Greetings from Finland! We had nice (and long) flight to Finland and now we are safely at home. We want to thank you very much for excellent trip and guiding us! We both liked trip very much!
Also we both are satisfied of photos of many species! I had good laugh for photo of Markku with hat!
I have added some recordings to Xeno-Canto. Recording of Pale Rosefinch was the first of this species, but also nice one of Tibetan Sandgrouse.
I hope You have had nice birding in Sichuan? I hope also, that You will enjoy visiting in England!
Please, send me a wish list of photos of species, which You want to add Your Trip report.
All the Best
Jarmo and Markku — 2017
You will be in the middle of the Birdquest trip.I hope that it is going well and that you are finding all the rarities for the group. Birdquest are usually a demanding lot!!! Anyway I thought I would just drop you a line about our extension to Lhasa as this is still fresh in my mind.
It was superb,and went without a single hitch. Again thank you for organising it.A very knowledgeable guide,Nima,was waiting for us at the airport,and looked after us extremely well while we were in Lhasa. It’s a fascinating city.Our hotel,of very good standard,was in the old part of town and we had great fun wandering through the alleyways,all teaming with life and with hundreds of small shops the likes of which reminded me of pictures of York in the early 20th century.On our first day we did the tourist bit visiting the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Shrine.Climbing 14 flights of stairs in the former reminded us that we were at 3500m.,and I have to admit that we did notice the altitude even at ground level.
On the second day we went to the Xiongshe Nunnery.There is now a very good surfaced road all the way up to the Nunnery so access is very easy.On the way up,about a km.from the Nunnery, I saw an interesting bird fly across the road so I stopped the car.This turned out to be a Giant Babax,and the first of many that we saw during the morning.While I was trying to photograph it Julia found two Tibetan Eared Pheasants away up on the side of the valley.I had assumed that these pheasants,like all the others we had seen with you,would be skulking and hard to find/see,so photographs were duly taken-picture 2.However picture 3 says it all!!! A bit further up the road we again stopped the car,and within 30 seconds there were 3 birds round us looking for food! In the end we probably saw more than 20 individuals scattered around the upper valley. Interestingly these were all below the Nunnery itself and we didn’t see any actually around the Nunnery. In the early morning the upper valley was alive with birds,but by midday most had gone silent and disappeared into the bushes. Lots of Giant Babax and Brown-cheeked Laughingthrushes,Brown and Rufous-breasted Accentors,Great Rosefinch,Tibetan Blackbird,Oriental Turtle Dove and Tibetan Partridge.I’m sure we missed several other species which you would have picked up,but all in all it was a splendid morning,with crippling views of the two targets.
I see from your website that you have started to write a report of our trip.Once again Julia and I send you our most grateful thanks for looking after us so well,and coping with our ageing failings.I have had a quick look at the Lhasa pictures,but haven’t started to sort out the Sichuan lot.In due course I will do this and send you some of the better images.
Our best wishes,
Tom and Julia. — 2017
We would like to thank you once again for an excellent tour, and we hope that your current tour is going well. Here we are in the middle of Summer and currently it’s sunny and hot. Knowing our weather it probably won’t last that long.
I have sorted out some of my photos for you, here is the first batch.
Jill and Paul
Summer has been working for China Bird Tour for some years but three years ago she started her own business and since then she has had a lot to do. We can absolutely recommend Summer Wong as a guide for your trip to probably all parts of China – especially Sichuan. She is professional and with focus on bird calls and songs. She is also a sweet girl with both feet on the ground.
Erik — 2017
Markku and Vesa like to thank you for an excellent tailor made one week birding trip to Sichuan in May 2016.
Summer is very keen on and skilful professional bird guide. We managed to see almost all our target species during sometimes hard weather conditions. Time to time it was nice trekking adventure at slopes of mountains for target species and sometimes easy road side birding. Summer really knows where to find her birds.
Normally we left our accommodations so early that we could not have a breakfast there and what she did ?
Summer made a delicious breakfast and time to time also lunch at the field during birding when we only enjoyed new birds to us.
When you are travelling in Sichuan you should also taste excellent local food.
Thank you Summer and we hope to see You someday again.
Markku Vesterinen app. 3800 world ticks and Vesa Jouhki app.4600 world ticks from Finland.
Vesa — 2016
Apologies for not replying sooner, we have been very busy in the UK with repairs to the small house which we own and also our campervan.
Thank you so much for your lovely photos, they brought back many good memories. Your tour was much better than the Mongolian tour we subsequently took. Will tell you more about it another time.
We hope you are continuing to obtain many clients to keep you busy! We certainly hope to visit with you again in the future and go to another part of China.
Mike and Linda — 2016
I want to reiterate my thanks to you for your efforts to make our trip enjoyable and memorable.
