I was not sure what I was getting into with this tour, as this was my first guided trip. I feel that I had gotten pretty far with photography on my own, and have built a bit of a following. That said, I also felt I've hit a bit of a plateau with processing and creativity in the field.
Working with Kevin in the field and seeing what he was able to create in the situations given was inspiring to say the least. This gave me a bit of re-kindled spirit towards working at my photography.
Adrian, thanks for a great trip! We thoroughly enjoyed birding with you again and appreciate all the extra effort you put into making the trip a learning experience as well as finding the birds.
I just returned from your fantastic trip to Arizona. I had 70 life birds including Elegant Trogan, Montezuma Quail and Five Stripe Sparrow!!! Chris and Steve were great guides. I plan on going to your Maine and Northern California trips next year. Thanks for another great birding trip!
Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and leadership. Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and Toby in beautiful Scotland.
Robert Straub is a tour leader who is enthusiastic and patient (and who seems to enjoy himself, too).
Robert Straub is fluent in Spanish and very knowledge about the area. There were no 'language problems' anywhere, making the trip run very smoothly.
Thank you for a tremendous custom trip you put together and led us on throughout Kenya and Tanzania this past month. From beginning to end it was a spectacular success due in principle to your masterful planning, professional work ethic and calm, deliberate and patient demeanor. - Feb 2017
Robert Straub is the best guide that I have ever worked with. He really enjoys showing 'his' birds and 'his' chosen place to others.
Thanks again for leading a wonderful trip, Adrian. I loved your sense of humor and appreciated your patience and great people skills.
Thanks again for another wonderful birding trip. I really enjoyed the islands and the hidden corners of Scotland. Your good humor and friendship add so much to the trip.
Joel and I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful trip to the Tortugas. We appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us and making the trip so enjoyable. It was truly a memorable trip!
Our Wildside trip to Cuba in April 2019 was fantastic. For a long time I wanted to visit Cuba and this trip was one of the best tours I have been on and exceeded my expectations. The trip was so well organized and included some of the most beautiful locations in Cuba. We had a small group and a wonderful guide, Gabriel who met us in Miami and took care of the details for the whole trip. He is an experienced knowledgable birder and showed a great deal of patience to make sure we all saw the birds we set out to find each day. I was the least experienced in the group but learned a lot about birding and have a new appreciation for wildlife and birds in particular. Our local guide Ernesto was friendly and knew so many of the local people and where to find the endemic species, some in the most out of the way locations that only a specialist would know about. We also had a dedicated bus driver who shepherded the group for the whole trip.
The trip was well-organized and included all the accommodations at B&Bs, delicious food, dinner in private restaurants in the countryside and in the cities, travel, introductions to and conversations with Cuban bird specialists, a ride in classic cars and a visit to Hemingway's house and a tobacco farm and more. Going with Wildside was the perfect way to see and get to know the country and its people.
Thanks again Adrian for another great trip (#13 I think) of birding in a wonderful location. You're a great guide, but you're also an outstanding teacher. I know Kenya is one of your favorite destinations, and it was so enjoyable to see things through your eyes.
Best birding activity - at Lake Baringo with Francis, five owl species, and on the boat ride, the Fish Eagles, Little Bittern and Allen's Gallinule.
Best animal-bird interaction - the Red-billed Oxpecker going into the Rhino's ear and then come shooting out!
Best quiet observation - along the Ewaso Ngiro River at Buffalo Springs, we stopped and a herd of Elephants slowly, quietly ate their way across the road on all sides of the vehicle - so wonderful to quietly observe them.
Best birds (not expected) - White-spotted Flufftail, Doherty's Bushshrike, Rufous-bellied Heron.
Most unforgettable - the Wildebeest crossing the Mara River.
Adrian, I was so impressed with your enthusiasm for the birds and constant effort to teach us, not to mention your ever-engaging wit.
What can I say? It was a trip of a lifetime. Even now, three weeks later, I have scenes of Africa in my night dreams and day dreams. - Tanzania, March 2009
This was so much more than a birding tour of Morocco; it was truly a cultural experience.
