Follow That Bird
- Sydney's Birding Company


EYRobinDG18 - 1
Eastern Yellow Robin by Daphne Gonzalvez
Dear Janene
Thank you for organising the most wonderful birding weekend trip for us, despite our late application. Dom and I truly enjoyed ourselves delighting in both wetland and bush birds – visitors and locals!
Christina was a wonderful guide, very attentive at all times. She made sure we saw as many birds as possible – the result: 100 birds! Can you believe it? We never expected to see so many!
In fact have never seen so many birds, nor such a variety of birds in two days!
I am now trawling through the hundreds (literally) of photos we have taken.
As soon as I am done – it might take a few days – I will write a report for you.
To start with, I’m sending you one of the first birds we saw: A yellow robin.
Warm regards
Daphne Gonzalvez

Marboura Beach, Sydney, Australia
Private Weekend Away, Newcastle 2018

DGortonSWWA16 - 1
Diane in the middle, Kings Park
South West Western Australia 2016
Thanks for Carol’s report, it was such a great trip. On each of the 3 trips I have had with you I felt they were such good value and so interesting.

Diane Gorton
Thredbo & Charlotte Pass Birding with Flowers 2017

Jan Ritchie
Dear Avian Adventurers
Isn’t it horrible returning to boring routine chores after such a stimulating week!
In retrospect, I look back on it as a really fantastic trip with the combination of being out in the wonderful Kimberley environment every day, coming back to luxurious accommodation and excellent food each evening, and meanwhile enjoying the company of four really interesting and intelligent women and our fab Mornington guides and protectors. Thank you again Janene for leading us so competently and thank you everyone else for allowing me to lean on you to gain from your brilliant spotting abilities.
Looking forward to sharing another adventure with you all in the near future.
Warmest wishes to everyone

Jan Ritchie
Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary via Broome 2015

Anne Brophy
There was a lovely feel to the day, obviously in the company of ‘advanced birders’ but I didn’t feel out of my depth, such was everyone’s enthusiasm for the task. There was a nice balance of keenness to view raptors but also delight in all other species, the Rainbow Bee-eaters, Crested Shrike-tit and Banded Lapwings were a real treat. I know that it reflects the people on board but everyone seemed to be genuinely interested in all creatures, not simply number crunching, which I tend find a bit dull. In short I think you and Edwin achieved a perfect balance of birding and friendly discussion.

Anne Brophy
Advanced Birders Raptors September 2014

JWilesNov17 - 1
Jennie Wiles, with a slip of back
Thank you for a very enjoyable walk.
It was remarkably successful bird wise – I certainly didn’t expect the bird count we ended up with.
That wasn’t all that made it a great day. Your approach is very friendly, well organised, positive and fun. Your birding knowledge is impressive too!
Christina is very knowledgeable and was always on the ball. How she saw that that brown cuckoo dove sitting so still was impressive.
I learned all kinds of birdy things during the day from you both.
Sue also kept saying what a great day she had and how nice it was to get out of the city and into the bush. She enjoyed the relaxed pace and friendly and helpful atmosphere.
Thank you so much.

Jennie Wiles
Hunter Hideouts Day Trip August 2014

Ernie & his wife Madeline
Janene..this was by far the most instructive and variety-full excursion that I’ve had with you. SUPER !!!

Ernie Rosen
Fitzroy Falls Day Trip October 2013

Lady Kay Ascends
Thanks for sending Tiffany’s excellent report of another great trip. Tiffany is such a good bird guide and her wide knowledge of other things in the environment added another dimension to our fascinating journey.

Thank you for your expert driving and for remaining incredibly calm under pressure. I was very impressed by the way you handled the whole flat tire episode. And of course, thank you for organising such an interesting trip, providing such delicious cakes and always being such good company.

Kay Vernon
The Birding Triangle of Nyngan Cobar Bourke 2013

Beloved birder Jan Ritchie
Thanks for a great day on Saturday which was excellent for me as it was pitched exactly to my level of birding knowledge/ignorance.

Please pass on to Edwin that I gained a lot from his enthusiastic instruction. I must say the smaller sized group of keen eyes helped too.
If you are putting on more intermediate days, I will definitely try to be a part of them.

Jan Ritchie
Intermediate Birders 2013

Erin – always off seeing more
Just wanted to thank you for a lovely day on Saturday!

It was great to be out birding and be spoilt with so many different types of birds, especially the sighting of the Pacific Baza… What a treat to get to watch him for such a long time!

The course itself was very informative and I feel I have walked away with a wealth of knowledge and a renewed passion to get out birding!

Thank you to you and Edwin for making it such a memorable occasion.

