SPRING BIRD PHOTO TRIP

Raptors, Bee-eaters & Passerines in the Costa Blanca

This bird photography tour is focused on different birds – Raptors (Golden eagle, Griffon vultures and Peregrine), Bee-eaters, and several species of passerines. The tour dates coincide with the period when the bee-eaters will be forming the pairs, so we expect a lot of activities – courtship, mating, food transfer, etc. Our tour is designed for photographers who want to spend more time with their subject and get the maximum of it, rather than chasing bigger numbers of species.

We visit three villages for your lodging. You spend two days in Confrides, one of the highest villages in Alicante area (785 m), we will stay at a little mountain hotel in Aitana range. The next two days we will stay in a nice guest house, run by two friendly sisters. The last days, we will visit La Vila Joiosa and we’re stayed in a four star hotel in front of the mediterranean sea. We visit practically all the Alicante region, because the hides are located in diferents areas along the mountains, lowlands, wetlands and coasts. The knowledge of our team about bird behaviour and photographic techniques assures a top quality service for keen photographers. Above all, these breaks are run under a code of conduct where birds, wildlife and their habitats must not be disturbed. One final point, we remind all travellers that they must come with their own insurance for the optics and photo equipment.

SUMMARY

Destination: Costa Blanca (Alicante, Spain)          Duration: 7 days  

Group size: 2-3 persons                                                  Price: 1215 € per person, single supplement 200 €

Time: From AprIl to June                                                Deposit: 300 €

Grading: Short day walks 500 – 1000m   

Highlights: Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Bee-eaters, Common Raven, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Tawny Pipit, Woodlark, Melodius Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Dartford warbler, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Crested Tit, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow

 

ITINERARY

Day 1. Arrival at Alicante-Elche airport, followed by one and half hour transfer that bring us to village of Confrides. Depends on the arrival time, we can make a short walk before dinner to get familiar with the area. At the dinner table we can discus over the plan for next days and talk about the various opportunities we have.

Day 2. We will start with our fist hide “Juanin” in Aitana mountain in a feeding and bathing station, where you will photograph over 15 different passerines. The best light for photography is between 09:00 and 12:00 in the morning. We will lunch in a pic-nic area near the hide and before at 16:00 wil go by car from the other hide in Aitana “Ventisquer”, only five minutes from the fist hide. At 19:00 in the afternoon, we can turn back to hotel for dinner.

Day 3. Second day in the hides in Aitana mountain, but now, we will start in the hide “Ventisquer” since to lunch; and then we will do a trip to visit the highlight points in Aitana mountain (possibility to look several bird raptors: Bonelli’s eagle, Short toad eagle, etc. Of course we are flexible and can change it if we need to). When we will finish the trip, will go from Alcoi, near the other hides in Mariola mountain range (45 minutes transfer).

Dinner and accommodation at Alcoi in a charming guest house.

Day 4. We will wake up early, because will start Golden eagle photographic session at 7:00.  We will have a picnic lunch into the hide and when you have finished the session, return to our lodging (if you photograph the eagle early, could be possible to visit others hides in the same property).

Day 5. This day we have the same plan than yesterday, but today we will visit the vulture’s hide. In the afternoon we will transfer from the last hotel in our photographic trip in La Vila Joiosa, that it’s situated in front of beach (if you photograph the vultures early, could be possible to visit others hides in the same property).

Dinner and accommodation at La Vila Joiosa in hotel close to the seashore.

Day 6. Early in the morning, we will go to the bee-eaters area, so we need drive 45 minutes. Before lunch, It is your choice and we can walking for some hand shots in El Hondo Natural Park where we can see and photograph Bitterns, Squacco Herons, Egrets, Grebes, Collared pratincole, Red-knobbed coot, Great Reed Warbler and more, or return to La Vila Joiosa and try your luck in the “Peregrine’s hide”.

Dinner and accommodation at La Vila Joiosa in hotel close to the seashore.

Day 7. Breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight back home. Departure.

IMPORTANT NOTE!: The itinerary shown here is just a model and final plans will depend on number of participants and bird activity. All travelers will have same amount of time to photograph the 5 key species but, due to space available in the hides, they won’t all do it in the same day. In order to provide the best service possible, the group might split into teams of two photographers.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

– Ground transport

– All meals inc breakfast, box lunches and evening meals (accommodation menu)

– 6 Nights accommodation in a suite with bathroom

– Services of drivers and guides plus all permits required

– Use of hides

– All taxes

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

– Air fare

– Drinks and other items of a personal nature

– Travel insurance

ACCOMMODATION:

– 2 nights in Confrides in hostal rural El Pirineo

– 2 nights in Alcoi in Casa rural Bons Aires

– 2 nights in hotel Allon (4 stars) in La Vila Joiosa

 

LEADER:

Jose Santamaria “Santa” – Ullades Naturals leader

PHOTO EQUIPMENT:

Lenses:

Best combination for the major part of the trip are 300 or 600mm lenses on  full-frame cameras; raptors perching 8-12 meters from hides and at the passerine hide any lens from 300 to 400mm is good. 1.4x & 2x teleconverters are very useful.

Remember:

You will need tripod.

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU:

Spring is always unpredictable; usually we expect warm and sunny weather, but is good to have with you:

– Waterproof shoes   – Repellents    – Waterproof jacket   – Sun hats        – Warm clothes           – Sun protection cream


Photo Gallery: