Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com Bird Watching in Valencia Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:01:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Birding at Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/04/14/birding-albufera-de-valencia-2/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/04/14/birding-albufera-de-valencia-2/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:50:19 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3040

Last week I provided a trip to Albufera de Valencia for a group of local birders.  Some of them I knew well as they have regularly been on birding trips with me, but it was a pleasure to meet 4 of the group for the first time.  After a short journey to Albufera, we stopped [read more]

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Last week I provided a trip to Albufera de Valencia for a group of local birders.  Some of them I knew well as they have regularly been on birding trips with me, but it was a pleasure to meet 4 of the group for the first time.  After a short journey to Albufera, we stopped for a coffee and brief chat about the plans for the day before heading to one of the area´s best reserves.

Avocet

Avocet

We had a leisurely walk through the reed beds and beside a couple of small lakes where we enjoyed great views of Flamingo, Avocet, Black Winged Stilt and Little Egrets.  As we made our way through the reserve, we scanned an area of shallow water and spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Little Ringed Plover.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

In addition to the usual Grey Herons, we had some stunning views of the recently arrived Purple Herons and also Glossy Ibis, especially beautiful with the sunlight highlighting the green, purple and bronze tones of their plumage.  Other highlights of the visit were Purple Swamphen, Gull-Billed Terns, Marsh Harrier and Red Crested Pochard.

After a picnic lunch by the canal we then headed out towards the coast where we visited a breeding ground for Audouin´s Gull.  This elegant gull appears to be thriving along the Valencian Coast, in large part thanks to some excellent conservation work carried out by local organisations, including Accio Ecologista-Agro.

Audouin's Gull

Audouin’s Gull

The day ended with a brief visit to a small reserve on the south side of Albufera where albeit a little early right now, is a favourite spot for Night Heron and Squacco Heron.  A thunderstorm was moving towards us so we decided to head for cover and enjoy a coffee together, recounting some of the day´s best sightings.

Black Winged Stilt

Black Winged Stilt

The day had been a pleasure, some great species, good company, great weather and a superb habitats.  The species list for the day included :

Avocet, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Swallow, House Martin, Fan Tailed Warbler, Redstart, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, White Wagtail, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Moorhen, Great Crested Grebe, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Mallard, Common Tern, Gull Billed Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Exploring the diversity of Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/04/02/exploring-diversity-albufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/04/02/exploring-diversity-albufera-de-valencia/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:43:31 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3032

It was my pleasure to work with my friend and colleague Yanina of Visit Natura to provide this very special trip through the diverse habitats of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park. A group of 7 local birders joined the trip and together we enjoyed not only some great bird species, but some fascinating insights [read more]

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It was my pleasure to work with my friend and colleague Yanina of Visit Natura to provide this very special trip through the diverse habitats of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.

A group of 7 local birders joined the trip and together we enjoyed not only some great bird species, but some fascinating insights into this dynamic environment and its eco-systems.

Birding trips to Albufera

The day began with a boat trip across the Albufera, Spain´s largest fresh water lake.  Whilst on the boat we had views of Marsh Harrier, Great Crested Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Audouin´s Gull and huge numbers of Grey Heron.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

We stopped by at one of the Park´s best reserves and immediatelty enjoyed extremely close views of Little Bittern.  Ducks included Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall and Shoveler.  The shoreline and shallow water held Black Winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover and Greater Flamingo.  Scanning the reed beds revealed Reed Bunting, Fan-Tailed Warbler, and Cetti´s Warbler. Whiskered Terns and Sandwich Terns were feeding on the lake.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

After our return boat journey we enjoyed lunch in the Devesa Forest, a unique habitat of native pine forest and coastal dunes. Much valuable conservation work has taken place here in the past few years, much of which has been instrumental in protecting the entire Natural Park.  Whilst in this area we were treated to views of Greenshank and the elegant courtship display of the Great Crested Grebe.

