the birds were fabulous – and the people and countryside were terrific”
Neil Sumner – Billericay
Poland 2012


“Thanks for another splendid trip. As always, ‘Good Value – Good Fun – Good Birds’ reached and passed the excellent plus level, thanks to your efforts!”
Roy Ledgerton – Braintree
Poland 2012


“What a brilliant trip it was! You asked about highlights – every stop was a highlight and it just kept getting better! The birds, wildlife, scenery, accommodation and the people were all terrific,
thanks for everything”

Brian James – Benfleet
Bulgaria/Greece 2012


“I would just like to thank you for the recent five days of cracking birding in Bulgaria and Greece. The boat trip on Lake Kerkini was absolutely phenomenal, providing views of herons and egrets which will never be bettered and although optional should be made compulsory for any birdwatcher, a true wildlife spectacle”
Peter Hobbs – Basildon
Bulgaria/Greece 2012


” Many thanks for another splendid trip, only one word for Extremadura ‘WOW’ what superb birds, accommodation and company. Once again so many great birding memories. It seems that we arrive home from every trip thinking this one can’t be equalled and every time it is. Thanks – already looking forward to the next one”
Sandra & Francis Muldoon – Sible Hedingham
Extremadura 2012


“What a fantastic trip that was! I just woke up and I’m still buzzing.
What a lovely group we had, great food as well. As for the birds –
brilliant, amazing, fantastic – what more can I say!”

Ernie Wells – Colchester
Oland 2011


“We just wanted to thank you for another great trip, which we both enjoyed immensely. Fantastic birds, new lifers every day, super dragon, damsel and butterflies, it was a really magical tour. Thanks to Annette for her organisation and of course to Steve for being able to spot a Little Bittern sitting in a reedbed while driving at 40mph, how does he do it? We have lots of good memories and have already related the incident of Steve seemingly swearing very loudly ‘get out, Bustards’ at his clients across Le Crau, a moment never to be forgotten”
Sandra & Francis Muldoon – Sible Hedingham
Camargue 2011


“I just wish to state personally how much I enjoyed the recent trip to Morocco. All aspects were most enjoyable – the hotels, the food and the birding of course. What I enjoyed as well is the friendly atmosphere of the whole trip brought about by yourselves. So once again, many thanks for a most enjoyable holiday”
Ian Shaw – Chigwell
Morocco 2011


“Times of the trip were spot on and the first sightings of 500 Rose-coloured Starlings were the best I’ve seen on any birding trip.
Of course the Wallcreeper was obviously brilliant along with all other birds, butterflies and wildflowers.
Pre-breakfast walks were enjoyable because of the surrounding areas and location of accommodation.
Good food and good company and excellent leaders.“

Richard Stanley – Pitsea


“I must also say that apart from Steve’s excellent ability to find so much, he was so informative, helpful & attentive – he was BRILL.
This combined with the very friendly other travellers made it a truly memorable day”

Chris Henry – Essex
North Norfolk Day Trip


“Thank you for a wonderful weekend in the Camargue. Not just great birding but a lovely experience all round. This is thanks to you, who put so much effort into the whole thing.
I really enjoyed every minute and 10/10 to you both”

Margaret Dalgarno – Brentwood
Winter Camargue


“Received weekend report, very impressive. You’re right, it was a great weekend, great company and great birding. But what made it for me was 2 great hosts.
A big thank-you”

Richard Stanley – Pitsea – Sweden Migration


“A big, big thank you for making the weekend in Sweden rather special for me. What can I say, the company was good, the birds were good, the scenery was good in fact everything in the organisation of the weekend was tremendous”
David Sadler – Ashford, Kent
Sweden Migration


“It was a simply super weekend which was carried out in a friendly, leisurely way but also very professionally conducted”
Les Bird & Brian Holwell – Grays
Sweden Migration


“We had a fantastic day with you on Saturday. Everything was relaxed and enjoyable. A day to remember”
Rosie & Bill Perkins – Brentwood
Day Trip


“Thank you for one of the most memorable weekends I’ve ever had. I am still buzzing now.
To see such a variety in 2 days was amazing and thanks to the passion for our hobby by yourself and Annette I got the chance to see all this and meet some nice people too”

Darren Knight – Brentwood
Winter Raptors, Sweden


“Thank you so very much for the wonderful holiday, we had such an enjoyable time, amongst good company and with great birding
– especially on the Friday! Our best birdwatching day ever, with so many species to see all in the same place – magic!
All this was due to your excellent organisation –
what a great team you are”

Veronica & Hugh Owen – Colchester
Speyside, Scotland