You are an excellent birder, a great organiser and an enthusiastic guide. We all were impressed with your energy, professionalism and concern for our comfort. Your patience in fulfilling our requests, often after long days, was very much appreciated. You have an excellent personality for guiding; the right mix of good humour and charm. And you are a very intelligent young lady! Indeed I would have welcomed the opportunity to have more conversations with you regarding China, your life etc. And I repeat my offer for you to visit Australia. Please keep in touch in relation to this.
If you would like another recommendation for your website it could read as follows;
“Summer is a very knowledgeable bird guide; she knows the birds, their calls and songs and, importantly where to find them very well. Her English, given that it is her second language, is excellent. She is very personable and makes great efforts to ensure that every aspect of her tours is of a high standard. She does however walk very fast and sometimes does not even have the good manners to breathe heavily. Despite that last failing I would not hesitate to recommend her for your next Sichuan Bird tour!!“
We loved our visit to China
We very much loved seeing every species of bird
We enjoyed very much the scenery of Sichuan [in particular]!
We loved the food.
And we, and this is not too strong a word, loved having you with us.
I have only been back in Australia for a few hours and I feel like I could return to China tomorrow…
Anyway please keep in touch,
Ken — 2016
PS – if you would like me to re-word your recommendation please let me know…
Great to hear from you! I had such fun on the Sichuan trip. It was the best trip I’ve ever done and John, Jan and Bob all feel the same way. You made a huge contribution to our enjoyment of the trip. The food was wonderful and you looked after us so well. The snacks- the spicy beans, dried cherries were delicious and so different from anything we can get in England. You were so friendly and easy to talk to that you quickly became part of our group rather than a local guide who was separate from us. Basically, you became our friend. Your knowledge of the bird calls was really good and you seem so keen to learn more. You worked so well with Frank and it is clear that he trusted you completely.I sent an Email to John, James’s father at the Birdtour Asia office, and I’ve also sent you a copy of this which will arrive shortly after this one.
I’ve already ordered the same voice recorder as you- the Sony MX 20 which will arrive in a few days. I’m really excited about using it. Your recordings were excellent! I’ll send you some photos when Jan has shown me how to transfer my photos from the computer to Email. You’ll have them in a few days.
Thank you so much for making this trip such fun. You have a great future as a birdguide, if this is what you choose to do. I’ll be in touch again soon.
Your friend, Howard
Having just returned from the Sichuan trip, I wanted to let you know just how much I enjoyed it.
Frank was, in my opinion, a superb leader. His persistence and patience, particularly with really tough birds such as the laughers, pheasants and robins was fantastic. I found him completely unflappable and thoroughly pleasant and really easy to get along with. I would certainly book on another trip with him. Having had the “Rob experience” on last year’s Philippines trip which far exceeded my expectations, the “Frank experience” was just as good. I’ve now done two trips with BTA and am looking forward to Lesser Sundas with James in 2015. Family commitments mean that I can do only one trip a year and I’m heading to Ecuador next year.
The quality of the leader is always a major factor in my enjoyment of a trip, but in Sichuan this wasn’t the whole story….Summer the local guide was just as important on this trip. She looked after us extremely well and worked incredibly hard to make this trip as much fun as it was. She ordered splendid food and surprised us with delicious local snacks between meals and very quickly became integrated into the group. Her birding skills were really impressive, especially her knowledge of the calls which found us a Barred Laughingthrush- my bird of the trip! I would certainly suggest that you try to obtain Summer’s services every year for this trip. Together with Frank, this pair were like Batman and Robin!
In summary, this trip was probably the one I’ve enjoyed most out of all I’ve done. It had the best food I’ve had on any trip, the best scenery (even better than Bhutan) and some of the most exciting birds. Jiuzhaigou was simply the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. My two trips with BTA have been splendid and I’ll not be doing any Asian trips with any other company.I did give my appreciation to Frank, but would be grateful if you could pass my thanks onto him as I don’t have his Email address.
We are back in grey, chilly England. Would much rather be in sunny, warm China! We had a brilliant time and there’s always a chance (albeit small) that we’ll be back.
We’ve mentioned your name to everyone we’ve come across…
Thanks for helping to confirm our trip in Xi’an…it was brilliant.
Hope you are having fun with your next group.
Thankyou for an excellent service beyound the usual, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.
You r most welcome !! Thanks to you it was a most wonderful n fun trip!! I loved every part of it!!
I think of u often n send u lots of aloha!
