A two week birding trip was undertaken to western and south western Spain with the intention of observing the classic Iberian species in the
areas of Monfragüe, La Serena, the Jerez Lagoons, Laguna Fuente de Piedra and Doñana. These included Black-winged Kite, Spanish Imperial
Eagle, bustards, sandgrouse White-headed Duck, Marbled Duck, Crested Coot and Glossy Ibis amongst the many others. Additional interests
included wildlife in general and photography. The first week in Extremadura was unusually cool and wet with the weather improving towards
the last few days here. Andalucia was very hot for the most part. Overall an extremely successful trip with 184 species recorded including
most of the hoped for species. However, Rufous Bush Robin eluded me yet again. In retrospect, early May was not any better then early June
in my view and in fact birds were probably less conspicuous as incubation was underway for many species.
Squacco Heron · Black Stork
· Glossy Ibis · Marbled Duck · White-headed Duck · Black Vulture · Bonelli's Eagle · Spanish Imperial Eagle ·
Crested Coot · Great Bustard · Slender-billed Gull · Gull-billed Tern · Black-bellied Sandgrouse · Pin-tailed Sandgrouse · Eagle Owl · Lesser
Short-toed Lark · Rock Thrush · Black Wheatear · Orphean Warbler · Azure-winged Magpie · Spanish Sparrow · Rock Sparrow · Hawfinch ·
Travel was relatively simple and hassle free. The roads were good although it is best to avoid driving through the Pueblos Blancos in
Andalucia. The flight home was cancelled after the UK Air Traffic Control failed which resulted in a 24 hour wait in the airport until the next
available flight back to London. Return flights from London Luton to Madrid Barajas were booked with www.easyjet.co.uk for £85 return each.
Car hire was arranged in the UK through www.carhire4less.co.uk with a Citroen Xsara upgraded on arrival to a Seat Cordoba 1.8 for £250.
Stayed five nights at Camping Monfrague, two nights at Camping Cabañas de Madera in Fuente de Piedra, one night at Camping Lago de Arcos
in Arcos-de-la-Frontera, one night at Camping Rio Jara in Tarifa, two nights at Camping Rocio Playa near Matalascañas, Doñana, and the final
night in the Hostal Los Naranjos in Castuera.
LITERATURE, REFERENCES & SITE GUIDES USED
1. Muddeman, J. 2000. A Birdwatching Guide to Extremadura. Arlequin Press.
2. Garcia, E. & Paterson, A. 1994. Where To Watch Birds in Southern Spain. Helm.
3. Rose, L. 1995. Where To Watch Birds in Spain and Portugal. Hamlyn.
4. Butler, J. R. 2001. Birdwatching on Spain's Southern Coast. Santana Books.
5. Gosney, D. 1996. Finding Birds in Southern Spain. Gostours Guide.
6. Gosney, D. 1996. Finding Birds in Northern Spain. Gostours Guide.
7. Simpson, F. 2001. Trip Report: Extremadura & Andalucia, 2-16 June, 2001.
8. Simpson, F. 1999. Trip Report: Costa
del Sol, 12-19 September, 1999.
9. Dunn, R. 1998. Trip Report: Southwestern Spain, April 16-25, 1998. Internet.
10. Baptiste, Y. 1998, Trip Report: Extremadura, April 25-May 2, 1998. Internet.
11. Reid, I. & Young, S. 1999. Trip Report: Central Spain 13-17 May, 1999. Internet.
12. Money, N. 1998. Trip Report: Extremadura, May 15-29, 1998. Internet.
13. Svensson, L. et al. 1999. Bird Guide. HarperCollins.
14. Tolman, T. & Lewington, R. 1997. Butterflies of Britain & Europe. Collins.
15. Sterry, P. 2000. Complete Mediterranean Wildlife Photoguide. Collins.
16. Simonis, D. et al 2001. Spain. Lonely Planet.
Day 01 05/05/02 London Luton >Madrid Barajas Airport > Monfragüe, Extremadura, via Oropesa.
Day 02 06/05/02 Parque Natural de Monfragüe.
Day 03 07/05/02 Parque Natural de Monfragüe.
Day 04 08/05/02 Monfragüe >Trujillo > Belen > Monroy.
Day 05 09/05/02 Monfragüe > Valle del Jerte, Castile-Leon.
Day 06 10/05/02 Monfragüe > Merida > Sevilla > Fuente de Piedra, Andalucia.
Day 07 11/05/02 Laguna de Fuente de Piedra > Teba Gorge (Tajo del Molina).
Day 08 12/05/02 Fuente de Piedra > Ronda > Arcos de la Frontera.
Day 09 13/05/02 Arcos de la Frontera > Laguna de Medina > Tarifa.
Day 10 14/05/02 Tarifa > El Rocio, Parque Nacional de Doñana.
Day 11 15/05/02 Northern Marismas, Parque Nacional de Doñana.
Day 12 16/05/02 Doñana > La Sererna, Extremadura.
Day 13 17/05/02 La Serna > Emblase de Arrocampo-Almaraz > Madrid.
Day 14 18/05/02 Madrid Barajas > London Luton.
THE DIARY The following notes are largely copied straight out of my field notebook.
Sunday 5th May 2002
London Luton > Madrid Barajas, Spain. MADRID TO MONFRAGÜE, Extremadura, via Navacalnero, Talavera de la Reina, Oropesa, Navamoral de
la Mata, Jaraicejo, Torrejón el Rubio, Villarreal de san Carlos.
Partly cloudy, cloudy later, max 24ºC
Nice clear views of northern Spain from the plane. Began birding as soon as we touched down. Spotless Starlings, Swift sp., Barn Swallow and
House Sparrow observed from the plane as it pulled up to the terminal.
MADRID M40 CITY RINGROAD
Road fairly quiet with light traffic on this Sunday morning. Species noted from the car: Wood Pigeon, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Swift
sp. Common, House Martin and Black-billed Magpie.
N-V MADRID > EXTREMADURA MOTORWAY
The habitat along the drive from the capital to the sparsely populated region of Extremadura changed from intensive agriculture and pastoral
farmland to the distinctive low intensive farming of the dehesas - rolling plains of open Holm and Cork Oak woodlands. Species noted from the
car: Black-billed Magpie, Feral Rock Dove, Crested Lark, Wood Pigeon, Swift sp., Barn Swallow, Spotless Starling, Cattle Egret, White Stork,
Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Kestrel sp., Montagu's Harrier, Mallard, House Martin.
OROPESA CADELADA ROAD / EMBALSE DE NAVALCAN
Turned off for some dehesa birding before heading to our ultimate destination of the Parque Natural de Monfrague. A track was drivable to the
edge of the large reservoir. Common Sandpiper (1) at the edge of the water. Large fish turning in the shallows.
Two or three Cuckoos singing.
A few Tree Sparrows flying through the oaks. Crested Larks singing and displaying. Bee-eaters calling and four observed. Variation in Cuckoo
song heard - where the call becomes more rapid and excitable. Mistle Thrush (1). Observed the first Azure-winged Magpies of the trip flying
through the oaks, calling noisily. Cormorant (ad) flying over the reservoir - apparently the reservoir supports the only inland breeding colony in
Spain. Chaffinch (1). Great Tit singing.
PRESA DE NAVALCAN
Surveyed the area around the dam at the north-western end of the reservoir.
Several Crag Martins and Red-rumped Swallows nesting under the dam. A pair of Barn Swallows breeding in cage-protected light attached to
part of the dam (photographed). Several pairs of Jackdaws; paler grey head plumage than Brutish birds. Swift sp. (3) overhead. Great Tit,
Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Mistle Thrush, White Wagtail (overhead), Woodlark (singing), Black Kite (overhead), House Sparrow, Spotless Starling,
Serin, Goldfinch. Booted Eagle over the gorge. Movement of Swifts overhead. Grey Heron (2) overhead. Spotless Starling mimicking a Golden
Oriole - very convincing. Black Stork feeding a small area of wetland beside the turning for Navalcan off the Oropesa to Candeleda road.
CM 5102 / AV-910
Bee-eater (2-3) on telegraph wires near Oropesa. Woodchat Shrikes fairly common along the roadsides. Singing Corn Buntings numerous.
Buzzard (1). Black Kite (1). Southern Grey Shrike (1). Hoopoe (3) seen from the car on the drive to Monfragüe.
JARAICEJO - TORREJÓN EL RUBIO, PARQUE NATURAL DE MONFRAGÜE
Several Black Kites seen. Booted Eagle (light phase). Stopped the car for a massive raptor overhead - Black Vulture - observed for a few
minutes before two Spanish Imperial Eagles came into view, drifting slowly and low overhead. Drove through miles of enchanting dehesa
landscape with carpets of wildflowers in bloom - one major difference of visiting a month earlier before everything dries out.
A brief stop here at the magnificent rock formation rising out of the Torrejón Reservoir (Emblase de Torrejón) before checking in at the nearby
campsite - Camping Monfrague. Approximately 150 Griffon Vultures in the area was a spectacular sight. Several Blue Rock Thrushes singing
and a male observed. A pair of Rock Buntings feeding three young in a nest at the Salto de Gitano - adult photographed. Male Black Redstart.
Several Serins singing. Black Stork nest with an adult sitting found after searching the cliffs. Many Crag Martins, Barn Swallows and
Red-rumped Swallows. Swifts screaming overhead. Great Spotted Woodpecker heard calling.
Situated in the dehesa off the C524/EX-108 southwest of Malpartida de Plasencia.
Arrived at 1910h and pitched the tent before going to the restaurant. Azure-winged Magpies common and noisy. Corn Bunting singing. House
Sparrows nesting in the White Stork nest at the campsite entrance although no storks present this year. Crested Lark and Woodlark singing.
Spotless Starlings overhead. Raptors observed in the distance. Collared Dove (2-3). Thunderstorm from 2000h - heavy downpour! Eased off
around 2025h when Crested Lark and Chaffinch began to sing again.
Monday 6th May 2002
PARQUE NATURAL DE MONFRAGÜE, Extremadura
At least one Scops Owl heard calling throughout the night - at times very close to the tent. Hoopoe, Cuckoo, and Collared Dove all heard
singing together (the three species having similarly tones) after dawn. Also heard: Crested Lark, Corn Bunting, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Spotless
Starling and Bee-eater.
