BOLETAS 20th Anniversary

THANKS FRIENDS¡¡¡¡¡

1994 - 2014

Dates

Nov 25th to 29th 2015

Tour Cost

Private invitation

Single room supplement

NIL

Group size

8 max 12

Tour leader

Josele J Saiz and Alberto Bueno

Airport

Barcelona - Barcelona

What´s included

All ground transport , all meals, services of guides.

What´s not included

Transport to/ from UK , travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.

Tour code

We hope to enjoy your company as much as you enjoy ours. Local food and wine, plus all the birds around this magnificent area, especially Wallcreepers, Cranes and Lammergeiers. Accommodation will be at Boletas. Special last night dinner in a local restaurant with live Flamenco or Jazz music concert.

Selected species list

Griffon Vulture, Lammergeier, Bonelli´s Eagle ,Golden Eagle, Bittern, Crane, Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, White Stork, Cattle Egret, Eagle Owl, both sandgrouse, Black Woodpecker, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Water Pipit, Alpine Accentor, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Dartford Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Firecrest, Peduline Tit, Wallcreeper, Southern Grey Shrike, Red Billed Chough, Alpine Chough, Rock Sparrow, Snow Finch, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting


More information

Introduction

Dear friends;
In 1994 we bought an old rural house, named it Boletas and began  our  activities with great enthusiasm and modest goals.   We simply hoped that we could share our love of nature with those of similar feelings.

Boletas Birdwatching Centre  managed to capture the changing times and our innovative proposals were welcomed and accepted within the birdwatching market.  From our specialised birdwatching centre we rapidly became accepted and recognised as a benchmark in the world of ornithological tourism in Spain. At Boletas, the experiences we have been able to provide for our visitors during our 20 year journey have far exceeded our wildest dreams. We can reflect upon our pioneering new technologies and our friendly and unabashed style with the quiet satisfaction of a job well done.
During this long period we have developed  a large family of loyal friends, some of whom have visited Boletas several times, or repeated their participation in one of our many nature tours. We began these tours in Aragon, soon covering most of Spain, then into Morocco. Today we offer  destinations as far afield as Cuba, Brazil, Senegal and Turkey, supporting local initiatives where we can.
Twenty years is a long time, but for better or for worse, the Boletas initiative has been personalised by Josele J Saiz, as a guide, Esther Diago as hostess, supported  from within the UK, by John Moody, Mick Ridgard and currently Andy Howes, always promoting our values within the birding market.
Esther significantly improved and developed her culinary skills, duly and enthusiastically welcomed  by our customers.   I have the same enthusiasm to please the people travelling with me, although  my physical ability and energy have  diminished somewhat over the years. I have, however, gained in the knowledge and experience which adds value to my tours.  I’m no longer able to lead up to twenty tours a year with the same high degree of personal involvement and have  substantially reduced the number of trips I guide, but our quality of service is maintained by our other excellent and knowledgeable guides who ensure our clients still have the best experiences when travelling with us.

Inevitably over such a period there will have been some people whose expectations were not met. We can only say sorry, but we have always tried to do our best and with honesty.
Sadly, the natural values of Aragon and Spain have suffered, which make the region less attractive for birding than it was 20 years ago when we first established Boletas. At that time the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU had not dramatically affected, for example,  the rich steppe habitat of Aragon, one of its most valuable ornithological signs of identity. Today there has been too much short-sighted development in protected areas and the natural values of our Country have seen a marked decline.
At Boletas we are determined to continue until, as they say in Spain "until we drop." We want to thank everyone who has visited Boletas or participated in our tours and  the confidence you have placed in us. You can be sure  that we will continue to do our utmost, working  enthusiastically  and offering our best with  honesty and dedication to keep our reputation at its  highest.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Meet you at Barcelona airport. Drive towards Boletas, on the way we will be searching for Eagle Owl, Black Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush. Before arrival at your hotel we will check another Eagle Owl area. Welcome dinner and overnight At Boletas.

Day 2 - We will visit Guara and Riglos where among other birds Wallcreeper, Lammergeier and Alpine Accentor are almost guaranteed. Near Loporzano we will look for raptors, particularly searching for Bonelli´s Eagle, the last surviving pair in the central Pyrenees. We will visit La Sotonera reservoir looking for Cranes. Overnight at Boletas.

Day 3 - Drive to the French border for alpine specialities such as Snow Finch, Alpine Chough and Chamoix in a dramatic landscape of snowy peaks. On the way back to Huesca we will look for woodland birds such as Black Woodpecker and Cirl Bunting. Overnight at Boletas.

Day 4 - We will visit a vulture feeding station attended by Kites, Ravens, Vultures and Golden Eagle. Close views of the vultures feeding with good chances of photography. Drive south of Huesca looking for concentrations of Cranes feeding and roosting before dusk. Special 20th Anniversary dinner at a Local restaurant in Huesca City. Overnight at Boletas.

Day 5 - Early morning start with a short stop near Ontiñena where the plains will produce, among other birds , Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sangrouse, Lesser Short-toed, Calandra, Thekla and perhaps Dupont´s Lark, Spectacled Warbler and Stone Curlew. Continue to Barcelona airport.

Gallery

Birding with Boletas by Peter Leutchford

I first travelled with Josele to Morocco and have known Josele as a friend for over 10 years, travelling to Africa, Asia and South America to bird with him.  Josele’s attention to detail and client care is incredible.  The customer is always his main priority, whether sorting out hotel rooms, positions in the vehicle, or getting to see a particular bird.  Although Josele is a keen birder himself he will often miss a ‘lifer’ to ensure somebody else sees the bird first.

Together with Esther, Josele created the Boletas Birdwatching Centre at their home in Loporzano.  A fantastic place for Birdwatchers to visit, but also for non-birders, as it is a haven away from the usual crowds of Spain and surrounded by beautiful countryside.  Esther’s fantastic home cuisine only adds to the delights. 

Boletas tours offer exceptional value for money.  It would be difficult to travel on comparable tours at the prices Josele and his team can offer.  Having travelled with other tour operators I can honestly say Josele is in the ‘premier league’.  Whether you are a hardcore birder or a ‘tag along’ partner you will never be disappointed.

In the background is Andy who never fails to coordinate all the detail.  He is a great help in sorting out flights and giving clients all the information they need for their trip.  Andy is a huge to support to Josele when he is away on a tour, and always there to update travel arrangements, bookings and to sort out the odd ‘hiccup’ that may arise.

Josele is a passionate birder and conservationist.  He will often run a tour at cost in order to support a particular wildlife project and he regularly makes donations to support such organisations such as the Osprey Project.  Josele has helped to establish guides in various countries in Africa, and continues to mentor and pass on his knowledge of birds.

Boletas is now celebrating its 20th anniversary, which is a fantastic achievement.  I wish Josele, Ether and Andy all the very best for continued success and look forward to further great birding with a true friend.

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