Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com Bird Watching in Valencia Tue, 03 Nov 2015 19:48:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 Birding with clients from USA. http://valenciabirding.com/2015/11/03/birding-with-clients-from-usa/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/11/03/birding-with-clients-from-usa/#comments Tue, 03 Nov 2015 19:48:09 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3891

In our work as birding guides, we´re very fortunate to meet some wonderful and interesting people.  This trip was no exception.  Bob and Mona are from Iowa, USA and had planned a day with us as part of their trip to Spain.  Normally, when we go birding with clients from USA there´s almost always new [read more]

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In our work as birding guides, we´re very fortunate to meet some wonderful and interesting people.  This trip was no exception.  Bob and Mona are from Iowa, USA and had planned a day with us as part of their trip to Spain.  Normally, when we go birding with clients from USA there´s almost always new species involved for them.  However, that was going to prove a little more challenging today, as Bob has over 70 years of birding experience and has travelled throughout the World watching birds!

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Having collected them from their hotel close to the City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia, we made the short trip to Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.  We met up with Yanina and then headed into a restricted reserve area.  As we walked through a small Mediterranean pine wood, we saw Black Redstart, Fan-tailed Warbler, Short-toed Treecreeper and Red-legged Partridge.  Once in the first hide, we enjoyed views of Black-tailed Godwit, Black Winged Stilt and Little Grebe.

The flooded rice fields of Albufera provide rich feeding areas for countless birds

The flooded rice fields of Albufera provide rich feeding areas for countless birds

We then moved on to another protected nature reserve where we had great views of some “classic” Albufera species, including Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Purple Swamphen, Wood Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Whilst enjoying lunch in a hide overlooking a small lagoon, we enjoyed good views of Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Caspian Tern and the magnificent Booted Eagle.

We ended the day with an exploration of the recently harvested rice fields, particularly with raptors in mind.  We were fortunate to have good views of Southern Grey Shrike, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon and more Marsh Harriers.

Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle

A great view of the ever popular Hoopoe brought the day to an end.  It had been a pleasure to share this special corner of Spain with two such experienced and enthusiastic birders!  The species list included (hopefully at least one “new” species)…

Chiffchaff, Fan-tailed Warbler, Black Redstart, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Robin, Spotless Starling, Common Starling, Short-toed Treecreeper, Meadow Pipit, Collared Dove, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Hoopoe, Kingfisher, Red-legged Partridge, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Avocet, Spoonbill, Wood Sandpiper, Snipe, Little Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilt, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Southern Grey Shrike, Booted Eagle.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

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Guided bird watching in Valencia for a family http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/29/guided-bird-watching-in-valencia-for-a-family/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/29/guided-bird-watching-in-valencia-for-a-family/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 14:42:39 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3821

Last week, Yanina and I provided a day of guided bird watching in Valencia for a family from Suffolk, UK.  It was one of those special days with great weather, some fabulous birds and wonderful company.  After we collected John and his family from the seaside apartment in Valencia, we decided to head for Albufera. [read more]

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Last week, Yanina and I provided a day of guided bird watching in Valencia for a family from Suffolk, UK.  It was one of those special days with great weather, some fabulous birds and wonderful company.  After we collected John and his family from the seaside apartment in Valencia, we decided to head for Albufera.  We were originally thinking of visiting another coastal wetland, but our recent trips to Albufera had given some great sightings, so we opted to return.

Birding in Valencia

Our first stop was in a restricted reserve area, where we sat in a hide and enjoyed great views of waders including Little Stint, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover and Curlew Sandpiper.  The surrounding bushes held Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and lots of Black Redstarts.

Black Tailed Godwit

Black Tailed Godwit

We then decided to make the short trip across to the other side of the Natural Park, firstly stopping for a coffee break in the old village of El Palmar, the birthplace of Spain´s most famous dish, paella.  As we drove between the rice fields we spotted a harrier feeding on recently caught prey.  Although it was quite a long way off, we could clearly see the “necklace” amongst other distinctive markings.  We spent a good while trying to get more conclusive views as eventually we were very confident that we were indeed looking at a second year Pallid Harrier.  However, it was a little too far to be 100% certain and we didn´t want to disturb it by trying to get closer.  So, we eventually somewhat reluctantly decided that we couldn´t make a certain claim and chose to move on!

