Meet at the Plymouth Ferryport where we catch the 1630 sailing to Spain. A 2-berth cabin is provided and upgrades are available as detailed below. Once on board, our marine Guide, Paul Burley, will have a chat with you about the crossing and the possible sightings. Enjoy the cruise , it’s very much part of the holiday.
We reach Spain at 1500 next day and meet the coach which will be our transport for the next 3 days. We’ll also meet our Spanish Guides, Javier Gil Vaquero and Angel Herrero Calva .
We will be crossing the English channel and on to the Bay of Biscay where we will be looking out for some of the Pelagic seabirds such as Manx shearwater and possible Great skua among the more regular seabirds that can be seen at this time of the year. It is at this time in the Bay of Biscay that we often see good numbers of Fin whales and Common dolphins and possibly the Cuvier’s beaked whale. Striped dolphins, Pilot whales and Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen along with the possibility of Sperm whales and Sowerby’s beaked whales.
On arrival in Santander we will be met by our Local Guide who will be joining us as we board our coach and set off to Navarre and the Bardenas Reales national park. We will be staying at a 3* hotel in the town of Alfaro for two nights and from here we will be visiting our two areas of interest, the Bardenas national park and the Pitillas lagoon. The Berdenas Reales national park is renowned for its birding and especially during the early summer when all the birds are most active and the same can be said of the Pitillas lagoon where this beautiful area supports many birds both on the lagoon and in the surrounding countryside.
The following list is of the birds we can look forward to seeing on our visit. Cattle Egret, White Stork, Griffon vulture, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Short toed Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Booted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Stone Curlew, Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Short-Toed Lark, Dupont’s Lark, Thekla’s Lark, Cettis Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Dartford Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Firecrest, Bearded Reedling, Penduline Tit, Iberian Grey Shrike, Red Billed Chough, Rock Sparrow, Cirl Bunting, Black Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Black Winged Stilt, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Bee Eater, Tawny Pipit, Black Eared Wheatear, Great Reed Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Lesser Kestrel, Alpine Swift, Western Orphean Warbler, Western Bonellis Warbler, Iberian Chifchaff.
After our visit to Navarre we once more board the ship at Santander and spend our last day sailing through the waters west of the French coast and on to the English channel where we will be looking for more Pelagic seabirds, Common dolphins, Harbour porpoise and Minke whale before arriving in Plymouth in the late afternoon.
Your Itinerary as follows.
Sunday 17th May. - Board the Brittany Ferries ship the Pont-Aven and across the English Channel.
Monday 18th May. - Birding across the Bay of Biscay in search of the wealth of wildlife that is found here at this time of the year. Arrive in Santander around midday and set off to Navarre for a short birdwatch before arriving at our hotel for our evening meal.
Tuesday 19th May. - Today we set off after breakfast for our first full day of birding. During the morning we will be visiting the Bardenas Reales national park for a full morning of birding and then on to the Patillas lagoon for the afternoon. A packed lunch will be provided to ensure that we can continue birding throughout the day. We then return to our hotel for our evening meal.
Wednesday 20th May. - After breakfast we set off on our final day birding. We will be returning to the Bardenas Reales national park to target more species before setting off to Santander in the middle of the afternoon where we once more board the Pont-Aven for our last sailing to England.
Thursday 21st May. - Today we enjoy a full day at sea as we once more search for more pelagic seabirds and cetaceans before arriving at Plymouth in the late afternoon.
|May 17th||Cost £490|
Single supplement £100 (Room and cabin)
Meeting point : Plymouth Ferryport