Ecotono Birding

Birding tours in Andalucía

Osprey ringed

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VW3 “The Osprey incident”

Ospreys are coming back to their wintering areas and we start having news from them in Africa!

UV has reached North Senegal. On October 12 he was visiting familiar areas like the north part of the Langue de Barbarie National Park. You can get more information about this Osprey in Kielder Ospreys blog, where they tell more in details the movements of the tagged Ospreys in UK.

34 minutes of foraging

UV fishing at La breche in Langue de Barbarie. Picture from Kielder Ospreys

Second Osprey that we have news is VW3. It was born in Brandenburg, Germany, in 2012. We saw it several times last year in Langue de Barbarie, sometimes with great views.

This season he is back, unfortunately on September 29 the bird had a problem with the fishing nets and was trapped on top of a tree. As soon as possible the rangers of the park went to rescue him from the disaster. They got a great result, they managed to climb until VW3 and release it from the nets. Fortunately VW3 wasn’t damaged at all and it was released as soon as the rangers verified that everything was ok.

Congratulate rangers of Langue de Barbarie National Park,  they did a very good job with VW3 and we know they have a lot of care about the conservation of this important area for birds and nature in Senegal.

Hopefully we will see UV and VW3 this winter when we will work again in the bird survey of the National Park with Tougoupeul.

Pictures sent by the direction of the National Park Langue de Barbarie.





Conservation project in Senegal. Ospreys and a new species for sub-saharan Africa!

Last winter, Blanca and Rafa from Ecotono Birding Sevilla started to collaborate in conservation project in Senegal in “Langue de Barbarie” National Park with the NGO Tougoupeul. Our aim is monitoring the wintering and resident bird species at the National Park and also to asses the park to create a management plan for this important area in north Senegal.


Langue de Barbarie National Park

Langue de Barbarie is changing

The National Park ‘ Langue de Barbarie ‘ is situated in the South of Saint-Louis, and covers the region of the estuary of the river, the Senegal. Until 2003, the river flowed parallel with the ocean on a length of about 30 kilometers; between the ocean and the river was a piece of land of 400 meters wide at the most. The Park is also very important for many species of birds, like Osprey, Pelican, Terns, Grey headed Gull… but also for 4 species of sea-turtles, who make their nest on the ‘Langue’ once a year, and for Monitor Lizards.

Caspian Terns

Caspian Terns breeding at the Langue de Barbarie National Park

In 2003 a breach has been opened in the Langue, South of Saint-Louis and North of the National Park. First, the breach was 5 meters wide, and meant to protect the old part of the town of Saint-Louis, which is situated on an island in the rivermouth, and also to create a shorter way to the ocean for the fishermen. Today the breach has a width of 5 kilometers. When the breach was made, the force of the ocean water had not been taken into account. This way, a new system of currents was created; today, the original estuary of the river is completely bogged down, and the Langue is more and more prey to the ocean, from the southern direction. From the North, the Langue is growing again, but not at the same pace. The ecosystem of the National Park ‘ Langue de Barbarie ‘ is changing quickly today. The plans of the administration are not tuned anymore to the actual situation .

Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard in Langue de Barbarie

Our work with Tougoupeul

The Non Profit Organisation Tougoupeul has received a contract for two years from the Senegalese government to check the administration plans for the National Park ‘Langue de Barbarie’. But a plan without precise information is not a plan. From November 2015 on we are starting with the monitoring work. We are working there in order to help the local Park rangers with the monitoring: how, where and when the birds must be counted, etc. The data are digitalized, and especially, we train the local staff members of the Park how to take the data and how to analyse it. Depending on the results, action plans are made up, and the National Park can start a new future.


Shikra at Langue de Barbarie

The local inhabitants are, of course, involved in this project; without them there is no basis to continue this project.

Rangers NPLB

The working team in Langue de Barbarie

Paradise for Birds, Ospreys and a new species for Senegal!

White-faced Whistling Duck

White-faced Whistling Ducks

Over 115 species of birds have been recorded during our stay at Langue de Barbarie. Among them, we were surprised with the big amount of wintering Ospreys, around 170 individuals are wintering in Langue de Barbarie. We could read many rings from birds coming from Germany and Great Britain and also we spotted one bird (UV) a juvenil tagged with a GPS by Kielder Osprey Project in the north of England. In their blog you can follow the amazing life of this Osprey and other birds tagged in this interesting and important project. UV came back England in spring and it is already going south. Hopefully we will be with it next winter in Langue de Barbarie!

