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Witness birds take flight and soar the skies of their natural habitat

Spot some of the hundreds of bird species – including the marble duck and black stork – at one of Europe’s most important wetland reserves in Spain… join our new birdlife tours of Majorca and Croatia… or go further afield to spot birdlife in the Gambia. Featuring visits to a variety of birdwatching sites, and accompanied by an experienced host who has a passion for ornithology, these Special Interest holidays are not to be missed.

Birdwatching and wildlife host, Diarmid Doody

quote marckWhat do you think sparked your interest in bird watching? Have you always been interested? Where did you learn about bird watching and acquire the knowledge you convey to guests?

I was born in South Africa where I lived until the age of nine, which is where my passion for wildlife began. I would spend time in the game reserves with my father, who was a naturalist, writer and photographer.

When I came to the UK I became more interested in bird life and worked for several years for the RSPB, as a researcher. My speciality was birds of prey and I was involved in projects to increase numbers of Merlin, a tiny falcon that lives in the mountains, in the UK, as well as reintroducing Red Kites into the Highlands of Scotland.

What interesting or rare finds have you seen with customers whilst hosting a Saga bird-watching holiday?

On a trip to St Lucia we found a brand new species of dragonfly to the country, never ever seen there before – it is incredibly rare that this happens. We didn’t know what we had seen until we came home and did some research.

What do you think is the most interesting/ exciting part of your job?

I genuinely love being around people, sharing knowledge and helping to show people the natural world. As a professional wildlife cameraman filming all kinds of wildlife for television, I get such wonderful opportunities to see the world’s wildlife in intimate detail. I also use the images for painting wildlife too!

Where in the world is your favourite place to go bird-watching and favourite bird to see?

I love going to St Lucia to see the Frigatebird – it looks like a pterodactyl!

What is different about a Saga bird-watching holiday and why should our customers go?

Many of my guests have travelled with specialist wildlife tour companies that can be extremely ‘full on’ and intense. It is still nice to see as much as possible but in a slightly less frenetic manner. We see amazing birds and animals on my trips yet still find time to relax in a comfortable hotel. Well done Saga!"