Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com Bird Watching in Valencia Tue, 21 Apr 2015 20:15:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.3 Birding at Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/21/birding-at-albufera-de-valencia-2/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/21/birding-at-albufera-de-valencia-2/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 20:15:43 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3525

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a birding guide is meeting some truly nice people, and spending time in fabulous surroundings, combining the bird life with great company.  This certainly proved to be the case last week when I was fortunate enough to provide a day of guided birding at Albufera de Valencia [read more]

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One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a birding guide is meeting some truly nice people, and spending time in fabulous surroundings, combining the bird life with great company.  This certainly proved to be the case last week when I was fortunate enough to provide a day of guided birding at Albufera de Valencia for a family from Belgium.

All experienced ornithologists, they were on holiday in Valencia and were keen to see the areas bird life and habitats.

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We began our day at one of my favourite reserves, and were immediately treated to views of a pair of Merlin.  This was closely followed by Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Snipe and Black-winged Stilt.

As we walked through the reserve, scanning the reed beds and lagoons, we had great views of Purple Swamphen, Marsh Harrier, Squacco Heron and Fan-tailed Warbler.  Although not seen, we heard the calls and song of Cetti´s Warbler, Savi´s Warbler and Reed Warbler.

Purple Swamphen Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

Purple Swamphen
Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

Perhaps the highlight of the trip for our clients was a great view of an Osprey.  These magnificent birds of prey regularly stop at Albufera de Valencia during their Spring and Autumn migration.

Osprey Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

Osprey
Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

We then drove the short distance to another little known reserve area, that is usually good for waders and wildfowl.  Today was no exception with great views of Garganey, Ruff, and Black-tailed Godwit.

Garganey Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

Garganey
Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

The day had been a success, with a species list of almost 40 species, including…

Merlin, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Buzzard, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Snipe, Purple Swamphen, Black-winged Stilt, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Greater Flamingo, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Garganey, Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Gadwall, Shelduck, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Fan-tailed Warbler, (Cetti´s, Reed and Savi´s Warbler all heard), Swift, House Martin, Sand Martin, Blackbird, Spotless Starling.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Birding trip to Albufera de Valencia Natural Park http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/20/birding-trip-to-albufera-de-valencia-natural-park/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/20/birding-trip-to-albufera-de-valencia-natural-park/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:25:24 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3513

Today I had pleasure of providing a birding trip to Albufera de Valencia Natural Park for a client from England. She is a keen birder who loves to travel and discover new species. She wanted to explore the wetland bird species near the city of Valencia where she was staying on a business trip. After [read more]

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Today I had pleasure of providing a birding trip to Albufera de Valencia Natural Park for a client from England. She is a keen birder who loves to travel and discover new species.

She wanted to explore the wetland bird species near the city of Valencia where she was staying on a business trip.

After I collected her from her apartment, we went to a protected reserve and “green filter” area of Albufera de Valencia which is an amazing hotspot for birding at this time of the year when rice fields are dry.  At such times, most of the birdlife remains inside these very special places.

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We had a long but relaxing walk through the reserve and when we arrived at the management centre, we were delighted to discover that the reserve staff were ringing birds.

IMG_5947 It was a fascinating experience for Jo to see the ringing and recording process.

After a morning in the wetlands, we spent the rest of the day at the Devesa Forest where we found many woodland species were alreay well into their breeding cycle.

We´d enjoyed the day very much, with a species list that totalled 45, including…

Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Bittern, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Ringed Plover, Little Grebe, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Coot, Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-Crested Pochard, Gargany, Great Cormorant, Whiskered Tern, Common Tern, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Magpie, Starling, Bee Eater, Water Pipit, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Serin, Blackcap, Sardinean Warbler, Redstart, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Cetti´s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Chiff Chaff.

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Easter Birding in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/07/easter-birding-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/07/easter-birding-in-valencia/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:25:48 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3505

On Easter Saturday, Yanina and I arranged a day of guided bird watching to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.  At Easter Birding in Valencia is especially rewarding as many of the summer visitors are returning to their breeding grounds in our local wetland reserves. We gathered in central Valencia before making the short journey to the reserve [read more]

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On Easter Saturday, Yanina and I arranged a day of guided bird watching to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.  At Easter Birding in Valencia is especially rewarding as many of the summer visitors are returning to their breeding grounds in our local wetland reserves.

We gathered in central Valencia before making the short journey to the reserve that we´d selected for today´s trip.  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 waterfowl including Pochard, Red-crested Pochard and Little Grebe.

 

Little Grebe

Little Grebe

As we walked further into the reserve, the second lagoon provided a spectacular sight of seven male White-headed Ducks, one of Europe´s rarest and arguably most attractive ducks.  We also had great views of Flamingo, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and Marsh Harrier.

