Valencia Birding - Guided Bird Watching in Spain http://valenciabirding.com Bird Watching in Valencia Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:09:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Bird watching in Albufera http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/26/bird-watching-in-albufera/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/26/bird-watching-in-albufera/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:05:02 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3636

I´ve just returned home from a day of guided bird watching in Albufera de Valencia with a couple who were on a Mediterranean cruise.  Well travelled and experienced naturalists, they had a stop-off and free day in Valencia and had previously booked a day trip with us. Having met them at the cruise terminal in [read more]

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I´ve just returned home from a day of guided bird watching in Albufera de Valencia with a couple who were on a Mediterranean cruise.  Well travelled and experienced naturalists, they had a stop-off and free day in Valencia and had previously booked a day trip with us.

Having met them at the cruise terminal in Valencia, we made the short drive to the Albufera Natural Park where we began our day at one of the areas best nature reserves.

Purple Heron

Purple Heron

We were immediately treated to great views of Night Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron and Cattle Egret.  Glossy Ibis were constantly flying over, and Black-winged Stilts were around in good numbers in the adjoining rice fields.

As we made our way through the reserve, we had views of Little Bittern.  The reed beds held plenty of warblers including Cetti´s, Savi´s, Fan-tailed, Reed and Great Reed.  The first lagoon gave views of Gull-billed Tern and Great Egret.

Night Heron

Night Heron

We then made a stop at the visitor centre where the staff gave a presentation on the ecology of the reserve, the environmental challenges that the region faces, and the work that is being done to protect the park and its habitats.  Afterwards we watched over the reserve from the observation platform, from which we saw Green Sandpiper, Flamingo and Black-tailed Godwit.

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After a picnic lunch by one of Albufera´s traditional fishing ports, we spent a little time in the afternoon exploring the flooded rice fields, largely in search of Purple Swamphen which would be a “first” for the clients.  Initially, we had yet more Night Herons but no sign of the Purple Swamphen.  We just had enough time to try a reliable spot before we had to return to the ship!  So, with some haste and plenty of hope, we moved to the rice fields on the south east side of the park.  Our effort was rewarded with great views of at least 8 Purple Swamphen all together in the same field.  A good view of a Savi´s Warbler brought the day to a close…and we made it back to the port in time!

Purple Swamphen

Purple Swamphen

It had been a great day with some good views of some of Albufera´s classic species.  The list included…

Little Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Black-winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, Greater Flamingo, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Mallard, Cormorant, Little Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, House Sparrow, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Spotless Starling.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Guided birding in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/21/guided-birding-in-valencia-4/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/21/guided-birding-in-valencia-4/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 20:10:56 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3624

Last Sunday I was delighted to provide a day of guided birding in Valencia for an experienced birder from Australia. Jillann was in Valencia for work but on her free day she wanted to discover the bird life of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park. After I collected her from her hotel in the city, we [read more]

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Last Sunday I was delighted to provide a day of guided birding in Valencia for an experienced birder from Australia.

Jillann was in Valencia for work but on her free day she wanted to discover the bird life of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.

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After I collected her from her hotel in the city, we went to a protected reserve area where there´s one of Europe´s largest Tern colonies, comprising mainly of Sandwich Terns and Common Terns.

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We also enjoyed seeing different species of ducks and waders with their young.  Jillann was amazed to see the large populaton of Avocet.

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The Marbled Duck is an endangered species which we´re delighted to see breeding in this reserve.  We were fortunate enough to see it with 4 young.

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Next stop was in a Mediterranean pine forest where we enjoyed a picnic lunch, relaxing for a while in the Spring sunshine and listening to the calls of Serin, Long-Tailed Tit and Sardinian Warbler.

Then we went to the rice paddies where more than 100 Flamingos were feeding in the fields, then an amazing drive through the marshes with great views of Night Heron, Purple Heron and Squacco Heron.

