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Old Sunday 3rd September 2017, 18:34   #1
interoception
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trip destination advice - 2 days in mid-October UK/Europe short haul

I would appreciate some advice about a destination for a 2 day birding trip with my 8 year old daughter who's keen on birds, mid october.

Either UK or short-haul from Heathrow (e.g. max 2 hrs flight) -- to a destination where we can see lots of different birds.

any thoughts most appreciated -- places with lots of variety would be great

thanks
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 13:06   #2
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Eastern Algarve? I think Faro is maybe just within your 2 hour limit...salt pans with flamingos, egrets etc. literally at the end of the airport runway; beaches with sanderling and Mediterranean gulls, and gannets offshore; Iberian magpies in the countryside. And other stuff an eight year old might like, such as a narrow-gauge train ride to the beach near Santa Luzia.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 13:19   #3
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The Algarve would indeed be a good destination but so too would SW Spain. With luck, the weather shouldn't be too cold. It too has salt pans with Flamingos, waders, etc., Cranes should be arriving from the north and although raptor numbers crossing the straits will have peaked for most species there'll still be a few around (inc. plenty of Griffon Vultures). Often forgotten but the passage of small passerines can be also spectacular.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 14:25   #4
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Eastern Algarve? I think Faro is maybe just within your 2 hour limit....
'Fraid not; from google search:

Quote:
The average flight time from London Heathrow to Faro is 2h 55min
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 15:33   #5
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Since Bilbao is 2 hrs from London anywhere south of there is too far. Only leaves southern France really if you are hoping for better/warmer weather, not sure what the birding is like in the area but there are flights to Biarritz with Easyjet & Ryanair.
Alternatively Scillies can be good and there are usually plenty of birds around, maybe even some yanks and there are plenty of nice beaches for a rest IF the weather is ok, big if! Also can take longer getting to Scillies than Spain................

For a really short trip like 2 days not really worth going far as spend most of the time travelling, personally would stay in the UK and do Nth Norfolk or Minsmere area, unless of course you've done them before?
all the above IMHO of course.

HTH

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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 15:58   #6
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Barcelona is just within the flight time restriction; should be some good birding on the Llobregat delta right around the airport? Only problem is it's so close that aircraft noise could be a spoiler? (don't know for sure, not been myself!)
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 16:03   #7
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The Algarve would indeed be a good destination but so too would SW Spain. With luck, the weather shouldn't be too cold. It too has salt pans with Flamingos, waders, etc., Cranes should be arriving from the north and although raptor numbers crossing the straits will have peaked for most species there'll still be a few around (inc. plenty of Griffon Vultures). Often forgotten but the passage of small passerines can be also spectacular.
Another vote for SW Spain, a little over your two-hour flight request, but well worth the additional flight time.
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 17:15   #8
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Thanks ever so much for this --- any more ideas would be appreciated.

SW Spain could work as Granny lives near Gibraltar.

France easier as less travelling.

And N.Norfolk / Minsmere might actually be the sensible choice as haven't been there yet....

Thanks ever so much -- we are both beginners so this is really helpful advice
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 17:22   #9
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SW Spain could work as Granny lives near Gibraltar.
Granny's for breakfast and a little over an hour later you could be in the midst of flamingoes, Griffon Vultures, even Bald Ibis, I think a winner location.

John, who posted a little further up, is a pure wealth of knowledge regarding this region and, should you decide, can surely better advise you to make the best out of a short trip to the region.

Norfolk a pretty good second choice, though could be chucking it down with rain for the two days :)
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Old Monday 4th September 2017, 17:31   #10
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Yes, Nutcracker's right and SW Spain is over your limit but, I suggest, in practical terms, time of arrival & subsequent departure plus time to birding sites may be the critical consideration even bearing in mind you're travelling with an eight-year-old. If you can fly into Jerez reasonably early then it only takes 35 minutes to drive to the salinas (Flamingos, stilts, etc.) near Sanlucar de Barrameda. A visit to La Janda & the Straits the following day which should net Cranes, Griffon Vultures and other large raptors that should enthral any youngster. If you can drop your hire car elsewhere you could then fly out of Malaga or Gibraltar
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 13:33   #11
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Barcelona is just within the flight time restriction; should be some good birding on the Llobregat delta right around the airport? Only problem is it's so close that aircraft noise could be a spoiler? (don't know for sure, not been myself!)
Spent a few hours in the Llobregat delta last year. Don't remember any disturbance from the airport. Maybe the planes landed and took off from a direction away from the delta. It was good place to bird but I'm not sure you would want to make a two day holiday out of it, you would only need a half day there.
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Old Tuesday 5th September 2017, 23:23   #12
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Given that you usually spend 1-2 hours in the airport before liftoff, I think you need to put a little more time into a trip to say Spain or France. Obviously, it also depends on whether you mean 2 days there plus travel on other days or 2 days including travel.

