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Best of Tarifa Birding & Wildlife Tour, Spain - 7 Days

Best of Tarifa Birding & Wildlife Tour, Spain
950

Birdwatching Tarifa

This 7-day Tarifa birding tour in the Birding Tarifa´s local patch includes all different habitats in the Cadiz province and all our specialities: bird migration, whale watching, seabird cruise, top Spanish birds: Spanish Imperial and Bonelli´s Eagles, Bald Ibis, Marbled Teal, White-headed Duck, Little Swift and beyond.

Alternative Name:Best of Tarifa Birding & Wildlife Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - La Breña and Barbate Marshes Natural Park & Medina Countryside

This Natural Park is located in the South-western Cadiz between, the municipalities of Vejer de la Frontera and Barbate. It is endowed with a diverse set of ecosystems: marine systems, salt marshes, pine woods and cliffs (up to 100 metres above sea level). These cliffs are used by breeding species such as Yellow-legged Gulls, Jackdaws and Peregrine Falcons. This site was recently selected to develop a reintroduction program for one of the rarest birds in the Western Palearctic: the Northern Bald Ibis. This bird has been returned to Spain after a few hundred years, in an effort to increase the global population which is limited to endangered pockets in Morocco and Turkey. In the mouth of the river Barbate, the winding channels and tributaries form an excellent marsh to watch waders. Within its boundaries, there are freshwater lakes that are normally overflowing all year long. This availability of water makes these zones highly interesting sites for ornithology because it is here that aquatic birds concentrate, especially in periods of drought. The recent transformation of part of the marsh into an aquaculture site has caused the appearance of new habitats, where we can observe species like Collared Pratincole, Stone Curlew, Audouin’s Gull, Great White Egret, and Caspian Tern among others.

Day 2
Day 2 - Cadiz side of Doñana: Sanlucar de Barrameda Salt Pans and marshes of the River Guadalquivir

Sanlucar de Barrameda is a picturesque town right in the mouth of the river Guadalquivir where saltmarshes, salt pan areas, lakes, pinewoods, fish farms and vineyards can be found, all full of birdlife. This is where the Duke of Medina Sidonia, one of Spain´s most famous lords lived, next to his favourite hunting area known as Coto Doñana. In the spring, Mesas de Asta is well worth a visit if the area is wet enough, because Slender-billed Gull and Gull-billed Tern, nest here in a mixed colony. Then we will go across Trebujena, a town on a hill, where we can have a fantastic view of the estuary of the river and the impressive dunes of Doñana on the other side. As we travel the saltmarsh lands between Trebujena and Sanlucar, we may see Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Calandra Lark and even succeed with the great opportunity to see Marbled Duck and Osprey. Then we will go further down the river and in this area Greater and Lesser Short-toed Larks and Spectacled Warbler will be our main targets. Later, on the arrival of La Algaida pinewood, we will have a good chance to see Black Kite and Booted Eagle, and usually White-headed Duck and Marbled Teal on a reservoir on the edge of the crops. On arrival to Sanlucar, we will visit the Bonanza salt-pans to watch waders, gulls, and terns, including the Little Tern in the summer. On the way back we can try to find one of the newest birds on the Spanish list. The Little Swift has colonized a few sites in Cadiz on its expansion north from Morocco due to the global warming.

Day 3
Day 3 - Tarifa & Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park: the Raptors Paradise

Located between the towns of Algeciras and Tarifa, the Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park boasts many diverse habitats on land and in the sea. This unique area has it all; countryside, mountains, beaches, cliffs, and lagoons, making it the perfect place for bird watching. Due to its geographical position between Europe and Africa, and the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar is a strategic point for migratory birds from both continents and is surely a place that no birdwatcher should miss. Depending on the time of the year, this could turn into a bird migration tour in Spain Although many different groups of birds use this flyway, soaring birds are the most spectacular because of their impressive size and dramatic formation of enormous flocks of hundreds or even thousands of birds, such as Black Kites, White Storks and Honey Buzzards. The Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park has exceptional places for birding like Los Lances Beach Nature Reserve and some magnificent view points along the coast, from which we can enjoy watching thousands of birds crossing the Strait of Gibraltar every year in their migrations and also with the wonderful views of the African continent. In this remarkable birding area, with such a variety sites available, our guides can always find the best conditions. Places such as Punta Carnero, Algarrobo, Punta Camorro and Cazalla watch points, Playa de Los Lances, Sierra de la Plata and Puerto de Facinas are great options.

Day 4
Day 4 - Dolphins and Whales

In collaboration with Turmares, a local whale watch tour operator, we will sail the Strait of Gibraltar in the morning. The aim of this boat trip is to observe and learn about the fascinating world of cetaceans. Whales and Dolphins, Atlantic and Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, exciting encounters to linger in our memory for a long time. Finished the whale watching trip, we will enjoy a special lunch cooked with fresh local products like Bluefin tuna, Retinta beef (local beef breed) and vegetables. After lunch, free afternoon to visit Tarifa, shopping or anything you like.