0900h: Crag Martin overhead, House Sparrows nesting in the 'pillar' supports around the shower block.
DRIVE FROM THE CAMPSITE INTO THE PARQUE
Species noted included Woodchat Shrike, Griffon Vulture, Crested Lark, Azure-winged Magpie and Black Kite.
THE LONG BRIDGE OVER THE RÍO TAJO
Observations from the long road bridge spanning the Embalse de Torrejón in the Tajo gorge south of Villarreal de San Carlos. At least 12
Alpine Swifts hawking over the bridge with hundreds of House Martins. Probably at least 500 House Martin nests under the bridge. Blackcap
calling. Black Vultures (3) passed south overhead providing great views of this massive raptor. Nightingale singing at the picnic site. Walked
down to the left through the shady scrub along towards the Puente del Cardenal which was visible above the water. The water level was
much lower than last year when the Cardenal Bridge was completely submerged. Wren, Goldfinch, Blackbird, House Sparrow, fledgling Blackbird
all noted. Black Kite and Griffon Vulture overhead. Serins display flighting. Rock Bunting at the abandoned building. Barn Swallow, juvenile
Blue Tit, calling Greenfinch. Another Black Vulture overhead at 1145h. A light-phase Booted Eagle observed high above the ridge. Crag
Martins around the steep scree slopes on the other side of the gorge. Blackcap singing. Speckled Wood - photographed - southern Europe
race/form Pararge aegeria aegeria.
ARROYO DE LA VID AT THE VILLARREAL TO TORREJÓN EL RUBIO ROAD
Parked at the bridge over the stream and walked upstream as far as a Bee-eater colony. Spanish Sparrows breeding at the telegraph poles on
the left-hand bank. Some birds nesting within the poles, others with externally constructed nests of dry grasses. Red-rumped Swallow (2).
Blackbirds singing and feeding juveniles. A male Spanish Sparrow displaying on a wire - calls sounding higher pitched and louder then
domesticus. Several Corn Buntings singing. Chaffinches singing. Red-legged Partridge calling from the dehesa slopes above. White Wagtail on
the bridge. Bee-eater (2) overhead. Serins singing from dead branches of an oak. Several 'freshwater crayfish' in shallow, slow moving pools
upstream by the red brick building. Frogs very vocal here. Small Heaths common, Queen of Spain Fritillary photographed, Spanish Brown Argus,
blue sp., Clouded Yellow. Egyptian Grasshopper photographed: large, c8cm in length, striated pattern over the compound eye. Bee-hawk Moth
sp. More Red-legged Partridges on the slopes. Cuckoo singing. Buzzard passed overhead, mobbed by alarm-calling Bee-eater. Stripe-necked
(3) basking in the sun on exposed rocks but not approachable; slipped off into the stream immediately. Flock of seven Bee-eaters watched
hawking over the stream and perching on vegetation upstream of the sharp rocky bend to the left. Several holes in the sandy bank of the
river here. Sand Martin (2) flew downstream. Sardinian Warbler heard singing in the distance. Barn Swallow (2+). Griffon Vulture overhead at
1443h. More Serins singing further upstream. Dartford Warbler singing and observed briefly. Several lizards along the track - some identified
as the Large Psammodromas (Psammodromas algirus).
WALK UP FROM THE ROAD TO CASTILLO DE MONFRAGÜE
Walked up from the road through natural evergreen Mediterranean scrub to the castle perched at the end of the Sierra de las Corchuelas.
Raven mobbed by swallow and martins. Wren singing. Numerous Serins singing. Firecrest singing but not located. Female Blue Rock Thrush
perched on a pylon about half way up. Red-legged Partridges calling. Blackbirds fairly common here. Red-billed Chough over the cliff face
above the large cave. Rock Bunting here. Red-rumped and Barn Swallows overhead. Male Black Redstart perched on a telegraph wire. A pair of
Choughs dive-bombing off the crags and calling excitedly. A pair of Linnets noted. Wall Brown butterflies common. Another male Blue Rock
CASTILLO DE MONFRAGÜE
1555h> GPS reading: 39º 49' 40N 006º 03' 00W
Panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from the castle roof.
Disappointingly no White-rumped Swifts seen (probably a little early), although none of the Swift species were present. At least 100 Griffon
Vultures visible. Egyptian Vultures much rarer in comparison with just two present at any one time. A pair of Black Storks circling below. Black
Vulture over at 1650h. Jays (2-3) in the wooded slopes below. Chough perched regularly around the castle remains - mainly preening before
diving down to the slopes below. No Chough were seen during last year's visit. Wren singing. Swallowtail and False Ilex Hairstreak butterflies
present. Red-rumped Swallows and Crag Martins common along the ridge. Both species nesting in the red roof-tiled building. Golden Oriole
heard singing below. Four Black Storks visible together: two birds in the air and two on crags. Walk back down to the main road: an impressively
large Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium), Swallowtail, Rock Bunting, Short-toed Treecreeper singing, pair of Cirl Buntings near the cave, Woodchat Shrike,
Goldfinch and Serin common, Black Stork and Egyptian Vulture overhead, Azure-winged Magpies in the car park.
PEÑA FALCON CAR PARK
1920h> Griffon Vulture (22) visible on the crags above the car park. One observed flying in with a branch for nest construction. Blue Rock
Thrush song flighting. Male Black Redstart. Bee-eaters passing overhead. Blue Tit (pr). Linnet (m). Red-rumped Swallow and Crag Martin
common. Many Serins singing. Wren singing. Observed a Rock Bunting's nest through the scope at close range - two fledgling-sized chicks.
Black Stork incubating at nest on the bottom left of Peña Flacon. Another nest above to the right. Another Blue Rock Thrush observed on the
large rocky outcrop further along the road. Blackbird. Black Kite. Linnet (f). Griffon Vultures observed incubating - some nests with small
chicks. Adult Rock Bunting observed removing a faecal sac form the brood.
Tuesday 7th May 2002
PARQUE NATURAL DE MONFRAGÜE, Extremadura
A large group of vultures in the valley here, possibly attending a kill or livestock corpse. Two Griffons watched on the ground in an area of
regenerating eucalyptus plantation. At least seven Black Vultures, 50 Griffon Vultures, two Egyptian Vultures and several Black Kites. Bee-eater
(2) overhead. Corn Buntings singing.
ITENARIO AMARILLO - FUETE TRES CAÑOS
Walked along the trail here through some rich scrub and undisturbed grasslands. Orphean Warbler singing in the valley behind the helipad
(above the village of Villarreal de San Carlos). Two birds observed pursuing each other in flights - large and heavily built warbler. Woodchat
Shrike (6) counted along the trail. Most in the crowns of oak trees or the lowest limbs. Numerous Corn Buntings singing. Nightingales singing.
Black Kite (1). Goldfinch. House Sparrow. Blue Tit. Great Tit. Chaffinch. Several Swifts overhead. Alpine Swift (2) overhead. Group of
Long-tailed Tits with adults feeding juvenile birds. Subalpine Warblers (pr) watched at close range but giving brief views. Grey Heron on the
Embalse de Torrejon - picked out through the 'scope way below on the shore of the reservoir. Nightingale and Blackbird singing in one of the
poplar-lined gullies. Serins singing. Red-rumped Swallows passing. Another Subalpine Warbler (f) giving Blackcap-like alarm calls in very low
scrub. A distant Aquila Eagle passing slowly along the ridge above the reservoir. Sardinian Warbler (m) giving harsh rapid alarm calls.
Woodchat Shrike observed carrying food for young (or incubating female) - mainly large flies. Bee-eater (2) overhead. The grasslands all
covered in flowering plants - mainly purple, yellow and white - with abundant nectaring insects. Greenfinch (m). House Martin. Barn Swallow.
Melodious Warbler in an area of thick/rich scrub with brambles, vines, etc on the north path to the village. Swift sp. (25) with a few Pallid
Swifts identified. Linnet. Thekla Lark feeding in the dusty 'streets' of the village. Butterflies noted: Knapweed
Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe occitanica), Marsh
Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) near the streams, Small Copper, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown,
Queen of Spain Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, Marbled White sp., Clouded Yellow, Common Blue, Wall. Stopped here for lunch.
MIRADOR DO TAJADILLA
1500h> Many Griffon Vultures with young in the nest on the cliffs opposite the lookout. A single Egyptian Vulture nest found with an adult
sitting. Red-rumped Swallows and Crag Martins breeding around the face. White Wagtail overhead. Many trees down in the small wood under
the cliff - no sign of the Red Kite nest present here last year. Azure-winged Magpies in the car park. Female Kestrel observed tearing its catch
to bits. Pair of Common Sandpipers crossing the gorge at the dam. Male Kestel soaring. Black Kite (2-3) hunting along the dried out banks of
the river. Barn Swallow. Chaffinch singing. House Martins common. Raven perched on a pinnacle at the top of the cliffs. Grey Heron fishing
along the rocky edge of the river.
PINE WOOD ABOVE THE TIÉTAR DAM
1535h> Crested Tit (2-3) calling. Two birds observed. Great Spotted Woodpecker calling. Chaffinch. Blue Tit. Long-tailed Tit. Great Tit.
Azure-winged Magpie. Spotted Flycatcher. Goldfinch.
MIRADOR DE LA BASCULA
1615h> Subalpine Warbler calling and singing. Blue Tit. Serins singing. Blackbird singing. Griffon Vulture overhead. At least eight Black Vultures
passed left along the ridges. Black Stork (1) several Griffon Vultures passed by. Peregrine observed in the same field of view as a Black Vulture
through the 'scope. Azure-winged Magpies calling. Chaffinches singing. Black Kite at 1652h and then three more Black Vultures off to the right
and one very close in front. Two more Black Kites. A dark phase Booted Eagle visible at 1705h.
POTILLA DEL TIÉTAR / TIÉTAR CLIFFS
Griffon Vultures (min 34) in the air above the cliff. Many nests with large chicks. Egyptian Vulture (2). Black Vulture (1) circling above.
Bee-eater (4+). Black Stork on the nest. Male Rock Bunting singing. Red-rumped Swallows and Crag Martins nesting. Grey Wagtail (1) and
White Wagtails by the water's edge. Chaffinch. Nightingale and Blackbird singing. Serins singing. Grey Heron passed overhead, followed by an
another. Blue Rock Thrush. Blackcap (m). A third Grey Heron overhead. Rock Doves passing. Goldfinch (2). Black Kite (1).
