Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com Bird Watching in Valencia Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:31:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 2 Day Birding Trip in Spain http://valenciabirding.com/2014/09/18/2-day-birding-trip-in-spain/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/09/18/2-day-birding-trip-in-spain/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 13:31:20 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3242

Last week I had the pleasure of providing a couple of days of guided bird watching for a client from UK.  He was staying close to the town of Xativa, a short drive from Valencia and had previously contacted me to arrange two specific trips. Day 1 His choice for the first of his 2 [read more]

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Last week I had the pleasure of providing a couple of days of guided bird watching for a client from UK.  He was staying close to the town of Xativa, a short drive from Valencia and had previously contacted me to arrange two specific trips.

Day 1

His choice for the first of his 2 day birding trip in Spain was a day on the high steppe and plains of Castilla de la Mancha.

A very keen and experienced birder, he was eager to see the species that this very special environment holds, especially the Great Bustard.  He was accompanied by his wife on our first day, also a knowledgable birder and nature lover.

After the obligatory morning coffee, we headed out across the plains and made our first stop to scan this vast area.  The first sighting was of a Hoopoe and a small flock of Crested Lark.  As yet…no Great Bustard!

The plains of Castilla de la Mancha

The plains of Castilla de la Mancha

We then travelled to one of my favourite lagoons of this area, and opted for a lengthy stay here as it´s a spot where patience is often rewarded.  Upon scanning the water, we enjoyed views of Black Necked Grebe, Teal, White Headed Duck and Greater Flamingo.  The shoreline held Ruff, Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover and Little Stint, and also gave a brief view of Water Rail.

Black Necked Grebe

Black Necked Grebe

We then turned our attention to the tall pines on the edge of the lagoon and were rewarded with good views of a Melodious Warbler.  As we watched the mixed flocks of Swallows, House Martins and Swifts that were passing through on migration, we were fortunate to pick out a few Alpine Swifts.

After lunch we spent the afternoon on the high steppe.  The first thing to catch our attention was a sizeable flock of Lesser Kestrels that were slowly moving from pylon to pylon, and perching for enough time to give us some great views.  Whilst watching these graceful little falcons, we also had a view of an Iberian Grey Shrike.

Iberian Grey Shrike

Iberian Grey Shrike

As we moved higher onto the steppe, we stopped at another of my favoured spots where we were fortunate to see Stone Curlew and a Black Bellied Sandgrouse.

As our day drew to a close, we´d still not seen the day´s main target, the Great Bustard.  Despite taking a detour and scanning the steppe, still no luck.  However, we were satisfied with some great views of some superb species, so headed for home.

Then, just a couple of kilometres prior to joining the motorway something caught our attention.  We pulled off the road, took out the scopes and focussed in on a group of male Great Bustards!  What a magnificent end to a great day.  We celebrated with a coffee before making the journey back to Valencia.

Great Bustards

Great Bustards

 

Day 2

The choice of venue for the second day was Albufera de Valencia.  This wetland of significant importance is home to some of Valencia´s best nature reserves.  We were fortunate to spend the morning in one such reserve where the staff treated us to a very special visit.  First, we walked through the reserve, looking out over the reedbeds and lagoons which gave views of Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Great Crested Grebe and Gadwall.  We also had views of an Osprey on passage.

Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

We were then accompanied to a highly protected area of the reserve where we had views of Marsh Harrier and a passing Honey Buzzard.  The reserve staff were manning a ringing station and had Reed Warbler and Bluethroat in the mist nets.  We had been told of a rarity that had been spotted that morning, a Citrine Wagtail.  After a few moments, a little patience and some good fortune gave us views of this delicately marked wagtail.

Glossy Ibis and Little Egret

Glossy Ibis and Little Egret

After lunch we made a brief visit to a spot that often gives good views of Glossy Ibis, Squacco Herons, and Black Tailed Godwit.  Today was no exception.  These were also joined by Cattle Egret, Purple Heron and Common Sandpiper.  We ended the day at a small protected reserve where we enjoyed some great waders including Temminck´s Stint, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper.

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

It had been a pleasure to spend a couple of days with such an enthusiastic birder, and to provide something bespoke for him.