White Headed Duck

White Headed Duck

We then took in an area of coastal scrub, and were treated to views of Wheatear, Stonechat, Whinchat, Sub-alpine Warbler and Spotless Starling.  We also had a good view of Audouin´s Gull and the beautiful Collared Pratincole.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

After a picnic lunch on a pebble beach, we headed inland to an area of pasture with a couple more small lakes.  We had a good view of a Woodchat Shrike, whilst a Booted Eagle passed overhead.  The shallow lakes held Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Garganey and Shoveler.

Yellow Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Whilst scanning over an area of reeds we were then treated to what was for many, the highlight of the day – a pair of displaying Hen Harriers.  Their close proximity and the spectacular flight display was indeed a memorable sight.

Birding in Valencia

The trip ended with a short visit to another lake, where we brought the day to a close with views of Purple Swamphen, Little Ringed Plover and Hoopoe.

It had been a fantastic way to spend the day ; great habitat, fabulous weather, some amazing birds and fantastic company.

The species list for the day topped 50 species, and included :

Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Mallard, White-headed Duck, Garganey, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Common Tern, Greater Flamingo, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Collared Pratincole, Purple Swamphen, Robin, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, Spotless Starling, Magpie, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wheatear, Stonechat, Whinchat, Hoopoe, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Woodchat Shrike.

David Warrington

Written by Dave Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Bird watching in restricted & protected areas of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/07/bird-watching-in-restricted-protected-areas-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/04/07/bird-watching-in-restricted-protected-areas-of-valencia/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 08:34:57 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3497

As professional and licensed bird watching guides, we clearly work along guidelines and codes of practice to ensure that ethics are applied, and to minimise environmental impact.  A special priviledge that we enjoy is that of access to restricted and protected areas of many nature reserves throughout the Valencian region. Last week, I had the [read more]

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As professional and licensed bird watching guides, we clearly work along guidelines and codes of practice to ensure that ethics are applied, and to minimise environmental impact.  A special priviledge that we enjoy is that of access to restricted and protected areas of many nature reserves throughout the Valencian region.

Last week, I had the pleasure of providing a bespoke birding trip to one of these highly protected areas, a “green filter” reserve within the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.  My client for the day was Oscar, a very experienced birder from Bilbao.  We were warmly welcomed by the reserve manager, who outlined the recent sightings.  We were very fortunate in that there had been sightings of a rarity – the Citrine Wagtail, so of course Oscar was very eager to see this unusual visitor.

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He was also keen to see the many wading birds that frequent this wetland reserve.  So, we spent the morning very quietly exploring the reserve, and enjoying the spectacular bird life on display.

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Dunlin

 

Our patience eventually paid off, and rewarded us with great views of the Citrine Wagtail!  The timing of our visit also coincided with the recent arrivals of some of the area´s summer visitors, such as the Collared Pratincole.

We had a great visit, and the day´s species list included :

Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Mallard, Garganey, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Avocet, Black- winged Stilt, Redshank, Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Ruff, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti´s Warbler, Water Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Robin, Yellow Wagtail and Citrine Wagtail.

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Written by Yanina Maggiotto.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Birding and Nature Photography Trip http://valenciabirding.com/2015/03/01/birding-nature-photography-trip/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/03/01/birding-nature-photography-trip/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:29:53 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3463

Yesterday I provided a birding and nature photography trip for a client from Italy.  It was his second trip to Valencia and he wanted to photograph some of the fabulous bird species of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park. I collected him from his hotel in the city of Valencia where he´s spending a week´s [read more]

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Yesterday I provided a birding and nature photography trip for a client from Italy.  It was his second trip to Valencia and he wanted to photograph some of the fabulous bird species of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.

I collected him from his hotel in the city of Valencia where he´s spending a week´s holiday with his family.  As he´s a keen wildlife photographer, he´d contacted Valencia Birding to arrange a day trip which would be close to the city whilst visiting some of the areas natural spaces.

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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 amazing sight – over 2,000 flamingos, plus thousands of gulls, egrets, herons and glossy ibis.

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After this wonderful spectacle, we visited a protected reserve area with a magnificent biodiversity.  Species included Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit and Greenshank.

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Next stop was in the Devesa forest, a natural native Mediterranean pine forest.  We watched and photographed many passerines and a colony of Night Herons, before enjoying lunch by the sea.

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Finally to end a great day, we went to another reserve area in the south of the park, which is home to a large population of Purple Swamphens.  A great trip, with good weather and some fantastic views of wonderful species, it had been a pleasure to guide Guialuca for the day.

