Having enjoyed the Valencian Coastal Wetlands Trip, Christine & Nick were keen to spend another day´s birding. Their preferred option was the Steppe & Lagoon Trip as Great Bustard and Little Bustard were targets for their Life List. We arrived on the plains of Castilla de la Mancha in glorious sunshine despite a cooling early morning breeze. Having enjoyed a breakfast of coffee and toast in a local café we explored an area of reed bed and marsh adjoining some cereal fields. Our first bird of the morning was a Corn Bunting, which was followed by an Iberian Grey Shrike and [read more]
Together with Nick & Christine from Barnsley, South Yorkshire we spent a full day walking around the coastal wetlands of Valencia. Despite being into October, the weather was still hot and dry so we were all interested to see what was still lingering and what new visitors had arrived. The day proved to be very interesting. Our first sightings of note included a Reed Warbler and Marsh Harrier. As we sat overlooking one of my favourite lagoons, our patience was rewarded with excellent views of White Headed Duck, Purple Gallinule, Fan Tailed Warbler and Little Ringed Plover. We walked across the [read more]
Albufera de Valencia is considered to be one of the premier wetlands in the whole of Europe and boasts a huge species list. A lot of excellent conservation work is being done by some truly dedicated groups and each year the entire site improves. However, for the visiting birder, it can be difficult to make the most of a visit without some local knowledge. With that in mind, today´s visit was organised for a local birder who simply wanted to make the most of his time and to get to know the area a little more. Our day started at the [read more]
The summer continued into September with cloudless blue skies and another beautifully warm day. Even before we left the vehicle, we enjoyed magnificent views of over 20 White Storks passing through. We set off to explore the wetlands, stopping off at the favourite points along the way. The warm sunny day only added to the relaxed pace of the day but our efforts were truly rewarded with a species list of 42. September can be a little strange as the summer visitors have started to disappear and many winter visitors have not yet arrived. However, the trip proved to be superb, providing [read more]
valenciabirding.com is owned by Nature Trail Spain, a small but specialist active tourism company based in La Drova, 70km south of Valencia, Spain. We provide guided Bird Watching Tours throughout Eastern Spain, encompassing Valencia, Alicante and Castilla de la Mancha. This area is blessed with an incredibly diverse range of habitats and excellent birding sites, many of which are virtually unknown! We cater for all levels of bird enthusiasts and provide a bespoke guiding service at very reasonable cost. Our local knowledge can ensure that our clients can make the absolute most of their time in Spain by depending on us to take them to the [read more]
We were very fortunate to select of of the coolest days of the month to visit several sites around Albacete. The day started with a somewhat bizarre sighting of a Little Owl sitting in the middle of a field in broad daylight! Despite August not been the best month for watching waders, we managed to find good numbers of Black Winged Stilt plus Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank. Our patience and searching rewarded us eventually with good views of Great Bustard out on the plains. Kestrels were out hunting in good numbers, and [read more]
It was with a little trepidation that Dave and I decided to check out an area about 1 hours drive from La Drova that is home to a Griffon Vulture re-introduction project. Luckily the heat was bearable with a light breeze. Before we entered the valley we stopped for a coffee at one of the local bars and were witness to the antics of at least 6 Red Squirrels. As we entered the valley the site that we witnessed made us rename the valley (hence ‘Death Valley’) with at least 30 Griffon Vultures soaring above us. It wasn’t long [read more]
Another day exploring the East coast birding sites. This time, we spent a very hot day on the south side of the Ebro Delta. Despite the heat, there was plenty of bird activity, and within a couple of hours we managed a tick list of some 29 species. The Greater Flamingoes were as ever spectacular in full breeding plumage. Other highlights of the day included Night Heron, Great Egret, Purple Gallinule, Little Bittern and Squacco Herons in huge numbers.
This was largely an experimental trip as late June / July is never the best time for birding, but our efforts were rewarded by some good birds, for some of which we enjoyed excellent views. The weather was of course hot and humid, but before we retreated to a bar for a cold beer, we´d totted up a list of 26 species. Highlights included Bee Eater, Audouin´s Gull, Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincole and superb views of a male Montagu´s Harrier.
Sunday 8th May dawned bright with clear blue skies…something of a rarity in itself following the recent succession of wet weekends! We spent the day exploring various wetland sites along the coastline of Northern Valencia. Most if not all summer visitors were well established. The tick list for the day totalled 47 species, a very satisfying achievement. Not only were we pleased with the variety of birds seen, but we were paticularly fortunate to enjoy superb views of almost every one. Highlights included Avocet, Collared Pratincole, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Purple Gallinule, Spoonbill and White Headed [read more]
April saw the arrival of many summer visitors to La Drova including large numbers of Wryneck, some seen if you have the patience. Nightingales can be heard right through the valley. A male and female Pied Flycatcher have been spotted again this year but cannot determine if they breed here (no sign of Spotted Flycatcher yet). A single Redstart was seen on 1st April and the first Woodchat Shrike on 10th April ). Red-Rumped Swallows have been seen collecting nest material which means they must be breeding in La Drova (good news). Bee-eaters past overhead at high altitude on 15th [read more]
Ian & Dave spent a half day around the Beniarres and Valle de Gallinera area. Beniarres provided the first Swifts of the year plus good views of Cirl Bunting, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat and at least 4 Blue Rock Thrush. Valle de Gallinera rewarded our efforts with Nightingale, and the highlight of the day – Golden Eagle. The list for the trip totalled 25, comprising… Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Magpie, Blackbird, Stonechat, Little Egret, Cirl Bunting, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Sardinian Warbler, Greenfinch, Blue Rock Thrush, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Moorhen, Serin, Great Tit, Nightingale, Golden [read more]
We spent a few hours touring around various sites within the Albufera natural park. Although maybe a little early for some of the usual summer visitors, we managed to see a total of 19 species, including a few of particular interest. Superb and sustained views of a male Bluethroat was perhaps the most pleasant. List included : Black Winged Stilt, Bluethroat, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Garganey, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Grey Heron, Hoopoe, House Sparrow, House Martin, Marsh Harrier, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Spotless Starling, Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Wood Sandpiper
On March 7th Dave and I headed for Castilla La Mancha in search of, lifers for the both of us,The Great Bustard but hoping also to add a number of birds to our year lists. On our way to the Steppes and lagoons of Albacete we saw many Magpie and Carrion crow plus Red-legged partridge and at the first lagoon Shelduck Black headed Gull, Mistle Thrush, Lapwing and Hoopoe. At the second lagoon we found Greater Flamingo, Marsh Harrier, Coot, Little Grebe, Black-winged Stilt, Avacet, Spotted Starling, Redshank, Common Sandpiper and Little ringed Plover. Our next stop was the cereal [read more]