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Electronic map of Spain

Tour I.
7-day birdwatching tour to Andalucia.
Tour II
3-day birdwatching tour to Eastern Spain.
Tour III
8-day birdwatching tour to Eastern Spain.


Birdwatching in Andalucia, Spain

Southern Andalucia sits along the southern coast of Spain and stretches from the Portuguese border in the southwest, along the Costa de la Luz, to Almeria at the eastern end of the Costa del Sol. Andalucía is, without doubt, one of the richest Iberian regions in terms of its flora and fauna and is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The diversity of habitats and the range of species is outstanding, for instance, Andalucia has a vascular flora of some 5000 taxa, 10% of which is endemic! Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in Spain and many species rare to Europe turn up each year, particularly along this southwest coastline. Andalucia boasts more than 80 protected areas covering around 20% of its land area; there are two national parks, seven Biosphere Reserves and eight Ramsar Sites. Ornithologists arrive throughout the year, but are especially interested when most birds appear, i.e. during the migration period, March – June and August-October. The spring migration period is the most popular because at this time of the year you can see a spectacle not to be missed, if the weather conditions are right thousands of birds can be seen in the sky at any one time as they struggle across the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain, many of them are flying just above your head. Our migration tours during April are geared up for you to enjoy this wonderful array of migrating birds.


The Birds of Andalucia.
There are some 13 resident raptor species in Andalucía, as well as another 9 that migrate here annually from Africa. There are five Eagle species that can be found in the region. The Spanish Imperial Eagle is a very rare breeding bird that has been pulled back from the brink of extinction by extensive conservation measures. They can now be found in La Janda and various locations western Andalucia. The Golden and Bonelli’s Eagles are the local stars of mountainous regions but juveniles can also be found in many areas along coast especially during the spring. Booted and Short-toed Eagles provide the supporting cast and are common migrants (though one or two are now spending the winter in Southern Spain).
The best place to see them is in the more mountainous parts of the province where they can be seen hunting or riding the thermals. Add to those; Egyptian, Griffon and Black Vultures and 7 species of Owl, plus smaller birds of prey, such as Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons, Hawks and Kites, you now have a total that comes to an amazing 30+ species of raptor that can be seen in the region and you don't have travel too far to find most of them!
Migration hotspots in the spring can produce many thousands of raptors at any one time and a visit to the areas around Tarifa during April - May and August – October can be very rewarding.
In Andalucia up to 20 Warblers may be seen, there are 16 regular breeding species and 4 more may be seen on passage migration or during the winter months. We have access to reliable breeding sites for Dartford, Western Bonelli's, Western Orphean, Western Olivaceous, Spectacled, Subalpine, Melodious, Savi's & Great Reed Warblers plus several others. We can show you colonies of White Storks, as well as Purple, Grey, Squacco & Black-crowned Night Herons, Cattle, Little & Great Egrets (rare outside of Coto Donana), Caspian Terns (winter months up to April), Thekla, Crested, Wood, Sky, Short-toed, Lesser Short-toed & Calandra Larks. On top of this there are Pipits, Swallows, Swifts, Martins, Tits and Buntings.

"Spoon Bill"

Any time of the year is a good time to come including the winter months when huge numbers of Song Thrushes, White Wagtails, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Black Redstarts, Lapwings & Golden Plover descend upon the region. Lesser numbers of Ring Ouzel, Water Pipit, Little & Great Bustard, Alpine Accentor, Bluethroat & Penduline Tit will augment your winter sightings. You may even be very lucky and stumble upon a wintering Wallcreeper! What a find that would be. A splash of colour is added with Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, Roller, Shrikes, Woodpeckers, Serin and Kingfisher. we know of local breeding sites of Hawfinch, Wryneck, & Rufous Bush Robin.
The region also plays host to many European rare breeders, most of which are endangered species such as Red-knobbed Coot, Marbled and White-headed Duck, Purple Swamphen, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Black Vulture and Glossy Ibis. Many species on most wanted lists also appear, Penduline Tit, Black Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl, Red-necked Nightjar, Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gulls to name but a few. A group of introduced species such as Common Waxbill, Black-rumped Waxbill, Yellow-crowned Bishop, Red Avadavat, Monk and Rose-ringed Parakeets add colour (and noise) to the avifauna of the region.
These tours are flexible, 7-day holidays, we go where the birds are to be found. Weather, bird movements and the discretion of the guide will dictate each day's outing. We do our utmost to cater for all your needs and if you have a specific “wanted list” we will incorporate the necessary sites into your holiday. During this April Tour we will spent a little more time in the area of Tarifa and Gibraltar so that we can look at the Raptor Migration which is at least, fantastic, and at best, spectacular. Whilst we do our best to see as many species as possible we do not race around trying obtain a huge list, we cannot guarantee any species, in fact some of those listed below are extremely rare and hard to find.


