Colorful birds and picturesque landscapes make Spain one of Europe’s premier birding destinations. We will visit the three main regions, Donana, Extremadura and the Pyrenees, exploring diverse habitats and encountering an array of exciting species during our two-week trip, including Rollers, Bee-eaters, Hoopoes, and Golden Orioles.
We begin in southern Spain at Donana, visiting Europe’s critically-important coastal wetland. In the nationally-protected lagoons and marshes we’ll look for Red-knobbed Coot, endangered Marbled Teal and White-headed Duck amongst a variety of waders, shorebirds and flocks of flamingos. We’ll also find endemic Iberian Azure-winged Magpies amongst oak woodlands.
In central Spain, we’ll explore the expansive Extremadura region, which encompasses the most valuable steppe habitat remaining in Europe. These rolling grassland plains are home to more than 75% of the world’s population of Little Bustards, and is the last remaining stronghold of the Great Bustard. Stone curlews, Little Owl and Black-eared Wheatear are found here, along with White Storks and Lesser Kestrels – both common sights in quaint surrounding villages. Raptors command attention at Monfrague National Park, where 200 pairs of Eurasian Black Vultures, 600 pairs of Griffon Vultures, a handful of Egyptian Vultures, and Eagle Owl nest on the rocky cliffs. The endangered endemic Spanish Imperial Eagle is one of several raptor species that hunt over the dehesas.
Located in the north-east of the country, bordering France, are the breath-taking un-spoilt Pyrenees mountains. The montane habitat of dense forests, alpine meadows, fast rivers and high gorges host a variety of specialty species, including Black Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Ring Ouzel, Citril Finch, Red-billed and Yellow-billed Choughs, Alpine Accentor, White-winged Snow-Finch, and Water Pipit. We’ll seek elusive Wallcreeper along rocky cliff faces, and watch Lammergeiers soaring overhead.
We’ll finish up in the steppes of the Ebro river, targeting Black and Pintail Sandgrouse, as well as Calandra Lark and the elusive Dupont’s Lark.
We should see about 200 bird species during our tour of Spain, along with some lovely butterflies and other fauna.