ROAD TO BAZAGONA (CC-911)
Twelve White Storks counted along the road and many nests in the crowns of the oaks. Honey Buzzard observed flying north low over the car.
Black Kite (3) with a single Red Kite in the dehesa south of the railway line. Turtle Dove observed through the 'scope, perched on a telegraph
wire. Several Bee-eaters along the road perched on telegraph wires and a probable nesting colony in a sand works area on the left (8+). Male
cuckoo observed passing over the road in front of the car. Spotless Starlings fairly common in the dehesa. Chaffinch. Azure-winged Magpie.
Long-tailed Tit. House Sparrow. Collared Dove. Crested Lark. Woodchat Shrike. Greenfinch. Bridge over the last stream: Golden Oriole heard
singing in the poplars somewhere. Nightingales (4-5 singing males). Tree Sparrows calling. Chaffinches singing. Wren singing. Blackcap singing.
Corn Buntings and Crested Larks in the intensively farmed areas of agriculture. Black Kite hunting here.
POTILLA DEL TIÉTAR / TIÉTAR CLIFFS
A male Blue Rock Thrush scoped on the cliff. Jay passed overhead and another later heard calling nearby.
At 2045h an Eagle Owl chick was perched out on the cliff face - still downy, grey with no visible ear tufts. At 2100h an adult appeared
perched out on a rock pinnacle, silhouetted against the darkening sky - large 'ear' tufts, orange eyes, and large talons all observed.
Disappeared for a short while then reappeared at the top right of the cliff. Then observed taking off and flying right, gliding over the canopy
for approximately 100 metres without a wing flap! Stopped on the drive back to the campsite to listen for Red-necked Nightjars without any luck.
Wednesday 8th May 2002
BELEN PLAINS/STEPPE > TRUJILLO > RIO ALMONTE > MONFRAGÜE, Extremadura
DRIVE FROM CAMPING MONFRAGÜE TO TRUJILLO
Species noted from the car: Black Kite (4), Woodchat Shrike (4), Azure-winged Magpie, House Martin, House Sparrow, Crested/Thekla Lark,
Chaffinch, Alpine Swift, Blackbird, Feral Rock Dove, Griffon Vulture, Red-legged Partridge (2), Hoopoe, Raven (2), Buzzard, Red-rumped
Swallow, Corn Bunting, Spotless Starling, Turtle Dove (3), Stonechat, Bee-eater (5), Cattle Egret, White Stork, Lesser Kestrel, Southern Grey
Shrike (2), Black-billed Magpie.
BRDIGE OVER THE RÍO AMONTE ON THE EX-208
1050h >1120h. Grey Heron (1). White Wagtail (2). Reed Warbler singing. Moorhen calling. Corn Buntings singing. Thekla Larks singing from the
hillsides. House Sparrows and Spanish Sparrows chirping by the bridge. Woodlark singing in the dehesa covered hillside. A distant Hoopoe
singing. Bee-eater (2) hawking over the pools. Goldfinches singing. Crag Martins and Red-rumped Swallows nesting under the bridge.
Goldfinches feeding on seeding thistles. A mixed flock of (50-60) Swift species, both Pallid and Common, low overhead. Jackdaw observed
carrying nesting material which appeared to be a collection of dry grasses. Little Ringed Plover very vocal here. Serins singing.
STOPPED ON THE EX-208 JUST NORTH OF TRUJILLO
A Short-toed Eagle perched on a large electricity pylon just a few kilometres from Trujillo. Very close with owl-like face clearly seen.
Photographed through the 'scope. Cattle Egret (6) and White Stork (3) feeding around the black bulls. Southern Grey Shrike (2) perched on
large boulders. Melodious Warbler singing. Hoopoe flew over the main road.
BELÉN PLAIN / (PSEUDO) STEPPE
Drove the single track/unclassified road running northeast through an area of steppe grassland. Mallard (4). Hoopoe (3). Black-billed Magpies
common. Spotless Starling. Southern Grey Shrike (1). A single Great Bustard on the steppe off to the left, 1.5 km after leaving the village -
distant view, however. A single Little Bustard in flowery steppe 3km after leaving Belén. Only the head and neck visible above the mass of
purple and yellow flowers. A flock of 12 to 15 Great Bustards observed in flight before landing and disappearing into long grass. Watched from
39º 30' 37N 005º 46' 15W where a large track crosses the road at the top of the hill approximately 6km after leaving the village of Belén.
Then after around 20 minutes a single Great Bustard observed much closer (500 metres) almost in full view showing much white plumage in a
partial display. Cattle Egrets very common in the steppe with flocks of 40 and 50 regularly seen. Some counts along the road: Mallard (2),
Bee-eater (5), Black Kites (12), Red Kite (3), Raven (1), Common Buzzard (1). Calandra Larks numerous with many birds songflighting. Corn
Buntings numerous and particularly conspicuous on roadside perches. Booted Eagle (light phase) perched very close at the roadside.
Storks common. Quails heard calling at most stops along the road with occasionally more than two birds heard together. Most flocks of Cattle
Egret feeding around sheep flocks with many perched on the grazers' backs. Another Little Bustard seen, this time in flight before
disappearing into flower-rich grassland. Two male Montagu's Harriers observed hunting close to the road. A group of 18 White Stork nests
amongst 110+ Cattle Egrets on numerous nests and branches in a small stand of eucalyptus trees. Also Moorhen, Coot and many Jackdaws
around the pools below the colony. Female Black-eared Wheatear disturbed from its roadside perch. Several small pools present in the steppe
grassland and many visible just by the roadside. One with a single Little Grebe. Another pool at 39º 32' 27N 005º 42' 17W with Little Grebe (4),
Mallard (2), Moorhen (1) and Coot (1). Little Owl perched on a roadside fence post.
Stopped for dinner - heavy rain! Walked up the castle and church - very few birds about. Only a single Lesser Kestrel observed. Also Spotless
Starling, Serin, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Jackdaw and Feral Rock Dove.
TRUJILLO - MONROY ROAD
Counts of selected species: Southern Grey Shrike (10), Lesser Kestrel (4), Common Buzzard (3), Hoopoe (4), Black Kite (2), Woodchat Shrike
(2), Little Owl (4), Montagu's Harrier (4). Bee-eaters fairly common with a flock of six being the biggest group. Spotless Starlings common.
Black-billed Magpies common. The Short-toed Eagle from this morning was still perched on the same pylon, hours later! A flock of c50 Spanish
Sparrows by the roadside close to a breeding colony in a eucalyptus stand with several White Stork nests. Mallards (f+b/8) in a small well
vegetated roadside stream. A pair of Carrion Crows noted, one carrying food. Crested/Thekla Larks noted. A flock of 50 Jackdaws feeding near
a large farm building. A single Little Bustard observed in flight. Abundant singing Corn Buntings - many perched on roadside fences and posts.
Two Stone Curlews disturbed from a field, briefly landing, before flying over a hill at 39º 32' 11N 005º 56' 44W. A male Southern Grey Shrike
observed passing a small rodent to the female. Two Little Bustards watched flying over the horizon about a quarter of a mile away - the white
wing flashes visible just before landing. A family group of Stonechats calling loudly. Calandra Larks very common in the more open areas of
grassland. A pair of Little Owls at 39º 33' 13N 005º 59' 46W.
AREA OF STEPPE GRASSLAND AROUND FINCA RIVALLA 39º 33' 02N 006º 00' 43W
1851h> The rain almost off and weak sunshine beginning to appear.
Parked at a lay-by next to a signed track leading to Finca Rivalla and stopped to scan the grasslands and immediately heard a Little Bustard
calling. At least six Little Bustards calling in the immediate vicinity on both sides of the road here. Excellent view of a male flying from the
horizon down to within a few metres of the roadside, apparently unaware of me or at least not too bothered. It landed close to a visible
female which was partly hidden at times in long grassland rich in flowers. Another male observed in flight nearby. Excellent observations of
another male displaying and calling, throwing its head back. Zitting Cisticola displaying over a marshy area.
RÍO AMONTE, SOUTH OF MONROY
1945h> Crag Martins, Red-rumped Swifts and Barn Swallows hawking insects over the two pools either side of the bridge. A singing male Cirl
Bunting on the slope just above the roadside. Also: Spanish Sparrow, House Sparrow, Serin, White Wagtail and Goldfinch. Back on the road to
Monroy: Woodchat Shrike (1), Black Kite (3).
NORTH OF MONROY 39º 40' 00N 006º 12' 42W
2025h>2135h. Stopped here with the intention of seeing Black-winged Kite (also known as Black-shouldered Kite - failed to see them here in
2001). White Stork colony in the Stone Pines very active. House Sparrows here. Black Kite perched on a telegraph pole. Bee-eaters hawking
overhead. Corn Buntings and Serins singing. Also: Crested Lark, Mallard (2 mm), Spotless Starling, Hoopoe singing, Azure-winged Magpies,
Red-legged Partridge calling and three Lesser Kestrels perched on bushes. Then, at 2100h, a Black-winged Kite was observed flying left (as
you walk down the track) on the near side of the line of pylons at a range of c500 metres. Walked down the track for about 300 to 400
metres and waited. After around 10 minutes it reappeared, hunting over where the dehesa starts proper behind the left-hand pylon as you
stand on the track. It then landed in the crown of an oak 100 metres to the right of the track (towards the right-hand pylon). Perched for a
while before putting on a great display - flying with pauses to float on raised wings before hovering several times. Dropped to the ground
where it captured a rodent. Returned to the same tree before eating its catch, closely attended by a Black-billed Magpie. Got some record
shots using the digital camera through the 'scope. Up to nine Lesser Kestrels present, hunting in a flock during observation of the kite. A pair
of Ravens nesting near the top of the left-hand pylon. Melodious Warbler; three singing males in scrub between here and the main road.
A large beetle with a prominent 'horn' on its head, later identified as Copris lunaris, resembling a small Stag Beetle in structure. Came through the
window of the shower block and landed in a sink! The Barn Swallow pair still feeding young in the nest inside the shower block at 2240h, using
the artificial light source to take insect within the building! Wrote up these notes from dictaphone until 0010h - two Scops Owls calling during
this time. Cicadas and crickets stridulating all over the campsite.
