SPAIN - Tarifa & Andalusia
A visit to Southern Spain in autumn provides the opportunity to witness many birds moving south to their wintering grounds in Africa.
We have put together a two-centre tour, where we should see some great visible migration at Tarifa, and then on to the surrounds of Fuente de Piedra, an interesting area with much added interest in terms of birds, including White-headed Duck, Redcrested Pochard, Greater Flamingo, Azure-winged Magpie and Black Wheatear, plus Spanish Ibex and striking scenery.
Geographically, Tarifa lies at the southern-most tip of Europe, with the African coast visible just over 10 miles away. This small town with Moorish architecture has been a strategic military viewpoint for hundreds of years.
Nowadays, in the autumn, this area becomes the focus of attention for literally tens of thousands of storks, herons, bee-eaters and birds of prey making their way from their northern breeding areas to their winter quarters in Africa. This tip of the Iberian Peninsula gives them the shortest over-sea crossing to Morocco and, given the right wind and climatic conditions, the visible migration on the hillsides above Tarifa can be awesome.
It is estimated that perhaps 700,000 large soaring birds (raptors and storks) use this crossing point each autumn.
For the second part of the holiday we drive to the northeast of the province of Malaga for a new twist to this tour. The area around the town of Fuente de Piedra is bird-rich and scenically varied and well warrants our attention. The lagoon of the same name, six kilometres long and three kilometres wide, is the largest natural lagoon in Spain and home to a large breeding population of Greater Flamingo. On smaller, less saline lakes nearby there are usually good numbers of Redcrested Pochard and the rare White-headed Duck. We'll also seek out interesting birds such as the Azure-winged Magpie along river gorges and the surrounding countryside, and search spectacular karst formations for the likes of Black Wheatear, Rock Bunting and the Spanish Ibex.
Throughout the holiday you will have the expertise of Steve West who has been studying the bird life in Spain since he took up residence there, more than 20 years ago and has led many Ornitholidays' tours over the last few years.
TARIFA & ANDALUSIA
12 September to 19 September 2018 (land)
Leader: Steve West
2018 Cost 1.970 euro - single room suppl. €120
(GBP around £1.760)
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