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Upcoming Bird Tours

See below the scheduled upcoming tours.


January 6 - 12, 2024 | David Bradford & Brandon Percival

Four Participants Only (This Tour is Full)

Difficulty Level - Easy walking. No long hikes.

We have led bird tours to SE Arizona numerous times in the Spring/Summer/Fall, but not in the winter. Brandon has birded in SE Arizona in the winter quite a bit while visiting family and building his Arizona state list. There is an area west of Phoenix that is a traditional breeding ground for the very local and secretive LeConte’s Thrasher that we will visit as we look for this hard-to-find species. January is the start of the nesting season for LeConte’s Thrasher, and they tend to be more vocal at this time of year hopefully allowing us to track one down.


While looking for the thrasher we hope to find Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Sagebrush Sparrow, and Abert’s Towhee. There are other birdy areas around Phoenix like Gilbert Water Ranch, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and a few smaller parks. At Gilbert Water Ranch we will be looking for winter ducks and more wintering ducks, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, American White Pelican, herons and egrets, Curve-billed Thrasher, and Abert’s Towhee. There is no telling what will be at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the location where Brandon saw is lifer Rufous-backed Robin, but expected birds include Gila Woodpecker, Cactus Wren, Verdin, Black-throated Sparrow, Phainopepla, and Abert’s Towhee.


After two nights in the Phoenix area, we will head to the Tucson area for our last four nights. Here we will visit several small, but birdy parks in and around Tucson. Sweetwater Wetlands should allow a very close study of numerous ducks, Black Phoebe, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and Pyrrhuloxia. We will also spend time birding the grasslands to the south and east of Tucson as well as other “water holes” within the Sonoran Desert. In the grasslands we will look for raptors including Northern Harrier, Harris’s, Red-tailed, Ferruginous Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, and Prairie Falcon. Elsewhere we also hope to track down Acorn Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Gray Flycatcher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Bridled Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Bewick’s Wren, Crissal Thrasher, Hermit Thrush, and Western Bluebird.


If you are looking for a bird filled tour with hopefully mild temps this is the tour for you. We will be staying in two hotels and driving to the necessary bird locations.


The cost of this four person, six night tour is $1950 for double occupancy with an additional $550 for single occupancy.  The cost of the tour covers most meals, though meals are no longer a major production, but a more relaxed and casual affair.


To save time driving we plan to fly into Phoenix and out of Tucson.


A deposit of $500 is needed to hold your spot on this winter tour. Please mail your check to David Bradford 18046 Green Hazel Dr., Houston, TX. 77084


2/3/2024 - 2/8/2024 | David Bradford & Brandon Percival

Four Participants Only (ONE SPOT REMAINS)


As winter maintains a firm and icy grip on most of the US, the Rio Grande Valley of Texas can be pleasant and loaded with not only resident and winter birds, but possibly a handful of vagrants slipping across the border. We will use Harlingen as our base of operations, staying in just one hotel and making bird excursions to the east and west. We will focus on the lower and middle Valley, not the upper Valley, therefore no Falcon Dam area.


This short tour allows us to focus on areas in a rather close geographical area that might include Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley SP, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Estero Llano Grande SP, Frontera Audubon, Oliveira Park, Santa Ana NWR, and Quinta Mazatlan. Bird distribution will determine which of these marvelous birding locales we will visit. Our efforts will be focused on finding Valley specialties like Plain Chachalaca, Least Grebe, White-tipped Dove, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Harris’s Hawk, Ringed and Green kingfisher, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Black-crested Titmouse, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, Green Jay, Long-billed Thrasher, Clay-colored Thrush, Olive Sparrow, and Altimira Oriole. There are always a few wintering warblers, and usually a vagrant or two present like Rose-throated Beccard, White-throated Robin, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, or Blue Bunting. However, the appearance of these rarities varies from year to year and there is no telling which, if any, will be present while we are in the Valley. As we look for Valley specialties, we will also be looking for rarities.