Our suspected Pallid Harrier!

Our suspected Pallid Harrier!

We then entered another highly protected nature reserve, where we carefully and quietly explored some of the lagoons and surrounding reed beds.  The first lagoon gave wonderful views of Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen and lots of Snipe.  As we parked by the next lagoon, we had fabulous views of Spoonbill and Great Egret.

Birding in Valencia

Black-winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Little Egret and Spoonbill

 

We enjoyed a relaxed lunch in a hide overlooking a smaller lagoon, and were treated to a fantastic sight of more Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, and Caspian Tern.

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

We then decided to explore some of the (recently harvested) rice fields but first of all stopped by at the beach to see a Whimbrel that has been feeding there during the past couple of weeks.  One the walk through the dunes we enjoyed views of Stonechat, Serin and Meadow Pipit.  The weather had in fact improved further by now, light cloud giving way to blue skies so we decided on another short break, enjoying a beer on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.  It was interesting to hear of the birding in our clients´native Suffolk and of the environmental work that they are involved with there and in nearby Essex.

Whimbrel

Whimbrel

To end the day we parked in amongst the rice fields by an irrigation canal.  We´d chosen a good spot, and were soon enjoying views of Green Sandpiper, Hoopoe, Tree Sparrow, Marsh Harrier and Grey Wagtail.  As a very fitting end to what had been a special day, a magnificent Booted Eagle flew by.

Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle

We´d been fortunate to enjoy some wonderful birds in this very special Natural Park, and had enjoyed the company of a lovely family.  A super day, thanks to all.

The species list for the day included…

Blackcap, Black Redstart, Cetti´s Warbler (heard), Chiffchaff, Robin, Sardinian Warbler, Fan Tailed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Penduline Tit (heard), Kingfisher, Magpie, Song Thrush, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Serin, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, Swallow, Hoopoe, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Booted Eagle, Glossy Ibis, Black Tailed Godwit, Black Winged Stilt, Dunlin, Little Stint, Grey Plover, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Spoonbill, Snipe, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Whimbrel, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Shoveler, Mallard, Teal, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Caspian Tern.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

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Birding on the Steppe of Spain http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/20/birding-on-the-steppe-of-spain/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/20/birding-on-the-steppe-of-spain/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 08:02:52 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3806

Last week, Dave and I enjoyed a fantastic day with a couple of returning clients from UK.  They had a trip with us in the Spring, when we enjoyed a day in the mountains of Valencia.  This time, they were keen to have a day of guided birding on the steppe of Spain. It was [read more]

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Last week, Dave and I enjoyed a fantastic day with a couple of returning clients from UK.  They had a trip with us in the Spring, when we enjoyed a day in the mountains of Valencia.  This time, they were keen to have a day of guided birding on the steppe of Spain.

It was a pleasure to see Jan & Ossie again, and to catch up on our respective conservation projects, particularly with owls.  After a chat over morning coffee, we made the relatively short journey into the rolling plains of Castilla de la Mancha.

Valencia Birding

One of our main target species was the Great Bustard, which would be a lifer for them both.  We stopped in a favourite location where we often get views of these magnificent creatures, and patiently scanned the surrounding fields.  After some 15 minutes, we were rewarded with some fantastic views of a group of male Great Bustards, strolling through the fields and feeding under a stand of trees.  As we enjoyed the autumn sunshine, a Red Kite suddenly came into view, and circled overhead, giving some wonderful views.

Great Bustards

Great Bustards

Crested Larks and Skylarks flitted around us, whilst we enjoyed views of Greater Flamingo in a nearby area of flooded fields.  Then a male Lesser Kestrel passed by, coming to pause briefly on a pylon.

Our second stopping point was by a lagoon, where we had great views of (probably the same) Red Kite, this time flying much lower.  We also saw Lapwing, Red-legged Partridge and Snipe.

