Spanish Pyrenees & the Ebro Delta- Spain £1500 ** May Spannish Flag
Home Page Home    
Tours Page Tours  

Useful Details for Pyrenees & Ebro Delta  tour Useful Details for PyrenePyreneeses & Ebro Delta Tour

Many people have asked me to run a tour to the Pyrenees, but it' s been 15 years since I was last there. I was hoping to have a recce trip here, but Dave Gosney has stepped in offering his unrivaled services. Gone Birding run a trip to this superb region of Spain in late May/early June. This eight day tour will be start and finish in Zaragosa, with 4 nights in the Hecho Valley, before moving onto the Zaragosa Plains. After which we will move down to the coast and the amazing Ebro Delta, which has been described as the best wetland birding site in Spain. Accommodation will be in small hotels, with bed, breakfast and evening meal supplied. Flights are included in the price, but you are required to make your own way to and from the departing airport, which will probably be one of the London airports. We will book flights closer to the departure date. Your own travel insurance, which is compulsory, and personal drinks are the only extra costs. All guiding, ground / air transport, food and expenses are included in the tour price. Contact us for further details (contact page)

*Plus compulsory travel insurance **Final dates and for the trip will be confirmed when flight schedules are available. Until flights are confirmed please allow a couple of days either side of the departure and arrival dates.

This eight day tour will be have 3 bases, the Hecho Valley in heart of the Spanish Pyrenees, the Zaragosa Plains, and the Ebro Egyptian VultureDelta, in Sant Carles de la Rapita- these locations centrally located to best birding sites. ** The dates are will be confirmed when the tour is booked up. So if you would like to go and when you book, do please leave a day or two either side, as leeway, until everything is confirmed, and all tour participants are happy with the dates.

These regions of Spain at this time of year are magical places and extremely varied, from genuinely high mountains, to the plains and finally sea level in the Ebro Delta, with day long quality birding in surprisingly varied habitats. The list and range of species should be excellent. From Griffon Vultures, Alpine Swift & Alpine Chough, Citril Finch plus Lammergeier to Larks including Dupont's Lark, Lesser, Short-toed Lark and Sandgrouse in the plains to Audouin's Gull, Little Crake, Egrets & Herons on the Delta- an amazing array of birds.

Our accommodation will generally be in small hotels, in the Pyrenees and the Ebro Delta, although the accommodation on the plains is a little more 'rustic'- doAlpine Choughn't worry it's not for very long. Transport will be in small minibus or people carrier, which we will pick up at Zaragosa airport. There will be lots of room for birders, bags and tripods etc...

The Cost of the tour is £1500 for 8 days. This covers all ground costs, food/drink whilst out, ground/ air transport, accommodation and guiding fees. What’s not covered are transport to and from the UK airport, and compulsory travel insurance (Gone Birding will need a copy of the policy) and drinks of a personal nature. Call us if you have any queries over this.

Itinerary

Each day we will make an optional early morning visit to birding sites within short walking/driving distance, after which we will return for breakfast, before heading Snow Finchoff for the day to sites within easy driving distance of our base. Lunch will be bought en-route and will probably consist of simple bread and cheese and local produce. This, plus water and juice will be provided but other personal drinks are extra. On several days we will pass through several small towns. On occasion there will be opportunities to stop, relax with a drink and have a look around.

Day 1
Fly London/Zaragoza and transfer to our accommodation, birding en route. As we travel we'll be looking out for our first raptors which could be species such as Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Red Kite, Black Kite and Montagu's Harrier. We may also see our first Bee-eaters and Hoopoes and will make a stop at a potential Wallcreeper site where we'll also look for species such as Black Wheatear, Red-billed Chough, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Thrush, Alpine Swift, Crag Martin and Black Redstart. Raptors here include Egyptian Vulture, Peregrine and, possibly, Lammergeier. Evening meal and overnight in Hecho in a charming village right in the heart of the mountains where you might even see Lammergeier from your window!