This is a short trip that does not include the upper Valley. We will keep our travel distances reasonable and spend a lot of time in the field birding.

Fee: The cost of the tour for double occupancy is $1,950 and includes most meals. Single occupancy is an additional $450 per person. See my website for a list of birds seen previously.

Deposit: A deposit of $500 is needed to hold a spot on this tour. Deposit checks can be mailed to David Bradford 18046 Green Hazel Dr. Houston, TX. 77084    281 744 6486 leave message or text.


February 24 - March 2, 2024

Four Participants Only (This Tour is Full)



This newly designed tour will take us on some of the less traveled roads in West Texas and some of the tried-and-true roads and locations in West Texas. Robert would be pleased with some of the roads less traveled we will be taking. Plus, we plan to spend four delightful nights in the historic Gage Hotel. We have not been to the Gage in quite a few years, and I feel we need a return visit to this special area.


The Gage Hotel, in Marathon, is a wonderful, historic hotel that is rather elegant and comfortable with fine dining. The hotel is within striking distance of many of our usual West Texas birding haunts like Big Bend NP, the Davis Mountains, the 166 loop, Limpia Crossing, US 90 and Marfa, Lake Balmorhea, and the town of Fort Davis. What I’d also like to do, is visit the off the beaten path town of Candelaria west of Big Bend State Park. This is a seldom visited ebird hotspot that I used to visit long before ebird existed, but the wetlands dried up and I stopped going there, however, the wetlands are now indeed wet again and teeming with birds. It’s that water in the desert thing. There are other locations to bird in this remote area of West Texas that we will explore.


One day we will make the one hour plus drive down to Panther Junction in Big Bend NP for some birding at either Cottonwood Campground or Rio Grande Village, birds present will help us decide which area to bird. One day we plan to spend time birding in the Davis Mountains and adjacent grasslands. We will spend time looking for waterbirds at Lake Balmorhea and Sandia Wetlands. In other words, we will visit numerous birdy locations in West Texas.


Expected are the many West Texas winter birds and resident birds. I am looking for a few folks that want to enjoy and experience the comfort of the Gage Hotel, explore some areas in West Texas birded by just a few, and experience the many birds of West Texas in the many usual places we have visited in recent years.


In addition to all the above activities, we will have time to bird in and around El Paso, an extremely birdy city as we found out in February of 2023. Here is what we saw in two days in El Paso last year.


Keep in mind, winter travel in West Texas can involve ice, snow, and sometimes we can’t get to where we want to go. But let’s hope that is not the case. Most winters we have experienced nice weather and better birds.


The cost of this tour is a lot, the Gage Hotel is very expensive as is the restaurant in the hotel. Let me start again, the cost of this tour is $2,750 per person double occupancy and add an additional $750 per person for single occupancy. We will fly in and out of El Paso.


The cost of the tour covers most meals, though meals are no longer a major production, but a more relaxed and casual affair.


To reserve a spot on this new tour that visits some of the usual West Texas locations and some more far-flung locations, send in a deposit check for $500 to:


David Bradford

18046 Green Hazel Dr.

Houston, TX. 77084


281 744 6486 for text or leave a message. If you are in my address book I will answer if possible.


April 20-27, 2024| David Bradford & Brandon Percival

Four Participants Only (One Spot Remains)

Difficulty Level - Easy walking. No long hikes.


Any of the mountain ranges in West Texas during spring migration can be a wonderful place to bird, and we will bird the Davis and Franklin Mountains. But here is the catch, we are going to be staying in the newly renovated Indian Lodge in the heart of the Davis Mountains. Sitting at 5,200 feet in elevation the lodge was originally built by the CCC in the 1930s, further expanded and updated in 1967, and renovated again in 2023. I have been going to the Indian Lodge since the late 1980s and Brandon and I have used the lodge for bird tours many times over the past twenty years. However, we have not been there since the 2023 renovations, duh. So, let’s go check out the new digs and see some birds, maybe a lot of birds.