Electronic map of Spain



Spain 12 Days


Birding Pal Tours local guide is Pau Lucio
See all his Birding Pal Tours in Spain



12 Days Birding in East and North Spain

Overview.
This tour is designed to see the maximum number of these “special” species that can be found in Spain such as White-headed Duck, Great and Little Bustard, Black bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouses, Lammergeier, Wallcreeper, Azure-winged Magpie, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, Lesser Kestrel, Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin, Ring Ouzel, Roller and many more.

   


DAY 1 - Arrivals.
You will be picked up from Valencia Airport. Transfer with Pau to the hotel in Gandia. Depending on your arrival, we can visit a local reserve or you can enjoy the beach and the pool of the tree stars hotel you will be accommodated the following 4 days. It is just a stone’s throw away from the Mediterranean Sea.

DAY 2 - Albufera de Valencia
Birding at local destination Albufera de Valencia. Some of the species that could be seen in this tour are: Purple Swamp-hen, Moustached and Savi’s Warbler, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern and Gull-billed Tern, Collared Patrincole, Mediterranean and Audouin’s Gull. Night in Gandia


Red-Knobbed Coot

DAY 3 - Steppes of Albacete
Birding at local destination Steppes of Albacete. Some of the targets will be Short-toed Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Thekla Lark, Corn Bunting, Stone Curlew, Great and Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Lesser kestrel. Furthermore, we will have a look to the many temporary lagoons scattered among the steppes to look for White-headed Duck, Greater Flamingo, Black-necked Grebe and a good number of waders. Night in Gandia.


Black-bellied Sandgrouse.

DAY 4 - El Hondo and Salinas de Santa Pola
Birding at local destination El Hondo and Salinas de Santa Pola. We will search for Glossy ibis, Roller, Bee-eater, Bearded and Penduline tit, Cetti’s Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Osprey, Cuckoo, Kentish Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Red-knobbed Coot and Great White Egrets. Later, we will visit a nearby gorge to look for Trumpet Finch, Rufous-tailed scrub Robin, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Sparrow, Crag Martin, Black Wheatear and Rock Bunting. Night in Gandia.

DAY 5 - Pego Marshes and Alicante mountains
Birding at local destination Pego Marshes and Alicante mountains. Pego Marshes is an important area for Purple, Night and Squacco Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Little Bittern, Collared Pratincole, Red-necked Nightjar, Whiskered Tern, Moustached warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Little Ringed Plover, Marsh Harrier and Great Reed Warbler. Then, we will set off to the mountains of Alicante to visit a Griffon Vulture colony, a Bonelli’s Eagle territory where can also be found Crested Tit, Crossbill and Bonelli’s Warbler. Night in Gandia.


Bonelli’s Eagle

DAY 6 - La Mancha
Travel to La Mancha. We will look for Eagle Owls which have been breeding near the town, Thekla Lark, Rock Sparrow, Booted Eagle, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Hoopoe, Little Owl, Black Kite, Ringed Plover, Sandpipers, Bearded Tit, White Stork, Iberian Grey Shrike and Lesser Kestrel. Night in Belmonte, in a18th century house.



Chick of Eagle Owl

DAY 7 - Serranía de Cuenca
Travel to La Serranía de Cuenca. A good number of orchids and beautiful forests are waiting for us. Regarding birds, some of our targets are Hobby, Egyptian Vulture, Alpine Swift, Short-toed Eagle, Woodlark, Black-eared and Northern Wheatear, Melodious Warbler, Firecrest, Rock Sparrow, Golden Oriole and Iberian Chiffchaff. Night in Villalba de la Sierra.

DAY 8 - steppes of Belchite
Travel to the steppes of Belchite where we will look for Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouses, Lesser-short toed Lark and the elusive Dupont’s Lark. We will also see the ruins of Spanish Civil War. Night in Belchite.