I can't begin to offer enough praise for Glenn. He was extraordinary on all counts. He was one of the most skilled birders I've had the pleasure of birding with, and his people skills were off the charts. It was a pleasure and an honor to have the chance to meet and spend time in the field with him. He's an amazing guy!
As the most novice birder on the trip, I was treated to a wonderful group of helpful participants--leaders, naturalists and fellow travelers. Patience abounded! What a store of information I have gathered, my head swims in colorful birds and other animals. Our stop at riverside villages was enlilghtening.
The Dry Tortugas had been on our bucket list and this trip allowed us to check it off in style. The boat was roomy and comfortable easily housing the eleven participants. The crew was friendly and accommodating, and the food was excellent (which is typical of Wildside tours). We enjoyed pelagic birding both to and from the islands and excellent birding on the islands. Adrian, our tour guide made sure everyone got on the birds. And he looked at hundreds of Brown Noddys to find the one Black Noddy in the mix, which we all then got to see. Highly recommended.
Got to meet a few of you at the Magee Marsh Boardwalk this past week. You guys were wonderful. Thanks for all your help and knowledge. Hope to see you again next year!
We didn't just see, or tour, the Galapagos Islands with Wildside Nature Tours...we experienced the Galapagos Islands with all five senses, such that it will live in our memories as vivid as it was those magical twelve days of August, 2017, aboard the our yacht...may we yet again be so fortunate as to undertake such an adventure.
Naturally, the hawk flights were the highlight of the trip but we enjoyed everything else as well; the morning bird walks, the boat rides, the museum in Xalapa, the food, and the very nice camaraderie between the participants and the guides. Robert is certainly a class act! He did his best to make sure all involved were happy with everything and, of course, he is an excellent birder.
I also want to offer high praise in regards to Alex. He is as gifted a birder as I have been with as his identification skills with distant raptors as well as momentary glimpses of close song birds is extremely impressive. Alex taught me a lot with his ability to explain the subtle nuances of structure and plumage related to my beloved raptors. He is also a very personable young man. In my opinion, Wildside has a true gem in the hiring of Alex Lamoreaux.
I've been lucky enough to go birding with Edison in a variety of places, and it's always a blast. His skill at finding and identifying birds, his enthusiasm for every bird, and his personal warmth and sense of humor all combine to make him a great leader in the field.
I just have to say ... you guys are superstars! With your awesome skills at showing birds to people, you made a LOT of people happy during the Biggest Week In American Birding! Thank you so much; we'll look forward to seeing all of you again, back here in Ohio or somewhere else around the world!
Edison loves the birds of South America (his home turf) like the Sword-billed Hummingbird loves a trumpet flower! He's a walking encyclopedia of field marks and call notes - an expert on neotropical birds and conservation, and equally as passionate about sharing his knowledge with the rest of us. He's also excellent company in the field and seems to know half the people in Latin America on a first name basis. Can't wait to go birding with Edison again!
This trip was a spectacular exploration of an amazing unique habitat. Mind-boggling non-stop variety of waders, raptors, caiman, capybara and jaguars! A memorable moment included paddling alongside remarkable Giant Otters crunching fish as they fed and communicating with eerie ear-splitting screams. - Pantanal 2010
Wildside Nature Tours are THE best, we enjoyed Belize so much, the locations chosen for this 25th anniversary trip allowed more time at a particular location which we really enjoyed. You are as busy as you choose to be and still get the field opportunities offered. Belize was our second Wildside trip, what we have found was we arrived as strangers on both trips and left as family. Each day was filled with history, culture and Kevin’s team know how to find those AWESOME shots. You can sit in your easy chair, google many companies for information. Our decision to travel with Wildside is one we highly recommend. You will be glad you did!!!!