Red Kite

Red Kite

We then made the short journey to another lagoon where we were pleased to see Little Grebe, Wood Sandpiper and Shoveler.

Our next point was beside a lake which is a great spot to enjoy lunch as the surrounding trees provide some shade.  We were delighted to enjoy views of two other target species of the day – the White Headed Duck and Black-necked Grebe.  A Marsh Harrier made an appearance, flying low over the reed beds.  The lake also held Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler and Little Grebe.

Typical steppe scenery

Typical steppe scenery

After a leisurely picnic, we then dedicated the afternoon to exploring the area´s high steppe, stopping at various points to scan this vast wide open area.  Luck was with us today, and we enjoyed views of  some fabulous species such as Honey Buzzard, Calandra Lark, Little Owl, Wheatear and Whinchat.

Wheatear

Wheatear

Content with our species list, and having had a great day exploring some super habitats, we brought the day to a close with a drink in one of the regions remote farming villages.

Crested Lark

Crested Lark

It had been a delight to welcome back Jan and Ossie, and to be able to enjoy their company in such great surroundings, and with so many wonderful species.

The list for the day included…

Little Owl, Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Great Bustard, Red-legged Partridge, Flamingo, Lapwing, Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Coot, White headed Duck, Mallard, Common Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Yellow-legged Gull, Crow, Magpie, Collared Dove, Starling, Spotless Starling, Crested Lark, Calandra Lark, Skylark, Wheatear, House Sparrow, Whinchat, White Wagtail.

Yanina

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Guided bird watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/08/guided-bird-watching-in-spain/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/08/guided-bird-watching-in-spain/#comments Thu, 08 Oct 2015 05:27:06 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3791

Last week I had the pleasure of providing a bird watching trip to one of Europe´s most important wetlands for two clients from Chicago, USA.  I provided a trip to Albufera de Valencia for a very interesting couple – Leonore was a experienced birder, and one of our objectives was to attract her husband George [read more]

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Last week I had the pleasure of providing a bird watching trip to one of Europe´s most important wetlands for two clients from Chicago, USA.  I provided a trip to Albufera de Valencia for a very interesting couple – Leonore was a experienced birder, and one of our objectives was to attract her husband George to the delights and joys of bird watching!  Leonore wanted to see some “new” European species so had previously contacted us to arrange some guided bird watching in Spain.

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After I collected them from their hotel we made the short drive to a reserve area inside the Natural Park where we visited a wader hotspot and enjoyed great views of Black-tailed Godwit and Little Stint.

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Black Tailed Godwit

After a short walk through a forest we arrived at another hide where we had good views of waterfowl plus this magnificent Kingfisher.  There was also an abundance of songbirds on their autumn migration, particularly Pied Flycatcher and Willow Warbler.

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Next stop was in a restricted and protected reserve area, where we had fantastic views of some fabulous species including Spoonbill, Caspian Tern, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis and great array of waders.

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Greater Flamingos

To end the trip we added something of particular interest for George – a stop in the rice paddies where we discussed the rice growing cycle and how this crop is managed here in this Natural Park.

As we drove back towards Valencia, we were fortunate enough to see a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier, an amazing climax to a great day.

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It had been a wonderful day, with a great list of species that included…

Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Common Kestrel, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Garganey, Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, Lesser black-backed Gull, Audoin’s Gull, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Flamingo, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Ruff, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Hoopoe, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Kingfisher, Blackbird, Crested Lark, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Great Reed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Sardinean Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Serin, Short-toed Treecreeper.

Yanina

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

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Albufera de Valencia just gets better http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/05/albufera-de-valencia-just-gets-better/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/10/05/albufera-de-valencia-just-gets-better/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:38:18 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3779

Last Thursday I provided a day of guided birding for a client from Maine, USA.  She is an experienced birder, and often visits Valencia.  She was keen to add some new species to her list, and was keen to arrange a day of guided bird watching with us.  Over the past few years, Albufera de [read more]

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Last Thursday I provided a day of guided birding for a client from Maine, USA.  She is an experienced birder, and often visits Valencia.  She was keen to add some new species to her list, and was keen to arrange a day of guided bird watching with us.  Over the past few years, Albufera de Valencia just gets better as a birding destination, with increasing populations of many endangered species.