DAY 9, 10 11 - Spanish Pyrenees
Day 9, 10, 11 Travel to the Spanish Pyrenees to find breathtaking landscapes, orchids, mammals such as Marmots, Red squirrel and Chamois and stunning birds. Targets: Lammergeier, Alpine Accentor, Rock Thrush, Water Pipit, Red and Yellow-billed Chough, Wallcreeper, Golden Eagle, Subalpine Warbler, Nuthatch, Red-backed Shrike, Citril Finch, Ring Ouzel, Marsh Tit, etc. Night in Hecho.


DAY 12 - Madrid
Travel to Madrid. We will stop on the way in Sierra de Guara to look for Tawny Pipit, Lammergeier, Peregrin Falcon, Sardenian Warbler and other Mediterranean species. We will enjoy of a very close views of Griffon’s Vultures. Night in Madrid.


Spanish Imperial Eagle.

2150 € per person. Min 4 guests and Max 6 guests.



Included in tour:The price includes accommodation, full board (breakfast, picnic for lunch and warm Spanish dinner), guiding and transport.

Not included in tour: Plane fares, personal items, dinner and accommodation on day 13, are not included.


Please send a message to Pau.
   
Get started by filling out the form: Spain Itinerary - form

Tour I - 7-day birdwatching tour to Andalucia.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival.
You will be greeted at Malaga Airport and then transferred to Gaucin - a visit to the Guadalhorce Natural Park may be included depending on flight times. There is plenty to see at this wonderful reserve with up 50 species recorded on a typical visit, there’s a good chance of White-headed Duck, Monk Parakeet, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Audouin's Gull, Zitting Cisticola, Red-rumped Swallow, Woodchat Shrike, Serin, Osprey, Booted Eagle and several species of wader, including Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Avocet and Black-winged stilt. There is always the chance of Temminck’s Stint or Marsh Sandpiper during the spring migration passage.

Day 2.- Coastal Run 1.
This superb day out will cover a good variety of habitats ranging from open grassy fields to salt marshes. We start in the countryside just below Gaucin and walk a well established track into open farmland. Here we may find Montagu’s Harriers, Lesser Kestrel, Bee-eaters, Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit, Melodious Warbler and our prize bird the Rufous Bush Robin.
Next we stop off in a small woodland adjacent to a tidal river where regular sightings include Tree Sparrow, Short-toed Treecreeper, Woodchat Shrike, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers and Common Redstarts on passage. The river may hold Common Kingfisher, Green and Common Sandpiper and a Night Heron roost is nearby. Spanish Festoon, Cleopatra and Monarch Butterflies may be on the wing too!

"Black Redstart"


Two nice nature reserves will be the venue for the afternoon, both have entirely different habitats, the first is a small lagoon surrounded by reed-beds, scrub and sand dunes and the second is a river estuary with open salt marsh. We should find Purple Swamphen, Little Bittern, Little and Cattle Egrets, Reed and Great Reed Warblers at the first location. The estuary will have a variety of waders, gulls and terns. Ospreys are regular visitors (and they over-winter here too), Marsh Harrier, White Stork, Spoonbill and sometimes Greater Flamingo are also often seen there.

Day 3 - Mountains and Vales.
Our visit to the beautiful, scenic mountains around Gaucin, Cortes, Montejaque and Ronda will take your breath away with the sheer magical beauty of the area. The lush green valleys and forested hillsides are dwarfed by towering limestone ridges where the vulture and the eagle rule supreme.

"Bee-eater"

This exciting day may produce sightings of: Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Red-billed Chough, Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Golden Eagle, Golden Oriole, Hawfinch, Wryneck, Cirl Bunting, Spectacled Warbler, Woodlark, Thekla Lark, Southern Grey Shrike and Peregrine Falcon. We will also visit a Cork Oak Woodland where Firecrest and Crested Tit are found, also where Bonelli's Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler all breed.

Day 4 and 5 - Migration Watch.
A couple of days will be spent in the lowlands and on the coastal plains near Tarifa, Bolonia, Zaraha, Gibraltar & Vejer. Birds to look for there include:, Olivaceous Warbler, Montagu's Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Purple Swamphen, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Bald Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, White Stork, Spoonbill, Little Swift, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Lesser-crested Tern and the rare Ruppell's Vulture & Long-legged Buzzard.
But the emphasis will be placed on the Raptor Migration Watch which should be in full flow at this time of the year. It is all dependent on the winds of course but we should see thousands of birds as they fly across the Strait of Gibraltar in their northerly migration. Black Kites, White Storks, Black Storks, Short-toed Eagles, Booted Eagles, Sparrowhawks, Marsh and Montagu’s Harriers, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures all cross in large numbers during this time.