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Last stop was beside a canal where we watched Purple Swamphen and Fan-Tailed Warbler.

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It was a real pleasure to guide a person so enthusiastic to discover the bird life of our region.  The species list for the day included…

Kestrel, Audouin´s Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Shelduck, Marbled Duck, Mallard, Common Pochard, Red-Crested Pochard,  Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Moorhen, Coot, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Night Heron, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Little-Ringed Plover, Redshank, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Elegant Tern (hybrid), Spotless Starling, Magpie, Hoopoe, Great Reed Warbler, Serin, House Sparrow, Fan-tailed Warbler.

Yanina

Written by Yanina Maggiotto.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Guided bird watching at Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/17/guided-bird-watching-at-albufera-de-valencia-2/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/17/guided-bird-watching-at-albufera-de-valencia-2/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:44:14 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3611

Last Friday I had pleasure of providing a day of guided bird watching at Albufera de Valencia for two clients from Poland.  As nature lovers and experienced birders, they are members of a bird protection organisation, and they wanted to discover the species of Valencia and its wetlands. After I collected them from their hotel, we [read more]

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Last Friday I had pleasure of providing a day of guided bird watching at Albufera de Valencia for two clients from Poland.  As nature lovers and experienced birders, they are members of a bird protection organisation, and they wanted to discover the species of Valencia and its wetlands.

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After I collected them from their hotel, we went to a reserve and restricted area where we spent most of the morning. At this time of the year this reserve is magnificent, and we enjoyed great views of a colony of Common and Sandwich Terns.

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We also enjoyed seeing the very rare Mabled Duck with 5 ducklings, together with a large group of Greater Flamingo, right in front of the hide.

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The second stop was in the forest, where Wren, Serin, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and Firecrest welcomed us.

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To end the trip we went to the rice paddies.  Now the fields have been planted, Glossy Ibis, Herons and Egrets where everywhere. We also enjoyed the display of the Hoopoe and finally one of the day´s highlights – the Purple Swamphen.

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It had been a classic Albufera day, with a species list that included…
Common Kestrel, Mallard, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Shelduck, Marbled Duck, Audouin´s Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Elegant Tern, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Collard Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Hoopoe, Spotless Starling, Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Greenfinch, Spotted Flycatcher, Blackbird, Great Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola.

 

Yanina

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Bird watching in the mountains of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/08/bird-watching-in-the-mountains-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/06/08/bird-watching-in-the-mountains-of-valencia/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 10:24:09 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3598

Last Monday I had pleasure of providing a guided trip for a couple from England.  They were very keen to go bird watching in the mountains of Valencia, especially to see the raptors and “specialist” species that live in this habitat. Jan and Ossie are two experience birders who are involved in a conservation programme [read more]

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Last Monday I had pleasure of providing a guided trip for a couple from England.  They were very keen to go bird watching in the mountains of Valencia, especially to see the raptors and “specialist” species that live in this habitat.

Jan and Ossie are two experience birders who are involved in a conservation programme for Barn Owls.  As they knew that I am also heavily involved in a similar project here in Spain, it was wonderful opportunity to share our experiences in working with these magnificent creatures.

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After the short journey from Valencia, we stopped for a coffee break and spoke about the plan for the day, and of the species that we were hoping to see.

It was a fantastic sunny day and after a short drive through the mountains we arrived at the ravine where we began our walk.  No sooner had we left the car when we immediately saw Griffon Vultures, Blue Rock Thrush, Serin and Sardinian Warbler.

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As we began our walk, we enjoyed views of Crag Martins, Ravens, Chough, Serin, Firecrest and Black Redstart.

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As we neared the end of the trail, the sky suddenly turned black, and we were treated to a spectacular storm.

After a pic-nic lunch (in the car due to the heavy rain!) we decided to call to a local marsh area.  By the time we´d made the very short journey, the sun was shining once again.

