The Algarve is well known for its many wetlands but also holds rich woodlands and other inland habitats. Additionally, the nature rich Sagres peninsular and the fabulous steppic habitats of the Baixo Alentejo are within easy reach, bringing some of the best birding in the Iberian Peninsula.

We can bring you in close contact with all the birdlife of this region – as well as its unique habitats and other wildlife. Using personally acquired and detailed local knowledge our guided tours focus on revealing the more difficult species apart from the well known.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster is a common bird here and found almost everwhere throughout southern Portugal .
About your guides
Simon Wates started birdwatching at the age of 11 around his hometown of Manchester, UK and moved to live in southern Spain and Portugal 34 years ago. Over the years his fieldwork has included professional employment in numerous studies & surveys of an environmental character with birds and flora. He has compiled of exhaustive databases for the birdlife, flora, butterflies and protected habitats for the Lagos county council in the western Algarve and has written numerous articles about Algarvean nature. Simon is an experienced bird guide with foreign visitors and has led many field trips voluntarily for the Portuguese Birdlife International partner, SPEA (Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves) & the LPN (Liga de Proteção de Natureza) since the late 1990’s.
Thijs Valkenburg was born to Dutch parents in Silves, Algarve and gained his passion for birds from an early age. The last 15 years have taken him to participate in several conservation projects and surveys; in the Azores with the Azorean Bullfinch and with seabirds in Madeira and Selvagens Islands. Further away he’s worked in breeding bird atlas projects in Cyprus and Holland and in raptor census studies in Egypt. After 4 years studying environmental management he returned to Portugal where he is head ornithologist at the Algarve’s wildlife rescue centre. Thijs is a keen bird photographer and has displayed much of the region’s birdlife in exhibitions.
Guiding preferences
Your guides are completely open to any style of birdwatching although they personally favour an approach that concentrates on obtaining satisfying views of the species at hand at a comfortable pace. Some may prefer to focus on seeing the maximum number of species possible, while others could be keen to complete a list of elusive target-species that they would like to see. Many birdwatchers have an avid interest in seeing other wildlife and flora and may want to make a special effort to see a rare orchid or a butterfly, for example. Let us know about any species you are particularly keen on seeing or any areas you would like to visit and of course, anything else that’s important to you.
The Hoopoe Upupa epops can hardly be missed in the Algarve. It occurs as a resident, a summer visitor, a winter visitor and a passage migrant!
Whatever your wishes it's advisable to contact Simon & Thijs by email or telephone well before the date booked so that the excursion can be adapted to suit your preferences. Note that the itineraries available on these pages can be altered and trips to other destinations are easily arranged.

Although booking well before the trip is recommended, last minute enquiries are always welcome, though availability is less likely to coincide with your plans.

For more information and bookings please contact us by email:

or mobile phone:
Simon: (00351) 912 824 053
Thijs:    (00351) 969 579 838

The charismatic White Stork Ciconia ciconia is a common resident of southern Portugal and can easily be seen feeding in wetlands and farmland. It nests on chimneys and telegraph posts even in large towns while the population on the west coast does so on tall offshore islands and stacks
Iberian Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cooki