In this section of our website you can refer to testimonials from bird watching clients who have kindly contributed their thoughts on our birding tours of the Ebro delta.
This place is special. This guide, Al Henderson, is special. We visited with Ebro Delta Birding, in autumn, on the tail-end of the migration south for many bird species and we were very privileged to witness spectacle after spectacle. Numerous Marsh Harriers cruising in to roost amongst the reedbeds all on a backdrop of hundreds of glossy Ibis criss-crossing the dusk sky and a murmuration of starlings thrown in. 1000 or more White stork shuffling for position before swirling up in turn on the midday thermals amongst red kites, griffon vultures and even a much rarer black stork. And the exchange of roosts between the night heron colonies, with their large bright red eyes, switching places with many hundreds of egrets, cormorant and an osprey, all viewed in reflection too, with the sunset behind, from Al's boat out on the river Ebro. The delta itself has vast numbers of birds, some resident, some migrant. All year round you can also witness the balletic displays of the flamingos, of course and we also took the opportunity to witness a private feeding of over 200 Griffon Vultures at a fantastic mountainside retreat permitting panoramic views from above and below. As a family (not all of whom are 'birders') there was something for everyone... new species, new behaviour, new songs, fantastic photo opportunities and a chance to see a wide variety of landscapes. Well over 100 different bird species were seen on this trip. However, it is the sheer number of birds that was unexpected and that easily rivalled costal reserves in the UK and trips to The Gambia, for example, with the promise of more to be seen at different times of the year too.
We had a fantastic 4 days birding with Ebro Delta Birding. We went to the Northern and Southern Delta, on the river boat trip and to the nearby mountains. Al, our host was extremely knowledgeable about the area, the birdlife and specific places that different species could be found. We would have been completely lost without such an experienced guide. Al is also an excellent photographer and sent us a range of beautiful photographs of the birds we saw. We had four very different days including one on the river, one in the nearby mountain range, featuring over 500 Griffon vultures feeding, and two in different parts of the delta area. We experienced a range of habitats and bird types and were able to get extremely close to the birds, including the smaller ones which are sometimes difficult to see let alone get close to. Al also provided background information on the habits of the various birds. Highlights included Osprey, numerous kingfishers, a Egret Roost, Waders, Vultures, and the small birds incuding a Firecrest and Crested Tit. We very much look forward to returning to the area and Ebro Delta Birding.
What a fantastic day on the water! Having such a knowledgeable and competent tour guide meant we saw a wide range of birds we never would have seen on our own and felt in safe hands all the time. Al worked hard to make sure it was a special experience for us. We would defenitely go on another of his trips and would happily recommend him to others.
Had a wonderful day with Al! He tailors the experience to your personal goals, and in addition takes you to many different spots to try to find as many species as possible. It's an incredible value to get such personal experience for an entire day His knowledge about the area cannot be matched. He also takes photos throughout the day, and shares them with you, so you can relax and keep your eyes on the birds. I think my favorite thing about Al is his enthusiasm. He clearly loves birding as much as his clients do, and this makes for a very fun and enjoyable day.
I have just returned from a 4 day break in the Ebro Delta region. I was lucky enough to book a Boat Birding & Photography Tour with ebrodeltabirding.com and had the most fantastic day along the margins of the mighty River Ebro. Al, the guide and skipper of the boat was a friendly, hugely knowledgable guy and expert photographer and was able to offer advice , information and knew every inch of the river like it was his own. We saw purple herons, Squacco Herons, Little Bitterns, Bee Eaters to name but a few but the highlight came when Al left juicy titbits on the surface of the river near a Black Kite roost which tempted the 2 kites to circle then swoop for the offerings right in front of the boat barely 10 feet away. For a photographer this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and from a bird watching point of view, the kind of personal one on one experience with this magnificent bird of prey that you would struggle to find anywhere else in the wild. The boat is spacious, comfortable and easily cuts through the river to get to different locations but then a silent electric motor allows you to get within just a few feet of the numerous wading and roosting birds among the reeds. I’m still sifting through my hundreds of photographs over a week after returning home. A fabulous day out in the company of a fabulous guide. The guest house is beautifully run by Al and his wife Wendy, is very comfortable and in such a lovely remote location that you can't help but just sit and reflect in the peace and quiet over your early morning coffee. Fabulous value for money, great company and overall a wonderful experience. Already booked again for next year. Do it. You won't be disappointed. 5 STARS*****