The coastal dune systems of Albufera

The coastal dune systems of Albufera

It was a pleasure to spend the day with such a great group and to enjoy Yanina´s knowledge of the eco-systems of the Park.  We´ll be arranging more joint trips very soon.

Audouin's Gull

Audouin’s Gull

The species list included :

Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Mallard, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Coot, Moorhen, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Serin, Reed Bunting, House Sparrow, Swallow, House Martin, Fan Tailed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler, Redstart, Robin, Spotless Starling, Hoopoe, Magpie, Collared Dove, Whiskered Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Yellow Legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Black Winged Stilt, Little Bittern, Purple Swamphen, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding 

 

 

 

 

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Birding at Albufera & Valencia´s Coastal Wetlands http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/28/birding-albufera-valencias-coastal-wetlands/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/28/birding-albufera-valencias-coastal-wetlands/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 10:44:30 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3023

This week, I was fotunate enough to meet David and Susan from UK.  They were taking a city break in Valencia and had previously arranged a day of guided bird watching with me. Both scientists and keen nature lovers, they were interested to see the diverse bird life of Albufera de Valencia and the surrounding [read more]

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This week, I was fotunate enough to meet David and Susan from UK.  They were taking a city break in Valencia and had previously arranged a day of guided bird watching with me.

Both scientists and keen nature lovers, they were interested to see the diverse bird life of Albufera de Valencia and the surrounding wetlands.

Black Winged Stilt

Black Winged Stilt

 

We began our day at Tancat de la Pipa, a fantastic reserve within the Albufera Natural Park.  Run by an extremely dedicated team, this reserve provides critical habitat to a huge array of bird species, as well as supporting a fantastically diverse eco-system.  As we walked through the reserve, we enjoyed close views of Greater Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Avocet and huge numbers of Little Ringed Plovers.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins were feeding above the reedbeds.  Fan Tailed Warblers were also flitting around the reeds and we heard the beautiful song of Cetti´s Warbler.

Greater Flamingoes

Greater Flamingoes

As we walked further into the reserve, we had a stunning view of a Glossy Ibis in flight, the sunlight picking out the green, purple and bronze colouration of its plumage.  We also had great views of Black Tailed Godwit, Purple Swamphen and Ruff.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Once inside the visitor centre, we enjoyed a presentation on the history and ecology of the reserve followed by a discussion on the future of conservation in Spain.  The reserve staff at Tancat de la Pipa work tirelessly to attract children and young people to the reserve and to raise awareness of the need to protect the natural environment.  This was of particular interest to Susan as she is instrumental in attracting children in the UK to the fascinating world of geology.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

We then had a picnic lunch by one of the original fishing ports of Albufera before making our way to another of Valencia´s wetlands.  We enjoyed a leisurely walk along the coastal dunes and lagoons where we enjoyed views of Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat, yet more Purple Swamphens and Red Crested Pochard.  The day was brought to a close with views of a male White Headed Duck.

White Headed Duck

White Headed Duck

The species list for the day included :

Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Cormorant, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Pochard, Shoveler, Red Crested Pocahard, White Headed Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Swamphen, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Black Winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Guided Birding in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/25/guided-birding-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/25/guided-birding-valencia/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:43:35 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3017

Earlier this month I spent two days with Canadian birders Jean-Marc and Nathalie from Quebec.  They were touring Spain and had chosen to incorporate into their plans one of our “Birding Short Breaks” at Villa Florencia. They had previously visited Barcelona, Madrid and Seville and were now spending a few days exploring the Valencia region. [read more]

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Earlier this month I spent two days with Canadian birders Jean-Marc and Nathalie from Quebec.  They were touring Spain and had chosen to incorporate into their plans one of our “Birding Short Breaks” at Villa Florencia.

They had previously visited Barcelona, Madrid and Seville and were now spending a few days exploring the Valencia region.

Our first day of birding was to the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha.  After the relatively short drive up onto the plains, we stopped at one of our usual spots where we had delightful views of Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Corn Bunting and Black Redstart.  The first of the day´s lagoons gave views of Shelduck, Red Crested Pochard, and Greater Flamingo, soon to be followed by superb views of sizeable groups of Avocet.