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I met her at her holiday home and we then made the short drive to Albufera de Valencia where we began our day at an observatory overlooking the Albufera lake.  We enjoyed watching the winter visitors that are already arriving, including  species such as Red-crested Pochard and Pintail.

Red Crested Pochard

Red Crested Pochard

Next stop was in a protected reserve area where we enjoyed great views of the charismatic Kingfisher.  We were also fortunate enough to watch a Booted Eagle soaring and hunting above the reserve as well as a good selection of waders, many of which were on their autumn passage.

IMG_8502 - copia

On the way to our next venue, we stopped at a golf resort as one of the target species of the day was Hoopoe.  They love to forage in the short grass, so golf courses often provide prime habitat!  Our luck was in, and we not only had great views of Hoopoe, but also of Crested Lark and Serin.

IMG_8384 - copia

Next stop was in the forest, where Pied Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Treecreper gave us great opportunities to photograph them.

Driving to our last stop, we were surprised by a very bold Osprey who gave us some fantastic opportunities to get some great photos.  Finally we arrived at a narrow canal where we were hoping to get views of Purple Swamphens… and again, luck was on our side!

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It was an amazing birding day with a great list of species that included…

Osprey, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Garganey, Pintail, Red-crested Pochard, Lesser black-backed Gull, Audoin’s Gull, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Flamingo, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Ruff, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Hoopoe, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Turtle Dove, Kingfisher, Magpie, Blackbird, Crested Lark, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, Great Reed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Sardinean Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Serin, Firecrest, Treecreeper.

Yanina

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

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Hoopoes in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/29/hoopoes-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/29/hoopoes-in-valencia/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 15:06:05 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3776

The stunning Hoopoe is a relatively common resident in Valencia and is always very popular with visiting clients. It´s numbers are increased in the winter months when birds from northern Spain disperse towards the south of the country to spend the winter. Valencia´s orange groves is a popular habitat. For more info on bespoke bird [read more]

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The stunning Hoopoe is a relatively common resident in Valencia and is always very popular with visiting clients. It´s numbers are increased in the winter months when birds from northern Spain disperse towards the south of the country to spend the winter. Valencia´s orange groves is a popular habitat. For more info on bespoke bird watching in Valencia, visit www.ValenciaBirding.com

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A stormy day in Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/29/a-stormy-day-in-albufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/29/a-stormy-day-in-albufera-de-valencia/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 08:05:36 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3761

Last Sunday, Yanina and I were pleased to provide a day of guided birding for a client from UK.  Thomas was spending the weekend in Valencia and had arranged a trip with us.  Despite it being a stormy day in Albufera de Valencia, we managed to adapt the trip to miss almost all of the [read more]

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Last Sunday, Yanina and I were pleased to provide a day of guided birding for a client from UK.  Thomas was spending the weekend in Valencia and had arranged a trip with us.  Despite it being a stormy day in Albufera de Valencia, we managed to adapt the trip to miss almost all of the heavy rain that fell that day!

Having collected Thomas from his hotel in central Valencia, we made the short trip to Albufera, where we began the day in a protected reserve.  We were welcomed by the explosive song of Cetti´s Warbler, and with a little patience we soon had views of this elusive little bird.  The reed beds also gave views of Great Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler (we were fortunate as they are at the point of departure for their autumn migration) and Fan-tailed Warbler.  A juvenile Night Heron passed overhead.

Garganey Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

Garganey
Photo courtesy of Ewout Ruysbergh

The first lagoon gave good views of Marsh Harrier, Little Grebe, Garganey, and eventually a Green Sandpiper.  As we walked through the reserve, we were treated to views of huge flocks of Glossy Ibis, well in excess of 100 birds.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

We then spent a little time on an observation tower looking across the reserve, from where we enjoyed views of Flamingo, Purple Swamphen, Gadwall and many more Marsh Harriers.

