Portugal – Iberian Specialities & Spring Migration

Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th May 2023

Southern Portugal has a huge selection of breeding and migratory species, some of which have a restricted distribution in Europe. With habitats such as coastal lagoons and wetlands, open steppe grassland, forests, rocky sierras and scrub plus warm weather and spectacular scenery thrown in, this is sure to be a great trip!

Our two base tour will take in the best of the wildlife, from Great Bustard to Eurasian Golden Oriole, White-rumped Swift, Iberian Magpie, Lesser Kestrel, European Roller and coastal species that may include Collared Pratincole, Audouin’s Gull, Western Swamphen and Red-necked Nightjar.

Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 7

Day 1
We take an early morning flight from London down to the coastal city of Faro and head north to our base for the next three nights on the edge of the Parque Natural do Vale do Guadiana.

The River Guadiana winds its way through sharp ravines covered in Mediterranean flora which in spring creates a pretty impressive sight. It is home to exciting species such as Bonelli’s Eagle and Black Stork which will be searched for whilst taking in the magnificent scenery. Other species we can hope to see include Iberian Magpie, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Rock Bunting, Eurasian Golden Oriole and Griffon Vultures. In 1995 the first breeding record of White-rumped Swift occurred locally and with luck we may see these feeding over the wooded ridges.

We arrive at our hotel looking forward to a home-cooked meal after a long day.
Overnight: Near Mertola

Days 2 – 3
During the next few days we will explore the open steppe grassland of the Alentejo in search of two iconic species, Great and Little Bustards. These magnificent species can be found in good numbers and we can expect good views.

The area is a magnet for scarce breeding species that include Montagu’s Harrier, Black-bellied & Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Thekla’s and Calandra Larks, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black-winged Kite, Tawny Pipit, European Roller. We also hope to see Short-toed Snake Eagle, European Bee-eater, Western Black-eared Wheatear, White Stork plus regional specialities such as Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, Iberian Grey Shrike and Iberian Green Woodpecker.

May is a great season to witness the fabulous wildflower displays which create an amazing splash of colour to the landscape!
Overnight: Near Mertola

Day 4
We say goodbye to the National Park and spend the following days exploring the coastal wetlands of the Southern Algarve which are rich in wildlife. The famous Parque Natural de Rio Formosa has been designated an important bird area (IBA) and is part of the Natura 2000 Network.

It is home to species that include Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Western Swamphen, Little Bittern, Slender-billed Gull, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Penduline Tit and Woodchat Shrike. Also Audouin’s Gull, Caspian Tern and the introduced Common Waxbill plus Black-headed Weaver that can be found in many reed-bed habitats.
Overnight: Near Tavira

Day 5
We leave our accommodation and spend a few hours enjoying the wildlife delights of the Southern Algarve before returning to Faro early evening for our flight back to the UK.

Tour includes
Full board accommodation for 4 nights
Ground transport in Portugal
Full guiding services

Not included
Travel Insurance

Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day one

Relaxed, one to two miles walking per day

Expect between 120 and 140 species

Tour Cost (excluding flights): £1100

* Estimated Flight Cost: £250

Single Supplement: £120

Deposit: £300

*Please see our flights page for more details


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