Spanish Pyrenees in Winter – Wallcreepers, Bearded Vultures & Larks

Thursday 7th – Monday 11th November 2024

A visit to the beautiful Spanish Pyrenees for some winter sun and great birding with species such as Wallcreeper, Great and Little Bustard, Alpine Accentor and Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Black Wheatear, Dupont’s Lark and many more. One of the highlights is a visit to a photographic hide where we hope to get amazing views of Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle and Griffon Vultures. Our accommodation in the Pyrenean foothills is renowned for its local food and is in a fabulous position for all of the birding sites.

Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 7

Day 1
Fly from London Gatwick to Barcelona and head to Los Monegros, an area of semi-desert and plains to the east of Zaragoza. During late autumn/winter birds flock together in stony fields and Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse can be seen in large flocks. Iberian Grey Shrikes hunt from bushes and Griffon Vultures and Golden Eagles glide overhead in search of food. A small population of Great Bustard occur here and become easier to see during November and we should come across flocks of Little Bustard and Calandra and Lesser Short-toed Larks plus a chance of the elusive Dupont’s Lark.

We will round off the day at a lagoon where Red-crested Pochard, Black-necked Grebe and other wildfowl winter, whilst the sight of up to 100 Western Marsh Harriers hunting over the reedbed is one not to be missed.
Overnight: Berdun

Day 2
After a good breakfast we drive the short distance to Los Mallos de Riglos, where towering walls of conglomerate rock dwarf the houses and church in the village.

This area is home to wintering Wallcreeper, as small numbers of these amazing birds spend the winter looking in the cracks and crevices for insects. Alpine Accentor and Black Wheatear can be seen in the village giving good views.

Other species occurring in the area include Cirl Bunting, Sardinian Warbler, Red-billed Chough and we may see our first Bearded Vulture soaring over the cliffs which would be a great start to the tour.
Overnight: Berdun

Day 3
In the early morning we will search for Bearded Vulture, a species that begins displaying in November and descends to lower levels looking for food. A visit to a photographic hide is planned, where we can expect excellent views of both Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vultures and Northern Raven on the ground.

The nearby villages have large numbers of wintering passerines, including Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting and European Serin plus many more. Red-billed Chough can be found on fields nearby and easily reach in excess of 300 birds in one flock!
Overnight: Berdun

Day 4
Weather depending, we will spend the morning exploring the ski resorts of Astun and Candanchu where hopefully, early snow will have brought down Yellow-billed Chough, Alpine Accentor and White-winged Snowfinch from higher elevations. To see these iconic mountain species at close range is amazing and if we get chilly, there are plenty of cafes for a hot drink and snack.

During the afternoon, we descend to lower and warmer elevations to look for Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, European Serin and Golden Eagle at a castle ruin close to the city of Huesca.
Overnight: Berdun

Day 5
Depending on the time of flights, we will drive eastwards towards Barcelona and the Llobregat Delta where the wetland and reedbed habitats are home to Moustached Warbler, White-spotted Bluethroat, Great Bitterns, Penduline Tit and Western Swamphen amongst others. This will round off a fantastic winter trip to Spain before our flight home to the UK.

Tour includes
Full board accommodation for 4 nights
Ground transport in Spain
Full guiding throughout

Not included
Travel Insurance
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1

Relaxed, one to two miles walking per day

Expect between 120 and 140 species

Tour Cost: £1200 (excluding flights)

* Estimated Flight Cost: £200

Single Supplement: £120

Deposit: £250

*Please see our flights page for more details


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