Audouin Birding Tours is based in the little mountain village of Freginals, on the edge of the Ebro Delta in Spain. It was established in 2005 by Cristian Jensen Marcet and Iben Hove Sørensen in order to offer their own guiding tours as well as their services as ground agents. The company is named after the rare and beautiful Audouin’s Gull, which is breeding and commonly seen in the Ebro Delta. The gull itself was originally named after the famous French traveller and ornithologist Jean Victoire Audouin.
Since 2011, Shena Maskell and Cristian have been working together designing, guiding and leading tours for several British, Swiss, Scandinavian, Spanish and American companies and organizations.
The main focus of Audouin Birding Tours is Spain and its islands, Morocco and Georgia. However tours to other bird rich countries throughout the Western Palearctic are now being pioneered such as Jordan and Greece. Tours further afield are planned to Africa, for example Namibia, Senegal,Tanzania and South Africa.
The company also specializes in arranging local trips to the surroundings areas where it is based; the Ebro River, including the huge Ebro Delta and the mountain chains of Els Ports and Montsià. Well-known as well as less visited birding localities in Spain are explored, and suggestions for new destinations are always welcome.
The aim of Audouin Birding Tours is to provide fellow bird watchers with high quality birding experiences. We welcome birders with all levels of experience. Every tour and day excursion will be arranged to suit the experience and general preferences of the participants. We are just as happy to spend a day searching for a single elusive species as we are enjoying the abundant shorebirds of the Ebro Delta. Our Mercedes Vito minibus has large windows which are excellent for birdwatching and allow all participants to enjoy their surroundings. We are able to offer guiding in English, Spanish, Catalan, and Danish. So grab your birding equipment and come out to Spain for some superb birdwatching!
All-inclusive trips of varying length can be arranged on request, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have special wishes to join a birding holiday in Spain, The Canaries, Turkey or Morocco. See the Tour Calendar for trips already planned for the coming season.
Cristian now lives in a little village on the edge of the Ebro Delta. He grew up in Barcelona and has a Danish father and a Catalan mother, which helped him become a fluent linguist. He has been an enthusiastic birder since he was 12 years old and now specialises in guiding tours in Spain and its Islands, extending the Western Palearctic range to Morocco, Turkey, Jordan and Georgia.
Prior to building his own company of Audouin Birding Tours, he worked professionally in different aspects of bird life for many years. For example he was involved in conservation work such as the reintroduction of Peregrine Falcons in Barcelona and worked in Mauritius for Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. He has also volunteered for many years in DEPANA (Nature Conservation NGO). He is a member of SEO/Birdlife and the Ornithological Catalan Institut (ICO).
He has worked for ICO, DEPANA and the Iberian Ringing Group (GIA) as ringer or research assistant. Cristian is a qualified forest ranger and environmental educator. He has also participated in educational projects for schools.
During the last 10 years he has become increasingly focused on leading birding tours throughout the Western Palearctic and Africa. He speaks Spanish, Catalan and English plus basic Danish and French.Within Audouin Birding Tours, Cristian leads most of the tours and is also responsible for the customer contact with our Spanish customers.
Shena has lived in Africa and Asia, but base camp is now in Sussex! She has led expeditions to the Arctic Circle and South America. As an escaped headmistress she ensures you get friendly personal attention and a value-added holiday with a wide variety of experiences. There is no test afterwards!
She is our contact person in the UK and is the keeper of the Audouin calendar. Shena liaises directly with personal clients as well the big Uk companies such as Avian Adventures, Heatherlea and Ornitholidays. Living in Uk, this keeps the phone bills down too! Shena listens to what you, the client, requires and happily designs tours around your wishes.
Having a degree in Computing, she helps keep the website updated and loves to develop and research new birding destinations. Her international networking builds on Cristian's initial ideas and previous expertise. These new "Pioneer trips" can be found here soon.
All this behind-the-scenes activity keeps Cristian's office work to a minimum so he can spend more time with you in the field, guiding, teaching and having fun!
Jaume was born in Catalonia near Barcelona. He is an enthusiastic birder and experienced guide. Jaume has been working for us since 2009 and he is a hugely successful leader in many of our Spanish tours: Extremadura, Pyrenees, Ebro Plains, Ebro Delta, Iberian Lynx, Ports, and many others. Educated as an environmentalist, he gives our tours a broad vision about many aspects of nature. Nothing escapes his knowledge: plants, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, mammals including bats (his new passion!) and of course, birds.
He has undertaken several research projects in Spain, related to the Ebro Steppes and ecology in forest birds. Apart from guiding tours he also runs DAURICA, a consultancy firm focused on management and conservation of nature, biodiversity promotion and environmental education.
He has also worked for SEO/Birdlife monitoring Alpine birds in the Pyrenees. He improved his English in Ireland where he was a field assistant for several Nature Parks.
He is friendly and good fun, making any time with him entertaining and memorable. He is patient and relaxed, at the same time being strongly focused on the Wildlife. He speaks Spanish, Catalan and English.
Iben was born in Denmark where she started her birding career along with her biology studies at the University of Aarhus. Nearly a decade later, she has become a dedicated and enthusiastic bird watcher with a particular interest in bird behaviour. She finished her M.Sc. in biology with a study on the breeding ecology and social behaviour of the endemic bird Mauritius Grey White-eye on the island of Mauritius. She has an A-license for bird banding in Denmark.
Iben has worked as a nature guide in Skagen, which is one of the top birding sites in Denmark during spring migration. She has also had several positions as teaching assistant in the University of Aarhus, taking new students through theoretical as well as practical parts of the basic biology courses. She speaks English and Danish perfectly, basic Spanish, and understands basic Catalan, German and French. She has been travelling and bird watching in several countries, including Thailand, Madagascar, Mauritius, Uganda, Greece, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Great Britain, and - of course - Spain and Denmark.
Within Audouin Birding Tours, Iben was a cofounder and used to be responsible for most of our foreign customer contacts and running the website.
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