The species list for the two days included :

Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Marsh Harrier,Iberian Grey Shrike, Osprey, Honey Buzzard, Swift, Alpine Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Magpie, Crow, Wood Pigeon, Kingfisher, Citrine Wagtail, Spotless Starling, Hoopoe, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Skylark, Melodious Warbler, House Sparrow, Stone Curlew, Black Bellied Sandgrouse, Great Bustard, Greater Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Ruff, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Temminck´s Stint, Water Rail, Glossy Ibis, Curlew Sandpiper,  Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, White Headed Duck, Shoveler, Cormorant, Audouin´s gull, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Gull Billed Tern, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Tern

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

 

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Birds of Prey in Spain http://valenciabirding.com/2014/09/18/birds-of-prey-in-spain/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/09/18/birds-of-prey-in-spain/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:54:53 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3222

Last week I was especially privileged to be invited to take part in a raptor release programme.  The day was organised by an animal recuperation centre based within Albufera de Valencia.  We are fortunate enough to enjoy a diverse range of birds of prey in Spain, owing to it´s geography, topography, habitat and eco-systems.  As [read more]

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Last week I was especially privileged to be invited to take part in a raptor release programme.  The day was organised by an animal recuperation centre based within Albufera de Valencia.  We are fortunate enough to enjoy a diverse range of birds of prey in Spain, owing to it´s geography, topography, habitat and eco-systems.  As well as the many breeding species here in Valencia, many raptors pass through our region whilst on migration.

Kestrels ready to be released

Kestrels ready to be released

The animal recuperation centre in Albufera does an incredible job of rescuing, treating and releasing hundreds of injured or sick birds each year and has a team of dedicated raptor specialists.  Today was in important day as there were a good number of fully recovered raptors that were ready for release.

To give them the best chance of survival, we drove into the inland of Valencia to an area of forested highlands, ideal for birds of prey to hunt, rest and regain their optimum fitness levels.

The moment of release for a fully recovered Kestrel

The moment of release for a fully recovered Kestrel

The first birds to be released were Kestrels, all of which had been taken to the centre having been found injured or having fallen from their nests as chicks.

I was fortunate enough to release one of the Kestrels

I was fortunate enough to release one of the Kestrels

Lurdes and I were fortunate enough to release a couple of these beautiful creatures ourselves.  It was a great feeling to see them take flight and rediscover their natural World.

A male Kestrel about to be released

A male Kestrel about to be released

The next species to be released was a mighty Eagle Owl.  This magnificent creature breeds in some of the mountainous regions of rural Valencia and is always a very special sight, but to see this animal at such close quarters is stunning.

The magnificent Eagle Owl

The magnificent Eagle Owl

Then it was the turn of one of my favourite Spanish raptors, the Booted Eagle.  This is a bird that we often see on our trips, and one that always delights.

A Booted Eagle about to be released

A Booted Eagle about to be released

The moment of release for the Booted Eagle

The moment of release for the Booted Eagle

Once these birds had taken flight, a Honey Buzzard was released.  This is a raptor that we often see on migration through Valencia, and we´d enjoyed good views of one just the previous week whilst with clients at Albufera.  The big yellow eyes are remarkable even when viewed through binoculars but now that we were right next to the bird, they were especially piercing.

Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzzard

Once the Honey Buzzard had soared out of sight, it was the turn of a Red Kite, followed by one of our most beautifully coloured birds of prey, the Short Toed Eagle.

Red Kite

Red Kite

We enjoy great views of these magnificent raptors each year in Valencia as they hunt for their preferred prey, snakes and larger lizards.

Short Toed Eagle

Short Toed Eagle

The day was brought to a close with the release of another Eagle Owl.  It´s huge orange eyes and “ear” tufts add to the visual impact of this iconic face.

Eagle Owl

The stunning face of the mighty Eagle Owl

To see these amazing creatures take flight and to take part in the day was an unforgetable experience.

A very special moment - the release of an Eagle Owl

A very special moment – the release of an Eagle Owl

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Wildlife and Bird Watching in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/09/06/wildlife-and-bird-watching-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/09/06/wildlife-and-bird-watching-in-valencia/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 13:31:07 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3205

Last week I spent a wonderful day with two great clients from my native Yorkshire.  There were on a journey through France and Spain and wanted a day of guided wildlife and bird watching in Valencia.  Not only keen birders, they were also particularly interested in ecology and natural history in general.  I designed a [read more]

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Last week I spent a wonderful day with two great clients from my native Yorkshire.  There were on a journey through France and Spain and wanted a day of guided wildlife and bird watching in Valencia.  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.

