Birdwatch News Archive
Almost the full range of Iberian specialities can be seen around the festival site, with habitats from coast to mountain top.
Viva Iberia Bird Festival!
Posted on: 31 Jul 2012
The largest nature reserve in the western Mediterranean is the home this autumn for the first-ever Iberia Bird Festival on 7-9 September.
Well known as one of Europe's natural crown jewels and a magnet for the continent's wildlife lovers, the nations of Spain and Portugal are the inspiration for the inaugural Iberian Bird Festival (IBF), which will be held in the Parque Natural Cabo de Gata, a terrestrial-marine reserve covering 580 km2 of mountains, coast and sea, affording excellent birding opportunities while visiting the festivals many attractions.
The IBF is in some ways a new concept for bird festivals, the idea being that the festival's home will relocate every year, highlighting different and varied wildlife hot-spots around the Iberian peninsula each year, while raising funds for a specific annual conservation cause. The choice of Almería as the festival's first location is pointed, as the region suffers from conservation under-investment with government usually focusing on more well-known areas like Coto Doñana.
The festival, free to enter and non-profit, promises many attractions for birders ready for a more international flavour, after the British Birdwatching Fair has kicked off the birding festival season in early August. There will be daily excursions and guided walks on offer (including a few for non-birders), as well as a variety of English language lectures and presentations, and exhibitors from the worlds of travel, optics, photography and outdoor pursuits. There are plenty of nature-oriented children's activities, and live flamenco concerts and parties every evening, for which tickets can be purchased on site. Mountain bikes can be hired and there are a number of affordable hotels and hostels in the area.
All proceeds go to the Osprey Migration Foundation, Osprey being a declining species that forms part of the huge and internationally important raptor migration through Iberia, which should be already in evidence during the festival's duration.
The IBF is based at the Hotel Rodalquilar, Rodalquilar, Nijar, Almeria, Andalucia, Spain, and the surrounding park is home to much-desired species such as Trumpeter Finch and Dupont's Lark. for more information including timetables and accommodation, visit the IBF website.
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