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5 Days Raptors Photography Safari in Montsonís, Spain
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


Birdwatching Safari in Spain

During this bird photography in North-East Spain, you will have the chance to photograph raptors at the Pyrenees and steppe bird at the plains. The targets of that trip are four European vultures: Lammergeier, Griffone vulture, Black vulture, and Egyptian vulture in the summer, as well as other raptors like the European Goshawk, Marsh Harrier, little owl and more.

Key information

  • Maximum group size: 9 persons
  • Children information: Participating children need to be supervised under age 16
  • Languages: English and Spanish

Highlights

  • Visit exclusive hides
  • 5 to 6 photography sessions
  • Photograph raptors
  • Wildlife photographer guiding and advising you
  • Photograph some of more shy and threatened species in a few days
  • Transport to and from hides
  • Delicious daily local meals
  • 4 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


4 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Catalan, Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 9 participants
Airport transfer available:
Barcelona–El Prat Airport (US$176 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Reus Airport (US$176 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Lleida–Alguaire Airport (US$94 per person)
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Accommodation

During this safari, you have the option of staying in Cal Caterino or Cal Taberner.

Cal Caterino

Cal Caterino, ideal for two people, is located in the medieval town of Montsonís, a town in the Lleida pre-Pyrenees protected by the Montsec massif in the Noguera region. The studio, located 150 meters from the castle of Montsonís, is ideal to rest from its magnificent terrace or next to the fireplace. It has the optimal conditions for a quiet stay, a romantic one, and to do rural tourism to know the area.

The studio, is distributed on one floor, spacious and very bright thanks to the large window overlooking the valley and through which you access the terrace. In the living room area with the fireplace, a sofa transforms into a comfortable double bed. The kitchen is equipped with every detail and the bathroom with bathtub.

It is equipped with sheets and towels, central heating, microwave, TV and all the necessary kitchen utensils. Suitable for the disabled. Pets are accepted.

Cal Taberner

The house is distributed on three floors: the entrance door gives way to the hall, from where you access the living room and dining room with balcony overlooking the valley. You will also find the kitchen, very spacious and with fireplace, and a room with a double bed and a bathroom.

Four rooms are distributed on the upper floor, two of them with two single beds, and two more with double beds. The windows overlooking the main street and the valley. On this floor, you find two bathrooms.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

  • Arrive for dinner at your accommodation

Day 2: Lammergeier's hide

  • Breakfast at the hotel and meet your guide to go to Lammergeier's hide at approximately 9:00 a.m.
  • Species to photograph: Lammergeier, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, and others
  • Stay at the hide till four to five at the afternoon
  • Dinner at your accommodation

Day 3: Egyptian Vultures Hide

  • Breakfast at your accommodation and meet your guide to go to Egyptian Vultures Hide
  • Species to photograph: Egyptian Vulture (summer), Griffon Vulture, Red Kite (winter), Black Kite (summer), and others
  • Stay at the hide till four to five at the afternoon
  • Translate at your accommodation and dinner

Day 4: Bonelli's Eagle Hide, Lesser Kestrel Hide, and Little Owl Hide

  • Breakfast at your accommodation (or take it to the hide)
  • Morning: Bonelli's Eagle hide (meet guide at around sunrise)
  • Afternoon: Lesser Kestrel Hide, Little Owl Hide or other hides depending of availability

Day 5: Morning hide session and departure

  • Breakfast at hotel (or take it to the hide)
  • Morning: European Goshawk's hide (meet guide around one hour before sunrise)
  • Other species to be seen: Common Buzartd, Kites, Marsh Harrier, and more
  • Afternoon (if you have time before departing to the airport): Lesser Kestrel Hide, Little Owl Hide or other hides depending of availability
  • Departs to the airport after hide session.

Note: Some species in the hides can change throughout the year. Birds Photo Tours can vary the itinerary according availability of hides, species, or your special interest.

Behavior at the hides

  • Do not exit the hide until the guide reaches the door. This is very important, since you may not see the birds, but they may be watching. If they see someone coming up, they’re likely to leave and nothing else happens, but if they see someone exit the hide, they will probably associate with people and therefore they will see it as a danger and they are likely to be very cautious when they visit the site again and do not do it for a long time.
  • Better you do not speak, but if you do so, please talk in whispers and try to avoid sudden noises and movements in non-glass mirror hides.
  • Inform Birds Photo Tours about your experience: the behavior of animals, your comfort, observations, incidents and even advice on any aspect that you think they could improve. Your feedback is important.
  • Smoking is absolutely prohibited in the hides.
  • Be careful not to touch the glass with the lenses or in any other way to attract the attention of birds.

