Day 1: Santander – La Hermida – Potes
Meet and welcome at Santander airport before heading to the picturesque town of Potes via the impressive La Hermida gorges. Depending on flight times we may do some birding in a nearby public area which still has excellent old oaks . In the holes of these ancient trees a few pairs of Common Redstart breed while Yellowhammer and European Serin are also present. Dinner and accommodation in Tama / Potes.
Day 2: Potes – Puerto de San Glorio
Today we will visit the San Glorio mountain pass. There are several interesting sites to enjoy birds and butterflies on the journey up , so we will probably make a few stops before reaching the top. Here Tree Pipit, Citril Finch, Northern Wheatear and Common Linnet are all present, while we will also try our luck with Grey Partridge whose behaviour here is as a semi-alpine bird. This is also a fantastic spot to look for the scarce and endemic Chapman’s Ringlet, the largest of all the ringlet butterflies.
Day 3: Potes – Fuente Dé
This is definitely the most exciting day for all tours to the Picos de Europa. Taking the cable car from Fuente D é to the top of the mountain and so accessing mountain habitat of over 1,800 m asl will provide us with excellent opportunities for seeing some of the special birds present in this corner of Spain. Wallcreeper, White-winged Snowfinch , Alpine Accentor and Alpine Chough will be our main targets while we should also find Northern Wheatear, Water Pipit and Egyptian Vulture. There is no better place in the country which gives the chance to see all these birds without strenuous hiking being involved! We will explore the rocky cliffs and glacial pools, where we hope to find the rare Alpine Newt. Before returning to our hotel in Potes we will walk into the woods next to Espinama where Black Woodpecker has bred recently. Dinner and accommodation in Tama / Potes.
Day 4: Potes (birding locally near our hotel)
There are plenty roads and hiking itineraries starting near Potes. On our fourth day of tour we will spend part of the day exploring some Sessile and Holm Oak woods which differ from each other in their birds. We will try to find Firecrest, Cirl Bunting, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, European Honey Buzzard and Red-backed Shrike. Amongst the butterflies we should also see the showy Cleopatra, Brimstone and Spanish Swallowtail. The Pink Butterfly Orchid is a quite common flower here.
Day 5: Potes – Puerto de Piedrasluengas
The very popular Piedrasluengas mountain pass is perhaps one of the best sites for Black Woodpecker but there are also other interesting birds that might be seen here like Marsh Tit, Goldcrest, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Golden Eagle and Yellow-billed Chough. Not far from here and already into the Castilla y León region there are a couple of good places where Brown Bears are even occasionally seen. These are also good places for Rock Bunting and Eurasian Bullfinch. A quick visit to the beautiful Romanesque church of San Salvador de Cantamuda will also be possible.
Day 6: Potes – Vega de Liébana
The little villages in the area known as the Valle de Liébana all provide good chances to see Common Redstarts breeding in the old buildings. Various common birds are also present in their surrounding orchards as well as these being good places to look for Wryneck and Great Spotted Woodpecker. However , our main target today will be the very localised Middle Spotted Woodpecker. Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper and Red-backed Shrikes are also present.
Day 7: Potes – Santander
If time allows we will make a couple of stops along the coastline to look for a few new species for our tour. Transfer to Santander airport where the trip ends.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT THIS TOUR
Thanks for a wonderful trip… the views of the Wallcreeper were just amazing!
Keith Rainford (UK), June 2015
Lovely mountains, pretty orchids and great birds! Middle Spotted Woodpeckers and Wallcreeper moment amongst the highlights of the week! Thanks again
Martin McCleary (UK), June 2013
Thanks for another wonderful birding experience, all food, accommodation and birds made this trip very special.
Steve Moore (UK), June 2013
Rates per person sharing:
€ 1,400 / £ 1,190 / USD 1,550
Single suplement: € 175 / £ 150 / USD 195
Group size: Min. 4 – Max. 7 participants
* Pounds Sterling and US Dollars are given as an estimate based on 7th July 2016 exchange rates. All prices have to be paid in Euros to Spainbirds Nature Tours S.L.
GUIDE: Santi Villa
What it is included:
Ground transport from Madrid airport in modern, fully seat-belted, air conditioned 9-seat vehicles
– 6 Nights accommodation with en suite bathroom (country inn and small run family hotels)
– All meals inc breakfast, fantastic “tapas-raciones” lunches and evening meals + red wine in moderate consumption
– Services of professional birding guide
– Basic travel insurance
– Bird checklist (revised edition 2015)
– All taxes
What it is NOT included:
– Air fare (Easyjet, Ryanair & other companies operate daily flight from several UK airports)
– Extra drinks and other items of a personal nature
Target species in this tour:
Wallcreeper, Alpine Accentor, White-winged Snowfinch, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Alpine Chough, Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, Black Woodpecker, Middle-spotted woodpecker, Citril Finch, Water Pipit, Common Redstart, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Wryneck…
Spainbirds Nature Tours is a tour agent accredited by the Spanish Tourist Board with number CICMA 2517. This code allows us to operate under all international tourism regulations thus assuring all our clients the highest level of protection during their holidays.