12 Days in Spain Birdwatching Programme (Group Tour)

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Extremadura, Doñana & Gibraltar

Overview 

Spain is one of the most famous birding countries in Europe and the two neighbouring Spanish provinces of Extremadura and Andalucia complement each other perfectly. The first is known worldwide for the huge variety of land birds, particularly steppe and rock loving birds and the second includes one of the most important wetlands of Europe, the famous Coto Doñana, as well as the most important migratory site in west Europe, Gibraltar. 

This birding programme designed by Birds & Nature Tours Portugal is designed to enable you to visit several rich species protected areas in these two provinces during the peak migratory periods. 

After a comfortable journey by motorway, we reach the Spanish region of Extremadura. Here, we will visit both the Monfragüe National Park and the plains of Cáceres, Magasca and Trujillo, among other interesting spots. These two protected areas boast a fantastic bird list that includes Great and Little Bustards, Common Crane, Black Stork, Iberian Imperial, Golden and Bonelli’s Eagles, Cinereous, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Red Kite, Montagu’s Harrier, Black-winged Kite, Lesser Kestrel, Eurasian Stone-curlew, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, European Turtle Dove, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Eurasian Scops Owl, Red-necked Nightjar, Alpine and White-rumped Swifts, European Roller, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Calandra Lark, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Rufous Bush Robin, Black-eared and Black Wheatears, Blue Rock Thrush, Western Orphean, Spectacled and Subalpine Warblers, Crested Tit, Red-billed Chough, Golden Oriole, Spanish Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Hawfinch and Cirl and Rock Buntings. 

After another easy journey by motorway, we reach the Spanish region of Andalucia in order to visit complementary biotopes and consequently new bird species in the world famous Doñana National Park. This remarkable protected wetland has extensive bird lists that include Marbled, Ferruginous and White-headed Ducks, Red-crested Pochard, Greater Flamingo, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Little Bittern, Squacco and Purple Herons, Booted Eagle, Western Swamphen, Collared Pratincole, Little Owl, Pallid Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Bluethroat, Sardinian, Dartford, Savi’s and Melodious Warblers, Iberian Chiffchaff, Penduline Tit, Iberian Grey and Woodchat Shrikes, Iberian Magpie, Spotless Starling, European Serin and an excellent selection of waders, gulls and terns. The last days of the trip will be spent exploring the famous Tarifa/Gibraltar region, with great opportunities to watch active migration, with an emphasis on soaring birds. This part of the trip should also provide excellent possibilities for participants to see a wide range of sea bird species as well. 

All this birding activity is combined with visits to some of the most interesting historical and cultural sites of Spain, namely Trujillo and Mérida, two historical towns in Extremadura, which are also fascinating from the urban birding perspective. We’ll have numerous opportunities to sample Spain’s many culinary delights and great wines. 


Itinerary 

Day 1 – Transfer from Madrid Airport (or from your Madrid hotel). Travel to Trujillo, in Extremadura. Visit the Trujillo area, including the town, which is well known for its rich community of urban birds. Visit the plains near Monroy. Overnight stay at the Hotel Hospedería Parque de Monfragüe, in Torrejón el Rubio (or equivalent). 

Day 2 – Visit the bluffs and hills of the Monfragüe National Park, with several viewing points (the Salto del Gitano/Peñafalcón, the Monfragüe Castle, the Cardenal Bridge and the Tajadilla). Overnight stay at the Hotel Hospedería Parque de Monfragüe (or equivalent). 

Day 3 – Visit the rolling plains (Llanos) of Cáceres, Magasca and Trujillo. Overnight stay at the Hotel Hospedería Parque de Monfragüe (or equivalent). 

Day 4 – Visit the Monfragüe National Park, with other sites including the Báscula, the Higuerilla and the Portilla del Tiétar viewing points. Visit the Arrocampo Reservoir. Overnight stay at the Hotel Hospedería Parque de Monfragüe (or equivalent). 

Day 5 – Visit the Alcollarín reservoir and the Llanos de Campo Lugar. Overnight stay at the Hotel Hospedería Parque de Monfragüe (or equivalent). 

Day 6 – Travel to Villamanrique De La Condesa, in Andalucia, visiting on the way the town of Mérida (which offers numerous birding opportunities, particularly at the Roman Bridge) and the Alange Reservoir, for rock loving species. Overnight stay at the Hotel Ardea Purpurea, in Villamanrique De La Condesa (or equivalent). 

Day 7 – Visit the Doñana National Park (western sector), including the areas near El Rocio and the Centres of La Rocina and El Acebuche (freshwater lagoons, reedbeds, Stone Pine woods). Visit the marshes and salt pans of the Odiel Marshes Natural Reserve, near Huelva. Overnight stay at the Hotel Ardea Purpurea (or equivalent). 

Day 8 – Visit the Doñana National Park (western sector), including the Isla Mayor rice fields, the lagoons and woods of Villamanrique De La Condesa, the Dehesa de Abajo, the Caño Guadiamar and the José António Valverde Centre. Overnight stay at the Hotel Ardea Purpurea (or equivalent). 

Day 9 – Travel to Tarifa, visiting on the way the eastern sector of the Doñana National Park, including the areas of Trebujena, the salt pans of Bonanza and Algaida and the Tarelo Lagoon. Overnight stay at the Hotel La Codorniz, in Tarifa (or equivalent). 

Day 10 – Visit the Tarifa & Gibraltar areas. Overnight stay at the Hotel La Codorniz (or equivalent). 

Day 11 – Visit the Tarifa & Gibraltar areas, as well as the Alcornocales Natural Park. Good opportunities for sea watching. Overnight stay at the Hotel La Codorniz (or equivalent). 

Day 12 – Morning visit to the Tarifa & Gibraltar areas. Travel to Madrid. Overnight stay at Hotel Zenit Abeba, in Madrid (or equivalent). End of programme. 


Price 

4.080 Euros per person. Price includes guide fees, transfer from the airport/hotel, ground transport (in air-conditioned vehicles), accommodation (including breakfast), meals (lunches in local cafes and dinners in local restaurants, including quality wine at dinner), bottled water throughout the tour, free use of optical equipment (quality binoculars and telescopes) and field guides, bird list, entrance fees to private or protected areas, a contribution of 60 Euros to our Conservation Project in the Guadiana Valley Natural Park (Portugal), participant’s accident insurance and VAT. Single supplement: 530 Euros.
Not included are flights and items of a personal nature. 


Note
 

The tours start and end in Madrid. If you need accommodation for the nights before and/or after the tour, we are happy to help. We suggest you discuss your flight details with us before booking your flights. These are small group tours with a maximum of 7 participants. We guarantee that any tour will run for 2 people or more. 

Contact us now for reservations or further details

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Photos by Pedro Marques