Osprey ringed

3VW Osprey ringed in Germany in 2012

Another interesting sigh during our stay was when we saw an unexpected Thrush in the north part of the park. It was perched in a tree next to feeders visited by various bird species, including doves, weavers and Greater Blue-eared Starlings. After consulting relevant literature and comparing photographs on the internet, we identified the bird as an Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus! The white tips to the greater coverts and the white throat indicated it was a first-winter.

Eyebrowed Thrush

Eyebrowed Thrush. First record for Senegal and sub-saharan Africa


African Bird Club Bulletin

Eyebrowed Thrush breeds in central and east Siberia, and winters in south and south-east Asia, from north-east India to Taiwan and the Greater Sundas. It is a rare but nearly annual vagrant to Europe in autumn. In Africa there is just one previous record, of a first-winter photographed at Merzouga, Morocco, on 17 December 2008 (Messemaker 2009), c.2,100 km north-east of our record. The sighting reported here is thus the first documented record of Eyebrowed Thrush for Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa, and also the south-westernmost ever!

The record has been published in an article in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club Vol 23, 2 September 2016. You also can download it here: Benjumea-Pérez 2016

For the upcoming season (November 2016 until January 2017) we are glad and very happy to announce that we will come back again to this wonderful place with such a nice people. This winter we will focus our work on the wintering Ospreys and we will start a ringing project with passerines. Let’s see what is new, lot of things to discover and learn!

In Ecotono Birding we are always motivated to be involved in conservation projects all over the world, but your help is also very important. To get it possible our funds come mainly from donations of people like you. If you want to be involved and support our work please visit Tougoupeul webpage !

NPLB and Tougoupeul

Join us in the conservation and protection of nature in Senegal!

Thanks to all the people who somehow have participated in the project! especially Dirk Vanhoecke  for inviting us to carry out the study, Moussa Fall director of PNLB and all the park staff, especially Moussa Niang and Saliou Coulibaly, for assisting us in many ways. To all the staff of Zebrabar for taking care of us and give us such a good senegalist food! Thanks to Sights of Nature for donating the optik for the Rangers, to Manu Mojarro for donating the tripod for the scope and Julio Roldán for bringing it to Senegal. To Simon Cavaillès for helping us with the identification of the Thrush, commenting on the article and joining us during the counts. To Jean-Jacques Guitard and Pau Lucio to help us in some counts. Many thanks to all the visitors, donators and people interested in situ in our work in Senegal.

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Aves en Batumi – Birds in Batumi

Tras el éxito del año pasado, este año guiaremos de nuevo un viaje ornitológico a Georgia. Del 23 de septiembre al 1 de octubre iremos a disfrutar de la migración masiva de rapaces que pasan sobre Batumi. Más de un millón de aves censadas en cada temporada en Batumi Raptor Count, proyecto en el que directamente colaboramos coordinando el seguimiento de la migración y al que apoyaremos económicamente con nuestro viaje.

After the great succes last year, we offer you a new birdtrip to Georgia. From 23th Sept to 1st Oct you will witness the massive migration at Batumi bottleneck. Over 1 million raptors are counted in BRC, project in which we are involved coordinating the count and we will help a bit with our economical support from the trip.

Birdwatching in Tarifa

Grupo de halcones abejeros en migración/Flock of Honey Buzzards on migration.

Georgia un destino exótico y poco visitado un viaje diferente para disfrutar de la exuberante naturaleza que el pasado año ya descubrimos. Su estratégica posición geográfica la hace ideal para observar tanto aves del Este de Europa, águilas moteadas, pomeranas, esteparias, halcones abejeros así como especies caucásicas.

Georgia is an exotic and unknown destination, a different trip to enjoy nature. This important bottleneck is really good for birds like Lesser or Greater Spotted Eagles, Steppe and Imperial Eagles, Honey Buzzards and many more.


Batumi el mejor lugar de Europa para la migración de aves/Batumi the best place for bird migration in Europe

Tomamos como base Batumi, a orillas del Mar Negro. Desde aquí tendremos un nutrido programa de actividades. Junto a la propia observación de aves podremos hacer senderismo en el Parque Nacional de Mtirala, un bosque húmedo que nos recordará a las selvas tropicales, impensable en esta zona de Europa. El Delta del río Chorokhi y el Parque Nacional de Kolkheti, humedales de extraordinario valor natural. El maravilloso jardín botánico de Batumi y el animado ambiente de esta histórica ciudad portuaria a orillas del Mar Negro, donde se mezclan ambientes orientales y del ultramar.

We wil base at Batumi, in Black Sea seaside. We will have many activities like birdwatchign, hiking in huge fores of Mtirala National Park. Chorokhi Delta and the Kolkheti National Park, wonderful wetlands importants for bird conservation. We also visit the fabulous botanical garden of Batumi and this diverse city where you can feel the mix in beetween orient and occident.