Guided birding in Valencia

After a short drive from their hotel in the city of Valencia, we stopped for a morning coffee  and discussed plans for the day, before heading to one of Albufera´s best nature reserves.  We walked through the reserve where we enjoyed views of Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Snipe, Little Bittern and Marsh Harrier.  The lagoons held Greater Flamingo, Great Egret, Purple Swamphen and Shoveler.

Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

Upon scanning some nearby pylons, we were fortunate to see not only an Iberian Grey Shrike but also an Osprey.  This area is regularly used by Ospreys as a stopping-off and feeding point on their migration to and from their wintering grounds in Africa.

Black-Winged Stilt

Black-Winged Stilt

We were then treated to a fascinating presentation by the reserve staff, which 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.  After the presentation, we were fortunate to watch the release of a young Garganey that had been rescued by the reserve staff the previous week and had been cared for at a local wildlife rescue centre.

Valencia Birding

We then enjoyed a picnic lunch by one of Albufera´s many canals before heading to the day´s final area.  A short drive through the rice fields took us to one of the park´s lesser known areas where we were treated to great views of Collared Pratincole, Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Black-Tailed Godwit and Audouin´s Gull.  We finished the day with a talk on the rice growing cycle and how that influences habitat for Albufera´s bird life before returning to the city of Valencia.

Glossy Ibis and Little Egret

Glossy Ibis and Little Egret

The species list for the day included :

Black-Winged Stilt, Redshank, Ruff, Little-Ringed Plover, Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Collared Pratincole, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Greater Flamingo, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Mallard, Shoveler, Garganey, Yellow-Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Cormorant, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Kingfisher, Fan-Tailed Warbler, Kestrel, Iberian Grey Shrike, Marsh Harrier, Osprey.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Valencia Birding Summer 2014 Bulletin http://valenciabirding.com/2014/08/01/valencia-birding-summer2014-bulletin/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/08/01/valencia-birding-summer2014-bulletin/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:56:42 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3200

It´s hard to believe that we´re already in August! The year so far has been a very busy one and once more, I feel privileged to say that I have met some super clients with whom I´ve shared some very special birding moments. As always, it´s especially gratifying when people make return visits, and the [read more]

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It´s hard to believe that we´re already in August! The year so far has been a very busy one and once more, I feel privileged to say that I have met some super clients with whom I´ve shared some very special birding moments.

As always, it´s especially gratifying when people make return visits, and the year has seen some returning clients who over time have become friends. This year I´ve also been fortunate enough to welcome many clients from beyond Europe, mainly from USA and Canada. More importantly, I´d like to thank everyone for their support and for choosing to spend some time with us. It´s been an absolute pleasure.

Guided bird watching in Valencia
TripAdvisor-iconSpecial thanks to all those who have taken the time to leave reviews of your trips with us. Thanks to you, Valencia Birding is now officially “recommended” on Trip Advisor. You can see more here

As for the birding highlights, these can differ greatly depending on the clients´wishes, and target species. For Northern European clients, species such as Collared Pratincole, Great Bustard, Bee Eater and Booted Eagle are often favourites. For clients from outside of Europe, most of our Mediterranean species are usually “new” so the trips are packed with “lifers”.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

For me personally, perhaps the highlights have been the “positives” that I´ve seen during the year. This includes increased sightings of endangered species such as White Headed Duck and Purple Swamphen but also new evidence of breeding birds at a couple of my favourite reserves, including Bearded Reedling and Montagu´s Harrier.

Another interesting development is a project that I´m involved with in collaboration with local government to actually promote Valencia as a birding destination. I am proud to say that I now live in this amazing city, and it´s hard to think of a more fascinating destination that has such rich and diverse bird life on it door-step.

Valencia´s Medieval Quarter

Valencia´s Medieval Quarter

For clients who wish to combine a city break with some birding, this city has everything…an enchanting historical quarter, rich culture, superb food, stunning modern architecture and even a beach! For those who are looking for a more rural base in which to stay, Valencia has some stunning Natural Parks within less than one hour drive from the city centre.

Sunset over Albufera de Valencia (P.Gudgeon)

Sunset over Albufera de Valencia (P.Gudgeon)

The birding venues include some of the most important coastal wetlands in the entire Mediterranean, forested mountains, and within an easy drive, the upland steppe and lagoons. These sites provide habitat for an amazingly diverse range of species including countless aquatic birds such as Squacco Heron, Little Bittern and Spoonbill.

