EXTREMADURA – BIRDING SPECTACULAR IN SECRET SPAIN

Sat 18th - Wed 22nd Mar 2023

It was so good to be back in Extremadura for the first time since Covid to visit one of our favourite places and experience the amazing wildlife the region has to offer.

During our five-day tour we visited a variety of habitats and the wetlands produced 18 COLLARED PRATINCOLE, 4 LITTLE BITTERN, PENDULINE TITS, SAVI’S WARBLERS, BLACK-WINGED STILTS, EURASIAN SPOONBILLS, BEARDED REEDLINGS, PURPLE HERONS, GLOSSY IBIS, six FERRUGINOUS DUCKS, 22 BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON, WESTERN SWAMPHENS and IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF amongst others.

Extremadura is also well-known for being one of the best raptor spots in Europe and we recorded 135 species including the rare SPANISH EAGLE, CINEREOUS VULTURE and BLACK-WINGED KITE. Other goodies included BONELLI’S EAGLE, HEN HARRIER, RED & BLACK KITES, EGYPTIAN VULTURE, BOOTED EAGLE, SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE, LESSER KESTREL and the common GRIFFON VULTURE.

On the vast areas of steppe grass-land we were rewarded with both GREAT & LITTLE BUSTARDS plus both PIN-TAILED & BLACK-BELLIED SANDGROUSE. CALANDRA LARKS, THEKLA’S LARKS and CRESTED LARKS were incredibly common as were CORN BUNTINGS which could be seen and heard singing every few yards on fenceposts that criss-crossed the area.

South of our hotel are an area of rice-fields and reservoirs which are home to two introduced species, RED AVADAVAT and COMMON WAXBILLS both of which our group had excellent views. The damp areas held WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAILS of the race iberiae and dapper breeding plumaged WATER PIPITS ready to migrate to their alpine breeding grounds in the coming days.

As with all our tours, it wasn’t just birds as we saw amazing butterflies such as SPANISH FESTOON, PROVENCE HAIRSTREAK, WESTERN DAPPLED WHITE and EUROPEAN SWALLOWTAIL. We also searched for and found some funky orchids in the shape of NAKED MAN, SAWFLY, CHAMPAGNE, CONICAL and WOODCOCK ORCHIDS.

We look forward to running this tour again in March 2025 and if you are interested in reserving a place make sure to get in touch!

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