Birding Day Tours
Nestling within the interior of Andalusia, but within easy reach from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, is the Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema. The central town here is the historically famous Ronda and makes for the perfect base for exploring the wonderful mountain areas that surround the town. Typical birds of the area are the rare Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Wheatear and one of the largest resident populations of Griffon Vulture in Europe, a spectacular bird with a wingspan of 9ft. During late spring and summer many of the regions breeding birds and wildflowers (over 2000 species) attract a large number of enthusiasts and with such colourful birds as Bee Eater, Hoopoe and Golden Oriole then this is hardly surprising. The number of warbler species taking up summer residency is very impressive and together with the high number of raptors species breeding in this area, then it can be a favourite time for many to visit. Some of those hard to find warblers include Iberian Chiffchaff, Western Olivaceous and Western Orphean Warbler, Sub Alpine and Spectacled Warblers. The old town also has so much of historical and cultural interest including Spain’s first ‘round’ bullring, like both Hemingway and Orson Welles, you will love the Serranía de Ronda!
Not only do we provide day tours to the mountains of the high sierras, we also arrange day tours to other outlying areas including wetland and steppe habitats. Our steppe tour includes possibilities to see such species as Great and Little Bustard, Black-winged Kite, Eurasian Roller, Collared Pratincole, Short-toed and Calandra Lark, whilst the day tour for wetlands gives opportunities to see White-headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Whiskered and Gull-billed Tern with the spectacle of literally thousands of Greater Flamingo. Both of these tours will also give opportunities to see Montagu’s Harrier and Lesser Kestrel during the breeding season.
The Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema is unique and an important area for European birds. Not only is the area rich in breeding species, but also because of its’ close proximity to the Straits of Gibraltar (only 12 kilometres from North Africa). It is an extremely important feeding area for migrant birds of western and northern Europe. Recent research has shown the importance of the area to several breeding species under threat. Such birds as Golden Eagle A. chrysaetos, Bonelli’s Eagle H. fasciatus, Egyptian Vulture N. percnopterus, Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus, Black Wheatear O. leucura, Rock Thrush M. saxatilis, Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis and Chough P. pyrrhocorax, are all classified by the World Conservation Union (UICN) as being under varying danger levels of extinction.
The advantage of our day tours to the visitor can be extremely beneficial. Local knowledge ensures finding remote and otherwise ‘elusive’ areas, plus the guide will know where and when flowers, wildlife and birds are present. Whatever your level of experience, from a beginner to expert, your local guide will be able to discuss all aspects of the birdlife here and assist with identification.
Why choose a day trip with Worldwide Birding Tours
- A highly personalised guided birding tour with a birding guide who enjoys the subject as much as you.
- Through experienced guide, go straight to where the birds are, no wasted time!
- Limited numbers of clients each day gives you the attention of the birding guide.
- Expert or beginners welcomed.
- Stopovers in any of the villages by majority consent!
- Extra time added where requested by the majority of those on tour.
Plus… we treat you as friends sharing a common interest.
For Bookings you can contact us or by telephone: +34 616 891 359 – Peter Jones
Our tours within the boundaries of the Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema, both UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, provide something for everyone. If you want target birds such as Bonelli’s Eagle and other raptors or just to relax and absorb the incredibly beautiful scenery, then this tour is definitely for you. It is primarily a day to enjoy, even if birds are not a shared interest for couples on holiday here. The day is always tailored to suit those touring with us and can include interpretation of the stunning scenery, local culture and flora, of course for those seeking specialist birds of this wonderful area, then your guide will know where and when these birds are present. For those with a botanical interest, we provide a specialist day where our local guide can take you to areas for specific plants (see below)
There can few better places than the Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema for wild flowers, over 2000 species and subspecies have been listed! The carpet of colour in the sierras can be a reason to visit this area on its own; it is a breathtaking scene from poppy reds to the deep blue of the low growing Broad-leafed Iris. Many familiar plants that grow in the gardens of northern Europe can be viewed here in the wild and among them are many species of perennial geranium, including the endemic Ronda Cranesbill. In fact, the area has in excess of 50 endemics and also has a great number of orchid species to entice the enthusiast. Accompanied by your local guide you can choose the plant species most appealing to you and be shown the areas where they can be found, something most visitors certainly find time saving and worthwhile.
Venturing through the mountains of the high sierras, we slowly descend towards the lowlands that surround the lagunas and wetland areas. On our way we will allow time to view raptors on the edge of the sierras, before stopping at various lagoons to seek such species as Black-necked Grebe, White-headed Duck and look overhead for our first views of Gull-billed and Whiskered Tern. The landscape is largely open and flat allowing wide-ranging views and here we hope to see Calandra Lark, Montagu’s Harrier and Stone Curlew, Lesser Kestrel often hawk insects over open fields and are joined by Bee eaters as they enjoy the harvest of flying insects during warmer months. Here, at the largest lagoon, Greater Flamingo gather in their thousands to breed, normally over 30,000 adults can turn the area pink as they congregate at the main breeding colony.
Our tour of the steppe country is in sharp contrast to the high sierras and offers several mouth watering bird species such as Great Bustard, Roller, Short-toed Lark, Collared Pratincole and a host of other target birds. Here, in the spring and summer months we can find very large colonies of the beautiful Lesser Kestrel and several good sites for the colourful Roller. If the winter months have provided plentiful rainfall, we can also see many wader and duck species on various lagoons. These lagoons can hold good populations of Whiskered Tern, an opportunist that takes advantage of these occasional lagoons. The area is vast and open, where we will have an opportunity to seek the much sought after Great Bustard as well as Black-winged Kite. Calandra Lark is common and with luck we may see Lesser Short-toed Lark and Little Bustard.
Birding Day Tour Info
- Tour dates
Every day, 7 days a week, all year round
- Tour times
From 10.00 am to 16.00 pm. Longer hours by arrangement.
Standard Day Tour: € 185 minimum charge for up to 3 persons. € 40 per each extra person (maximum 4 persons)
Exclusive private tours by arrangement, minimum price up to 3 persons of € 195 per day
Free collection from your accommodation in the Ronda area (15km radius), transport, use of telescope
Costs for lunch and drinks. Meal time stop over at a “local” Restaurant.
- Tour party
From one person to a maximum 4 fellow travellers. Larger groups by prior arrangement
Travel together as Friends