DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN BASTIA, CORSICA - 30th April
Following arrivals into Bastia, Corsica (airport code BIA) we will drive the short distance to our private villa where we will spend the next 5 nights. The tour begins this evening, with our first of many wonderful dinners together. Night in Corsica.
DAYS 2 - 5 CORSICA
We have 4 full days to thoroughly explore some of the most scenic birding trails in all of Europe. Heading just an hour up into the mountains from our villa will see us searching for our two main targets: Corsican Nuthatch and Corsican Finch. Other species present in the same area include Eurasian Crag Martin, Firecrest, Blue Rock Thrush, Alpine Chough, Common Crossbill and Cirl Bunting. Meanwhile, Marmora's Warbler can be found in the hills closer to our accommodation and Moltoni's Warbler can often be found more easily along the coast. And whilst along the coast we can visit several great sites where we can see a good variety of shorebirds, as well as species such as Red-crested Pochard, Little Bittern, Squacco & Purple Herons, Scopoli's & Yelkouan Shearwaters, Bluethroat, Yellow-legged, Slender-billed & Audouin's Gulls amongst others.
Other potential species include Greater Flamingo, Western Marsh Harrier, Red Kite, Eurasian Scops Owl, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Wryneck, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Alpine & Pallid Swifts, Woodlark, Common Nightingale, Woodchat & Red-backed Shrike, Red-rumped Swallow, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Great Reed & Cetti's Warblers, Sardinian & Dartford Warblers, Water Pipit, Spotless Starling and Italian Sparrow, as well as plenty of commoner species.
And as it's peak migration time we could find anything! Maybe a Pallid Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Calandra Lark, Collared Flycatcher, Western Bonelli's or Icterine Warbler, Tawny or Red-throated Pipit or Ortolan Bunting. if it rains we may well experience a fall on the north coast and see a wide variety of chats, shrikes, flycatchers, wagtails and warblers all grounded and waiting for better weather.
DAY 6 CORSICA - CASABLANCA, MOROCCO - 5th May
We can have a full morning's birding before returning to our villa for a final lunch. Afterwards we will drive to Bastia Airport and fly to Casablanca (Airport code CMN) in Morocco via Marseille. Upon arrival in Casablanca we will transfer to a nearby hotel for the night. Night in Fes, Morocco.
DAYS 7 - 10 CASABLANCA - ATLANTIC COAST - RABAT - FES
We have 4 full days to target some very local and hard-to-see species that are either only present at this time of year or are not covered on a regular Morocco tour. Primarily we will look for one of the rarest and toughest species to see in the Western Palearctic - Andalusian Hemipode. Also on our radar and key target species are Marsh Owl, Maghreb Owl (split from Tawny Owl) and Atlas Flycatcher (split from Pied Flycatcher). Whilst these 4 species are our main focus we should also see a good quality selection of NW African specialities, such as Double-spurred Francolin, Barbary Partridge, Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck, Barbary Partridge, Maghreb Lark, Moussier’s Redstart, Atlas Wheatear, Maghreb Magpie, African Blue Tit and African Chaffinch,
DAY 11 END OF TOUR - 10th May
Transfers to Fes Airport (Airport Code FEZ) and end of the tour.