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FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT PARTICIPATED IN A WINGSPAN TOUR DURING 2016, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CUSTOM & YOUR COMPANY AND WE WISH YOU HEALTH AND HAPPINESS FOR 2017.

THE PROGRAMME FOR SPRING 2017 IS NOW ON MY

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Jan 15th - 28th. - Sri Lanka. £1750

Feb 12th -27th - Costa Rica - full

Mar 20th - 30th Morocco - 10 nights. - £1190

April 5th - 12th - Andalucia migration tour. - £750 - 2 places

April 16th - 24th - Coto Donana & Extremadura - £950 - 2 places

April 29th - 6th May. - Lesvos - £875

May 8th - 15th - Portugal - full


May 13th - 21st Bulgaria - £850

May 23rd - 30th - Andalucia birds and butterflies - £750

May 31st - June 8th. - Extremadura and Sierra de Gredos - £950

June 12th - 20th - Pyrenees and Picos de Europa - £1050


FLIGHTS NOT INCLUDED IN THESE PRICES



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Red-throated Bee-eater

Red-throated Bee-eater
join us for a fantastic tour of The Gambia this November

Saturday, March 30, 2013

MOROCCO 2013 - DAY 11 28TH MARCH



DAY 11  - MARCH 28TH   - ESSAOUIRA – MARRAKECH  

Our final day had arrived, we had an early start, what’s new? So breakfast was at 6am and we set off at 7:00am for Marrakech, we had no time for stops along the way, unless we saw something new, which did not happen.



Well that was that, end of the tour, we drove to the Airport with no further sightings to add. Over the last 10-days we had recorded 184 species, heard five more (Common Quail, Red-billed Chough, Common Cuckoo, Red-necked Nightjar and Great Spotted Woodpecker) and had seen two subspecies that are likely to be split in the future, Moroccan Wagtail and Long-billed Crested Lark. It was a lovely group of people and a pleasure to lead them, we have some great memories to take home with us and a superb list of species for our records.


THE DATES FOR THE 2014 TOUR ARE  14TH – 24TH MARCH, 

TO BOOK YOUR PLACE PLEASE SEND AN E-MAIL OR CONTACT US VIA OUR CONTACTS PAGE ON  


MOROCCO 2013 - DAY 10 27TH MARCH



DAY 10  -  MARCH 27TH    -  AGADIR – CAPE RHIR - TAMRI – OUED KSOB – ESSAOUIRA

This was our last full day birding, we needed to see a few more species, especially the Bald Ibis and the Brown-throated Martin. At 6:30am we went down to breakfast and by 7:30am we were packed, loaded onto the bus and on our way through Agadir heading northward to Tamri.

It was dull and misty with patches of light rain, but the mist was slowly lifting as we drove north. At Cape Rhir we stopped to look for Bald Ibis without success but we did walk down to the point and in good light we could see a fair distance off-shore. Before long we had seen many Northern Gannets, the usual gulls and at least five Manx Shearwaters with two of them sitting on the water. Along the beach we could see a Little Egret and not much else as there were many people fishing.

migrating White Storks


At Tamri we visited the large brackish pool which sits just below the town, we spent a a while searching the open water and reed-beds but found very little:  Moroccan Wagtail, Little Egret, Little-ringed Plover, Moroccan Cormorant, Grey Heron and a large roost of gulls which included many Audouin’s Gulls. Before we went for a walk about 40 Bald Ibis were seen flying over a distant hill and to our delight the birds drifted towards us and after circling for a while they eventually dropped down onto the beach not too far from where we were standing, we had excellent views of them with a back drop of rolling surf. During a short walk around the lagoon we found Sardinian Warblers, Zitting Cisticola and we heard a Reed Warbler but generally it was very quiet.

record shot of BALD IBIS on the beach at Tamri


We continued our journey northward after stopping to buy picnic supplies (for the last time) and just south of Essaouira we turned off the main road to pay a visit to Oued Ksob.  Despite huge development in the area, including a new bridge, there were lots of birds to see. The shrubby tobacco plants found on the shingle banks of the river held  Serins, Greenfinches, Linnets, Goldfinches, African Chaffinches and many Blackcaps.

Curlew Sandpiper just beginning to show summer plumage




We began our walk about 2km upriver from a bridge which spans the main road. Down on the shingle by the river we had a terrific couple of hours watching many species coming to drink and bathe, the number of Blackcaps was impressive, many other species joined them at the water’s edge, at any one time you could see: Greenfinch, Blackcap, Goldfinch, African Chaffinch, Linnet, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Blackbird and Laughing Doves. 


