The Island Of Tabarca

This is a migration ‘hot-spot’ well worth a visit at appropriate times, and best in late April or September/October. If you can go the day after some dirty weather, so much the better! With luck, the island may well be teeming with small birds – if your luck isn’t in, you can have a nice walk!

The first boat normally leaves Santa Pola at 10 a.m., though boats also run from Alicante and Torrevieja. These last are slower and later options, however, and Santa Pola is always favourite.

The sea-trip is usually uneventful, but, if it gets breezy, a few Balearic Shearwaters can show up to enliven the trip back. Once you arrive at the island, the best option is to head left into the prickly pear area under the old tower (with breeding Pallid Swifts), then out to the eastern tip of the island, before anyone else does and flushes all the birds!

If there has been a ‘fall’ you will have a lot of hard work identifying warblers and chats in the thick cover. Another good area is around the church, where palm trees can hold a surprising variety of migrants. Check off-shore rocks for gulls, terns and waders, and, if it blows a little, seabirds occasionally come close to the eastern end of the island.

Bottle nosed Dolphins and other cetaceans are also occasionally seen here.