Glossy Ibis, Flamingoes, Spoonbill, Avocet

Glossy Ibis, Flamingoes, Spoonbill, Avocet

Our walk then took us alongside a lagoon where we were able to stop and enjoy great views of some fabulous species including Spoonbill, Avocet,  Sandwich Tern and Great Egret.  We were delighted to see an Osprey that has stopped at the reserve to feed and rest on it´s migration to Africa.

Osprey

Osprey

By now, as we looked north towards the city of Valencia, black storm clouds were gathering over the city.  A brief call from home confirmed that the storm had already hit and rain was falling extremely heavily.  We therefore decided to move to the south side of the Albufera Park where it seemed to be a little brighter.  Our luck seemed to hold out as we managed to keep ahead of the streadily advancing storm, and as we stopped by some recently harvested rice fields, we were fortunate to see Little Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtail, Cattle Egret and Snipe.

Alb6

In an attempt to squeeze another half hour of birding into the day before the rain caught up with us, we headed for another small reserve area where we enjoyed great views of another Purple Swamphen.  The rain finally hit, but we were dry and sheltered in a small hide, from where we watched this juvenile Little Grebe!…

The journey back to Valencia gave some spectacular views of storm clouds and lightning but we were also treated to a great view of a Squacco Heron and a Booted Eagle.  A fitting end to a great day.

Booted Eagle

Booted Eagle

Our species list for the day included…

Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Garganey, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Green Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Flamingo, Snipe, Avocet, Grey Heron, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Cormorant, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Willow Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Savi´s Warbler, Spotless Starling, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, House Sparrow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Kingfisher, Serin, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

 

 

 

Throughout the day, Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were passing through on their long journey to Africa.

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Black Headed Weaver in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/23/black-headed-weaver-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/23/black-headed-weaver-in-valencia/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 13:19:58 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3754

I was recently fortunate enough to provide a day of guided birding for a couple from Germany.  Although now living in western Germany, Rebecca was born in my home town of Sheffield so it was good to talk of adventures in the Peak District! As part of their holiday in Spain, they had booked a [read more]

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I was recently fortunate enough to provide a day of guided birding for a couple from Germany.  Although now living in western Germany, Rebecca was born in my home town of Sheffield so it was good to talk of adventures in the Peak District!

As part of their holiday in Spain, they had booked a day of guided birding with us, and we´d opted for a trip to Albufera.  In September, it´s always really interesting as the autumn migration is underway and Albufera is an important stopping and feeding area.

Night Heron

Night Heron

 

We began the day at a special little reserve where we were treated to views of Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron and Night Heron.

We also visited a ringing station where we watched the ringers at work, recording the data of a Reed Warbler and a Bluethroat.

The afternoon was spent in amongst some partially flooded rice paddies where we had great views of some super waders including Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff.

Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis

Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis

As we were thinking of wrapping up for the day, a bright yellow flash caught our eye.  Close examination revealed it to be an invasive species….a Black Headed Weaver!  This African species is now present in small numbers in Spain and Portugal, and sadly represents a threat to some native species.  There have been other recent sightings of Black Headed Weaver in Valencia, and although it really is a stunning bird, its presence is not always welcome.  However, it did provide an interesting end to a great day´s birding!

Black Headed Weaver

Black Headed Weaver

The species list included…

Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Greater Flamingo, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Cormorant, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Moorhen, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Fan-tailed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Kingfisher, Spotless Starling, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Bluethroat, Dunlin, Little Stint, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Snipe, Black-headed Weaver.

David Warrington

 

Written by Dave Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

The post Black Headed Weaver in Valencia appeared first on Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain.

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Bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/23/bird-watching-trip-to-albufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/23/bird-watching-trip-to-albufera-de-valencia/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 11:38:43 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3751

Earlier this month I enjoyed a super day´s birding with a couple of clients from UK.  Brian and Sally are keen nature lovers and experienced birders, and were spending a few days in Valencia.  They had previously contacted us and we´d arranged a bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia as part of their break. [read more]

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Earlier this month I enjoyed a super day´s birding with a couple of clients from UK.  Brian and Sally are keen nature lovers and experienced birders, and were spending a few days in Valencia.  They had previously contacted us and we´d arranged a bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia as part of their break.

