Monday, November 23, 2015

Reader Rendezvous: Fabulous small group birding trips for 2016!

The good folks at Bird Watcher's Digest (BWD) came up with great idea a couple years back. They wanted to offer intimate, weekend-long, small-group birding opportunities for their readers. Smart, right? Many of us attend birding festivals, where we are part of the hustle and bustle of field trips, workshops, and a whirlwind of talks and classes with birding experts. And that's all well and good--though sometimes we may feel overwhelmed with all the choices, and with all the crowds. Reader Rendezvous serves up something different--something utterly appealing.

Owls With Al guides Sparky Stensaas (L) and Erik Bruhnke (R). Photo by Bill Thompson III.
The team at BWD plans everything for its participants from scouting and choosing bird-rich locations and hot spots to arranging transportation, meals, special rates for lodging, and fun evening activities. Looking for new birding areas to explore? The experienced birders on the BWD staff carefully select from some of their favorite places: environments and habitats you may never have thought to explore. Previous Reader Rendezvous events include Owls With Al in northern Minnesota, Birding Valhalla, and Warblers & Woodpeckers in West Virginia; Birding Basics & Beyond in Florida, and Optics Opstravaganza (proudly hosted by Eagle Optics) in Wisconsin. You can view the photo scrapbooks for each of those events here. And by the way, no birding experience is required. Many of the rave reviews and words of praise for these Reader Rendezvous events have come from beginning birders!
Green Jay photo by Erik Bruhnke
Now approaching its third year, Reader Rendezvous just keeps getting better! Three exciting events are planned for 2016. First up is March 11-13, the Texas Bird'em Tour: McAllen, Texas. Ah, yes--South Texas! As the event's webpage states, "There are few, if any, birding regions in the United States that can rival the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for the sheer diversity of bird life and the dizzying allure of unusual bird species." While this Reader Rendezvous offers a chock-full itinerary, the region has so much to offer, that specialized pre- and post-trip extensions are available to add on. Read about costs, meal plan, detailed schedule, and other helpful planning tips here.
Haven't birded in south Texas yet? You're in for a real treat--but more than that, you'll be astounded at the birds and other wildlife you'll experience there. And if you have been to the Rio Grande Valley, you know: it's worth going back, and often!
Black-necked Stilt photo by Mike McDowell
Register soon (but don't wait too long!) for this tremendous opportunity to bird with the experts, fatten your life list, meet new friends, and taste some of that good, down-home, South Texas cuisine. Most of all, you'll get a taste for a wonderful small-group birding adventure at the Texas Bird'em Reader Rendezvous!

Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

There are few, if any, birding regions in the United States that can rival the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for the sheer diversity of birdlife and the dizzying allure of unusual bird species. - See more at:

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