Spain – Raptor Migration tour description

Day 1
Airport collection and transfer to hotel (based on your arrival at Málaga Airport). If all participants are able to arrange for morning arrivals, we can then take a lunch locally and bird our way to the hotel, always ensuring the pace of our journey is relaxed. In the evening your local guide will brief you on the tour’s itinerary and recent bird news from the area. We supply a local checklist which we complete together at the end of each day.

Day 2 – 6
It is important to emphasise certain aspects of our tour. Firstly, migration in the area is influenced greatly by the strength and direction of the wind. A strong westerly (Atlantic Poniente) favours many species for the brief crossing to Morocco rather than strong easterly winds (Levante), though light easterlies do assist birds following the Mediterranean coastline and do not inhibit those taking the Atlantic shoreline route to reach the Strait. In all cases, your local guide will know the best viewpoint and area whatever the wind conditions, an all important factor to maximise your birding opportunities. Our choice of hotel is made on the best available locally and for the strategic position of being able to easily access favourable birding areas. Of course staying in a single hotel also has the advantage of being able to make yourself at home for the duration of the tour!Our daily excursions over the next 6 days will take us to several observation points and will also involve exploring the rich diversity of habitats in the area. Each day is planned to take account of the prevailing weather conditions and the all important wind direction. We will visit mixed woodlands, mostly oak forests, but also conifer woodlands, scrubland and wetlands. The salt pans and tidal estuaries will also give-up many different species of wading birds and the area known as La Janda will provide opportunities for some notable species including Black-winged Kite, Eurasian Spoonbill, Collared Pratincole, Montagu’s Harrier and of course many more mouth watering species. Of course we will see many raptors gathering for migration and these will include Short-toed and Booted Eagle, with also chances for the more elusive Spanish Imperial and Bonelli’s Eagle.Visiting species from Africa are becoming almost a normal occurrence during the dates of the tour and these can include Rüppell’s Vulture, Lanner Falcon and Long-legged Buzzard, so with the many eyes on our tour, we hope to find one of these elusive birds. Other possibilities, depending on water levels, are to visit local lagoons for such birds as Marbled and White-headed Duck, plus Purple Heron and Black-necked Grebe. In summary our tour offers some fantastic birding and it is certain our species list will be considerable. Certainly we are confident you will find migration a breathtaking experience and hopefully the pace of the tour relaxing.

Day 7
Airport transfer based on Málaga Airport. Provided all participants arrange for an afternoon departure, we will arrange for birding en route and a lunch near to the airport. Depending on the check-in times for those on tour, we may be able to explore a local nature reserve only 10 minutes away from the airport and we could do this after our lunch! 

Tour Facts.

  • There will be no long walks and any walks will mostly involve level ground, so the pace will be very easy.
  • Transport will be by mini-bus.
  • Facilities at our hotel will include a swimming pool, so a costume is recommended.
  • Your guide will be available in the evenings to assist in anyway possible and to go through the bird checklist each day.
  • Weather is expected to be warm and sunny, but evenings can sometimes be cool. Items we would recommend are a light fleece and or sweater, light casual footwear, sunglasses and the all important hat!
  • Lunches will be either a packed lunch or a stop at a local Venta (restaurant).
  • All persons considering this tour should attempt arrival at Málaga Airport in the morning of the 1st day and departure in the late afternoon of the final day.

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