Julian Sykes Wildlife Holidays


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Welcome to Julian Sykes Wildlife Holidays
Julian SykesI have been interested in nature and the natural world all my life and have had the good fortune to be able to combine my love of wildlife & my experience as a guide to develop these holidays for you. I started operating in Spain as a professional wildlife guide several years ago & since then I have developed an excellent reputation for 'value for money' holidays and short breaks always conducted with a high level of professionalism and good humour.

I have had the opportunity to continue to expand & now offer wildlife holidays & short breaks to most areas of Spain (including Iberian Lynx & Wolf watching) with a growing overseas portfolio including Morocco, Turkey, India & Canada.

Find out more about our aim >

Our Aim: To provide wildlife & birdwatching holidays that will be enjoyed by all levels of enthusiast from the beginner to the most target focused. The holidays & short breaks always look to strike a balance ensuring the ultimate feeling of an enjoyable and relaxing time. This can be achieved with our promise of maintaining a small group ratio, allowing everyone the special attention needed.

All our trips are run with customer focus with all members being fully informed and involved in the daily itinerary, with any necessary changes being highlighted to the group before being implemented. Even when birds are the primary focus we will always concentrate on all forms of wildlife including mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians and lizards. We will also endeavour to make all our tours as comfortable and relaxed as possible, with special attention to relating our knowledge and experience over the course of the trip.

We are developing holidays with “a non-birding” partner in mind so look out for the following logo NBW which means that there are optional activities & time to relax with a book.

For more details on how we achieve our aim, please see the testimonials at the end of each itinerary.


SE Australia - Birds and Mammals

2nd - 23rd November 2015

Often referred to as the ‘Timeless Land’, the island continent of Australia has been cut off from the rest of the world for more than sixty million years and as a result has evolved a remarkable and unique flora and fauna.  This isolation has enabled the marsupials to flourish and diversify; we will encounter such remarkable creatures as kangaroos, wallabies, possums, Koala and the strange Platypus.  The birdlife has also followed its own evolutionary path, resulting in Australia having more endemic bird species than any other country in the world and many bird families which are restricted to this continent.  It’s immense geographical area means that it is simply impossible to see all of its endemic birds during one visit, any attempt to do so would result in far too much time travelling and too little time actually spent in the field.  This unique tour to the south-east corner of Australia and Tasmania has been specifically timed to take place at the very best time of year, in the austral spring. 

Our journey begins in the Island State of Tasmania, which has been separated from the mainland for thousands of years, resulting in the speciation of a dozen species of birds.  We hope to encounter every one of the island's 12 endemic birds, including the rarest and most difficult to find, the Forty-spotted Pardalote, whose entire population is estimated at fewer than 1,500 individuals.  We should also find several species which are easier to see in Tasmania than on the mainland.  These include Black-faced Cormorant, Pink Robin and Olive Whistler and those that winter on the mainland and breed only in Tasmania, the Swift Parrot and the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (around 20 breeding pairs left in the world!), the later sadly, is now down to 50 birds in the wild.  In addition to fabulous birding we also have an excellent opportunity to view kangaroos, wallabies, possums and the most famous of all the islands creatures, the Tasmanian Devil.  We will enjoy a full day pelagic boat-trip out from Eaglehawk Neck, where we will be surrounded by a good selection of albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels and prions.  Next we go birding in the cool temperate forests of Mount Wellington and Bruny Island, before flying to the remote south-west of Tasmania where we will visit the breeding site of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot, where we should be able to see them at a feeding station.  We will conclude the Tasmanian part of the tour with a visit to the remote north-west, where we will  go spotlighting for quolls, possums and best of all, the amazing Tasmanian Devil. 

We then fly to Melbourne, on the mainland, where we travel northwards to the arid bushy terrain of the ‘Mallee’, in northwestern Victoria, where we visit two of the Mallee National Parks, this specialised habitat is made up of short, multi-stemmed eucalypts and is home to the mound-nesting Malleefowl and other uniquely-adapted birds of this arid environment.  We then spend some time birding the Kerang Lakes system, searching for a multitude of wetland species, such as Hoary-headed Grebe, Straw-necked Ibis, Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Pelican, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Australian Shelduck, the rare Freckled Duck, Whiskered Tern, Red-capped Plover,   Banded Stilt, Red-necked Stint and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.  We then drive to the Murray River Floodplain, which has a number of diverse habitats including grasslands, wetlands, woodlands and riverside River Red Gums.  From a birding point of view it is most famous for the Plains-wanderer, a unique species in a family all of its own.  We will enjoy searching for this nocturnal bird under a sky literally crowded with stars.  We spend the rest of the tour birding in the wet sclerophyll forests along the south coast of Victoria, searching for such exciting species as Brown Goshawk, Common Bronzewing, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Australian King Parrot, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Laughing Kookaburra, Superb Lyrebird, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Pilotbird, Bell Miner, White-naped Honeyeater, Rose Robin, Golden Whistler and Red-browed Finch, to name but a few. 

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