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Blue Elephant
  • Bhutan
  • Blue Elephant, flamingo, fotografiereis, fotoreis, vogelreis, natuurreis
    Coto Doñana, Algarve
  • Bhutan, zwartnekkraanvogels
  • Japan, Steller's zeearend
  • India, tijger
  • Japan, Japanse kraanvogel
  • Schotland, Papegaaiduiker
  • Waar niet? zeearend
  • Oeganda, Kaapse buffel en schaarbekken
  • Bhutan, Groene kitta
  • Wit-Rusland, Witvleugelstern
  • Coto Doñana, flamingo

Algarve and Atlantic Ocean

Algarve and Atlantic Ocean raptor migration storm petrel and shearwaters


Click here for a pictorial view of this tour in 2012

Salt marshes

At arrival in Faro at first the transfer to the hotel and consequently a visit to Ria Formosa. In the salt marshes we explore the surroundings for whimbrel, turnstone, grey plover, Kentish plover, ringed plover, sandwich tern, Caspian tern, osprey, spoonbill and little egret.
Castro Marim, Audouins’gull and slender-billed gull


short-toad lark

The first whole day we will visit Castro Marim, an area with marshes, close to the delta of the Guadiana. Here you will find the “Reserva Natural do Sapal do Castro Marim”, an enormous waterarea (about 2000 ha) with salt flats and salt marshes. Flamingos, black-winged stilt and avocet are general here, as well as little tern and shelduck. The breedingplaces of Audouins gull and slender-billed gull are abandoned, but some of these special species are still to be found. Besides there is a good chance to find short-toed lark and spectacled warbler. This is an area for a full day of bird watching. In the late afternoon we will go to the Tavira salt flats. These salt flats are a very suitable habitat to observe gulls and waders. Persons who want to take some rest could go the hotel a bit earlier.

Castro Verde and the Guadiana Valley, bustards and raptor migration

The extensive plains of the South Alentejo are populated by many great and little bustards. The plains, which look like steppe, are a good habitat for crested lark, short-toed lark and calandra lark. The corn bunting is a general inhabitant and the black-winged kite is often seen is this area, and the southern great grey shrike as well. In the afternoon we continue our Alentejo-tour to one of the most attractive highlights of the tour, the spectaculair rift and waterfall in the Guadiana valley with a chance to see a golden eagle. In this area we can also watch short-toed eagle, raven, azure-winged magpie and red-legged partridge.

Lagunes of Ria Formosa purple gallinule and stone curlew

After an earley breakfast we leave to the Ria Formosa lagunes for a boat ride to explore the surroundings of many salt marshes, canals, tidal mud flats and dry sandbanks; this is similar with a lagunes coast with dunes, which is following the coastline. During this boat ride we have a perfect view of waders. We have a stopover at one of the islands in the lagunes for a lunch.

Purple moorhen

In the afternoon we explore the protected area of Ludo in the western area of Faro. It came into being by a mix of tidal salt marhes, extensive fish cultures, lagoons, coastal pine groves, pastureland and cultivated fields. We have a chance to see little bittern, purple swamp-hen and red-crested pochard in the reeds along the fresh water ponds. These reeds are important for many species of waders, and for many migrating singing birds, during Autumn and Spring as well. This is a very special habitat for birds.

West Algarve:  Vilamoura and Lagoa dos Salgados cory’s shearwater and ferruginous duck

We continue our tour to the western coast. Close to Cilamoura we make a small walk in het Parque Ambiental. In the extended reeds we will see bluethroat, reed bunting and pendule tit which species are overwintering here. Sometimes we will perhaps meet up with a red-legged partridge and we have a chance to see the very rare Monarch butterfly. The rest of the afternoon is planned to explore the Lagoa dos Salgados, a coastal lagoon with dunes, cultinates fields and permanent pastureland, and a very important junction for many migrating birds. Many flamingos, ducks e.g. the ferruginous duck.

Sagres en Cabo S. Vicente, great shearwater and dolphins, bonnelli’s eagle

Algarve en Atlantische oceaan

Bottlenose dolphins

We spend the latest two days of our tour in the area of Sagres and Cabo S. Vicente. Very close to the shore many seabirds are passing by flying to the south or for overwintering in this area after breeding. Other species are from water of the southern hemisphere. We plan to make two pelagic tours with a big chance to see: Leach’s petrel, storm petrel, Manx shearwater, Wilson’s petrel, great skua, Kuhl’s petrel, scooty shearwater. Gannets are very general and dolphins cannot be missed.

Cory shearwater

The highlights of the tour are the two pelagic boat rides offshore, planned in the mornings. During the afternoon we explore the surroundings of Sagres for the many migrating birds, especially raptors. Only a few kilometers from the coast in the permanent pastureland and fallow land with small pockets of maritime pine woodland we will see migrating raptors, e.g. black storcks. In this area we can see more than 15 different species of raptors. Sometimes more than thousand griffon vultures at a time. It depends on the weather circumstances how long birds will stay in this area. Most prevailing species: booted eagle, short-toed eagle, golden eagle, imperial eagle, peregrine, lanner falcon, and even the very rare bonnelli’s eagle and the eleonora’s falcon. As far as the singing birds we have a chance to see migrating and residence birds as well: chough, blue rock thrush, thakla lark, crag martin, Sardinian warbler, spectacled warbler and Dartford warbler.


Practical information
Price: 2015 € 1620,- exclusief internationale vluchten.
Guarantee: Blue Elephant is a member of  GGTO;
Dates: 23 – 30 september 2015.
Tour code: 15ALG
Single supplement: € 280,-.
Tour to and from: plane to Faro and back
Full description: will be sent four weeks before departure.
Local transport: van
Walking effort: relaxed tour with short walks.
Number: at least 5 persons, max 8 persons.
Accommodation: hotels on a half board basis
Guidance: Knowledgable tour leader.
Climate: mostly stable and sunny weather.
Blue Elephant - Tebinckslaan 14 - 9462 PV Gasselte - Telefoon: 0599 56 51 24 - Fax: 0599 56 45 44 - KVK: 04046067