Our wildlife programmes offer some of the best wildlife watching from the open ocean to the mountain tops in the best birding areas of Northern Spain , renowned for its birding diversity and the opportunity to experience the splendour of the ocean. The sea element offers both cetaceans and Pelagic birds and details of sightings within the programmes will be provided within each of our 5 or 8 day holidays. Your voyage will be with Paul Burley, an experienced Guide who will look after you all the way and once in Spain our local Guide, Javier Gil Vaquero, will take over. These two experts will make your visit a memorable experience as you join them in observing some of the best wildlife in these incredibly spectacular places. Nice hotels and good food and wine will enhance your visit!
This visit to the Picos de Europa will be of interest to those who wish to see not only the migration of the many Pelagic seabirds that cross our open ocean but also the most iconic birds of the Picos mountains in Northern Spain.
On Sunday - 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.
The first leg of the trip often produces sightings of Skuas and Shearwaters with sightings of Common dolphins and maybe a Minke whale.
On Monday - Morning we awake in the Bay of Biscay where we look forward to more sightings of Pelagic seabirds and cetaceans before reaching Santander in the early afternoon . Bird and Cetacean highlights for our first leg as follows, Great Skua, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua, Great Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Storm Petrel, Sabine’s Gull and more. Fin Whale, Cuviers Beaked whale, Pilot whale, Common dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin, Striped dolphin, Harbour porpoise, Minke whale and more. Upon our arrival in Santander on Mondayvwe pick up our coach outside the terminal and proceed to our 4* hotel, the Mirador de la Franca. The hotel is situated in a quiet cove on the Atlantic coast and it is from here we will be setting off each day on our birding trips in to the Picos de Europa. In the evening our local guide , Javier Gil Vaquero, will join us at the hotel to discuss the following days’ birding before our evening meal.
On TuesdayAfter breakfast we set off to our first destination to explore the high mountain peaks in search of Alpine birds. We drive to Fuente de and take the Cable car from the base of the mountain to the high peak where we will walk slowly through the mountain pass in search of our target birds. The scenery at the top of the mountain is truly spectacular and the mountain birds will only serve to enhance the beauty of this incredible place. Target birds, Wall creeper, Alpine accentor, Water pipit, Black redstart, Northern wheatear, Red billed chough, Yellow billed chough, Griffon vulture, Short toed eagle, Golden eagle, Lammergeier. After our days birding we return to our hotel for our evening meal.
On Wednesday - We set off to the Covadonga lakes where we will stop at our first destination, the vulture feeding station where Griffon vultures can be seen flying in to feed on food laid as part of the Lammergeier reintroduction programme that is working towards reintroducing Lammergeier to the Picos de Europa. This attracts high numbers of Griffon vultures to the area and often draws in Lammergeier and Egyptian vultures. We then set off to the Cavadonga lakes to once more look for Griffon vultures, Lammergeier, Egyptian vulture, Golden eagle, Short toed eagle and Booted eagle. After our days birding we set off towards Santander to once more board the ship and start our return voyage to England.
On Thursday morning - We find ourselves over the Northern shelf of the Bay of Biscay and around 100 miles south of the western tip of France. It is in this area that we often see most of our pelagic seabirds and often in the presence of high numbers of Common dolphins. The spectacle of Gannets diving among feeding dolphins and Shearwaters shearing amongst them is an opportunity not to be missed. We then proceed in to the English Channel for more sightings of sea birds and cetaceans before reaching Plymouth and the end of our holiday in the late afternoon.
(The cost includes : ferry crossing with 2-berth cabin; two nights 4* hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast, dinner with wine; two packed lunches; all transportation whilst in Spain; British and Spanish expert Guides
|September 13th||Cost £460|
Single supplement £90 (Room and cabin)
Meeting point : Plymouth Ferryport