Snow-covered peaks, alpine lakes, endless coniferous forests. This is a typical image of this 600 kilometers long range of mountains. But this huge territory includes far more. At lower altitudes we find a variety of valleys and landscapes. Narrow river valleys with splendid riverbanks until wide, flat, warm valleys with a strong Mediterranean influence. Up to 1.800 or 2.000 metres we find extensive Mountain Pine forests with scattered birch spots here and there. The highest altitudes are covered by rocks, grasslands and lichens.
It is this diversity of ecosystems that launches the area as one of the best birding hotspots in Europe. Raptors and forest-living species as well as some steppe & wetland species make it a must for any birder.
Day 1. This first day we would explore both extensive cereal steppes as well as some restored wetlands in the middle of the crops and steppe-like vegetation. Our first spot would be the wetlands: Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Eurasian Penduline Tit and Great Reed Warbler are common breeders here. This patch is an important roost area for many passage birds and in winter becomes shelter for thousands of ducks, gulls, egrets and raptors of every kind.
In the afternoon we would visit Mediterranean scrub areas, small pinewoods and crop lands expecting to find some steppe-land birds including Calandra Lark, Thekla Lark, Ortolan Bunting, Black Wheatear, Spectacled Warbler, W. Orphean Warbler or European Roller. Little Bustard has high densities in those fields all year round!
Day 2. This morning shall provide an interesting number of raptors that may include Cinereous Vulture, Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Red and Black Kites and the commoner Eurasian Griffon. We would explore some interesting woodlands in the very heart of the Catalan Pyrenees that would provide us with a variety of smaller birds including Common Crossbill, Eurasian Wryneck, Eurasian Bullfinch, Rock Bunting and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush.
In the afternoon we’ll explore a Mountain Pine forest at up to 2.100 metres altitude. In these forests and in the grasslands around we would find Black Woodpecker, Citril Finch, Red-backed Shrike, Ring Ouzel or Water & Tree Pipits. The area is also noted for Capercaillie and birds of prey including Booted & Short-toed Eagles.
Day 3. An early start to discover the gorgeous cliffs inside the Boumort-Montsec Game Reserve. In an average day the four species of vultures would appear as all of them do breed in the area. Golden, Booted and Short-toed Eagles are not uncommon. This Game Reserve is also noted for Black Woodpecker, W Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler and Blue Rock Thrush and provides winter ground to Wallcreepers and Alpine Accentors.
In the afternoon we’ll explore some wetlands and small rocky areas expecting to find Common Rock Sparrow, Zitting Cisticola and others. Here we will also have a chance for the scarce Bonelli’s Eagle!
Day 4. In spring and summer we’ll explore the renowned Cerdanya Valley, a massive plain in the middle of the mountains famous for the beauty of its scenery. The area hosts a variety of birds all year round: European Bee-eater, Eurasian Wryneck, Iberian Yellow Wagtail, Citril Finch, Whitethroat and Western Bonelli’s Warbler are summer visitors. Hen Harrier and Hawfinch winter here while Common Rock Sparrow and Red Kite are resident key species.
But it is during winter when all this corner becomes specially interesting. Here we will explore uplands up to 2.000 metres expecting to find small flocks of Alpine Accentor, Wallcreeper, Alpine Choughs or the very unpredictable White-winged Snow Finch.
Even though this day planning schedule contains references to some winter birds, the itinerary above describes a standard mid-spring tour. This itinerary may have slight variations depending on the season. Please contact us for a seasonally updated tour schedule.
|4 Days Itineraries||4 personas||3 personas||2 personas||1 persona|
|Birding at the steppes||400€||450€||600€||900€|
|Birding at Ebro Delta||400€||470€||625€||900€|
|Gallocanta; Cranes & Bustards||500€||570€||700€||950€|
All prices include birding guide services; transport in comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle; itinerary transport expenses (fuel, road tolls); continental breakfasts; dinners & 3 nights of accommodation in twin room; travel insurance. VAT included in all prices.
Excluded: Personal items, lunches, any other item don’t listed as included.
Prices above are per person, not per itinerary.