Join us on this short break for exciting birding at the best time for autumn migration. We are based in a comfortable hotel approx two hours south of Barcelona, and our birding will be varied, with a wide range of water birds in the delta area itself, a good selection of higher altitude species in the nearby mountainous Els Port area, and the excitement of autumn migration through this key region. We will enjoy two full days birding the delta area, with additional birding opportunities on arrival and depature days, plus a marked contrast spending a day birding the nearby Els Port mountains, including a visit to a spectacular vulture feeding station.
On the final morning we return to Barcelona Airport for our flight home, though a city break extension to Barcelona is available for those who want to explore one of Europe's premier cities.
Don't forget that this holiday includes your pre-flight hotel at Gatwick, on Fri 1 September.
Day 1: Sat 2 Sept Arrival and transfer
Relax in our VIP Lounge before your flight, included in your holiday price. On arrival at Barcelona airport, we collect our minibuses and transfer to our comfortable hotel in the Ebro Delta. We begin with local birding around the hotel area, and settle into our traditional-style rooms before a delicious three course dinner with wine.
Day 2: Sun 3 Sept Ebro Delta (north)
We enjoy local birding in several hotspots of the northern part of the Ebro Delta. Many migratory breeding birds are en-route to Africa now, so we watch out for possible surprises such as Dotterel and Bluethroat, as well as migrating warblers. Regulars include Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed Tern, Short-toed Lark and Great Reed Warbler. We can also anticipate seeing Greater Flamingo, Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Kingfisher, Glossy Ibis, Red-crested Pochard, waders including Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint and Whimbrel and perhaps Moustached Warbler. We will have a picnic lunch in one of the birding hides or by the beach to make the most of our day in the field.
Day 3: Mon 4 Sept Raptor watching and mountain birding
Early breakfast before heading for a vulture feeding station, where we expect to see hundreds of Griffon Vultures at close quarters. Other raptors are possible, including Black Vulture and Egyptian Vulture (unlikely here but possible as single migrating birds), and both Red Kite and Black Kite, though Griffons at very close quarters are the main attraction here. This unique opportunity should give excellent chances for photography. We will have a picnic lunch whilst birdwatching in the mountains of Els Ports, where we hope to see a variety of other raptors such as Booted, Short-toed, Golden and Bonelli’s Eagle, Griffon Vulture and Peregrine Falcon.
Other birds that can be seen include Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper and Serin, plus Red-billed Chough, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow and Crag Martin. We also hope to see the rare and beautiful Spanish Ibex. Late in the afternoon we return to the Ebro Delta, where we again have dinner in our hotel.
Day 4: Tues 5 Sept Ebro Delta (south)
Today we concentrate on the southern part of the delta, where we expect to see Avocet, Audouin's Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Little Tern, Caspian Tern, Whiskered Tern, Purple Swamphen, Night Heron, Lesser Short-toed Lark and Reed Bunting (of the rare witherbyii subspecies). The southern hemidelta holds great places for seeing Little Bittern and Squacco Heron and we will also have a chance of encountering both Scops Owl and Penduline Tit.
Day 5: Wed 6 Sept
After breakfast we transfer to Barcelona Airport for our return home, with some birding at nearby wetlands to boost our lists and complete a memorable few days.
Days 6 - 8: Thur 7 Sept - Sat 9 Sept BARCELONA - optional extension
Should you wish to extend your stay with a city break in nearby Barcelona, we will be happy to organise this for you. You are free to enjoy the city, where you can wander down the bustling thoroughfare of Las Ramblas, eat tapas, and enjoy the nearby museums. A tourbus pass allows you to enjoy the city at leisure, and special 'Gaudi' tours enable you to visit La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and the wonderful 'melting houses'. Heatherlea are pleased to organise hotel, transfers (or car hire) and anything else you may require for your personalised city break in Barcelona.
Your Leader: Bernie Forbes is a very experienced and popular leader, who we are delighted to welcome back to Heatherlea for this holiday in Spain. Bernie will be joined by another from our team with more than seven clients.
