Tarifa Birding Tour

Tarifa Birding Tour

Griffon Vulture Migration and Seabirds

• Tour Dates: Oct 29 — Nov 1
• Duration: 4 days
• Lodging: Hotel in Tarifa
• Difficulty: Easy
• Group Size: Max. 14 people
• Price: 420€ per person (taxes included)

Overview

Discovering the, still today, highly overlooked Griffon Vulture migration is the main target in this trip. Moreover, we will enjoy the migration of seabirds from Isla de las Palomas in Tarifa at the best time of the year. Additionally, we will explore the most spectacular landscapes of El Estrecho Natural Park. Finally, we will get to know the history and birdlife of La Janda region.

Certainly, the massive migration of Iberian Griffons to Africa is one of the least known aspects of the most fascinated and least known aspects on the species biology.

From late October, the Strait holds one of the biggest concentrations of vultures on earth. These are mostly juvenile birds born all over the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, immense flocks, often exceeding 1000 individuals, concentrate for several days in the seaside between Tarifa and Algeciras. This occurs in a daily basis until the specific atmospheric conditions allowing vultures fly over the ocean to reach Africa occur.

Sea-crossing the Strait of Gibraltar constitutes a huge effort for vultures, at time insuperable. Besides, it offers an unusual dramatic spectacle.

The All Saint´s long weekend is the right time of the year to observe the migration of sea-birds in the Strait too. The Isla de las Palomas, the southernmost tip of the continent, is the very best spot to observe them. This Will be a perfect opportunity to visit this interesting site, the Access to which is restricted. Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters, Skuas, Gannets and Razorbills, will all show off in Good numbers.

La Janda, formerly was the largest lagoon in Spain. Nowadays, despite its complete drainage, it still holds an outstanding avian community. We will explore its rice paddies and meadows guided by Yeray and Javi. They are two of the ornithologists that better know the region. Moreover, they are directly involved in different projects aiming to restore the former splendour of La Janda.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Tarifa

19:00. Reception of participants and dinner in Tarifa.

Day 2: Los Lances beach and Vulture migration

Early morning visit to Los Lances beach natural site. Migrant passerines along the coast and water birds at the tidal lagoon will play the leading role. However, this time of the year in Tarifa, we can certainly expect the unexpected!

By mid-morning we will move to the coast between Tarifa and Algeciras. Here we will see how the groups ff Griffons approach the ocean. We will follow their movements aiming to observe the moment when they undertake the crossing of the Strait. Normally, the activity of vultures peaks toward noon. This way, we will have a picnic lunch in the field, just to be sure we are not missing it!

In the afternoon, we will visit the Sierra de La Plata, near Bolonia. We will observe the arrival of vulture to their night roost. No doubt we well keep an eye on the eventual presence of any Rüppel’s Vulture around!

In the evening, we will return to our accommodation and get time to relax. Before dinner we will have a drink and a short talk on the most interesting aspects of the Griffon Vulture migration.

Day 3: Seabirds at Isla de Las Palomas and Griffon Vulture migration

In the morning we will visit the Isla de Las Palomas in Tarifa. We will walk across the restricted area to reach the bird observatory by the lighthouse. Once there, we will focus our scope toward the central channel of the Strait to enjoy the migration of seabirds, right in the most appropriated time of the year.

Toward the central part of the day, we will visit the best watchpoints to observe the Griffon Vulture migration. Today we will have a picnic lunch outdoors too. In the afternoon, we will go for an easy hike in the Guadalmesí area. This is one of the most spectacular and least visits sites within El Estrecho Natural Park.

As we did yesterday, we will have a drink before dinner and a short workshop on the migration of the Griffon and Rüppell´s Vulture between Europe and Africa.

Day 4: Birding La Janda

We Will dedicate the last morning of the trip to visit La Janda area. We will explore the rice paddies and agricultural landscapes that currently fill the basin of the former lagoon. Black-winged Kite, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli´s Eagle and large groups of songbirds will be some of our targets. In addition to a varied array of species, we will speak about the efforts that different conservation organizations are undertaking towards the recovery of the formerly largest lagoon of Spain.

To conclude, we will have lunch together at a local restaurant.

Species

  • Scopoli’s Shearwater
  • Balearic Shearwater
  • Northern Gannet
  • Black-winged Kite
  • Eurasian Griffon
  • Rüppell’s Griffon
  • Spanish Imperial Eagle
  • Kentish Plover
  • Black-bellied Plover
  • Common Redshank
  • Common Greenshank
  • Common Snipe
  • Great Skua
  • Sandwich Tern
  • Razorbill
  • Little Owl
  • Western Yellow Wagtail
  • Sardinian Warbler
  • Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush
  • Water Pipit
  • Spanish Sparrow

What’s included

The price of this Tarifa Birding Tour includes:
  • All accommodation from day 1 until day 4 (3 nights).
  • All meals, starting with dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 4. This includes 1 drink with every meal and water during the whole duration of the trip.
  • Transportation in a comfortable vehicle for 5 or 9 pax depending on the final number of participants. We will use two vehicles if the group size is larger than 7 participants.
  • Programmed entrance fees as in the itinerary.
  • A specialised birding guide fluent in English with extensive experience in Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • Welcome package with itinerary, travel information and checklist of the birds of the region.
Items not included in the price:
  • Any flights.
  • Extra drinks.
  • Tips in hotels, service and guides.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Personal items.

For further details on bookings and cancellations, you can check out our general Terms and Conditions.

If at any time you have questions about this trip, payments, or other related topics please feel free to contact us.

 Tour Basics

  • Guides: Javi Elorriaga and Yeray Seminario, local guides from Birding The Strait who are based in Tarifa.
  • Length: 4 days.
  • Maximum number of participants: max. 14
  • Single Supplement: 45€
  • Lodging: Hotel in Tarifa. Double or single rooms with private toilet.
  • Food: All dinners at the hotel, lunches in the field (day 2 and 3) and in a local restaurant (day 4). Specific dietary requirement will be attended.
  • Weather: Highly variable, ranging from mild to chilly temperatures. Layers of warm clothes needed.
  • Difficulty: Very easy, short hikes at an easy pace and static observation from watch points. Short drives in 9 pax. minibuses.

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