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This gave us the possibility to enjoy some very different bird species such as Great Reed Warbler and Zitting Cisticola.

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It was a magnificent trip with two amazing birders.  Our species list included :

Sparrowhawk, Griffon Vulture, Raven, Chough, Magpie, Crag Martin, Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Serin, Whinchat, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Black Redstart, White-Wagtail, Sardinian Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Mallard, Moorhen, Little Grebe.

Yanina

Written by Yanina Maggiotto.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Birding trip to l´Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/22/birding-trip-to-lalbufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/22/birding-trip-to-lalbufera-de-valencia/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 09:03:37 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3587

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of providing our most popular birding trip to l´Albufera de Valencia, for two clients from Belgium.  Anne-Marie and Hans are keen on nature and birding but they also were interested to know how the area was formed, the history and traditional aspects including how rice paddies are managed and [read more]

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Last Monday, I had the pleasure of providing our most popular birding trip to l´Albufera de Valencia, for two clients from Belgium.  Anne-Marie and Hans are keen on nature and birding but they also were interested to know how the area was formed, the history and traditional aspects including how rice paddies are managed and how the annual rice cycle operates.

After I collected them at the apartment where they were staying at in Valencia City, we went directly to the interpretation centre of the Natural Park where I could explain in detail about the origin and transformation of the region.
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Then we had a walk into the forest to an observatory where one of the most important colonies of Sandwich Terns and Common Terns are nesting. That amazing nesting spot is shared also with Slender-billed Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Mediterranean Gulls, Avocets and Black-winged Stilts.

Nesting Black-winged Stilt

Nesting Black-winged Stilt

Next stop was in a beach reserve area where we had pic-nic lunch watching the nesting colonies of Collared Pratincole and Kentish Plovers.

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On our way to do the rice fields, we made a short stop in another area to see Audouin´s Gulls and Little Terns.

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After we arrived at the rice paddies, we could see how the seeding is done nowadays, and we enjoyed seeing different species of herons and egrets. Then we made a short boat ride, Anne and Hans were amazed by how close the City of Valencia is to the lake.

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To end the trip we drove by the marshes up to some fields where the rice was already at a fairly advance stage, enabling us to see it in more detail.

It had been a fantastic day with so much to talk about and to admire in this special place right beside Valencia City.

List of species:

Kestrel, Mallard, Shelduck, Common Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Audouin´s Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Little Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Glossy Ibis, Moorhen, Little Bittern, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Magpie, House Martin, Swallow, Serin, Sardinian Warbler.

foto yani web

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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A fabulous species list and a mystery Tern http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/17/a-fabulous-species-list-and-a-mystery-tern/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/17/a-fabulous-species-list-and-a-mystery-tern/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 20:32:17 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3571

Last week, I provided a day of guided birding for a mother and daughter from Belguim.  The daughter lives here in Spain and her mother was visiting for a week.  Both were very keen and experienced birders and were eager to see the wetlands of Valencia, especially at this fabulous time of the year when [read more]

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Last week, I provided a day of guided birding for a mother and daughter from Belguim.  The daughter lives here in Spain and her mother was visiting for a week.  Both were very keen and experienced birders and were eager to see the wetlands of Valencia, especially at this fabulous time of the year when the breeding season is well underway.

Nesting Black-winged Stilt

Nesting Black-winged Stilt

The day turned out to be very interesting, and resulted in a fabulous species list and a mystery Tern!

As they had made a big effort to drive to Valencia from the interior of Alicante, I opted to combine part of Albufera with another wetland area as a way of optimising the day.  Our first stop was at a reserve area within the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.  As well as wanting to see the colony of Sandwich Terns, there had been reports of a mystery Tern, originally thought to be an Elegant Tern (a species usually found in Mexico and the Pacific).  However, the bird had been successfully identified, by blood testing and DNA analysis as a hybrid.  Its parent species were Lesser Crested Tern and Sandwich Tern.  After careful scanning of the Sandwich Tern colony, we eventually (we being one of my clients!) found it, its long yellow bill distinguishing it from its neighbours.

