Day trips & tours in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula
Highly experienced bird guiding
throughout the year
  Western Algarve  
  Sagres Migration  
  Algarve Wetlands  
  Baixo Alentejo  
  Coto Doñana  
  Algarve Butterflies  
  Algarve Orchids  
  Photograph credits  
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
Simon Wates is resident in Portugal, ideally situated close to the charming city of Lagos in the southwestern Algarve. Here, we are on the doorstep of the nature-rich Sagres peninsular and some of the richest woodlands in the region. The varied wetlands of the Algarve are within easy reach and the fabulous steppe type habitats of the Baixo Alentejo are close to an hour away, home to some of the best birding in the Iberian Peninsula.

Simon can bring you in close contact with all the birdlife of this region – as well as its unique flora and other wildlife. Using personally acquired and detailed local knowledge his guided tours focus on revealing the more difficult species apart from the well known. Also available are day trips and short holidays to other areas in southern Portugal & Spain where your guide is equally at home.

About your guide    
Starting birdwatching around his hometown of Manchester, UK at the age of 11 Simon moved to live in southern Spain and Portugal 28 years ago. Here his activities have spanned from professional employment in numerous studies & surveys of an environmental character to a broad participation in the new definitive “Atlas of Breeding Birds of Portugal”. He has been responsible for the compilation of exhaustive databases for the birdlife, flora, butterflies and protected habitats for the Lagos county council in the western Algarve & specialises in the distribution & identification of protected habitats & species.
Schoolchildren and mud! – Happily building nesting mounds for Black-winged Stilts during a SPEA project designed to educate youngsters about their local birdlife near Lagos, western Portugal
Environmental education is one of his personal passions having designed & implemented innovative field trips & activities for local schools, as well as writing and producing photographs for articles about Algarvean nature in books & magazines. 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).
Guiding preferences    
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!
Your guide is completely open to any style of birdwatching although he personally favours an approach that concentrates on obtaining satisfying views of the species at hand at a comfortable pace. Some might prefer to focus on seeing the maximum number of species possible, others could be keen to complete a list of elusive target-species that they would like to see. Many birders have an avid interest in seeing other wildlife and flora and may even want to make a special effort to see a rare orchid or a butterfly, for example.

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
Whatever your wishes it's advisable to contact 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 by email or telephone well before the trip is recommended, last minute enquiries are welcomed - but bear in mind that availability is less likely to coincide with your plans.

For more information and bookings contact Simon by email:  or mobile phone (00351) 912 824 053


Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus

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