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

The game drives were fantastic, André’s knowledge and attention to detail could certainly be used as the benchmark for all lodges. We were often stopping to wipe away the tears of laughter and the times spent on the drives with André will certainly be remembered. Hats off to you André, you really made our trip!!!

A

A massive thanks has to go to André, the ranger, he was exceptional. His knowledge of wildlife was incredible. We were able to learn so much about the animals, plants and he is the 'bird' guru!! We cant thank him enough for his time, going out of his way to show us everything possible, we saw everything.

B

André in particular went out of his way to make sure our stay was as wonderful as it could be. Andre is also a great guide, with the ability to spot just about everything that moves, even if the movement is only breathing.

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.

The ability of our guide, Rich Lindie, to locate the birds from the faintest movement or call under difficult and trying conditions was outstanding.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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