Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com Bird Watching in Valencia Sun, 22 Feb 2015 20:51:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 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.

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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.

 

 

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Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Bird watching for beginners in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/01/bird-watching-for-beginners-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/02/01/bird-watching-for-beginners-in-valencia/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 20:01:32 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3378

Last week, Yanina and I provided a guided trip especially designed for a group of beginners from Valencia.  They were keen to explore the bird life of Albufera de Valencia and to discover the eco-systems of the park.  Rather than maximise the species list, they had asked to focus on key ID characteristics of some [read more]

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Last week, Yanina and I provided a guided trip especially designed for a group of beginners from Valencia.  They were keen to explore the bird life of Albufera de Valencia and to discover the eco-systems of the park.  Rather than maximise the species list, they had asked to focus on key ID characteristics of some the most emblematic species of the area.

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We began the trip in one of the parks protected reserves, where we were fortunate to see a good range of wildfowl including Shoveler, Teal, Shelduck, Red Crested Pochard and Pintail.

Greater Flamingoes

Greater Flamingoes

A very special sight was a huge flock of Greater Flamingoes in flight.  Earlier in the week, a flock of in excess of 700 had been reported.

As we watched over a small lagoon, we were also treated to superb views of three Booted Eagles, a magnificent raptor that often hunts over the rice fields of Albufera.

The flooded rice fields of Albufera de Valencia

The flooded rice fields of Albufera de Valencia

We then headed out across the rice fields, which at this time of the year are completely flooded.  This makes Albufera an ideal location for bird watching for beginners in Valencia, as it´s possible to enjoy great views of species such as Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis and Purple Swamphen.

Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis

Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis

As well as these classic Albufera species, we also had views of Reed Bunting, Fan-tailed Warbler, Spotless Starling, Stonechat and Kingfisher.

The group were amazed by the diversity of the bird life that thrives in Albufera and were all highly motivated to learn more and to join future trips.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

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Nature and Wildlife of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/01/29/nature-and-wildlife-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/01/29/nature-and-wildlife-of-valencia/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:19:51 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3357

Yesterday I had the pleasure of providing a trip for 2 clients from Holland.  Both knowledgable naturalists, they are also involved in the project Natura 2000 Network in their home country.  They were here on holiday and were very keen to see the nature and wildlife of Valencia. We spent the morning at one of [read more]

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of providing a trip for 2 clients from Holland.  Both knowledgable naturalists, they are also involved in the project Natura 2000 Network in their home country.  They were here on holiday and were very keen to see the nature and wildlife of Valencia.

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We spent the morning at one of Valencia´s coastal wetlands which is a protected area and is also included in the Natura 2000 Network.

It was very interesting to compare how conservation and politics are extremely different depending on the European country´s regulation and how controls are developed and implemented.

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The bird species list for the day included..

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Marsh Harriers, Booted Eagle, Common Kestrel, Greater Flamingo, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Great Cormorant, Common Snipe, Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Red-crested Pochard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Mallard, Kingfisher, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Bluethroat, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Moustached Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, White Wagtail, Starling, Meadow Pipit.

 

 

 

 

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Written by Yanina Maggiotto.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

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Bird Watching at Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/01/27/bird-watching-at-albufera-de-valencia-6/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/01/27/bird-watching-at-albufera-de-valencia-6/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 22:35:34 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3351

Last Saturday I was delighted to provide a day of guided bird watching at Albufera de Valencia for 4 clients from Granada, Spain.  It was a sunny and windless day, ideal for exploring the different eco-systems of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park. We enjoyed many of the classic Albufera species. in particular the herons, [read more]

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Last Saturday I was delighted to provide a day of guided bird watching at Albufera de Valencia for 4 clients from Granada, Spain.  It was a sunny and windless day, ideal for exploring the different eco-systems of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

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

Kestrel

Kestrel

 

We enjoyed a fabulous day and were fortunate enough to see 40 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, 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.

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Written by Yannina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

 

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Valencia Birding welcomes a new partner. http://valenciabirding.com/2015/01/19/valencia-birding-welcomes-a-new-partner/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/01/19/valencia-birding-welcomes-a-new-partner/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:30:52 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3297

After a long and successful collaboration and friendship, I´m absolutely delighted to formally welcome Yanina Maggiotto to Valencia Birding.  She joins as my partner in the business and will bring with her not only her skills and knowledge but a wonderful passion for birds and conservation.   Yanina Maggiotto was born in Argentina and has [read more]

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After a long and successful collaboration and friendship, I´m absolutely delighted to formally welcome Yanina Maggiotto to Valencia Birding.  She joins as my partner in the business and will bring with her not only her skills and knowledge but a wonderful passion for birds and conservation.

Yanina Maggiotto

Yanina Maggiotto

 

Yanina Maggiotto was born in Argentina and has been passionate about wildlife since her childhood. She moved to Spain in 2002 and fell in love with the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park, where she now lives with her family.  An experienced and professional bird watching guide, she is also President of the Association of Birding Guides of the Valencian Community, and as well as acting as a consultant on eco-tourism, she is also heavily involved in numerous local conservation projects.

