Welcome to Birdquest




Derek in his natural habitat! (Mark Beaman)

Derek’s association with Birdquest goes back nearly as far as the company’s very existence. He first co-led a tour to Peru in 1983, along with the boss. Despite the fact that they had to be woken one morning by the clients (who were already waiting on the bus) after one too many Pisco Sours, Derek’s involvement with us blossomed! Having set up and co-led our first Argentina tour, Derek began more regular tour leading in the early 90s and has lead nearly 80 tours for us over the years. Perhaps happiest at sea, Derek successfully led tours to all parts of the globe, and was universally popular as he did. In Derek’s own words, he’s now hanging up his bins as far as leading goes, due to “old age and decreptitude”.

There is good news too – Derek will no doubt get to spend more rarity seasons on his beloved Dursey Island. Here, having been gripped off by many, including his wife Joanna, by a Red-flanked Bluetail whilst on tour, he has recently found Ireland’s first Wilson’s Warbler and first twitchable Dark-eyed Junco: Scott’s Garden is now firmly established in Irish Birding folklore.

From a personal perspective, Derek has been a delight to work with. Impeccable paperwork and happy clients guaranteed, and I’ve always regarded him as the ‘Grand-Daddy’ of Birdquest! I and all the staff here cannot thank Derek enough for his involvement over the years, and I am sure that any of you that knew Derek would like to join us in raising a glass and saying a big “CHEERS”.

All the best Derek and Joanna!

Pete and the team