EXTREMANDURA BIRD TOUR 22nd to 27th April 2018
£975 twin sharing. Plus flight £120 single supplement
Price includes Accommodation, all meals, transport, checklist and guiding)
A paradise for raptors: Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black, Egyptian and Griffon Vulture, Lesser Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite and Southern European specialities.
Flower-filled meadows covered by orchids: A total of 8-9 species are possible during April. Species include Naked Man Orchid, Giant Orchid, Yellow Bee Orchid, Woodcock Orchid to name few.
Top bird species: Spanish Imperial Eagle, Great and Little Bustard, Sand grouses, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Lesser Kestrel, Pallid Swift, Black and Egyptian vulture, Black Stork, Eagle and Scops Owl.
A wide variety of amphibians and reptilians, including Stripeless Tree Frog, Marbled Newt and Spanish Terrapin.
Extremadura is widely known for its outstanding variety of wildlife. Visiting Extremadura is traveling back to Spain 50 years ago.
At that time as well as today, pesticides are hardly used and the managed forest dehesa is still maintained in a sustainable way by traditional cattle. In addition, Extremadura holds numerous reservoirs that have become important areas for birds: Spoonbills, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Savi’s Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Bearded Reedling, Purple Swamphen or the scarce Black-shouldered Kite are seen in these artificial wetlands.
In the dehesawe see a continuous carpet of flowers and orchids which attract the first butterflies of the season. Regarding birds, and in addition to those mentioned above, this open forest is packed with superb birds: Red and Black Kites, White and Black storks, Booted and Short-toed Eagle, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Woodchat, Roller, Bee-eater and Iberian Grey Shrike and much more!
One of the days is scheduled to visit the “jewel of the crown”, the National Park of Montfragüe where we will see large numbers of raptors nesting in the cliffs. Besides, we look out for Bonelli’s Eagle, Eagle Owl, Egyptian Vulture and amphibians once it gets dark.
Our accommodation for the holiday is the hospitable and environmentally friendly Hotel Rural Las Canteras near Trujillo.
The hotel is located right in the middle of the plains of Trujillo, an outstanding area for wildlife. Great and Little Bustards, Spanish Sparrow, Hen and Montagu’s Harriers are seen just a stone’s throw from our accommodation.
Furthermore, this central location allows us to make the most of the beautiful Trujillo as some evenings we will be having dinner in this medieval village. Lesser Kestrels and Storks breed on the church in the middle of town.
Finally, our last full day will be spend in la Sierra de las Villuercas and the beautiful town of Guadalupe.
We take a stroll along a crystal water stream looking out for forest birds: Short-toed Treecreeper, Goshawk, Honey Buzzards and Iberian Green Woodpecker. The forest also holds an interesting variety of butterflies, being the beautiful Spanish Festoon, Large Wall Brown and Clouded Yellow among them.
After this, we plan to visit the old town of Guadalupe and to admire the breath-taking monastery. Once we have lunch, we will reach altitude to look out for Crested Tit, Cirl Bunting and raptors such as Golden Eagle.
EXTREMANDURA BIRD TOUR 22nd to 27th April 20187
Day1. Madrid airport-Saucedilla (2 h)
If time allows, we will spend the rest of the day looking for orchids and birds in Arrocampo reservoir on the way to our accommodation in Hotel Rural Las Canterashttp://www.casarural.net/
Day 2. Vegas Altas (1 h)
The old dehesas in Vegas Altas have been transformed in irrigated farmland (paddy fields) which will be dry at this time of the year. However, stepparian and farmland species such as Bustards, Sandgrouse, Tree Sparrow, Rollers or the exotic Red Avadatar can also be found in this area. Finally, we will visit a new reservoir surrounded by dehesa where we will see a good variety of wildlife.
Day 3.Monfragüe National Park “Raptors day” (1 h)
Today, we will visit in the National Park of Monfragüe. The day will be long as we will have dinner in the Park before the sun sets and we venture to look out for the Eagle Owl. During the morning, we will stop in some specific places to add our raptor list with Spanish Imperial Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Black Stork and the scarce Bonelli’s Eagle.
We will have a picnic lunch in the middle of the “dehesa”, a good time to see family groups of Azure-winged Magpie. In addition, we should see Crested Lark, Corn Bunting, Woodchat, Iberian Grey Shrike and Rock Bunting.
Day 4.Los Llanos (1 h) and Belen plains
We will head towards the steppes of “Los Llanos”, one of the best steppes in Europe. We will look for some of the specialities: Great and Little Bustard, Montagu’s and Hen Harrier, Little Owl, Calandra and Short-Toed Lark, Spanish Sparrow and Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. We will keep an eye on the sky as the area is regularly use by Spanish Imperial, Golden and Bonelli’s Eagles as a hunting ground. In the rivers and ditches we will look for Red-rumped Swallows and reptiles such as Spanish Terrapin, Large Psammodromus and Iberian Water Frog.
Day 5. Guadalupe-Sierra de Villuercas (1 h 15 m)
The day will be spent in mountainous massif of Sierra de las Villuercas and the beautiful town of Guadalupe. We take a stroll along a beautiful stream looking out for forest birds: Short-toed Treecreeper, Short-toed Eagle, Goshawk, Honey Buzzards, the rare Dipper and Iberian Green Woodpecker. The forest also holds an interesting variety of butterfliesas mentioned above. We have the option to visit Guadalupe and the superb church if you think it might be of interest.
After this, we will reach altitude on the Sierra de Villuercas to look out for Crested Tit, Cirl Bunting and raptors such as Golden Eagle.
Day 6. Trujillo-Madrid airport birding en route if time permits. (2 h 40 m)
£975 twin sharing. Plus flight
£120 single supplement
Accommodation, all meals, transport, checklist and guiding
Board: From dinner day 1 to breakfast day 6. Lunch day 1 and 6 is not included. Picnic included from day 2 to 5.
Flights, travel insurance and personal items.
Leaders: Pau Lucio & a Sandwich guide (Gary Stewart)
Group size: Maximum of 12 guests and 2 leaders
Grade: Short distance walks and easy walks.
Important: Dinner in Trujillo, in Hostal León http://trujillohostalleon.com/It will allow us to walk around the beautiful village of Trujillo and to see Pallid Swift, Lesser Kestrel and other birds.
One day, we will have dinner in Villareal de San Carlos, inside the Monfragüe National Park to spend time until it gets dark and we look out for Eagle Owls and amphibians.