In this birding tour Pyrenees, we will go in search of one of the rarest and most amazing birds in all Europe, the Lammergeier. Before that, we try to find one of the most elusive birds, the Dupont’s Lark in one of the best preserve steppe habitats of Europe. Other targets are Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel, Citril Finch, Yellow and Red-billed Chough, Dipper, and Water Pipit. In addition, we will keep an eye for Marsh Tit, Black and Iberian Green Woodpecker, Egyptian, and Griffon Vulture. Regarding mammals, it is likely we will spot Chamois and Marmot. We will visit amazing landscapes, deep gorges in search of a great number of birds.
Welcome to Valencia airport before we head to Aragon. An hour later we will stop in el Toro mountain to observe Woodlark, Crossbill, Crested Tit, Rock and Ortolan Bunting, Subalpine, and Orphean Warbler. Then, we will continue through to our accommodation. After check-in, we will spend the evening in search of one of the most elusive species, the Dupont’s Lark. We will also be looking out for Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Stone Curlew, and larks such as Lesser Short-toed, Short-toed, Crested, and Thekla.
An early morning visit to El Planeron will give us another chance of finding the elusive Dupont’s Lark if we have not been successful the evening before. Then, we will make a quick visit to the ruined remnants of the ‘old Belchite’ a legacy of the civil war, with a chance of visiting Lesser Kestrel, Black Wheatear, and Blue Rock Thrush.
Later after lunch, we will head north to Huesca to the pre-Pyrenees, when we should see our first Red and Black Kites. Then, we will stop is the Castillo de Loarre, searching for Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Red Kites, Rock and Cirl Buntings, Garden, Bonelli’s, Subalpine, and Melodious Warblers, and Firecrest. We then drive north to the wonderful Hecho valley and our hotel.
A short walk in the nearby grounds to our hotel to see our first Common Crossbills, Red-backed Shrikes, Griffon Vultures, and perhaps even Lammergeier. After that, we will visit the spectacular ravines of the Hecho Valley, searching for White-throated Dipper, Crag Martin, Wallcreeper, Alpine Swift, Grey Wagtail, and Red-billed Chough. Later, we will visit a meadow surrounded by forested areas looking for Marsh Tit, Citril Finch, and Woodpeckers. To end the day, we will visit the Selva de Oza looking for Lammergeier, Rock Thrush, Wheatear, and Water Pipit. Furthermore, we will look out for mammals such as the Red Squirrel, Marmot, and Chamois.
We will visit the high alpine area near France where we should find Water Pipit, Ring Ouzel, and Rock Thrush. However, we will be particularly seeking out montane birds such as Alpine Accentor and Citril Finch amongst the delightful alpine meadows. We also visit some reserves where might be found one of the rarest birds in the Pyrenees, the White-backed Woodpecker.
After dinner, we will go to a close valley to visit a reliable spot for Eagle Owls. We will have to wait until dusk to see this impressive raptor flying down the valley to hunt during the night.
Our first stop will be in the farmland area near Puente de la Reina where we should find Bee-eater, Hoopoe, and Golden Oriole. Some of the farmland meadows and arid land also have Ortolan Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Tawny Pipit, and Woodchat Shrike. Besides, we will be able to hear the song of Nightingale and Cetti’s Warbler hidden in the bushes.
One hour and a half later, we will stop in Sierra de Guara to have lunch while we enjoy magnificent views from the cliffs. Griffon Vultures sail so closed that we can even hear their wings cutting the air! In addition, Peregrine Falcon, Red-billed Chough, and Rock Bunting are easily seen in the area. Time to drive back to Valencia.
We will spend the time between flights departures birding around the Albufera de Valencia. This is the 3rd largest wetland in Spain and one of the most interesting birding spots in the Mediterranean. Here we will look for Night Heron, Purple Swamp-hen, and Purple Heron. We will have chances of seeing Audouin’s Gulls, Gull-billed, and Whiskered Tern among many other species.
This tour involves walks of medium difficulty, however, it can be modified for all kinds of birders.
Price of the birding tour Pyrenees:
950 €/people (4 people)
1 person/ 2 people, please ask for a budget
Single supplement: 150 €
What is included:
– Travel from Valencia airport in modern, fully seat belted, air-conditioned vehicles
– 4 Nights accommodation in two-three star hotels and country houses
– All meals included, picnic for lunch and traditional Spanish evening meals
– Tour guided by a professional bird guide
– Basic travel insurance
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