Thursday 9th May 2002
VALLE DEL JERTE, Extermadura
CAMPING MONFRAGÜE > VALLE DEL JERTE
Species noted from the car (mostly along the N-110):- Black Kite (15), White Stork nests (9), Mistle Thrush (1), Spotless Starling, Barn
Swallow, Grey Heron on the shore of the Embalse de Plasencia, Blackbird, White Wagtail (2), Golden Oriole (2) near Cabezuella del Valle, Turtle
Dove (3), House Sparrow, Azure-winged Magpie, Common Buzzard, Black-billed Magpie (3), Booted Eagle (1), Short-toed Eagle (1), Crested
Lark, Corn Bunting, Stonechat, Crag Martin, House Martin, Griffon Vulture and Bee-eater (8).
CABEZUELA DEL VALLE > PUERTO DE HONDURAS
Stopped at an open area c1km after turning off the main road before the long climb to nearly 1800m. A male Golden Oriole observed singing in
the deciduous oak woodland around the stream below. Wren singing. Blackcap singing. White Stork (2) overhead. Also: Spotted Flycatcher,
Blackbird, Blue Tit and Barn Swallow.
Second stop further up: Hoopoe, Golden Oriole and Wren singing. Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and another calling further away. A
Hawfinch disturbed from the roadside but not relocated after it disappeared into the woodland. A second Hoopoe replying. Chaffinch
singing. House Martin and Barn Swallow overhead. Blue Tit brood passing. Short-toed Treecreeper singing. Spotted Flycatcher noted. Pied
Flycatcher observed singing - usually a single phrase before flying off to another branch. Nuthatches (2-3) heard and seen on thick tree
trunks particularly around the bases. Two Bee-eaters overhead. Short-toed Treecreeper (3-4). Another Hawfinch observed in flight, showing
the wing bars well. Nightingale singing. Jay and Great Tit also noted.
Third stop higher up: Azure-winged Magpies (10+), Golden Orioles singing, Spotless Starling, etc. Two male Golden Orioles observed flying over
Fourth stop: A singing male Golden Oriole observed. Better views this time. Hoopoe (3). Nuthatch (1). Pied Flycatcher singing. Booted Eagle
and Griffon Vultures overhead. Blue Tit. Pied Flycatcher. Serin. Two more Hoopoes on the drive higher up.
Fifth stop at 3610 feet: The appearance of the landscape was more like late winter/early spring at this height with trees still leafless and it
also very cold (felt like c2ºC). Woodlark displaying. A Bonelli's Warbler singing but difficult to get good views of as it kept high in the canopy
and continually move between trees. Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Jay, Wren, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Blue Tit and Great Tit common in the
woodland. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Raven and Griffon Vulture also obvious here.
Sixth stop at 4243 feet. 40º 13' 31N 005º 50' 47W (8.5ºC according to car thermometer),
Several Ortolan Buntings singing. Three birds observed by the roadside. Stonechats common. Cuckoo singing. Bluethroat singing above the
road in an area of broom covered hillside just below the cloud line! Rock Thrush singing in an area of steep craggy hillside. Wrens singing -
quite numerous in this barley vegetated area. Cuckoo, Jay (2), Whitethroat, Stonechat, Raven, Griffon Vulture and Ortolan Bunting also
PUERTO DE HONDURAS
Rock Thrush and Bluethroat heard singing distantly. Several Whitethroats and a few Sardinian Warblers singing in the broom scrub. Blackbird
singing. Ortolan Buntings common. Many Wrens singing. Griffon Vultures passing along the hillside over the peak of the road although
noticeably much less common than in Monfragüe. Stonchats singing from rocks and boulders. Raven overhead. Dunnock singing.
Solar Power Station: Woodlark songflighting at the top of the tree line. Another singing nearby. Raven (2) overhead. Rock Bunting, Cuckoo
and Jay seen from the car on the drive back down. Common Buzzard (2) and Raven (3) lower down. Speckled Wood and Wood Pigeon also
RESERVA NATURAL DE GARGANTOS DE LOS INFIERNOS
The habitat here resembled a typical upland oak wood of western and northern Britain although with a much richer flora and fauna.
1645h> Stopped first at the river before driving in to the reserve: Pied Flycatcher, Robins (first of the trip), Wren, Blackcap (2), White Wagtail
(1), Crag Martin, House Martin, Red-rumped Swift, Serin, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Blue Tit and Golden Oriole singing.
Reserva Natural 1707h>1940h.
Species noted around the car park: Serin, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blackcap, Robin, Crag Martin, House Martin, Barn Swallow and Blue
Tit. Honey Buzzard calling high over the wooded slopes of the gorge with great views from a look-out point just off the trail. Short-toed
Treecreeper singing and observed on a very thin oak just a few feet away. Singing Blackcaps common with at least 10 males counted. Two
singing Nightingales heard. Jay calling. Wrens common. Cuckoo singing. Rock Bunting. Griffon Vulture. Raven. A small group of Long-tailed Tits
with recently fledged young. Jay, Serin and Cuckoo in the cherry orchard. Crag Martins over the river. A forth, then a fifth Jay seen. Grey
Wagtail (f) and (20+) Barn Swallows around the bridge over the river at the end of the trail. Two Golden Orioles heard singing here. At least
five Robins seen along the trail.
Friday 10th May 2002
MONFRAGÜE > MÉRIDA > SEVILLA > FUENTE DE PIEDRA, Andalucia
DRIVE FROM CAMPING MONFRAGÜE > TRUJILLO
Species noted from the car: Crested/Thekla Larks, Hoopoe, Jay, Barn Swallow, Spotless Starling, Black Kite, Serin, House Martin, Griffon
Vulture, Red-rumped Swallow, Azure-winged Magpie, Common/Pallid Swifts, Woodchat Shrike, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Stonechat and Southern
ARROYO DE LA VID
Rock Sparrows (3) downstream of the bridge, perching on walls, rocky slopes and oak trees. Observed picking seeds from dry grasses by the
roadside. Large yellow throat patch observed on a male Rock Sparrow and fairly obvious. Rock Bunting
(2). Corn Buntings singing. Woodchat Shrike (pr). Turtle Dove 'purring' away. Subalpine Warbler calling. Hoopoe singing. Also present: Spanish
Sparrow, Crag Martin, Serin, Goldfinch, Stonechat (m), Blue Tit, House Sparrow and Blackbird.
N-V, TRUJILLO >MÉRIDA
Counts from the car: Lesser Kestrel (12), Black Kite (8), White Stork (15), Hoopoe (2), Roller (1), Southern Grey Shrike, Crested Lark,
Goldfinch, Little Grebe, Buzzard, Barn Swallow, Azure-winged Magpie, Stonechat, Collared Pratincole over the road at Km-296, Grey Heron,
N-V, MÉRIDA > SEVILLA
Counts from the car: Cattle Egret (10), Black Kite (5), Kestrel sp. (2), White Stork (1), Common Buzzard (1), Black-eared Wheatear at Km
664, Montagu's Harrier (3): female at Km 680, male at Km 688 and another male at Km 703.7, Collared Dove observed carrying nesting
material into a palm. Zitting Cisticola.
PICNIC AREA ON THE EXTREMADURA/ANDALUCIA BORDER
Rivera de Cala / N-630 (E-803) 1310h> Stopped for lunch.
Cetti's Warbler, 2 singing mm, Bee-eater (2), Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Serin, House Sparrow and Blue Tit.
A92, SEVILLA > ANTEQUERA
Counts from the car: Black Kite (50-60) over a rubbish tip, Southern Grey Shrike (3), Hoopoe (2), Bee-eater (4), Woodchat Shrike (1),
Crested Lark, White Stork, Barn Swallow, Spotless Starling, Feral Rock Dove, House Sparrow, Black-billed Magpie, Blackbird, Kestrel sp.
LAGUNA DE FUENTE DE PIEDRA
Arrived at 1800h after looking around nearby towns for a campsite. Camped at Camping Cabañas de Madera in Fuente de Piedra.
Reckoned to be 31000 Greater Flamingos present this season. A few hundred within 1km of the visitor centre shoreline but mostly widely
scattered over the entire lake with a mass of distant pink at the Salinas breeding site. Breeding Avocets and Black-winged Stilts along the
sandy shoreline. One pair of Avocets with a brood of four continually interacted with a few Flamingos. One of the adult Avocets threatened
any Flamingo that approached the half-grown chicks, occasionally flying up in attack. Gull-billed Tern (3), Kentish Plover (7), Ringed Plover
(15), Bee-eater (2), Goldfinch (4). Many immature Yellow-legged Gulls. Avocets nesting on small islands in the lagoon.
The marsh between the visitor centre and the village of Fuente de Piedra
Full of water and supporting a Black-headed Gull colony. Single Black Tern feeding over the open water, dipping to the surface regularly. Three
Whiskered Terns present, feeding over the surrounding marshland. Another three Whiskered Terns later appeared from over the village.
Red-crested Pochard (pair), Greater Flamingo (3), Black-winged Stilt (5) Pochard (8), Moorhen (min 26), Common Coot (min 7), Mallard (f),
Bee-eater (2). Also present: Melodious Warbler, Crested Lark, Spotless Starling, Linnet, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Feral Rock
Dove, Yellow-legged Gull, House Martin and a Swift sp. From 2005h, some waders began to drop in to the smallest pool to the right of the
marsh (as viewed from the observation platform): Greenshank (2), Green Sandpiper (1), Common Sandpiper (1), Kentish Plover (1). A flock of
c80 Greater Flamingos passed overhead towards the lagoon, perhaps arriving from one of the nearby smaller lagoons. Another Gull-billed Tern
arrived and settled next to the waders.
CAMPING CABAÑAS DE MADERA
Campsite right on the edge of the village with views over to the lagoon and of the following species: Greater Falmingo, Gull-billed Tern,
Black-winged Stilt, Black-headed Gull. Serin and Greenfinch in the adjacent olive grove. After listening to several singing/calling Spotless
Starlings over the past few days, this species appears to (i) be a better mimic, (ii) have louder/stronger vocalisation (iii) produce much clearer
and purer tones than the Common Starling.
