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Birding Valencia Alicante: Wetlands, Steppes and Raptors

birding valencia alicante

During the 5-day Birding Valencia Alicante tour we will visit the best birding place of East Spain. Some of our targets, include top raptors such as Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle and Griffon Vulture. We will combine all kind of habitats, visiting marshland to find Red-knobbed Coot, White-headed Duck, Marbled Teal, Purple swamp-hen, Savi’s and Moustached Warbler, forest which hold Crested Tit and Rock Bunting and steppes where Bee-eaters, Stone Curlew and both species of Bustards can be found.

Furthermore, you will be located in Gandia in a nice hotel right in front of the Mediterranean.

Day 1: Valencia airport- Birding Valencia Alicante (Albufera Natural Park)

Welcome to Valencia airport before we head to the Albufera Natural Park. We will stop 25 minutes later in order to see one of the reserves of this significant site designated as a Zone of Special Protection for Birds as well as an important Ramsar wetland.

After we have a picnic in the visitor center, we will go around the 14.000 ha of rice fields where species such as Squacco Heron, Great-white Egret, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Great Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler and Black-winged Stilt can be seen. It is also a great place to see the breeding colonies of  Mediterranean GullElegant Tern (this vagrant has been breeding during more than 10 years and can be seen in May) and Collared Pratincole. We also expect to see a good number of migrant waders (Plovers, Dunlins, Stints, Sandpipers, etc) and raptors such as Booted and Marsh Harriers. In the evening we will check-in our hotel in Gandia. After dinner, we will set off to look for Red-necked Nightjars (optional May-June).

Day 2. Birding Valencia Alicante (El Hondo, Salinas de Santa Pola and hills)

Today we will be birding in the Alicante province. Our first stop, will be in the dry hills where we look out for Black Wheatear, Bee-eater, Blue-Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Bonelli’s Eagle and Alpine Swifts. Later, we will stop in the Salinas de Santa Pola Natural Park where we should see species such as Slender-billed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Avocet, Greater Flamingo and a good variety of waders and terns. After lunch, we will head to the Fondo Natural Park, home of White-headed Ducks, Red-crested Pochard, Marbled Duck and Rollers.

In the afternoon we will drive back to our hotel in Gandia.
 

Day 3. Birding Valencia Alicante (Steppe birds in Albacete)

Today, we will be birding in the Albacete province, but before we reach it, we will stop in a local area where Subalpine Warbler have been breeding during the last years. Once we reach the Albacete province, we will stop in the lagoons scattered among the steppes to see species such as: Black-necked Grebe, Kentish Plover, Whiskered and Black Tern, Marsh Harrier, White-headed Duck, and a good number of migrants. Then, we will drive around the well-preserved farmland areas where we will look for Great Bustards, Stone Curlew, Calandra Lark, Thekla Lark, Short-toed Lark and Corn Bunting. Sadly, Little Bustards are on decline and difficult to find. In this area raptors such as Lesser Kestrel, Booted and Golden Eagles are also seen.

During the afternoon we will set off to our hotel in Gandia.

Day 4. Birding Valencia Alicante (Alicante Mountains)

We will spend most of the day in the Natural Park of Sierra Mariola. One the way, we will visit a gorge where Rock sparrow, Melodious Warbler and Griffon Vultures can be seen. Before lunch we will reach the beautiful mountains of Sierra Mariola and take a stroll around the river to look out for Golden Oriole and Nightingales, among others.

There also will be nice orchids like White Helleborine, Yellow-bee, Lady and Woodcock orchids, and interesting butterflies and damselflies. We will continue the itinerary visiting other areas to find Short-toed Eagle, Red-billed Chough, Bonelli’s Warbler, Crossbills, Firecrest, Iberian Green Woodpecker and Crested Tit. Night in Gandia Beach.

 

Day 5. Birding Valencia Alicante (Coastal marshes) and airport.

Time to pack up our luggage and head back to the Valencia airport. But before reaching the airport, we will make some stops to add more species. We will visit a local wetlands where we can find Moustached Warbler, Little Bittern and Night Heron.

In our next stop we will visit a Pallid Swift colony and some ponds where we will see some waders. Finally,our last stop will be in the airport after this memorable Birding Valencia Alicante tour through the rich wildlife in the Mediterranean wetlands, steppes and forest.

 
The itinerary might vary depending on the airport you arrive. Many of the species mentioned are seeing during  spring but the area offers a rich birdlife all year around. For more information about the targets in other time of the year, please contact us.
 
Price of the Birding Valencia Alicante tour:

850 €/people (4-6 people)

1 person- 3 people, please contact us.

Single supplement: 120 €

What is included:
– Travel from Valencia or Alicante airport in modern, fully seat belted, air conditioned vehicles
– 4 Nights accommodation in a 3 stars hotel
– All meals included breakfast, picnic, traditional Spanish dinners.
– Tour guided by a professional bird guide
– Basic travel insurance
– Fuel 

What is not included:

– Air fare (Low cost companies operate daily flights to Valencia from several European airports)
– Drinks and other items of a personal nature

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