page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92
page 93
page 94
page 95
page 96
page 97
page 98
page 99
page 100
page 101
page 102
page 103
page 104
page 105
page 106
page 107
page 108
page 109
page 110
page 111
page 112
page 113
page 114
page 115
page 116
page 117
page 118
page 119
page 120
page 121
page 122
page 123
page 124
page 125
page 126
page 127
page 128
page 129
page 130
page 131
page 132
page 133
page 134
page 135
page 136
page 137
page 138
page 139
page 140
page 141
page 142
page 143
page 144
page 145
page 146
page 147
page 148
page 149
page 150
page 151
page 152
page 153
page 154
page 155
page 156
page 157
page 158
page 159
page 160
page 161
page 162
page 163
page 164
page 165
page 166
page 167
page 168
page 169
page 170
page 171
page 172
page 173
page 174
page 175
page 176
page 177
page 178
page 179
page 180
page 181
page 182
page 183
page 184
page 185
page 186
page 187
page 188
page 189
page 190
page 191
page 192
page 193
page 194
page 195
page 196
page 197
page 198
page 199
page 200
page 201
page 202
page 203
page 204
page 205
page 206
page 207
page 208
page 209
page 210
page 211
page 212
page 213
page 214
page 215
page 216
page 217
page 218
page 219
page 220
page 221
page 222
page 223
page 224
page 225
page 226
page 227
page 228
page 229
page 230
page 231
page 232
page 233
page 234
page 235
page 236
page 237
page 238
page 239
page 240
page 241
page 242
page 243
page 244
page 245
page 246
page 247
page 248
page 249
page 250
page 251
page 252
page 253
page 254
page 255
page 256
page 257
page 258
page 259
page 260
page 261
page 262
page 263
page 264
page 265
page 266
page 267
page 268
page 269
page 270
page 271
page 272
page 273
page 274
page 275
page 276
page 277
page 278
page 279
page 280
page 281
page 282
page 283
page 284
page 285
page 286
page 287
page 288
page 289
page 290
page 291
page 292

Sardinia is the second largest islandin the Mediterranean and lies in theTyrrhenian Sea, south of Corsica. It isa land of contrasts, ranging from beautifulwhite sandy beaches and coves to arugged mountainous interior and quietersouthern areas. Great care has been takento ensure that Sardinia has escaped theravages of tourism which many otherMediterranean islands have suffered. Thenatural scenery is extremely varied,providing a wide range of habitats for theplants, animals and birds that live here.For the naturalist it is the island'sabundant coastal lagoons, extensiveforests, mountains and rugged limestonehills that are of particular interest, as theyare home to a wide variety of flora andfauna. Human settlements have existedhere for thousands of years and Sardinia isstudded with traces of ancient civilisations,such as the curious stone towermonuments called nuraghi, built by BronzeAge inhabitants. This tour visits the island's wild and little-visited western coast and, if you lovedragonflies, this is the trip for you! Thereare some amazingly colourful dragonflieshere - indeed you would need to travel toAfrica to see some of these specieselsewhere. At this time of year 35 speciescan be seen, most of which are not foundin Britain, including Green Hooktail,Bladetail, Banded Groundling, IslandBluetail and Long Skimmer. The island alsoboasts a rich diversity of other wildlife andis home to many endemic species; we willexplore its marshes, lakes and otherwetland areas in search of a tapestry ofsouthern European insects, amphibians,reptiles and birds. Above us, the majesticoutlines of Griffon Vultures will rise into thedeep summer-blue sky, while closer to theground we will be hoping to encountersome of the island's smaller inhabitants,such as the Tyrrhenian Painted Frog andTyrrhenian Tree Frog, and two species of lizard: the Pygmy Algyroides andTyrrhenian Wall Lizard. Red and FallowDeer and Wild Boar abound in the scruband forests. In summer the aromaticmaquis delivers scents of thyme, myrtle,rosemary and lavender which blow acrossthe island and flamingoes, known to thelocals as 'rose-coloured folk', strut aboutin the numerous lagoons. Turquoise seaand lovely beaches also help provide a marvellous backdrop to our main quest - dragonflies!After a flight to Alghero we will transfer to Porto Torres in the north-west of theisland for a 3-night stay. The Sardiniancoastline offers secluded inlets, goldensand