Day 5
Day 5 - Sierra de Grazalema

The Grazalema Natural Park is a nearly 52.000 Ha paradise for walkers, birdwatchers and photographers. Here we can find a mountain landscape formed by limestone and dolomites, dominated by fantastic views of both Spanish Fir and Mediterranean forests with their abundant Holm oaks and Cork oaks. The area is renowned for orchids and butterflies, but raptors will distract us from the ground cover. From hilltops like Puerto de las Palomas and Puerto del Boyar, with luck we will spot Bonelli's and Golden Eagles, Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon and Red-billed Chough. Other species present in this region are Egyptian Vulture, Blue Rock and Rufous Tailed Rock Thrushes, Black Wheatear, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow and Rock Bunting among others. Grazalema is a wonderful place for nature lovers and we have designed the best guided tour possible to get an extensive bird, orchid and butterfly list, as well we have the possibility to focus on special species.

Day 6
Day 6 - La Janda Wetland and Alcornocales Natural Park

The old lake of La Janda used to be one of the most important and extensive wetlands in the Iberian Peninsula. However, after being dried out in the 1960s it was turned into a huge farming area. Today, La Janda represents a great diversity of habitats due to its many historical uses. There are large pastures, an important and unusual wild olive grove, rain fed crops, rice paddy fields and canals with marsh vegetation that together welcome millions of birds through the different seasons. This unparalleled strategic situation, the last stop before leaving the continent, makes La Janda a paradise of great ecological interest: here birds must stop to rest and recover strength before or after their trip across the Strait of Gibraltar. The area is a hunting ground, so many kinds of prey are present. Therefore, during the winter it is common to see Bonelli’s Eagle, Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Hen Harrier, Bluethroat, Short-eared Owl and the rare Pallid Harrier. In winter a large number of Common Cranes, Black Storks, Lapwings, Golden Plovers and even the elusive Bittern, are frequently seen around these fields. In spring and summer we may find birds like the Montagu’s Harrier, the Collared Pratincole and the Common Quail, together with year-round residents like the Spanish Imperial Eagle, Purple Swamphen, Black-shouldered Kite and Glossy Ibis (a breeding colony was established in the area in 2012).

Day 7
Day 7 - Tarifa – Airport

If time allows, we will enjoy some more birding in the Tarifa area, then transfer to the airport where the trip ends.

Collared Pratincole, Stone Curlew, Audouin’s Gull, Great White Egret, Caspian Tern, Marbled Duck , Osprey, White-headed Duck, Marbled Teal

What is included?

  • Pick up at the airport (for free).
  • 6 nights’ accommodation. - All meals include Breakfast, lunches and evening meals (two soft drinks / menu). * Cool box with water and soft drinks. * Drivers and guides services.
  • All permits required. - Travel insurance.

What is not included?

  • Air fare (Easyjet, Ryanair & other companies operate daily flights from several airports). - Other drinks. - VAT tax
  • Travel Insurance
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 2  reviews
  1. Amazing two day migration experience
    Ian Ferdinand24 Aug 2019
    5
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    I had heard the area was good this time of the year but this 2 day trip exceeded all my expectations. The amount of raptors and other migrating birds made a wonderful trip and I have already booked another weekend with Manuel in October for the late migrating birds. Manuel was extremely knowledgeable and took me to places that I would have never known existed. The first days was spent around Tarifa and the coast where I saw more raptors in one day than I have in all my birding experiences to date and not just numbers of any one particular species but the diversity of the different birds was amazing. The second day was in the wetlands of La Janda and this was just as special with the highlight a very close experience with a Spanish imperial eagle and some great photos. I would highly recommend Manuel and Birding Tarifa and will be adding this trip to my annual schedule going forward.
  2. NOF Travels Tour to Andalucia and Northern Morocco 2019-03-20 to 2019-03-29 (10 days)
    Morten Bergan (norwegian guide), Lars Egil Haugen, Astrid SIvertsen20 Mar 2019
    5
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    The best bird guiding ever. This is the conclusion after 10 days (20th-29th March 2019) of birding in Andalucia and northern Morocco with Manuel and Rocio (Birding Tarifa). Still valid one week later. They had eyes like the Spanish imperial eagle (seen), hearing like a wise owl (marsh owl seen) and joyful like a flock of newly arrived bee-eaters. They really know their birds, but they also had great knowledge of the Spanish culture, history, agriculture and nature including native plants and trees. Impressive!» Morten Bergan (norwegian guide), Lars Egil Haugen, Astrid SIvertsen

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7 Days

Price & Availability

From
EUR950 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Birding Tarifa

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Operator Review Summary

5 Based on 3 reviews
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