Saturday 11th May 2002
LAGINA DE FUENTE DE PIEDRA > TEBA GORGE (TAJO DEL MOLINO), Andalucia
CAMPING CABAÑAS DE MADERA
Hoopoe singing from the surrounding olive groves along with Serin, Linnet, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Bee-eater, Spotless Starling, Crested
Lark and Goldfinch.
FUENTE DE PIEDRA
Collared Dove and House Martin noted in the village.
LAGUNA DE FUENTE DE PIEDRA Reserva Natural, 1364 ha
A huge natural, saline lagoon, 6.5km by 2.5km set in a basin surrounded by mountains. A commercial salinera until the 1950's and a Reserva
Natural from the mid 1980's.
Marsh between the reception centre and the village: Greater Flamingo (2), Gadwall (m), Red-crested Pochard (m), Gull-billed Tern (2), Hoopoe
singing, Collared Dove, Black-headed Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Coot, Moorhen, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Goldfinch, Yellow-legged Gull
(pr), Bee-eater, Zitting Cisticola, Corn Bunting singing, Barn Swallow and House Martin.
The lagoon: Waders numerous, though rather distant, with excellent visibility today. One near flock containing Greenshank, Redshank, Dunlin,
Little Stint. Single Lapwing closer to the shoreline. A flock of 12 Ruff passed. Knot and Grey Plover also present. Pallid Swift (min 1) identified.
One island with 55+ Avocets. Crested Larks singing. A Male Mallard flew by. Probably hundreds of migrant waders present over the whole
lagoon judging by distant flocks in flight. Bar-tailed Godwit about 200 metres from the shoreline. Bee-eater (4+). Gull-billed Terns (8) on the
sandy spit to the left of the mirador. Slender-billed Gull passed by, flying right to left just beyond the perimeter fence of the lagoon. Several
Lesser Black-backed Gulls still here amongst the many Yellow-legged Gulls. Dragonfly
Trithemis annulata observed.
LAGUNA DULCE Reserva Natural
A seasonal lagoon located beside the A-382, east of Campillos. Water level high. All species observed from a single hide with no access to any
other area of the lagoon. Counts: Gull-billed Tern (61), Greater Flamingo (81), Eurasian Coot (263+), Great Crested Grebe (10), Black-necked
Grebe (21), Little Grebe (1), Red-crested Pochard (47), Common Pochard (6), Mallard (160+), Sand Martin (5+), Moorhen (1), Black-winged
Stilt (20+), Lapwing (3), Bee-eater (4+). Strong heat haze and distance combining to make viewing conditions difficult. Impossible to
identifying Coot species on the far shore. Many Sympetrum dragonflies around the hide. Singing birds abundant: Corn Bunting, Zitting
Cisticola, Cetti's Warbler and Reed Warbler. Female Marsh Harrier hunting over the reed bed to the far right before disappearing into the reeds.
Hundreds of Swifts (probably 1000 at least) hawking over the lagoon and surrounding area with many flying low over the hide and car park
allowing close and prolonged observation. Many identified as both Pallid and Common Swifts. A male Marsh Harrier later observed in the same
area as the female. Wasps nest building under the roof of the hide. Little Grebes very vocal giving territorial calls. A pair of Marsh Harriers later
observed hunting over the reed bed, being mobbed by Lapwings and disturbing a flock of around (15) Kentish Plovers. Also noted: Linnet,
Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow and Clouded Yellow.
TEBA GORGE / TAJO DEL MOLINO
A superb, scenic area with the angled strata consisting of many overhangs and caves and nice garrigue habitat on the slopes at either end of
the 500 metre long gorge. Walked the length of the gorge (little water running through it) from the bridge, on the C-341 around 5km from the
village of Teba, and then climbed out and up the hillside to the right. The light was intense. Species noted as encountered: Blue Rock Thrush
(m), Small Copper, Common Blue, Clouded Yellow, Serin, Nightingale and Cetti's Warbler singing under the bridge in streamside vegetation,
Great Tit Goldfinch, Blue Rock Thrush (pair), Common Sandpiper at the stream, Meadow Brown, Large White, Chough (3). Black Wheatear
observed less than 100 metres from the bridge where it began chasing a Blue Rock Thrush at speed around the cliff face of the
gorge. Another pair of Blue Rock Thrushes - one bird with food for young. Calling Rock Sparrows abundant around the large cave on the
left-hand side. A total of six singing male Wrens heard in the gorge. Crag Martin and Red-rumped Swallow common, Jackdaw, Rock Dove, Black
Wheatear by the large cave, Chough (12) in the air at 1546h, third pair of Blue Rock Thrushes, Golden-ringed Dragonfly. A
pair of Black Wheatears at the far end of the gorge - one 'sailing' off the cliff to a dead bush at the stream below. Another two Black
Wheatears higher up. Hoopoe singing in the valley behind. Another pair of Black Wheatears found, the male singing on a ridge above the valley
above the gorge. Bonelli's Eagle found perched almost at the highest part of the left-hand cliff face. Looking back through the gorge it was
perched just below the first bit of scrub just right of the largest 'crack' running the height of the cliff face. Then, superb views of the eagle in
flight low overhead for two to three minutes. Male Stonechat calling. Hoopoe flying upstream. Another Cetti's Warbler singing. Serins singing.
Jackdaw (7) overhead. Blue Rock Thrushes very vocal. The Bonelli's Eagle landed back on the cliff giving better views: huge compare with
nearby Choughs, flat crown/head evident. In flight, it looked long-winged relative to body length and long-tailed, bulging secondaries/inner
wing, strong rufous colour to underparts and dark upperparts. Small White, Southern Gatekeeper, Brown Argus, Meadow Brown, Marbled White
sp. House Martins and House Sparrows nesting under the road bridge.
TEBA CASTLE / CASTILLO DE LA ESTRELLA
1815h>1920h. Great views of the surrounding landscape - visibility unlimited.
A pair of very confiding Black Wheatears - the male singing at times. The female was later seen flying off towards the small ruin below the
castle, regularly carrying food for nestlings. Thekla Lark (3-4). Rock Sparrow (4+). Stonechat (pr+b/2). Linnet (pr). Also noted: Painted Lady,
Barn Swallow, House Sparrow and Corn Buntings singing way below.
Sunday 12th May 2002
FUENTE DE PIEDRA > RONDA > ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA, Andalucia
CAMPING CABAÑAS DE MADERA
The lagoon was like a sheet of glass this morning (no wind) with every flamingo just about visible as far as the eye could see. The breeding
colonies at the old salinas were a mass of pink against the blue colour of the water. Hoopoe singing close by from dusk this morning.
Woodchat Shrike and Bee-eater (2) over the surrounding olive groves. Serins singing. A distant Kestrel species. Black-winged Stilt and
Gull-billed Tern visible. Pallid Swift (100+) overhead. Linnet overhead. A Barn Swallow taking insects from the surface of the dirty swimming
pool. House Sparrow and House Martin also noted.
1220h> Much traffic and narrow streets made finding the underground car park in the city centre a little difficult.
Smaller gorge on the edge of the town:
A male Blue Rock Thrush singing from a derelict building. Serins numerous - singing and feeding young. Grey Wagtail (2) in the stream below.
Hundreds of Pallid Swifts overhead. Blackbird, Crag Martin, House Martin, Feral Rock Dove, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, Chough (2), House
Sparrow, Greenfinch, Mallard (12, probably feral), Nightingale singing, Lesser Kestrel (1), Blackcap singing. Hundreds of pairs of House Martins
nesting around the town with many houses covered in nests along the streets walked.
Lunch stop at Villa Paz:
Cliff top view over the surrounding countryside to the mountains. Pallid Swifts passing by. Common Swifts also passing. Serins and House
Sparrows in the palm trees on the terrace. Grey Wagtail calling as it passed by. Alpine Swifts rushing by. Goldfinches overhead. Crag Martins
spinning in mid air around their nests on the cliff face below. Chough (2), then (3) passing by. House Martin also noted
Puente Neuvo (The New Bridge):
1430h> Close views of Lesser Kestrel, Chough and Alpine Swift flying through the arch of the bridge. Up to 20 Chough 'tumbling' in the gorge.
Crag Martins common. Rock Sparrow (3) on a cliff ledge a few metres below. Blue Rock Thrush displaying . Serins numerous and Goldfinches
common. Also noted: Pallid Swift, Spotless Starling, Common Swift, House Martin and House Sparrow.
Walk down to the valley and gorge below the town:
1525h> Blue Rock Thrush singing from scrub covered cliffs below the town. Corn Buntings singing. Serin, Blue Tit and Goldfinch noted. Lesser
Kestrel hunting over the low-intensive farming here. Chaffinches singing from an olive orchard. Cetti's Warbler and Blackcap singing from the
riverine scrub. Jay calling. Clouded Yellows common in the flower-rich grasslands here. Lesser numbers of Painted Lady. A
male Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines) photographed. Spotless Starling, Blackbird, Wren, Greenfinch and Serin noted. A female Blue Rock Thrush with a green coloured larva at the
stream by the derelict building. At least a pair of Rock Sparrows at this building. Blue Rock Thrush observed flying on through one of the
window openings carrying food for the young. Brown Argus and Large White noted. White Wagtail with food for young. A flock of 19 Chough
observed overhead at 1608h. Two Bee-eaters on wires by the stream. Male Blue Rock Thrush singing from a telegraph wire then later
observed with food in its beak. The pair were watched returning regularly with food. Long-tailed Tits calling. Grey Wagtail flew upstream.
Greenfinch (m). Sardinian Warbler (3). Another Grey Wagtail overhead. Grass Snake
(Natrix natrix) observed swimming in the stream below the small bridge
with the five large pipes. Two Grass Snakes later present. Hoopoe singing. Female Grey Wagtail observed with food for young which carried
into a nest site at the third pipe under the bridge. Speckled Wood, Common Blue and Meadow Brown noted here. Black Redstart calling and
another Blue Rock Thrush nearby. Male Stonechat with food for young.
SPECIES NOTED FROM THE CAR TODAY
Passing through the following villages: Fuente de Piedra > Humilldero > Almargen > torre-Almaquime > Setinel de las Bodegas > Arriate > Ronda
> Arcos de la Frontera. A-92: Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Black Kite and Montagu's Harrier. N-344: Hoopoe (2), Montagu's Harrier (m),
Collared Dove, Spotless Starling, Greenfinch, Barn Swallow, Goldfinch, Nightingale (singing), Woodchat Shrike, Greenfinch (calling), Serin,
Zitting Cisticola (singing), Melodious Warbler (singing), Chaffinch (m), Blackcap (singing), Kestrel sp. (2). Species were heard by driving slowly
through suitable habitat with the windows down. Ronda>Arcos de la Frontera: Cattle Egret (2), White Stork on nest, Mallard, Crested Lark,
Feral Rock Dove.
