Travel plan Big year WP 2017

Update Nov 29: Given quite some feedback from fellow birders, as well as some extensive studies of sightings at and we have now updated the itinerary. The major change is that we decided to skip Armenia entirely and spend more time in Turkey. Svalbard is there too.

Comments. During winter and spring we follow a fixed schedule until we return from the Urals in July. The autumn we find more difficult to plan since it depends on what species we are still missing as well as where the odd bird might show up. The schedule we have here is preliminary and especially the autumn and late winter is subject to change.

Since we are the first (to our knowledge) to really try a big year in the WP, we don’t have much info to rely on to plan this adventure, thus if you have any inputs or ideas don’t hesitate to send us an email with your thoughts.

  • Kuwait,  Jan 1-17. Eastern species + rare wintering birds. Crab Plover, Shikra, Lesser/Greater Sand Plover, Red-tailed/Isabelline Shrike, Bulbuls, Babblers.
  • End of Jan, maybe some straggling rarities in Sweden.
  • Morocco/Western Sahara. Feb 1-22. Coast and desert.  Double-spurred Francolin, Barbary Partridge, Royal Tern, Marsh Owl, Golden Nightjar, Maghreb Lark, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Cricket Warbler.
  • Northern Sweden,  March 1-8. Owls, Fowl, Woodpeckers. Arctic Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll !, Capercaillie, Parrot Crossbill, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Siberian Tit, Tengmalm’s owl.
  • Home.
  • Netherlands March 20 – 23 – Remaining Cat C + Vagrants and Geese.
  • Israel, March 24-April 7. Arabian Warbler, Nubian Nightjar, Humes Owl, Black Scrub-robin, Syrian Siskin, Sinai Rosefinch, McQueens Bustard.
  • Kuwait, second trip. April 9 -15 . Spring vagrants of Kuwait. Soccotra Cormorant, Caspian Plover, Basra Reed-warbler, Red Tailed Shrike, Shikra.
  • Mauritania April 17 – 21. Reed Cormorant, Gray-Hooded Gull, White-Breasted Cormorant.
  • Morocco, second trip. April 22-30. Atlas mountains and coast. Seebohm’s Wheatear, Atlas Flycatcher, Dupont’s Lark, Small Buttonquail, + spring migration.
  • Egypt. May 1-14. Southern species. Yellow-billed Stork, Kittliz’s Plover, Pink-backed Pelican, Lappet-faced Vulture, Painted Snipe, Senegal Thick-knee, Nile Valley Sunbird, Yellow Bittern and more.
  • Georgia. May 16-19. Caucasus species. Caucasian Snowcock, Caucasian Black Grouse, Great Rosefinch, Güldenstädt’s Redstart.
  • Turkey. May 21-June 7. Caucasus. Black Francolin, See-See Partridge, Demoiselle Crane, Brown Fish-owl, Radde’s Accentor, Mongolian Finch, White-winged Snowfinch, Chestnut-shouldered Sparrow.
  • Cyprus. June 8-9. The wheatear and the warbler.
  • Kazakhstan, Ural delta. June 11-15. Black Lark, White-Winged Lark, Syke’s Warbler, Red-headed Bunting, Long-tailed Shrike.
  • Urals. June 16-July 1. Siberian Rubythroat, White’s Thrush, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Azure Tit and more.
  • Svalbard, July 6-10. Ivory Gull, Brünnich’s Guillemot. Little Auk, King Eider. Grey Phalarope, Atlantic Puffin.
  • Southern Europe. Spain/Italy/Corsica/Mallorca  July 17-30. Cat C species,  White-rumped Swift, Moltoni’s Warbler, Marmora’s Warbler, Balearic Warbler, Citril Finch.
  • August first half – Rare vagrants in Europe
  • Madeira, Aug 20-27. Pelagics, plus endemics.
  • Portugal – Aug. 28 – 31. Remaining Cat C + Aquatic Warbler.
  • Falsterbo Birdshow in Sweden. Sep 1-3.  Bivråkens dag! Lappland Bunting, Lesser White Fronted Goose, Dotterel.
  • Early sep – Spare time for rare vagrants.
  • Ireland-England Sep 10-25. American Waders, Leach’s Storm-petrel. Roseate Tern. Cat C, rarities in England.
  • Azores, Oct 4-26.
  • Northern Europe, Sweden/Denmark/UK Oct 27-Nov 8. Rare vagrants
  • Iceland, Nov 10 – 14. Barrow’s Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck, Gyr Falcon, White-Winged Scoter.
  • Varanger (Norway) Nov 15 – 20. Steller’s Eider, King Eider, White-Billed Diver.
  • Cape Verde Islands Nov 22 – Dec 4th. Endemics, Vagrants and Seabirds
  • Canary Islands. Dec 5-15. Endemics, Houbara Bustard, Barbary Falcon and vagrants.

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