Águila pomerana/Lesser Spotted Eagle

¿Te vienes a este viaje alucinante? Tienes toda la información y como reservar tu plaza en Viajes Alventus.

También puedes visitar nuestro albúm de fotos con una muestra de lo que podremos ver en Flickr.

Do you want to come? Please contact us and we will let you know the details.

Feel free to visit our gallery in Flickr.

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Spring in Andalusia!

One of the best seasons for Birdwatching in Andalusia is the Spring, lovely weather and birds everywhere occur at the same time. Come and enjoy birds in Andalusia!

Colorful fields by thousands of flowers are home to many busy breeding bird species, bird migration coming from Africa, african specialities already resident in Andalusia and adding a delicious and varied gastronomy, good weather and lovely cities and towns make South Spain one of the best destinations for Birdwatchers in Europe. Probably you will remember this site as one of your best trips ever!

brazo del este2

High concentrations of water birds in Spring

For this time of the season each of our tours has something special.

Marble Teal couple

Marble Teals

Probably our best tour is Doñana. Brimming with life, the marsh offers the best conditions to nest and breed the newbies. Here you can enjoy the biggest colony of White Storks of Europe, Red-knobbed Coots, Marble Teals, Flamingos and lot of species (if we catch up the migrants is possible till 100 species in a single day!). Reaching the border of the National Park you will watch the beautiful colony of herons and Glossy Ibis nesting on the bushes, and also some probabilities to see the majestic Spanish Imperial Eagle looking for preys at the marsh.

Flock of Glossy Ibis

Flock of Glossy Ibis

The Guadalquivir marshes is not bad at all. Heading to the river mouth you will delight the Whiskered Terns colony breeding very close, it is amazing to see them hunting dragonflies on flight and just behind the Terns we will look for Collared Pratincoles and Purple Swamphens. We will visit a wonderful area where almost all the herons are breeding at the same place Spoonbills, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Little Egret, etc… also possible to see White-headed Ducks. In this tour we also can look for Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin and Little Swift.


Short-toed Eagle

The Strait of Gibraltar is another really good spot for birdwatching. Thousands of birds are crossing the Strait heading North to their breed quarters in Europe. Specially the raptor migration is quite impressive, there is no other better place to get close views of Short-toed or Booted Eagles among others. In this tour you also have probabilities to see Bald Ibis, Common Bulbul, Griffon Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle or Red-necked Nighjar among others.

The Sierra Morena mountains still keep the magic of the winter. Less bird species but nothing compare to have the chance to see the Lynx. Is not the best season to see them (winter time is the best), but anyways the possibilities are high and is worth just to sit and see the landscape with Black and Griffon Vultures with Spanish Imperial Eagles.

Iberian Lynx2

Iberian Lynx in Sierra Morena (Andújar)

And don’t forget birdwatching at the Steppes! for this spring we have 2 new bird trips! 

  • The Steppes close to Seville. In less than 45 minutes driving we have Roller, Montagu’s Harrier, Iberian Grey Shrike, Little and Great Bustards and, with luck, Black-bellied Sandgrouse among others.
  • The portuguese Steppes. In a wonderful trip of 4 days we will visit the remotes and unknown areas of the Alentejo. Same steppe species with possibilities to watch Spanish Imperial Eagle and Bonelli’s Eagle in wonderful grasslands and magical landscapes. We already have a group trip with the travel agency Alventus from 24th to 27th March where you can also join it.
Sisón_little bustard

Little Bustard calling

Not enough? don’t forget we are flexible and we can arrange every single trip according to your preferences, just let us know what are you looking for and we will do our best to offer you the best birdwatching and nature experience in South Spain!




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Birds & Whales at the Strait of Gibraltar

Witness the Bird Migration at the Strait Of Gibraltar!

September is coming and it is the best moment to discover one of the Great Nature Events ever seem. Enjoy the Birdwatching migration!

After the breeding season in Europe, thousand of birds will cross the Strait of Gibraltar on their way to Africa. They concentrate in high numbers in the area close to Tarifa till the weather conditions allows the safe pass to Africa. Species of raptors, passerines and seabirds can be watched in our tours.The whole month is good for migration, however first 2 weeks of september are the best timing to enjoy the migration and Birdwatching.

Witness the spectacular show of Short-toed and Booted Eagles migrating, Egyptian Vultures, Black Storks, Honey Buzzards or Rüppel’s Vultures among others are possible to watch at the best places.

The Strait of Gibraltar is a really wonderful área with great landscapes and beautiful places for birdwatching!

Birdwatching in Tarifa

Flock of Honey Buzzards on migration.

