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Spain – Southern Catalonia

Birds & Butterflies

25 May to 1 June 2017

Leader: Steve West

Maximum of seven clients.

2017 Cost £1,799 single room supplement £100

We now have several tours to Catalonia and this one is particularly focused on the natural history of the southern area. This tour visits the Montsant range, where lonely hermitages add to the character of the most beautiful and solitary locations in this surprising massif. Unlikely rock formations silently stand guard and small rivers continue their patient work sculpting valleys, gullies and gorges out of sheer rock. According to the Catalan Butterfly Monitoring Scheme no fewer than 86 species of butterfly have been recorded at a single site in this area! Of course we’ll be looking for birds too, including Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle, Blue Rock Thrush, Western Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, Golden Oriole, European Bee-eater and Eurasian Hoopoe. The Ebro Delta in contrast is flat and rather featureless but compensates for its lack of altitude by an exciting array of wetland birds, including gulls – amongst which feature the rare Slender-billed and Audouin’s Gulls as well as waders, herons, terns and much more.

The other leg of our Catalonia tour will take us to the foothills of the Pyrenees, from where we are ideally located to explore the plains to the south, the mountains to the north and the almost-hidden valleys and gorges in between. The remnant cereal plains, or drylands, come alive in the spring to the sounds of displaying Little Bustards, European Rollers and larks, and Lesser Kestrels, Montagu’s Harriers, Stone Curlews, Little Owls and more all gather in these areas to feed and breed before the summer harvest. The Pre-Pyrenees occupy the northern horizons, and it is here we need to visit to ensure that we do not miss the chance of seeing all four European vultures in one day: Eurasian Griffon, Egyptian and Eurasian Black Vultures and the stunning Lammergeier. The surprising rocky landscapes, solitary hillsides, tranquil river valleys and bird-rich farmland that make up this area mean that we will never have a dull moment. The landscapes are unique and unforgettable and the wildlife is abundant and stimulating.

Throughout the tour you will have the expertise of Steve West, who has been studying the wildlife here since he took up residence in Catalonia, more than 20 years ago.

Further Info
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Outline Itinerary
Day 1 Fly to Barcelona and
transfer to Montsonís
Days 2-3 Montsonís
Days 4-7 La Morera de Montsant
Day 8 Depart Barcelona