Spotless Starling just about to take a bath


Our target species the Brown-throated Martin turned up in small numbers throughout our stay, there was probably a dozen birds in all, we could see their nest holes in the sandy bank and several of them flew very close to us, the group were underwhelmed, I think, by this plain looking bird. A group of Little Egrets sat in the water near a large flock of Yellow-legged Gulls and it was there that we found several waders. We enjoyed good views of Common and Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plovers. Other sightings included: Common Moorhen, Spotless Starling, Subalpine Warbler, Common Bubul, Great Tit and a couple of Common Kestrels.

final group shot - it was getting a little chilly on the beach by now


We had about an hour left before the sun went down so we walked down river from the new bridge to the shore where a huge roost of Gulls could be seen. We never added any new gulls to our list and we didn’t see a single Tern, but it was a lovely evening and despite a chilly wind we enjoyed our last moments looking across the beach to the town of Essaouira. In all in all it was a superb day-out, we recorded a few new species and finished with a tour list of 189 species, a very record and testament to the efforts of all the group.

A view across to Essaouira from the beach at Qued Ksob

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MOROCCO 2013 - DAY 9 26TH MARCH



Day 9  - March 26TH   - Souss Massa National Park



It was a fabulous trip today, the weather was gorgeous, the birds superb and the group saw several new trip-birds, the total for the day was 84 species. We ate breakfast at 6:30am and set off for the hour-long journey southward to Souss Massa. Bubuls were calling loudly in the hotel grounds and above us hoards of Pallid and a few Little Swifts filled the sky. Along the way we noted Great Grey Shrike, Spotless Starling, Moroccan Magpie, Little Swift, Laughing Dove and Crested Lark.


The first bird we encountered this morning as we began our walk was this European Roller






Our first walk began just inside the reserve perimeter, we started on a track high above the river and we could see for miles across fields and farmland. The birding was so good that it took us 1 ½ hours to walk a few hundred meters. Our first bird was a superb Roller, it sat in the morning sun at the top of a tree, we scoped it from above in superb light, what a great start.


 Many other birds entertained us, with House Bunting, Black-eared Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Sardinian Warblers, Subalpine Warblers and some very colourful Stonechats all showing in the hedgerows and fields. We had excellent views of Moussier’s Redstart, both the male and the female showed very well and several Laughing Doves were very obliging. 

Laughing Dove

Our main target bird was the Black Crowned Tchagra and a few of the group had brief glimpses of two birds as we made our way further along the track, not satisfactory really, so we pressed on in the hope of better views. Over the next hundred meters we caught up with Western Olivaceous and Western Orphean Warblers and a very showy Woodchat Shrike posed for our cameras.

Woodchat Shrike

We then got back onto the bus and drove into the official reserve and continued our walk along the track, we could see a great expanse of the river in both directions and it was from there that we added a few more species to the day list. A couple of waders sat in the river with a Ruddy Shelduck and a Moroccan Cormorant, the waders turned out to be a Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank, as we were watching them a superb male Montagu’s Harrier appeared, it was quartering the reed-bed on the far bank, the fabulous light gave us excellent views, a fantastic sighting of this exquisite raptor.

As we neared the ‘mouth’ of the river (there isn’t a mouth really the whole body of water is essentially a lagoon) we could see a sand bar across it, on and near the sandbar we could see, a single Eurasian Spoonbill, a huge flock of (150+) Sandwich Terns with about 50 Gull-billed Terns, many of these two species were in summer plumage and looking lovely. We also found a solitary Caspian Tern, a juvenile Audouin’s Gull, many Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 

In the water we found Little Grebe, Little Egret, Moroccan Cormorant and along the shore we saw Sanderling, Ringed and Kentish Plovers and a single Knot. The sea was very misty so we couldn’t see very far off-shore but the track itself was superb for flowers, butterflies and birds. There were Linnets everywhere, many in bright red summer plumage, Stonechats, Moussier’s Redstarts, Goldfinches and sylvia warblers mainly Sardinian and Subalpine. The last stretch of the footpath provided our best sightings of the Black-crowned Tchagra, we heard several in song and we finally had great views of a couple of individuals.

Moussier's Redstart

At lunchtime we walked north along the coast, uphill through the sand dunes to a small village where a hotel had a strategic terrace that overlooked the sea. It was very warm now but a lovely cooling breeze came onshore. We sat and ate a lovely lunch, relaxing in the superb surroundings and we finally dragged ourselves away at 2:30pm for some more birding.

Yellow Wagtail ssp. iberiae


We drove into the village of Massa and down to the river, our first stop was on a new bridge where we found two more Black-crowned Tchagras and had very close views of Yellow Wagtail (iberiae) and Common Sandpiper. A short walk along a track through some farmland didin’t produced very much, it was getting very windy. Highlights along the walk included a Turtle Dove ‘turring’ a Quail ‘calling and good views of Olivaceous Warbler. We drove to some open meadows in search of our first Plain Martin (now called Brown-throated Martin) but we failed to find one. 

a  poor record shot of the Black-crowned Tchagra

The sky clouded over the wind increased so we decided to call it a day, it was now 4:30pm and the light was beginning to fade too.

We ended the day fairly early as we pulled into the hotel car park at 5:30pm. We ate a lovely fish dish 7:30pm before retiring at 10pm for a well earned rest. Our total for the day was an impressive 82 species, it was a great day out at the Souss Massa National Park.