Southern Spain is a great place to visit during April because the climate is so mild and very similar to the pleasant English spring days of late May. You can leave the drab, dark days of the English winter behind you and enjoy clear blue skies and fabulous clear light.
Bird watching at this time is very interesting because you get to find out where some of the northern European species spend their winter and you can catch up with quite a few scarce European breeding species. But by far the main attraction is the migrating raptors down at the coast, if you catch it just right and the winds are perfect you see a spectacle of epic proportions. The sky just fills will Eagles, Vultures, Buzzards, Kites, Harriers, Storks and Falcons, it can be amazing.
Reed-fringed coastal lagoons and estuarine salt marshes support a great number of wintering birds with some surprises in store. The Bluethroat, though very elusive, may be encountered along the scrub line and Penduline Tits may be found feeding in nearby reed-beds. The larger lagoons host Shoveler, Teal, Pintail and Greylag Geese. Along the salt marshes and river banks we may find a whole host of waders such as, Golden and Black-bellied Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Northern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Little Stint, Common & Little-ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Common and Green Sandpiper. Gulls and Terns may also be present with Audouin's and Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern a good possibility. Smaller passerines may include, White Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola, Serin, Black Redstart, Common Chiffchaff, Bramblings, Siskin and Blackcaps. The lagoons and marshes are patrolled by Peregrine Falcons, Merlin, Marsh and Hen Harriers, Osprey and Common Kestrels.
Larger inland lagunas hold Greater Flamingo, Purple Swamphen, Red-knobbed Coot, White-headed Duck and occasionally Marbled Duck. Common Crane, Glossy Ibis, Great Egret and large flocks of Calandra Lark. Little Bustard and White Stork may be found in other areas not too far away from our base.
A day in the mountainous region near Ronda should add the likes of Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Cirl Bunting, Red-billed Chough, Griffon Vulture, Bonelli's and possibly Golden Eagle. The Hoopoe sometimes over-winters along with small numbers of Barn Swallow, House Martin, and Water Pipit.
On an early spring bird-watching break such as this you may see up to 150 different birds including some prized species.
These spring 7 day tours are based in Gaucin, Andalucia and include:- airport transfers, seven nights accommodation plus breakfast, packed lunch and delicious home-cooked evening meals with wine. Accommodation is in our comfortable apartments found at the rear of our house in Gaucin or just a few meters away at another lovely apartment. Your birding time will include six full days guided birding and two short outings on arrival and departure day - subject to flight times. These tours are competitively priced at only £850 per person based on a minimum of two people sharing a twin room, single supplement £150.
The tours are flexible, 7-day holidays, we go where the birds are to be found. Weather, bird movements and the discretion of the guide will dictate each day's outing. We do our utmost to cater for all your needs and if you have a specific 'wanted list' we will incorporae the necessary sites into your holiday.
During March we will concentrate on the winter visitors, early breeding birds and those migrants that make the trip back across from Africa at this time. Great-spotted Cuckoo is a good example of an early arrival, but we may see anything as we explore the coastal area near Tarifa, Barbate and Sanlucar.
During the April Tours, peak migration time for many species, we will spend a little more time in the area of Tarifa and Gibraltar so that we can look at the Raptor Migration which at least is fantastic and at best spectacular.
What is not included?