This long weekend will allow you to get a great introduction to the Ebro Delta and the steppes around Lerida. We will bird watch in the delta Friday and Sunday, one day in each part of the delta, and on Saturday we will go to the steppes. We spend a full day there to allow some time for searching for the more elusive species.
The Delta holds enormous variation throughout the year, and the activity of the birds always seems to be peaking. All the European species of herons & egrets breed here, and several of them can be found all year round. Mediterranean, Audouin's, Slender-billed, Yellow-legged, and Black-headed Gull are all found in the delta, along with Whiskered, Black, Common, Sandwich, Gull-billed, and Caspian Tern. In the winter, the rice fields are empty and the delta is dominated by northern visitors such as Great Cormorant, Lapwing, Water Pipit, White Wagtail, Bluethroat, and many more. In the summer, when the rice fields are green and lush, numerous shorebirds forage all over the delta, and you find - among others - Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, and Kentish Plover. Flamingo, Avocet, Red-crested Pochard, Kestrel, Barn Owl, Hoopoe, and Moustached Warbler are all resident species and can be found any time of the year.
The steppes around Lerida hold an almost entirely different set of birds. It is a highly complicated and vast area to find your way around, and, although birds are everywhere, this is a very good area to visit with a guide. The Little Bustard and the Stone Curlew are at times highly elusive, but always present, which is also the case for both species of Sandgrouse. The area also holds Lesser Kestrel, Montagu's Harrier, Red-legged Partridge, Little Owl, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Roller, Thekla, Crested, Calandra and Dupont's Lark, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Cuckoo and lots more. For birders from Northern Europe, this area is well worth a visit, particularly in the summer, as most of the species will be unfamiliar!!
For a more detailed description of the delta and its birds, click here.
You will stay in St. Carles de la Ràpita, where Audouin's Gull and several other bird species are often found in the town or around the fishing harbour. You will have breakfast at the hotel (Saturday and Sunday), and lunch (two or three days) and dinner (two days) either at local restaurants, at the hotel, or as a picnic. Final arrangements depend on your arrival and departure times.
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