Middle East birdwatching guides and tours
recommended by Birdingpal

  • If you are you an independent birdwatcher, who does not care for large group tours, then Birdingpaltours is for you
  • Our tours are flexible, safe and the use of a local guide lets you participate in the planning
  • A local guide knows all the hotspots and you get the most out of your trip
  • You select the date and length for a trip to suit youself
  • If your time is limited, we’ll design a tour to fit your needs
  • A professional Birdingpal guide can customize your tour, and you will see the birds you want.
  • Your guide is also your travel companion, who will make sure you experience the native people, scenery, culture, history and food, first hand.
  • You will enjoy the advantage of all the attention you get in a small group, for the same price or perhaps even less, than you will pay if you travel with the large tour groups from other countries
  • Remember, the next time you travel, you do not have to miss the birdwatching if your partner or travel companions are non birders; a local guide is flexible, and will easily accommodate other needs too
  • Hiring a Birdingpal guide will boost the local economy and help protect birds other wildlife and their habitat




Birding guide Kai Gauger, your local Birdingpal guide
Kai Gauger will be your personal tour guide and is a most experienced ornithologist in Azerbaijan. He has worked there in many different projects for the University of Greifswald, the Michael Succow Foundation and the German NABU in cooperation with national organisations and the Minitry of Ecology. He did studies concerning breeding bird communities, migration and wintering birds all over the country. In the last years he organised and guided several tours for birdwatchers but also botanists. He is furthermore author of the only comprehensive bird and nature guide to Azerbaijan which came out in 2008.
Kai speaks German (mother tongue), English (fluent) and Russian.

Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Kai.   

Being fond of nature and birds, in particular, I have travelled the world a bit and taken part in quite a few special birding trips, self-organized or offered by various companies specialized in this field (Algirdas Knystautas, Rockjumper Birding Tours, Dr. Koch). Lately I attended two trips to Azerbaijan, i.e. in January/February 2006 and May/June 2007. The first one having been initiatated by NABU (of which I have been a member for long) in order to assist the Azerbaijanian colleagues in conducting a waterfowl count in winter. Here I met Kai Gauger for the first time when he was still a student of the University of Greifswald. He had travelled to Azerbaijan a couple of times already pursuing his studies on a special bird project i.e. the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax). This made him cross the country from east to west and south to north, exploring all National Parks and Nature Reserves as well as the Important Bird Areas. He masters the Russian language more or less fluently and thus was able to make easily friends with park rangers and people all over the country. It was him who organized the complete tour in all respects i.e. arranging for transportation, lodging (hotels and private accommodation), catering, etc. He is a skilled personality, friendly and very sociable behaving very well with people notwithstanding their age. His profound knowledge about nature and environmental subjects, in general, and birds - the Azerbaijan list comprising about 400 species - where and how to find them, in particular, inspired me suggesting to arrange for another trip to this exciting country in springtime to be able to get access also to the higher ranges of the Caucasus Mountains. In May 2007 we started on the second trip. This time the group consisted of four new members and me. Kai again had arranged for everything and showed that he was able to handle odd situations as well due to the experience he had gained before in respect of knowing the country and its people. Again the group was very successful seeing a huge numer of birds including a few outstanding specials in the higher ranges (3000 m) of the Caucasus Mountains. Last not least it should also been mentioned that whenever possible, along the general route, cultural sites have also been visited e.g. the Rock paintings and mud volcanoes in Gobustan, the Khan's Palace at Sheki, Baku and some others. To me these were rewarding trips and I am looking forward to taking part in some others hopefully to come.
Horst K'hler
In May 2009 Kai Gauger organized a wonderful tour to amazing places in Azerbaijan. We visited the mountains in the south as well as the central lowlands and the High Caucasus. Everything during those two weeks was perfectly organized, even details. Kai also showed flexibility - we have been a group of varied interests - and all of us enjoyed these days in this interesting country with its fantastic sceneries and birdlife.
Joachim Genser
In May 2009 we travelled to Azerbaijan in a group of six persons who were interested in both ornithology and botanic. Kai organised a great trip and thanks to his broad knowledge of the country and its nature we got to know an amazing variety of landscapes, plants and birdlife. We were very pleased with the birding spots and also transport, accommodation and catering were well selected. We saw more than 200 species in two weeks with Shikra, White-throated Robin, G'ldenstad's Redstart, Caucasian Black Grouse and Caucasian Snowcock being my personal highlights. This was an excellent trip to a very interesting country with a competent guide ' highly recommendable!
Max Schulz

Check out my year round birdwatching tours in Azerbaijan


Birding guide Carmel Zitronblat, your local Birdingpal guide

I was born in Israel, am 34 years old, and I live in Jerusalem. Since childhood I was interested in hiking and especially in bird watching. In the past 10 years I worked in Israel as a birdwatching guide for the Israel Society for Nature Protection, participated and guided bird banding (I have an "A" license in bird banding).
I am a graduate of the Hebrew university in Jerusalem, B.Sc. in Biology followed by D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). During the last year I worked in a clinic for small animals and now i am working as an Independent Veterinar.

Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Carmel.   

Israel's unique location has made Israel a bottleneck and crossroads for bird migration, second to almost no other site in the world. Research has shown that about 500 million migrating birds fly over Israel twice a year. The majority of the northern, central and eastern European populations of birds, as well as large parts of the western Asiatic populations circumvents the Mediterranean Sea and funnels over Israel. Bird watching in Israel can be a fascinating experience during the entire year, though each season has its own unique species of birds. There is no doubt though, that the spring and autumn are unquestionably the best seasons for bird watching in Israel with the possibility to see over 200 bird species in a week. We, at Carmel's Birding Tours in Israel, offer unique bird watching tours with professional guidance and a personal touch. We specialize in customized birding tours to ensure your complete satisfaction.

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Last update 20/02/2014