Winter Birding Tour in the Spanish Pyrenees
This 5-day Birdwatching in the Spanish Pyrenees - Winter Tour is a set-departure tour. It is a relaxing exploration of the famous 500-mile long Pyrenean mountain range, which is one of the main mountain ranges in Europe, looking for some of the most sought-after birds in Europe. Along the way we will be watching out for Black Woodpecker, Snow Finch, Alpine Accentor, Lammergeier, Moustached Warbler, Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Dupont's Lark. This is not a bad selection for a winter break's birdwatching in the Pyrenees!
"I had a marvellous one-day birding trip with Carles in the Pyrenees. He was an absolutely wonderful guide who had an encyclopedic knowledge about birds and an uncanny ability to spot them... Some of the highlights included watching a Lammergeier soaring among several Griffon Vultures, and a juvenile Golden Eagle that flow low over the trees... and we were fortunate to see two White-winged Snowfinches that flew around us as we ate sandwiches at the top of a mountain pass." - Given Harper
These magnificent mountains, half of which lie in France and half in Spain, are a main stronghold for European Bearded Vultures and they host a major population of Western Capercaillie.
The Spanish Pyrenees are noteworthy for birdwatching because of the numbers and variety of birdlife. This is a place where you can easily see all four species of European vultures in just one morning of birding. Resident species include Tengmalm's Owl, Black Woodpecker, Wallcreeper, Citril Finch, Yellow-billed Chough, plus the endemic Iberian Green Woodpecker & Iberian Grey Shrike.
In spring and summer the valleys contain impressive densities of goodies including Western Orphean & Subalpine Warblers, Eurasian Wryneck, Common Nightjar, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush and Egyptian Vulture.
In winter, the summer visitors return to their African homes, but the birdwatching interest in the Pyrenees stays high because several high mountain species become more accessible during the colder months. From October to March is the best time to enjoy flocks of Snow Finches and Alpine Accentors, while Wallcreepers can be found from anywhere from sea level to 1,500m in Catalonia.
Immediately south of the mountains, lies the extensive Ebro Valley, probably the most impressive combination of habitats in Europe. Endless rolling open lands goes from semidesert to a landscape of wheat fields, Holm Oak groves and Mediterranean bushland. This is the place to find the best densities in Europe of Little Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Spectacled Warbler, Red-necked Nightjar, Ortolan Bunting and Calandra Lark. It is also home to the super-secretive Dupont's Lark, the small Lesser Short-toed Lark, the recently described Catalan form of Reed Bunting (which is extremely endangered) and some of the very last Lesser Grey Shrikes west of the Alps!
A winter birding break In the Spanish Pyrenees also explores a variety of wetlands, from ponds to large marshes, where it is possible to enjoy Bearded Tit, Penduline Tit, Greater Bittern, Spotted Crake (an early migratory bird in many years), Northern Lapwing, Moustached Warbler, Western Swamphen, Bluethroats and, if you're lucky, Jack Snipes.
During this winter birding tour in Catalonia we will be staying at two locations in the Pyrenees and Lleida Steppes. This enables us to offer an interesting Iberian birding combination year-round.
Birdwatching in the Spanish Pyrenees - Winter Tour highlights include:
- The chance to explore a wide variety of landscapes, from alpine meadows to desert plains, Mediterranean scrub to winter wetlands
- Huge flocks of winter waders and many Wallcreepers
- 50+ roost of Marsh Harriers
- The best place in Europe for raptors
- European rarities such as Catalan Reed Buntings
- Mild winter weather with excellent visibility
If this itinerary doesn't include your target or match your expectations contact us. We will be delighted to create the perfect itinerary for your dream birding tour in the Spanish Pyrenees in Catalonia.
Want to extend your birding to another location? Why not try the Birding Extremadura and Gredos Mountains Tour, Spain.
Alternative Tour Name: Winter Birding Break in Catalonia Tour