Birding on the Steppe of Eastern Spain

Birding on the Steppe of Eastern Spain

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, [read more]

Short Breaks & Guided Birding in Spain – Day 1

Short Breaks & Guided Birding in Spain – Day 1

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of providing a couple of days of guided bird watching for a couple from Kent, UK. Having previously discussed their wishes, we designed a two day schedule that included a trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands followed by a day up on the Steppe & Lagoons of Castilla de la Mancha. The first day was ideal for birding, good light and very little wind. After a drive through the beautiful city of Valencia we arrived at the wetlands. A walk beside the coastal lagoons gave great views of Whiskered Tern, Little Tern, Common [read more]

Guided Bird Watching in Valencia.

Guided Bird Watching in Valencia.

On Friday 22nd March, we provided a day of guided bird watching for a great couple of clients from the Netherlands who were on vacation here in Spain.  Both keen nature lovers, they were eager to see the diverse bird life that the Valencian coastal wetlands holds, especially at this time of year when summer migrants are beginning to arrive. Our first stop was at a protected reserve within the natural park of Albufera de Valencia. We had excellent views of Purple Swamphen, Glossy Ibis, Avocet, Greater Flamingo and a small flock of passing Spoonbill. Recently arrived summer visitors included [read more]

Birding at the Valencian Coastal Wetlands

Birding at the Valencian Coastal Wetlands

On 16th October I enjoyed a day of guided birding with a couple of clients from Canada. Ingo and Kiran were keen to see the classic species of the Valencian coastal wetlands. Having met them at their hotel in the city centre we made the short journey to the natural park of Albufera de Valencia. The first bird of the day was a Sandwich Tern perched on a pole on the main Albufera Lake. We then headed for one of the reserves where we had superb views of Marsh Harrier, and interestingly noted flocks of European Starlings arriving for the [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]

Guided Bird Watching in Valencia

Guided Bird Watching in Valencia

On 10th October we provided a guided bird watching trip for a couple from Berkshire. Both keen nature lovers, David and Elizabeth were staying in Valencia as part of a trip around Spain. They had requested a tour of Albufera, as they wanted to see some of the classic wetland species of Valencia. As they were only here for a short while, we combined Albufera with another local wetland with the aim of improving our chances of spotting some of the target birds. We began the day with a visit to one of the reserves within the natural park of [read more]

Guided Birding in Valencia.

Guided Birding in Valencia.

After an interesting drive around the narrow streets of the historic quarter of Valencia, I met up with today´s clients Hannah and Alex. They were on a short break in Valencia and had previously arranged a day of guided bird watching with us.  Both keen birders, and obviously well-travelled they were keen to see some of the key species that the Valencian wetlands hold. We took a short drive along the coast and after the obligatory morning coffee we began our walk along the coast to visit some small lagoons. The day started very well, with good views of Little [read more]

Albufera de Valencia

Albufera de Valencia

On Wednesday 19th September we provided a “tailor made” trip to the natural park of Albufera de Valencia.  The group comprised experienced birders and general nature lovers so the trip was designed to offer something for everyone.  The day began with a visit to a reserve that not only provides a superb habitat but also serves as an open-air laboratory in which a great deal of valuable conservation work takes place. The reserve staff gave a fascinating presentation on the ongoing projects at the reserve and the history of the area. Following that, we spent some time in and around [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]

Birding at Albufera de Valencia

Birding at Albufera de Valencia

On Wednesday 27th June I provided a guided bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia for a local walking group.  All nature lovers, the group also included a couple of experienced birders who regularly watched their own patch but were keen to explore Albufera. After a drive across the labyrinth of tracks that cross the rice fields, we began at one of my favourite sites, where we had the opportunity to watch the Albufera classic species – Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron and Night Heron. The reed beds held Great Reed Warbler and [read more]

Guided Birding in Valencia

Guided Birding in Valencia

On 17th May I provided a guided bird watching trip for a couple from Belgium who were holidaying in Valencia.  They opted for our Mountain Bird Life trip which involves a short but beautiful walk into a spectacular mountain gorge. We were soon enjoying great views of Griffon Vulture, both in flight and at rest on the high mountain crags.  The bushes and trees in the valley bottom held Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Sardinian Warbler and Serin.  After a short while we took a rest in the shade and watched a colony of Crag Martins and enjoyed a great view of a [read more]

Ladies´ Birding Group Trip to the Mountains of Valencia

Ladies´ Birding Group Trip to the Mountains of Valencia

On 11th May, I returned to the mountains, this time with a Ladies´Bird Watching Group.  After the morning coffee stop we set out into a beautiful mountain gorge.  The weather was hot and sunny but once in the gorge we soon found a shady spot from which to rest and watch the bird life. Griffon Vultures were around in good numbers, soaring effortlessly on the thermals. Some were resting on the cliffs which provided great opportunities to appreciate the sheer size of these magnificent creatures. We made steady progress up into the gorge before finding another comfortable stopping point from [read more]

Mountain Bird Life

Mountain Bird Life

On 2nd May I took a group of birders on our Mountain Birds Trip.  The group comprised a good mix of beginners and experienced birders.  We began our day with a walk into a spectacular mountain gorge and were soon enjoying views of the magnificent GriffonVulture.  Black Redstart were around in good numbers, as were Crag Martins. We soon found one of our target birds, the Blue Rock Thrush and subsequently enjoyed numerous sightings.  A Linnet made a brief appearance as did Rock Bunting and Sardinian Warbler.  Choughs and Ravens were seen flying above the cliffs. After a leisurely picnic [read more]

Bird Watching in Valencia

Bird Watching in Valencia

On 27th April, we enjoyed a great day of birding at the Valencian Coastal Wetlands with a group of British birders.  After the obligatory morning coffee by the sea, we set out along the dunes where we enjoyed good views of Moustached Warbler in the adjoining reeds and a Turtle Dove on a telephone wire. The first lagoon provided nice views of White Headed Duck and Little Bittern and a little further along the track we stopped to watch a Great Reed Warbler sat up in the reeds in full view. Our next stopping point beside another lagoon gave good [read more]