blends guided and non-guided birdwatching throughout southern
Portugal with a centralised location in a sparsely populated region
of unique beauty. Your stay in this friendly country is hosted
at Quinta do Barranco da Estrada, a small family-run hotel in
a stunning lakeside location with the resident owner and Birdwatching
guide, Frank McClintock.
The Quinta has an
international reputation for good food, company and service, and
its size, with a maximum of twenty guests, ensures that all guests
feel welcome from the moment they arrive. Moreover, the Quinta
is ideally suited to those guests whose numbers include couples
of whom only one is a dedicated birder, as there are plenty of
facilities for a relaxing holiday away from all the hustle and
bustle of a normal destination.
Frank has been guiding
in southern Portugal since 1987 and is available to guide either
groups or private individuals in his 7 seat air-conditioned car;
he can provide optics for those with none and languages spoken
are English, French, German and Portuguese. If you just want to
know where to go to enjoy yourselves on your own he'll provide
written directions, notes and guidance systems.
There is a wide
variety of bird life in the Quinta's vicinity, notably Warblers,
Stonechats, two species of Shrike, Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, three
varieties of Woodpeckers and three of Eagles, (Short toed, Booted
and Bonelli's), as well as other raptors, including Black winged
Kites. The area also has one of the highest densities in Europe
of Nightingales, and during the Spring one is rarely out of earshot
of their beautiful song. As well as the wealth of local species
surrounding the Quinta, there are four areas within an hour and
a half's car journey which are ideal for Birdwatching.
To the north west
of the Quinta are the Sado Estuary and the S. Andr?agoon, both
areas a haven for marshland birds, notably Squacco Heron, Purple
Heron and Spoonbill. Raptors include Marsh Harrier and Black winged
Kite. To the south west is the migratory route along Portugal's
rocky coast, where, outside the autumn migrating season, the specialities
are Blue Rock Thrush, Peregrine Falcon, Rock Bunting and Cattle
Egret amongst others. During the Autumn the raptors migrating
south along the coast towards Sagres for the onward journey to
Africa are a sight that few forget.
the south east of the Quinta lies the Rio Formosa Estuary, which
has extensive salt pans.Subsequently it has a wealth of wading
birds, such as Avocet, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Black and Bar-tailed
Godwit, Black winged Stilt, Snipe, Redshank and Greenshank, as
well as divers and ducks such as Shoveler, Pochard, Red crested
Pochard, Teal, Pintail, Widgeon and Gadwall. It is also famed
for its population of Purple Galinules, and Little Bitterns are
much in evidence.
To the north east
of the Quinta are the wide-open Plains of the Alentejo. The bird
life here is truly stunning with specialities including Great
and Little Bustard, Black Bellied Sandgrouse, Stone Curlew, Lesser
Kestrel, Montagu's Harrier, Red rumped Swallow, Callandra, Thekla,
Crested, and Wood Larks, Spanish and Tree sparrows, Black eared
Wheatear, Roller, Collared Pratincole and Black and Red Kites
you are interested in a birdwatching holiday at the Quinta, full
details can be obtained from their web site, www.paradise-in-portugal.com
Also available to Guide
in: Portugal Only.
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& Nature Tours ~
Tel: (+351) 913 299 990
Mobile: (+351) 913 299 990
Link: Birds & Nature www.birds.pt
& Nature Tours is the first and only Portuguese company
specifically dedicated to birds and birding field tours. Our guided
field tours are designed to offer you the best of Portuguese birding,
with a specific emphasis on what you want to see. Tours
are adapted to cover a wide range of ability, from novice to expert.
on birding, our tours cater for the general naturalist and the
visitor who wants to see something of the Portuguese countryside
as well. The guides are ornithologists and birders with a deep
knowledge of the birdlife of Iberia and the kind of local knowledge
necessary to find those tricky or difficult species. For
those without optics, quality binoculars and telescopes, as well
as field guides, are available.
Birds & Nature
is based in Lisbon, and most field trips depart from and return
to Lisbon. Transport is by air conditioned vehicle (up to 7 participants),
but smaller groups and individual clients are also welcome. The
prices quoted for the tours include guide, transport (including
fuel and tolls) and use of optical equipment, together with participant
you planning to visit Lisbon?
Lisbon is the only
European capital located near such a rich Bird & Nature hotspot
– the Tagus estuary. About
20 minutes from the city, this huge Nature Reserve, with its extensive
area of protected wetland, offers excellent conditions for the
observation of birds in rich natural surroundings.
The Tagus estuary
is the most important wetland in Portugal and one of the most
important in Europe. It is fascinating at all times of the year:
in winter, it holds over 120.000 waders, waterfowl and other aquatic
birds; during migratory periods, the bird diversity is at its
maximum, and one can expect to observe more than 100 species in
a single day; during the summer, the estuary is alive with breeding
species more usually associated with the Mediterranean.
Besides the Tagus
estuary, we have tours to other exciting locations, namely the
Sado estuary, the Alentejo and the Algarve. Basically the selection
of field trips included in the Birds & Nature menu is designed
to bring you to the best birding locations in Portugal. Some bird
species are so site specific, however, that you might like to
consider a tailor-made field tour to other sites (for example,
International Douro, Portas do Ródão, International
Tagus, Santo André lagoon, Mourão, Moura and Barrancos
area, Óbidos lagoon), or even to places outside Portugal,
like Doñana or Monfrague Parks, in Spain. Please let us
know, as we can then let you have a relevant price list depending
on site distance and duration of the trip.
Birds & Nature
is owned and managed by João Jara, who
also guides the majority of the activities. João
was born in Lisbon and studied biology at the Faculdade de Ciências
de Lisboa, from where he developed his professional career in
the pharmaceutical industry, as senior manager and director of
various multinational companies. With
25 years of field experience, he knows the field of Portuguese
birding intimately and is a member of the board of SPEA (Sociedade
Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves – Birdlife in Portugal),
as well as coordinator of the PRC (Portuguese Rarities Committee).
Author and co-author of several articles about birds, João
has led many field tours (in Portugal and abroad), as well as
bird identification courses for SPEA. Besides birds, he has an
active special interest in amphibians, reptiles and fishes. João
is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
to Guide in: Spain..
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is a professional local bird guide and author with over 35 years
of birding and guiding experience both in England and Doñana,
where he now lives.
Quality birding often
depends on good local knowledge and experience and John has that
in abundance, having operated over 700 day trips and many longer
tours. He knows the breeding, feeding and roosting sites of all
the more sought after species, he knows about migration patterns
and he understands the effects that local climate conditions can
have on the birds.
John operates sensibly-priced
day tours around the Doñana Natural Park and also organizes
inclusive two-centred package holidays for individuals and groups,
combining the best sites in Doñana with those in Extremadura,
Tarifa and Portugal.
is now regarded as the most active and experienced
guide in the
Doñana region and is available for tours throughout
you require, John can arrange it!
available to Guide in: Spain
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