Alpine Accentors!

Alpine Accentors!

Today´s outing was not specifically a birding trip and more of a walk to the top of one of our local mountain peaks.  Such is the beauty of the route, it´s one that we enjoy two or three times per year and today´s trip was timed to coincide with the visit of one of my favourite and most character-full of mountain birds, the Alpine Accentor. The initial walk up through the steep forest gave good views of Chaffinch, Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Robin and the beautifully marked Firecrest. This area is also a frequent haunt of Blue Rock Thrush [read more]

A Christmas Present of a Birding trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.

A Christmas Present of a Birding trip to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.

During the Christmas break, I had the pleasure of providing a trip for a lady who despite having an interest in the natural world, is new to bird watching.  The trip was bought for her as a Christmas present by her husband.  We enjoyed a super day and were treated to some beautiful sights. After the trip, she very kindly provided this account…. A couple of days ago, I had a wonderful day out bird watching in Valencia – something that none of my family thought I would do (let alone enjoy the experience). Well, it was a revelation! Probably [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]

Sanderling Census of La Safor

Sanderling Census of La Safor

On Sunday 27th November we took part in the Sanderling Census of La Safor which was organised by the “Associació Ornitológica De La Safor”. The stretch of Mediterranean coastline to be studied was that between Playa de Tavernes in the north to Playa de Oliva in the south.  We grouped into 4 teams, each having a designated section of beach. Our particular area was from Marenys (just south of the port of Gandia) to Diamus.  We commenced at 0830hrs under very cloudy skies, although thankfully no wind. Sea conditions were choppy although certainly not severe. Much to subsequent amusement of our fellow birders, [read more]

An Afternoon at Albufera de Valencia

An Afternoon at Albufera de Valencia

As we had business to attend to in Valencia today, the opportunity to spend a couple of hours looking what was around Albufera couldn´t be missed. We started at the main hide, where we were greeted by a group of school children on a day trip! Although not the quiet environment that we expected, it has to be remembered that this is where the future of conservation lies. We soon attracted a small group of kids who were curious to see what the telescope was and soon had a small queue forming to watch the Flamingoes that were resting at [read more]

Diary of Bird Life in the La Drova Valley

Diary of Bird Life in the La Drova Valley

Here is a brief summary of what goes on in “our valley”.  Together with fellow birder Ian, we regularly watch our patch and from now on will use this blog to post brief records of what happens.  Full species list can be seen on the specific post. January 25th Things are a little more lively this morning. The Meadow Pipit has become a regular garden visitor of late, as are a pair of Chiffchaffs.  It´s only 1015am and in the garden we´ve already had a pair of Blackcap, a family of Long Tailed Tits, Great Tits, Spotless Starlings, a Sardinian Warbler and a female [read more]

Species List for La Drova & Barx Valley

Species List for La Drova & Barx Valley

As a point of reference, general information and interest, here is the species list for the valley in which we are situated.  Species are listed alphabetically and include residents, summer visitors, winter visitors and birds seen occassionally or on passage. Alpine Swift, Barn Swallow, Black Redstart, Blackcap, Blue Rock Thrush, Blue Tit, Booted Eagle, Chaffinch, Cirl Bunting, Coal Tit, Common Chiffchaff, Common Cuckoo, Common Hoopoe, Common Kestrel, Common Magpie, Common Nightingale, Common Raven, Common Stonechat, Common Swift, Corn Bunting, Crested Tit, Dartford Warbler, Dunnock, Eurasian Blackbird, Eurasian Buzzard, Eurasian Collared Dove, Eurasian Crag Martin, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, [read more]

An October Morning in the Mountains.

An October Morning in the Mountains.

This year, October is proving to be a summer month! Each day has peaked at around 30 degrees so far. With that in mind, I ventured into one of my favourite mountain valleys in the province of Alicante to spend a couple of hours in the shade and to see what was around. The summer theme continued as the first bird that I saw upon leaving the car was a male Whinchat perched in a nearby bush. There were still quite a few Swallows passing by too. As I made my way into the gorge, I enjoyed close views of [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]

Valencian Coastal Wetlands Trip - 2nd October 2011

Valencian Coastal Wetlands Trip – 2nd October 2011

Together with Nick & Christine from Barnsley, South Yorkshire we spent a full day walking around the coastal wetlands of Valencia.  Despite being into October, the weather was still hot and dry so we were all interested to see what was still lingering and what new visitors had arrived. The day proved to be very interesting.  Our first sightings of note included a Reed Warbler and Marsh Harrier.  As we sat overlooking one of my favourite lagoons, our patience was rewarded with excellent views of White Headed Duck, Purple Gallinule, Fan Tailed Warbler and Little Ringed Plover. We walked across the [read more]

Albufera de Valencia

Albufera de Valencia

Albufera de Valencia is considered to be one of the premier wetlands in the whole of Europe and boasts a huge species list.  A lot of excellent conservation work is being done by some truly dedicated groups and each year the entire site improves.  However, for the visiting birder, it can be difficult to make the most of a visit without some local knowledge.  With that in mind, today´s visit was organised for a local birder who simply wanted to make the most of his time and to get to know the area a little more. Our day started at the [read more]

Valencian Coastal Wetlands - 8th September 2011

Valencian Coastal Wetlands – 8th September 2011

The summer continued into September with cloudless blue skies and another beautifully warm day.  Even before we left the vehicle, we enjoyed magnificent views of over 20 White Storks passing through.  We set off to explore the wetlands, stopping off at the favourite points along the way. The warm sunny day only added to the relaxed pace of the day but our efforts were truly rewarded with a species list of 42.  September can be a little strange as the summer visitors have started to disappear and many winter visitors have not yet arrived.  However, the trip proved to be superb, providing [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]