Spring Birding in Spain: Apr 25—May 11, 2013

From the Atlantic Coast to the High Pyrenees

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Price: $5,995
Departs: Sevilla, Spain
Ends: Madrid, Spain
Tour Limit: 10
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (109.8 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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Santiago Villa

Santiago Villa is a member of SEO/BirdLife and the local environmental association ADENEX fr...


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Brian Gibbons

Brian Gibbons grew up in suburban Dallas where he began exploring the wild world in loc...


More Information

Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Great Bustard

Great Bustard— Photo: Javier E. Pozo

A comprehensive tour of much of the best birding on the Iberian Peninsula, from the wetlands on the Atlantic coast to the high mountains of Picos de Europa and Pyrenees, exploring the savanna-like habitats of Extremadura, the dramatic Sierra de Gredos, and the dry grounds of the Ebro Valley steppes, searching for some of the scarcest birds of Europe.
 
The Iberian Peninsula, positioned between two continents and influenced by the African climate, provides Spain with one of the largest biodiversities in Europe. Coto de Doñana National Park, in the southwest corner of the country, is one of the best birding spots amongst all the European wetlands. Some of the rarest European species still breed in good numbers in or around this park. Marbled Teal, Red-knobbed Coot, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Purple Swamp-Hen, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill, and Black-crowned Night-Heron are some of the most representative species. Around the nearby open fields and strawberry and olive tree plantations we should find interesting summer visitors such as European Bee-eater, Collared Pratincole, Montagu's Harrier, and the rare Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin.
 
In the Monfrague region we will seek species unlikely farther north, such as Black Stork, Cinereous Vulture, Red-necked Nightjar, Azure-winged Magpie, Spanish Sparrow, Bonelli's Eagle and, most important, the endemic Spanish Imperial Eagle. The steppe habitats, stony plains, mesas, and maquis vegetation of Extremadura hold Great and Little bustards, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Red-legged Partridge, Little Owl, Lesser Kestrel, Eurasian Thick-knee, Spectacled Warbler, and White Storks—commonly nesting on village rooftops. In the mountains of Gredos, one of the last refuges of the Spanish ibex, we will enjoy unique landscapes with excellent chances to see Bluethroat, Ortolan Bunting, and Citril Finch.

Montagu's Harrier

Montagu's Harrier— Photo: Javier E. Pozo

The Picos de Europa and the high Pyrenees and foothills are simply spectacular! European Serin; Cirl and Rock buntings; and many warblers including Sardinian, Western Orphean, Subalpine, Dartford, and Western Bonelli's are all present. We will travel to alpine habitats, at 5,000 to 7,000 feet, of coniferous forests, mountain streams, flower meadows, and craggy snow-covered peaks. Our targets here include the superb Wallcreeper, Black Woodpecker, Middle-spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, Common Redstart, Yellow-billed and Red-billed choughs, White-winged Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel, and Lammergeier.

We will also explore the desert-like nature reserve of El Planerón. Under the administration of SEO/BirdLife (Spain's equivalent of the ABA), this spot is one of the top sites for the elusive Dupont's Lark. There is no other country in Europe where this rare species still survives. Black-eared Wheatears, Hoopoe, Western Marsh Harrier, Tawny Pipit, and another seven species of larks (Greater Short-toed, Lesser Short-toed, Wood, Sky, Calandra, Crested, and Thekla) are also possible.

Great accommodations including picturesque guesthouses; good food with free wine; easy birding on moderately-paced days over easy terrain with some walking; climate warm and dry to snowy.