Great Bustards

Great Bustards

As we scanned the plains, we eventually found one of our main targets of the day, a large group of Great Bustards.  These huge birds are always a favourite for visitors, and it´s always a pleasure to track them down!  We then had lunch by the side of another, more sheltered lagoon and enjoyed views of White Headed Duck, Little Grebe, March Harrier and Teal.

Redshank

Redshank

The next lagoon was beside an old farming village and we were joined for a while by a local ranger.  As we chatted and watched the Redshanks, Black Winged Stilts and Snipes, we noticed a large raptor….a Golden Eagle.  A magnificent bird of prey that is often seen on this trip.

As we headed back towards the motorway for our return journey we made a brief stop to watch yet another group of Great Bustards.  Whilst we were enjoying this beautiful sight in the evening sunshine, we spotted another bird off to the left, standing alone in the next field.  We put the scope onto it for a better view and found it to be a Little Bustard, a super finale to a great day out on the steppe.

White Headed Duck

White Headed Duck

The day´s species list included : Kestrel, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Golden Eagle, Little Bustard, Great Bustard, Greater Flamingo, Avocet, Redshank, Black Winged Stilt, Snipe, Black Headed Gull, Black Redstart, Skylark, Crested Lark, Corn Bunting, Crow, Hoopoe, Magpie, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, White Wagtail, Swallow, Shoveler, Shelduck, Red Crested Pochard, Teal, Pochard, White Headed Duck, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot

Day two dawned a little grey with light rain so we made some slight changes to the plans and headed to Albufera de Valencia.  Some extremely valueable information, kindly provided by one of the park´s biologists lead us to a specific rice field that was being ploughed in preparation for planting of the new season´s crop.  As we arrived, we saw a tractor being followed by hundreds of gulls, whilst the freshly turned mud held a spectacular array of birds!  Gulls included Black Headed, Lesser Black Backed, Yellow Legged and the local classic species, Audouin´s.  The field held Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Little Ringed Plover, Bar Tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper.

Ploughing of the rice fields of Albufera

Ploughing of the rice fields of Albufera

After enjoying such a spectacle, we headed a little further north and after a picnic on the beach we visited another of Valencia´s wetlands areas.  Swallows and House Martins were feeding in large flocks, obviously taking advantage of this spot whilst on their journey north.  On a lagoon we had views of wildfowl including Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal and Red Crested Pochard whilst the beach and nearby scrub held Kentish Plover, Stonechat, Reed Bunting and Yellow Wagtail.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

We ended the day with views of yet more Audouin´s Gull and Marsh Harriers before taking the short journey back to the city of Valencia.

Audouin's Gull

Audouin’s Gull

The day´s species list included : Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Glossy Ibis, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Bar Tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Greater Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Black Headed Gull, Yellow Legged Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Crag Martin, House Martin, Swallow, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Water Pipit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Whinchat, Chiffchaff, Gadwall, Red Crested Pochard, Shoveler, Mallard, Teal, Coot, Moorhen

It had been a pleasure to spend these days with such nice people, and the bird life of Valencia had hopefully added something special to their visit.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

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Birding Trip to L´Albufera de Valencia – Saturday 29th March http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/11/birding-trip-lalbufera-de-valencia-saturday-29th-march/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/11/birding-trip-lalbufera-de-valencia-saturday-29th-march/#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:55:14 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=2991

In collaboration with Visit Natura, we have pleasure in offering a full-day birding trip to Albufera on Saturday 29th March 2014. The day will include a visit to some of the best birding areas of Albufera, plus a private chartered boat trip and a walk in the Devesa forest to discover the wildlife of this [read more]

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In collaboration with Visit Natura, we have pleasure in offering a full-day birding trip to Albufera on Saturday 29th March 2014.

The day will include a visit to some of the best birding areas of Albufera, plus a private chartered boat trip and a walk in the Devesa forest to discover the wildlife of this unique environment.  Ideal for beginners, or experienced birders, the trip will also provide the opportunity for bird photography.