CAMPING LAGO DE ARCOS, ARCOS-DE-LA FRONTERA
Species heard singing: Zitting Cisticola, Nightingale, Serin, Cetti's Warbler, Crested Lark and Goldfinch. Black Kite and Night Heron (2) (AS)
Monday 13th May 2002
ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA > LAGUNA DE MEDINA > TARIFA, Andalucia
CAMPING LAGO DE ARCOS
Purple Heron overhead at 0820h. Nightingale, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola and Crested Lark all singing.
LAGUNA DE MEDINA, JEREZ Reserva Natural, 121 ha
A large lagoon set in the rolling hills of sherry country. Extensive fringing reedbeds with surrounding buckthorn and tamarisk scrub. Heat haze
already evident at 0920h making viewing to the far side difficult. Walked the length of trail looking for White-headed Duck and Crested Coot in
particular. Water level very high. After much searching a pair of Crested (Red-knobbed) Coots were observed at the end of the lagoon nearest
the road and close in to track-side vegetation. Red nodules clearly visible on the forehead. A pair of White-headed Ducks also at the near
end, out on more open water. Difficult to search the site properly due to the height of the waterside vegetation and distance of the track
from the lagoon edge. Good numbers of other wildfowl. Water bird counts: Eurasian Coot (hundreds), Black-necked Grebe (87), Great Crested
Grebe (9), Little Grebe (8), Red-crested Pochard (22), Common Pochard (22), Gadwall (14), Mallard (18), Greater Flamingo (20), Black-winged
Stilt (4), Black Tern (12). Counts of singing warbler species along the track: Zitting Cisticola (12), Sardinian Warbler (8), Melodious Warbler
(7), Cetti's Warbler (9), Great Reed Warbler (13), Reed Warbler (common). Good numbers of other species: Turtle Dove (6), Bee-eater (5+),
Nightingale (8 singing mm), Stonechat (4), Corn Bunting (7), Goldfinch (12), House Sparrow (5), Crested Lark (3), Tree Sparrow, Marsh Harrier
(f at 1010h), Barn Swallow (2), Cuckoo (1), Greenfinch (2), Serins (common), Spotted Flycatcher (1), Linnet (pr+1). Red-legged Partridge
calling from the chalky slope above the road at the car park. Pheasant calling near the farmhouse at the end of the trail - heard several times.
Spotted Flycatcher 'looping' off a small wire fence. Butterflies noted: Swallowtail, Clouded Yellow, Painted Lady. Dragonflies common with
several species noted.
LAGUNA DE MEDINA > TARIFA
Species noted from the car: Cattle Egret (51), Short-toed Eagle (1), Lesser Kestrel (4), Bee-eater (2), Collared Pratincole (flock of 20-30)
and (3) over the road at Km 59 of the N-340, Crested Lark, White Stork, Collared Dove, Zitting Cisticola (singing), Melodious Warbler (singing),
TARIFA: PLAYA DE LOS LANCES Paraje Natural
Reached the south coast where the wind was typically strong - many windsurfers in the bay. 1410h> Clouded Yellows common in the flat
expanse or wildflowers behind the dunes. Mediterranean Skipper (Gegenes nostrodamus) found in short grassland. At least three Short-toed Larks heard singing,
Zitting Cisticola displaying, Linnet (20+), Crested Lark singing and displaying, Goldfinch singing, Spotless Starling. Small numbers of waders on
beach here: Grey Plover (6), Sanderling (3), Ringed Plover (3), Kentish Plover (14). Yellow-legged Gulls common overhead.
Seawatch 1450h>1605h: Several Mediterranean Shearwaters on the horizon, Sanderling (3), Great Skua flying west, attacking gulls on the
way (1505h>1515h), Arctic Skua (3) flew east at 1547h, Sandwich Tern (15+), Storm Petrel (20+) following a fishing boat with attendant
Gannet (imm) and numerous Yellow-legged Gulls. *A very large tern (quite distant) flew right over the orange/red markers in the bay,
eventually gaining a bit of height before disappearing out of range. Restaurant across the road from Camping Rio Jara: Turtle Dove (2) and
Collared Dove (4).
CAMPING RIO JARA > PARAJE NATURAL
The campsite was adjacent to the Paraje Natural where we had been this afternoon. A path exited the campsite to the beach. After dinner
we returned to the shore. A few Mediterranean Shearwater flying east. Some Audouin's Gulls (4 ads + 1st-S) found among a group of
Yellow-legged Gulls (50+) resting on the beach. Observed down to a range of about 40 metres with excellent views of the red bill, black eyes,
dark grey legs and elongated head/beak. Eventually disturbed by a passing jogger. Long thin wings observed in flight. Also one Lesser
Black-backed Gull and a Sandwich Tern present. Short-toed and Crested Larks singing. Kentish Plover (30+), Ringed Plover (10+), Grey Plover
(8), Sanderling (10+), Common Sandpiper (10) in the tidal creek. An Iberian race Yellow Wagtail in marsh vegetation adjacent to the tidal
Tuesday 14th May 2002
TARIFA > PARQUE NACIONAL DE DOÑANA, Andalucia
CAMPING RIO JARA, TARIFA
Crested Larks and Zitting Cisiticolas singing. Collared Doves notably common here. Serin and Spotless Starling singing. Common Sandpiper
DRIVE TO THE COTO DE DOÑANA
Drive to Doñana approximately 200 miles.
Species noted from the car: Black Kite (14), Cattle Egret (31), Lesser Kestrel (2), more unidentified Kestrels, Collared Pratincole (4), Collared
Dove (common Tarifa area), Crested Larks (numerous), Corn Buntings (common), Stonechat, Feral Rock Dove, Collared Pratincole (4 N-IV
road), White Stork (common), Spotless Starling (very common), Azure-winged Magpies common from Almonte, Clouded Yellows common,
Jackdaw fairly common in the Huelva region. Arrived at El Rocio at 1230h> Whiskered Terns everywhere, even low over the main road.
EL ROCIO, PARQUE NACIONAL DE DOÑANA
1240h>1410h Water level high - much higher than mid-June 2001. Extremely hot.
Greater Flamingo (385), Black-winged Stilts (450+) constantly seeing off the marauding Black Kites, Spoonbills (26) with several juvenile birds,
Little Egret (7), Whiskered Tern (c200), Mallard (numerous broods), Common Pochard (20+), Red-crested Pochard (10+), Grey Heron (21),
Black Kite (7), Cattle Egret (12), Black-tailed Godwit (50+), Gadwall (2), Wigeon (f), Greylag Goose (2), Red-rumped Swallow, Bee-eater (2),
Whimbrel (7), White Stork (nesting in the town), Barn Swallow, House Martin, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, Eurasian Coot, Black-headed Gull
(3), Clouded Yellow.
Walk through the Stone Pine woodland:
Numerous Tree Sparrows breeding in the Stone/Umbrella Pines - mostly in nest boxes. Pair of Woodchat Shrikes with food for offspring.
Another male Woodchat Shrike in the crown of a pine in the more open area at the car park. Short-toed Treecreeper singing. Dartford Warbler
singing from scrub on an opening. Several Greenfinches in the woodland - one harassing the shrikes. Serins singing. Melodious Warbler and
Nightingale singing. Goldfinches overhead.
Purple Swamp-Hen (Purple Gallinule) observed on the second island off to the left of centre. Watched pulling stems of reeds/rushes, grasping
them with its foot and stripping the outer layers for the soft tissue inside. Great Reed Warbler, Reed Warbler and Nightingale singing.
Whiskered Tern (10+) hawking over the lagoon and surrounding marshland. A male Woodchat shrike flew down into the dry grassland between
the hide and bracken for prey before returning to the dead branches of a tree to the right of the hide. Black Kites passing overhead from time
to time, mobbed by nesting Black-winged Stilts below. Four White Stork nests on distant pylons and several in the crowns of lagoon-side
trees. Little Grebe heard calling. Moorhen (2+). Cattle Egret (20) perched on the thick wooded stumps emerging from the water. Greenfinch
singing. Tree Sparrow passing. Spoonbill (13), Grey Heron (6), Little Egret (3), Red-crested Pochard (2 pairs visible), Common Pochard (4),
Black-winged Stilt (6+ visible), White Stork (1 feeding), House Martin (4+), Mallard (38), Coot (4+). Clouded Yellows common. Little Grebe
observed carrying food into cover. Great Tit singing, Barn Swallow and several large hawker dragonflies.
Next hide (open thatched screen):
Squacco Heron to the left, fishing at the edge of the water. Also: Mallard, two Coots and Reed Warbler singing.
Back on the trail:
Woodchat Shrike observed pursuing a Great Spotted Cuckoo through a more open area of trees. Reed Warblers singing. Pair of Coots with a
brood of two. Nightingale, Blackcap and two Short-toed Treecreepers singing. Also: Serin, Tree Sparrow, Moorhen and three Chaffinches.
Little Bittern perched briefly in reeds to the right before flying off. Another Squacco Heron nearby. Savi's Warbler 'reeling' to the left. Cuckoo
singing. Three Cattle Egrets feeding around some horses. Three Gadwall took flight. A second Savi's Warbler heard singing not far in front of
the hide. Bee-eaters passed by. Another pair of Little Grebes calling. The same, previous Purple Swamp-Hen also visible from this point. Also
noted here: Spoonbill, White Stork, Serin and Greenfinch.
Back on the trail > Algadia del Melocillo
Short-toed Treecreeper, Serin, Nightingale and Tree Sparrow the most obvious species on this part of the trail. Cetti's Warbers; three singing
males. Three Bee-eaters overhead. Five Long-tailed Tits observed, Distant Brimstone or Cleopatra sighted. Melodious Warbler calling from the
top of a pine. Plenty of birdsong in the area: several Chaffinches singing, Blackbird, Nightingale and Serins singing. A pair of Sardinian Warblers
and one juvenile watched for several minutes in a young pine tree. Several Large
or Spanish Psammodromas lizards basking on the boardwalks. Cleopatra
observed at close quarters - a male. Greenfinches displaying in flight overhead. Dartford Warbler and Woodchat Shrike singing in a open are of
very dry habitat. Also noted: Cuckoo and Blackbird.
