Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

A fairly relaxed tour, with no particularly early starts or late finishes. The terrain is mostly easy and involves short walks or birding from the side of the road/tracks. Expect to sit around during raptor watches which can last several hours

Group Size:

Seven plus leaders

Glossy Ibis Migrating Montagu's Harrier Egyptian Vulture European Griffon Vulture Bonelli's Eagle Blue Rock Thrush

Straits of Gibraltar - Autumn Migration

Europe's Raptor Highway


Date: Returning in 2020
Leaders: Yeray Seminario



Ruppell's Griffon Vulture


The Strait of Gibraltar is a major bottleneck for raptor migration. It is estimated that 300 - 400,000 raptors cross the Strait every year and, on average, 29 raptor species are recorded annually in the Strait, and a total of 36 over the last decade. In general terms, their origin is Western Europe [from the Iberian Peninsula to Scandinavia] and their wintering quarters are located in the Western Sahel [Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, etc]. The first half of September is when raptor migration meets its best in the Strait, both in terms of quantity of birds and diversity of species. Some of the most remarkable raptor species whose migration reaches its highest numbers during this period include: Honey Buzzard [average: 90,000-110,000 in autumn], Black Kite [100,000-150,000 in autumn], Eurasian Sparrowhawk [3000-4000 in autumn], Booted Eagle [14,000 individuals in autumn], Short-toed Eagle [15,000-17,000 in autumn] and Egyptian Vulture. This is also an optimal period to observe flocks of Black Storks on migration. Other raptors on migration during this period, although in smaller numbers, include: Montagu’s and Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Lesser Kestrel and Hobby. Raptors soar in large thermalling kettles which may contain up to 5 or 6 different species. This will be a relaxed trip, with little driving in most days. We will be visiting the best observatories for raptor migration at the best moments of the day, keeping constant communication with local researchers who will provide immediate information on the migration status of the day. In addition, we will visit the best birding hotspots in the Strait, including inner valleys where raptors may gather in communal roosts, especially in days of strong easterly winds, the outskirts of Doñana National Park in Cádiz for specialities such as Marbled Teal, White-headed Duck and Lesser Short-toed Lark, and a whalewatching boat trip off Tarifa which brings with it the possibility of seeing Long-finned Pilot Whales, seabirds and even Orca. We will visit an area to view the reintrooduced Northern Bald Ibis and learn more about this exciting project, scan coastal gull flocks for Audouin's Gull and Lesser Crested Tern, and visit open country to look for Black-winged Kite and Spanish Imperial Eagle. Your tour leader will be Yeray Seminario and you can expect to see around 140 species.



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