Eleanor from Poughkeepsie, NY
Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 07/19/13 - 07/27/13
One of the best but one of the worst programs we have attended. Three days were outstanding opportunities to see and photograph hundreds of pelagic birds on nesting grounds at close range. The scenery was magnificent. The group leader Jean was personable, delightful, extremely knowledgeable about Newfoundland, history and local color, but she was lacking in birding skills, except for the pelagics (she warned us about this). Hopefully the well rounded guide they are seeking will be available next year, as Jean will be leading the trips for which she is eminently suited. I too would suggest fewer participants (or a second guide) for a birding trip. My biggest complaint was with the program description which announced Newfoundland as the home of the largest colony of Leach's Storm-petrels in the world. When we didn't even try to look for a single one, because they are nocturnal, I was extremely disappointed. A second, though easily correctable problem was with the totally useless small and not adequately labeled map of the area we were given (which did not name most of the places we were going to.) Near the end we got excellent official maps. Food and lodging were acceptable, though there is too much salt and fat in the Newfoundland diet. We ended on a sour note as the taxi back to the airport "took us for a ride", not using the meter as we had been told they would. Maybe they should meet us at the airport as other programs do.
Marcia from Victoria, BC
Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 07/22/12 - 08/02/12
Pros: The birding, scenery and majority of areas visited were great. Cons: the guide and group leader did not have familiarity with the locations visited and had not done adequate trip preparation/research. The trip scheduling needs significant improvement. The trip was listed as small group, but for a birding trip with only one bird guide, there were too many participants (21).