Loved the beautiful birds we saw on this trip! It is difficult to pick just one as a favorite. The pine marten was an amazing sight and who could forget the regurgitations of the Northern Hawk Owl who was so accommodating to stay in the same area all four days for all to enjoy? Adrian, Alex and Chris were wonderful guides who worked HARD to find all the birds who cooperated. As usual, a couple species were elusive, but that just gives us an opportunity to visit the area again in the future. Thank you Wildside Nature Tours!
Kevin, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the Amazon trip and your expertise in photography, birds, and the tropics in general. Truly, I don’t know how you had the time in your life to acquire your depth of knowledge; didn’t you ever sleep? In any event, keep doing what you are doing--I think you were born to lead eco-trips!
I would recommend Wildside Nature Tours for anyone who wants to explore this area of Alaska and I suggest that you do. The glaciers are grand and amazing (and shrinking), the bears are grand and I was in awe watching them, the whales are majestic and graceful, the scenery is beautiful.
Seldom does a trip touch my heart where I know I will remember all the details. Well there were too many details to remember, but the experience of seeing Alaska touched my heart and the best part was sharing it with my best friend in the world, my wife Misse.
As a side note, my wife Misse is not that interested in photography and this was advertised as a photography tour. I can tell you that although she was concerned with this, she had an amazing time and did not feel that she lost out on anything just because her spouse happens to be a little obsessed with taking photos. She also had an amazing time.
Just wanted you to know what a WONDERFUL time we had with you in India – a TERRIFIC guide, wonderful participants, great birds and SPECTACULAR TIGERS. Yes, ours was a great trip; I was so impressed with your enthusiasm for the birds and constant effort to teach us, not to mention your ever-engaging wit.
- Northern India 06
Spain provided fantastic birding, culture, and food. We arrived a day early to visit Seville, a wonderfully walkable city with great architecture and parks. Donana wetlands teemed with ducks, waders, and shorebirds. We were mesmerized by vultures and eagles at the rocky cliffs. It was great fun to look for bustards in flowing grasslands. Scenery was stunning in the Pyrenees mountains; it was amazing to watch the Wallcreeper cling to crags high in a vertical cliff. We ate the most mouth-watering delectable dishes at every stop. Adrian and Santi were brilliant guides - I highly recommend this tour!
The spectacle of thousands and thousands of raptors streaming and kettling overhead cannot be described in words. Every birder should experience this in Veracruz at least once in their lifetime. - Veracruz 2013
Superb trip! Let's start with the snowy scenery -- just gorgeous. And then the birds. We saw many we had never seen before, and never could have expected to see otherwise. Adrian or Alex or Chris would spot a tiny dot at the top of a tree and say, "That's a ...." and we'd pull over and, sure enough, they'd be right. They were generous with their exhaustive knowledge, and we learned a lot. Their friendliness and good natures made the trip so much fun in so many ways. We came home exhausted and happy.
I first met Edison Buenaño in person at Biggest Week in American Birding in 2012. I have now birded with him several times in the U.S. and South America. Edison’s combination of keen eyes, gifted ears, and great leadership skills make Edison one of the best birding guides I have ever met. He is patient with his customers and is not condescending in any way. I would not hesitate to recommend Edison as a guide to any person or group. He has earned both my trust and admiration.
How many ways can we say thank you for this wonderful experience? During this trip we've enjoyed so much not only your expert bird identification but also all the side info on many species including mammals. You have a very sharp eyesight and excellent skills in getting us onto the bird. You are patient, keep all situations light with a nice sense of humor and calm demeanor that instills trust from your clients. Suffice it to say that we would not hesitate to travel again with you. - Kenya & Tanzania Feb 2017
Thank you for making the Dry Tortugas an enjoyable experience. You are a terrific guide, full of information and very caring about your 'flock'. - April 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to India. Adrian is an outstanding leader with a thorough knowledge of the birds, history and culture of India. He was extremely helpful and patient in finding and identifying the birds and was an excellent teacher on the fine points of identification of similar species.
Adrian - I am still humming with all the adventures we had in East Africa. Just wanted to let you know that our Tanzania-Kenya safari was unbelievable!
Thank you sooo much for the Dry Tortugas tour. It was everything I was hoping it would be and more.