After I´d collected them from their apartment in central Valencia, we made the short journey to Albufera where our first stop was in a protected reserve area.  The reed beds, lagoons, canals and marshes of this reserve provide excellent habitat for an array of bird species throughout the year.  Today was no exception, and we were fortunate enough to enjoy views of Purple Heron, Night Heron, Squacco Heron and Great Egret.

Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

September is always a fascinating month, as some of the summer visitors are still present, whilst some winter visitors are just beginning to arrive.  Furthermore, many species that are on passage stop at Albufera to feed and rest.  One such species is the Osprey, and we were treated to views of this superb raptor.

Purple Heron

Purple Heron

The reeds held Fan-tailed Warbler, Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff whilst a scan across one of the lagoons revealed Whiskered Tern, Sandwich Tern and the ever popular Purple Swamphen.

After a presentation on the history and ecology of the Albufera Natural Park, and the habitat management of the reserve, we moved on to a shady spot beside a canal where we enjoyed our lunch.  The nearby shrubs gave views of a Pied Flycatcher.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

We spent the afternoon visiting some of the lesser known “hotspots” amongst the rice fields, which by now are just ready for harvesting.  We enjoyed great views of many waders, including Dunlin, Little Stint, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Kentish Plover and Avocet.  We also had fabulous views of Collared Pratincole, that we seemingly gathering in readiness for migration.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

The day was brought to an end with a fantastic view of a pair of Booted Eagles soaring over the rice fields.  These wonderful birds of prey breed in the mountains close to Valencia but often fly down to the coastal wetlands in search of prey.

Booted-Eagle-1195

It had been a great day of birding, with extremely good company and some classic Albufera species.

The list for the day included :

Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Black-winged Stilt, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Cormorant, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Moorhen, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Fan-tailed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Kingfisher, Spotless Starling, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Osprey, Booted Eagle, Pied Flycatcher, Dunlin, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Snipe.

David Warrington

 

Written by Dave Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

The post Bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia appeared first on Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain.

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Birding trip to Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/22/birding-trip-to-albufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/09/22/birding-trip-to-albufera-de-valencia/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 13:12:50 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3696

Last week I provided a guided birding trip to Albufera de Valencia for a client from the Netherlands. She was staying with her husband in a campsite near El Saler on the edge of this Natural Park, and was eager to see the classic species of this Valencian wetland. After I collected her we made [read more]

The post Birding trip to Albufera de Valencia appeared first on Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain.

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Last week I provided a guided birding trip to Albufera de Valencia for a client from the Netherlands.

She was staying with her husband in a campsite near El Saler on the edge of this Natural Park, and was eager to see the classic species of this Valencian wetland.

IMG_1672

Squacco Heron

After I collected her we made a short drive along the local country lanes between the rice fields to arrive at our first stopping point, a protected reserve area.  We were delighted to see a great variety of species including Flamingo, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis and many other waders.  However, perhaps the most interesting species were Purple Swamphen and Great Reed Warbler.

IMG_6502

Purple Swamphen

We then moved on to a different reserve area where we enjoyed views of Shelducks and Avocets, to name but a few.

IMG_2582

Avocet

The last stop of the day was beside some rice paddies where the rice plants hadn´t grown this year, resulting in a partially flooded haven for birds!  It proved to be a fantastic spot, and as we sat there enjoying the spectacle, we counted over 30 species, all feeding together in the same field.

IMG_6315

Curlew Sandpipers

It was a pleasure to guide Riekje and I hope to see her again for another trip in the near future.

The species list included :

Marsh Harrier, Common Kestrel, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, Audouin’s Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Tern, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron, Great Egret, Squacoo Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Ruff, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Turtle Dove,  Kingfisher, Swift, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Great Reed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Yellow Wagtail, House Sparrow.

 

Yanina

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

The post Birding trip to Albufera de Valencia appeared first on Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain.

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