"Bonelli's Eagle"



Day 6 - The Lake District.
This day out provides you with a complete contrast to the previous outings. Today we drive northward and pass Ronda through the mountains and head into the hinterland of Andaluica. The mountains make way to extensive olive groves which are found on rolling hills and large flat plains. Several large, seasonal lagoons are found here and together with the surrounding countryside provide excellent habitat for a number of species. The Little Bustard still holds a tenuous grip in these parts and can be found in small numbers. We will also look for Quail, Calandra Lark, Skylark, Lapwing and Red-legged Partridge. Laguna Fuente de Piedra is the breeding ground for thousands of Greater Flamingo and to see them is quite some spectacle especially from a miradaor perched high above the lagoon. Other birds that breed are Gull-billed Tern, Red-knobbed Coot, Kentish Plover, Montagu’s Harrier, Hoopoe, Bee-eater and many others.

"Spectacled Warbler"


The journey to and from the lagoons takes us through a series of mountains and gorges where we have to chance to see both Bonelli’s and Golden Eagles. We may also see Red-billed Chough, Crag Martin, Peregrine Falcon, Blue Rock Thrush and Black Wheatear.

"Temminck's Stint"



Day 7 - Gibraltar and Pinar del Rey.
Our last full day will be spent down at the coast with a visit to Gibraltar and then a pine woods in the afternoon. We make an early start so that we avoid the morning queues to enter Gibraltar and to make sure we are early enough to visit the bird ringing station found there. We may see several interesting species ‘in the hand’ if the weather conditions are right. The ‘Rock’ has breeding Peregrine Falcon, Eagle Owl and it is the only place in Europe where you can find Barbary Partridge. Some time will be spent at Europa Point (the most southerly tip of Gibraltar) for some sea-watching, we may find migrating raptors as well as Gannets, Skuas, Shearwaters and Dolphins.
We can also visit the top of the ‘Rock’ and see the ‘apes’ and all the usual tourist haunts. Late in the afternoon we can find peace and quiet after the mayhem of Gibraltar in the pine woods near San Roque. Here we find Crested Tit, Firecrest, Bonelli’s Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Nightingale, Cetti’s Warbler and many more breeding species.

"Thekla Lark"



Day 8 - Transfer to Malaga.
Sadly this is the end of your holiday and we must return to Malaga airport for the flight home. An early morning birding excursion if time allows will be made to a local site.


7 Days tour price is: 2 pax Euros 800 per person double room. 4 pax Euros 750 per person double room.
Single supplement Euros 150.


Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
These 7 day tours are based in Gaucin, Andalucia and includes:- airport transfers, seven nights accommodation plus breakfast, packed lunch and delicious home-cooked evening meals with wine. Accommodation is in comfortable apartments in Gaucin adjacent to our home. Internet access is free during your stay and a laptop is provided on request. Your birding time will include six full days guided birding and two short outings on arrival and departure day - subject to flight times.
Excluded:
Flights: you must arrive at Malaga Airport in the morning and arrange to depart late morning/afternoon. If these dates are not possible then contact us and we may be able to help find alternatives. Expenses of a personal nature such as alcohol, water, soft drinks, telephone calls. Travel Insurance: this is a must and a copy of your policy will be required before you join the tour.
Notes:
Expect between 140-160 species during the 7 days tour.
Birding season: March - June and Sept - November
All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.
All trips are available year round, but prices may be adjusted around special holidays.
Minimum lead time four (4)weeks.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Fitness:
Most walking is resticted to 2 -3 km's per day on well marked, well trodeen paths and tracks, a modicum of fitness is required. No strenuous walks are included but a moderate amount of walking is required to see some of the species. If your mobility is resticted please contact us before you book the tour.
Clothing:
April in Spain is not much different from April in the UK which means you must cater for all events. We could have rain, cold winds and even hail, but there is always the possibilty of hot dry weather. So water proof clothing is adviased as well as sun hats and suncream. Boots and light walking shoes are essential.
Equipment:
Although this is not a photographic tour I welcome photographers! We will not spend extra time at one site just for photography but there will be many other opportunities for taking nice shots. If you own a telescope I say bring it, the more eyes searching will produce a bigger list. Binnocluars are a must.


Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Bob.   

Birding guide Bob Buckler, your local Birdingpal guide
Bob Buckler an experienced bird guide with over 30 years of field study under his belt and over 20 years tour guide experience. Bob has led over 200 tours during the last 20 years including a 10 year stint as a freelance bird guide for the Portland Heights Hotel, Dorset, England where he set up, and led, their successful weekend breaks. He has also led tours the length and breadth of Britain with American birders during that time. He has travelled extensively in the UK. Spain, Morocco, France and Greece and made birding trips to parts of the USA, Canada, Israel, The Gambia, Egypt and the Balearic Islands.
Bob is successful because he offers a casual approach to bird-watching and guides with an easy going, friendly nature. You are not lectured to or confused with too much “expert” knowledge, the trips are good humoured and suitable for beginners and accomplished bird-watchers alike.

Testimonials.

Our birding days with you were terrific and your style of leading suits us perfectly, thank you Bob. We have had a great week and hope to see you and Dawn again soon. Pat & Kevin, Leominster, UK. Sept 2011
This birding trip had been much anticipated & has surpassed our expectations as a learning experience. Much is different from what we are familiar with & you are a great teacher Bob. We will be telling our friends about the great trips you offer. David and Wendy, Melbourne, Australia. May 2011
Yet again a fantastic week of bird-watching and eating Dawn’s wonderful meals. The company was excellent, the birds a delight – many and varied. For me (Rita) seeing the Golden Eagle for the first time was my highlight but all the birds were a joy. Ann’s top bird was the Bee-eater. Bob and Dawn’s hospitality is something not to be missed and a magnet to come again. Rita & Ann, Sussex, UK. April 2011


Some facts about Spain.

Guide books and CD’s recommended:

To expand your knowledge of Andalucia I highly recommend:
CROSSBILL GUIDES: THE NATURE GUIDE TO THE ANDALUCIA SIERRAS. ISBN: 978 90 5011 251 2
For an excellent guide to the bird species: COLLIN'S BIRD GUIDE 2ND EDITION. ISBN: 978 0 00 726726 2
For Dragonfly identification: FIELD GUIDE TO THE DRAGONFLIES OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE. ISBN: 0 9531399 4 8
For Butterfly identification: COLLIN'S BUTTERFLY GUIDE. ISBN: 978 0 00 727977 7
The best map is: MICHELIN REGIONAL 500 SERIES: 578 ANDALUCIA

Find lowest prices here

Birdwatching in Eastern Spain

Spain is a worldwide known for being the best European country for watching birds of prey. For instance, Spanish population of scavengers birds is the most important of all Europe. Spain contains the 98 % of the European population of Black Vulture, the 80% of the Egyptian Vulture, the 80% of the Lammergeier, more than 90 % of Griffon Vulture, 50% of the Golden Eagle and 100% of the Spanish Imperial Eagle. The strategic location of Spain, as natural frontier between Europe and Africa, makes possible to see 60% of the European species. It is relevant also the great variety of different habitats: from mountains over 3,000 m to the sea level, from agricultural areas to the driest desserts of Europe and from fresh water lagoons to estuaries.


The highlights of the East of Spain include several endangered species, such as Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck, Red-knobbed Coot, Audouin's gull, Balearic Shearwater, Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl and many more. The Coastal wetlands have important breeding colonies of Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron and Little Bittern. In winter, there are many visitors, waders such as Lapwing, Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Redshank, Common Snipe and Jack Snipe, and a great number of raptors such as Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Booted Eagle.

Tour II - 3-day birdwatching tour to Eastern Spain.