Observatori 'Pato Cuchara':
Savi's Warblers; two singing males. One birds observed well, several metres in front of the hide, singing continuously. Purple Heron just in front
of the hide before flying off and disappearing into the rushes on the far side. Little Grebes calling. Black Kite and Whiskered Terns overhead.
Savi's Warbler observed well through the 'scope, reeling and turning its head from side-to-side much more often than a Grasshopper Warbler.
Spoonbill (2), Moorhen (1), Mallard (10+), Greylag Goose (1), Bee-eater (3), Barn Swallow (30+). Nightingale, Collared Dove, Reed Warbler and
Greenfinch all vocal here.
CAMPING ROCIO PLAYA, MATALASCAÑAS
2000h. A group of 30 Greater Flamingos observed flying west along the coast. Also noted: Black-billed Magpie, Collared Dove, Spotless
Starling, Serin, House Sparrow, Crested Lark.
Wednesday 15th May 2002
NORTHERN MARISMAS, PARQUE NACIONAL DE DOÑANA, Andalucia
Superb birding today marred by closure of our ultimate destination in the marismas (Centro de Interpretacion del P.N.D. Jose Antonio
CAMPING ROCIO PLAYA, MATALASCAÑAS
Black-billed Magpie (5), Serin, Blackbird, Turtle Dove, Black Kite (2).
DRIVE FROM EL ROCIO > Centro de Interpretacion del P.N.D. Jose Antonio Valverde.
Black Kite (29) - many perched on roadside posts, Cattle Egret (12), Spotless Starlings common, Corn Buntings and Crested Larks numerous,
Long-tailed Tit (1) flew over the road through the pine woodland, Grey Heron (6), White Stork (8), Common Sandpiper (5), Woodchat Shrike
(3), Swift sp., Linnet, Serin, Blackbird, Azure-winged Magpie (10) - most on the Villamanrique road through the pine woodland, Bee-eater (11),
Calandra Lark (5) in the dry marismas and ploughed areas, Barn Swallow, House Sparrow (100+).
End of tarmac/start of gravel tracks (distances measured from this point): Quail heard calling at all stops, e.g. 2.9, 4.1, 13.2 km. Common
Buzzard (2), Montagu's Harrier (Imm m) at 5.7 km, Mallard (8). Black-winged Stilts numerous in the areas of wetland. Short-toed Larks
common from 5.7 km, particularly between 15 and 17 km. Tawny Pipit on the track at 5.8 km. Little Egrets common in wetlands. Clouded
Yellows flying all along the route - hundreds seen along the track but probably thousands flying over the whole area. Painted Lady and Bath
White also common. Spoonbill (4), Yellow Wagtail (10), Collared Pratincole (2), Reed Warbler (6), Linnet, Moorhen, Kestrel, Coot. Ocellated (or
Eyed) Lizard (Lacerta lepida) observed running across the track into cover. A light phase Booted Eagle overhead at 13.0 km, (37º 06' 47N 006º 18' 47W). First
Lesser Short-toed Lark identified on the track at 12.3 km (37º 07' 09N 006º18' 46W) then common between 15 and 17 km. A minimum of 47
singing/displaying male Zitting Cisticolas counted along 25 km of roadside in both dry and wet areas. Two female Whinchats at 16.8 km
perched on wire fencing (37º 06' 20N 006º 20' 45W) - not very approachable. A male Whinchat later found further along the road.
Marismas at 17.7 km from the start of the gravel track:
Whiskered Tern (200+), Night Heron (1), Red-crested Pochard (8), Purple Heron (5), Little Egret (13), Black-winged Stilt (32), Grey Heron (6),
Gadwall (4), Coot (5+b/2, b/5), Moorhen (2), Little Grebe (3), Black Kite (6), Yellow Wagtail (3), Mallard (27), Zitting Cisticola (1), Crested
Lark (2), Lesser Short-toed Lark (2), Spoonbill (1), Calandra Lark (1), Common Sandpiper (2), Reed Warblers singing, Gull-billed Tern (2), White
Stork (1), Great Crested Grebe (pr), Greater Flamingo (2), Marsh Harrier (f), Squacco Heron (1) in the roadside channel, Quail calling nearby,
Corn Buntings singing, Clouded Yellows numerous, loud frog chorus. A large circling flock of Black Kites about 2 km distant - probably at least
50+ along with two Griffon Vultures present in the air.
Marismas at 19.4 km from the start of the gravel track:
Glossy Ibis (2), Grey Plover (min 44), Squacco Heron (1), Greater Flamingo - a few hundred, Redshank (3), Purple Heron (3), Black-winged
Stilt - numerous, Spoonbill (2), Mallard (17), Marsh Harrier (2), Eurasian Coot - fairly common, Moorhen - less common or obvious that Coots,
Grey Heron, Collared Pratincole - flock of 22 flew south, Avocet (2), Little Egrets - passing regularly, Whiskered Terns common, Yellow Wagtail
(1), Crested Lark (2), Spotless Starling (2), Zitting Cisticola (3), Short-toed Lark (1), Black Kite (6), Stone Curlew (1), Grey Plover (8),
Red-rumped Swallow (2), Barn Swallow (1), Little Grebe (2). Marbled Duck - a pair found in a lagoon just metres from the roadside (on the
right-hand side) at 19.1 km from the start of the gravel tracks. Observed for a few seconds before disappearing into flooded rushes before
later reappearing. Coordinates: 37º 05' 53N 006º 22' 06W. Purple Heron reasonably common in the wetland areas.
Red-crested Pochard (9),
Gadwall (6), Marsh Harrier (2), Common Pochard (5), Sqaucco Heron (1), Glossy Ibis - first of several at 19.0
km, Ferruginuous Duck (pr) by
the roadside at 19.2 km (37º 05' 51N 006º 22' 09W), Whinchat (f) at 20.7 km. A second pair of Marbled Ducks in flight at 22.0 km (37º 04'
34N 006º 23' 00W). Obvious pale plumage instantly distinguishable from any other duck species. Many Eurasian Coots with broods.
CERRADO GARRIDO CENTRE / CENTRO DE VIVTANTES JOSE ANTONIO VALVERDE
Arrive to find the gates locked - CLOSED! Due to some annual festival or other. This was a bit of a disaster since we
were not available to view
the large breeding colony herons, egrets, and ibises. Drove the 10 km east to the junction and back. Stopped to view the heron colony at the
centre. Drove the other direction for a few kilometres to observed the feeding flamingos, herons and egrets. Two immature Ospreys about 1
km east of the centre, perched on telegraph poles and flying around the area. Also and immature Peregrine.
Breeding colony at the centre: Glossy Ibis, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret and Little Egret with Night Herons close
by. Moorish Gecko (Tarentola
mauritanica) on a 'Parque Nacional' sign - photographed. Two more pairs of Marbled Ducks observed in marshes at the junction before the
last turnoff for the Valverde centre - gave excellent views - less shy than previous birds (total of 4prs today). Good views of Squacco Herons
by the roadside around the centre including a pair together. Close roadside views of singing Great Reed Warblers. Black-necked Grebe (2),
Lapwing (2), Yellow Wagtails common, Greater Flamingo - a few hundred. Additional species noted on the drive back to El Rocio: Short-toed
Eagle (1), and Melodious Warbler (1). Black Kite observed over the promenade in Matalascañas.
MATALASCAÑAS: EVENING SEAWATCH FROM CAMPING ROCIO PLAYA
1955h Yellow-legged Gull (2) flew east.
1958h Peregrines (pr) flew overhead and out over the sea for a few hundred metres, rising and tumbling in the sky. Yellow-legged Gulls: 48
east, 5 west.
2050h Audouin's Gull east.
Noted in the campsite: Serin, Crested Lark, Black-billed Magpie, Barn Swallow and House Martin.
Thursday 16th May 2002
DOÑANA > LA SERENA (Andalucia > Extremadura)
DRIVE FROM MATALASCAÑAS > LA SERNA
Species noted from the car: Greater Flamingo, Whiskered Tern and Little Egret around El Rocio. Crested Larks numerous. Roller (3) - one
observed in bright sunlight flying along parallel with the car over a ploughed field - blue plumage striking. Azure-winged Magpie (3) in Doñana
and dehesa in north Andalucia. Woodchat shrike (3), Black Kite (9), Cattle Egret (17), Bee-eater (3), Black-billed Magpie (5), Booted Eagle
(1), Montagu's Harrier (6), Lesser Kestrel (6), Common Kestrel (4), White Stork (13) (3 nests), Serin (1), House Sparrow, Zitting Cisticola,
Barn Swallows common. Flock of (40+) Feral Rock Doves at La Serena.
HOSTAL 'LOS NARANJOS'
Decided on a bit of comfort on the final night of the trip and checked into a hotel on the edge of La Serena. Hoopoe and Serins singing.
1615h. 33.5ºC. Drove north along the road signposted 'Embalse de Azutan 29 km' from the Castuera to Cabeza del Buey road (EX-104). The
right hand side of this road was more productive with better views. After approximately eight kilometres at 38º 48' 53N 005º 20' 42W: Five
Great Bustards, all males, picked out while scanning with the bins - good views through the scope at a range of 300 metres. Also Calandra
Lark, Corn Bunting, Spotless Starling, Crested Lark, House Sparrow, Southern Grey Shrike, Black-eared Wheatear, Stonechat, Raven (2),
Montagu's Harrier (2) quartering fields beside the road. Two adult male Little Bustards in flight over the road at 1910h, both showing inflated
black throat patches. Calandra Larks numerous - large looking even at a distance. On the drive back: probably the same Great Bustards
moved to 38º 48' 26N 005º 12' 13W, joined by a female. One male displaying, showing a mass of white feathers, tail held high, and head and
neck flung back across the body - photographed digital camera through the scope. One male less than 100 metres from the road before
moving away about 100 metres more. Seven Calandra Larks singing in the sky here.