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

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

Birds of prey include Booted, Short-Toed and Golden Eagle. Bee-Eater, Flamingo and Hoopoe always win the prize for the most colourful species and always delight. Upland species include Great Bustard, Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse, Calandra Lark and Griffon Vulture.

Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle

Whether it´s a single day-trip or a break that includes accommodation and a few days of birding, we´re always happy to arrange something bespoke. Our philosophy of never mixing groups always ensures that our clients can enjoy an extremely high level of service and flexibility.
Looking ahead to the autumn and winter season, all of our venues offer something special, and the cheaper off-peak flights make Valencia an excellent destination.  For more details, please feel free to contact us.  I do hope to hear from you soon.

David Warrington

David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

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Birding from the city of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/07/08/birding-from-the-city-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/07/08/birding-from-the-city-of-valencia/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:42:21 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3193

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending a day with a great couple from North Carolina.  They were visiting Spain with friends and had previosuly contacted us to arrange a day of guided birding from the city of Valencia. Having met them in the beautiful historic quarter of Valencia, we made the short journey [read more]

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Last week, I had the pleasure of spending a day with a great couple from North Carolina.  They were visiting Spain with friends and had previosuly contacted us to arrange a day of guided birding from the city of Valencia.

Valencia´s Coastal Wetlands

Valencia´s Coastal Wetlands

Having met them in the beautiful historic quarter of Valencia, we made the short journey to a local coastal wetland reserve where we began the day with a coffee and a chat about our trip and the species that we were hoping to see.

The first coastal lagoons held Pochard, Little Grebe and Coot, whilst the surrounding reed beds gave views of Fan-Tailed Warbler, Reed Warbler and Little Egret.

After a short walk along the coast, we were fortunate enough to enjoy great views of Collared Pratincole, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Purple Heron and Little Ringed Plover.

Black Winged Stilt & Avocet

Black Winged Stilt & Avocet

We began our walk through more reed beds and past another couple of lagoons where we stopped for a picnic lunch.  This section of the walk gave us views of Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Bee Eater and Iberian Grey Shrike.

Bee-Eater

Bee-Eater

We were also treated to two superb raptors ; a Booted Eagle and a pair of Montagu´s Harrier.

Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle

Our walk ended with a stop at a beautiful reed-fringed lake where we had quality views of Spoonbill, Purple Swamphen, Little Bittern and Hoopoe.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Having packed away the birding gear into the van, we finished the day with a cold beer at a bar, looking out over the Mediterranean, before making the short journey back to the city of Valencia.

Our species list for the day included :

Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Little Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincole, Greater Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, Common Tern, Little Tern, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Reed Warbler, Fan-Tailed Warbler, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, House Martin, Swallow, Swift, Bee Eater, Magpie, Hoopoe, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Spotless Starling, Iberian Grey Shrike, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Montagu´s Harrier, Booted Eagle.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Nature and Cultural Tourism in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/06/24/nature-and-cultural-tourism-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/06/24/nature-and-cultural-tourism-in-valencia/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 17:54:26 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3179

Last week I had the pleasure of providing a trip for a group of local birders. We were joined by a guest from Canada who was spending some time in Valencia as a volunteer, working on various environmental and conservation projects.  One of our key priorities is always to gear our trips to the wishes [read more]

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Last week I had the pleasure of providing a trip for a group of local birders. We were joined by a guest from Canada who was spending some time in Valencia as a volunteer, working on various environmental and conservation projects.  One of our key priorities is always to gear our trips to the wishes and needs of the client. As this was her first visit to our region of Spain, we modified the trip to provide a blend of nature and cultural tourism in Valencia.

We began the day with a walk along the coast not far from the city of Valencia, and soon had our first views of Whiskered Tern and Little Tern. As we made our way through the reedbeds we enjoyed the song of Cetti´s Warbler, and had good views of Marsh Harrier, Great Reed Warbler, Fan-Tailed Warbler and Yellow Wagtail.

 

Whiskered Tern

Whiskered Tern

We then visited one of the area´s most interesting centres, essentially a beautifully restored country house that was once run by monks from a local monestary. Although a monument in its own right, it also serves as a centre for environmental education and has some fascinating displays.

