Bird Watching in Valencia

Bird Watching in Valencia

Last month I was privileged to be invited to speak at the First Congress on Nature Tourism in Valencia. The aim of the congress was to gather the various public and private sector entities that are involved in Nature Tourism in the Valencian Community and to share experiences as well as to discuss how we can promote this fabulous area.   The Valencian Community (Comumidad de Valencia) comprises 3 provinces – Castellon, Valencian and Alicante.   It is relatively well known as a holiday destination but largely for the beaches of the Costa Blanca and the avant-garde city of Valencia. [read more]

Bird Watching in Valencia

Bird Watching in Valencia

On Sunday 15th April I spent a very enjoyable day with a lady from Austria who was visiting the area and wanted a day of guided bird watching in Valencia.  Having met her at her accommodation in the city centre, we made the short journey to the Valencian Coastal Wetlands.  This area is superb at any time of year but is especially interesting in April as summer visitors are arriving and migrants are passing through. We set off along the coast, scanning the reeds for warblers.  A stiff breeze seemed to be keeping the smaller birds down but we did [read more]

Group Visit to Albufera de Valencia

Group Visit to Albufera de Valencia

On Wednesday 7th March I was fortunate enough to be back in Albufera de Valencia, this time providing a Guided Trip for a group of 8 people from the local area. Some were experienced birders whilst others were new to the hobby and were keen to learn more.   After an introduction to the geography and habitats of Albufera we parked the van and entered a very special and protected area of the park.  The Spring morning provided beautifully clear blue skies and as we watched House Martins and Swallows passing by, it really began to feel like summer was [read more]

Guided Bird Watching Trip to Albufera de Valencia

Guided Bird Watching Trip to Albufera de Valencia

On Tuesday 6th March I had the pleasure of providing a guided bird watching trip to Albufera de Valencia for two clients from Finland. Both very experienced and knowledgeable birders, they were taking a short break in Valencia and wanted to spend a day bird watching as part of their other plans. Having collected my clients from the city centre, we headed out across the natural park. The day´s first bird was an Iberian Grey Shrike that was perched on a telephone line close to the track. Our plan was to visit a highly protected reserve where some superb conservation [read more]

A Guided Bird Watching Trip to Albufera de Valencia.

A Guided Bird Watching Trip to Albufera de Valencia.

Today´s trip was provided for two British birders who wanted to learn more about the extensive Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia.  Whilst the weather was dry, there was a very strong wind that limited what we would see, although a good days birding was enjoyed. Our first stop was to observe a recent controlled release of Crested Coot.  This extremely rare bird has provided a challenge to conservationists so far but hopefully this season will see some breeding success.  We enjoyed good views albeit from far enough away as not to cause a disturbance.  We then walked across an area [read more]

Half Day Trip to the Mountains of Valencia

Half Day Trip to the Mountains of Valencia

On Tuesday, I took two local British birders on a half-day trip to the mountains of Valencia. Before we set off on the short walk, we stopped for a coffee and were entertained by a pair of Short Toed Treecreepers and a group of Long Tailed Tits in the pine trees by the road. We parked the van and set off into a beautiful rocky gorge. Within just a few minutes, we spotted a Black Wheatear, a special bird for today as it was a “life tick” for both of my guests. It sat around long enough for a few [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]

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]

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 morning at Albufera de Valencia.

A morning at Albufera de Valencia.

On 3rd January we spent a few hours at the Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia, a coastal wetland site just south of the city of Valencia.  This site is of significant European importance and provides both critical breeding and wintering grounds for a vast range of species.  Today´s trip was not so much an intensive day´s birding, in fact we only had a couple of hours as the main purpose of the visit was a meeting with the management team of a relatively new bird reserve within the park. On the way, we made a brief stop at one of [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]

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]