between two continents
In the southern corner of Spain is located the Strait of Gibraltar. It is the natural bridge between Europe and Africa, only 14 km away.
Every year, thousands of birds fly over the strait during their migrations between Spain and Morocco, and many of them stop over to feed and rest. The strait is also an obligatory gateway for many sea birds during their migrations between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
We can find a great diversity of habitats, which further increases the diversity of birds in the area. Cork oak forests, scrubland, dune beaches, wetlands…Of special interest is the former Laguna de la Janda (La Janda Lagoon), in the past one of the biggest wetlands in Spain.
The Strait of Gibraltar is one of the best worldwide points to observe migrating raptors and other soaring birds. In one day you can observe how it is overflown by hundreds or thousands of White Storks, Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, European Honey Buzzards, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Egyptian Vultures… You will simply love this place. Furthermore it is an excellent place to observe sea birds, like the Balearic Shearwater, and migrant passerines.
In la Janda, apart from the diversity of wetland birds, it is possible to observe the Spanish and Bonelli’s Eagles. In winter time even Lesser Spotted and Greater Spotted Eagles and Pallid Harrier may be present.
In our journey we can also visit the only unique European colony of Northern Bald Ibis, one of the most threatened species all over the world, who currently only lives in Morocco and Andalusia.
Some other species originally from Africa, (and arrived a while ago in recent colonization) such as Ruppel’s Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard and Common Bulbul can be spotted here.
Visit one of the best raptor migration spots at a worldwide level.
Possibility to see very rare and localised bird species in Europe.
Good seawatching opportunities.
Between Tarifa and Algeciras there are numerous bird migration observatories. We will visit the most productive observatories (which varies with wind direction and intensity).
Depending on the time available and your targets we can also visit La Janda and other areas such as Barbate Marshes, Los Lances Beach, Sierra de la Plata…
Blog: Migration of soaring birds in the Strait of Gibraltar
You can also join one of our birding holidays to the Strait or arrange a private trip of several days. Ask us.
Most wanted birds
Lesser Crested Tern
Southern Grey Shrike
Eurasian Black Vulture
Lesser Spotted Eagle
Greater Spotted Eagle
European Scops Owl
Greater Short-toed Lark
Western Olivaceous Warbler
Eurasian Griffon Vulture
Eurasian Eagle Owl
Iberian Green Woodpecker
Blue Rock Thrush