 

Display of green energy devices including a solar cooker

Display of green energy devices including a solar cooker

The staff gave us an extremely interesting guided tour of the site, which ended with a presentation on the painstakingly restored Valencian country kitchen with its array of traditional artifacts and original features.

Traditional Valencian country kitchen

Traditional Valencian country kitchen

There followed a walk around the market garden to see the organic vegetables that were being grown there, and to see the beautiful ornamental trees that are planted around the perimeter of the site.

Bachychiton acerifolius

Bachychiton acerifolius

Having said our goodbyes to the centre staff, we took a short walk through the reserve and enjoyed a picnic lunch during which we were treated to a spectacular sight of not only a pair of Montagu´s Harriers but a Short Toed Eagle! We watched these magnificent raptors for over 15 minutes, an absolutely fabulous experience for us all.

Guided bird watching in Valencia

Our next stop was at a coastal lagoon that was home to a mixed colony of nesting Common Terns, Whiskered Terns, Little Terns, Collared Pratincoles and Black Winged Stilts. We enjoyed some great views of all these species with their chicks plus Little Ringed Plover, Glossy ibis, Audouin´s Gull and Avocet.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

The day´s final viewing point was another lagoon, this time surrounded by reed beds. This gave a very special end to a great day with views of White Headed Duck, Purple Swamphen, Flamingo, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron and Bee Eater.

We brought the trip to a close with a cool beer at the beach before making the short journey back to Valencia.

Little Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover

The species list for the day included :

Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Turtle Dove, Wood Pigeon, Fan Tailed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Reed Warbler, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Yellow Wagtail, Magpie, Spotless Starling, Bee Eater, Montagu´s Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Short Toed Eagle, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Collared Pratincole, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Black Headed Gull, Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Flamingo, Little Bittern, Coot, Moorhen, Avocet, Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Little Grebe, Purple Swamphen, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, White Headed Duck.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Bird watching in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/06/02/bird-watching-in-valencia-5/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/06/02/bird-watching-in-valencia-5/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:54:44 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3101

Last week I provided a two day guided birding trip for a couple of great clients from Canada.  They were touring Spain and had previously arranged some guided bird watching in Valencia with us. Day one was a trip to the steppe and lagoons.  Having collected them from their hostal in the city of Valencia [read more]

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Last week I provided a two day guided birding trip for a couple of great clients from Canada.  They were touring Spain and had previously arranged some guided bird watching in Valencia with us.

On the steppe

Day one was a trip to the steppe and lagoons.  Having collected them from their hostal in the city of Valencia we made the short journey inland.  After a morning coffee we ventured out across the plains in search of one of their target species, the Great Bustard.  Our first stop did not reveal any bustards but the day did begin superbly with great views of a Great Spotted Cuckoo.  As we were watching  this, we enjoyed the song of nearby Skylarks and also had a great view of a Crested Lark and Corn Bunting.

Classic steppe scenery

Classic steppe scenery

The first lagoon of the day gave views of Sandwich Tern, Greater Flamingo, Black-Winged Stilt and Little Ringed Plover.    We moved on to the day’s next lagoon where we enjoyed views of Shelduck, Avocet, Gadwall and Reed Warbler.  Then one of the day’s highlights, the extremely rare White Headed Duck.  We also had views of Marsh Harrier and Black-Necked Grebe.  As we were about to leave, we were treated to views of Bee-Eater and Woodchat Shrike, both perched on the same fence!

Flamingoes in flight

Flamingoes in flight

We then made our way onto the higher steppe in search of some of the classic species of the area.  Our patience was eventually rewarded with views of not only Great Bustard but Stone Curlew, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse and some of the best views of Calandra Lark that I’ve had this year.  A spot of luck also gave us a view of a Little Owl as he flew across the front of the van and settled on a pile of rocks close by.

Great Bustard

Great Bustard

The day ended with a visit to another lagoon where we watched Lapwing, Buzzard, Kentish Plover and Hoopoe before making the return journey to the city of Valencia.

Day two was a trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.  After a very short trip from the city of Valencia we began our walk along the beach and dunes.  One of the first sightings was a beautfully elegant Purple Heron, followed by a Squacco Heron and Spoonbill.   Fan-Tailed Warbler was soon joined by Great Reed Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler.  The first of the day’s coastal lagoons gave excellent views of Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Ringed Plover and Yellow Wagtail.

