Field Trip – Testimonials

Belize Birds Eye View Lodge Feb. 2014

A birding buddy and avid bird watchers Rich Cimino of Yellowbilled Tours one of his destinations include the peaceful, safe and friendly village of Crooked Tree, in Belize.
Our 2013 birding Tour used a great place to stay with lagoon views, the Birds Eye View Lodge, managed by the caring and lovable Miss Verna. The lodge is very comfortable and provides all modern amenities plus breakfast, lunch and a daily, delicious three-course set dinner.

A wealth of birdlife feed and nest on this protected wetland ecosystem with up to 285 species of resident and migratory birds such as Jabiru storks, rails, egrets, parrots and a good variety of raptors and warblers. We also observed crocodiles, iguanas and black howler monkeys.

Wintering Balitmore Oriole Birds Eye View Lodge feeders

Wintering Balitmore Oriole
Birds Eye View Lodge feeders

The best time of year to visit is in February and March, when the lagoon is at its high level. A guided boat tour through the lagoon or an inland tour, at dawn when the birds are most active, can be one of the most rewarding experiences that you’ll have in Belize.

Rich Cimino is a well-organized, knowledgeable birding guide. I enjoy his interface our group and the lodge staff plus integrating local guides as required to assure the best possible birding.
Gary Sharp, Calvary Canada

Birds Eye View Lodge

Birds Eye View Lodge

Nome, Alaska, June 2013:

My wife, myself, and our 14 year old grandson spent three days with Rich Cimino. Rich is an excellent guide, knowledgeable, flexible, customer-oriented, and a pleasure to bird with. He located ten life birds for me, even though I had birded Alaska previously and my ‘Must See’ list was quite limited. I enthusiastically recommend Yellowbilled tours and Rich Cimino for an exciting, enjoyable and productive birding experience.

Lud Deppisch
Tucson, AZ

Female Common Redpoll

Female Common Redpoll

Nome Alaska June 2013 Field Trip

By Carol and Steve Lombardi
If you’ve only seen Nome as the snow-covered finish line for the Iditarod, well — as Madeline Kahn sang, “You’d be surprised…”
At about 9 p.m. on a June evening, we stepped down from our third aircraft of the day into the pleasantly brisk Nome twilight. Green grass bordered the airfield, interrupted by small patches of snow. A short drive around the city and harbor started our trip list with Red-Throated Loon, Red-Necked Grebe, Long-Tailed Jaeger, Slaty-Backed Gull, Common Redpoll, Red-Necked Phalarope, and — in someone’s backyard — a few musk oxen. Our modest motel was located at the Iditarod finish line on the shore of the Norton Sound, which was smooth as glass.
Our well informed guide with years of experience, Rich Cimino of Yellowbilled Tours, uses the extended daylight of “the land of the midnight sun” to provide an intense three-day birding experience. The birds are active both day and “night,” and so were we. We saw about 90 species and got 15 life birds.
Posted: 02 Aug 2013 05:51 PM PDT
Wisconsin Bird Tours was Wonderful experience;
By Carol Lombardi

Our Wisconsin birding guide Rich Cimino of Yellowbilled Tours was waiting at the curb before our luggage arrived. Rich’s rented minivan was roomy with only four birders so everyone had a window seat and space to stow gear. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Wauwatosa: Excellent staff, great breakfast, comfy rooms. Our first Wisconsin dinner that evening hinted at the robust cuisine we’d encounter all week. Boy, can you eat in Wisconsin! Rich has been birding Wisconsin for a number of years and has a number of hot spots key personal patches he took us to. My husband and I ended the birding tour with 21 life birds. Rich is a

Bonaparte Gulls with Eared Grebe Lake Michigan

Bonaparte Gulls with Eared Grebe
Lake Michigan

cheerful and sensitive trip leader made for a thoroughly worthwhile visit to enjoy Midwestern birds!

. Several stops produced Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue Jay, Sedge Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Palm Warbler, Bobolink, and Northern Cardinal in addition to plenty of birds familiar to Californians. Our casual posting of a pair of Black-necked Stilts inspired a query from e-Bird — they’re rare here.

In Lake Park, a Victorian creation by Frederick Law Olmsted in central Milwaukee on the shore of Lake Michigan. Mature trees (plus a few bird feeders) lured a wondrous variety of warblers — Black-throated Green, Palm, Black-throated Blue, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Cape May, Tennessee. Many were easily and clearly seen from an overpass that put us halfway up their favorite pine tree and helped us avoid serious Warbler Neck-itis. We logged American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo, Gray Catbird, Indigo Bunting, Pine Siskin, Chimney Swift, and Red-headed and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.
We found a Northern Waterthrush bobbing along a brushy ravine; an Olive-sided Flycatcher also seen were Solitary Sandpiper and a pair of Eastern Kingbirds.

Wednesday was our long-distance day: 100 miles to Portage for a look at French Meadow Marsh, then to John Muir Memorial County Park, site of John Muir’s boyhood home (yet to be developed), where a short hike added a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, several flycatchers, and a few ticks to our lists. Check your clothes twice!

Devil’s Lake Park was drizzly but productive: During our short walk uphill from the Visitors Center, we encountered Scarlet Tanager, Least Flycatcher, and multiple vireos — Yellow-throated, Warbling, and Red-eyed. On the bluff, we spotted Gold-winged, Blackburnian, and Tennessee Warblers in the mature trees around the nature center building. We peered at the International Crane Foundation’s caged pairs of exotic cranes in their enclosures and then observed a Whooping Crane meditating on her nest while her mate stalked crayfish in the pond.
A walk through the grounds yielded Orchard Oriole and Field Sparrow; we got a distant look at a Sandhill Crane on her nest in a nearby marsh. The Aldo Leopold Foundation Center ended the day with thoughtful exhibits inside and a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches feeding their brood outside.
Thursday brought us to Harrington Beach State Park and was excellent birding of Brown Thrashers and a Veery in a culvert.On the lake shore we had good looks at Ruddy Turnstones, Caspian Terns, and Bonaparte’s Gulls plus a good opportunity to study Common versus Forster’s Terns.
Saturday morning, Rich drove us to the Amtrak station for our departure to Chicago and points south, then dropped Chris B. at the airport. A cheerful and sensitive trip leader made for a thoroughly worthwhile visit to enjoy Midwestern birds!

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Join YBT in 2015 next spring in Wisconsin! For information, please email yellowbilledtours@gmail.com Also Belize (February 2015), Northern New Mexico (August 2015).

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