Sunrise Birding LLC - Birding & Wildlife Tours
Home | Tours | Trip Reports | News |  Team |  Calendar | Links | Contact | Store | Mailing List
Bee OrchidSPANISH PYRENEES:
Birds & Nature
June 26 - July 4, 2021
Contact [email protected] to reserve your space!

Trip Cost & Travel Planning>    Registration Form>
Complete Tour Registration, Terms, Cancellation Policies>


The Pyrenees mountain range stretches across northern Spain for more than 300 miles from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. Well known as a mecca for skiing during the winter months, in early summer these scenic mountains are a veritable paradise for nature lovers. Stunning snow-capped peaks create the backdrop to beautiful alpine meadows where flowers and butterflies abound.

 

Join Gina Nichol and Steve Bird to explore this natural paradise and discover the very special alpine bird species occur in the Pyrenees.  We will search for Alpine and Red-billed Chough, Rock Bunting, Citril Finch, Alpine Accentor, and Blue Rock Thrush to name a few as we explore the stunning landscape. We will watch the skies for raptors including the huge and majestic Lammergeier, the king of all the vultures. Sheer rock gorges that cut through the mountains add to the incredible natural beauty here and are home to the exquisite Wallcreeper. While enjoying the fantastic bird life, we will also discover the wonderful orchids that dot the mountain slopes and marvel at the countless butterflies and other magical creatures in alpine meadows.

 

Our tour begins in Barcelona on Spain's Mediterranean coast and then heads northwest into the interior of Spain to Huesca, birding the sprawling Spanish steppes along the way. Then we continue to the high Hecho Valley (1500 m / 5000 feet) and our wonderful accommodation for a full week based in our comfortable rural mountain hotel set against the backdrop of stunning snow-covered peaks. This family run hotel has just 10 rooms and it is very likely we will have the entire place to ourselves. From our base we will take daily excursions to investigate the rich and varied habitats of the mountain slopes.

 

Don’t worry, the walking will be mostly easy as we follow quiet mountain tracks and roads bordered by crystal clear rivers and flower-filled meadows. Our focus is on a few very special birds, plus up to 80 species of butterfly, and all other flora and fauna of this incredible alpine habitat. Add to this a visit or two to the dry hot, lowlands and we can look for a whole new range of birds and wildlife including Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, and Iberian Grey Shrike.

If you love nature, you will fall in love
with the Spanish Pyrenees!

Some Highlights & Targets of this Tour:
* Wallcreeper
* Lammergeier
* Citril Finch
* Alpine Accentor
* Alpine Chough
* Red-billed Chough
* Griffon Vulture
* Golden Eagle
* Ring Ouzel
* Black Wheatear
* Rock Bunting
* Crested Tit

* Little Bustard
* Black-bellied Sandgrouse

* Burnt-tip Orchid
* Lizard Orchid

* Apollo Butterfly
* Scarce Swallowtail
* Berger’s Clouded Yellow
* Camberwell Beauty
* Pyrenean Chamois
* Red Squirrel
* Pyrenean Brook Newt
* Spanish Moon Moth

Photos, above: Bee Orchid, Wallcreeper, Hotel Uson.


Pyrenees sceneITINERARY
Day 1:
 Arrival – Barcelona
Please arrange your flight to Barcelona airport, (Airport code BCN) where we will overnight in a local hotel. Overnight in Barcelona.

 

Day 2 - 7:  Pyrenees 
Today we will set off across country toward Huesca birding en route with good chances for raptors and many other species of birds. Over the next six days, we will visit a number of valleys and mountain habitats within easy reach of our hotel. The stunning valleys and grassy mountain slopes will offer some of northern Spain’s most exciting flora and fauna. Our perfectly situated hotel based at the entrance to the famous Hecho Valley is an excellent start with Crested Tits, Cirl Bunting and Red-backed Shrikes often right in the garden. The view of the mountains here is Lammergeier soaring spectacular and we often see the huge Lammergeier soaring above the cliffs while enjoying a cup of tea or beer in the garden. These magnificent birds soar with Griffon Vultures, the occasional Golden Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagles, Egyptian Vultures and both Red and Black Kite.

 

The nearby Aragon Valley and Binies Gorge hold a fine collection of species including Woodchat Shrike, Rock Sparrow, Spotless Starling, European Bee-eater, Serin, Golden Oriole, Melodious and Subalpine Warblers, Cirl, Rock and Ortolan Bunting. Red-rumped Swallows and Crag Martin are common and we should encounter huge Alpine Swifts whizzing past the rock faces.

The Hecho Valley extends from our hotel through beech woods, pines, and open meadows teeming with flowers and butterflies. It goes right up to snow-capped mountains and alpine habitat where crystal clear streams wind their way through spectacular scenery. Here we will again search for the majestic Lammergeier plus Dipper, Serin, Ring Ouzel, Common Rock Thrush, Redstart, the huge Apollo Butterfly, and many species of beautiful orchid. In the tiny streams we can find the very rare Pyrenean Brook Newt, plus a few frogs, lizards and exciting insects.


Other sites we will visit include a rocky trail that takes through woodlands where Black Woodpecker can often be heard, although difficult to see. Alpine flowers cover every bit of open grass and rock strewn hillside where Citril Finches feed. Our goal at the end is a towering cliff where the beautiful Wallcreeper nests. Butterflies include many species of fritillary, blues, hairstreaks and yellows, while some of the mammals that may show up are Red Squirrels, Alpine Marmot and Pyrenean Chamois.

 

As you can see this is a trip that encompasses all forms of nature in one of the most spectacular sceneries anywhere in Europe. If we haven’t already filled your days will endless memories of many species creatures,we also have the opportunity to see some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the mountains by using ultraviolet lights to attract a host of sought after moths such as the spectacular Spanish Moon Moth or Giant Peacock. All nights in the Hecho Valley.

 

Day 8:  Pyrenees - Steppes - Barcelona
Today we say goodbye to the pleasant temperatures of our mountain retreat and head south to the dry steppes where we can expect to find a completely new range of species. They are not all easy to see but we have had good luck on previous visits with Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Iberian Grey Shrike and other desert loving species. After spending most of the day here we will head back to Barcelona where we spend our last night.


Day 9:  End of Tour 
Today you can plan your international departure from Barcelona to suit your own wishes. There are several flights a day so if you wish to check out this fascinating city you have the chance. Our tour finishes with breakfast today.

Pyramidal Orchids  Griffon Vulture

Exploring the Pyrenees

Photos, above: Pyramidal Orchids, Griffon Vulture, Group birding the Pyrenees

 

LEADERS: Gina Nichol & Steve Bird

Alpine AccentorSPANISH PYRENEES:
Birds & Nature
June 26 - July 4, 2021
      Registration Form (pdf)>


TOUR PRICE: 
 US $2550.00 per person from Barcelona, Spain (Airport code: BCN) based on double occupancy. Price based on current exchange rates when the tour was posted and subject to change (**see note below).

Deposit:  $500.00 per person. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link> to make your credit card payment. 
Please advise [email protected] when you have made payment.
 

    
Single Supplement: 
$375 per person (subject to availability)

 

Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 8

Included in cost:  Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite, all meals from breakfast on 27th June to Breakfast on 04th July, picnic lunches, ground transport throughout, all park entrance fees, water, wine with with dinner, and guiding services of leaders.

Not included: International airfare to and from Barcelona, Spain; insurance; drinks other than above; tips; and items of a personal nature.

Accommodation: All accommodations are of a good standard and offer en-suite rooms, a good variety of meals that can cater for most dietary requirements if we are informed in advance.


Tour Code: This is a birding and nature tour with easy to moderate walks along roads and well-marked trails. There are early morning options and pre-breakfast excursions; we will spend each day out with a picnic lunch returning in the late afternoon early evening in time to chill out before dinner. For those interested, we intend to run several moth lights at night, but if you don’t wish to, or are too tired we will keep anything special we find and show you in the morning. The weather is generally good to warm and as we are at an elevation of around 5000 feet so it is normally very pleasant. The lowlands can be hot and surprising we do often get the odd thunderstorm. Be prepared for all eventualities. We will send you detailed trip information documents prior to the tour.


RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour:

1) Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected] to confirm availability and hold your place.

2) Review the Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)>

3) Complete the Registration & Release Form (pdf)> and mail it with your deposit of US$500.00 per person to Sunrise Birding, LLC within two weeks to secure your place. 

>Download & print the Registration Form (pdf download).
Instructions are on the form.

Reservations are held with a paid deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.


Once the tour is confirmed to go ahead with a minimum of 8 persons, we will send you an confirmation letter with information about booking your flights. Please do not book flights until you receive this information from us and are notified that the trip will run. Final payment is due March 26, 2021 and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Credit card payments are possible, must be pre-approved and will incur a 5% fee. 


**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in Euros), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange at the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.


Cancellations and Refunds:
Please review our Terms and Conditions of Booking (pdf download)> prior to registering for this tour.
All cancellations must be made in writing. 
Please ensure that you take out adequate insurance to cover this and any other eventuality as early as possible. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur.


There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

TRIP INSURANCE:
Sunrise Birding LLC strongly recommends that you consider purchasing a travel protection plan to protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected in case of delay, injury or illness prior to or during a tour. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss and Delay, Emergency Medical Transportation, Pre-existing Conditions, and more.

 

There are many trip insurers. Here are two options to consider:

CSA Travel Protection
CSA TRAVEL PROTECTION>
CSA offers coverage for pre-existing conditions if you purchase your policy before making your final payment for a tour. Please be sure to use Sunrise Birding's producer code: 20201123
when purchasing your policy.
Insuremytrip
INSURE MY TRIP>
Insure My Trip is a web site that allows
you to compare trip insurance plans
to find the right plan for you.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Insurance policy requirements vary and the timing of your purchase can affect coverage. Some insurance providers require that for coverage of pre-existing conditions, a policy must be purchased within 7-14 days of booking. Others, like CSA, offer policies that cover pre-existing conditions as long as the policy is purchased prior to making your final payment for the tour.

  • Trip insurance policy premiums may be non-refundable, but they may be able to be amended or transferred. Check with your insurer. It is important to be sure that the tour is sufficiently subscribed to operate before you purchase trip insurance.

  • Pay attention to coverages provided by your policy. Be aware of the requirements of country or destination can change, so check often. Some policies are now offering Covid related coverages so check with your insurer.

  • US medical insurance plans (including Medicare) often do not provide coverage outside the US. The US State Department strongly advises Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Consult with your insurer prior to your trip to ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider directly or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Be sure to get and keep all documentation of any expenses incurred.

 

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected]
Phone: +1.203.453.6724