Little Egret

Little Egret

We then headed inland through reedbeds where we had great views of Marsh Harrier until we arrived at another lagoon where we stopped for lunch.  As we relaxed in the Spring sunshine we were treated to views of Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Red Crested Pochard and a magnificent Short Toed Eagle.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Our walk then took us through an area of pastureland where we saw Stonechat, Whinchat, Hoopoe, and Bee-Eater.

The day ended at a superb lagoon where we were fortunate enough to add to our list some excellent sightings, including Little Bittern, Night Heron, Great Egret and Glossy Ibis.

Little Bittern

Little Bittern

Many of the species were “lifers” for my clients, which made these couple of days of bird watching in Valencia even more special.  We’d had a great couple of days with some superb species, diverse habitat, quality views and fun company.

The species list for the two days included…

Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, Redshank, Greater Flamingo, Collared Pratincole, Black-Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Stone Curlew, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse, Lapwing, Great Bustard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-Necked Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Mallard, Shelduck, Gadwall, Pochard, Red-Crested Pochard, White-Headed Duck, Shoveler, Yellow-Legged Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Common Tern, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Short-Toed Eagle, Buzzard, Little Owl, Woodchat Shrike, Southern Grey Shrike, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting, Skylark, Crested Lark, Calandra Lark, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Spotless Starling, Magpie, Crow, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Wood Pigeon, Hoopoe, Bee-Eater, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Whinchat, Stonechat, Fan-Tailed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Bird Watching in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/05/22/bird-watching-in-valencia-4/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/05/22/bird-watching-in-valencia-4/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 12:04:07 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3085

I recently enjoyed a fabulous day with two wonderful clients from California, USA. They were visiting the city where they were performing in a music festival and had previously organised a day of guided bird watching in Valencia with me.  Both very keen and experienced bird watchers and photographers, they were very eager to see [read more]

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I recently enjoyed a fabulous day with two wonderful clients from California, USA. They were visiting the city where they were performing in a music festival and had previously organised a day of guided bird watching in Valencia with me.  Both very keen and experienced bird watchers and photographers, they were very eager to see some of the amazing species that our wetlands hold, especially during the breeding season.

Birding in Valencia

Having driven the short journey through the beautiful city of Valencia, we arrived at the reserve and began our walk.  Almost immediately, we had views of a pair of Turtle Doves.   As we began our walk along the dunes, we enjoyed views of Great Reed Warbler, Fan-Tailed Warbler and Little Grebe.  Then one of the day´s target species appeared – the magnificent Bee Eater.

Bee-Eater

Bee-Eater

Having enjoyed the amazing colours of this stunning creature, we continued our walk along the coast to a lagoon where we paused and watched nesting colonies of Common Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern and the exceptionally pretty Collared Pratincole.  We also added to our list Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Avocet, Purple Heron and Audouin´s Gull.

Purple Heron

Purple Heron

After a further walk we arrived at another lake where we stopped for lunch during which we were treated to great views of Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Swamphen, Marsh Harrier and then one of the highlights of the day, a male Montagu´s Harrier.

After lunch we headed out through an area of pastureland where we watched Stonechat and Cattle Egret.  House Martins, Sand Martins, Swallows and Swifts were all passing through overhead and Cetti´s Warbler were singing from the low bushes.

Spoonbill

Spoonbill

The final lagoon of the day gave us a magnificent end to the trip with super views of Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo and Little Bittern.   We were almost back at the van when another pair of Bee Eaters appeared, a fitting end to a very special day.  It had been a real pleasure to spend the day in such good company and with such enthusiastic and dedicated birders.

Little Bittern

Little Bittern

The species list for the day included :

Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Collared Pratincole, Greater Flamingo, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Coot, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Shoveler, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Hoopoe, Bee Eater, Great Reed Warbler, Fan-Tailed Warbler,  House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swift, Montagu´s Harrier, Marsh Harrier.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Bird watching from the city of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/05/16/bird-watching-from-the-city-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/05/16/bird-watching-from-the-city-of-valencia/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 09:21:02 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3065

Last week, I spent a great day with a client from the Netherlands. He was attending a medical conference and had arranged a day of bird watching from the city of Valencia with us.  The close proximity to the city of some of the regions best birding sites makes such a trip very easy. Having [read more]

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Last week, I spent a great day with a client from the Netherlands. He was attending a medical conference and had arranged a day of bird watching from the city of Valencia with us.  The close proximity to the city of some of the regions best birding sites makes such a trip very easy.