Places are limited so please book in advance.

For more information or to reserve a place, please contact me by email at NatureTrailSpain@Gmail.com

Albufera-Trip-March-2014

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Raising Awareness of the SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornotología) http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/01/raising-awareness-seo-sociedad-espanola-de-ornotologia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/03/01/raising-awareness-seo-sociedad-espanola-de-ornotologia/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 17:16:21 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=2967

As a professional bird watching guide and lover of the natural World, I am a member of the SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornitología). Essentially this is Spain´s equivalent and indeed partner of the UK´s RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). During my travels as a guide, I see at first hand the extremely [read more]

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SEO LogoAs a professional bird watching guide and lover of the natural World, I am a member of the SEO (Sociedad Española de Ornitología). Essentially this is Spain´s equivalent and indeed partner of the UK´s RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

During my travels as a guide, I see at first hand the extremely valueable work that the SEO undertakes and greatly admire their dedication to the protection of birds and conservation of their habitats. Unlike in the UK, the culture of bird watching and conservation in Spain is still in its infancy, although this is gradually changing as people are becoming increasingly aware of this country´s diverse birdlife and the need to protect and cherish it.

The aim of this article is to generally raise awareness of the SEO and its work and activities in our area. The local Valencian branch of the SEO are very keen to reach out to the non-Spanish population that live in our region and to attract new members. This is not simply a plea for donations or membership fees…in addition to the conservation projects that are constantly ongoing, the SEO also arranges frequent activities including day trips, short breaks and bird courses, all of which are available to members.

 

 

Please take a little time to read this article and to consider adding your voice and support to the hugely important aim of protecting and nurturing the birdlife of the country that we have made our home.   Many thanks for your time.

David Warrington

 

Posted by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

 

 

What is SEO/BirdLife?

SEO/BirdLife is an organisation that works towards the conservation of birds and their habitat. We are now over 12,000 strong and are supported by 4000 volunteer workers and over 40 local groups; we have also set up 10 regional offices in different parts of Spain. We are Spain’s longest-standing conservation NGO with a proven track record of defending and studying birds and their habitat, and this year we celebrate 60 years since our foundation in 1954.

Like the RSPB in the UK, in Spain we are the recognised representatives of BirdLife International, a global alliance of like-minded organisations working towards biodiversity conservation. The global BirdLife partnership now boasts over 13 million members and followers and is working in 111 countries from all five continents.

Bee EaterSEO/BirdLife’s work is based on three mainstays:

* Research

* Conservation

* Public awareness.

Before we can conserve anything we need first to find out what’s there, i.e., to carry out research. We also need the support of public at large, so it is crucial to raise awareness and bring our findings to wider notice.

SEO/BirdLife strives to fend off the threats that now face Spain’s precious species and habitats, doing so by conducting specific campaigns to raise awareness and convince public authorities, private businesses or responsible individuals to take action.

Another of our ongoing concerns is to ensure that plans, programmes and policies which have environmental impacts are made compatible with conservation

To ensure the conservation of birds and their habitat SEO/BirdLife systematically reports illegal activities to Spanish courts of law or even straight to the European Commission, especially such offences as illegal use of poison, poaching or constructions that harm biodiversity.

SEO/BirdLife runs over 25,000 hectares of reserves, either as outright site-owner or under management agreements with councils and private owners.  It also devotes part of its efforts to international cooperation and conservation programmes in Morocco and Latin America.

SEO/BirdLife’s work is crucial in the designation of many Special Protection Areas (SPAs) in Spain and is responsible for the identification, listing and monitoring of Important Bird Areas (IBAs).

 

We at SEO/BirdLife believe that today’s education is tomorrow’s conservation and through our volunteer, adult education and children’s club activities, over 150,000 people took part in our conservation, citizen science, education and communication campaigns, with nearly 50,000 followers of our Twitter and Facebook accounts and over half a million hits a year on our website www.seo.org (which can be roughly translated to English by choosing ‘inglés’ from the ‘Google translate’ option at the top right-hand side of each webpage).

