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Wednesday 21st - Saturday 24th March 2018

EARLY SPRING IN EXTREMADURA, SPAIN

Extremadura in southwest Spain is well-known as one of the best birding areas in Europe. It is home to some of the scarcest birds in the region including the globally rare Spanish Imperial Eagle, along with Iberian Magpie, Great and Little Bustards and Black-winged Kite.

Our fantastic accommodation offers a warm welcome with excellent food and wine, not to mention an enviable garden bird list which includes Iberian Magpie, European Serin, Sardinian Warbler, Hawfinch, Eurasian Hoopoe and Eurasian Scops Owl!


Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 8


Day 1
Taking an early flight from London Stansted to Madrid we drive towards Trujillo and stop for a break at a large reservoir. Here we have excellent chances of seeing Purple Heron, Great Egret, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill and Western Swamphen, as well as Great Reed and Savi's Warbler, Eurasian Penduline Tit and Bluethroat. Lesser Kestrel and Black-winged Kite also occur here and can be found hunting over surrounding fields.

Reaching our fantastic hotel in the heart of the countryside, the evening will be spent enjoying good local food and wine.
Overnight: Near Trujillo

Day 2
The area around the hotel is home to a good range of species including Iberian Magpie, Eurasian Hoopoe, Sardinian Warbler and Great Spotted Cuckoo, which can be seen before breakfast (optional!). We head off to the rolling plains and search for Little and Great Bustard, the latter hopefully indulging in their full 'foam-bath' display. Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse occur in good numbers and March is a good time to see Great Spotted Cuckoo as they chase around the scrub. Calandra,Thekla and Greater Short-toed Larks can be seen and heard singing on the plains.

Open grasslands also attract raptors such as Montagu's Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Cinereous Vulture and Little Owl. As we head north, Holm and Cork Oaks dominate the scenery and here we have the best chance to see Black-winged Kite. This small raptor displays over the rolling countryside and we hope to obtain good views.
Overnight: Near Trujillo

Day 3
Today we visit the famous Monfrague National Park, well-known in birding circles for species such as Griffon, Cinereous and Egyptian Vultures, which often drift past at eye level, along with Black Stork nesting in rocky caves and Red-billed Chough wheeling overhead. One of the most spectacular species here is Spanish Imperial Eagle. This globally rare bird can be seen within the park, along with Bonelli's, Golden, Short-toed and Booted Eagles. There is also the chance of Eurasian Eagle-Owl, which should be feeding young at this time of year. Alpine Swift, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush, Hawfinch, Subalpine Warbler and Rock Bunting are also present.
Overnight: Near Trujillo

Day 4
Heading south-east to an area of irrigated rice fields and reservoirs we aim to see Black-necked Grebe, Gull-billed Tern and Black-winged Kite. Red Avadavat and Common Waxbill are two introduced species from Asia which have also found this area to their liking. Water Pipits in their exquisite breeding species, Little Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilt and other species of wader also occur on the flooded rice paddies and reservoir edges. Eurasian Spoonbill and Great Egret can be found patrolling the reservoirs on their hunt for fish.

The limestone geology hosts wildflowers such as Sawfly Ophrys and Barbary-nut Iris. After lunch we head north towards Madrid for our flight home.

Tour includes
Flights from London Stansted to Madrid
Full board accommodation for 3 nights including wine with evening meals
All ground transport in Spain
Full guiding services


Not included
Travel Insurance
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day one


Pace
Relaxed, one to two miles walking per day

Birds
Expect between 120 and 140 species

Ground Price: £700

*Air Price: £150

Total Tour Price: £850

Single Supplement: £90

Deposit: £250


*Please see our tours page regarding flight costs