Many AOS members travel far and wide either by dint of their employment or when on R&R. Herewith a selection of reports giving details of both formal AOS expeditions and individual members' personal trips.
Gibraltar - Joint Service Ringing Expedition
28 September - 23 October 2013
Roger Dickey (AOS) and Julia Springett (RNBWS) hosted a joint service ringing expedition in Gibraltar to meet the late autumn migration. Nets were sited on relatively new ground and the team were accommodated at Bruce's Farm. Read about their daily successes in the Ringing Blog by Gibraltar Ringer.
28 September - 4 October 2012
Tim Cowley's superbly planned and executed expedition found a small team at 59° 32" N making full use of the new Fair Isle Bird Observatory as a base for tracking down "the Fair Isle 3": Pallas' Grasshopper Warbler, Lanceolated Warbler and Pechora Pipit. Did they? Read the full expedition report in The Adjutant 2012 to find out.
14-25 May 2011
Tony Kaduck guides a small team to discover the birds of Ontario Province. Read the trip report in The Adjutant 2011 to find out more.
Naval Party AOS: 2010 Pelagic - Portsmouth to Bilbao
16-19 September 2010
Soldiers should never go to sea. That was certainly the general conclusion at the end of the 2008 pelagic after an "interesting time" in the Bay of Biscay. So why, two years later, were a party of six stood once again on the deck of the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao steaming out of Portsmouth destined for Bilbao by way of the Bay of Biscay? Good question. Read the Naval Party AOS report to find out.
18-31 December 2009
Mark Easterbrook's wife chose Thailand as their Christmas holiday destination and Mark was "quietly delighted". Although not a birding holiday and the wrong season for Pittas he still managed to clock up 164 species including the rare Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Mark includes practical considerations for a trip to Thailand for a birdwatcher on a family holiday. Read more in Mark's Thailand report.
Siberia - Lake Baikal
31 May - 15 June 2008
Mark Easterbrook travelled to Lake Baikal in Siberia as a member of a BirdSeekers tour. Whilst he considered birding in the taiga forests a demanding and frustrating experience the whole trip was considered to be outstanding and well worthwhile, with generally friendly and welcoming people. You too can go for a flight in an Antonov! Read more in Mark's Siberia report.
4-10 May 2008
Mark Easterbrook headed off on a short last minute family holiday to Croatia with side trips to Montenegro and Bosnia but still managed to find Rock Partridge. Mark considered it, "A really enjoyable week, in picturesque and relaxing surroundings. An ideal destination to combine a family holiday in the sun, with sightseeing and birdwatching for a relatively small cost." Read more in Mark's Croatia report.
27 December 2007 - 3 January 2008
Mark Easterbrook and his wife visited Libya for the 2007 New Year with the intention of visiting the Greco Roman sites and seeing a country that is not visited by many British tourists. Birding where possible within the tour itinerary they saw 52 species including Fulvous Babbler and Greater Sand Plover. Read more in Mark's Libya report.
26 May - 1 June 2007
Mark Easterbrook managed to combine birdwatching with a visit to friends in south-western Turkey. Limited in the time available he stuck to the sites in the referenced guide books (Gosney, Green & Moorhouse). Mark assessment is that it is, "An easy, inexpensive place to get to, with some excellent birds, good food, fine weather, easy driving and not a “Turkish Tummy” in sight. It’s not too hot at this time of year and the birds are singing and displaying…" Read more in Mark's Turkey report.
Egypt - Nile River Cruise
19-26 March 2007
Mark Easterbrook recounts his experience of relaxed birding on a Nile River cruise which included several encounters with the Nile Valley Sunbird. Read more in Mark's Nile report.
Spain - Pyrenees and Steppes
3-10 March 2007
Mark Easterbrook heads out on a tour led by Josele Sais (Boletas Ornithological Centre) and concludes by recommending a trip to the north-east of Spain for anyone wishing to see some of the difficult birds of Europe on a budget. Read more in Mark's Spanish report.
Cyprus - Exercise LION SUN
7 September - 5 October 2006
Richard Seargent's appointment as Exercise Co-ordination Officer whilst on Exercise LION SUN 13 involved recce visits to all the training areas whilst planning for the final exercise. Richard provides details of the birdwatching opportunities that his official military duties provided. Read more in Richard's Cyprus report.
USA - Monterey Bay Pelagic
10 September 2006
Whilst on a BirdSeekers tour of central California, Mark Easterbrook headed out to sea for a day with Shearwater Journeys. The trip encountered many bird species, including large numbers of Shearwaters, Albatrosses and Petrels in close proximity to the boat, as well as good numbers of cetaceans. Read more in Mark's Monterey Bay Pelagic report.
Canada - Exercise WESTERN TANAGER
14-28 May 2005
Tim Cowley reports on the now infamous AOS Cananda expedition that covered 7,375 km, saw 267 bird species, heard a further 5 species, and saw 31 mammal species in the space of two weeks. Highlights included: Grizzly Bear, Trumpeter Swan, Hawk Owl, Sage Grouse and Wandering Tattler. Read more in Tim's Canada report.
Iraq - Operational Birding
October 2004 - February 2005
Mark Easterbrook gives a summary of the birds seen whilst on an operational tour in Iraq and notes that birding, "…passes the time and brings some sense of normality to proceedings." Read more in Mark's Iraq report.
Gambia - Exercise NIGHT HERON
Roger Dickey reports on the joint scientific pilot expedition between the Army Ornithological Society (AOS) and Makasutu Wildlife Trust (MWT) to census the water birds and aquatic mammals and reptiles of the River Gambia. Read more in Roger's Gambia report.