Tim on Tour

Hoping for harpies

Guyana’s national bird, the prehistoric-looking hoatzin.

Our wildlife explorer Tim Earl looks forward to returning to Guyana, where the group he takes out will hopefully see several of the most exotic bird and animal species on Earth...

Elephant, man!

Too close for comfort: The elephant asserted himself claiming his territory.

His close encounter with an elephant in Zambia left our (not so) intrepid wildlife reporter Tim Earl shaken... and stirred...

Fun day in Fundy

Day’s Catch, surrounded by a vast number of great shearwaters. Naturalist Durlan Ingersoll can be seen on the cabin roof. (Pictures by Rosemary Allain, 1268689)

It has the most dramatic tides in the world and more than its fair share of wildlife – particularly whales. Tim Earl explores the Bay of Fundy on the working boat, Day’s Catch...

Flaming ohs, there they go...

The flamingo – popular with birdwatching clients but elusive.

A Mediterranean cruise provided plenty of excitement for birders, but it wasn’t all about nightingales and pretty pink flamingos, however elusive. As Tim Earl reports, There were cetaceans in profusion – plus a trip to Herm as a finale...

Who are you calling ugly?

‘It’s ugly,’ I was told. Not so. The northern bald ibis proved to be a charmer. (Roberto Cerruti/Tomasz Pado/Shutterstock)

I AM SAILING in even greater luxury on three cruises this summer after my ship, Minerva, underwent a multi-million pound refit during the winter.

Fly to the wild side

Castillo de Monfrague offers wonderful views of the national park and the opportunity to look down on passing vultures. (B.F./Shutterstock)

Millions of people fly over central Spain each year on their way to the costas, but beneath them can be found some of the most exciting wildlife in Europe – as our roaming naturalist Tim Earl explains.

Northern delights

Sheffield’s ‘golden frame’ includes the magnificent Chatsworth House, the windows of which are currently being restored. (Picture: Jane McIlroy/Shutterstock.com) 1200720

Closer to home than usual, Tim Earl enjoyed returning to his northern roots. He finds a shipshape Sheffield and finally sets foot inside a house he’s admired since he was a boy. And Chatsworth is pulling out all the stops when it comes to decking the halls this Christmas...

Wizards of odd

St Ives is a delightful town with attractive houses and sandy beaches.

There’s disappointment all round for Tim Earl on his latest exploration, which involves not-so-pretty beauty spots, an absence of art and an unimpressive Eden Project. But despite discovering the odd gem, our columnist is left confused by Cornwall...

The irony of whale-hunting Iceland

Iceland’s impressive Godafoss Falls, where King Thor was said to have thrown his pagan statues. 	(Picture by Tim Earl) 1175659

A VAST grey speckled shape appeared on the surface, blew a jet of water high into the air and started to dive, finally showing a small dorsal fin.

Edge of the world

Hirta 03

ST KILDA is one of the most amazing places in Britain.Little known and with extravagant wildlife and a poignant history, this is the most remote group of islands in the British Isles and visiting them is fraught - uncertainty and eager anticipation are the norm.

Animal attraction

Syd trophy

SIR Peter Scott did it, but his friend - my great-uncle - Arthur Cadman did not. Great white hunters Syd Downey and Donald Ker did it, but many others of their ilk could not

Where the wild things are

Silbe nature reserve, which has matured well in the 35 years since it was founded. 	(0278283)

Wildlife conservation has come on since the days when a Rocquaine orchid field was ploughed over and planted with spuds. Tim Earl takes a walk down memory lane and is pleased with much of what he sees...

Swanning around

Minerva – berthed in the pretty fishing village of Symi, Greece – can get into ports from which larger ships steer clear.	(Pictures by Tim Earl)

Our wildlife man has a new office – the rear promenade deck of the small, luxurious cruise liner Minerva. Now lecturing on board the vessel, Tim Earl recounts his latest voyage, around Greece and Turkey, and recalls some of the greatest scrapes from earlier in his career...

Early birds

Gulp! A hoopoe gets stuck into a local bird delicacy.                                                                                                                 (Pictures by Chris Bale) 1120035

THE hoopoe is one of the most exciting spring visitors to the islands.Stunning lookers, easy to identify and with a preference for well-cropped grass, their appearance in March and April always gets my telephone ringing.

A tall order

Two Rothschild giraffes join Tim for breakfast.

SHARING one’s muesli with a giraffe must be one of the strangest African experiences going. But that is exactly what happens at Giraffe Manor just outside Nairobi.

Into Africa

Lions do well on the game-rich plains of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.	(Pictures by Tim Earl)

AN ELEPHANT migration route between Samburu and Mount Kenya has opened and is in use.It centres on a tunnel under the main Nanyuki-Meru Road (A2) and joins the Ngare Ndare Forest to the Mt Kenya Forest.

Torrents of Arabia

Extra look-outs were posted and water cannon fitted to strategic parts of the ship.	(Pictures by Tim Earl)

IT ALL seemed like a joke at first: we were sailing in a modern, luxurious cruise liner, watching out for pirates. Emergency drills, extra crew on watch and the presence of a senior military adviser brought reality to mind, although the British spirit was always popping up.

Harpy meals

A harpy eagle chick with serious attitude looks down with contempt from its nest high in a rainforest tree.                                 (Picture by Tim Earl)

I HAVE just seen my first harpy eagle, the renowned ‘flying wolf’ of New World tropical rainforests.It is a truly awesome bird, weighing up to 9kg (20lb) and capable of taking large monkeys - even small pigs and deer.

The wild bunch

The dominant male walrus in a group has huge tusks.	(Pictures by Tim Earl, 1039369)

OF ALL the animals I wanted to see in the high Arctic, walrus topped the list.

Super furry animals

This young bear was injured, possibly in a fight with another polar or trying to kill a walrus.                                     (Pictures by Tim Earl, 1028763)

In the first of a two-part series, Tim Earl is in Pole position as he searches for the world’s largest land predator and king of the high Arctic – and in his quest to see a polar bear first-hand has a couple of all-too-close encounters...