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Birds of India with David Tipling

12 – 18 November 2023

Location: India

Price: £2,780/$3770 (For AP Subscribers: £2495/$3395)

Join one of the UK’s foremost bird photographers, David Tipling on our unique bird photography holiday in one of the world’s best bird parks, Keoladeo National Park in India. You also have the opportunity to join us on the tour to Pench National Park and experience the mighty tigers of India.

The trip starts a couple of weeks after the monsoon when the park is in full bloom and many species are breeding. The photo opportunities in the national park’s beautiful landscape are endless. You will focus on bird photography in the wetlands and the subjects are everywhere, including the Indian ibis stork, the world’s largest crane, the sarus crane, eagles, owls and much more. As a bonus, you will also visit Agra to photograph the Taj Mahal in the beautiful evening light.

Highlights:

  • Visit the Keoladeo National Park with its huge range of birds.
  • Opportunity to photograph nesting ibis storks and the world’s largest crane, the sarus crane.
  • The National Park’s herons in their magnificent plumage.
  • Good chances to photograph three different species of kingfishers.
  • Personal local guide to help you find the birds.
  • Evening photography at the Taj Mahal.
  • Luxurious accommodation right next to the park.
  • Personal guidance from leading UK bird photographer David Tipling.
  • Challenging photo assignments and constructive image criticism.
  • Inspirational lectures.

What’s included?

  • Transport
  • Bottled water in connection with all bus transports.
  • Accommodation with part in a twin room at organised hotels (£360/$490 single room supplement)
  • Meals according to itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L, Dinner – D)
  • Photo activities
  • Entrances to the Taj Mahal and to the Keoladeo National Park.
  • Access to your own rickshaw in Keoladeo National Park.
  • Boat trips in Keoladeo National Park (subject to water availability).
  • Workshop, lectures and image editing under the direction of David Tipling.
  • An experienced English speaking Zoom Tour coordinator.
  • All tips except for the nature guide.
  • Hotel and other local taxes.

Excluded: Flight to Delhi in India, tips to local guide and additional drinks

What should I bring?

  • Your camera.
  • Telephoto lenses up to 500mm or mid-length lenses around 70-200mm, wide angle lenses for example 24-70mm.
  • Monopod or tripod.
  • A laptop with image editing software
  • Extra batteries, chargers etc.

Itinerary

Day 1 (12/11) – Welcome to India

We gather in Delhi in the morning where you will be met by a guide from Zoom Photo Tours and our naturalist who will be with us throughout the trip.

The first stop on our journey is Agra, where David Tipling will join us for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the mythical Agra Fort before it’s time for the highlight of the day, the Taj Mahal. In the beautiful evening light, we get to take a close-up photo and experience this fantastic monument.  As the sun slowly descends towards the horizon, the marble that covers the building changes to different colours.

After this we check in at our hotel followed by a nice welcome dinner at the hotel. While we enjoy all the fantastic dishes that Indian cuisine has to offer, David will tell you a little about what we should think about during tomorrow’s first session in one of the world’s best bird paradises. (L, D)

birds of india

Image: David Tipling

Day 2 (13/11) – Visit the Taj Mahal and Keoladeo National Park

Early morning, we leave the hotel to be at the entrance to Taj Mahal to experience the moments when the sun slowly rises over the monument and its marble shifts colour. To experience this is a memory for life.

We then go back to the hotel for breakfast followed by check-out and then onward to the main destination of the trip, Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, which in the coming days will give us lots of fantastic photo opportunities. On arrival we check in at our hotel located close to the mail gate to the national park. After lunch we leave for our first tour into one of the world’s best bird parks, Keoladeo National Park. At the entrance each one will get their own rickshaw driven by a local driver/guide who knows the park and its birds. This means that you can make stops whenever you want.

During the afternoon and the coming days, you will explore Keoladeo’s beautiful surroundings, and have a fantastic opportunity to develop your bird photography under the guidance of the UK’s foremost bird photographer.

birds of india

Image: David Tipling

Day 3-6 (14-17/11) – Keoladeo National Park

On each of these days your rickshaw will take you around this bird paradise together with the experienced and knowledgeable cycling guides. After a while on the long road that stretches through the wetlands, the landscape opens and we are surrounded by a beautiful swamp landscape where the photo opportunities increase the further into the park we go.

Opportunities are everywhere and some of the species we will photograph are the mighty Indian ibis stork, the sarus crane, snake-necked birds and owls. The trees are full of life and the activity is immense when the young of storks, herons and several other species are to be fed. Clashes often occur among the birds as the colonies are filled with different species. This increases our chances of getting unique and fast-paced action shots.

The experience of looking out over the wetlands and waiting for the perfect photo moment is as peaceful as it is exciting, and it is important to always have the camera ready as the subject can appear at any time.On a couple of days, if the water level allows, we will go out with boats in the still morning air. Slowly we glide through the morning fog and out into the wetlands where completely new perspectives and photo opportunities await.

During all our photo sessions, David will be on hand to provide personal guidance. We will also have joint photo stops out in the field where David inspires by ‘hands on’ practice, showing us his thought processes in his image creation.

When we are not photographing, we will spend a lot of time on image editing and joint image displays with constructive image criticism. On the last night will have a nice farewell dinner with local musicians. (B, L, D)

Day 7 (18/11) – Depart home

The morning for relaxation. After lunch, return to Delhi for further transport to the UK on your own. (B, L)

birds of india

Image: David Tipling

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