Combine your Bird Experience with Whalewatching!

But we are also in beetwen two seas, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantinc Ocean. The Strait of Gibraltar is a really good place for Whalewatching.

Resident species of Dolphins (Stripped, Common and Bottlenose Dolphins) and Pilot Whales are common to see but it is also possible migrating whales like Sperm Whale, Fin Whale or the amazing Orcas looking for Tuna Fish near Marocco. On the boat we can also enjoy birdwatching of course, Cori’s and Balearic Shearwater, Stormpetrels or Gannets among others are possible to see and don’t forget to check the sky for raptors of storks in the middle of the Strait, with luck it is possible to see them!

Whale watching in Tarifa

It is possible to watch Orcas hunting Tuna Fish

This year you can combine Bird and Whale watching in a full day tour at the Strait of Gibraltar. It is only 2 hours away from Sevilla and we can arrange everything for your best guided experience in Birdwatching and Whalewatching!

As usual, we custom the trip to your requirements and the weather conditions. Please contact us and we will very happy to prepare an itinerary adappted to your requirements.

Steppe Buzzard in migration

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Massive migration in Georgia. Birdtrip.

Steppe Buzzard in migration

Steppe Buzzard – Ratonero de estepa

After coordinating the count with Batumi Raptor Count during 2 years, this autumn we will guide a wonderful trip to Batumi (Georgia) to witnes the massive bird migration.

Over 1 Million raptors cross this place every year, thousands of passerines is the migration party in the whole Paleartic.

9 days where full board is included, accomodation in guesthouses and daily guided birdwatching trips in the area of Batumi. We are collaborating with Batumi Birding, which 70% of their profits flow to conservation in Georgia.

Enjoy an unforgetable experience in the best spot for birds!

Contact us on to get more information about.

Tras 2 años coordinando el conteo de aves con Batumi Raptor Count, este año guiamos dos maravillosos viajes a Batumi (Georgia), probablemente el mejor lugar para disfrutar de la migración de aves en todo el paleártico.

Más de 1 millón de aves cruzan este enclave cada año, migración masiva de halcones abejeros y ratoneros de estepa, águilas pomeranas, moteadas, esteparias e imperiales orientales, aguiluchos papialbos o el raro halcón abejero oriental son algunas de las especies que nos depara este viaje, además de miles de paseriformes pasando sobre nuestra cabeza.

9 días con vuelo, pensión completa, alojamiento en casas de las familias locales y rutas guiadas de un día en la zona de Batumi. Colaboramos con Batumi Birding, empresa de la que el 70% de sus beneficios van a parar a la conservación de la naturaleza en Georgia.

¿Quieres venirte y disfrutar de una experiencia inolvidable en el mejor sitio para el birdwatching de Europa?

Te ofrecemos 2 viajes:

del 5 al 13 de Septiembre: Pico de migración de halcón abejero, aguiluchos y buen tiempo.

del 28 de septiembre al 6 de octubre: Pico de migración del ratonero de estepa y águilas, tiempo algo más inestable.

El viaje lo realizamos con Alventus Viajes, empresa experta en viajes de naturaleza.

Si estás interesad@ ponte en contacto con nosotros por teléfono al +34 625 498 609 o por correo electrónico a y te mandaremos toda la información así como resolver todas tus dudas.

También puedes realizar tu reserva y obtener más información en la web the Alventus Viajes.

Honey Buzzar in migration

¡Disfruta de la migración en Batumi!


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Spring Bird Migration at the Strait of Gibraltar

From April to May you will get a unique chance to experience the bird migration on the strait of Gibraltar. Good birding days are coming, starting with the eagles period where Short-toed and Booted Eagles reach our seashore exhausted sometimes, very low and just in front of us.

Short-toed Eagle arriving Eurpoe.

Short-toed Eagle arriving Eurpoe.

Next are the massive Griffon Vultures joining with Bee Eaters, Swifts, Egyptian Vultures, Harriers and Black Storks among others, the Strait starts to be quite busy with the migration party.

Everybody is waiting for the peak of Honey Buzzard, over 20.000 in a single day. At this time of the season nobody has seen the first one, but they are on the way. We will be the whole week waiting for them. Forecast is really good till thursday, when strong wind from the east will arrive, but maybe after the windy days we could have a very good day of migration.

Honey Buzzard

Adult male of Honey Buzzard

In our birdtrips to the Strait of Gibraltar we combine bird migration visiting another hot spots for birds near Tarifa, like La Janda or the very special colony of Bald Ibis.

Anyways birdwatching at the Strait of Gibraltar is always fantastic and it is only about 2 hours driving from Seville!