In El Paso we will bird tree lined parks, desert scrub, the mountains, maybe a private home, and a few bodies of water. If we are lucky, we will find time to visit a wastewater treatment facility. You just never know. This makes for a wide variety of habitats within a small geographic area, and El Paso seems to produce interesting birds year after year. At Memorial Park we hope to encounter migrants like Cassin’s and Warbling Vireo, Bullock’s Oriole, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, Townsend’s, Hermit, Virginia’s and Wilson’s Warblers, and Lazuli and Indigo Buntings. In the desert scrub locations Swainson’s Hawk, Gambel’s Quail, Western Kingbird, Bell’s Vireo, Chihuahuan Raven, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Rock, Canyon, and Cactus Wrens, Curve-billed and Crissal Thrashers, Brewer’s, Black-throated, and Lark, Sparrows. At some of the water locations like Keystone Heritage Park and Crossroads Pond we should encounter many duck species, including Wood Duck and Cinnamon Teal, Common Gallinule, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Western Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, Solitary Sandpiper, Franklin’s Gull, White-faced Ibis, and both yellowlegs and both cormorants. If we can, we will visit a private residence for Black-chinned, Anna’s, Rufous, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. With that said, remember migration in the west, like in the east, can be influenced by weather conditions and sometimes there are few migrants present.  


After a full day of birding en route to the Davis Mountains we will reach the newly renovated Indian Lodge where we will spend the next three nights. This will allow us ample time to drive/bird the scenic loop, bird the state park and other locations in and around the Davis Mountains. In the mountains we hope to find Common Poorwill, Common Black Hawk, Acorn and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Gray Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Cassin’s Kingbird, Black-crested Titmouse, Bushtit, Bewick’s Wren, Phainopepla, Lesser Goldfinch, Rufous-crowned and Black-chinned Sparrows, Nashville and MacGillivray’s Warblers, Scott’s Oriole, Hepatic, Summer, and Western Tanagers, and Black-headed Grosbeak. In the surrounding grasslands we will look for Western Bluebird, Clay-colored, Black-chinned, and Vespers. If we are lucky, we might encounter the new species of meadowlark, Chihuahuan Meadowlark. The Montezuma Quail have been extremely difficult to locate in the Davis Mountains, however, if they are coming to the seed feeders in the park, we will try to see them. If they are not coming to the seed feeders, finding Montezuma Quail is very unlikely.


This is a wonderful time to be in West Texas seeing the sights and looking for lingering winter birds, migrant birds, and resident birds. Sounds like the perfect storm so to speak.


The cost of the tour is $2,450 for double occupancy and a supplement of $550 for a single room. A $500 deposit is needed to hold your spot on this tour. The cost of the tour covers most meals, though meals are no longer a major production, but a more relaxed and casual affair. This tour will take just four participants.


To hold a spot on this tour, please mail your deposit check of $500 to David Bradford 18046 Green Hazel Dr. Houston, TX. 77084

A Slice of California

May 7 – 16, 2024



I have led four bird tours to Southern California, with Brandon co-leading on the last three. These tours were winter tours during December, January, and February ranging from San Diego to San Jose. However, Brandon has relatives in San Diego and has been there quite often visiting family, well really birding, and seeing family members in between bird outings. We are switching things up on this tour and will be going during spring migration looking for residents, migrants, and of course the many specialty birds California has to offer. And California, with its varied habitats and large area, does indeed have many specialty birds. We might even find a few winter stragglers reluctant to leave their wintering grounds. On this tour we will cover a large area of Southern California, see a wide variety of habitats, and see numerous birds with an emphasis on those with restricted ranges along our route. I have placed in bold font for ease of finding the speciality birds in this write up we will be looking for while in California as we also enjoy the more common and widespread birds of the area.


