Birding and nature photography trip

Birding and nature photography trip

Last week, I provided a specially designed birding and nature photography trip for two experienced wildlife photographers from Sweden.  At this time of the year the Valencian Coastal Wetlands, is an amazing birding destination, especially rewarding as many of the summer visitors are returning to their breeding grounds there. We met in central Valencia before making the short journey to the reserve.  After a morning coffee, looking out across the calm waters of the Mediterranean, we began our walk along a coastal dune system.  The first lagoon gave good views of Night Herons and waterfowl including Pochard, Red-crested Pochard and Little [read more]

6-Day Winter Bird Watching Holiday

6-Day Winter Bird Watching Holiday

The huge habitat diversity of the Valencia region of Spain allows us to provide a superb 6 day birding holiday.  In late February of this year, we were fortunate to deliver exactly that for Gourmet Birds, a well established specialist bird watching holiday provider from UK. We´d worked very closely with them to design a bespoke trip, taking in some of the region´s best birding venues and carefully selected accommodation to hopefully result in a memorable trip. Day 1 – Salt Marshes and Lagoons The group arrived relatively early into Alicante airport.  Therefore, without wanting to make the first day [read more]

Bird watching in the wetlands of Valencia

Bird watching in the wetlands of Valencia

Last week, I was delighted to provide a day of guided bird watching in the wetlands of Valencia for a couple from Canada.  They were on vacation in the beautiful city of Valencia and had arranged a couple of days of guided birding with us. Today´s trip was to the coastal wetlands, a fabulous site at all times of year, but especially so in early Spring as the summer visitors are beginning to arrive.  George and Marilyn were very interested in seeing some of the “classic” European species, that of course are very different to the species they have in [read more]

Bird watching on the steppe of Spain

Bird watching on the steppe of Spain

Last week, I enjoyed a fantastic day with a couple of returning clients from Canada.  They had a trip with us few days ago, when we enjoyed a day in the coastal wetlands of Valencia.  This time, they were keen to have a day of guided bird watching on the steppe of Spain. After a chat over morning coffee, we made the relatively short journey into the rolling plains of Castilla de la Mancha. One of our main target species was the Great Bustard, which would be a lifer for them both.  We stopped in a favourite location where we [read more]

7 Day Guided Birding Trip - Day 4 (Steppe & Lagoons)

7 Day Guided Birding Trip – Day 4 (Steppe & Lagoons)

The plan for the day was to leave the lovely guest house L´Alqueria del Pilar in Banyeres, spend the day on the high steppe of Castilla de la Mancha and then travel onwards to Valencia, where the group would spend the next 3 nights. It was quite a windy and cold day although this is to be expected in February and at such altitude. Most of the area that we were to visit is above 900 metres above sea level. Our first stop beside an area of flood water gave views of Snipe, Little Ringed Plover and Lapwing. Spotless Starlings [read more]

7 Day Guided Birding Trip - Day 3 (Wetlands of Alicante)

7 Day Guided Birding Trip – Day 3 (Wetlands of Alicante)

7 Day Guided Birding Trip – Day 3 (Wetlands of Alicante) The plan for our third day was to drive to the coast at the southern end of the province of Alicante and visit one of the region´s premium wetland reserves. After a drive of around one hour from Banyeres de Mariola, we arrived at the reserve. Although a little breezy, the weather was fine. After a brief chat with the reserve warden we looked out onto the first small lagoon where we were fortunate to see some of the Red Knobbed Coots that are part of a release programme. [read more]

7 Day Guided Birding Trip - Day 2 (Mountains & High Forest)

7 Day Guided Birding Trip – Day 2 (Mountains & High Forest)

Day 2 – Mountains & High Forest. Following yesterday´s long day and many hours of travelling for our clients, we designed the second day such that there would be very little time spent in the car.  Within a very short drive of Banyeres de Mariola are some wonderful high forested hills and rocky peaks.  They were to be our chosen habitats for today. At over 1000 metres above sea level, the high forests of the region have beautifully clean air and provide habitat for some very special birds.  Strangely enough, in this area you´re more likely to see a Crested [read more]

