Marvel at the sight of nearly 12,000 hooded and white-naped cranes, as they flock to Japan’s exquisite wintertime landscape, Arasaki, Kyushu—later, a boat trip to the tip of the Shiretoko Peninsula puts us up close and personal with Steller’s sea eagles.
Expedition Leader & Ornithologist
Mark developed his fascination with the natural world, especially birds and mammals, during his boyhood in the landlocked English county of Worcestershire. He pursued academic interests in biology during studies in England and Scotland, while exploring the coasts and mountains of Britain in search of birds. Mark earned his Ph.D. from Stirling University, Scotland, for his work on avian behavioral-ecology in Iceland and Scotland. Ornithological research, natural history consultancy for TV companies, and guiding naturalists and wildlife photographers, have taken him to all continents, but his particular passion is Asia in all its diversity. Fascinated by island biology, he is a leading authority on the natural history of Japan, where he worked as a professor of biodiversity and conservation at Rakuno Gakuen University, near Sapporo, until 2007. Since 2007 Mark has been a freelance expedition leader and author. In addition to working as a field naturalist, Mark is a scientific editor and a prolific writer with seven books to his name. His Wild Watch column is the longest running natural history column in the world; it appeared in The Japan Times newspaper for 33 years from 1982 until 2015 and continues today on the Japan Nature Guides website. Mark’s books include: Wild Asia: Spirit of a Continent, The Birds of Japan (the definitive text of bird biology and distribution in the Japanese archipelago), a monograph entitled The Whooper Swan, A Field Guide to the Birds of East Asia, The Nature of Japan and most recently (2018) A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan. He is already at work on his next book. Mark juggles international travel with writing and enjoys spending as much time as possible exploring Hokkaido. A veteran expedition leader, Mark has led well over 50 overland expeditions for Zegrahm, including India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Brazil, Colombia, Mongolia, and of course Japan. Mark and his wife Mayumi live near Teshikaga, in east Hokkaido.
Mark's Blog Posts
Mark's Upcoming Expeditions
Snow Monkeys & Cranes of JapanJanuary 17 — February 4, 2021
Wild ColombiaMarch 5 — March 16, 2021
Discover Colombia's natural and cultural highlights, including white-sand beaches, vibrant cities, and splendid parks that are home to a variety of rare and endemic species of birds.
Wild Ireland & Scotland COMBO VoyageMay 29 — June 12, 2021
Discover ancient wonders, sublime landscapes, unique geology, prolific birdlife, and charming villages as you journey to Ireland and Scotland. Witness some of Europe's largest seabird colonies—puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, and more, with visits to Giant’s Causeway, Neolithic monuments, and a variety of architectural wonders.
Wild IrelandMay 29 — June 7, 2021
Discover Ireland’s ancient wonders, sublime landscapes, unique geology, prolific birdlife, and charming villages as you journey along the island’s scenic west coast. This voyage may be combined with Wild Scotland for a comprehensive view of the region.
Wild ScotlandJune 4 — June 12, 2021
History comes to life as you view important Neolithic monuments—the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and Skara Brae—and other architectural wonders, from Mousa’s Iron Age broch and 12th-century Iona Abbey to the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. This voyage may be combined with Wild Ireland for a comprehensive view of the region.
Brazil's Pantanal & Amazon: A Wildlife SafariSeptember 26 — October 6, 2021
Search for Brazil’s iconic wildlife—caiman, capybara, howler monkey, tapir, giant river otter, and our ultimate goal, the elusive jaguar—on this wildlife adventure with ornithologist, Mark Brazil.