Portugal is an amazing country for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
Situated in the Mediterranean region, which is one of the world’s most important areas in terms of biodiversity, Portugal also presents one of the greatest diversities of birdlife in Europe, with roughly 330 regularly occurring species.
Many of these species that you can observe in Portugal have a very restricted distribution in Europe and the World !
Lisbon is set in the Tagus estaury, one of the most important wetland area in Europe. In fact it is a Ramsar wetland site of international importance, which includes a wide Special Protection Zone (ZPE) and a Nature Reserve (RNET), of over 14.000 hectares, specifically created to protect wintering, passage and breeding populations of aquatic birds. This is a great area to observe a quite extraordinary range of birds, from Greater Flamingo to Black-shouldered Kite and Squacco Heron to Little Bustard.
The Sado estuary, the second largest estuary in Portugal, lies around 40 minutes from Lisbon: this is na area of enormous natural wealth and biodiversity site, including two Zones of Special Protection and a Nature Reserve (RNES).
Portugal´s coastal strip is the preferred place of migration for thousands of birds from dozens of different species. Hundreds of thousands of sea and coastal birds (gannets, shearwaters, ducks, waders and terns), birds of prey (vultures, eagles and harriers), small birds (swallows, pipits, warblers, thrushes and shrikes) cross over our territory twice a year, flying between their breeding grounds in the North and their wintering stays in Africa.
Alentejo is a large region at the south of the river Tagus, perhaps the most preserved area of the country with a heritage enriched by a variety of cultures and a landscape blessed by an amazing beauty.
Lisbon is a couple of hours drive from two remarkable areas for birding in this region: Castro Verde and Guadiana Valley. The unique rolling plains of Castro Verde are the most important zone in Portugal for steppe bird conservation.
Species like Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel or Roller, can be confidently expected here and scarce species like Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture and Spanish Imperial Eagle are also regularly seen.In the Valley of the Guadiana one can see some really spectacular species, often associated withcraggy scarps, including Black Stork, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting.
Faro airport serves direct flights to Algarve, which is also a paradise for birdwatchers, especially in two protected areas of natural beauty and phenomenal birding potential: the Ria Formosa and Castro Marim.
The Ria Formosa is one of Portugal`s most important protected wetlands, being a designated Ramsar site and a Zone of Special Protection, that includes the Nature Park of the Ria Formosa, which covers an area of 14.000 hectares. This Park is on a major fly-way for migrants from Africa, being particularly rich in wader species and passerines. It is also a great place to see rare and localized species, like Purple Swamp-hen and Little Bittern. Protected by a complex web of sand barriers and dunes, the Ria extends along the Algarve coast for more than 60 kilometers and includes habitats such as dunes, open water, inter-tidal mudflats, salt marshes, salt pans, reed beds, lagoons and pine woods.
The Castro Marim area consists of a complex of canals, saline flats and salt pans (part natural and part commercial), running along the western side of the mouth of the Guadiana.This protected area is also a Ramsar site and includes a Zone of Special Protection and the 2.000 hectares Nature Reserve of the Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António. The richness of the zone is in large part due to the number of waders, ducks, gulls and terns that winter, are on passage, or breed. It is the only place in Portugal to find Lesser Short-toed Lark and is the best site for Audouin`s Gull and Slender-billed Gull…
– Discover one of Europe’s richest and most diverse bird life areas in Portugal’s most beautiful wetlands.
– Have privileged, guided access to special protection zones and nature reserves to observe scarce and spectacular species
– Observe 330 bird regularly occurring species in their natural habitat
– From the plains of Castro Verde to the valley of the Guadiana river, discover Alentejo’s bird life treasures, like the Griffon Vulture.
– Dwell in Birdwatchers Paradise in the Algarve as you watch the beautiful flights of migrants from Africa in Ria Formosa
All our programmes are tailor made and different in extention and area, depending on your availaible time and special interests. In fact our birdwatching tours are adapted to cover a wide range of ability, from novice to expert and, poignantly focused on birding, however the tours are also suitable for the general naturalist and the visitor who wish to explore the countryside in a most original way.
Photographic tours also can be organized and will be led by an expert nature photographer.
All our birdwatching programmes are unique specifically since they are led by experienced guides, ornithologists and birders with a deep knowledge of the birdlife of Iberia and also the kind of local savoir faire to find those tricky or difficult species. On request, tour programmes can be blended with a combination of birdwatching and other cultural experience in order to inhence your stay in Portugal: local culture, gastronomy, wines plus wonderful art and architecture.
Enjoy one of a kind memorable birdwatching experience in Portugal!
These tours area organized in collaboration with Birds & Nature Tours