Tour Introduction : Birding Day Tour

Serrania de Ronda

Serrania de Ronda - 1st in Europe for Raptors

short-toed-eagle1Whether you enjoy spectacular scenery or fauna and flora, then this personally guided birdwatching tour of the Serranía de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema is for you! With mountains and hills predominately of limestone, the bio-diversity of the Serranía and Sierras is stunning. From rocky outcrops, mountaintop and valleys, the birding tour will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Spain.
The geographical location of the Serranía and Sierras makes it one of Europe's best areas for the concentration of raptors. The Serranía and Sierras have four breeding species of eagle and many other raptors.
The importance of the area is recognized for the habitat it provides for so many breeding bird species. Apart from this, the area is also an important staging area in spring and autumn for spectacular numbers of migrant birds of prey. bonellis-warbler1Indeed, being placed so near to the famous ‘Straits of Gibraltar’ the area is rich in passerine bird species migrating to other parts in spring and autumn.
Even in winter, the area provides a temperate living quarter for many familiar summer birds of northern Europe. Whatever the time of year, the Serranía de Ronda and the Sierra de Grazalema is a must for any interested in birds and wildlife in general. Routes taken vary according to the weather, but in any event, the number of bird species seen will be considerable!

Birds of interest are virtually guaranteed, though of course time of year and the weather, will dictate the number and type of bird species you will see. Accompanied by your own expert tour guide, you will waste no time searching for those elusive ‘best bird areas’. Your birding guide will be able to assist beginners and discuss the area with visiting experienced birders. So whatever your level of expertise, there will be much to reward your birding trip.

From Mountains to Lagoons

From mountains to lagoons

greater-flamingo-3A typical day for visiting the Lagunas de Campillos and Fuente de Piedra begins with our journey from our base near to Ronda. The contrast in scenery and wildlife is very spectacular, travelling over mountains and eventually arriving to the rolling hills and flat basin that surrounds Fuente de Piedra. The lake is huge, measuring some 6 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide, it is considered one of the largest natural lagoons in Spain. Due to the salinity of the water here, Greater Flamingo choose to breed in massive numbers, at their peak numbers can exceed 30,000 and so making this the largest breeding colony in Europe. There are other lagoons in the area and depending on water levels, these can hold such sought after species as White-headed Duck and Marbled Teal, as well as the beautiful Red-crested Pochard.

montagus-harrierMigrating birds are also a feature here and virtually anything can turn-up, including large concentrations of raptors and also wading birds. The area in summer is very good for some specialist steppe birds including Montagu’s Harrier, Calandra and Short-toed Lark, Little Bustard and the elusive Roller. Along with the ever present Greater Flamingo, Black-necked Grebe is common and occasionally Red-knobbed Coot is seen. Gull-billed Tern are common breeding birds and Whiskered Tern are also in the area, with Black Tern common migrants. Rarities include Lesser Flamingo and White-winged Black Tern, although the list is endless as the area annually attracts so many rarities!
fuentedepiedra1So for a change of route and an entirely different experience, why not accompany Peter to this most rewarding and spectacular area?

Journey time from Ronda to Fuente de Piedra is approximately 45 minutes, so allow time for an earlier collection from your accommodation. Of course our journey might take longer should we see anything of particular interest along our route, such as Bonelli's Eagle!

Trip into Steppe Country

A Journey into Steppe Country

lesser-kestrelFor some very unusual and much sought after species, this day tour can produce excellent chances for such species as Great Bustard and in the summer, Roller. It is a route that has been researched to give rewards to the birder at any time of year. We need to allow 1 hour for reaching the site from our base in the Ronda area, so an earlier start is recommended (see tour details below). Specialist birds for a route that, broadly speaking, covers a triangle between Osuna, Marchena and La Lantejuela, are Great and Little Bustard, Lesser Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier, Roller and Black-winged Kite.

european-rollerTypical of steppe habitat, good and distant viewing is a feature of the day tour, with the added bonus of several lagoons being on our route. In the spring and summer some species, such as Collared Pratincole, take advantage of the areas surrounding wetlands. Marsh Harrier is ever present and Red Kite winter in good numbers with Hen Harrier often seen quartering open expanses during the colder winter months. Whiskered and Black Tern join Greater Flamingo to take advantage of lagoons, when there have been sufficient winter rains, to breed and White-headed Duck can also join the masses at any time throughout the year.