dunes, wild lilies and Cistusas wellas rugged cliffs that plummet to the sea,and from our base in Porto Torres we willvisit nearby lakes and marshes that areexcellent for birding and dragonfly-watching. Hundreds of Banded Groundlingwill be flying around our feet as we walkalong, making the ground appear toshimmer underfoot. Island Bluetails,Lesser Emperors and Long Skimmers willbe among the special dragonflies to lookout for in these wetlands, darting aroundthe long pink legs of Black-winged Stiltswhich pick their way daintily through theshallows here.We will drive to the small reserve of Isola dell'Asinara, home to a largepopulation of the rare Dark Spreadwing.Other dragonflies we'll hope to see on our guided tour of this uninhabitedisland are: Small Spreadwing, MigrantSpreadwing, Broad Scarlet, Dainty Bluet, Blue-eyed Hawker, Southern Darter, Small Redeye and the distinctive Red-veined Darter. We will keep a look-out for the island's white donkeys,wild horses, Wild Boars and Mouflons, too. Lago Baratz is the only natural freshwaterlake on Sardinia and offers one of the bestplaces on the island for dragonfly-watching:15 species can be seen amongthe reeds and scrub! At the nearby area ofBosa, situated between the west-coasttowns of Oristano and Alghero, the smallstreams are awash with CopperDemoiselles, and we'll be watching fortheir fluttery, butterfly-like flight - themales of this stunning damselfly performdazzling display flights to attract femalesinto their territories! Small Red Damsel,Western Spectre, Green-eyed Hawker, andthe glorious Violet Dropwing are foundnear these streams. We'll hope to roundoff our time here with views of Griffon Vultures and the romantic sunsets the area is famous for. For the final part of our holiday we journeythree hours south to Pula, near Cagliari.Purple Gallinule, Little Bittern and Red-crested Pochard are among the rarebreeding birds we may see in this part ofthe island and we will visit the Isola di SanPietro, off the south-west corner ofSardinia to see its colony of Eleonora'sFalcons which breeds there every summer.We can hope to add more than 10 speciesof dragonflies during our leisurely walks inthe surrounding countryside, and top ofour list of hoped-for last finds will be theOrange-winged Dropwing - a newspecies for Europe, coming from Africaand only recently discovered in theCagliari area! Sardinia's Dragonflies An 8-day holiday on the scented Mediterranean island of Sardinia, in search of its exotic dragonflies, birdlife and endemic reptiles and amphibians.Wednesday 5th June - Wednesday 12th June Cost: £1,295Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Alghero; transfer toPorto Torres.Day 2/3Daily programme ofwildlife excursions fromPorto Torres.Day 4/5 Gennargentu NationalPark and lakelands fromAbbasanta.Day 6/7Daily programme ofwildlife excursions fromPula.Day 8Fly London.AccommodationComfortable hotels with en suitefacilities.FoodAll included in the price.GradingA. Easy walks only.FocusDragonflies, other insects and birds.LeaderGerald Broddelez.Single room supplement£165.Web quick search: ITA11116Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryPORTO TORRESALGHEROGORRUPUGORGEGENNARGENTUMOUNTAINSABBASANTACAGLIARIPULAGULF OFCAGLIARIMEDITERRANEANSEASARDINIACOSTASMERALDAMONTE ARCOSUSULCIS REGIONANDSANTA CATERINASALTWORKSSardinia's coastlineIsland BluetailViolet Dropwing

The remote and beautiful InnerHebridean islands of Islay and Jura jut out like fingers from the west coast of Scotland and, differing so much in landscape and character, both islands in combination offer a perfect getawaydestination far from the rush of everydaylife. Indeed they offer an intoxicating blend of superb wildlife-watching, stunning scenery and fresh Atlantic air, a truly unspoiled setting for some of thebest and most iconic wildlife spectacles in the British Isles.We will spend three nights on each island,enjoying their contrasting scenery andwildlife, heading first for Islay, described bythe late Sir Peter Scott as 'the mostimportant place in the British Isles for wildgeese, and one of the most important inEurope.' The most southerly of the InnerHebrides, Islay boasts a very variedlandscape of mountains, moorland, woodsand farmland, and has been described asthe 'Queen of the Hebrides' - a