Got a mission in mind? Make it possible with our day tours and bespoke individual and group adventures.
Straits Day Tours – The Epicentre of Migration and More!
Avian migration across The Straits of Gibraltar barely stops! Spring migration begins in February with the return of the Black Kites and continues right the way through to European Honey Buzzard season in May. There´s barely time to catch your breath and enjoy our resident specialities during June, before the White Storks start leaving in July and autumn migration has begun!
This continues with the enormity of the Black Kite migration in August, Honey Buzzard and Eagle season in September, right through to early November with the spectacular gathering of the Griffon Vultures. During winter, the influx of thousands of Common Cranes keeps us busy till the White Storks and Black Kites return again in February!
Across two Natural parks, encompassing the sea, the mountains, the sky and everything in between, our home is a paradise for wildlife and wildlife-lovers!
With its ever-changing seasons and winds, and fascinating birds cropping up in all sorts of unexpected places outside of any formal nature reserve network, The Straits of Gibraltar can be a tricky place for independent birders. We spend our lives exploring the area, so why not let us show you our wondrous home, over one or more guided days?
Depending on the season and your wishlist, highlights can include:
Local experience of interpreting wind and weather conditions is essential to catch the most breath-taking moments of the area´s famous soaring bird migration. Our extensive local knowledge means we can get you to the perfect one of the area´s 20+ migration watchpoints at the right time, to have ringside seats at the area´s epic migration spectacle, one of the best in the world!
Wetlands and pastures of La Janda
Whether it´s for huge numbers of Common Cranes in the winter, vast flocks of migrating White Storks and European Bee-eaters, the brilliant array of wetland birds including Western Swamphen, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Reed Warbler, Montagu´s and Marsh Harrier, or for the chance to see over fourteen species of raptor over the grassy highlands (including Spanish Imperial Eagle), a visit to La Janda never disappoints. Let us show you the best bits!
The disused saltpans near the town of Barbate are now a thriving nature reserve, and a visit here promised a lovely selection of waders, gulls and terns whatever the season. Depending on the time of year you can expect Collared Pratincoles, Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plover, Eurasian Stone-curlews, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint, Audouin´s and Slender-billed Gulls, Caspian, Sandwich and Little Terns – not to mention an array of lankier birds such as Greater Flamingoes and Eurasian Spoonbills! From here, for those in the know, its also just a short trip to visit flocks of Northern Bald Ibis – one of the world´s rarest birds, now doing well in this area thanks to a successful reintroduction programme.
Doñana National Park – east of the Guadalquivir
Explore the salt pans and lagoons of the eastern side of Doñana during a day trip from the Tarifa area. This area offers stunning birding, and a chance to pick up many of the area´s sought-after species such as Little Swift, White-headed Duck, Marbled Duck and Red-knobbed Coot, with amazing close-up views on private lagoons. The salt pans of Bonanza are alive with huge flocks of migrating and resident waders, gulls and terns, which depending on the time of year include Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Audouin´s and Slender-billed Gulls – and of course large flocks of gorgeous Greater Flamingoes!
Join us at a protected Vulture colony in the shadow of the crags of Sierra de la Plata, where over a hundred of our resident Griffon Vultures gather on the sheer cliff faces to roost and breed. One of our favourite places to hang out, this site offers spectacular close-up views as these prehistoric-sounding creatures call to each other and swoop low overhead. Depending on the time of year they may be joined be breeding Egyptian Vultures and Bonelli´s Eagles or even vagrant Rüppell´s Vutures, and we´ll look out for other mountain specialities like Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting and Black-eared Wheatear.
This permit-only watchpoint is situated at the southernmost point of mainland Spain. We are one of only a small handful of ornithologists that have permission to access this magical rocky promontory, which juts out into The Strait and offers the best sea-watching opportunities in the area. From here, depending on the time of year, we can look out for Balearic, Cory´s and Scopoli´s Shearwaters passing through The Straits, Great Skuas, European and Wilson´s Storm Petrels and we may even get views of some of The Straits cetacean species. Raptors and Storks often migrate straight overhead and this is also the point that many millions of finches and House Sparrows make a journey south – perhaps one of the area´s least known migrations! (*NB a minimum of 72 hours´ notice is required).
Humans and their predecessors have lived and thrived in this incredibly special place since the first prehistoric hominids. Early cave-dwellers made use of the freshwater springs and the riches of the land and sea, and our history here spans right through Phoenician, Roman and Moorish empires. Join Eddi, our wild places guru and “culture vulture” to explore a little of Andalucía’s rich hidden history, archaeology and little-visited wild places, hidden amongst the area’s glorious wildlife.
Spend a morning or evening with our Andalucian moth specialist, and add a touch of Mediterranean spice to your moth list! Situated between two continents and two completely contrasting Natural Park habitats, the diversity of moth species here is astounding, and our local expert Dave will be happy to show you a selection of Mediterranean treats such as the stunning small and shaggy Omphalophana serrata in spring or pink-coloured Compsoptera opacaria in autumn.
A mission in mind!
Due to its proximity to Africa and its magnetic pull to migrating birds, The Straits is a great place to catch up with many species that are difficult to see elsewhere in Spain, and indeed Europe! Specialities and frequent visitors of The Straits include Northern Bald Ibis, Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin, Red-knobbed Coot, Rüppell’s Vulture, Little and White-rumped Swifts, Common Bulbul, Eleonora´s Falcon and more. Make the most of our local knowledge and up-to-the-minute gen to get them on your list!
Having a birding adventure with friends is always an unforgettable experience!
If you’re interested in bringing your group – bird club, wildlife appreciation society, WI branch, extended family, university mates, whatever! – to experience the best of #FlywayBirding with us, we’re here to help!
As well as our scheduled tours we specialise in planning bespoke itineraries to help your group fulfil its dream birding holiday!
Contact us and we will be more than happy to chat about your request and find dates and a plan to suit your group’s needs and budget.
Here’s what the lovely folk of the Wensum Valley Bird Club thought of their bespoke trip to Spain & Morocco!