More Holiday Information:
Accommodation is in a comfortable rural, family run hotel with all rooms en suite.
Food Breakfast is typical of Spain, consisting of a roll with jam and cheese. Fruit juice and tea or coffee is also available. Picnic lunches will be purchased by your guide, and will include a variety of local produce plus soft drinks. Evening meals are generally local dishes, which are very good but sometimes simple. Food is usually plentiful. Vegetarian and other diets are welcome.
Walking is generally easy, on paths and tracks. We will usually drive to key birdwatching spots. Most birding is done close to our vehicle.
Weather Direct sunlight can send the temperature soaring above 30c, though mid 20’s c is more usual. Minimum temperatures will be about 15c (although it can sometimes drop lower), and the winds can be cool.
Insects There may be biting insects, though not usually as a major problem. Bring a repellent just in case.
Group size is restricted to 12 clients maximum.
Flights are by scheduled airline, from London Gatwick - Barcelona. We may be able to offer flight arrangements from another airport and/or or quote without flights so you can make your own arrangements. If you wish to add an extension either before or after your holiday, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange this for you.
What's included in your holiday price:
* scheduled return flights between London Gatwick and Barcelona, airport taxes,
* ground transportation as outlined including all transportation in Spain in a modern and spacious air-conditioned vehicle,
* accommodation and all meals, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.
* the services of your leaders.
* The Heatherlea Pre-Flight Service offers everything you need at the airport, including hotels, car parking, airport lounges, regional flights, and upgrades. Let Heatherlea take the strain! Pre-flight airport hotel and lounge included free of charge subject to terms and conditions. Read more....
What's not included in your holiday price:
* personal insurance, drinks and other personal expenses, and any other costs not specified as 'included'.
WHY CHOOSE HEATHERLEA?
Our overseas holidays are planned with care to offer great birding and wildlife, led by capable Leaders who really look after you. Every holiday is run the 'Heatherlea Way', and we hope our Overseas Adventures remind you of the quality and care so many of you enjoy in Scotland. That means rewarding and exciting days in the field, and good quality accommodation and meals, with a real flavour of the country we are visiting. Heatherlea always seek to include the personal touches that make all the difference.
Heatherlea holidays are not ‘dawn to dusk’ expeditions. Our less-intensive approach is ideal for those who want to relax whilst experiencing the best wildlife watching, and wherever possible we organise early or late activity on an optional basis. We also take sensible breaks when in very hot places and regular comfort breaks on every holiday whenever possible. All itineraries are planned carefully around the best wildlife opportunities, and you won’t miss out on memorable wildlife, whilst enjoying relaxed, informal days that are great fun.
The really important part of any wildlife holiday is the experience for you, our valued customer. Heatherlea invest in many things to offer you the best possible service;
* We have been organising birding and wildlife holidays for 27 seasons, and have a highly experienced and capable office team. We also offer a telephone and email service outside normal office hours.
* Heatherlea overseas holidays have a maximum of 12 clients per trip, putting the emphasis on personal service, and helping you get the best possible experience.
* Our holidays often include things which others might invite you to pay yourself, for instance Departure Taxes and tips to hotels.
* All elements of our holidays are sold under our own licence, ATOL 6113. Under ‘Flight-Plus’ legislation it is a legal requirement of any tour operator to hold an ATOL licence for the supply of any overseas holiday where a flight is involved, if that holiday includes either overseas accommodation and/or car hire. It can be a criminal offence for an operator to book flights as part of a package without an ATOL licence. Heatherlea also hold full Tour Operator Insurance for your added protection.
* Heatherlea is your complete wildlife holiday provider. Our ‘Back Office’ team can organise all your pre-flight and other travel needs. Our specialists will help you book the right services, at the best price. Book holiday extensions through us, and your ATOL protection is extended further. We don’t charge extra for this service.
* Heatherlea is a limited company, registered in Scotland, and registered to pay VAT (applies to all holidays within the European Union).