If you’re a fan of birdwatching, then you know there’s something special about winter birding. It’s a time where everything else is still. The weather is crisp and the magical winter scenery makes finding your favourite birds even more enjoyable. So when it comes to discovering the best birdwatching locations, choosing a winter birding trip should be at the top of your list.
Read on to discover some of the best birding in winter trips available. From spectacular Somerset to the stunning Spanish Pyrenees:
1). Starling Spectacular in Somerset
Photo credit: Kay Mitchell, Somerset Birdwatching Holidays, Starling Murmuration
A one-and-a-half-day tour held in the beautiful rural hills and fields of Somerset, the Starling Spectacular Tour offers the chance to see one of the most incredible sights available in the UK for avid bird fans. With up to half a million starlings darkening the sky as they return to roost, the visual spectacle of this event isn’t one to be missed; especially when seen against the amazing dusk sky.
For fans of these traditional winter birds, the murmurations of the starlings aren’t one to miss. With tours available through November and January, there’s plenty of opportunities to see this fantastic flock in action, and despite its short length, it’s more than worth the visit to experience such a mass gathering of these incredible birds as they colour the darkening sky and swoop en masse in spectacular synchronicity.
2). The Very Best of North Wales
Photo credit: Ruth Miller, Birdwatching Trips, Black Grouse
The peaks and valleys of beautiful North Wales are incredible at the best of times. Especially when dusted with a liberal helping of clean, white snow. This unique British destination is the ultimate three-part combination of day trips. This tour offers winter birdwatching enthusiasts the chance to see some of the most beautiful birds in the UK. Including the eye-catching raptors, gulls and divers the area has to offer. Covering the diverse range of habitats North, this short tour has it all.
Lucky enthusiasts will get a chance to see anything from the stunning Red Kite and Hen Harrier. Other spots include the distinctive Great Grey Shrike. Every section of this three-day tour is bursting with unique waterfowl and other birds. Making it ideal for those who prefer a little more variety in their winter birdwatching. For birdwatchers looking for a brand-new experience, this North Wales tour is an excellent place to start.
3). Spanish Pyrenees in Winter
Photo credit: Inglorious Bustards, Wallcreeper
If you are looking for a birding tour this winter season, the Spanish Pyrenees is one of the top destinations. A seven-day excursion with Inglorious Bustards will take travellers into the heart of the beautiful Pyrenees in winter. Unique habitats make this site the ideal spot for some stellar winter birdwatching. Leading to the chance to see some rare species throughout the distance covered on tour.
This unique tour provides birdwatchers with the chance to see many birds. Including anything from Skylarks on the Gallocanta Plains through to Purple Herons at Quinto de Ebro. There is even the opportunity to spot the much-coveted Wallcreeper bird in the Mont Rebei region. For fans of birding adventure, this tour is amongst the best.
4). Partridges on the Snow
Photo credit: More Than Birds, Partridges
This trip is a short-form tour perfect as part of longer holidays or in addition to other touring options. This single-day winter birding trip aims to find only one species: the beautiful and secretive Pyrenean Grey Partridge. This bird is found within the rugged Northern Iberian Mountains. Inhabiting the scrubland surrounding the high-altitude mountain passes, spotting this species is a unique challenge. Making them an advanced spot without snow coating the ground.
Winter is the ideal time to seek out this coveted bird. The Partridges on the Snow tour offers precisely that. For birders with one goal in mind, this tour is the ideal place to see one of the world’s rarest birds. There is also the potential to also see the rare Broom Hare in its natural habitat.
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5). Extremadura’s Winter Spectacular
Photo credit: Martin Kelsey, Birding Extremadura, Black-bellied Sandgrouse
An eight-day excursion to western Spanish region Extremadura. This tour is a must-see for bird fans looking to discover a whole new world of birdwatching. Enjoy one of the most bird-rich locations around the globe. This tour starts from any of the major airports in Madrid, Lisbon or Seville. From there, tour-goers will have the opportunity to see a vast range of different birds. Not to mention incredible sites in and around the unique region. A central lodging is in easy reach of many astounding quality habitats.
This option is ideal birdwatchers that prefer variety on their tours. This winter spectacular delivers anything from Great Bustards to Black-bellied Sandgrouse. There are also chances to see Merlin and Bonelli’s Eagle as part of this incredible tour. Many opportunities at sighting some of the rarest birds the region is on offer. Waterfowl can be found in a nearby reservoir, while the fantastic Monfrague Natural Park offers even more opportunity to view unique species such as Black and Griffon Vultures. For birdwatchers looking for a high-quality tour with plenty of variety, Extremadura’s Winter Spectacular is more than worth it
6). Birding Safari for Siberian Wintering Birds
Photo credit: Mongolica Travel
The wilds and snow-covered landscapes of Mongolia make it the ideal choice for passionate winter birders. Suitable for those looking to discover something unique against the stark, white landscape. This 7-day tour offers birdwatchers ample opportunity to explore. The birdlife is plentiful in Mongolia, with countless chances to see incredible mammals. In addition to some of the world’s most sought-after birds.
From the beautiful Azure-Winged Magpie in Ulaanbaatar to the Three-Toed Woodpecker in the boreal forests of Gorkhi-Terelj, this grand tour provides ample opportunity to see some of the most beautiful species of Mongolia, as well as the potential to glimpse the popular Ural and Great Grey Owls. For birdwatchers that prefer to tour further afield, this Birding Safari in Mongolia is the ultimate adventure.
Whether you prefer to stay close to home during the colder seasons, or adventuring out into the wider world sounds like the best fit for your birdwatching goals, there is a full range of incredible winter birdwatching tours to suit your every need. To discover the birdwatching journey of your dreams, check out our complete list of birding tours worldwide here. With our help, seeing the winter birds you’ve dreamed of can become a reality.
Originally Published on: 10 Sep 2020