fertile landteeming with breeding birds during thesummer, and geese in the winter. It is duringOctober when the geese start to arrive fromtheir breeding grounds in the Arctic and, bylate October, Islay is heaving with wildfowl,among which the most numerous is thehandsomely marked Barnacle Goose, whichhas been known to number up to 40,000here. The next most numerous is theGreenland White-fronted Goose, and Islayholds the largest wintering population ofthis species anywhere in the world, with up to 10,000 birds being present! A dawn ordusk vigil at one of the goose roosts on theisland is a humbling experience never to beforgotten, and among the vast flocks thereis always the chance of finding somethingrarer, maybe a Snow Goose or 'genuine'Canada Goose from North America.Other wildfowl also occur, and on the mainsea lochs up to 1,000 Greater Scaup maybe found. But it's not only the wildfowlwhich are special here; other waterbirds weare likely to see include Great Northern andBlack-throated Divers, Slavonian Grebe,Purple Sandpiper and Black Guillemot.Away from the water we will make a specialeffort to seek out Red-billed Chough, asmall flock of Snow Bunting, and perhaps aroost of over 200 Ravens. Last but not leastis the island's remarkable variety of raptors,perhaps not surprising given theabundance of prey. During suitable flyingweather, Golden Eagles are almostguaranteed and views can be nothing shortof spectacular. Hen Harrier, Merlin andPeregrine are also regularly seen, whilethere is an outside chance of a wanderingWhite-tailed Eagle. Indeed, our chance ofseeing these birds of prey is equally asgood on the Isle of Jura where we'll spendthe second part of the holiday.Jura offers a sharp and rugged contrast to the rolling fields and moors of northernIslay. Its southern part is dominated by thePaps - three dramatic, rounded hills risingclose to the sea to a height of 300 metres.The island's west coast is sculpted by manycliffs, caves and sweeping stretches ofraised beach, formed by the land lifting up after the great weight of the ice sheets retreated. Further classic examples of the effects of glaciation can be seen within the lochs, hills and glens, and Jura also has the thirdstrongest whirlpool in the world -Corryvreckan. Beautiful beaches are quietand little visited, and exotic plants such asfuschias and palm trees grow here sincethe climate is warmed by the Gulf Stream.This unspoiled and remote setting is perfectfor the enjoyment of natural history. Even more so than Islay, Jura is aparticularly good location for watchingmammals. Indeed its name is said to come from Viking times, when it was knownas 'Dy Oer' meaning Deer Island, and eventoday there are far more deer than peopleon Jura - in fact, about 5,000 Red Deer to250 people! Feral goats can be found alongthe west coast, as well as Common andGrey Seals, while Otters, we hope, will beamong the highlights of this holiday; thereare said to be a pair for every three miles of coastline, and views of Otters eating fish, or a mother with well-grown cubseating crab at close quarters, areunforgettable moments! The superb single malt whiskies, whichsome argue are the finest in the world, arean added pleasure offered by these smallHebridean islands. Alongside the superbscenery, truly spectacular wildfowlgatherings and a host of other wildlife, it's easy to see why Islay and Jura are two of our favourite British destinations, and we're sure you'll share our enjoyment of this winter wildlife feast!Islay & Jura A 7-day tour in search of the birds and mammals off Scotland's ruggedly scenic westcoast, plus the chance to try some of Scotland's finest single malt whiskies!Thursday 25th October - Wednesday 31st October 2012 Cost: £895Thursday 24th October - Wednesday 30th October 2013 Cost: £995Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationJURAPORT ELLENJURAISLAYOutline itineraryDay 1Arrive Islay.Day 2/3Islay.Day 4/6Jura.Day 7Depart Jura.AccommodationComfortable hotels with en suitefacilities.FoodAll included in the price, except forlunches.GradingA. Gentle wildlife walks. Any moredemanding walks will be optional.FocusBirds and mammals.LeaderPeter Clement.Single room supplement£150.Web quick search: GBR10117Barnacle Geese, IslayGreenland White-fronted GeeseOtter