Exploring the diversity of Albufera de Valencia

Exploring the diversity of Albufera de Valencia

It was my pleasure to work with my friend and colleague Yanina of Visit Natura to provide this very special trip through the diverse habitats of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park. A group of 7 local birders joined the trip and together we enjoyed not only some great bird species, but some fascinating insights into this dynamic environment and its eco-systems. The day began with a boat trip across the Albufera, Spain´s largest fresh water lake.  Whilst on the boat we had views of Marsh Harrier, Great Crested Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Audouin´s Gull and huge numbers of [read more]

Birding at Albufera & Valencia´s Coastal Wetlands

Birding at Albufera & Valencia´s Coastal Wetlands

This week, I was fotunate enough to meet David and Susan from UK.  They were taking a city break in Valencia and had previously arranged a day of guided bird watching with me. Both scientists and keen nature lovers, they were interested to see the diverse bird life of Albufera de Valencia and the surrounding wetlands.   We began our day at Tancat de la Pipa, a fantastic reserve within the Albufera Natural Park.  Run by an extremely dedicated team, this reserve provides critical habitat to a huge array of bird species, as well as supporting a fantastically diverse eco-system. [read more]

Guided Birding in Valencia

Guided Birding in Valencia

Earlier this month I spent two days with Canadian birders Jean-Marc and Nathalie from Quebec.  They were touring Spain and had chosen to incorporate into their plans one of our “Birding Short Breaks” at Villa Florencia. They had previously visited Barcelona, Madrid and Seville and were now spending a few days exploring the Valencia region. Our first day of birding was to the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha.  After the relatively short drive up onto the plains, we stopped at one of our usual spots where we had delightful views of Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Corn Bunting and [read more]

Birding Trip to L´Albufera de Valencia - Saturday 29th March

Birding Trip to L´Albufera de Valencia – Saturday 29th March

In collaboration with Visit Natura, we have pleasure in offering a full-day birding trip to Albufera on Saturday 29th March 2014. The day will include a visit to some of the best birding areas of Albufera, plus a private chartered boat trip and a walk in the Devesa forest to discover the wildlife of this unique environment.  Ideal for beginners, or experienced birders, the trip will also provide the opportunity for bird photography. Places are limited so please book in advance. For more information or to reserve a place, please contact me by email at NatureTrailSpain@Gmail.com

Great Bustards & Calandra Larks

Great Bustards & Calandra Larks

On Tuesday of this week I had the pleasure of providing a day of guided birding for a couple of clients from UK.  Both experienced birders and outdoor enthusiasts, they were keen to visit the steppe and lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha, just over one hour´s drive from Valencia. Although a little early for most summer visitors, the key species that we were looking for were both residents…the Great Bustard and Calandra Lark. After a relaxed drive, we stopped for a coffee and prepared binoculars, telescopes and cameras and set out across the vast open fields.  Luck was on [read more]

Birding at Albufera de Valencia

Birding at Albufera de Valencia

On Wednesday 20th November, we arranged a trip to Albufera de Valencia for a group of local birders.  The day began with morning coffee at a bar beside one of Albufera´s traditional fishing ports.  We then visited one of the park´s prime nature reserves where we spent the morning enjoying the superb bird life that this reserve supports.   Despite a windy morning, we had good views of Black Winged Stilt, Snipe, Marsh Harrier, Great Egret and dozens of wintering Chiff Chaffs.  The highlight of the walk through the reserve was a stunning view of a Booted Eagle that passed [read more]