 

Your support is vital

Join SEO/BirdLife and add your own voice to millions of people around the world in the BirdLife partnership who, like you, support our work in favour of conservation and a sustainable world.

At SEO/BirdLife we firmly believe that the best way of helping birds is to improve the health of our planet, making the world a better place to live in. This is why we get involved in so many campaigns of such varied types: site conservation, threatened species, farming policies, water management and climate change. A better world for birds is a better world for people and the rest of the planet’s living beings. Help us to achieve it!Join up today and help us conserve our natural heritage.

Spoonbill

 

You will receive the following welcome pack:

The interactive CD Descubre las aves por sus cantos (Learn birdsong), including recordings of over 123 species and virtual routes for fun-based learning of their songs.

Guía de las Aves Comunes de España (Fieldguide to the Common Birds of Spain). A feet finder in the thrilling world of birds.

One year’s free subscription to the quarterly members’ journal Aves y Naturaleza (Birds and Nature) with all the breaking bird and conservation news.

Special subscription price for Ardeola, SEO/BirdLife’s internationally renowned scientific journal.

Subscription to our Boletín Digital (Online news) where you can find out all the latest about our activities, calls and invitations, courses or volunteer worker programmes.

The SEO/BirdLife Membership Card, entitling you to special discounts on purchases from our catalogues (books, binoculars, field trips…)

But, above all, the satisfaction of contributing towards the conservation of nature in general and birds in particular.

 

 

Contact Information :-

This article is part of a new effort by SEO/BirdLife to reach out to English speakers in Spain and offer them an interesting way to get to know the country and its wildlife and wild places. The hope is to grow the membership base as well as attract people prepared to support the organization in other ways, and in this way be able to offer more birdwatching and conservation-related activities and materials, increase support for wildlife conservation in Spain, and thus achieve more success in protecting and enjoying Spain’s amazing birdlife. The campaign is starting amongst the English-speaking community in Valencia Region, with the hope to spread it to other parts of the country. Help us to make it a success!

Please contact Pablo Vera by email at Valencia@SEO.org

Pablo is a fluent English speaker and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

 

 

 

valencia-birding-018

Membership Fees

Individual (any adult in his or her own right) : 42€ per year or 6€ per month

Double (two people living at the same address) : 58€ per year or 7€ per month

Family (three or more people living at the same address) : 73€ per year or 8€ per month

Pensioner (proof of pensioner status required) : 25€ per year or 4€ per month

Student (person aged 18-25 in further education) : 35€ per year or 5€ per month

Teenager (any individual aged 13-18) : 25€ per year or 4€ per month

Aventureros Club (“Explorers Club” for children aged up to 14) : 15€ per year for one child or 25€ per year for two or more children.  This includes a copy of the Encyclopedia of Birds of Spain (booklet & DVD).

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Birding on the Steppe of Eastern Spain http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/28/birding-steppe-eastern-spain/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/28/birding-steppe-eastern-spain/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 12:10:52 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=2964

By sheer coincidence I was fortunate enough to spend two days up on the steppe this week.  The second day was with a group of local birders, some relative beginners, others experienced.  The group worked superbly well, with knowledge being readily shared, and the more “eagle-eyed” being on hand to point out the birds! After [read more]

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By sheer coincidence I was fortunate enough to spend two days up on the steppe this week.  The second day was with a group of local birders, some relative beginners, others experienced.  The group worked superbly well, with knowledge being readily shared, and the more “eagle-eyed” being on hand to point out the birds!

After the usual coffee stop, we drove across the fields of this vast wide open area of eastern Spain in our hunt for Great Bustards.  Some of the group had never seen these birds before, so our quest had added value.  After 10-15 minutes of searching, we were rewarded with magnificent views of a flock at least 25 birds.  Whilst in the same spot we also had good views of Hoopoe, Linnet, Skylark and Spotless Starling.