Sure to see you again soon for another one of your day trips!

Erin Coyne
Beginner Birders 2012

The lovely Joan
Thank you for a really great trip to a different world.

So many superlatives in what I want to say. Your organisation was as always brilliant, not obtrusive but meeting all our needs and the timetable. Carol was a wonderful bird guide (ornithologist). Her descriptions and information were always interesting and helpful, and hey! she’s another one who speaks clearly and can be heard by us deafies. Her knowledge is really broad-based. I love the way she found and shared answers in the Alpine country to puzzles from the Blue Mountains – e.g. where do all the migrating Yellow-Faces come from?

Then there was the accommodation. I definitely was the lucky chickie in my loft, but I think that all the rooms had different special attractions. I was sad to leave my cosy retreat in the treetops, and I miss looking out in the mornings to see hares lolloping around on the dewy lawn. And the food! Pru and Ann were spectacular caterers, and I was lucky again that Pru is a gluten-free foodie and produced endless delicious meals. And of course Bimblegumbie is a whole fascinating experience in itself, from inside to out.

The company was fun, congenial, friendly, easy-going, great to be with. Not often you get that with everybody. I thought sometimes you might be worried because we were all silent for quite long periods at times, but for my part I was just enjoying it all and relaxing.

And finally the birds! What a great collection we had, and what interesting bird behaviour we observed. It was much more than just counting numbers, and I love that. I got one new species, the Olive Whistler, but what will stay strongest in memory are the stunning Flame Robins that popped up and flew about to land again, shining like a flame against the stone and olive backgrounds. Such a beautiful sight.

So thank you for being the magician that made all this possible.

Joan Rosenthal
“Wildflowers & Birds in the Alps” January 2012

Ron Scoping
Short note to say how much I loved the trip you conducted. It did me the world of good.

I was amazed by the number and variety of birds we saw and also amazed by the variety in the terrain and the vegetation. You had a good a mix of people on board who obviously all love doing these trips!

Tiffany and yourself are to be commended for wonderful guidance and good humour. Everything just ran so well, which I know doesn’t happen by accident. You obviously put a lot of work in to plan for it all to go well.

I’m pleased to report that since my return to work the following Monday I’ve strictly stuck to a less-stressed work regime by limiting my hours to a sensible number, spending extra time with my family and finding time to get onto the golf course a few times. I didn’t see any Brolgas on this golf course though! Stacks of other birds though, which is always lovely.

I wish you all the best on your other trips,
Ron Willemsen
“Channel Country” August 2011

Janet Photographing
Thank you for a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed everything about it and am grateful that you were willing to take a non birding person on board.

The pace of the trip, your knowledge (and Tiffany’s), your driving, the congenial company, the excitement of discovering special birds, and beyond all this, being in such a fascinating part of Australia in perfect conditions of nature’s response to a series of wet seasons, all contributed to a memorable experience.

With best wishes,
Janet Lean
“Channel Country” August 2011

Diana & Bernice near Port Macquarie Road
Safely returned to England, I have been reliving our birding experience with friends and realising how lucky I was to hit upon Follow That Bird on the internet. It was a pleasure being with you all and I hope to repeat the experience next time I am visiting Sydney. You were patient with a newcomer who was starting from a very low base!

I was most impressed with your organisation Janene, particularly continually producing food and drink out of the back of the bus even in fairly difficult circumstances to say the least!

Carol’s ornithogical knowledge was outstanding, and of the flora and fauna too. Finding the platypus for us was brilliant! You both made it such a successful tour in spite of the weather. Thank you.

Diana Wood
Dorset UK
November 2010

Kathy Moore
Greetings from Adelaide! It seemed appropriate for me to send you a note of warm thanks for a wonderful Channel Country experience. I had such a lovely time and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see and experience this part of the country ater flooding rains and in such good company. From my perspective, the trip was successful from so many aspects – not just the birds, the flowers & the “desert” in green but also the atmosphere among the group. It was a tremendous experience for me. I know to get this sort of outcome, there is a lot of “behind the scenes” preparation and organisation. I would like to thank you, Janene, for orgaising such a wonderful trip & then executing it so well with your patience, good huour and fun, not to mention all that driviing!
I am very pleased I rang you at 5pm on a Saturday…and got a place on the tour!

Kathy Moore
August 2010

Hamilton Lund
Ahh. Tribes people of fondest horn land, it is me, black finger. I have returned to my perch in the jungle of Erko, still steaming from the pleasures of your memory.
The facial hair remains, the clothes sadly washed, the mind further warped.
Take us back Janene, give the leeches one more chance!