EMBALSE DE ZÚJAR
1725h> At the small road bridge on the Castuera road:
Single Black Stork overhead, Cattle Egrets (5 + 14) passing, male Common Kestrel flew out from underneath the bridge, Red-rumped Swallow
(4), Blackbird singing, House Sparrows numerous. Little Tern (min 2) first observed flying c150 metres distant then settled on sand/mud
shoreline with rocks. Common Sandpiper (1) appeared in the same field of view (in the scope) as the Little Terns. Red-legged Partridges
calling. Thekla Lark singing. Three Little Terns in view at 1757h - a third flew over carrying food. Grass Snake observed swimming below.
Jackdaw with white primary feathers on its left wing. Spanish Sparrow (10+) in dead scrub by the edge of the reservoir. Rock Sparrow calling.
Steppe here more rocky with the landscape covered in characteristic rock formations:
Two to three Little Bustards calling at 38º 52' 35N 005º
Hoopoe singing, larks common, White Stork, Cattle Egret, Mallard, Spotless Starling. Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (2) flying over near the Azutan
dam. Black-bellied Sandgrouse (4) in flight at the north end of the EX-103 Castuera road near the Campinario/Embalse junction.
Friday 17th May 2002
LA SERENA > EMBALSE DE AROOCAMPO-ALMARAZ > MADRID, Extremadura > Castilla-La Mancha
HOSTAL LOS NARANJOS
From the room window, a Hoopoe was heard singing and Crag Martins were 'scoped along the Sierra de Castuera. Serins and Crested Larks
CASTUERA > CABEZA DEL BUEY > EMBALSE DE ZÚJAR ROAD (29Km) > CASTUERA
Azure-winged Magpie (2) along the Ex-104. Three Little Bustards observed in flight from the long straight road through La Serena from Cabeza
del Buey to Embalse del Zujar, 5.6 km after the turn off (from the Castuera to Cabeza del Buey) 38º 45' 07N 005º 17' 42W. Also three
Black-bellied Sandgrouse observed at this point, first flying past distantly then turning and flying right overhead. Another four Black-bellied
Sandgrouse in flight after 12 km at 38º48' 05N 005º19' 55W. A further two unidentified Sandgrouse species in flight along this road. Calandra
Larks numerous - always in view along the road and birds constantly singing in the air. A large, unidentified and distant eagle species in flight.
Crested Larks common along the roadside. Three Collared Pratincoles over the road, 9.2 km from the turn off. Pair of Stone Curlews flying
around the junction at the intersection of the EX-349/Ex-103 just as the rain came on - 38º 52' 36N 005º 27' 16W. Counts from the car:
Kestrel sp. (12), Raven (2), Jackdaw - common at Embalse del Zujar, Southern Grey Shrike (3), Barn Swallows - several, Montagu's Harrier
(3), Hoopoe (1), White Stork (8), Red-legged Partridge (2), Mallard (1), Cattle Egret (5), Spotless Starlings - common, Corn Buntings -
common, Goldfinch (3).
Embalse del Zujar, 1030h: Little Tern (2), Little Egret (1), Bee-eater (2).
DRIVE: CASTUERA > VILLANUEVA > DON BENITO > MEDELLIN . N-V
Counts from the car: Black Kite (24), Montagu's Harrier (1), White Stork (20), White Stork nests (6), Southern Grey Shrike (1), Raven (2),
Goldfinch (3), Jackdaw (1), Black-billed Magpie (6), Collared Dove (1), Cattle Egret (6), Barn Swallow - common, Kestrel sp. (2), Black-winged
Stilt (125+) on rice fields near the Rio Ortega 38º57' 39N 005º 55' 50W.
DRIVE: N-V > MADRID
Counts from the car: Black Kite (14), White Stork (10), Cattle Egret (33), Black-billed Magpie (14), Red Kite (1) at Km 238, Azure-winged
Magpie (1) at Km 239, Hoopoe (1) at Km 236.1, Crag Martin and Red-rumped Swallow over the Rio Tajo, Wood Pigeon (20+), Gull-billed Tern
(5) at Km 90, Spotless Starling - common, Cattle Egret (100+) in a single tree at Km 241 along with Grey Heron and White Stork. Unidentified
eagles species: large (5), small (2).
Male Little Bittern passed over the road. A Purple Swamp-Hen very close to the road. Another Swamp-Hen found nest building. Southern Grey
Shrike chasing sparrows. Great Reed Warbler singing, Zitting Cisticolas displaying, Purple Heron in the reeds, Bee-eater (2) overhead, Cetti's
Warblers singing, Black Kite (2) overhead, another Purple Heron overhead, Moorhen (1), Grey Heron (3). Two pylons with a minimum of seven
White Stork nests on each. Black Kite (3) and Black-billed Magpie (2) at a 'road kill'. Goldfinch overhead, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Great
Crested Grebe (2 prs), another three Moorhens seen. A pair of Purple Swamp-Hens on the left-hand side of the causeway (with the partly
submerged pylon). Swallowtail (3+), female Marsh Harrier hunting, two Purple Swamp-Hens fighting, Barn Swallows, another two Purple
Herons. Dragonflies abundant - one darter-like species with demoiselle-like bands on all four wings - photographed - identified as
Brachythemis leucosticta (in Europe, confined to southern Spain).
CEPSA PETROL STATION 29Km FROM MADRID
A final stop on the N-V at 1650h: Crested Lark (1), Greenfinch (2), Serin (1), Wood Pigeon (2) overhead, House Sparrow (2), Tree Sparrow
(4+), Black Kite (1), Linnet (2), Swift sp. (2) overhead.
Flight at 2215h cancelled due to UK air traffic control failure - now 2215h tomorrow.
Outside at 2115h: House Martin (1), Greenfinch (2), Spotless Starling (3), House Sparrow (3), Swift sp. (6).
Saturday 18th May 2002
1200h: Black-billed Magpie, Blackbird, House Martin, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Swift sp., Pierid sp.
1440h: Went outside for some fresh air/sun to a grassy bank at the taxi rank at terminal 1. Several Small Whites flying and Brown Argus
nectaring on a tiny purple flower in short turf. Departure lounge (B28) 2100h: Pallid Swift (2), House Martin (1), Spotless Starling (4),
Black-billed Magpie (1), House Sparrow (5), Common Swift (8) and White Wagtail (1). Last two Swifts at 2150h.
SPECIES LIST - EXTREMADURA & ANDALUCIA - SPAIN - 2002
1. Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricolis
2. Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
3. Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
4. Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea
5. Mediterranean Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
6. Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus
7. Gannet Morus bassanus
8. Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
9. Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
10. Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
11. Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
12. Little Egret Egretta garzetta
13. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
14. Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
15. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
16. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
17. White Stork Ciconia ciconia
18. Black Stork Ciconia nigra
19. Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
20. Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
21. Greylag Goose Anser anser
22. Wigeon Anas penelope
23. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
24. Gadwall Anas strepera
25. Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris
26. Pochard Aythya ferina
27. Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
28. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
29. White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala
30. Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus
31. Black Vulture Aegypius monachus
32. Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
33. Red Kite Milvus milvus
34. Black Kite Milvus migrans
35. Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
36. Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
37. Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
38. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
39. Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
40. Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus
41. Osprey Pandion haliaetus
42. Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
43. Spanish Imperial Eagle Aquila adalberti
44. Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
45. Kestrel Falco tinninculus
46. Peregrine Falco peregrinus
47. Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
48. Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
49. Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
50. Quail Coturnix coturnix
51. Coot Fulica atra
52. Crested Coot Fulica cristata
53. Purple Swamp-hen Porphyrio porphyrio
54. Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
55. Great Bustard Otis tarda
56. Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax
57. Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
58. Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
59. Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
60. Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
61. Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
62. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
63. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
64. Sanderling Calidris alba
65. Little Stint Calidris minuta
66. Dunlin Calidris alpina
67. Knot Calidris canutus
68. Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
69. Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
70. Redshank Tringa totanus
71. Greenshank Tringa nebularia
72. Ruff Philomachus pugnax
73. Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
74. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
75. Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
76. Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
77. Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
78. Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
79. Great Skua Stercorarius skua
80. Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
81. Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
82. Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
83 Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii
84. Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans
85. Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
86. Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
87. Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
88. Black Tern Childonias niger
89. Whiskered Tern Childonias hybridus
90. Little Tern Sterna albifrons
91. Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis
92. Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Ptercles alchata
93. (Feral) Rock Dove Columba livia (domest.)
94. Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
95. Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
96. Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
97. Cuckoo Cuclus canorus
98. Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius
99. Scops Owl Otus scops
100. Little Owl Athene noctua
101. Eagle Owl Bubo bubo
102. Alpine Swift Apus melba
103. Common Swift Apus apus
104. Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
105. Bee-eater Merops apiaster
106. Roller Coracius garrulus
107. Hoopoe Upupa epops
108. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major
109. Woodlark Lullula arborea
110. Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufecens
111. Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
112. Crested Lark Galerida cristata
113. Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
114. Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
115. Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
116. Sand Martin Riparia riparia
117. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
118. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
119. House Martin Delichon urbica
120. Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
121. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
122. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava iberiae
123. White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba
124. Dunnock Prunella modularis
125. Wren Trogllodytes troglodytes
126. Robin Erithacus rubecula
127. Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
128. Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
129. Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
130. Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
131. Stonechat Saxicola torquata
132. Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica hispanica
133. Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura
134. Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis
135. Blue Rock Thrush Monticola soliarius
136. Blackbird Turdus merula
137. Mistle Thrush Turdus pilaris
138. Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides
139. Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
140. Reed Warbler Acrocehpalus scirpaceus
141. Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
142. Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli
143. Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta
144. Whitethroat Sylvia communis
145. Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans
146. Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
147. Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata
148. Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
149. Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis
150. Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
151. Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus
152. Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
153. Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
154. Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
155. Crested Tit Parus cristatus
156. Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
157. Great Tit Parus major
158. Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla
159. Nuthatch Sitta europaea
160. Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis
161. Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
162. Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor
163. Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
164. Jay Garrulus glandarius
165. Black-billed Magpie Pica pica
166. Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus
167. Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
168. Jackdaw Corvus monedula
169. Raven Corvus corax
170. Carrion Crow Corvus corone
171. House Sparrow Passer domesticus
172. Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
173. Spanish Sparrow Passer hisaniolensis
174. Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia
175. Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
176. Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
177. Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
178. Serin Serinus serinus
179. Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
180. Linnet Carduelis cannabina
181. Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra
182. Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
183. Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
184. Rock Bunting Emberiza cia