Beautiful winter tones on the steppe of Eastern Spain

Beautiful winter tones on the steppe of Eastern Spain

The wind was becoming quite severe so we opted to strategically park the van at the next lagoon and use it as shelter as we scanned the water and the shoreline!  We were once again rewarded as the lagoon held Flamingo, Teal, Shelduck, Shoveler and Gadwall.  The scrub by the shore gave fantastic views of a Southern Grey Shrike whilst a Corn Bunting perched and began to sing from a nearby telegraph pole.

Southern Grey Shrike

Southern Grey Shrike

Lunch was enjoyed by the shore of another favourite lagoon where we enjoyed views of White Headed Duck, Marsh Harrier and Pochard.  By now, the skies had darkened and the wind was becoming a nuisance so we headed to a village bar for shelter and warmth!  Whilst we shared photos of the morning´s sightings, the sky began to clear and the wind reduced sufficiently for us to venture out onto the steppe….and what a worthwhile venture it proved to be…as we scanned for Larks, we spotted a flock of Cranes!  These stunning birds often spend part of the winter in this area of Spain prior to their return to north and east Europe for the breeding season.  It was a pleasure to see such fabulous creatures, again “lifers” for many in the group.

Cranes

Cranes

It had been a great day out, with the species list that included…

Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Southern Grey Shrike, Great Bustard, Greater Flamingo, Crane, Snipe, Lapwing, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shelduck, Shoveler, White Headed Duck, Pochard, Coot, Red Crested Pochard, Crow, White Wagtail, Goldfinch, Linnet, Hoopoe, Spotless Starling, Corn Bunting, Skylark, Crested Lark, Black Headed Gull, Magpie, Whinchat, Cormorant, Chaffinch, Collared Dove.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

 

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Great Bustards & Calandra Larks http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/28/great-bustards-calandra-larks/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/28/great-bustards-calandra-larks/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:05:36 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=2954

On Tuesday of this week I had the pleasure of providing a day of guided birding for a couple of clients from UK.  Both experienced birders and outdoor enthusiasts, they were keen to visit the steppe and lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha, just over one hour´s drive from Valencia. Although a little early for [read more]

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On Tuesday of this week I had the pleasure of providing a day of guided birding for a couple of clients from UK.  Both experienced birders and outdoor enthusiasts, they were keen to visit the steppe and lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha, just over one hour´s drive from Valencia.

Although a little early for most summer visitors, the key species that we were looking for were both residents…the Great Bustard and Calandra Lark.

After a relaxed drive, we stopped for a coffee and prepared binoculars, telescopes and cameras and set out across the vast open fields.  Luck was on our side as we found a flock of Great Bustards within the first 10 minutes of the trip.  Despite a strong breeze, we were able to shelter beside the van and enjoy some great views of these magnificent creatures.  As we were watching them, we also had views of Red Kite and Southern Grey Shrike.

Shelducks

Shelducks

We moved on to the first lagoon of the day where we saw Greater Flamingo, Lapwing, Teal, Gadwall and Shelduck.  After a short drive to the next lagoon, we were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy some close-up views of White Headed Duck as well as Red Crested Pochard,  Marsh Harrier and Buzzard.

White Headed Duck

White Headed Duck

After lunch we stopped by another small lagoon prior to heading up onto the steppe.  The lagoon gave views of yet more Flamingo and Marsh Harrier as well as Snipe.  The surrounding fields held Crested Lark, Skylark and Meadow Pipit.  As we scanned across the steppe we were rewarded with views of yet more Great Bustard plus the other key species of the day, the beautiful Calandra Lark.  Their characteristic black collar, dark under-wing and stout bill were clearly visible, especially rewarding as this species was a “lifer” for my clients.  Flocks of Linnet were flitting around as were mixed flocks of Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

Great Bustards on the skyline

Great Bustards on the skyline

The day ended with a brief visit to another lagoon where we had views of Kentish Plover and Water Pipit.  After another coffee stop we headed back down to the coast.  It had been a great day, and we´d enjoyed quality views of some classic steppe species.

