Our base at Lleida is a provincial capital to the west of Barcelona. Participants should arrive in Lleida the day before the birding starts, either by their own devices or by the Train and Bird option, whereby train travel and Lleida hotel transfers are arranged by Birding In Spain. 3 nights Bed and Breakfast in a centrally located hotel is included in the tour, and after the first night you will be met in the morning by your guide who will escort you in a private vehicle to the first birding destination.
The tour is "4-ways" because there are excellent birding locations in all directions branching out from Lleida. To the south lies the Ebro River and Delta, the latter one of the most important wetland sites in the Western Mediterranean region, and brimming with birds. To the north lies patches of dryland habitat and the rocky Pre-Pyrenees, imposing mountain ranges reaching up to around 2,000 metres in altitude, dissected by white-water rivers and their gorges. To the west are the the dryland plains of the Monegros, the second-most arid region in all of Spain, and home to an array of special birds that are not easily observed elsewhere in Europe. And to the west? Barcelona, point of entry for many travellers and a vibrant cultural centre of great interest.
Your guide's mission will be to help you to discover birds in all the different directions.
(i) The Monegros Plains are home to birds such as: Little Bustard, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Roller, Little Owl, Golden Eagle, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Black Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Lesser Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Stone Curlew, Spectacled Warbler, Calandra Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Thekla Lark, Dartford Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Montagu's Harrier.
(ii) The Pre-pyrenees to the north hold: Lammergeier, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli's Eagle, Red Kite, White-throated Dipper, Orphean Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Alpine Swift, Firecrest, Rock Sparrow, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Rock Bunting, Crested Tit, Wryneck, Woodchat Shrike.
(iii) Birds along the Ebro River and Delta include: Golden Oriole, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Sardinian Warbler, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Water Rail, Moustached Warbler, Bearded Reedling, Red-rumped Swallow, Eagle Owl, Penduline Tit, Greater Flamingo, Western Swamphen, Audouin's and Slender-billed Gull, Collared Pratincole and a host of gulls, waders, herons and egrets, terns and more.
Every day you will be picked up and dropped off at the hotel. The guide will provide you with a checklist and notebook, he will be equipped with a spotting scope available for participants, and there will be bottled water and snacks available in the vehicle. It is likely that around midday a light lunch will be taken (not included in the price) in a comfortable bar or café along the route.