 

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Species list :
Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Mallard, Shoveler, Red-Crested Pochard, Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Lapwing, Common Snipe, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Lesser black-backed Gull, Crag Martin, Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Blackbird, Common Starling, Tree Sparrow, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Serin, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Robin.

 

 

foto yani web

 

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Guided wildlife and bird watching in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/22/guided-wildlife-bird-watching-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/22/guided-wildlife-bird-watching-valencia/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:48:27 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3455

Last Saturday I was delighted to spend a wonderful day with two great clients from New York, USA. There were on a journey through the Costa del Sol, Spain and wanted a day of guided wildlife and bird watching in Valencia. It was a sunny and windless day, ideal for exploring the different eco-systems of [read more]

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Last Saturday I was delighted to spend a wonderful day with two great clients from New York, USA. There were on a journey through the Costa del Sol, Spain and wanted a day of guided wildlife and bird watching in Valencia.
It was a sunny and windless day, ideal for exploring the different eco-systems of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.

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Not only keen birders, they were also particularly interested in ecology and natural history in general. I designed a trip with this in mind, hoping to provide a bespoke day.
I focussed on the history and ecology of the area, and also gave an insight into the ongoing efforts to promote conservation and specifically to improve the water quality of the Albufera.

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We enjoyed many of the classic and wintering species of l´Albufera in particular herons, egrets and ibis that are resident in the park.

We enjoyed a fabulous day and were fortunate enough to see more than 40

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species, including:

Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Coot, Little Grebe, Back-necked Grebe, Great-Crested Grebe, Common Snipe, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, European Black-tailed Godwit, Great Cormorant, Kingfisher, Black Redstart, Stonechat,  Bluethroat, Robin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Moustached Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Starling, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Common Pochard, Teal.

foto yani web

 

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto.

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Spring 2015 Bulletin http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/16/spring-2015-bulletin/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/16/spring-2015-bulletin/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:08:40 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3438

Welcome to the Valencia Birding Spring Bulletin. I´d like to open this edition by wishing you all a very happy and bird-packed 2015, and to report some great news for Valencia Birding. It´s my pleasure to report that Yanina Maggiotto has joined me and we´re now working as partners in the business. Yanina is a [read more]

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foto yani webWelcome to the Valencia Birding Spring Bulletin. I´d like to open this edition by wishing you all a very happy and bird-packed 2015, and to report some great news for Valencia Birding. It´s my pleasure to report that Yanina Maggiotto has joined me and we´re now working as partners in the business. Yanina is a professional guide with an absolute passion for birds and conservation. We share absolutely the philosophy of providing bespoke trips for small “private” groups, couples or individuals, with focus on high levels of service, complete flexibility and minimal impact on the environment.

She´s sure to bring the benefits of her energy and enthusiasm to the business and together we´re already working on a number of initiatives, including trips to new and exciting birding sites. You may have seen some recent improvements to our website, plus further information about the stunning bio-diversity of the Valencia region.

 

I hope you´ll be able to join me in welcoming Yanina and that you can meet her on birding trip soon.

David Warrington

David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

 

Birding at Albufera de Valencia and the Valencian Coastal Wetlands

These two trips prove to be our most popular birding sites and we´ve had the pleasure of showing these amazing spaces and their rich bird life to clients from throughout the World. As they´re both such popular trips, we´re delighted to be able to improve them both even further.
We´ve recently been granted special authorization to enter some wonderful restricted areas that are out of bounds for the general public. This provides our clients with the opportunity to enjoy some very special natural spaces that would otherwise be impossible to visit.

For the Albufera de Valencia trip, we can now also offer a new and exciting additional element which is a trip in a traditional Albufera boat. These trips are exclusively for our clients, are allow us to pass quietly by some great areas of wetland and to enjoy a different perspective.

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New Venues – Mountain Ranges of Valencia & The Lakes and Highlands of Inland Spain

 

The “Mountain Ranges of Valencia” trip is ideal for those who want enjoy a short walk in the mountains amongst stunning scenery and with some fabulous bird species. It´s well suited for those staying in or close to the city of Valencia as the mountains that we´ll visit are only 30-45 minutes from the city centre.
The wooded slopes of provide habitat for delightful species such as Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler, Crested Tit, Blue Rock Thrush, Short-toed Treecreeper, Golden Oriole and Hoopoe. The higher ridges and cliffs provide habitat for birds of prey including Bonelli´s Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Booted Eagle, Merlin and Short-toed Eagle.

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The “Lakes and Highlands of Inland Spain” is a 2 – 3 day trip, and visits some of the wilder areas of inland Spain. In the winter months, of particular interest are the vast numbers of over-wintering Cranes and the possibility to see Short-Eared Owl amongst other raptors.