Our route will take us from the coast near San Diego, through the Anza Borrego Desert and state park of the same name, inland to the drying up Salton Sea, up Mt. Pinos to over 8,000 feet in elevation, to the dry San Joaquin Valley and back to the coast near Santa Barbara for a boat trip out to Santa Cruz Island for Island Scrub-Jay. We will fly into San Diego and out of Santa Barbara like we did in 2004.


On our first day we will bird areas in and around San Diego looking for California Quail, White-throated Swift, Anna’s and Allen’s Hummingbird, Ridgeway’s Rail, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Whimbrel, Long-billed Curlew, Western Gull and California Gull, Elegant Tern, Acorn and Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Black and Say’s Phoebe, Bell’s and Hutton’s Vireo, California Scrub-Jay, Wrentit, California Gnatcatcher, California Thrasher, Phainopepla, California Towhee, Hooded Oriole, Yellow and Townsend’s Warbler, and Black-headed Grosbeak. This should be a fun day filled with numerous species as we work some of the better hotspots in San Diego County.


As we move inland through the Anza-Borrego Desert to the large Anza-Borrego State Park we will encounter drier scrub like habitat and different species of bird. Here we will look for Greater Roadrunner, Costa’s Hummingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Cactus Wren, Black-throated Sparrow, Nashville Warbler, and Western Tanager.


Eventually we will bird the southern portion of the Salton Sea, a body of water that formed because of the Colorado River breaking through an irrigation dike in 1905 and flowing unchecked out of its banks for two years forming what is now the Salton Sea. Here we will look for ducks, Eared, Western and Clark’s Grebe, Lesser Nighthawk, Red-necked Phalarope, Black Skimmer, Burrowing Owl, Western Kingbird, swallows, Marsh Wren, and Abert’s Towhee. I had my life Abert’s Towhee at Sonny Bono Unit of the Salton Sea NWR in August of 1988.


From the Salton Sea we will work our way north heading toward Mt. Pinos in the Los Padre National Forest where we will look for high elevations like Band-tailed Pigeon, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Hairy and White-headed Woodpecker, Dusky Flycatcher, Steller’s Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, Violet-green Swallow, Pygmy Nuthatch, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and breeding plumaged Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warbler.


As we work our way back to the coast, we will make a stop at Petroleum Road to look for LeConte’s Thrasher and Bell’s Sparrow, both elusive birds of the desert scrub.


In the Santa Barbara area, we will look for Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, Tricolored Blackbird, and time will be spent looking for the small number of Yellow-billed Magpies that remain in the area. As we have done in the past, we will use Island Packers to get us out to Santa Cruz Island and enroute to the island we will look for Pacific Loon, Pigeon Guillemot, Sooty Shearwater, Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklet, and more. They usually drop us off at Prisoner’s Cove and from here we have a pretty good chance of locating Island Scrub-Jay along with Orange-crowned Warbler and Allen’s Hummingbird.


This is a long tour that covers many different habitats, and we will see a wide variety of species. Time will be devoted to finding the many California specialties that Southern California has to offer.


The cost of this four person, ten night tour is $4,350 per person for double occupancy with an additional fee of $850 for a single supplement. The cost of the tour covers most meals. However, meals are no longer a major production, but a more relaxed and casual affair. Sometimes I will place a to go order and we will relax in the hotel lobby as we eat and complete our daily checklists.


We will fly into San Diego and out of Santa Barbara.


Please let me know if you are interested in this tour. We are only taking four individuals as we look for the many species of Southern California.


June 3-13, 2024


Four Person Tour (Four spots remain open on this tour)

Difficulty Level: A few hikes at 12,000 feet. Most hikes are on easy to hike trails.


After taking over ten years off from the Colorado Tour, we plan to return to Brandon’s home state to bird the mountains, foothills, grasslands, and plains. This is an ideal time to be in Colorado and the ideal guide to lead us around his home state. This ten day tour covers a diversity of habitats when mountain passes are open, flowers are blooming, and birds are singing. 