The hybrid tern is just visible, it´s long yellow bill protruding above the heads of the surrounding Sandwich Terns

The hybrid tern is just visible, it´s long yellow bill protruding above the heads of the surrounding Sandwich Terns

Whilst there we also had good views of Shelduck, Red Crested Pochard and Slender-billed Gull.

Shelduck

Shelduck

We then made the short journey to another super coastal wetland area, where we enjoyed a morning coffee by the beach before beginning our walk along the dunes and coastal lagoons.

We were rewarded with some great views of Night Heron, Little Bittern, Cattle Egret and Purple Heron.  We also had a brief view of a Water Rail and a Turtle Dove.

Little Egret

Little Egret

We then devoted some time to one of my favourite spots, which is great for waders and terns at this time of year.  We were delighted to see Avocet, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper.  We opted to stay at the same spot for a while, patiently scanning the scrapes.

Greater Flamingoes

Greater Flamingoes

We were rewarded with some fabulous views of Little Stint, Dunlin, Glossy Ibis and perhaps the area´s “classic bird”, the Collared Pratincole.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

As we walked to the day´s final spot, we had views of passing Audouin´s Gull, as well as Great Reed Warbler and another surprise for the day – Bee Eater.

Redshank

Redshank

The final lagoon of the day provided good views of one of our target species, the Purple Swamphen, plus other favourites including Greater Flamingo, Little Grebe and Whiskered Tern.

Whk-Tern

Whiskered Tern

It had been a fabulous day, and a pleasure for me to provide a trip for such enthusiastic birders.  The day had included many highlights, and a super species list, including…

Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Mallard, Shelduck, Shoveler, Moorhen, Coot, Water Rail, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Purple Swamphen, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, “Hybrid” Tern, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Little Stint, Dunlin, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Turtle Dove, Magpie, Bee Eater, Goldfinch, Serin, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Fan-tailed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Cetti´s Warbler (heard only), Swift, Swallow, House Martin.

David Warrington

Written by Dave Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Birding in the reserves of Albufera de Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/17/birding-in-the-reserves-of-albufera-de-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/17/birding-in-the-reserves-of-albufera-de-valencia/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 19:25:50 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3561

Last Friday I had pleasure to providing a trip for two clients, one from USA and the other from England.  They were both extremely experienced birders and whilst at a congress in Valencia they were keen to fit in some guided birding in the reserves of Albufera de Valencia. As they were on a very [read more]

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Last Friday I had pleasure to providing a trip for two clients, one from USA and the other from England.  They were both extremely experienced birders and whilst at a congress in Valencia they were keen to fit in some guided birding in the reserves of Albufera de Valencia.

As they were on a very tight schedule, I opted to take them to three of Albufera´s best reserve areas, as a way of maximising the species that they would see.

The first stop was in an area of forest and lagoons, where we could had great views of a colony of Sandwich Terns and Common Terns.  In the breeding season, this is one of the hotspots of Albufera.  A hybrid Tern, very similar to an Elegant Tern was also nesting here.

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Another amazing sight was the endangered Marbled Duck and the ever popular Sardinian Warbler.

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Next stop was in a restricted reserve area within the marshes, where we were delighted to see Great Reed Warbler and Little Bittern, plus a rarity for Spain, the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, a bird normaly found in Siberia.

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On our way to the last spot, we made a brief stop to admire a pair of Turtle Doves, a species that is in decline, and for one of the clients, a new sighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To finish this great day, we visited a reserve area by the beach, where Kentish Plover and Collared Pranticole were nesting.  It was wonderful in so many ways…magnificent landscape with a blue Mediterranean sea and dozens of Sanderlings decorating the beach!