The key philosophy of Valencia Birding is to provide our clients with bespoke trips, top levels of service and fond memories of birding with us.  Yanina´s passion and professionalism will only add to this committment.  I very much look forward to working with her and to see the progress that we´ll make together.  We´re currently working on some new trip venues and activities.  These will appear soon on our website.

 

 

 

Please join me in welcoming Yanina to Valencia Birding.  I hope that I´ll have the opportunity to personally introduce her to you very soon.

David Warrington

 

David Warrington.

Valencia Birding.

 

 

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Bird Watching in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/12/01/bird-watching-in-valencia-6/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/12/01/bird-watching-in-valencia-6/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 15:13:44 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3265

Last month I was privileged to be invited to speak at the First Congress on Nature Tourism in Valencia. The aim of the congress was to gather the various public and private sector entities that are involved in Nature Tourism in the Valencian Community and to share experiences as well as to discuss how we [read more]

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Last month I was privileged to be invited to speak at the First Congress on Nature Tourism in Valencia.

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The aim of the congress was to gather the various public and private sector entities that are involved in Nature Tourism in the Valencian Community and to share experiences as well as to discuss how we can promote this fabulous area.

 

MapCVThe Valencian Community (Comumidad de Valencia) comprises 3 provinces – Castellon, Valencian and Alicante.  

It is relatively well known as a holiday destination but largely for the beaches of the Costa Blanca and the avant-garde city of Valencia.

 What relatively few people are aware of are the stunningly rich natural environments and bird life of the region.  

Many of my clients are truly amazed by habitat diversity, the vast wild spaces and the wildlife that thrives here.

 

 

The Valencian Community is home to no less than 21 Natural Parks.  These areas of special scientific interest and / or outstanding natural beauty are officially designated and protected by law and include some of Europe´s most important habitats.

One of Valencia´s many coastal wetland sites

One of Valencia´s many coastal wetland sites

They include mountains in excess of 1800 metres (5900 ft) above sea level, vast areas of rolling forested hills, deep river canyons, coastal wetlands, marshes and ancient forests.

The peak of Penygolosa (1813m)

The peak of Penyagolosa (1813m)

Clearly, such a diverse habitat range not only provides breeding or wintering grounds for a huge number of bird species, but the geographical location of the Valencian Community places it right on a major flyway for migrating birds in both the spring and autumn passages.

Sunset over Albufera de Valencia (P.Gudgeon)

Sunset over Albufera de Valencia (P.Gudgeon)

The current year-round list for the Valencian Community stands at around 400 species.

To detail the most important species is a difficult task, as quite simply, they´re all important!

However, during the past four years, I have listened to my clients and a trend has developed in terms of the species that they most enjoy whilst bird watching in Valencia.

 

Squacco Heron photographed near Valencia.  Image kindly provided by Stacey Bergman
Squacco Heron photographed near Valencia. Image kindly provided by Stacey Bergman

During spring and early summer, the coastal wetland areas provides vital breeding areas for species such as Collared Pratincole, Whiskered Tern, Purple Swamphen, Great Reed Warbler and Montagu´s Harrier.  Aquatic species include Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Bittern, Little Bittern, Great Egret and the ever popular Greater Flamingo. 

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

The more mountainous areas provide nesting habitat for Eagles, including Short-Toed, Golden, Bonelli´s, Booted as well as species such as Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear and Alpine Swift.

The forested hills and river valleys provide home to breeding populations of Golden Oriole, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Red Rumped Swallow, Melodious Warbler, Crested Tit, Dartford Warbler, Wryneck and another “favourite”, the Bee-Eater.

White Headed Duck

The region is equally important for wildfowl and depending on the season, we´re fortunate enough to watch White-Headed Duck, Red-Crested Pochard, Garganey, Pintail and Marbled Teal.

The upland “steppe” areas provide home to Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse Crested Lark and Calandra Lark.

Bluethroat

Bluethroat

In the winter months, not only do we see huge influxes of wildfowl to our wetland areas, but we´re especially fortunate to have wintering habitat for two very special birds that are always popular with clients…the Bluethroat and the Alpine Accentor.

 

All of this, combined with an extremely rich culture and history, superb gastronomy, and easy access to the region´s two airports (Valencia and Alicante) make the Valencian Community a fascinating birding destination.  Many of my clients enjoy the diversity of a city break in Valencia combined with a few days of guided birding in areas that are exceptionally close-by.

The historic quarter of the city of Valencia

The historic quarter of the city of Valencia

Others opt for a rural base, and enjoy the tranqulity, wild spaces and the culture and history of the region´s ancient villages.  Some of my clients understandably want to enjoy both, and as such we work together to design a bespoke twin-centre holiday that combines city, countryside and some fabulous birding days.

The high mountain village of Morella in Castellon Province

The high mountain village of Morella in Castellon Province

I hope that this article has been of interest, and has at least helped to raise awareness of what I believe to be one of Europe´s best birding destinations.  That we can combine such diverse habitat and birdlife with the cultural and historical riches of the region is of huge value to the visitor.   For more information, or to discuss the possibilities of designing a bespoke trip, please feel free to contact us.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

 

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www.ValenciaBirding.com

Post

 

 

NatureTrailSpain@gmail.com

Phone

 

 

(0034) 633 117 310

 

 

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