7 Day Guided Birding Trip - Day 1 (Salt Marshes & Lagoons)

7 Day Guided Birding Trip – Day 1 (Salt Marshes & Lagoons)

The huge habitat diversity of the Valencia region of Spain allows us to provide a superb 7 days birding holiday.  In late February of this year, we were fortunate to deliver exactly that for Gourmet Birds, a well established specialist bird watching holiday provider from UK. We´d worked very closely with them to design a bespoke trip, taking in some of the region´s best birding venues and carefully selected accommodation to hopefully result in a memorable trip. Day 1 – Salt Marshes and Lagoons The group arrived relatively early into Alicante airport.  Therefore, without wanting to make the first day [read more]

Spring has arrived in Valencia!

Spring has arrived in Valencia!

Early this week we had a great day of guided birding with a lovely couple from UK.  They were taking a break in Valencia and wanted to see the diverse bird life of this superb area.  As the spring migration is now well and truly underway, we visited one of our favourite coastal wetlands, a site that offers crucial resting and feeding grounds for thousands of migratory birds. This time of year is always very exciting as new species are arriving daily.  Today was no exception.  Some of the most interesting resident species included Penduline Tit, Booted Eagle, Purple Swamphen [read more]

3 Day Birding Break

3 Day Birding Break

February of this year proved to be a very busy month, with many clients from Northern Europe having organised winter birding trips with us.  The combination of a little sunshine, some fascinating winter visitors and the anticipation of early spring migrants can make late February a very attractive time to visit the Valencia region. One of our trips was provided for the Ornithological Society of Northern Ireland.  We had designed a 3 day trip that took in diverse habitat including steppe, coastal wetlands and the Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia.  They had spent a few nights at the beautifully [read more]

Birding and nature photography trip

Birding and nature photography trip

Last week I provided a birding and nature photography trip for a family from Maine, USA.  They were visiting Valencia for the first time and they also wanted to discover the nature and birdlife close to Valencia and photograph some of the fabulous bird species of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park. At this time of the year, the bird life in l´Albufera is distributed in different areas of the park, depending on which rice fields have been ploughed, thus influencing food availability.  So, our first stop was in the western part of the Natural Park, where we found an [read more]

Steppe birds of Spain

Steppe birds of Spain

Earlier this week, Yanina and I were delighted to provide a day of guided birding for a couple of returning clients from UK.  Dave and Kate booked a day with us last year, when they enjoyed the bird life of Albufera de Valencia.  Their return trip was to enjoy the steppe birds of Spàin, so we´d arranged to visit Castilla de la Mancha. After the usual coffee stop and chat about the target species, we headed for the vast plains of this harsh but beautiful region.  There was a cool wind blowing, but we´d come prepared for the cold so [read more]

Birding at Albufera de Valencia

Birding at Albufera de Valencia

The forth and final day of Charles´trip saw us birding at Albufera de Valencia.  This internationally important wetland holds something of interest throughout the year, be it for its breeding habitats for summer visitors, its location as a stopping point for migrating birds or as a wintering ground for species that return each year from northern Europe and beyond.   We started the day at a specially protected reserve area, where we visited a hide that looked onto a small lagoon.  This gave views of Black Tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Avocet and Black Winged Stilt. We then turned our [read more]

Birding in the mountains of Valencia

Birding in the mountains of Valencia

Day 3 of Charles´4-day birding trip to Valencia took us to the inland mountains of the province of Alicante.    Birding in the mountains of Valencia doesn´t usually yield an extremely long species list, but with a little effort it can provide views of some very special species that thrive in the rocky peaks of the region. After the easy drive from the city, we stopped for a morning coffee in a small town, allowing sufficient time for the morning mist to clear from the peaks and valleys.  We were already at a height of 600 metres, and the mist [read more]