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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 07:22   #13
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Hi njlarsen, I appreciate that flying to Southern Europe may be a bit too much. It will depend whether this is 2 days inclusive or exclusive of travel
(I am still sorting out how much time I can get away from work).

Another thought, less exotic, but does anyone here have experience of the various nature reserves in Northern France (e.g. those in Picardy, near Calais) e.g.

https://www.french-weekendbreaks.co....u-marquenterre, although I see one review on this forum says "Very crowded places with many hunters." (http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Somme_Estuary)

For me, these would be about the same travel time (driving) from my house to Minsmere / Norfolk....

Last edited by interoception : Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 07:26. Reason: correcting typos
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 07:31   #14
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A vote here for north Norfolk. Wells is a good central spot to stay over.
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 07:36   #15
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Another thought, less exotic, but does anyone here have experience of the various nature reserves in Northern France (e.g. those in Picardy, near Calais)
There's now an excellent guide on northern France - http://www.nhbs.com/where-to-watch-b...de-calais-book I'd happily recommend the area for a spring trip when birds like Little Bittern, Bluethroat, Golden Oriole, Icterine & Melodious Warblers (plus residents like Crested Lark, Crested Tit, Black Woodpecker, Sh-t Treecreeper, etc) can be found but in autumn it has rather fewer advantages and a trip to north Norfolk could be equally productive (and arguably has more spectacular sights for an 8 year old). The weather's no better than the UK either. I'd be more inclined to consider Holland ...
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 11:47   #16
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Catalonia, NE Spain (Barcelona)

Catalonia has three airports within your 2hr limit so it's easier to find cheap flights.

It also has officially the widest variety of habitat in Iberia and probably western Europe, to say the least, so there's a lot of choice:

Itineraries - http://www.catalanbirdtours.com/spai...migration.html

Ebro Delta, Steppes and Pyrenees are all little more than an hour away and, as has been mentioned, you've also got the Llobregat wetlands by Barcelona airport to start you off. The Garraf too is local if you fancy a but of walking in the low coastal mountain range.

There's also a fantastic transport network to get you around the choice of places quickly as well as a lot of good info on the web.

Not a bad time of year also. Raptor, shorebird and song bird passage still going on in early October.

Happy to help if you need more info.
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Old Wednesday 6th September 2017, 18:26   #17
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If you are going as far as Spain, and with an 8 year old, then I would suggest the Laguna de Fuente Piedra. Flamingos if it has rained and possibly even if it has not, and also a good variety of waders only a few yards away.

About an hour from Malaga airport.
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Old Sunday 10th September 2017, 16:25   #18
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Mid October is excellent for Crane migration.
Linumer Bruch is easy reachable from airport of Berlin.
Not for from this area is also lake Guelper See, which is also called "petrol station of migration birds in Central Europe". White tailed Eagle is usually see there every day different time.
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 08:00   #19
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Cranes reached 48.985 yesterday in Linum, which is easy reachable from Berlin.
Not far from this area is Havelland with lake Guelper See.
There are many migration birds and almost 100 % chance of White-tailed Eagle.

About 40 km from lake Guelper See is Nennhausen with Great Bustard area.
Usually I saw every time in the year Great Bustads there.
Yesterday was seen 20 ( ornitho.de under Grosstrappe ).
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 12:37   #20
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Thanks everyone. Will go to North Norfolk this time and go further when we have a little more time. Lots of great suggestions most appreciated
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 00:36   #21
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Barcelona is just within the flight time restriction; should be some good birding on the Llobregat delta right around the airport? Only problem is it's so close that aircraft noise could be a spoiler? (don't know for sure, not been myself!)
Not a spoiler at all. It's a wonderful place.

The only spoiler when I was there was an elementary school trip.
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