DELTA BIRDING FESTIVAL, the first International Birding Festival in the Ebro Delta
From the forthcoming Friday 26th to Sunday 28th September 2014 a Birding Festival will be held in the Ebro Delta, offering a wide and attractive range of activities with conferences, courses, workshops and contests, and a big fair of products and services for the birder and any person interested in knowing and enjoying nature.
It is going to be the first birding festival in our country that will set aside money from ticket sales for conservation projects, so visitors will also help birds by visiting the Festival! In this first edition, the project will include ringing campaigns and water birds censuses in the Alfacada Reserve.
For three days, in the grounds of Mónnatura Delta, in the Saltpans of la Tancada, people will have the opportunity to attend and participate in a lot of activities related to the observation and study of birds. Internationally renowned ornithologists will join the Festival, such as Killian Mullarney -author of the drawings of the famous identification guide Collins Bird Guide-, Robert Flood, seabird specialist, Magnus Robb, expert on sound recording and bioacoustics analyst, Juan José Negro, director of the Doñana Biological Station, Santi Mañosa, president of the Catalan Ornithological Institute and Antoni Margalida, investigator at Lleida University and expert on mountain scavengers, particularly the Bearded Vulture. In addition, photographer Andoni Canela will present his new book on Wolfs in the Iberian Peninsula and Josep del Hoyo, editor at Lynx Edicions, will present the first volume of Birdlife's Checklist of the Birds of the World. The Catalan Ornithological Institute, as a coordinator and methodology designer, will give details on the Atlas of the Birds of Europe, the largest citizen science project ever undertaken at a European scale.
The Festival will start on Friday 26th September afternoon and will close on Sunday 28th afternoon and is aimed to anyone interested in birds and nature
The latest new books, products and services from exhibitors and videos about nature worldwide will be presented.
Some exceptional activities of the Festival will include visits to l'Alfacada lagoon -Delta's best kept treasure because it's closed to the public year round- and an offshore boat trip to search for seabirds, particularly Balearic and Mediterranean Shearwaters, but also Audouin's Gulls, Gannets and other interesting species that can show up in migration.
A contest based on one of the most important citizen science projects in our country, Ornitho.cat, will be run. The contest will give more chances to win to those who send in more bird lists to Ornitho during the whole month of September from anywhere in Catalonia, so contestants don't need to be experienced birders to win. The prize will be a high performance spotting scope, sponsored by the leading manufacturer of optical equipment Swarovski Optik.
The commercial fair of the Festival will offer visitors the chance to browse through a lot of products and services for the birding community such optical and photography equipment, bird care (nestboxes, feeders), books, birding and nature tourism among others.
The Festival's fair will be the most important birding and nature tourism fair in our country
This will be the best exhibition of binoculars and scopes that has ever been seen in our country. The public will be able to test the optical equipment in a marquee overlooking the lagoons of the Saltpans of La Tancada, where gulls, ducks, waders, herons, egrets and flamingos thrive in good numbers, so that prospective customers will use the equipment in real conditions on the field. In addition, companies from the industry will exhibit books, nest boxes, bird feeders, equipment for birders and naturalists, services of birding trips, nature photography, accommodation for naturalists, theme web sites, magazines and more.
Who organizes the Delta Birding Festival
ORYX, the shop of the nature lover, is the prime mover of the Delta Birding Festival, partnering with the Institut Català d'Ornitologia (ICO) and the Fundació Catalunya - La Pedrera (FCLP); both are organizations of renowned prestige devoted to the study and conservation of birds and natural spaces. The ICO will direct the development of the activities and the FLCP will host the Festival in its grounds at MónNatura Delta and will open the gates of the natural reserve of l'Alfacada. Both organizations will take care of the conservation project that will receive the funds raised in the Festival.
The Ebro Delta Natural Park and the Direcció General del Medi Natural of the Catalan Government support the event and actively collaborate with the organization. The Patronat de Turisme de les Terres de l'Ebre and the Amposta Town Council also give sound support to the initiative.
Where the Delta Birding Festival will take place
The Delta Birding Festival will take place in MónNatura (www.monnaturadelta.com), a set of facilities owned by the FCLP located in the southern half of the Ebro Delta, in a unique landscape of rice fields and lagoons which is very rich in wildlife and belongs to one of the most important wetlands of Western Europe. Here, land blends with water and creates and ideal environment for the concentration of a rich wildlife, especially water birds. The Foundation has restored 41,2 ha of land in the old Saltpans of La Tancada, and has created an Interpretation Centre with an offer of leisure and educational activities directed towards knowing the value of this area in detail. Festival visitors will have the opportunity to visit the Centre and participate in the activities.
The Delta Birding Festival will happen in the grounds of MónNatura Delta, using existing infrastructure and adding marquees to develop most of the activities and the commercial fair. Ample parking space will be available and a food and drink zone will offer a selection of typical dishes of the Delta.