Overview

Southern Portugal offers a fantastic diversity of habitats, and consequently an equally diverse array of birds, in a relatively small area, allowing us to visit several species rich areas without needing to travel long distances. 

The Mediterranean climate of Southern Portugal is very agreeable to birds during the winter. Early February weather is pleasant, with the first signs of Spring coming and the first migrants just arriving from Africa. Coastal wetlands and interior grasslands host thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, cranes, bustards, raptors and passerines. We anticipate encounters with a great diversity and number of birds. Some examples include: Graylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Common and Red-crested pochards, Ferruginous and Tufted ducks, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill, White and Black storks, Squacco Heron, Eurasian Griffon and Cinereous vultures, Golden, Spanish Imperial, Bonelli’s, Short-toed Snake, and Booted eagles, Red and Black-winged kites, Common Crane, Great and Little bustards, Eurasian Stone-curlew, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, European Golden-Plover, Northern Lapwing, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed godwits, Common Greenshank, Common and Spotted redshanks, Audouin’s, Slender-billed and Mediterranean gulls, Little Tern, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, Iberian Yellow, Pied and White wagtails, Water and Meadow pipits, Bluethroat, Blue Rock-Thrush, Sardinian and Dartford warblers, Iberian Gray Shrike, Iberian Magpie, Long-tailed and Eurasian Penduline tits, Spanish and Rock sparrows, Eurasian Serin and Rock, Reed and Cirl Buntings.

Around Lisbon we’ll visit the famous Tagus Estuary Nature Reserves, the most important wetland in Portugal. A short drive of less than 90 minutes and we start to explore the Castro Verde rolling plains and the Guadiana Valley Natural Park, with the steppe like habitat, the hills, escarpments, and Cork and Holm oak and Stone Pine woodland of the Alentejo region; here, we shall find vultures, eagles and bustards; another short drive of less than one hour and we shall visit the Algarve, the southern tip region of Portugal, with its salt pans, lagoons, and beaches, with several protected wetlands, in order to find some of the more localized species of Europe.

All this birding activity is combined with visits to some of the most important wine producers in the main wine regions of Southern Portugal, giving an opportunity throughout the whole of our route to better understand the country’s rich wine heritage. At various times we’ll be joined by qualified wine makers who will help us learn to discern the subtle differences between the various regions, terroirs, wines and grapes. Besides the great wines, we’ll have numerous opportunities to sample Portugal’s many culinary delights.

Also, we shall have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the rich cultural heritage of Portugal, including some historical monuments and archaeological sites.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Western Swamphen; Squacco Heron; Great & Little Bustards; Bluethroat; Dartford & Sardinian Warblers; Iberian Grey Shrike; Common Crane; Red & Black-winged Kites; Black-bellied Sandgrouse; Calandra Lark; Iberian Green Woodpecker; Cinereous, Griffon & Egyptian Vultures; Spanish Imperial, Bonelli’s & Golden Eagles; Western Black Wheatear; Iberian Magpie; Red-billed Chough; Hawfinch; Cirl Bunting; as well as an excellent selection of ducks, waders and seabirds.
Habitats Covered
coastal wetlands, Cork and Holm Oak forests, deciduous woodlands, mountain crags, grasslands
Expected Climate
temperate, mainly mild
Max Group Size
7 with 1 Local leader
Tour Pace & Walking
mostly easy
Accommodation
comfortable guest houses & hotels
Ease of Birding
mostly easy
Other Attractions
Mértola archaeological site, excellent wine vineyards
Photographic Opportunities
good to very good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

This was a fantastic trip. David did an excellent job as our guide. He was thoughtful, attentive, hard-working and an expert in the field. There wasn't much that we didn't find. We very much enjoyed his company and hope he leads us again in the future.

Dennis Yong was certainly knowledgeable on his birds and all other wildlife. I have to hand it to him, he has YEARS of experience and it shows.

We felt that the trip was very well organised and efficient so we could spend as much time in the field as possible. Glen was a terrific guide - excellent birder as well as his concern that everyone was seeing the birds. Glen was very even in his manner at all times and with everyone.

I would recommend Rockjumper to my birding colleagues back in Cape May, New Jersey. Cuan and Rockjumper did an outstanding job in helping us plan our trip.

I was really pleasantly surprised about every aspect of the Oman & UAE tour. Forrest Rowland did an outstanding job in every way and he has a great sense of humour. This tour exceeded my expectations. The pace was just right, accommodations and meals were of high quality, and Forrest did a great job of organizing details and making sure everything ran smoothly. He found the species that were sought and had expert knowledge of where the birds were likely to be found and when was the best time to try for them.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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