Peter has an extensive knowledge of this prime birding area and can take the visitor to many special sites including very large colonies of Lesser Kestrel, concentrations of Roller and display areas for Great Bustard. It is a total contrast to the mountains of Ronda and will add many species to your vacation bird list.

Walking in Flowers

Walking in Flowers

broad-leafed-irisThis Day Tour in the Serrania de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema is a must for lovers of Wild Flowers and Orchids. Serrania de Ronda and Sierra de Grazalema are two mountainous regions in the center of Andalucia, the most Southern province of Spain.

An area of great natural diversity

If you love scenery, wild flowers and orchids or just like to stroll amidst nature’s wonders, then this "Walking in Flowers - Day Tour" is an opportunity to treat yourself to a great day out! mirror-orchidAccompanied by a local guide you will visit areas unlikely to be found on your own. There is no substitute for local knowledge and conditions, so you will be able to find those elusive wild flower and orchid species and at the same time be surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery that Spain has to offer. With a plant list of almost 2000 species, the area is incredibly diverse. Limestone, sedimentary and sandy soils make for a spectacular array of plant life. The two main parks around the centrally located town of Ronda exceed 150,000 hectares of wild space with both parks enjoying the status of UNESCO Biosphere reserves. The pace of these "Walking in Flowers -Day Tours" are relaxed and designed to introduce the visitor to the natural wonders of this truly beautiful part of Spain.

Spain Facts and Travel Tips

Maps of our Day Tours

Choose your option

Photo Gallery of Spain

Birding Day Tour Info

  • Tour dates
    Every day, 7 days a week, all year round
  • Tour times
    From 10.00 am to 16.00 pm. Longer hours by arrangement.
  • Price 2014
    Standard Day Tour: € 165 minimum charge for up to 3 persons. € 40 per each extra person (maximum 4 persons)
    Exclusive private tours by arrangement, minimum price up to 3 persons of  € 175  per day
  • Included
    Free collection from your accommodation in the Ronda area (15km radius), transport, use of telescope
  • Excluded
    Costs for lunch and drinks. Meal time stop over at a "local" Restaurant.
  • Tour party
    From one person to a maximum 4 fellow travellers. Larger groups by prior arrangement

Options Birding Day Tours

  • Option 1
    Serrania de Ronda
    Visiting the mountains around Ronda and Grazalema
    See Birding Day Tour Info
  • Option 2
    From Mountains to Lagoons
    Visiting lagunas de Campillos y Fuente de Piedra
    As Option 1 except:
    Departure time 09.30
    € 25 Fuel Surcharge
  • Option 3
    Journey into Steppe Country
    Visiting the Steppe around Osuna and Marchena
    As Option 1 except:
    Departure time 09.00
    € 30 Fuel Surcharge
  • Option 4
    Walking in Flowers
    Visiting the mountains around Ronda and Grazalema
    See Birding Day Tour Info
For full details of the various options see Full Description. Let us know your special wishes

Your guide is Peter Jones

Peter-Jones
Peter Jones, author, naturalist, co-founder of Spanish Nature , Worldwide Birding Tours and founder of the Andalucia Bird Society. Peter has been involved in a great many environmental projects and has had several works published over many years. Peter has a passion for birds, having also been involved in scientific research into birds for over 36 years, but his many interests also extend to flora and fauna. Peter is well known and liked by the great many who have already been guided by him in many different countries. There can be no finer testimony to Peter's popularity than the fact that many friends of various tour operators will sign-on tours in the knowledge he is their guide.
The Gambia
A place to go to in Winter
Great variety of birds
Tours are a proven success
Why not join us this winter
You will not be disappointed
Birding in Morocco
We run two birding tours a year
March and September
Stunning scenery
and Moroccan food
Many bird specialties
Read more...