Use of glass-mirror

Birds Photo Tours uses glass-mirror in most of their hides. This prevents birds from seeing the movements of your lens, which would forage them during the session and would make them more suspicious when approaching them again. Nowadays most commercial hides, especially those that allow to photograph the most suspicious species, are constructed with glass-mirror.The glass, however, is a loss of light between on and two f-stop.

You can also lose some clarity in the case of shooting at an angle of more than 30 degrees with respect to the perpendicular of the glass. In that case, there may be a loss of definition so much the more we obliquely make the photos.

Distances to birds and lenses

It depends on the species and on the hide. Some examples:

  • Bonelli’s eagle: 12 to 15 meters
  • Other birds of prey (Goshawk, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, etc): 8 to 25 meters
  • Vultures and Lammergeyer: 10 to 40 meters
  • Lesser Kestrel: 8 to 12 meters
  • Little Bustard: 8 to 40 meters
  • Temporary hides (Hoppoe, Bee-eater, Stone -curlew, etc): 5 to 10 meters.

Depending on the situation, the hide and the size of the sensor in your camera can use lenses of 300 mm to 500 mm or 600 mm and focal converters. Other shorter lenses (70-200 mm, for example) will also be useful for integrating animals into the landscape.

Typical day in a hide

This depends so much on the species and the time of the year. The most typical examples could be:

Steppe birds (stew, bee-eater, small kestrel, turret, etc)

In April, May, and June, the weather is generally hot at noon and the light is intense. You will enter the first hour or even before the sunrise. The session can be extended until mid-morning when the activity decreases considerably. It’s time to go to rest in the apartment and review photos. In the afternoon, you can do the second session of the day in another hide until the sunset.

Bonelli’s eagle

Normally, eagles visit the hide in the morning, though it is not necessary to go there very early. You will meet at the sunrise to go to the hide. During the morning, the eagles can appear at any time, until two or three in the afternoon. When they have to feed the chicks, they can go there all day and more than once. In July and until mid-August, young eagles can also come to the hide.

Other birds of prey (astor, harp, buzzard, etc)

You will enter still at dark to be ready at dawn. When it begins to dawn, the first birds can be reached. Until mid-morning there is usually good activity. Then it decreases considerably until a couple of hours before the sunset is re-activated.

Carrion-eaters (vultures, lammergeyer, egyptian vultures, kites, etc)

You will meet early in the morning to go to the hide. As long as you prepare yourself, Birds Photo Tours will put the food for birds. Soon after leaving, you will see the first common vulture and black vulture. When it calms a little, it will be the time of the Egyptian Vultures and Lammergeyers. In the afternoon, Birds Photo Tours will pick you up.

Other

  • Birds Photo Tours supply sits in all hides
  • Bigger hides, where you must remain for a long time, has chemical toilet.
  • Once you are inside the hides, Birds Photo Tours can not give you anything. You must bring everything you need, from both the photographic and personal equipment (food, water, warm clothes, etc).

Location

Montsonís is a little town only one hour and 30 minutes from Barcelona International Airport (BCN) in one of most wild areas in Catalonia. The area is a traditional destination for birding and other open-air activities and it offers plenty of wildlife and diverses landscapes.

Distances

  • Barcelona International Airport (BCN), 140 kilometers - 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Lleida train station - 40 minutes

Food

During this safari, daily local meals will be served including picnic for lunch to be in the field. Vegetarian and vegan are available. Birds Photo Tours can adapt to your requirements. Beverages during meals are included (including wine).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 5 to 6 hide sessions
  • Transport to and from hides
  • Guide and hides rental
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Picnic for lunch to be in the field
  • Beverages at meals (included wine)
  • Daily meals

What's not included

  • Tranfers to and from airport or train station
  • Drinks out of meals

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Lleida-Alguaire Airport (ILD), Reus Air Base (REU), or Barcelona International Airport (BCN). Transfers from and to these airports are available at an additional cost. If you wish, Birds Photo Tours can arrange a car rental or taxi service from Barcelona International Airport (BCN) and Lleida-Alguaire Airport (ILD).

Airport: Barcelona–El Prat Airport Airport transfer available: Barcelona–El Prat Airport (US$176 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Reus Airport Airport transfer available: Reus Airport (US$176 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Lleida–Alguaire Airport Airport transfer available: Lleida–Alguaire Airport (US$94 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 10 days before arrival.
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