This was my first birding tour abroad and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife enjoyed it too even though she is not an active birder herself. This is because the tour has been structured so well by Al with a different experience every day. I would like to mention that if your other half is a non birder or passive birder it doesn't matter. Just take them along as they will love the peace and quiet of the countryside villa, the beautiful scenery of delta and mountains, and the variety of experiences on each day of the tour. Even though there is a village 5 minutes away from the villa, we decided to stock up on supplies and cook our evening meals at the villa. There is a large Eroski supermarket that Al took us to on the first day where everything is available. We even bought a nice pair of slippers as we'd forgotten to bring ours. Al was really flexible with the tour and even agreed to an extra half day of birding for an extra charge in the drylands on the way back to Barcelona on the final day. We had booked a 5 night stay in Barcelona after the birding and Al was kind enough to drop us off at the accomodation we had booked. Ok now on to the birding. On the way to the villa we were fortunate enough to get a red necked nightjar! We managed to get a really clear view in the car headlights. A dream start. Al is an expert on the area and new exactly where to go to get different species. The first day we visited the South Delta and got 55 species, 20 of which were completely new to me such as bee eater, collared pratincole, penduline tit and audouin's gull. We also got a great paella for lunch! The second day we visited the griffon vulture observatory which was simply an amazing experience. Hundreds of vultures were fighting for food and being fed by one brave man! We also crossed the river on a car ferry which runs completely on the river current. This was a totally unique experience which we both loved. The third day was the river boat tour which started mid day till sunset. The highlights were little bittern, caspian tern and an osprey towards the end! We managed to get quite close to the osprey on the boat and Al took some great photographs including some aerial shots. My wife loved the boat tour especially the stunning sunset views at the end. The fourth day was the north delta, highlights included slender billed gull, little tern, golden oriole and temmink's stint. Now this was supposed to be the end of the birding but we had decided to do a half day birding on the last day on the way to Barcelona. This was great because it was a different kind of habitat and gave us different species including short toed eagle, roller, pin tailed sandgrouse, woodchat and southern grey shrikes and best of all LITTLE BUSTARD. This was the best bird of the tour as they aren't seen much. All in all we got 101 species, 41 of which were new. This is more than we were expecting during this time of year. Also, Al provided us with some great photos he had taken which he shared via dropbox. I can't recommend Al and this tour enough and we will be back probably in Spring to get a different variety of birds.
Our first experience birding on the Ebro delta and it won't be our last. Al was a super guide and host - we stayed in his very spacious villa (5 bedrooms most en suite). It was located a short drive from L'Ampolla where there are some good restaurants- 20 Euros return by taxi. We had 5 full day trips, one of which was on his boat on the river. Stupendous- very relaxing as the river has little traffic and got us close to the birds. Al seemed to have appointments with the black kite, penduline tits and a variety of herons. The trip to the mountains to see the Griffon vulture feeding station was spectacular- we must easily have seen 150 birds at close range. The trip to Flix nature reserve was also great- finally got good views of nightingale, having heard but not seen about 500 singing all week!! Also the best views of the great reed warblers singing their little hearts out. A treecreeper was also spotted and we had spectacular views of Egyptian vulture, booted eagle, buzzard, black kites and blue rock thrush. The other 2 days we spent north and south on the delta and saw an amazing group of collared pratincoles, a bird we had only ever seen singly before. Another highlight all week was the number of bee eaters in close proximity- having previously mainly eluded us on other birdwatching holidays. To top it all Al is a very good photographer and took photos of most of our sightings, a total of 103 for the week. It was the close proximity to the birds that we found especially good e.g. little bittern, wood sandpiper and a number of warblers and waders. To sum up we would thoroughly recommend the experience with Al and we will definitely be planning a return trip.
Al is the epitome of commitment, passion, and enthusiasm for birding. I visited with my parents (this birding trip was mainly for my mom, an amateur and passionate birder), and my husband. From the start, Al was very responsive to my inquiries, assisting us with train times and travel information, providing us with advice on what possibilities may exist, until the day materialized into a glorious day in the middle of March. From 10 am until ~7pm, Al took us around in his car, driving ever so slowing so as not to disturb the birds. We saw over 50 new species of birds we had never seen before (we are from India so the Spanish fauna was unknown to us). Al explained the habits, habitats, and small stories behind each of the species we saw. He knew all of the good birding locations in the area, which we visited throughout the day, timed perfectly to enjoy the viewing of marsh harriers enjoying their breakfast, the greater flamingos enjoying some playful frolic in the delta, or the ducks enjoying their afternoon snooze. It was a glorious day and I'd come back again if I could. Al is just the best and words are not enough to praise his commitment to his passion. Wishing you all the best!
Collared Pratincoles at close quarters! Maria and I thoroughly enjoyed our guided tour with Al last week. The Ebro delta was a revelation to us on visiting it for the first time. Al proved to be an excellent guide, taking us to a significant number of great birding locations and hides. With Al's expertise and local knowledge we saw 35 different species in a few hours, a number of which were exciting firsts for us. Highlights included the collared pratincoles at very close quarters, glossy ibis, flamingos, purple heron and woodchat shrike. Al was very helpful and informative throughout the entire late afternoon and evening. Also, he very kindly provided us with some great photos he took during our tour, via Dropbox. We would highly recommend Al.
