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Boat Trips along the Sado

Birds & Nature organizes, in partnership with the company Vertigem Azul, tours by boat for watching birds and dolphins, along the Sado estuary.

The main objective is to enjoy the richness of this area in terms of its birds, as well as observe the small and unique population of Bottle-nosed Dolphins Tursiops truncatus, resident in the estuary.

The Sado estuary, the second largest estuary in Portugal, is an area of enormous natural wealth and biodiversity.
The area lies a little more than 30 minutes from Lisbon, and includes two Zones of Special Protection and a Nature Reserve (RNES), with a total area of about 23.000 hectares. The Sado estuary is a Ramsar site of international importance.
Though this wetland area is of great importance as a wintering site and migration stop-off point, it also holds important breeding populations of Purple Heron, Marsh Harrier, Black-winged Stilt and Little Tern. The Nature Reserve bird list includes more than 250 species.

These boat trips are a wonderful experience at any time of the year. During winter and the months when birds are on active migration, the estuary holds thousands of birds, namely ducks, flamingos and waders (avocets, godwits, stints, plovers, etc…), as well as hundreds of egrets, spoonbills, ibises and cormorants; scarce species like Osprey and Peregrine are regular. In summer, the estuary hosts many summer visitors from African wintering grounds.

Main Species
Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal, Red-breasted Merganser, Osprey, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Black Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Whimbrel, Ruff, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern, Caspian Tern, Little Tern, Kingfisher and Bee-eater.

Boat Technical Characteristics

Type – catamaran
Engine – 2 engines 135 cv
Size – 22,80 m
Capacity – 80 participants and 2 Skippers for extra security


45 euros per person. Price includes full time trip leader specialized in bird identification, transport by boat, free use of quality binoculars and field guides, participant’s accident insurance and VAT.

The boat trips along the Sado estuary, are about three hours and a half long, starting at 10,00 hours and returning at 13,30 hours. The maximum number of participants is 30. 
The exact schedule of each trip can be adapted to take account of factors such as the tidal cycle. 
The boat is silent and comfortable, providing a good base from which to view the Sado estuary.
lease note that there may be times when, because of weather conditions or for other reasons, the trip has to be cancelled; if this happens, we will try our utmost to arrange another date. 
Safety and security are our highest priority, both for the observer and the observed!

Have a look at photos of completed trips at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/birds-nature-boat-trips/
Contact us now for reservations or further details (click here).

Kentish Plover

Birds & Nature Tours is a registered tourism company (RNAAT nº 25/2008 - Turismo de Portugal I.P.)

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