Portugal's Birds and Nature

PORTUGAL'S BIRDS AND NATURE: Lisbon Estuaries, Alentejo and Algarve

April 17 to 26, 2018      

Click here for more information on Portugal.

Portugal possesses a fantastic diversity of habitats in a relatively small area, so it is easy to visit species-rich areas without the need to travel long distances. Couple this with spring migration and you have a winning combination of birdwatching, nature exploration with great scenery and history.  Our explorations will be coordinated through Birds & Nature Tours Portugal, the country’s premier tour company. 


We will visit the Tagus Estuary and the Sado Estuary Nature Reserves. These two remarkable protected wetland areas have extensive bird lists that include Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Squacco and Purple Herons, Black-winged Kite, Little Bustard, Collared Pratincole, Iberian Grey Shrike and Spotless Starling, and an excellent selection of ducks, waders, gulls and terns.  The Alentejo region will be next on the itinerary with time spent on the rolling plains of Castro Verde (the home of Great Bustard, Montagu's Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, European Roller, Calandra Lark, Rufous Bush Robin, Black-eared Wheatear, etc...) and the bluffs and hills of the Guadiana Valley Nature Park, noted for species like Iberian Imperial, Golden and Bonelli's Eagles, Eurasian Black and Griffon Vultures, Black Stork, Eurasian Eagle Owl, White-rumped Swift, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting.


We will also go to the Algarve, a Portuguese region rich in protected wetland areas situated on a major fly-way for migrants from Africa and notable in particular for waders and passerines. Some of the places you will visit, namely the Ria Formosa Nature Park and the Castro Marim Nature Reserve, are unique in Portugal as sites for rare and highly localized species, like Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gulls and Lesser Short-toed Lark.


While birds and birdwatching will be the focus of the tour, we will also take opportunities to learn about Portugal’s biomes and nature as well as visit several cultural sites to get a sense of the country’s history. 


PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS: Portugal’s weather in April is normally very pleasant (60-80 degrees F) with clear skies, but of course it is possible to have rain so being prepared with both sun protection and rain gear will be necessary. 

Tour size is limited to 12 participants.

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

DATES: Tuesday April 17, 2018 to Thursday April 26, 2018 (flights home on April 27)
NOTE: Flights from the eastern US normally leave at night and arrive in the morning; it is highly recommended that you fly to Lisbon on April 15th, arriving in Lisbon the morning of April 16th.  There will be an optional city tour on that day. Lodging on April 16th is included in the price (meals on your own).

PRICE: Cost for this tour is $4,295 per person based on double occupancy; single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you) is $550. A deposit of $500 will hold your place until December 16, 2017 when full payment becomes due.

PRICE INCLUDES: Price includes guide fees, airport transfers, ground transport (in a bus with driver), boat trip at Olhão, accommodations (including breakfast), meals (lunches in local cafes and dinners in local restaurants – including wine), free use of optical equipment (quality binoculars and telescopes) and field guides, entrance fees to private or protected areas, participant’s accident insurance and VAT.

Price does not include airfare to/from Lisbon, or items of a personal nature.

Download Tour Registration Form in PDF format
Download Tour Registration Form in fillable Word document


NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 400-3852
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon


by email to travel@njaudubon.org


Dale Rosselet:
Dale Rosselet is NJ Audubon’s Vice President for Education and oversees the organization’s education programs, center operations and eco-travel program. She has extensive experience leading field trips and conducting workshops and has led eco-tours for NJ Audubon for over 20 years.  Dale is a New Jersey native, having grown up near the Great Swamp in northern New Jersey and now resides in Cape May County.  She has led domestic tours to South Florida and the Dry Tortugas, Texas (Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend area), Washington State, Montana and New Mexico.  She has also led tours to Mexico, Churchill and Manitoba, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.  In addition to tours for NJ Audubon, she has done extensive traveling throughout the Caribbean and Central America, and birded in Israel and Kenya.

Dale has co-authored several NJ Audubon publications including Wild Journeys:  Migration in New Jersey and two teacher education curriculum guides Bridges to the Natural World and New Jersey WATERS:  Watershed Approach to Teaching the Ecology of Regional Systems.  She co-authored, with her husband Kevin Karlson, Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015). 

João Jara was born in Lisbon and studied biology at the Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, where he developed his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry as senior manager and director of various multinational companies. With more than 30 years of field experience, João has extensive knowledge about birding in Portugal. He was a member of the board of SPEA (Birdlife in Portugal), a voting member of the PRC (Portuguese Rarities Committee) from 2005–2011, and chairman of the PRC from 2007–2011. Author and co-author of articles about birds, João has led many field tours in Portugal and abroad, as well as bird identification courses for SPEA and for his own birding tours company, Birds & Nature Tours Portugal, which he launched in 2008. Besides birds, he has an active special interest in amphibians, reptiles, and fishes. João is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.

~~ Photos courtesy P. Marques (Great Bustard and European Roller) and Faisca (European Bee-eaters)

For tour itineraries, to register, or for more information contact:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel at: (609)-400-3852
c/o NJ Audubon Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
or email