Save money with our 2014 fixed date birdwatching tours to Spain

This 3 days trip includes major birding areas of East Spain, different habitats and a great variety of target species. It combines Albufera Natural Park, Pego-Oliva Natural Park, and up to 6 zones of Special Protection for Birds. In just 3 days, we will visit wetlands, lagoons, Mediterranean forests, arable farmlands and steppe habitats.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Albufera Natural Park.
Area included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR) and ZEPA Area (Zone of Special Protection for Birds) The guide will pick you up from Valencia airport and we will drive 30 minutes to the Albufera Natural Park (21,120 ha). In the middle of this reserve, there is a 3,000 ha lake surrounded by rice fields and the beach. We will start the visit in Tancat de la Pipa. It is a 40 ha reed bed reserve where water from the rice fields is cleaned and pumped to the lake. It is the perfect habitat for the biggest Iberian population of Red-knobbed Coot. After that, we will drive through the rice fields watching hundreds of Egret and Heron. As we move to the visitor centre, we will go up to the panoramic tower to see thousands of wildfowl resting in the lake.

"Collared Pratincole"

Top 10 species: Water Pipit, Purple Swamp-hen, Savi's Warbler, Red-knobbed Coot, Whiskered, Sandwich and Gull-billed Tern, Slender-billed, Yellow-legged and Audouin's Gull.
Then, we will drive East and, after 20 minutes, we will arrive to the Albufera’s beach. Here we will find the coastal sandbar, which separates the whole wetland system from the sea. There is still a well-conserved dune line with good samples of the proper Mediterranean forest and salt tolerant plants. The pine trees grow just a few meters from the sea, giving rise to a wonderful image. Top species are Balearic Shearwater, Crested Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Grey Plover and Collared Pratincole.
Our next stop, after 15 minutes driving, will be a farmland area between the oranges and rice fields, where we might see Hoopoe, Zitting Cisticola, Serin, Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier.

Day 2.- Coastal ecosystems and vultures.
Coastal Mountains ZEPA Area (Zone of Special Protection for Birds).
The city of Gandia is surrounded by ravines and steep mountains, a perfect habitat for raptors. We will walk around 50 minutes thought a gorge in order to see a pair of Golden Eagle. Another species that have been seen in this area are Falcon peregrine, Serin, Crested Tit, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Eagle Owl, Melodius Warbler and Crag Martin.
After 15 minutes driving, we will stop in a beautiful cork oak forest in search of the Bonelli’s Eagle.

"Squacco Heron"


Pego-Oliva Marsh Natural Park.
Area included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR) and ZEPA Area (Zone of Special Protection for Birds) As we have a ringing station here, there is a possibility of doing some ringing if the clients are interested. Pego-Oliva Marsh has the second largest population of Moustached Warbler in the Iberian Peninsula, and an important wintering population of Bluethroat. Therefore, if clients are interested in ringing here, just let us know. Another top species are Nightjar, Red-Necked Nightjar, Bearded Reedling, Penduline Tit, Great Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and Zitting Cisticola.
Alcoy Mountains ZEPA Area (Zone of Special Protection for Birds).
A reintroduction project of Griffon Vultures has been going on for a few years in the proximity of the Font Roja Naural Park. Now there is an establish colony of more that 80 pairs. After a walk through the mountains, we will get to a hide right in front of the “muladar” where the viscera of cattle are placed. If the vultures are eaten, we might take spectacular photos.

Day 3 - Albacete Area. Two locations.
Farmland ZEPA Area (Zone of Special Protection for Birds).
We will be able to see the arable farmland and steppe habitat where the top species are Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Lesser Short-Toed Lark, Short-Toed Lark, Great and Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Black-Eared Wheater, Subalpine warbler, Lesser Kestrel, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse and Black-Bellied Sandgrouse.

"White-headed Duck"

Petrola Lagoon.
It is a Natural Reserve and a ZEPA Area (Zone of Special Protection for Birds). The top 10 species in this lagoon are Kentish Plover, Black-Necked Grebe, Red Crested Pochard, Rock Sparrow, Greater Flamingo, Black and Red Kite, Avocet, Hen Harrier and Corn Bunting. In recent years, the White-Headed Duck and Common Shelduck have been found nesting in Petrola. Since 1999, the Greater Flamingo has been breeding, being the second breeding area in the interior of the Iberian Peninsula, after the Laguna de Fuente Piedra (in the south of Spain).


3 Days tour price is: 2 pax Euros 250 per person simple pack/Euros 420 per person full pack.
4 pax Euros 155 per person simple pack/Euros 320 per person full pack.


Simple Pack (no accommodation).
Included: 3 picnics, birding guide service, telescope with tripod, easy-tick bird checklist, transportation with A/C.
Full pack (with accommodation).
Included: 3 picnics, 2 breakfasts (day 2, 3), 2 night accommodation in 3 stars hotel in Gandia beach (day 1, 2), transportation with A/C, bird guiding service, telescope with tripod and easy-tick bird checklist.