The Wildside Cuba trip was a winner from start to finish. From all the endemics checked off; to our wonderful, hard working Cuban guides; to principal guide, the indomitable Gabriel Lugo; this trip is a must for your Western Hemisphere bucket list.
This was the most productive photo tour I have ever experienced, Kevin! Thanks!
I wanted to let you know that my Maine birding trip last week was beyond all my expectations. Chris and Alex were terrific hosts and guides. They went beyond the call of duty and their efforts paid off with a great Puffin trip. This is my third birding trip with Wildside and Chris Brown does a fabulous job picking lunch and dinner spots which really makes for a successful, well rounded trip.
The trip was really something, getting around to all the chicken leks...and finding all the great birds. Thanks for making my 700th ABA bird (Gunnison Sage-Grouse) special with the champagne celebration.
Your birding expertise and spotting ability are amazing. Thanks so much for your patience, kindness, stories and great attitude, it was a memorable and fun trip.
Our small crew thoroughly enjoyed each hour of every day and weren't shy about saying so. I know they loved their Wildsides experience in Belize.
Just back from the amazing River of Raptors tour—Robert and Alex were incredible guides.
The India tour, with great views of birds, mammals, and iconic palaces as well as Rajasthan culture was easily the most memorable of some dozen overseas trips we have taken in the past few years.
– India, 2008
I just returned from the Tetons very enthusiastic about the leader, Kevin Loughlin. Not only does Kevin run a terrific workshop, he’s a wonderful photographer and a charming man. during the workshop he was always teaching and helping all the attendees. Although he was not familiar with the Olympus OMD, he solved all of my issues because he knows photography so well!
A small group tour of the Galapagos on a private boat is definitely the only way to go. To visit these enchanted islands with a leader as experienced as Kevin Loughlin means that you will almost always be in the right place at the right time to catch all the action at the best times of day in the best light.
My wife and I joined Kevin on his Belize tour March 2019. We both had a wonderful time and experience. My wife, not a photographer, came along and really enjoyed herself. The tour had ecology related info, area history, bird watching and photography. The lodges we stayed in were perfect and the food was even better.
Thanks for making this a wonderful trip! Your skill, knowledge, patience and good humor are stellar 🙂 - Florida April 2017
We had extremely high expectations, and they were easily exceeded. We loved everything about the trip. Probably what impressed us the most is the way Kevin and his folks made sure everyone's interests were a point of focus. As birders, we felt like we received all the help we could have asked for, and I'm sure the photographers felt the same way.
The best trip ever! The birds, animals, geology, and plant material are totally unique to the area and amazing. Kevin, Pedro, and John were wonderful leaders who were very knowledgeable, patient, and fun to be with. The yacht was extremely comfortable and the crew could not be more accommodating. In summary this was a great trip and would not change anything about it.
Thank you again Adrian and Toby for a wonderful trip, and thanks for the excellent report. I read it while sweltering in our heat, so the mention of rain only made me want to return to Scotland. - June 2018
Our trip has been wonderful. The falcons were amazing, a true wonder of the natural world. Like witnessing a a massive snow storm, except instead of snowflakes, the sky was filled with falcons. The people of Pangti were warm and welcoming and their accommodations entirely satisfactory. Though the falcons were the crown jewels, the rest of the trip was also thrilling, from watching the primates of the gibbon sanctuary to seeing rhinos up close from the back of an elephant. We were well taken care of all along the way. Thank your you for making this extraordinary experience available to us.
Winter birding can be challenging but Alex, Chris and Adrian kept our spirits high with their laughter, expertise, and unmistakable talent for spotting target species. This trip would not have been the same without these amazing guides. As always, expectations were exceeded and I can't wait for my next Wildside adventure!
