FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions About Birdinginspain.com
How much do you charge for a day’s guiding?
The 2011-2012 price for a day’s professional guiding in our own vehicle is 150 euros plus fuel costs.
That’s a bit steep, isn’t it?
No, it isn’t. Guiding is not a hobby, it’s a job. We try and make an honest living, we have a family to feed and raise, and we work hard to ensure that our clients get the best from their trips. It’s not just a day job, there’s also a lot of work that goes into preparation, organization and the acquirement of knowledge and knowhow can be a process of many years.
If you can’t afford a guide there are many other options. Options which we have catered for quite generously on our website, with the Sites and Itineraries and Free Downloads sections, and with Steve’s book “Where the birds are in northeast Spain”.
And if there are 3 of us?
The price is the same for 1, 2 or 3 guests. So if there are 3 of you you will only pay 50 euros each plus fuel costs.
Can you guide for groups of four or more?
Of course. We are happy to cater for groups of any reasonable size: we can provide solutions for transport, accommodation, guiding, itinerary, etc.
Do you provide help with accommodation?
Yes. First of all in the Sites and Itineraries section we have a number of direct links to our recommended accommodation. These are establishments, mostly rural hotels, which are in excellent locations for birding, and which offer a standard and quality of service which is very good for the price you pay. In most cases we have had first-hand experience of these hotels, having stayed there with birding groups, clients or family.
Feel free to contact these establishments directly, but if, as our client, you do have any communication problems then we will be happy to help sort things out.
Are there any mosquitoes or other biting insects?
That depends on the place and the time of year. There are mosquitoes in the Ebro delta, and the other coastal wetlands, although control measures have helped to reduce their numbers. Black flies (very small black insects) have become a nuisance along stretches of some of the major rivers in lowland areas, but their presence is very localized. Ticks are rarely encountered.
What temperatures/conditions should I expect?
- Hot from June to September
- Cold in December to February and variably cool/cold
- Warm/hot at the other times
Rainfall is low throughout the region, higher in the mountains and in winter. The summers are dry, but you should expect thunderstorms in the Pyrenees in spring and summer.
Do you have a spare pair of binoculars?
Yes, we normally have 3 spare pairs of binoculars to hand. More can be obtained if requested in advance.
Should I bring my telescope?
Yes! A telescope is always a good thing to bring if you can. If it is not possible obviously we share our own with our clients.
What is the best place for Wallcreeper/Lammergeier/Black Woodpecker….?
Take a look at the wealth of information provided free of charge in the Sites and Itineraries section. The next step would be to purchase a copy of “Where the birds are in northeast Spain”, details of which can be seen in the “books” section, along with a few free bits.
If you need more than this then you should consider contracting our guiding services.
What is the best time of year to come to northeast Spain?
That depends on what you want to see. Most people come in the spring because it is when you can see the greatest variety of birds, resident species and the migratory species that breed here, species such as Roller, Bee-eater, Montagu’s Harrier, Booted Eagle, warblers and many more.
However, if you have certain target species it may be worth your while considering other times of the year. For example, the much appreciated Wallcreeper is easier to see in the winter months as it descends from its high mountain haunts from October to April. The wildlife spectacle of Cranes flocking in large numbers only occurs from November to February. Flocks of sandgrouse and bustards can be located in the winter months too.
The least suitable time for general birding is from July to August. Temperatures are high and by midday there is very little activity. However, if you are coming on holiday at that time and want to do some birding it is still possible – with an early start!
Why northeast Spain?
There are lots of reasons. Apart from the birds: good weather, good roads and rail network, good food and accommodation, friendly people, Barcelona, the Costa Brava, the Pyrenees…
Then the birds: Lammergeier, Wallcreeper, Dupont’s Lark, wetland birds in the Ebro delta, plains species in the Ebro valley. This region holds the European record for the number of species seen in a single day, over 200!
Will there be many chances for bird photography?
In general no. Birds here are quite wary of humans and understandably don’t like you getting close. Although you can be lucky and get some opportunistic shots, in general to get top class photos you need to use a hide.
What if it rains or there is adverse weather?
If we can foresee the situation we can propose different dates for your trip. The trip may be cancelled if conditions make it impossible to do any productive birding and if no alternative is available.
Which field guide is best?
The Collins Bird Guide by Mullarney, Svensson et al. is the only identification guide you should need for a birding trip to the region. For finding birds use “Where the Birds are in northeast Spain” by Steve West.
We’ll be staying at Barcelona for a few days and would like to get in some birding. What do you recommend?
The Llobregat delta is on the southern edge of Barcelona and is well worth a visit. You could combine a visit to the delta with one to the Garraf massif, see the Llobregat delta and Garraf itinerary in the Sites and Itineraries section of this website.
Trains from Barcelona to Lleida are relatively cheap, fast and regular. This opens up the option of seeing steppe species such as Little Bustard, Montagu’s Harrier, Roller, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse and more, as well as vultures and eagles in the nearby mountains.
What is there to do for a non-birding spouse/partner?
An awful lot! What are his/her interests? Sport, horses, wine, cultural visits, shopping, bathing, cycling, photography….? You tell us, and we’ll work something out to keep them happily occupied while you are out birding with us.
Still have more questions? Ask them to Steve via Email here