Day 2-4Alpine Accentor
As well as being a region blessed with spectacular scenery, the Pyrenees are home to some of Europe's most wanted and exciting breeding birds such as Lammergeier and Wallcreeper. Our first day will be spent in the beautiful Hecho valley where we'll enjoy lots of views of raptors. Lower down the valley are Red Kites and Booted Eagles and further up there's always a chance of Golden and Short-toed Eagles. Griffon and Egyptian Vultures will be seen at close range and Lammergeiers often pass overhead. The fabulous Wallcreeper is one of Europe's most elusive species but the Hecho valley is one of the best places in Europe to look for them. We'll walk in the meadows at the top of the valley where we'll search for species such as Water Pipit and Citril Finch. The next day will be spent at San Juan de la Pena, the site of a monastery perched on a dramatic pinnacle. This is a great place for getting superb views of soaring vultures and eagles. There's a chance of seeing Lammergeier here too and, if one does show, the views should be amazing. This is also a great spot for woodland birds such as Black Woodpecker, Crested Tit, Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper and Western Bonelli's Warbler and we have a second chance here of finding Citril Finch. Our third day will be a drive to a high mountain pass where we'll see both Red-billed and Alpine Chough and we'll look for birds such as Snowfinch and Alpine Accentor. Other birds we'll be looking for in the Pyrenees include Rock Sparrow, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Thrush, Subalpine and Dartford Warblers, Crag Martin, Rock, Cirl and Ortolan Buntings andAlpine Swift.
Evening meal and overnights in Hecho.Short-toed Lark

Day 5
Today we'll drive back to the plains of Zaragoza for a complete change of scenery. During the day we'll visit a reservoir to view a range of migrant terns, waders and ducks with a chance too of birds such as Penduline Tit, Hobby and Golden Oriole. We'll also visit areas of plains where we'll be looking for birds such as Lesser Short-toed, Calandra and Thekla Larks, Spectacled Warbler, Stone Curlew and both species of sandgrouse. We'll make sure we spend the evening at a site for Dupont's Lark where we'll at least hope to hear their remarkable song. This will help us to pinpoint where to look the next day. Evening meal and overnight at a grim-looking service station near Zaragoza. Sorry, but it's the only accommodation within driving distance of a Dupont's Lark site (and it's actually not as bad as it looks).

Day 6
Audouin's GullDupont's Lark is a phenomenally difficult bird to see, but the best chance is to locate them by their song in the evening then look for them at dawn the following morning. They often stop singing once the sun has risen but, if we're lucky, one or more birds may continue to perform in daylight. From here, we'll drive on to our base on the Ebro delta, in time for some birding on the delta itself. Evening meal and overnight in Sant Carles de la Rapita where your hotel rooms look out onto a bay where Audouin's Gulls are regularly seen!

Day 7
It has been suggested that the Ebro delta is the best wetland birding site in Spain, better even than the Coto Donana. It is certainly a fantastic place for getting close-up views of exciting birds such as Audouin's and Slender-billed Gulls, Whiskered and Gull-billed Terns, Savi's, Fan-tailed and Great Reed Warblers, Red-crested Pochard and lots of herons including Purple Heron, Night Heron and Little Bittern. We'll devote some time to trying to locate really difficult species such as Moustached Warbler and Little Crake and check out a couple of sites where Collard Pratincoles sometimes give amazSlender-billed Gulling views. We'll have the excitement of checking through loads of migrant waders, terns and wildfowl and we'll compare the different songs of Short-toed and Lesser Short-toed larks. Evening meal and overnight in Sant Carles de la Rapita.

Day 8
We'll have most of the day on the delta, catching up on anything we may have missed, before setting off back for our flight from Zaragoza.

 

Summary

Cost: £1500

£100 deposit required at time of booking.

Duration: 8 days

Group Size: Min: 4 Max: 8

No. of Prev. Tours Here: 0 (recce's in 2013)

Average Trip List: N/A

Included/ Not Included: Included- All ground transport, accommodation, meals, guiding, entrance fees & tips. Not Included- Insurance, transport to departure airport, drinks of a personal nature, laundry.

Depart From: a London Airport (prob. Gatwick or Stanstead).

Accommodation: In a variety of well appointed and varied local hotels. Single travelers can share a twin or single room supplement at £200.

Ground Transport: Modern MPV/ minibus with air conditioning with lots of room for birders & kit.

Leader: Andy Hirst

Target: An array of habitats from very high mountain passes & gorges in Pyrenees, to the plains of Zaragoza, and of course the Ebro Delta.

Useful Details for Pyrenees & Ebro Delta Tour Useful Details for Pyrenees & Ebro Delta Tour

What's Covered and What's Not What's Covered & What's Not

Terms & Conditions Terms & Conditions

Special Notice: Can get hot on the plains, so sunscreen required. Biting insects shouldn't be a problem. The Pyrenees can be cold (lying snow!), even in June, so warm waterproof clothing should be taken.