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It was great to spend the day with these excellent birders, and I hope they will return to enjoy another trip with us.

Species List:
Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great Egret, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Audouin Gull, Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Mallard, Slender-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, (Hybrid) Tern, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Collared Pratincole, Sanderling, Little-ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Swallow, House Martin, Sardinian Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow.

foto yani web

 

Written by Yanina Maggiotto
Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding

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Birding and Conservation in Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/14/birding-and-conservation-in-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/14/birding-and-conservation-in-valencia/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 12:15:49 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3553

One of our key operating principles, and something that we never compromise on is that we always endeavour to tailor every trip exactly to the needs, interests and wishes of the client.  It was therefore a great pleasure to provide a day of guided birding for a small group of clients from USA, who wanted [read more]

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One of our key operating principles, and something that we never compromise on is that we always endeavour to tailor every trip exactly to the needs, interests and wishes of the client.  It was therefore a great pleasure to provide a day of guided birding for a small group of clients from USA, who wanted to focus on bird watching, but who also wanted to learn something of the local conservation efforts, the local traditions and culture and to see the habiats and eco-systems of Albufera de Valencia.

Group

After the short drive from their hotel in the city centre of Valencia, we began our day with a brief explanation of the geography and topography of the Albufera Natural Park.  We then visited one of the park´s best nature reserves, where we enjoyed some great views of species such as Purple Heron, Little Bittern and Glossy Ibis.  We enjoyed a particularly good view of a Squacco Heron.  This amazing bird appears to be a fairly indistinct creature from a distance, but upon closer viewing, reveals beautifully delicate tones and a stunning blue bill (in the breeding season).

Squacco Heron

Squacco Heron

All very knowledgable nature lovers, the group was interested to know how birding and conservation in Valencia is developing.  Some of the group were heavily involved with environmental education in the USA, so they were keen to see the work that goes on here in Spain.  After a walk through the reserve, we provided a presentation on the history, functionality and eco-systems of the reserve, together with a summary of the educational aspects of its work.

The wetland habitat of Albufera de Valencia

The wetland habitat of Albufera de Valencia

We then strolled back through the reserve, and enjoyed watching other bird species such as Fan-tailed Warbler, Red Crested Pochard, Greater Flamingo and Cattle Egret.  At this time of year, the rice fields are currently being sown and flooded.  After a brief discussion on the rice growing cycle, and its influence on the local bird life, we headed for a local village where we enjoyed a traditional Albufera lunch of paella and another local delicacy, eels.

Flooded rice fields at Albufera de Valencia

Flooded rice fields at Albufera de Valencia

Once re-fuelled and rested, we then made a short trip across the rice fields to visit another, smaller reserve, hoping to see Night Heron.  We were rewarded with quality views of a small colony of these extremely elegant birds.

Night Herons with a Squacco Heron

Night Herons with a Squacco Heron

To provide this trip had been a real pleasure for me, and to spend the day with such enthusiastic, knowledgable and indeed kind people added to the memory.

The species list for the day included…

Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Night Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Common Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Moorhen, Coot, Greater Flamingo, Little Grebe, Mallard, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, Audouin´s Gull, Common Tern, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, House Sparrow, Spotless Starling, Fan-tailed Warbler, (Cetti´s Warbler heard).

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Birding at the Wetlands of Valencia http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/12/birding-at-the-wetlands-of-valencia/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/12/birding-at-the-wetlands-of-valencia/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 09:47:22 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3543

Last week, Yanina and I teamed up to provide a day of guided birding at the wetlands of Valencia for a very experienced couple of birders from the Netherlands.  They wanted to combine a short break in this magical Mediterranean city with a day of birding in the local costal marshes and lagoons. After the [read more]

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Last week, Yanina and I teamed up to provide a day of guided birding at the wetlands of Valencia for a very experienced couple of birders from the Netherlands.  They wanted to combine a short break in this magical Mediterranean city with a day of birding in the local costal marshes and lagoons.