Scanning for Great Bustards and Calandra Larks

Scanning for Great Bustards and Calandra Larks

The species list for the day included…

Great Bustard, Greater Flamingo, Coot, Moorhen, Kentish Plover, Snipe, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Buzzard, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Southern Grey Shrike, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Red Crested Pochard, Shelduck, Pochard, White Headed Duck, White Wagtail, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Crow, Magpie, Crested Lark, Calandra Lark, Skylark, Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Yellow Legged Gull, Black Headed Gull, Blackbird, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Stonechat, Wood Pigeon.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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World Wetlands Day http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/06/world-wetlands-day/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/06/world-wetlands-day/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 07:49:33 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=2935

On Sunday 2nd February we celebrated World Wetlands Day at the nature reserve Tancat de la Pipa in the Albufera Natural Park in Valencia.   The day was arranged by the two charitable custodians of the reserve, SEO Birdlife (Sociedad Española de Ornitología) and the conservation group Acció Ecologista Agró. This superb nature reserve is home [read more]

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On Sunday 2nd February we celebrated World Wetlands Day at the nature reserve Tancat de la Pipa in the Albufera Natural Park in Valencia.

The wetlands of Albufera de Valencia

The wetlands of Albufera de Valencia

 

The day was arranged by the two charitable custodians of the reserve, SEO Birdlife (Sociedad Española de Ornitología) and the conservation group Acció Ecologista Agró.

Tancat de la Pipa Nature Reserve

Tancat de la Pipa Nature Reserve

This superb nature reserve is home to some classic wetland bird species and provides habitat for a diverse and critically important eco-system.

Guided walks around the reserve provided a great opportunity for people to gain an understanding of how this reserve benefits the local environment and sustains its wildlife.

SEO

Children were treated to a presentation on bird ringing, and a talk on the migration patterns of the Chiffchaff, a small warbler that over-winters in Albufera before making the long journey back to Northern and Eastern Europe in time for the breeding season.

The reed beds and lagoons of Tancat de la Pipa

The reed beds and lagoons of Tancat de la Pipa

It was a pleasure to see so many local young people and children becoming involved in the event, showing an interest in conservation and learning of wildlife that lives in this wonderful nature reserve.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding. 

 

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Birding in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/06/birding-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2014/02/06/birding-valencia/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 06:59:31 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=2929

On Tuesday 4th February we enjoyed a trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands with a group of local birders. Mostly returning clients, the group had previously enjoyed many trips with us. The objective of the day was to enjoy a relaxed walk around the wetlands and to generally enjoy the birdlife that this great little [read more]

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On Tuesday 4th February we enjoyed a trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands with a group of local birders. Mostly returning clients, the group had previously enjoyed many trips with us. The objective of the day was to enjoy a relaxed walk around the wetlands and to generally enjoy the birdlife that this great little area sustains.

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

Despite a fairly strong breeze, we saw sizeable flocks of Crag Martins feeding on insects above the reedbeds, and a Buzzard circling overhead. Numerous Chiffchaffs were also flitting around the low scrub surrounding the lagoons.

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit

On the coastal lagoons we enjoyed views of Teal, Shoveler, Red Crested Pochard and Shelduck. We also had good views of Purple Swamphen throughout the day at various locations. The coastal scrub held Stonechat, Greenfinch and Hoopoe whilst the rocky shore gave views of Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail and Grey Wagtail.

Lapwings

Lapwings

Marsh Harriers were, as always, around in good numbers and we all enjoyed some stunning views of these magnificent raptors, especially so in the low sunlight of the afternoon. We also had good views of a small gathering of Reed Buntings and a group of wintering Lapwings.

Valencia Birding

The species list for the day included :

Purple Swamphen, Coot, Moorhen, Shoveler, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Teal, Shelduck, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Magpie, Hoopoe, Buzzard, Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Crag Martin, House Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Robin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Fan Tailed Warbler, Chaffinch, Spotless Starling, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Legged Gull, Cormorant

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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