Kindly note: No deposit is needed for “Simple Pack”, simply a confirmation email or call one week before the trip.
For Full Pack: 50% deposit with booking at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
If client cancels 1 week prior to departure – only 75% of deposit will be returned. Less than 1 week all deposits forfeited.

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.


Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Excluded:
Excluded in both packs: International and internal flights, laundry service, all hotel extras, dinners, phone calls or any other personal items.
Notes:
All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.
All trips are available year round, but because it is a touristic area, prices of hotels vary depending on the season; therefore, the final prices might be higher in high season.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Fitness:
The tour does not require a high level of fitness but participants should be in good general health, as the coastal mountains and Alcoy mountains routes need a short walk through a slightly steep area. If you have any physical limitations, please contact us. Equipment:
As a minimum, people need to bring their own binoculars, photographic camera, sunscreen, trekking shoes, sun hat, etc. Depending on season, weather conditions may vary, so please contact us for detailed information.




Tour III - 8-day birdwatching tour to Eastern Spain.

Day 1 Arrival
Welcome to Valencia airport. We will spend the day in the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park, one of the most important wetlands in Spain. We will visit different habitats and reserves of this important wetland. During the migration season can be observed over 100 species in one single day. We may see several interesting species such as Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Stilt, Audouin’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Wiskered Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Moustached and Savi’s Warbler, Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Purple swamphen, etc. We will spend the night in a Hotel in Valencia.

“Purple-swamphen”


Day 2 Valencia-Sierra del Toro-Belchite
We will leave to the steppes of Belchite. During the trip, we will stop in the Sierra del Toro Mountain where we will look out for Firecrest, Crossbill, Rock Bunting, Crested Tit, Bonelli's Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper, Griffon Vulture, etc. Then, we will continue driving to Belchite where we will stay. In the afternoon we will try to find the elusive Dupont’s Lark.

“Bonelli’s Warbler”



Day 3 and 4 Steppes of Belchite
We will focus on the steppes birds for two days. Our targets will be Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Dupont’s Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark and Short-toed Lark. Besides, another interesting species such as Great Bustard, Little Owl and Red-billed Chough can be observed. We will also visit the old town of Belchite, the only town which still remains in ruins after the Spanish Civil War. There, we will look for the local Blue Rock Thrush which has made the church tower its viewing point.

“Blue Rock Thrush”


Day 5. Belchite-Western Pyrenees
After slightly more than 3 hours driving, we will be in the beautiful West Pyrenees where will be stay until the end of the tour. As we will head north to Huesca and the pre-Pyrenees, we will stop is the Castillo de Loarre, searching for Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Rock and Cirl Buntings, Garden, Bonelli’s, Subalpine and Melodious Warblers, and Firecrest. Then, we will check in our Hotel in Isaba. If we have time, we will spend the afternoon in the surroundings looking for Black Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Red-backed Shrikes, etc.

“Firecrest”


Day 6. Western Pyrenees (Hecho Valley-Selva de Oza)
It is time to enjoy the breathtaking ravines of the Hecho Valley. There we will search for White-throated Dipper, Wallcreeper, Crag Martin, Alpine Swift, Grey Wagtail and Red-billed Chough. Later, we will visit a meadow surrounded by forested area looking for Marsh Tit, Citril Finch and Woodpeckers. To end the day, we will have a look to the Selva de Oza looking for Lammergeier, Rock Thrush, Wheatear and Water Pipit.
Furthermore, we will look out for mammals such as the Red Squirrel, Marmot and Chamois.

“Griffon Vulture”


Day 7. Western Pyrenees (Roncal Valley)
 
We will visit the high alpine area near France where we should find Water Pipit and Ring Ouzel, but we will be particularly seeking out montane birds such as Alpine Accentor and Citril Finch amongst the delightful alpine meadows. We will also go around the Belagua Reserve where might be found one of the rarest birds in the Pyrenees, the White-backed Woodpecker.
 

