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Two Continents Birding Tour - 8 Days

Two Continents Birding Tour
1450

8-day tour – Legend has it that Hercules used his incredible strength to separate the continents of Europe and Africa, creating the Straits of Gibraltar.  The Inglorious Bustards are all set to use their outstanding local knowledge and expertise to bring them back together for you!  This is their feature specialist tour, and their experience of the area and local contacts mean they can take you where other guides fear to tread.

Day 1
Day 01

You begin with a flight to Gibraltar, from where we transfer to our delightful eco-resort in tranquil woodland near Tarifa, the centre of birding in the Straits. Our base at Huerta Grande is ideal for watching the migration as it is located between two natural parks in the hills above the Straits of Gibraltar, amongst lush Cork Oak forest. We should witness many hundreds of migratory birds making the crossing to their wintering / breeding grounds in Africa / Europe, including Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed and Booted Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Black Kites and both Black and White Storks.

Day 2
Day 2

We will take a boat excursion, weather permitting, into the Straits to witness the seabird passage and cetaceans. We will be on the lookout for Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters and European Storm-petrel among other species, plus the three species of resident dolphin (Common, Bottlenose and Striped) and the resident pods of Long-finned Pilot Whale. Following our boat trip we will engage in some urban birding around the old town of Tarifa where we can encounter Common Bulbul and Lesser Kestrels. Simply by looking up we will encounter migrating raptors and storks crossing over this historic town.

Day 3
Day 3

We next make our own crossing – to northern Morocco by ferry – before beginning our exploration of the African side of the Straits, visiting a variety of coastal and inland sites.

We will visit the estuary of Merdja Zerga, a sweeping wetland on Morocco’s Atlantic coast south of Tangiers. Merdja Zerga is famous amongst birders as the last known winter haunt of the legendary Slender-billed Curlew, a bird now sadly presumed extinct. None have been seen here since 1995, but the beautiful drawings of those who journeyed here in the early 1990s can still be seen in the cherished bird log on display in a quiet estuary-side café. Despite the demise of its Slender-billed Curlews, Merdja Zerga is still a magnificent wildlife site. Here a variety of terns stop to feed and breed, while waders probe the mud in their thousands, amongst them Greenshanks, Spotted Redshanks, Whimbrels and Avocets. We’ll stay until dusk, for then we have a chance of seeing the extremely rare Moroccan Marsh Owl. Our first night will be in the historic city of Larache, where breeding Little Swift and Pallid Swift will whizz overhead and Common Bulbul and House Bunting should be encountered.

Day 4
Day 4

We will visit some nearby wetlands where we’ll look for Moustached Warbler, Brown-throated Martin, Red-knobbed Coot, and Marbled Duck and White-headed Duck, before heading to our next base in the delightful blue city of Chefchaouen, where we’ll stay for two nights. This ancient city at the edge of Talassamtane National Park gives spectacular views of the Rif Mountains and offers some of the best urban birding on the planet! En route we will spend time in the Forest of Bouhachem in the Rif Mountains where there is a small population of Barbary Macacques. The Barbary Macaque lives mainly in mountain ranges in north-west Africa and is the only species of macaque found outside Asia.

Day 5
Day 5

The Talassamtane mountain range offers brilliant and easily accessible mountain birding with several species of raptor likely to be encountered such as Atlas Long-legged Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons and Bonelli’s Eagles amongst raptors migrating through the mountain ranges. Smaller jewels to be found come in the form of the stunning Moussier’s Redstart and Black Wheatear whilst Blue Rock Thrushes are frequently encountered. Amongst these specialists are generalists that take on new meaning such as the gorgeous African Blue Tit and African Chaffinch, giving quite a twist on familiar species.

Day 6
Day 6 – 8

We then journey north to make our crossing back to the Spanish mainland. There, during the last part of our holiday, we will spend our time around Tarifa and Bolonia and exploring the wetlands of La Janda, where we should see a good variety and number of passage waders, storks and birds of prey including Black-winged Kite, before visiting the successfully reintroduced population of Northern Bald Ibis.

This holiday offers the chance to see breath-taking migration and make comparisons between avifauna across the short stretch of water dividing Europe and Africa in addition to spectacular urban birding. After a week’s exciting birding it will be time to leave this avian highway bottleneck and make your own flight home, with great memories of the spectacular flow of birdlife over the Straits and some special species from both Spain and Morocco.

Contact us for further information and to book your place on this tour.

Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 5  reviews
  1. Two continents tour
    Paul Hackett01 Mar 2016
    5
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    Had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Simon on a short trip to Tarifa for the migration and Morocco for some African birds, a few years ago, (Marsh Owl was stunning) he has a very natural and relaxed attitude, putting the clients at their ease, which I saw many times on the trip, even the boat ride out to the straits was exciting with the addition of great sightings of the long finned pilot whales, ( a lifer for me ) his knowledge of birds is exemplary, nothing is too much trouble, and he delivered all the target birds for the group, all in all, a great trip was had by everybody oh, and I managed to get some really good digiscoping pictures ! Paul Hackett - Kowa & Panasonic Digiscoping Ambassador
  2. Inglorious Bustards are all over it!
    David Lindo08 Feb 2017
    5
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    Being guided by Niki and Simon aka Inglorious Bustards is like taking a leisurely stroll to watch wildlife with a couple of great mates who really care about you. They love what they do and love who they do it for. After my tour of Tarifa and Morocco, in which I witnessed the most amazing migration of raptors and storks heading south over the Straits, I wanted to move in with them!
  3. Birds Beautiful Birds...
    perry haines08 Sep 2017
    5
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    Blessed with the opportunity to visit the Straits again, and witness the spectacular migration miracle, September 8th thru to the 29th 2017 have been superb. Out at sea viewing Pilot Whales and Striped Dolphins, Scoping Stone Curlew at Saline lagoons, counting in the Harriers at La Janda roost, enjoying musters of Black and White Storks, kettling in a big blue backdrop sky - Just some of the magic times shared with Niki and Simon at prime observation locations ! ''Inglorious Bustards'' eat, sleep, breathe the Natural World - All birds shared, gratefully appreciated IB's - from Wilson's Petrel and Scopoli's Shearwater to a very generous exaltation of Short Toed Lark. Over the three weeks, birdwatching has been tip top ! From sublime tranquility at La Janda, observing Montagu's Harrier quartering the paddy fields, Black Winged Kite hunting n' hovering, and Red Necked Nightjar sweeping and wheeling, in flight at dusk. To an electric atmosphere, with excitement in the air, at Cazalla and Algarobbo observation points, scanning thru thousands of the Raptor parades ''Usual Suspects '' such as Black Kite, Honey Buzzard, Egyptian Vulture, Short Toed and Booted Eagle, seeking to enjoy gems that included Ruppell's Vulture ( A total of 10 for a well pleased me ) Long-Legged Buzzard, Red Kite, Spanish Imperial, Bonelli's and Golden Eagle. A perfect way to end this trip, I stayed again at '' Inglorious Bustards HQ ''Huerta Grande'', as ever, a safe harbour, peaceful haven, a bird news hub, where the Tawny Owls serenade, insuring sweet dreams. Last day at La Janda, a Short Toed Snake Eagle, parked ( Just 20 meters ) from my truck. We shared 15 glorious minutes together, while I admired this majestic beauty thru my binoculars. And when it flew, I knew it was my cue, the time to tear myself away from this birdwatching heaven and head home, with quarrels of Spanish Sparrow in my rear view mirror.... .......'Till the next time Niki and Simon ! Hasta Luego.....
  4. Birding Two Continents
    Peter Dale05 Sep 2017
    5
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    Absolutely brilliant. Simon and Niki were great in every department - very knowledgeable guides both for the wildlife and the best places too see it, great hosts and excellent company. The accommodation on the trip was well up to standard and the food, particularly the picnics was excellent. A great trip where we had some memorable experiences, saw some great birds and cetaceans and made some good friends.
  5. A glorious Choc \'n\' Pode Tour
    Tony Mills16 Jul 2017
    5
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    This tour, led by Niki and Simon to the coastal region of mid Morocco was not only successful for birds but also very enjoyable. The atmosphere was relaxed, hotels super, (two of which were 'riads' within ancient town walls and the third a luxury modern oasis) and easy walking. The highlight for me were the Eleanora's Falcons. Seeing 20+ preening in a dead tree just after bathing in the river was amazing. Other special birds included Moussier's Redstarts, Pratincoles, Coursers, Barbary Partridges and a Royal Tern. Also just seeing great close views of "also-rans" like Black-eared Wheatears, Thekla Larks and Little Owls was wonderful. These guys are experts, they know their stuff, know the sites, and are really fun people to be with. So if you're looking for a tour to include great birds in a relaxed atmosphere with some great food, culture and banter thrown in then I would highly recommend touring with Inglorious Bustards.

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8 Days

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Operator Review Summary

4.99 Based on 19 reviews
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