Mammals and birds were everywhere. The crater was amazing as were the sheer number of wildebeest in the Serengeti. You certainly put us right in the middle of migration. This safari far exceeded my expectations. Thank you! - Feb 2015
You really want to see tropical birds but don't like to constantly change hotels? Can't or don't want to do a lot of jungle hiking? Not familiar with the tropical bird groups? The riverboat base with skiff rides along the water edges give an up-close look at a wide variety of birds, monkeys, sloths, and river dolphins. The few walks are not difficult and can be optional. Partner not a birder or a photography buff? As space allows, they can learn photography tips on one trip and go looking at birds on the next, or sit on top of the riverboat and watch life along the river.
The guides were incredible and always willing to help. Edison led the birding skiff and Kevin the photography skiff. There was always additional help in the skiffs to answer questions, share tips/advice, and assure everyone had the best chance to see the target or get the photo. Highly recommend the trip and the guides, even if you are experienced birders.
You have the best coverage for getting all the Florida specialties, and you allow extra time to 'get the birds.'
Adrian - Thanks for a fabulous trip! The chickens really were spectacular, and Colorado is beautiful!
Watching bats fly out at dusk from the Austin bridge; seeing spinning phalaropes at Hornsby water treatment plant; tracking down target Golden-cheeked Warblers at Balcones NWR; observing up-close Painted Buntings from multiple blinds at South Llano State Park. Austin and surrounding locales hosted a whirlwind of wonderful birds, habitats, and experiences! Guide Alex Lamoreaux provided great leadership and expertise in this highly-rewarding short trip.
The Botswana trip with Adrian Binns was truly a trip of a lifetime.
As a new birder, I learned so much from Adrian's instruction and loved the camps we stayed at in Botswana. In addition, Adrian and the other folks on the tour were delightful travel companions.
Botswana is a magical place (and we saw many, many elephants in the wild, which I wanted so badly to see). I highly recommend this tour!
Chickens close on the leks were the most unique N. American birding experience we have ever had, even after birding for about 40 years.
The Galápagos Islands are a unique destination that requires an experienced tour company to expose you to all its wonders. Kevin of Wildside Tours knows this place as well or better than anybody! You will be totally immersed in the wildlife and scenery-a sensual experience that will have you re-telling your trip over and over to friends and family. It couldn’t get any better than what we experienced. My wife says NOTHING will ever top this as a birthday gift. Wildside is the best!!
Adrian, thank you for a wonderful Kenyan adventure. Your superb birding skills, knowledge, and your patience and good humor make traveling with you a delight. Assante sana!
Robert Straub is the best guide I have ever worked with. He really enjoys showing ‘his’ birds and ‘his’ chosen place to others. - Veracruz ABA tour 2009
There was no way we were going to Alaska on our own (for both knowing all the little tidbits and for safety... i.e. bears). I was more than impressed with Kevin's care, interest, knowledge, patience, and enthusiasm.
Once again we had a terrific birding trip with Wildside. Belize was a perfect tropical birding introduction for Pat and I. The accommodations and meals were great. The variety and numbers of birds was overwhelming. And I can't say enough good things about Glenn our guide. He was SUPER!!!! We definitely will be doing another Glenn guided trip in the near future. Thanks again for a wonderful week!
I think you are great professionals, knowledgeable birders and very caring about your fellow travelers. You are not afraid to share what you know and that is really important. I have been on other tours and yours are by far the best.
I took the Galapagos trip that began June 16, 2019. The trip exceeded my expectations and they were already pretty high. Everything was praiseworthy--the logistics, the ship, the crew, the food, and the guides. Kevin, Pedro and John are all so experienced and knowledgeable, and fun to be with. Kevin is a very relaxed but efficient leader, so the atmosphere is always enjoyable. The photo opportunities were of course spectacular.
The pace was not leisurely! Early morning start and three excursions every day. But even as the oldest among the party (late 70s) I was able to keep up, and thoroughly enjoy everything. The crew were always helpful with things like climbing back into a panga (zodiak) from the water after snorkeling.
The hotel in Quito was also extremely comfortable, and the trip to see hummingbirds in the cloud forest a dividend. I highly recommend this trip, and wish I were still there.
