Peter Waanders established Bellbird Birding Tours in 2013. It is the successor to Southern Birding Services, which Peter established in 2005. Southern Birding Services will continue to exist for the time being, offering bird guiding in South Australia, while Bellbird Birding Tours offers a range of top quality, small group birding tours throughout Australia and beyond, led by passionate, experienced and professional local guides. Browse our website to see what’s on offer!
Peter has been conducting professional bird guiding trips since 2002 and has pioneered many off-the-beaten track birding destinations. To cope with the increasing demand, Helga Kieskamp and Steve Potter also guide for us in South Australia. Other guides we use around Australia include Tonia Cochran (Tasmania), Peter Taylor (Western Australia), Mark Carter (Alice Springs) and Laurie Ross (Darwin). All our guides are fully qualified birding guides with current Senior First Aid certificates and Advanced 4WD vehicle training. Your safety is important and on all our trips a satellite phone, GPS and up-to-date first aid gear is carried. Scroll down to meet our guides!

Peter Waanders

Peter has been an avid birdwatcher since age 10. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Peter obtained a B Sc degree in Environmental Management and has worked in National Park management planning in the Czech Republic, ecological research in the Netherlands and Australia, and natural resource management planning and environmental project management in Australia.

Peter has travelled extensively to over 40 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Pacific in pursuit of his main interests: birdwatching and nature photography. His life list of bird species currently totals 2,900 and his collection of digital images exceeds 30,000. In 1996 Peter moved permanently to Australia and was employed by a semi-government catchment management authority to manage large environmental projects with a focus on floodplains, wetlands and biodiversity. Peter started conducting professional bird guiding trips in 2002 and is now full-time managing a very successful bird guiding business, Southern Birding Services, showing visitors the rare and hard-to-find species of southern Australia.

Testimonials for Peter
“Thank you again for finding so many birds for us this week. Your time with us was really special. We will remember it always” C. & S. Magee, USA, 6-day private tour, October 2013 More
“Thanks for a great 9 Grasswren tour. I’m heading home with 34 new ticks and it was great to have 2 very good guides!” P Crane, Australia, Nine Grasswren tour, July 2012 “Thank you greatly for a full and knowledgeable tour of Gluepot. We had a thoroughly enjoyable birding day. Your knowledge of bird habits and calls is exceptional” Assoc Prof David & Roma Bell, Aus/USA, May 2013 “Thanks for a splendid trip that was full of interest and great fun. You did a fine job getting us on many great birds – not to mention the odd letter winged kite or two…!” J Hollyhead, UK, private Grasswren tour, September 2012 “I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the recent 5 Grasswren trip. It ticked all boxes for me. The trip was really well paced and I loved your flexibility and the way you responded to all our various wish-lists. Our birding at Gluepot was one of the most fantastic days birding I have ever experienced.” J Broadberry, Australia, Six Grasswren tour, October 2011 “I’ve never been to a site with so many top quality birds in such a short time anywhere in Australia” (M Lord, Australia, Six Grasswren tour, November 2009

Helga Kieskamp became a birder upon moving to Australia from the Netherlands in 1997. Helga has a Bachelor Degree in Museum Studies and has studied Eco-tourism and Conservation and Land Management.

After working for many years at Biological Services in Loxton (SA), producing beneficial insects and mites for horticultural enterprises to aid in pest control she became a freelance environmental contractor undertaking numerous projects including studying the endangered Regent Parrot, conducting bird surveys and running bird monitoring training workshops. She has been working for Berri-Barmera Landcare since 2012. Helga is a keen bird photographer and has co-led many outback bird tours for Bellbird Birding Tours, and has been guiding birders to Birdlife Australia’s Gluepot reserve since 2011.

Testimonials for Helga
“”Hi Helga, thanks for a great day at Gluepot today!! I had an absolute blast!” G McLeod, Australia, July 2014 More
“”Thank you again for a great day – both the guiding and conversation were very good. Final count is 9 lifers!” P Crane, Australia, April 2014 “”Thank you for the Gluepot birding tour. The sighting of Red-lored Whistler and Black-eared Miner made the trip worthwhile. Helga looked after me very well during the tour.” R Wong, Australia, November 2013 “Last week we had a fantastic day’s birding at Gluepot Reserve. Thanks to our wonderful guide, Helga Kieskamp, I got a record 26 lifers!” C. Cooke, South Africa/NZ, October 2013 “Thanks for one of the very best days of birding (at Gluepot) we had during the entire month we were in Australia!” J & K Munthe, USA, October 2012

Helga Kieskamp

Steve Potter

Steve Potter was born and raised in South Australia, and always had a passion for the outdoors with a keen interest in wildlife. His first introduction to birding however, was during a three year stint as a teenager, while his parents worked in Malawi, Central Africa. He started guiding with small groups around the Zomba Plateau, and the Liwonde National Park. Here Steve honed his identification skills and understanding of birdlife in general, also travelling to Zimbabwe, Kenya, Swaziland, South Africa and Madagascar.

Since his return he has travelled extensively around Australia adding over 570 species from the mainland. He has also been active visiting Australia’s neighbours, birding regularly in South-east Asia. Steve is also a keen surfer, photographer and traveller and has been guiding for Bellbird Birding Tours since 2013. Steve also leads our Balie – East Java tour.

Testimonials for Steve
“82 species for the day, including a few lifers! Steve’s knowledge, skill and quick recognition of species make for a very rewarding birding experience” A Brown, USA, November 2013 More
“All up 118 species. A great day with excellent company!” P. Webb, USA, December 2013 “A brilliant day out birding, thanks Steve!” B. Gordon, Canada, January 2014

Meet our other guides

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

Peter's passion is observing and photographing birds in South-West WA, where he leads our tour.
Tonia Cochran

Tonia Cochran

Tonia is a qualified biologist with 20 years tour guiding experience. Tonia leads our Tasmania tour.
Laurie Ross

Laurie Ross

Laurie leads birding tours in the Top End and enjoys sharing its unique wildlife with visiting birders.
Mark Carter

Mark Carter

Alice Springs-based birder and zoologist Mark Carter leads our Red Centre Adventure.
David-Kowalick

David-Kowalick

David enjoys showing birdwatchers the rich variety of birds to be found around Adelaide, SA

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