Redshank

Redshank

After the short drive from the city centre, and a morning coffee stop by the beach, we began to explore the coastal lagoons and surrounding reed beds.  As one of the clients was a very knowledgable bird photographer, we concentrated our efforts on a relatively small area of the reserve, hoping for some key target species and aiming to obtain some quality photos.

Client

One of the highlights of the first lagoon was the extremely rare White-headed Duck.  We also had good views of Little Bittern and Great Reed Warbler.

As we headed along the coast, we were treated to some superb views of the fascinating Collared Pratincole.  The coastal scrub also held Stonechat, Whinchat and Crested Lark.

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

The next lagoon gave good views of waders including Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint.

After lunch on the pebble beach, we headed for the day´s final lagoon where we enjoyed great views of Purple Swamphen, Glossy Ibis, Red-crested Pochard and Whiskered Tern.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

It had been a great day, and we´d seen some of Valencia´s classic wetland species.  As is so often the case, the blend of wonderful bird life, great habitat, and good company had made the day very special.

The species list included…

Common Tern, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black-headed Gull, Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Little Stint, Gadwall, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Mallard, White Headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Greater Flamingo, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Crested Lark, Stonechat, Whinchat, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Spotless Starling, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, Swift, House Martin.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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Steppe Birds of Spain http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/04/steppe-birds-of-spain/ http://valenciabirding.com/2015/05/04/steppe-birds-of-spain/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 17:49:13 +0000 http://valenciabirding.com/?p=3534

Last week, we provided a guided birding trip for a couple from Yorkshire, UK.  They were keen nature lovers and were very interested to see the steppe birds of Spain whilst they were on holiday in Valencia.     Having collected them from their hotel in the city, we made the journey inland and up [read more]

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Last week, we provided a guided birding trip for a couple from Yorkshire, UK.  They were keen nature lovers and were very interested to see the steppe birds of Spain whilst they were on holiday in Valencia.

 

Typical steppe habitat

Typical steppe habitat

 

Having collected them from their hotel in the city, we made the journey inland and up onto the high plateau of Castilla de la Mancha.  After a morning coffee stop and a briefing on the species that we were likely to see, we headed across the rolling plains where had great views of Crested Lark and Calandra Lark.

Crested Lark

Crested Lark

The first lagoon of the day held Common Tern, Whiskered Tern and Gull-billed Tern and Greater Flamingo.  We enjoyed some typical sounds of summer, including the song of Skylark and Corn Bunting.

Alb3

We spent the rest of the morning at another great spot, a lagoon fringed with reed beds.  Here we had wildfowl including Shelduck, Gadwall and Red-crested Pochard.  We also enjoyed two especially colourful species, the Hoopoe and Bee Eater.

Bee-Eater

Bee-Eater

Before we headed up onto the higher steppe, we made a brief stop at a small lake where we had views of Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, and a Rock Sparrow on nearby ruined barn.

Alb2

The high steppe eventually gave us views of one of the day´s key species – the Great Bustard.  Initially we spotted two males, albeit at long range.  Then our patience was rewarded with great views of a group of 12 birds.  At the same time, we were also fortunate enough to see two Lesser Kestrels, another typical steppe bird.

Great Bustards

Great Bustards

The trip was brought to an end at one of the regions larger lagoons, where we finished the day with views of Black-necked Grebe, Avocet and Common Sandpiper.

Alb7

The species list for the day included…

Skylark, Crested Lark, Calandra Lark, Bee Eater, Hoopoe, Corn Bunting, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling, Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Whinchat, Collared Dove, Swallow, Swift, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Greater Flamingo, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Avocet, Great Bustard, Mallard, Shelduck, Red-crested Pochard, Pochard, Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Buzzard, Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Iberian Grey Shrike.

David Warrington

Written by Dave Warrington.

Bird Watching Guide at Valencia Birding.

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