“Alpine Accentor”


Day 8. Isaba-Sierra de Guara-Valencia
 
Our first stop will be in the farmland area near Puente de la Reina where we should find Bee-eater, Hoopoe and Golden Oriole. Some of the farmland meadows and arid land also have Ortolan Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Tawny Pipit and Woodchat Shrike. Besides, we will be able to hear the song of Nightingale and Cetti’s Warbler hided in the bushes.
One hour and a half later, we will stop in Sierra de Guara to have lunch while we enjoy magnificent views from the cliffs. Griffon Vultures sail so close that we can even hear their wings cutting the air!. In addition, Peregrine Falcon, Red-billed Chough and Rock Bunting are easily seen in the area. After that, we will drive back to Valencia, where we will spend the night.

“Rock Bunting”


Day 9. Valencia airport

Sadly this is the end of your holiday and we must return to Valencia airport for the flight home. An early morning birding visit if time allows will be made to a local reserve or to Valencia city centre, depending of the client preferences.

“Hoopoe”


8 Days tour price is: 980€ per person in double room. Single supplement 180 €
This is a tour for 4 people. Please, larger groups ask for a budget.


Included:
This 8-day tour cover a wide different habitats in order to observe a good number of species, some of them very endangered. Besides, we will have the pleasure to see stunning butterflies, orchids and landscapes. The tour includes: guiding, airport transfers, seven night accommodation, breakfast, packed lunch and traditional Spanish-cooked evening meals. Accommodation is in a comfortable Hotel in Valencia and a Rural Hotel in Belchite and Isaba. Free Internet access is available. The tour is completely flexible, can be modify and to be tailor made. It can be combined with the tour II. Please, do not hesitate to contact us.

Excluded:
Flights: you must arrive at Valencia Airport in the morning and depart can be during the morning or afternoon. Expenses of a personal nature such as hotel extras, flights, telephone calls are not included.

Notes:
Expect between 145-170 species during the 8 days tour.
Birding season for this tour: from May to late October. If these dates are not possible, please contact us or visit our website www.birdwatchingspain.net .We run tours through Spain all year round. To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.

Fitness:
Most walking is restricted to short distance in steady paths and tracks. Good fitness will maximize the chances of seeing Wallcreeper as it involved a steep walk. Nevertheless, the tour can be done for anyone in a medium fitness state. If your mobility is restricted please contact us before you book the tour. 

Clothing:
As we will move from the warm Mediterranean seashore of Valencia to over 2000 meters above the sea level in the Pyrenees, you should take clothes for all weather conditions.

Equipment:
If you own a telescope and you are able to bring it, please do it, it will maximize our chances of making a bigger check list. 

You can see some of our last tour review in the following link:
https://plus.google.com/+BirdwatchingspainNetpaulucio/about

Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Pau.   

Birding guide Pau Lucio, your local Birdingpal guide
Pau Lucio is the main tour guide for all tours. Forestry Engineer and MSc. in Environmental Science, was born in Gandia (Valencia). He has collaborated with Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Slimbridge (UK) as a reserve warden. He has worked also as a warden in the coastal mountains of Gandia. Currently he is involved in conservation projects about bird migration and the importance of Spanish coastal wetlands. He is very keen on ringing and he is one of the members who runs the ringing station in Pego-Oliva Marsh Natural Park. He runs a company known as Birdwatching Spain www.birdwatchingspain.net and offers a wide variety of wildlife tours along the year, included an Iberian Lynx Tour. He also works as a guide for different well-known international wildlife companies. He speaks Spanish (native tongue), Catalan and English.

Testimonials.

I wanted to thank you for your friendliness and let you know how much we enjoyed watching the great bustard on display. We are thinking going back to Spain next April and we wonder if you will be available to guide us to the Griffon Vulture place you talked to us. Elma van Bruggen, Eindhoven, Netherlands. elmavanbruggen(AT)yahoo.com
We would like to thank you again for your help and hospitality with the day's birding last week. It was one of the highlights of our stay and we felt you helped us to understand much more about the area and environment. Hopefully we will meet up again sometime either in Spain or in the Ireland. Best wishes for all your plans. John Smith, Cork, Ireland. John_LSmith(AT)yahoo.es
The birding was wonderful and you answered all of my questions, not only of birds but of Spanish culture as well. I would be happy to recommend your services to all of my birders friends I know in Germany. Brenda Johnson, Munich, Germany. Brendajohnson72(AT)hotmail.com


Guide books and CD’s recommended:

Collins Bird Guide: BIRDS OF BRITAIN & EUROPE by Lars Svensson et al.

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Last update 22/07/2014