We will use the tourist town of Estes Park to serve as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, which is just a few miles from the entrance to the park. The Rocky Mountains, towering to 14,433 feet in Colorado, harbor some of North America's most sought after birds, and what better place to explore the Rocky Mountains than Rocky Mountain National Park? Here we will look for the elusive White-tailed Ptarmigan and Brown-capped Rosy Finch as they search for food on the rocky tundra alongside American Pipits and White-crowned Sparrows. Moving to slightly lower elevations in the park where limber pine and Englemann's spruce is the dominant vegetation, we will look for Clark's Nutcracker, Steller's and Canada Jay. Lower still, in the Canadian zone among quaking aspen and lodgepole pine, we can expect to find Hermit Thrush, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatcher, Townsend's Solitaire and Cassin's Finch. 


It is the transition zone of the park that contains the greatest diversity of bird species. Among the ponderosa pine, blue spruce and Gambel's oak, we should find Williamson's and Red-naped Sapsuckers, Pygmy Nuthatch, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Mountain Bluebird, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager and Virginia's Warbler. Possible, though rather difficult to find are American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeak and Red Crossbill. Along the many streams at this elevation, we should find American Dipper and MacGillivray's Warbler. Oftentimes the dipper can be seen gathering food under water.


In Pueblo County and the plains to the east of Pueblo, Brandon’s true stomping grounds, we will look for Scaled Quail, Pinyon Jay, Bushtit, Juniper Titmouse, Canyon and Rock Wren, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Gray Flycatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, Cassin’s Kingbird, Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Black-throated Gray Warbler. A trip into the Wet Mountains should produce gems like Broad-tailed Hummingbird, White-throated Swift, Band-tailed Pigeon, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Mountain Chickadee, and Black-headed Grosbeak.


We plan to spend three nights in the college town of Fort Collins, and from our hotel it is a short distance to Burrowing Owl, Western Grebe, Black-billed Magpie, Lazuli Bunting, Green-tailed Towhee, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. We will check the Pawnee Grasslands for Burrowing Owl, the declining Mountain Plover, Lark Bunting, McGowen's and Chestnut-collared Longspur and Brewer's sparrow. A long and scenic drive to the west of Fort Collins puts us in North Park near Walden, where we will take some time to look for ducks and nesting shorebirds in the small ponds, and Sagebrush Sparrow and Sage Thrasher in the sagebrush. There is no telling what we might find near the Cameron Pass Visitor Center on your way to North Park. 


At this time of year, temperatures should be cool and all mountain roads passable. However, hail or snow is a real possibility at high elevations. This ten day tour offers incredible scenery, cool temperatures, and diverse habitats.  Join us as we explore the harsh, yet picturesque Rockies and the home state of our local tour guide Brandon Percival.


The cost of this tour is $3,350 per person double occupancy and an additional $950 for single occupancy. We will fly in and out of Denver. Most meals are included in the cost of this lengthy tour. 


If you are interested in going on this tour, please contact David at or by phone at 281-744-6486 and leave a message.


July 16 – 21, 2024

David Bradford and Brandon Percival



This trip is designed to allow us the opportunity to seek out the recently split crossbill species, Cassia Crossbill, which is found only in a localized area of Southern Idaho. These difficult to identify birds are found only in the South Hills and Albion Mountains of Idaho and we will visit these locations as needed. The good news about a localized species is there is a limited area where the birds need to be looked for, the bad news is if you are not in that localized area you have to get there. This tour will only take four clients to ensure comfort and ease of getting in and out of the vehicle.


Though our target species is Cassia Crossbill we expect to see other birds and once we have seen the crossbill we will spend time enjoying the other birds and scenery of Southern Idaho. Last tour we found Cassia Crossbills on the first evening of birding and had the rest of the tour to seek out other avian wonders.


