JOIN lolo WILLIAMS of Springwatch fame in the unique region of Extremadura in Spain, to experience some of Europe’s finest spring birdwatching.
Witness the unforgettable display of male Great Bustards on the wide open grasslands as they almost literally turn themselves inside out to impress the females; listen out for the bizarre call of the ‘phantom raspberry blower’, or Little Bustard, as it stalks through the prairie grassland.
Scan the huge skies for Spanish Imperial Eagles which are joined by massive Black Vultures and Griffon Vultures; search the rolling plains for both Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, residents of this beautiful wide open landscape.
We will explore Extremadura visiting a variety of habitats including vast open steppes, Mediterranean scrubland, secluded river valleys, woodland and craggy mountains, each offering a wonderful array of charismatic birds. We hope to see about 120 species during our six-day trip.
At this time of year with birds displaying on their breeding grounds, it is very important to make sure that we don’t disturb them while at the same time ensuring everyone has the best possible views of these very special birds.
Therefore, we are limiting the number of participants on this unique, small group tour to a maximum of six people, plus lolo, Alan and Ruth, giving everyone the best individual attention.
During our tour we will be looking for a huge range of birds which includes: Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Quail, Black-necked Grebe, Great white Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Red Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Peregrine, Little Bustard, Great Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Stone-curlew, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Scops Owl and Eagle Owl, Pallid Swift, Crested Lark and many more!
DAY ONE: The tour begins early afternoon at Madrid Barajas Airport. Transfer to our hotel near Trujillo with time for some local birding. We will be flying in from Manchester Airport ourselves and will be happy to meet up with tour participants at Manchester Airport so we can travel to Spain together.
DAY TWO – DAY FIVE: Our days will be spent birdwatching in the varied habitats of Extremadura. The vast rolling steppes here will be our main destination as we enjoy the amazing spectacle of displaying Great Bustards and with luck, plenty of Little Bustards. These grasslands are also home to sandgrouse, larks and raptors. Magnificent towering cliffs provide roosting and nesting sites for a large colony of Griffon Vultures and this same area is a key habitat for other raptors such as Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture and Eagle Owl. In the cork oak woodlands, we hope to see delightful Azure-winged Magpies, Hoopoes and melodic Wood Larks displaying overhead.
DAY SIX: Morning birding around Trujillo gives us the chance to target any species that we may not have caught up with yet, before driving to Madrid Barajas Airport, arriving mid-afternoon to connect with our international flights home. Tour concludes at Madrid Barajas Airport.
Details: Our holiday includes:
- Five nights’ accommodation on a fully-inclusive basis in a beautiful country house hotel
- Minibus transport during the tour
- All meals and non-alcoholic drinks
- Entrance fees and permits
- Use of our field guide and optics
- Individual checklists
Leaders: Iolo Williams, Alan Davies and Ruth Miller
Cost: The cost of this fully-inclusive small group tour will be £1,995 per person sharing
Excludes: International flights, personal travel insurance, alcoholic drinks, travel to and from Madrid airport, any items of a personal nature.
Book now: Call 01492 872407 or email
Join the Bird Watching team for a spectacular spring wildlife break
April 9-14, 2017
Spring in Scotland means rich wildlife potential amidst rugged beauty, and you can join us there for an exclusive trip from April 9-14, 2017.
Bird Watching magazine editor Matthew Merritt and assistant editor Mike Weedon will be joined by UKBS editor, and Scottish birding aficionado, Gordon Hamlett to lead a week of wildlife watching, based at the Grant Arms Hotel in Grantown-on-Spey.
The hotel boasts high quality en-suite rooms and traditional Scottish fare prepared with local ingredients, and while it takes care of bed, breakfast and dinner; we’ll provide optional guided walks, expert tips, bird quizzes, films and evening talks.
From our Highland location we’ll be within easy reach of sites such as Glenmore Forest Park, for Crested Tits and Crossbills; the Cairngorms, for Ptarmigan and possible Snow Bunting; and the Findhorn Valley, for eagles and other raptors. There’ll also be the chance to visit Moray Firth sites such as Burghead and Spey Bay for wildfowl (including sea ducks), divers, grebes and waders.
We’ll look for Red and Black Grouse and Capercaillie, too in the forests and moors around Grantown.
As well as the great birdlife, there’ll be the chance to see dolphins, Red Squirrels, Red Deer, Otter, Mountain Hare, and maybe even Pine Marten.
The Grant Arms Hotel is home to the Birdwatching and Wildlife Club and its expert staff will be on hand to guide you to the best areas, offer local knowledge and seasonal tips if you prefer to organise your own time. It’s perfect for birdwatchers of all levels and a great way to meet like-minded people, share tips and make the most of this incredible time of year.
