Upland birds of Spain

Upland birds of Spain

Last week, I was very happy to welcome back a small group of returning clients from Scotland.  They had previously been on a guided birding trip with me when we explored the wetlands of Valencia, but this time they were keen to see the upland birds of Spain.  Therefore, the Steppe and Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha seemed to be the ideal trip. Having met at a convenient village in the rolling hills of inland Valencia, we continued the journey up onto the plains of Castilla de la Mancha (just over an hour´s drive from Valencia). As we made [read more]

Great Bustards & Calandra Larks

Great Bustards & Calandra Larks

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 [read more]

Bespoke Birding Trips in Spain

Bespoke Birding Trips in Spain

Last week we provided a bespoke birding mini-break from a couple from UK.  We´d previously discussed their specific requirements and had designed a trip based on their wishes.  The trip comprised two days of guided birding, the first day was our Mountain Bird Life Trip and the second was a day on the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha.  Overnight accommodation was provided at the guest house Villa Florencia in Marxuquera, close to Gandia. After a drive up into the mountains of Alicante Province we began the first day with a short but spectacular walk into a deep limestone gorge. [read more]

Short Breaks & Guided Birding in Spain – Day 2

Short Breaks & Guided Birding in Spain – Day 2

On day two, we enjoyed a leisurely drive up onto the steppe of Castilla de la Mancha.  After a coffee-stop we headed out across the plains to the day´s first lagoon where we had good views of Avocet, Lapwing, Black Winged Stilt and Shelduck.  The fields around the lagoon gave good close views of one of the day´s target species, Calandra Lark.  Further scanning revealed perhaps the key species for the day, the Great Bustard. By now the wind was blowing hard, so we headed back to the van and visited another, more sheltered lagoon.  Here we enjoyed views of [read more]

Guided Bird Watching on the Steppe of Castilla de la Mancha

Guided Bird Watching on the Steppe of Castilla de la Mancha

On 11th October I had the pleasure of providing a guided bird watching trip for a couple from Ringwood, UK.  They were staying in Valencia and wanted a day´s birding as part of their holiday.  Both very experienced birders they had been visiting Spain for many years and had travelled throughout the world on other birding expeditions. They had specifically requested a day out on the steppe to see the distinct bird life this unique habitat holds.  Unfortunately, conditions were not ideal as the water levels in the area´s lagoons were very low, and coupled with a strong wind, this [read more]

Birding on the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha

Birding on the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha

Last Friday was one of those days when work really didn´t feel like work.  Despite being a fairly long day, the weather was perfect, the birds were great and the company of my clients for the day was excellent.  Both were scientists who had spent the week at a conference in Valencia and wanted to escape for a days birding.  Tony, a very experienced, accomplished but refreshingly “down to earth” birder had travelled extensively and had a superb knowledge of the birds of Australia in particular.  His own website can be seen at tonykeenebirds.co.uk   Jason, a nature lover and [read more]

Birding on the Steppe.

Birding on the Steppe.

Following a long, hot and very dry summer a few of us spent last Thursday (6th Sept) up on the steppe of Castilla de la Mancha. It was clear that the recent prolonged dry conditions had left water levels much lower than usual, and some of the smaller lagoons had dried up completely. This of course meant less birds, but as always with this area, if you put in the effort there are always some interesting species to see. After a brief road-side stop to watch Crested Lark, Skylark, Hoopoe and Woodchat Shrike, we began at one of the larger [read more]

Bird Watching Trip to Castilla de la Mancha

Bird Watching Trip to Castilla de la Mancha

On Tuesday 3rd April, we arranged a guided bird watching trip toCastilla de la Mancha for a group of 7 people.  The weather forecast was for sunshine and showers and as we arrived at our first viewing point, atop a small hill overlooking the plains, there was a cool wind blowing.  Despite this we were treated to immediate views of what was the target bird for many of the group, the Great Bustard. Skylarks were singing in the fields and a Kestrel battled to hover in the wind. Having enjoyed the Great Bustards we set out across the plains to [read more]

Combine Guided Bird Watching in Spain with a City Break or Beach Holiday

Combine Guided Bird Watching in Spain with a City Break or Beach Holiday

As it´s the time of year when thoughts are turning to the warmer months ahead and of holidays in the sun, we´re all thinking of how we can maximise our precious free time and of course value for our hard earned cash. These days, more people are opting for a vacation that provides the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities rather than just a beach holiday or sight-seeing trip. However, it´s often the case that to indulge in a favourite hobby whilst away, one has to opt for a specifically organised activity holiday.  Here at Valencia Birding, we recognise that such [read more]

Winter Birding in Castilla de la Mancha

Winter Birding in Castilla de la Mancha

Today´s trip was a joint effort arranged by Valencia Birding and La Safor Ornithological Society, a Spanish group based in our local town of Gandia. The area visited was the same as that taken in on our “Steppe & Lagoons” trip and visits the high plains of Castilla de la Mancha, just over a hour´s drive from the Mediterranean coast. To make the most of the day and to have the best chance of seeing the target species we left our home base at 6.30am and after a couple of pick ups we were up on the steppe by 8.30am. [read more]

A Pre-Christmas Trip up onto the Steppe.

A Pre-Christmas Trip up onto the Steppe.

One of my important roles as a birding guide is to constantly visit my favoured sites as many times as possible throughout the year. This is essential in order to maintain and develop knowledge of an area and it´s changing characteristics and bird life throughout the seasons. That way, we ensure that our clients are taken to the sites that are “at their best” whenever their visit may take place. That today´s trip meant that I avoided having to go Christmas shopping only seemed to reinforce its value! Our destination was the vast upland Steppe of Castilla de la Mancha, some [read more]

Steppe & Lagoon Tour - 6th October 2011

Steppe & Lagoon Tour – 6th October 2011

Having enjoyed the Valencian Coastal Wetlands Trip, Christine & Nick were keen to spend another day´s birding. Their preferred option was the Steppe & Lagoon Trip as Great Bustard and Little Bustard were targets for their Life List. We arrived on the plains of Castilla de la Mancha in glorious sunshine despite a cooling early morning breeze. Having enjoyed a breakfast of coffee and toast in a local café we explored an area of reed bed and marsh adjoining some cereal fields.  Our first bird of the morning was a Corn Bunting, which was followed by an Iberian Grey Shrike and [read more]

Valencia Birding

Valencia Birding

valenciabirding.com is owned by Nature Trail Spain, a small but specialist active tourism company based in La Drova, 70km south of Valencia, Spain. We provide guided Bird Watching Tours throughout Eastern Spain, encompassing Valencia, Alicante and Castilla de la Mancha.  This area is blessed with an incredibly diverse range of habitats and excellent birding sites, many of which are virtually unknown!  We cater for all levels of bird enthusiasts and provide a bespoke guiding service at very reasonable cost. Our local knowledge can ensure that our clients can make the absolute most of their time in Spain by depending on us to take them to the [read more]

Albacete in August

Albacete in August

We were very fortunate to select of of the coolest days of the month to visit several sites around Albacete. The day started with a somewhat bizarre sighting of a Little Owl sitting in the middle of a field in broad daylight! Despite August not been the best month for watching waders, we managed to find good numbers of Black Winged Stilt plus Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank. Our patience and searching rewarded us eventually with good views of Great Bustard out on the plains. Kestrels were out hunting in good numbers, and [read more]