Some possible nesting waterfowl we expect to see include Cinnamon Teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Lesser Scaup, and Common Merganser. Seeing ducks on their breeding grounds is always a treat. There is always the possibility of spotting one or both of the large grebes, Western and Clark’s. Hummingbirds expected include Black-chinned, Calliope and Broad-tailed along with woodpeckers like Red-naped Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker. For empidinax flycatchers we hope to see and hear Hammond’s, Dusky, and Cordilleran. Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, and Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees should be calling and visible at this time of year along with the beautiful Western and Mountain Bluebirds. In the sage we expect to see Sage Thrasher and Brewer’s Sparrow. We hope to find Yellow, Yellow-rumped, and Townsend’s Warblers, with MacGillivray’s as a possibility. Green-tailed and Spotted Towhee, Vesper, Song, Lincoln, and Fox Sparrows could be found in their appropriate habitat. 


Last tour we had nice encounters with raptors including Swainson’s, Red-tailed, and Ferruginous Hawks, Prairie Falcon, Ospreys, and Northern Harrier. The South Hills of Idaho have some of the densest populations of Northern Goshawk in the country and we hope to encounter one of these elusive avian predators. Colorful Black-headed Grosbeaks, Western Tanagers, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting, and Cassin’s Finches are expected as well. 


This tour provides an opportunity to see a newly created species and the wonders of a sparsely populated state that is dotted with lava flows, rugged mountains, and beautiful streams. We will limit this tour to no more than four participants.


Fee: The cost of the tour for double occupancy is $1,950 and includes most meals. Single occupancy is an additional $400 per person. 

Deposit: A deposit of $500 is needed to hold a spot on this tour.

Deposit checks can be mailed to David Bradford at 18046 Green Hazel Dr., Houston, TX. 77084. If you have any questions please contact David at or 281 744 6486 and leave a message and he will call back.


May 28, 2025 - June 20, 2025


Seven Participants: Six Spots Remain

Difficulty Level: Though we are in rugged Alaska, there are not many trails to

hike. Think bears and moose. One morning we plan a long, uphill hike on the tundra. This can be strenuous, but we go up and down the same trail. There might a few medium length walks on a gravel beach, but otherwise we are not far from the van.


Anchorage 1   May 28

Anchorage 2   May 29

Denali         3   May 30

Denali         4   May 31 66 mile bus trip to Eielson Visitor Center in Denali NP

Paxson        5   June 1

Anchorage 6   June 2

Seward       7   June 3

Seward       8   June 4Boat trip through Resurrection Bay to a tidewater glacier

Homer        9   June 5

Homer        10 June 6Boat trip into the calm waters of Kachemak Bay

Anchorage 11 June 7

Barrow       12 June 8 Flight to Barrow

Barrow       13 June 9

Anchorage 14 June 10 Flight to Anchorage

Nome          15 June 11 Flight to Nome

Nome          16 June 12

Nome          17 June 13

Nome          18 June 14

Anchorage 19 June 15 Flight to Anchorage

Flights Home


The estimated cost of the 2025, nineteen night tour, is $8,750 per person double occupancy, add $3,250 for single occupancy. Everything in AK is expensive, rooms are outrageous. A deposit of $1,000 will hold your spot.

Most bird tours do not include Homer; however, I just can’t seem to not go there. It is a wonderful part of the Alaska tour. 

Below are two links that will take you to a list of birds from the 2012 and 2014.


Please read the Written Summaries from 2012 and 2014 on my website to get an idea about the 2025 tour.

Please read the Bird Seen Alaska 2012 and Alaska 2014 on my website to get an idea about birds seen.

Deposit checks can be mailed to David Bradford at 18046 Green Hazel Dr., Houston, TX. 77084. If you have any questions, please contact David at or 281 744 6486 and leave a message and he will call back.

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