Guiding and tours

Arrange your own privately guided day or break based in/from London, or join me on an organised birding tour with a difference. Options range from specially devised itineraries at home and abroad for target species to annual visits to the rarity hot-spot of the Azores.

Visiting London on business, or have time to spare on holiday in the capital? For guided birding in London and the surrounding area year-round, or for longer day trips to e.g. Norfolk, Kent and Dorset for a wider range of species, let me know your dates and requirements and I can organise and guide you. Reasonable rates, easy birding, many happy clients. Further afield, my recently organised custom tours include Cuba and Brazil. If you want to discuss guiding requirements for tour groups or on an individual basis, please email me on dominic [dot] mitchell [at] - if you have any particular target species, be sure to ask!

For feedback from birders I've guided previously, please see the Testimonials page.

Endemics: Azores Bullfinch and Monteiro's Storm-petrel.
12-21 October 2016 | The adrenaline rush of seeing a ‘lifer’ or finding a rarity is a thrill every birder enjoys, and autumn migration is full of the promise of such experiences. In Europe, nowhere is better for this than the Azores in autumn. These beautiful Atlantic islands are firmly in the Western Palearctic, and the atmosphere often recalls island birding at home, yet the experience is on another level. The number and diversity of North American migrants and vagrants in autumn has to be seen to be believed, and this annual tour has never failed to find exciting birds. Our tried and trusted itinerary covers three key islands, with the possibility of visiting a fourth, and includes an excursion to look for the endemic Azores Bullfinch. Much of the time the group will be targeting vagrant American wildfowl, waders and landbirds, all of which are possible virtually anywhere. This tour has a rich history: we’ll aim to add to our long list of past rarities, which includes Wood Duck, American Black Duck, White-tailed Tropicbird, Double-crested Cormorant, Tricoloured and Great Blue Herons, Northern Harrier, 18 Nearctic wader species including Willet, Least Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher, American Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Grey Catbird, Hermit Thrush, Red-eyed, White-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos, Ovenbird, Hooded, Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped, Yellow and Black-and-white Warblers, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, Bobolink, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole. The tour is led by Dominic Mitchell, Managing Editor of Birdwatch and Having first visited in 1994, he has travelled extensively around the islands, added new birds to the Azores list and found or seen a total of 63 North American species in the archipelago. He will be looking to add more to that list this October – join him on his 15th visit to the islands to share in a unique and unmissable birding holiday with a difference.
* This tour is operated for Birdwatch by Archipelago Azores (fully bonded and licensed through the CAA, ATOL licence 6059).

Click here to read the October Azores tour reports published annually for 2009-2014
Click here for an online gallery of Azores birds from previous tours

Crab-plovers courtesy of Oriole Birding.
May 2018 | Blessed with friendly and welcoming people, the ancient country of Persia is beginning to open its borders as a tourist destination. A country with such huge variety in its habitats and climate can only have a fascinating avifauna, and Iran is an exceptional destination with which offers some fantastic opportunities for much-wanted species. Top of the list will be Pleske's Ground Jay, a national endemic, while other exciting near-endemic species include Caspian Tit, Red-tailed Wheatear, Sind Pied Woodpecker and Plain Leaf Warbler. Iran has 105 Important Bird Areas, according to BirdLife International, and the various habitats include hundreds of lakes and wetlands, unique Hyrcanian forest, high montane habitat, steppe and sandy deserts, and vast semi-tropical mangrove forests. In addition to the near-endemics, some rare or much sought-after species like Macqueen’s Bustard, Caspian Snowcock, White-throated Robin, Socotra Cormorant, Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck, Crab-plover, Bay-backed Shrike, Asian Desert Warbler, Hume’s Wheatear, Crested Honey Buzzard, Indian Pond Heron, Goliath Heron, Persian Shearwater, Purple Sunbird, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Green Warbler can all be found. No visit to Iran would be complete without visiting some of its spectacular historical sites, so a day or two in Persepolis or Isfahan will provide unforgettable memories as well as superb birds. The terrain is mostly easy, though as we are at altitude on a couple of occasions, a reasonable level of physical fitness will be required, and it is likely to be fairly hot at times. Price TBC.
* Tour operated by Oriole Birding (ATOL 6839). For more details or to register your interest, please call 01656 711152 or email

Visit the Testimonials page


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