Follow ScotNature on Facebook

Birdwatching tour

Catalonia is tucked away in the north-eastern part of Spain, with a well imbedded sense of its autonomy reflected in its history, language and culture. Birdwatching is very rewarding in Catalonia due to its great geographical diversity and its location on a major migration route for thousands of birds.

Our 8-day tour is designed to introduce you to the best birding hot-spots in the region, while also giving you the chance to enjoy Catalan culture and cuisine. We will cover three distinctive habitats: the Pyrenees in the north, the Lleida steppes and plains in the interior of the country and the Ebre Delta on the coast.

The Pyrenees is the second largest and highest mountain range after the Alps in Europe and form a natural border between France and Spain. We will visit the Catalonian part of the Pyrenees, where, in a spectacular scenery, we will search for Citril Finch, Rock Bunting, Ring Ouzel and Alpine Chough. In the forested areas, we will look for Crested Tit, Common Crossbill, Bonelli’s Warbler and Iberian Green Woodpecker. But, the most memorable perhaps, will be a visit to a feeding station, where we will be close to a feeding frenzy of Griffon, Bearded, Black and Egyptian Vultures. There are not many, if any, places in Europe, where one can see all four species of European vultures at once.

The vast Lleida plains lie at the foot of the Pyrenees, watered by the river Segre, which means that we will have the mosaic of habitats to visit, including rocky crops, dry steppe and the extensive lagoon lying in the heart of the Lleida cereal plain. Species of interest here will include the Lesser Kestrel, Little Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black and Black-eared Wheatears, Iberian Grey Shrikes, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Sparrow, Great Spotted Cuckoo and Orphean, Dartford, Spectacled and Sardinian Warblers. The area is a mecca for larks, with species such as Thekla’s, Calandra, Short-toed and Lesser Short-toe. Some of these species breed nowhere else in Catalonia.

The Ebre Delta is one of the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean with a great diversity of flora and fauna. The delta is home to 95 breeding species of birds, but there are a further 300 vagrant and migratory species that use the area as stop-over or wintering grounds during their annual movements, and we will be at the right time to pick up on some rarities. It is a unique area in the sense that it holds one of the world's largest colonies of Audouin's Gulls (with over 3,000 pairs at present), the second largest Iberian colony of both Greater Flamingo (over 2,000 pairs) and Glossy Ibis, and one of the most important population of the Mediterranean subspecies of Reed Bunting (witherbyi).

Visiting Catalonia would not be complete without tasting its fabulous wine, and one day, we will drop in to the most ancient wine cellar in Catalonia to taste its vintage products. This tour will also introduce you to traditional Catalonian cruise which, not surprisingly, differs between the regions, and while in the Pyrenees we will be served strongly flavoured highland meat dishes, meals in the interior of the country have more vegetable and dairy products, whereas on the coast, we will eat more seafood accompanied by rice and salads.

Overall, this tour will give you a real flavour of this unique part of the world, not only in a culinary sense, but also culture-wise and wildlife.

Detailed Itinerary Booking Info



Tour Details

Date
25 April-2 May 2019

Price
£1445

Single Supplement
250

Group Size
4-6


Outline Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival at Barcelona airport and transfer to the Pyrenees 

Day 2
The Pyrenees

Day 3
Transfer to Lleida

Days 4-5
Steppe and wetlands at Lleida

Day 6
Transfer to the Ebre Delta

Day 7
The Ebre Delta

Day 8
Departure from Barcelona


The Price Includes

  • all accommodation on a shared basis
  • all meals
  • all excursions and transfers by vehicle
  • park and tour guides’ fees 

 The Price Does Not Include

  • all items of a personal nature
  • flight cancellation, baggage and medical insurance alcoholic drinks
  • scheduled return flight from Britain to Barcelona and a return flight from Barcelona back to Britain.  A group booking, however, will be made, but you will deal with a travel agent directly.  Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements 

 Please Note

  • all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of their trip
  • a deposit of £100 is requested with a booking form.  The final payment is required three months before the start of the tour