Having collected him from his hotel in Valencia, we made the short journey to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.

Our day began with a pair of Turtle Doves, even before we´d closed the van doors!  A short walk to the first small lake gave us good views of Night Heron, Reed Warbler and Fan Tailed Warbler.  We continued along the beach to the next coastal lagoon where we enjoyed views of Audouin´s Gull, Whiskered Tern, Little Tern and Glossy Ibis.

Glossy Ibis in flight

Glossy Ibis in flight

The coastal scrub held Yellow Wagtail and Stonechat whilst all the while we saw Barn Swallow, Red Rumped Swallow, House Martin and Swift passing overhead.

The next lagoon gave superb views of Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Avocet and Purple Swamphen.  We also watched a breeding colony of Little Tern and Whiskered Tern.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Our walk continued through reedbeds and out into open country where we were treated to views of a very special raptor, a male Montagu´s Harrier.  The trees and low bushes held Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Cetti´s and Sardinian Warbler and Hoopoe.  As we approached the day´s next lagoon, we saw Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Common Sandpiper and Ringed Plover.

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover

We´d made an early start that morning so we were back at the van by mid afternoon.  Therefore, we made a short drive to another site as my client was keen to get better views of Audouin´s Gull, a lifer for him.  Not only did we see a further eight, but we also had great views of a Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Wheatear and Crested Lark.

Audouin's Gull

Audouin’s Gull

Content with the day´s species list and more importantly, the quality of the views, we returned to the city of Valencia.  It had been a great day, and a pleasure for me to spend the day with such an experienced and enthusiastic birder.

The species list included…

Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Reed Warbler, Fan Tailed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Goldfinch, Serin, Spotless Sterling, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, Magpie, Blackbird, Wheatear, Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Red Rumped Swallow, Swift, Bee Eater, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Mediterranean Gull,  Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Cormorant, Little Bittern, Black Winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Montagu´s Harrier, Kestrel

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Guided Bird Watching in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/05/15/guided-bird-watching-in-valencia-5/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/05/15/guided-bird-watching-in-valencia-5/#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 15:15:16 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3055

Last week, I had the pleasure of providing a day of guided bird watching in Valencia for a group of clients from Scotland.  We made the brief journey through this beautiful Mediterranean city, stopping by the beach for a morning coffee before heading out onto the reserve. The day got off to a fabulous start [read more]

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Last week, I had the pleasure of providing a day of guided bird watching in Valencia for a group of clients from Scotland.  We made the brief journey through this beautiful Mediterranean city, stopping by the beach for a morning coffee before heading out onto the reserve.

The day got off to a fabulous start with views Great Reed Warbler and Little Bittern.  As we began our walk, we had great views of Turtle Dove, Glossy Ibis and Marsh Harrier.

Black Winged Stilt

Black Winged Stilt

The next lagoon and its shoreline held Fan-Tailed Warbler, Little Grebe and Red Crested Pochard.  Terns were very active, and within just a few minutes we´d seen Little, Common, and Whiskered.  We soon saw the first of the day´s Collared Pratincole, a “classic” Valencian breeding shorebird, and also enjoyed great views of Little Ringed Plover, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron and Avocet.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

As we continued our walk, now heading through an area of pastureland, we were treated to views of Woodchat Shrike, Hoopoe, Cetti´s Warbler, Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart and Bee Eater.  To round off this spectacle, we then had great views of a Short Toad Eagle.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

The day´s final viewing point overlooked another lagoon, and brought the day to a beautiful end with views of Greater Flamingo, Purple Swamphen, Cattle Egret and Great Crested Grebe.

It had been another special day with some stunning wildlife, great weather and good company.  The day´s species list included :

Great Reed Warbler, Fan Tailed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Turtle Dove, Magpie, Spotless Starling, Woodchat Shrike, Stonechat, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail, Bee Eater, Goldfinch, House Sparrow,  Spotted Flycatcher, Hoopoe, Redstart, Coot, Moorhen, Pochard, Mallard, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Marsh Harrier, Short Toed Eagle, Kestrel, Little Tern, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black Headed Gull, Glossy Ibis, Little Bittern, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet, Purple Swamphen, Greater Flamingo.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

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