Two Great Days of Autumn Birding in Eastern Spain

Two Great Days of Autumn Birding in Eastern Spain

Have just returned from two days of superb birding with a groups of great clients from UK.  Day 1 saw us at the Valencian Coastal Wetlands whilst Day 2 was spent on the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de La Mancha. We had some magnificent views of some of the classic species that these venues offer. Here are the species lists for the two days… (photos courtesy of P. Gudgeon). Valencian Coastal Wetlands Little Egret, Yellow Legged Gull, Common Sandpiper, Coot, Swallow, White Headed Duck, Mallard, Moorhen, Black Winged Stilt, Little Grebe, Black Redstart, Iberian Grey Shrike, Little Ringed Plover, Black Necked Grebe, Stonechat, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Purple Swamphen, Greater Flamingo, Magpie, White Wagtail, Kingfisher, Snipe, Green Sandpiper Steppe & Lagoons Great Bustard, Kestrel, Crow, Coot, Black [read more]

Bird Watching in Valencia Province

Bird Watching in Valencia Province

Last week, I had the pleasure of a arranging a day trip for a group of 5 experienced birders from Newcastle, UK.  They had spent some time touring around the provinces of Alicante and Valencia and after visiting various birding sites had managed to see 97 species.  They had opted to finish their holiday with a guided birding trip with us, and one of the group had made the claim that if their species list reached 100, then he would mark the occasion with a bottle of champagne! We made the journey up through the city of Valencia to the [read more]

Combining City Breaks in Valencia with Guided Birding.

Combining City Breaks in Valencia with Guided Birding.

Last Thursday I was fortunate enough to welcome back some previous clients.  Stella and Richard from UK has been on a guided birding trip with me last year and had this week returned to Valencia with family.  They had opted to enjoy a short break in this enchanting city, with its diverse cultural attractions, and to include in their plans a day of guided bird watching. I collected them from their apartment in the chic and historical area known as Barrio Carmen, then we made the short journey to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.  After a morning coffee, we began the [read more]

Short Breaks & Guided Birding in Spain – Day 2

Short Breaks & Guided Birding in Spain – Day 2

On day two, we enjoyed a leisurely drive up onto the steppe of Castilla de la Mancha.  After a coffee-stop we headed out across the plains to the day´s first lagoon where we had good views of Avocet, Lapwing, Black Winged Stilt and Shelduck.  The fields around the lagoon gave good close views of one of the day´s target species, Calandra Lark.  Further scanning revealed perhaps the key species for the day, the Great Bustard. By now the wind was blowing hard, so we headed back to the van and visited another, more sheltered lagoon.  Here we enjoyed views of [read more]

Guided Bird Watching in Valencia.

Guided Bird Watching in Valencia.

On Friday 22nd March, we provided a day of guided bird watching for a great couple of clients from the Netherlands who were on vacation here in Spain.  Both keen nature lovers, they were eager to see the diverse bird life that the Valencian coastal wetlands holds, especially at this time of year when summer migrants are beginning to arrive. Our first stop was at a protected reserve within the natural park of Albufera de Valencia. We had excellent views of Purple Swamphen, Glossy Ibis, Avocet, Greater Flamingo and a small flock of passing Spoonbill. Recently arrived summer visitors included [read more]

Bird Watching at Albufera de Valencia

Bird Watching at Albufera de Valencia

On Tuesday 8th January, together with two local birders, I enjoyed a leisurely day in the Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia.  We began our day by generally exploring some of the rice fields on the west side of the park. The usual Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets and Grey Herons were in abundance in amongst which were a five Great Egrets. A female Marsh Harrier passed low over the stubble, flushing out a Snipe. A pair of Stonechats were flitting around the edges of a field and an Iberian Grey Shrike spent a few minutes on an overhead cable close [read more]

A Christmas Birding Trip to the Steppe & Lagoons of Eastern Spain

A Christmas Birding Trip to the Steppe & Lagoons of Eastern Spain

On 22nd December, we provided a guided bird watching trip to the steppe and lagoons for a client from the Netherlands. Norbert, a very well travelled and experienced birder was holidaying in the Valencia area and was keen to see the bird life that this superb region has to offer. The morning had dawned bright and clear but as we climbed up onto the steppe, it became quite cloudy with a little light drizzle in the air. After a coffee in a local farming village, we set out across the fields towards the day´s first lagoon. Something caught our eye [read more]