At other times of year, the area holds some very special species such as Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Griffon Vulture, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Great Bustard.

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Complete Flexibility & Top Levels of Service

Something that is very clear to us and at the core of our business model is the ability to offer something tailor-made and exactly to the wishes of our clients. We would like to think that´s why so many return to us for further trips and breaks. Where required, we´re happy to recommend accommodation, design twin-centre breaks, advise on other places of interest, or simply to modify trips to suit the specific needs, interests and wishes of our clients. Please do feel free to contact us with your thoughts and comments and we´ll always be happy to offer our suggestions or proposals.

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We hope that you find this Bulletin to be of interest, and if so we´d be very grateful if you could forward it to your families and friends. Please don´t hesitate to contact us should you be interested in further information.

We hope to welcome you soon.

David Warrington & Yanina Maggiotto.

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David & Yanina Complete Guiding Qualification http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/08/david-yanina-complete-guiding-qualification/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/08/david-yanina-complete-guiding-qualification/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 19:58:03 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3421

I´m delighted to report that Yanina and I recently completed and passed a course for professional bird watching guides.  The course was delivered by the SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornitologia) and included a 40 hour on-line module followed by a 2 day course which we attended together in Valencia. As well as some useful resources, [read more]

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I´m delighted to report that Yanina and I recently completed and passed a course for professional bird watching guides.  The course was delivered by the SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornitologia) and included a 40 hour on-line module followed by a 2 day course which we attended together in Valencia.

As well as some useful resources, the course provided a great forum for debate on sustainable tourism and environmentally-friendly best practice.

It´s always good to keep up to date on latest thinking, and to share ideas and we both felt that the time invested in the course was well spent and of great value.

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Birding in the mountains of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/08/birding-in-the-mountains-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/08/birding-in-the-mountains-of-valencia/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 19:32:50 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3412

Last Sunday I was delighted to provide a day of guided birding in the mountains of Valencia for a pair of returning clients from England. Last year, we provided a trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands for them and they had such a great time that they promised to return for more guided birding.  This year, [read more]

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Last Sunday I was delighted to provide a day of guided birding in the mountains of Valencia for a pair of returning clients from England.

Last year, we provided a trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands for them and they had such a great time that they promised to return for more guided birding.  This year, they opted for a trip to the mountains of Valencia.

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Having collected them from their hotel in the centre of Valencia, we made the short drive to the Sierra Calderona Natural Park.  An area of forested mountains in excess of 600 meters above sea level.

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Although sunny, it was quite a windy day.  However, we were fortunate enough to enjoy views of a pair of resident Bonelli´s Eagles.
After a short walk up to a spectacular viewing point, we were rewarded with views of a Peregrine Falcon.

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Passerines were also in plentiful supply, including Great Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Serin, Robin, Black Redstart, Firecrest, Blue Rock Thrush, Dunnock, White Wagtail and Crag Martin.

It had been an exciting day, made all the more special because of the company of such lovely people.

See you next year!

foto yani web

 

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Bird watching in Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/01/bird-watching-in-albufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/01/bird-watching-in-albufera-de-valencia/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:29:46 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3375

Yesterday I was delighted to provide a day of guided bird watching in Albufera de Valencia for a client from Madrid.   She´s a keen nature lover, especially interested in birdlife and she wanted to visit Valencia and to discover its biodiversity.   I arranged a bespoke trip for her to Albufera de Valencia, where [read more]

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Yesterday I was delighted to provide a day of guided bird watching in Albufera de Valencia for a client from Madrid.   She´s a keen nature lover, especially interested in birdlife and she wanted to visit Valencia and to discover its biodiversity.

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I arranged a bespoke trip for her to Albufera de Valencia, where we visited many protected reserve areas.

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First stop was in the marshes and rice fields where we were amazed by the sheer size of the gatherings of egrets and herons.  Next stop was in a reserve area that is a sightseeing hotspot for diverse ducks species. Also from the same observatory we saw how a Marsh Harrier and a Booted Eagle were trying to hunt Black-winged Stilts.  What a sight!

 

 

 

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We then walked through an area of coastal Mediterranean forest, taking in dune systems and unspoilt beaches.

We managed to visit a huge variety of habitats, all within the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park, and enjoyed a wonderfully diverse range of species.

 

 

 

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List of bird species:

Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Common Kestrel, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Common Crane, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, Common Teal, Common Shelduck, Common Moorhen,Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, White Wagtail, European Robin, Black Redstart, European Serin, European Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit.

 

 

foto yani web

 

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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