This five-day break is held in partnership with Bird Watching and includes:
* Five nights dinner, bed and breakfast
* Ensuite rooms are equipped with hairdryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, TV and toiletries
* Gala dinner
* Programme of evening talks and quizzes by Bird Watching’s Matt Merritt, Mike Weedon and Gordon Hamlett
* Guided walks
* Films and entertainment
* No single supplement
Please note: a car is essential on this break.
Leaders: Matthew Merritt, Mike Weedon and Gordon Hamlett
Cost: Bird Watching subscribers
Standard Room £335 dinner bed and breakfast, per person
Superior Room £410 DBB, pp
Cost: Bird Watching non-subscribers
Standard Room £370 DBB pp
Superior Room £445 DBB pp
Extra nights: BW subscribers £71pp per night DBB standard room, £86 superior; non-subscribers £78pp per night DBB standard room, £93 pp per night DBB superior.
Excludes: Transport, lunch and alcoholic drinks
SMALL PRINT:BWWC Ltd, 25 The Square, Grantown on Spey, PH26 3HF. All programmes, talks, walks and rooms subject to availability and liable to change without notice.
Late September is a wonderful time to visit North Wales, with its exciting blend of resident, migrant, winter and summer birds. Add to this the wide variety of habitats and stunning scenery, ranging from mountains to coast, and you have the perfect mix for a birdwatching break.
During the tour we will look for such exciting species as Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe, Fulmar, Gannet, Shag, pale-bellied Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Red Kite, Peregrine, Purple Sandpiper, Black Guillemot, Rock Pipit, Dipper, Stonechat, Chough, and any other migrants and rarities that occur at this great time of year. Expect to enjoy about 120 species on the tour.
Your guides will be the local experts Alan Davies and Ruth Miller, who have many years’ experience as professional bird guides. Alan is author of the popularly acclaimed site guide ‘Best Birdwatching Sites in North Wales’ and Ruth has published a series of birdwatching and walking guides to North Wales called ‘Birds, Boots and Butties’. Both Alan and Ruth worked for the RSPB before setting up their successful birdwatching tour company back in 2009, and they now spend much of their time sharing the wonderful birdlife of North Wales with visitors to this beautiful area.
The tour is based at the Princes Arms Hotel in Trefriw, in the Conwy Valley. This lovely country hotel overlooks the Conwy River so the birdwatching begins right on the doorstep. A warm welcome awaits from hosts Lindsay and Anne Gordon, and the wonderful food will be an added bonus of the tour. Additional nights, pre or post tour, can be arranged at the hotel.
The cost of this exclusive tour for Bird Watching magazine is £799 per person, no single supplement. Read about the trip here.
The Best of North Wales
24 September 2016- 28 September 2016.
Details: Stay at the Princes Arms Hotel in Trefriw, in the Conwy Valley.
Leaders: Alan Davies and Ruth Miller
Cost: £799 per person, no single supplement. Includes guiding throughout by both Alan and Ruth, transport in a comfortable minibus, use of top-of-the-range Leica telescopes, use of our field guides, a personal checklist of the birds, four nights’ accommodation in a comfortable en suite room, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from lunch on day one through to lunch on day five, all entrance fees to reserves, an evening presentation by Alan and Ruth.
Excludes: Alcoholic drinks, transport to and from the hotel at start and end of tour, extra drinks or snacks taken during the tour, items of a personal nature, travel insurance (transfer from Llandudno Junction railway station to and from the hotel can be arranged at no extra cost).
Day 1: Our tour starts with arrival at the Princes Arms Hotel in the picturesque Conwy Valley in time for lunch. After lunch we visit RSPB Conwy where we can expect to enjoy waders and wildfowl at close range.
Day 2: We visit the beautiful island of Anglesey with its dramatic coastal scenery. Chough and Black Guillemot will be high on our wanted list but we will also look for migrants, raptors and seabirds. A visit to RSPB South Stack will be one of the highlights on this day.
Day 3: A short drive takes us to the Great Orme headland; the sea-cliffs and limestone pavements here are a temporary home to migrant birds and this Local Nature Reserve has a track record for turning up the unexpected. We also visit other sites along the nearby coast for more waders, wildfowl and migrants.
Day 4: We head east to the Dee Estuary in search of more raptors, wildfowl and waders and who knows, perhaps a Great White Egret or other scarce bird; in October anything is possible! A visit to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands will be part of this exciting day.
Day 5: We spend the morning exploring the Conwy Valley and adjacent uplands. We return to the hotel for lunch before guests depart for their homeward journey at the end of our North Wales tour.
Please note: exact itinerary may change due to latest bird information, weather, tides or other circumstances beyond our control.