Hamilton Lund
27 July 2020

Kay Vernon
Thanks for forwarding Dion’s excellent Tour Report so promptly. His lively descriptions placed me instantly back in Borneo, although I don’t think I have quite left it yet anyway.

I don’t know what constitutes a successful tour for you but I would nominate it as a triumph. The impeccable organisation, the really nice and thoroughly compatible participants, and the ever-present “wow” factor all combined to make it a truly memorable experience for me.

Thanks Janene for organising, and coming on, the tour (and not just for your boots). You are such an excellent tour leader and it was lovely to get to know you better.

And thanks Dion for your extraordinary bird guiding. Your wonderful communication skills, exemplary good humour and patience (especially with me) ensured that we were actively engaged in your relentless and exacting quest. The Tour was a revelation for me and I feel very privileged to have participated in the journey.

xx k

Kay Vernon
9 July 2021

Whit Andrews
I was pleased that your motto (birds and camaraderie?) proved true. What gracious guests you had Ð how pleasant to spend two days in such pleasant (and VERY fit!) company. I never once felt chivvied or dragged or hauled; I felt only welcomed and listened to. I often feel keenly American outside my (beloved) country, but I didn’t feel that way at all.

Whit Andrews
VP, Distinguished Analyst
27 February 2021

Allan Benson with Dion
& Alan Morris CI 2006
Just a note to thank you for the Christmas Island Trip.
Your organisation was very impressive which meant that everything went very smoothly and really added to the enjoyment of the trip.
Dion was absolutely first class. One has to admire his patience and unflagging enthusiasm not to mention his skill as a birder.
I really had a great time, 14 new species was fantastic but the whole experience is one I will always treasure.
Best Regards

Allan Benson
8 December 2020

Fiona in Beginner Birdwatching
in the Field May 2005

Just a note to say that this course exceeded my expectations. The tuor was an excellent instructor: the course was well paced for beginners such as myself; he was informative, without overloading us with information and also totally patient as we learnt to use binoculars and locate birds. Having the first day at a location where we could watch easily distinguished water birds was encouraging. I also appreciated your organisation of the transport which meant we moved around very effeciently. Thank you,
yours truly,

Fiona Vatiliotis
May 2005

Gallant Alan Mathew

I have travelled with Follow That Bird for over 4 years, participating in both one day and extended stay trips.

I can honestly state that I have never been disappointed in any aspect of the trips, both in organisation or results. On recent trips bird sightings were 97 and 101 species in one day and I regard this as an exceptional result.

The sightings are aided by the excellence of the guides both in assisting in bird sightings, identification and their willingness to spend time with the amateur birder, an essential part of bird guiding.

A further indication of the attitude taken by Follow That Bird towards its clients is the personal service leading to the camaraderie that occurs on the longer trips. This is a most enjoyable atmosphere and greatly increases my enjoyment of these occasions.

Alan W Mathew
Sydney Australia

Bernice Wilcock does Kew Carpark

I discovered Follow That Bird 4 years ago and hoped that after birdwatching locally by myself for several years I’d be able to join like-minded people and birdwatch in different places and see new birds.

This wonderful company opened a new door for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my first day trip and I’ve never looked back. After that I went on a weekend trip and then on longer ones, all of which I’ve enjoyed enormously.

I’ve gained a lot more knowledge about birds and also about plants and trees etc. The trips are learning experiences, as well as pleasurable ones.

From the minute you board the bus you are cared for and don’t have to worry about anything, except seeing as much as possible! All tours are well planned and very enjoyable because of this caring attitude, friendship and camaraderie, the laughter and fun that are always part of the tours.

Mrs Bernice Wilcock
Sydney Australia

Patricia at Lord Howe

Over the past few years I have been on many trips with Follow That Bird. I have always found these very satisfying, not only for the new birds to add to my list but also for the opportunity to visit country in depth as can only happen when you are on foot seeking that elusive bird. There is also pleasant company.

Follow That Bird has great guides and a delightful tour leader – extremely organised, often vivacious and sociable, perfectly blending enthusiasm with professionalism.

Patricia Novikoff
Sydney Australia

Daphne on Tippy Toes

Another fantastic tour. Dom and I had a great time. What a really nice, happy bunch of people came along!

Thanks to you for being such an organised, cheerful and relaxed tour leader. Whatever hassles you have organising it all, and there must be many, you never let it show.

Daphne Gonzalvez
Sydney Australia

Follow That Bird   Phone: +61 2 9973 1865
3/59 Central Road
Avalon Beach NSW 2107
(Sydney) Australia
- Sydney's Birding Company  
Photos of Splendid Fairy-wren and Diamond Firetail by Nevil Lazarus. Header design by Participant Daphne Gonzalvez.