Al took me on a customised combined tour into the Ebro Delta (northern and southern) one day and Els Ports Natural Park the next. Photography is my passion. Al's great knowledge of birds and their habitats lead me to many fantastic opportunities, and "between sightings" he's a very pleasant companion; we had many nice chats on the way, not least about photography. An included visit to "Vulture Man's" place and hundreds of wild vultures was the icing on the cake. Very warmly recommended!
Mucho más que aves - Un día con Al desfrutando del Delta del Ebro! Pasamos un día con Al visitando el norte y sur del Delta, aprendiendo el ecosistema, paseando en coche y a pié, haciendo cientos de fotos y disfrutando de la excelente gastronomía de esta tierra (no faltó el arroz pero las navajas, caixetas, calamares, gambas y mejillones no se quedaron cortas!). Contratar a Al fué un regalo de mi mujer y mío para nuestra amiga Liz que venía desde Londres y es una apasionada de las aves. Nosotros no lo eramos, o eso creíamos, pero todo cambió despues de divisar y fotografiar más de 26 especies de aves en total libertad Que alguien te lleve a los mejores lugares y te permita un tour adaptado a cada necesidad es algo impagable, sobre todo cuando tienes poco tiempo. Las tarifas muy razonables. Al atardecer estábamos agotados y felices, con esa sensación de algo especial e inolvidable que nos hizo sentirnos orgullosos de esta tierra, de este Delta sorprendente y cambiante. Un día para perfecto. Gracias Al Javier i Monica, Sant Pere de Ribes.
Our birding tour with Al was absolutely fantastic. Al was very knowledgeable and informative, and despite the fact that we’d been experienced birders for over 30 years we learned so much from him on our 2-day tour. We also saw wonderful birds in his garden and around his house, such as Bee-eaters and Hoopoe. The house was very comfortable and relaxing. Wendy, Al’s partner, was also very accommodating and helpful, and we had access to all the amenities in the house and we were able to relax there when we weren’t out birding. We spent one whole day on the river in Al’s boat, and another whole day with Al on the northern part of the Ebro Delta. Our day on the river was both incredibly peaceful and exhilarating. The star birds of this trip were the water birds, especially the Squacco Herons, Night Herons, Great White Heron and other egrets, amazing views of a Black Kite circling and diving, and many lively terns, especially the Whiskered. Other special sightings on the first day on the river were the Subalpine Warbler and the Spotted and Pied Flycatchers. Much of the second day was spent on foot, tracking down the Great Reed Warbler, the Yellow Wagtail, the Slender-billed and Audouin Gulls, the Glossy Ibis and flocks of flamingos. The cream on the cake at the end was seeing literally dozens of Collared Pratincoles, mostly standing to attention in just two fields. Since the trip, Al has sent us a portfolio of terrific photos of our best sightings. We definitely plan to go back. Sandra and Tom Cleary
Two exhilarating days, criss-crossing among paddy fields, lagoons, drainage channels and sand dunes, all in sharp winter sunshine. Al knows where residents and winter guests are likely to be found, is quick to point them out and share his knowledge. We were delighted to view so many individuals and snap some great photos despite the gusting winds. To mention but a few: low-flying booted eagles being blown almost backwards; squawking night herons battened down in the reeds; dainty bluethroats picking in the ditches; vibrantly-coloured purple gallinule; an unexpected osprey, catch dangling; and to cap it all the Dartford warbler clinging to a fishing net! A great experience and good-value overnight stay in the roomy guest-house.
Wow!!, 4 days birding, 116 species, in different terrains. Day one in the southern delta with all the usual specials, a field with numerous Collared Pratincoles, plus the bonus White-winged Tern. Day two, exploring the southern LLieda steppes, with blue rock thrush, black-eared wheatear, greater-spotted cuckoo and wryneck. Day three, the northern Llieda steppes. Short-toed eagle, red-footed falcon, lesser kestrel, montague harrier and lots of very wary rollers. Day four covered the high mountain forest and a final afternoon back in the Delta covering bits we'd not visited on day 1. Firecrest, crested tit, subalpine warbler and sort-toed treecreeper I have been guided in many parts of the world and I rate Al amongst the best. His sensory abilities are second to none with us finding the firecrest from hearing its call through the open window of a moving car. From the bird locating us, he then heard faint crested tit peeps, the bird was with us within a minute along with the treecreepers. Al's skill with the camera means one can concentrate on the bird experience, knowing he will forward his photos onto you.
Al knew right where to take us for great viewing of the birds of the Ebro River Delta. We visited in the winter and though species diversity was not high he still took us to where we would see many quality birds we would never have found on our own. The purple gallinule, king fisher, booted eagle and spotted redshanks are delightful memories. Lodging in the villa, breakfast of local favorite foods, meeting the Henderson family and scheduling travel to town for a meal all contributed to a perfect visit to the Ebro River Delta.
An excellent afternoon. Al picked us up at out hotel and dropped us back afterwards as we had no car. We saw great birds with fabulous views of an osprey with a huge fish. Al was excellent at spotting birds as they flew by as well as identifying calls. It was a very relaxing and absorbing afternoon of bird watching. Would do it again any time.