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Spain in spring
Extension - The Pyrenees
PRICE : XXXX $US for 8 people for the main itinerary Spain in spring.
XXXX $US for 8 people for the extension The Pyrenees.
(see the price grid in our Detailed Informations page).
Tour duration : 14 days for the main itinerary Spain in spring.
5 days for the extension The Pyrenees.
Tour date : May 2018.
Group size : 4-12 people with a "Tour Leader".
Tour Leader : Mathieu SIOL.
Arrival : Sevilla.
Departure : Barcelona.
Lodging : Hotels and lodges of "comfort" category. Hot water and electricity are available 24 hours a day.
Pace : Moderate.
Possible extension : Spain - The Pyrenees (TFB_SPAIN_001_SPAIN IN SPRING).
Potential number of species : 200 - 250.
Photography : Good opportunities.
Included : all transportation, lodging in double rooms with private bathroom , all meals except one dinner in Barcelona, multilingual tour leader, drinkable water.
Not included : International flight, travel insurance, visas, airport taxes, entrance fees for some sites, alcoholic beverages, tips, dinner in Barcelona, "single" occupation (for the price, please refer to the Detailed Informations page).
Spain is probably one of the most interesting destination for the european birder. From the heights of the Pyrenées to the blazing plains of Extremadura, from the wet coasts of Galicia to the balnear resorts of the mediterranean coast, crossing the high and cold plateaus of Castilla, with an intricate and extensive network of sierras, Spain displays a bewildering diversity of habitats and ecosystem almost without equivalent elsewhere in the Western Palearctic (with perhaps the notable exception of Turkey). It is therefore not surprisingly one of the most visited country by European birders.
Our itinerary has been designed to make you discover this authentic and wild Spain and its many fauna and flora wonders. Over two weeks, it should allow you to observe almost all the ornithological specialties of the iberian peninsula along with a few iconic mammals.
Main Itinerary - Spain in spring
Days 1-2-3-4. Your trip will begin in Sevilla. Following a short stop at the Bonanza saltpans east of the Rio Guadalquivir, we will start this trip in style, with a visit of the the famous Doñana National Park. We will have time to explore the vast mosaic of wetlands, saltmarshes, brackish waters, coastal dunes, oak and pine open woods of the fabulous delta of the river Guadalquivir. Among thousands of birds, we will look for rarities and special birds such as Marbled Teal, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, White-headed Duck, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Collared Pratincole, Glossy Ibis, Red-knobbed Coot and Azure-winged (sometimes even splitted as Iberian) Magpie.
Days 5-6. We will also make you discover the fabulous Sierra de Andujar, just north-east of Cordoba and look for its most emblematic inhabitant, the critically endangered Iberian Lynx.
Day 7. After this fabulous stage in Andalucia, we will keep our journey to the north to enter the evocative and beautiful province of Extremadura. We will visit the fabulously bird-rich plains and pastures around the towns of Trujillo and Caceres in search of two of our prime targets, the humongous Great Bustard and the delicate Lesser Kestrel.
Days 8-9. We will obviously explore the fantastic Monfragüe National Park, a true heaven for raptors and a number of otherwise localized and difficult species : Eurasian Griffon, Eurasian Black Vulture, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Booted and Bonelli's Eagle and first and foremost the rare and localized endemic Spanish Imperial Eagle. The high cliffs lining the Rio Tajo and Tietar, the vast expanses of « dehesa », these extensive pastures mixed with maquis under the shade of centenarian Cork Oaks make this region one of the natural jewels of Spain.
Days 10-11. Then we will leave the fabulous steppic plains and gently rolling hills of the Extremadura Province driving up to the magnificent and vertiginous Sierra de Gredos north-west of Madrid. We will explore several altitude ecosystems, from the mountain forests and the alpine meadows to the near-summital snowy boulders. Under the incredulous gaze of a herd of Spanish Ibex, we will look for the gorgeous Bluethroat, the smart Ortolan Bunting or the Iberian race (sharpei) of the Green Woodpecker.
Days 12-13-14. For the last part of the trip, we will leave behind us the high altitudes of the fabulous Sierra de Gredos. We will soon be on our way to the arid plains of the Aragon province. In these almost desertic landscapes, ochre-tinged hills, canyons, cuestas with sparse dry vegetation, we will look for the rare and localised Dupont's Lark, the only European population of which is found here in Spain. This apparently barren and desolate plains are teeming with life in spring and we will enjoy the chorus of Alaudidae songs and loose flocks of Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouses coming to drink shortly after sunrise.
At the end of the main itinerary, so as to avoid an unnecessary waiting time for the extension to take place, day 14 of The Spain in spring trip actually corresponds to the day 1 of the extension The Pyrenees.
Extension - The Pyrenees
Days 1-2-3-4-5. For those interested we also offer a week long extension to discover the high mountainous regions in the north of the country. In the Pyrenees and the verdant valley of el Hecho. Our target here will be a proper sight of the « Quebrantahuesos », the bone-breaking Lammergeier. In the deep mountain forests, we will search the large Black Woodpecker, and in the alpine meadows and boulders, the Northern Wheatear and White-winged Snowfinch. Then we will visit the deciduous forest arount Irabia, home of the scarce White-backed Woodpecker.