Raptor Focused Birding Tour in Spain
This 7-day birds of prey tour offers the chance to experience two exceptional wildlife areas at the cusp of two seasons. As autumn ends, hard-to-see mountain birds come down to within our reach amongst the forests and crags of the Serranía de Ronda. As days shorten, we´ll find ourselves in the midst of the unforgettable spectacle of thousands of Vultures crossing The Strait of Gibraltar to winter in Africa.
We begin in the mountains above Málaga, a little-visited but stunning place hosting the densest raptor populations in Europe, including resident Griffon Vultures and Bonelli’s, Short-toed, Booted and Golden Eagle. In late Autumn, hardy mountain birds are on the move south and to lower altitudes, and we´ll be on the lookout for Black Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Rock Bunting, Alpine Accentor, Red-billed Chough, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Petronia and Black Redstart on the peaks and crags as well as woodland birds like Crested Tit, Hawfinch, Short-toed Treecreeper, and Firecrest amongst the thousands of acres of Mediterranean forest.
As well as a visit to the beautiful town of Ronda – its three historic bridges straddling the Tajo Gorge in spectacular fashion – you’ll have chance to explore the pretty hilltop villages of the area – we’d be particularly excited to show you the quirkiest of them, Juzcar, whose inhabitants voted to go against the grain and decorate the village blue! As well as enjoying the gorgeous mountain location amongst Holm Oaks and Sweet Chestnuts, we´ll also be able to taste mouth-watering local food from the kitchen of an award-winning chef.
At the coast near Tarifa, we´ll use our local knowledge of wind and weather to bring you the very best of the late Autumn migration. The vulture migration is particularly spectacular at this time of year, with as many as 2,300 birds recorded crossing the Strait in a single hour! You cannot see this anywhere else in the world!
Short-toed and Booted Eagles, Black Kites and White Storks will still be piling through the area, looking for their chance to cross the 14km of water that separates Europe from Africa at the Straits of Gibraltar. Seabirds too, are on the move, and this is a magical time to watch many thousands of Cory´s, Scopoli´s and Balearic Shearwaters migrating between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. On the area´s wetlands, wintering waders will be building up and we should also be able to enjoy the first arriving Common Cranes.
There will also be time to explore the local area in and around Tarifa, where we’ll introduce you to some our favourite wetland, woodland and inter-tidal areas, and quite likely a couple of our favourite bars as well.