Jacqui – 2014
Summer Wong We would like to express our satisfaction with Summer Wong as the local travel guide on the Birdtour Asia trip around Sichuan (May 18-June 8). Summer spoke excellent English and helped us with our rudimentary Chinese. She was always happy to be with and talk with everyone on the trip, younger and older, and took care to accommodate our needs. She was knowledgeable about local facts and habits and was keen to share her knowledge. Likewise, she was keen to learn about plants, animals and rock formations and we, being teachers, were keen to share our knowledge. We were very pleased with her arrangements for meals. From picnic breakfasts or lunches to evening meals, everything was well-organized. Her selection of dishes for the evening meal was superb: we were particularly pleased to try local specialties and restaurants. She arranged meals so that they were always ready at a suitable time: this is important on such a busy tour. Snacks appeared at just the right time. Summer was very good at liaising with both the driver and the tour leader. She frequently called hotels to arrange our arrival and registration and also restaurants to arrange the timing of the meal so no time was wasted. Summer was also an excellent bird-finder. She already knew the calls of many of the birds, was quick to learn the calls of new birds we wanted to see and could pin-point their position accurately. It was actually Summer who found a rare bird for the group. She stayed with any who were slower than the rest of the group and was able to identify the birds for everyone. Having Summer as our local guide definitely enhanced our enjoyment of the trip…possibly our only visit to China…and made us want to return. We strongly recommend Summer and would ask for her if we return to China.
Jan and John Jones – 2014
I enjoyed my trip to Sichuan very much. The tour was a great success and that was due in a large part because of your efforts – you worked extremely hard to make sure we were comfortable and well fed. We also appreciated your skill at identifying birds for us. With good luck for the future.
Bob Jones – 2014
Both Summer and Mr Peng knew their jobs very well and I was impressed and happy to see how exactly they knew how long it would take to drive from one place to another and when we needed to start in the morning in order to reach our target site at the right time. On many previous trips this has been a problem. Mr Peng is an excellent driver and the bus was also just right for us, not too big and not too small. I was happy I asked for this bus as Europeans are taller than Asians and therefore need more leg room. A bus for 7 would have been much too small. But know we had two seats each, and that was very good, as we all had lots of stuff including cameras, scopes and recording equipment. Also it was good that the windows could be opened, sometimes we photographed from them.
Summer did a really good job, and I was really surprised that she has only been doing birds seriously for four years. She even knew the sounds pretty well and in many cases she knew the local variations of the sounds that we did not. I am sure she has a great future in birding, she seems to learn really quickly and also she is really keen. Thank you for giving her to us as a guide. We would certainly have missed many species without her.
All in all, we were very happy with the trip, one of the best we have done!
Annika – 2014
Thanks for all the nice pictures. Blackthroat, Temminck’s Tragopan and Tawny Fish Owl were among the stars on our trip but I was also impressed by the large number of leaf and bush warblers we saw thanks to your impressive collection of calls!
Carsten – 2015
Thought you might like to see what one of your clients had to say about you – she had asked about you and I told her you were terrible!
Just kidding. I told her you were great and she confirmed this. Congratulations.
This is Jacqui’s husband, Chuck answering your query about Summer Wong. We birded Sichuan and Eastern Tibet with Bird Tour Asia in May-
June 2014 and Summer was our local ground agent working for Tang Jun a local birder/tour director in China. We became friends with Summer as she was very personable and knowledgable about the sites in Sichuan and Eastern Tibetan Plateau. All the local arrangements were flawless. When we had to be in the field early, Summer cooked breakfasts on a camp stove. She began taking photos on the tour and began to get some really quality shots. She knows the birding sites extremely well and I would not hesitate to bird with her in a minute. We “need” some additional birds in China and probably will go with Summer in future. We’ve continued email contact with Summer
and her photos are being published on Oriental Bird Club sites. I have 7,400 life birds and have high standards for my bird guides, so my recommendations are given sparingly.
If you have additional questions do not hesitate to contact us.
Hello Chuck –
I just wanted to get back to you about my travels with Summer Wong as you were nice enough to take the time to write to me prior to my trip. The trip was terrific! Summer is a wonderful guide and excellent birder. We had a great 10 days together exploring northwest Sichuan. Again, thanks for writing to me with your recommendation of Summer. You were not mistaken!
EDNA – 2015
Dear Summer –
Thank you for the fabulous 10 day NW Sichuan birding trip! It exceeded my expectations in every way. As you know, I have birded extensively, in many different countries, taking many tours with different leaders. You excelled at all aspects of leading. Not only do you know the birds and their locales intimately but you are so tenacious in locating the birds, even climbing the mountains to locate partridge, pheasant and snowcock. Not only do you have excellent birding skills, but you were excellent at all of the administrative logistics and details which make such a difference in ones enjoyment. And, I thank you deeply for all of your caring and consideration, always making sure that I was comfortable and satisfied with the tour. Add to that the glorious beauty of NW Sichuan and this was a ‘not to be missed’ birding opportunity.
Summer, please feel free to have any potential travelers get in touch with me should they wish additional information. And, again, thank you for such a terrific birdwatching trip and experience in NW Sichuan!
Edna Alvarez – 2015