bird migration & cetaceans
7 days, 6 nights.
31 August-06 September 2023
11-17 March 2024
(Query us for other dates)
Single supplement: 275 €
In the southern corner of Europe is located the natural bridge between Spain and Morocco, the Strait of Gibraltar, where the distance between the 2 continents are only 14 kilometers! That makes the Strait of Gibraltar one of the best worldwide points to observe migrating raptors.
Around 300.000 raptors of near 30 species can be observed migrating over the Strait of Gibraltar every autumn and spring. In addition, 150.000 storks of 2 species join them!
Using the wide net of observatories we can observe every day on their way to the south hundreds or thousands of Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Egyptian Vultures, Honey Buzzards, White and Black Storks…
The main objective of this tour is to enjoy the migration of raptors, but we also will visit so many different areas around the Strait (including Doñana!) to see as many different species of birds as possible. We can highlight the Northern Bald Ibis, White-headed Duck, Spanish Imperial Eagle… We will have also time to discover the high diversity of cetaceans from a boat trip.
Day 1: Seville-Tarifa
Transfer towards Tarifa (2 hours), with some birding on route. We will stop at Laguna de Medina, a good place where look for the iconic White-headed Duck.
Day 2: Migration & Sierra de la Plata
We will visit during the morning Sierra de la Plata, a mountain range with good chances for birds of Mediterranean scrubland and rocky areas, like Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting. There is also the possibility to see Bonelli’s Eagle and Ruppell’s Vulture among the Griffons.
After that, we will move to the bird observatories to enjoy the raptor migration, where we will expend the rest of the day. We will visit the best observatories according the meteorological conditions.
Day 3: Migration & Whale watching
During the morning we will take a boat trip from the Tarifa harbour to explore the border between the two continents and two seas! The boat trip takes 2 hours and we use a big touristic boat. We will focus on finding sea mammals. Possible species here are Pilot Whale, Common Dolphin, Striped Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin and more occasionally Sperm Whale and even Orca! Talking about birds we might see Cory’s Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, European Storm-petrel, Common and Sandwich Terns, Great and Pomarine Skua and with luck raptors crossing the strait right over our boat.
After the boat trip we will spend most of the day looking for the migration at the different bird observatories.
We can finish the day with some urban birding in Tarifa, looking for a recent colonizer of Europe, the Common Bulbul.
Day 4: Los Lances Beach, migration & Barbate marshes
During the morning we will enjoy a pleasant walk along Los Lances beach, where is always the possibility to find interesting birds on migration. The main target here are terns and gulls, including Audouin’s Gull and seabirds on passage.
After that we will spend some hours looking for the migration at the different bird observatories.
During the afternoon we will visit Barbate marshes where the main target is the threatened Northern Bald Ibis. It is also a prime site for waders, including Collared Pratincole and Stone Curlew.
Day 5: La Janda
We will visit La Janda area, close to the Strait of Gibraltar. Formerly La Janda was the biggest Spanish lake, but even though it was drained and turned into fields and rice paddies is one of the best areas were enjoy bird watching around the Strait.
The main target are raptors, including Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black-winged Kite and Montagu’s Harrier. Squacco and Imperial Herons are also possible, among the myriad of other more common herons. With luck we will find the Red-necked Nightjar in his daytime roost.
Day 5: Migration & Los Alcornocales Natural Park
During the morning we will visit again the bird observatories to enjoy the raptor migration.
In the afternoon it will be time to discover one of the biggest and with a better conservation state Cork Oak forest all over the world, Los Alcornocales Natural Park. Here is great place for forest birds, where might we will see the Iberian Chiffchaff. Other interesting birds here are White-rumped Swift and Osprey (with a small nesting population due a reintroduction program).
Day 6: Doñana Natural Park
In our way back to Seville, we will visit the southern corner of Doñana, near the mouth of the Guadalquivir river. There the diversity of birds is incredible high, including the threatened Marbled and White-headed Duck and Red-knobbed Coot. Great place for waders and gulls, including Slender-billed Gull and Kentish Plover.
We will arrive to Seville around 6pm.
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.
Discover the best birding hotspots around the Strait.