From the tropical Pacific coast, to ancient oak cloud forests, to stark treeless habitat at 11,000 feet, the Wildside Nature Tours Costa Rica birding adventure was a great success. Thanks to our guide – arguably the best birder I ever met and commanding an encyclopedic knowledge of natural history – we tallied 346 species in a little over nine full days of birding!
Dear Adrian, Your vast knowledge of birds, habitats were especially appreciated, and your thoughtful attention to all of your birders!
Wow! This trip was a stunner, and I am highly recommending it to everyone I know. I hope to take many more trips with you, Adrian. Having spent a month in Morocco almost 40 years ago I was thrilled to return with you. You are a terrific guide; you know Morocco, its birds, customs, people, places, language and cuisine. The enjoyment you provided surpassed my highest expectations. It was fun to see you greeting old friends there with hugs, and your comfort and ease were infectious to participants. Just as enjoyable were your hilarious sense of humor, and the fun our group had together exploring this beautiful and timeless country.
The birds were great - you found and delivered them to us. Your spotting and identifying skills are truly impressive, and you are so patient and dedicated to providing participants with the ultimate birding experience, always with lots of fun.
You are to be complemented on your excellent planning, and the materials you provided to participants - the detail and depth of the itinerary and the General Information sheets prepared us well for the experience. The bird list was invaluable, enabling us to study & prepare for what we might see, & it was helpful to have the list of birds seen on each of your prior trips.
Thanks, Kevin, for an awesome and amazing week [in Glacier Nation al Park] and for sharing your terrific knowledge and experience with us. Your expert photography knowledge helped me to grow and be a better photographer. Your birding and nature skills have inspired me! Your passion for your work is contagious!
How Glenn can find a stub tailed spadebill and white whiskered puffbird 10 feet in the woods and behind a tree is just amazing. Going boondocking thru the woods resulted in An Ornate Hawk Eagle mating. What more can a birder ask for!!!
You know how much this trip meant to me. It was so much more than I would have ever even imagined. I was a little worried that I would be disappointed because I held Galapagos on such high expectations. I feel silly for even thinking that!
I never felt so close to nature in my life. From the Sea Lion that happily played with us in the water to the Mockingbirds coming right up to my camera to the Boobies who had no worry about us passing right by, even when they had young with them. The sights of sea birds on the cliffs and even the birds and fish around the yacht - it was all just amazing.
I was lucky enough to meet and bird a little with the Wildside team at BWAB. You guys and gals are awesome - it was great meeting you all!
Thank you for all your efforts in arranging this wonderful trip, finding us all the target birds and for my surprise birthday celebration. - Morocco April 2017
This is our fifth trip with Wildside. All five trips were fabulous and Kevin and his guides are terrific. This trip to the Galapagos is in a class of it's own and the trip every birder and nature photographer must do!! Kevin, Pedro and John K. were exceptional guides and hosts. The new boat, staterooms, staff and fresh food were all first class. I cannot recommend this trip enough. The wildlife was up close and amazing. We even got to snorkel with sea turtles, sea lions, rays, sharks and our favorite, PENGUINS!!!!!
About Rob Ripma
Rob is a lifelong Indiana resident and co-owner of Sabrewing Nature Tours. He is also the creator of www.NuttyBirder.com, “the place to go to find birds”. Rob has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas and taken pelagic trips into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Rob is currently the President of the Board of the Amos Butler Audubon Society (ABAS) in Indianapolis and is also on the board of directors for Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO). Prior to joining the ABAS and BSBO boards, he served on the executive board of the Indiana Audubon Society for three years as Treasurer and Vice President. He is co-founder of the Indiana Young Birders Club and speaks at a variety of organizations and schools about birds and birding to share his knowledge and experiences in the field. He’s been the primary bird blogger for Birds & Blooms Magazine since 2013.
Rob loves working with new and experienced birders of all ages and believes that teaching people about birds will not only increase interest in birding but also help them better understand why we must work to protect birds and their habitats.
A graduate from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 2008 with a degree in Marketing, Rob lives with his wife Stephanie in Carmel, Indiana.