Hereby the illustrated checklist of our excellent birding tour in April 2023 in Spain. I hope you enjoy reading the report and that it will make you travel back to Spain, reminding the best moments of this trip, which were many.
Birding can be serious, interesting, fascinating, stressing, entertaining, challenging, relaxing, competitive, boring, obsessive, but when joining a birding trip with Denis Kania and FieldGuides, you can be sure that, above all, the birding will be good fun! Without fun, no birding! And so it was, despite of this bad vulture-joke that was repeated over and over again ;-)
During our recent trip to Spain in April 2023, we surely had a lot of fun, but we also saw many birds. In fact, we broke the record for number of species. We registered 211 bird taxa, an absolute record for this Field Guides tour! Maybe because we were with a rather numerous group with many experienced birders and that the tour took place in April instead of May, made it so we recorded more birds than ever.
In 12 intense days touring around, we visited a good selection of nature reserves and national parks, covering the most diverse and representative habitats of southern and central Spain. We spotted birds above sea, on the beach, in sand dunes, marshland, arid fields, lakes, scrub land, extensive agricultural fields, “dehesa”, pseudo-steppes, reservoirs, pine and deciduous tree woodlands, urban parks, and high, rocky mountains, from sea level to 6550 feet. Apart from that, we had a glance at the rich culture and interesting history of Spain, we stayed in nice hotels, and we enjoyed good food in many good restaurants. Furthermore, we had only good weather. What else do you want?
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
GRAYLAG GOOSE (EUROPEAN) (Anser anser anser)
Many adults with goslings in Doñana National Park.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) [I]
This species is colonizing western Europe at high speed. We recorded the Egyptian Goose in 3 occasions, all in Extremadura.
COMMON SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadorna)
No less than 75 individuals of this attractive duck species at the very first birding stop of this tour, at Laguna Larga.
GARGANEY (Spatula querquedula)
Four beautiful Garganey drakes at the Laguna de Veguillas next to Alcázar de San Juan.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
At least 100 individuals at the Veguillas lake, and dozens in Doñana National Park.
GADWALL (Mareca strepera)
Seen at almost all the wetlands visited during the tour.
EURASIAN WIGEON (Mareca penelope)
Just 1 drake at El Rocío marshes.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)
Almost every day bird.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta)
Just two individuals at Laguna de Veguillas.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (EURASIAN) (Anas crecca crecca)
According to Denis, this was a 0X species! Probably the last remaining bird of the numerous wintering population.
MARBLED TEAL (Marmaronetta angustirostris)
We did very well with this rare species, as we spotted about 40 individuals, most of them in the Coto Doñana area.
RED-CRESTED POCHARD (Netta rufina)
We saw over 100 individuals of this attractive duck.
COMMON POCHARD (Aythya ferina)
Biggest concentration of about 50 individuals seen at the Veguillas lagoon.
WHITE-HEADED DUCK (Oxyura leucocephala)
As La Mancha Húmeda was so dry, all the White-headed Ducks concentrated at the only lake with water, the Veguillas lagoon, where we saw over 100 birds of this rare species.
COMMON QUAIL (Coturnix coturnix) [*]
Heard only, in Extremadura.
RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE (Alectoris rufa)
Great sightings in Andújar, Doñana and in Extremadura.
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Hundreds of the elegant Greater Flamingo were feeding next to our hotel in El Rocío, Doñana.
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Seen at almost all the wetlands that we visited.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus)
Good views at the Talaván reservoir (the Water Rail site).
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)
About 40 individuals in full breeding plumage at the Veguillas lake, some couples displaying.
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)
Many Feral Pigeons. Some genuine looking Rock Pigeons in a natural environment at the Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura.
STOCK DOVE (Columba oenas)
In the Retiro Park in Madrid, the Stock Doves are abundant and very confident as they are used to the presence of many people.
COMMON WOOD-PIGEON (Columba palumbus)
Every day bird. It was nice to see them together with the Stock Doves in Madrid.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto)
The most successful bird species of Europe. Every day bird.
PIN-TAILED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles alchata)
We managed to have some good views of this particularly pretty bird in the plains near Trujillo, Extremadura.
BLACK-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles orientalis)
After a long search, we finally achieved to see and hear them, not far from the Pin-tailed Sandgrouse.
GREAT BUSTARD (Otis tarda)
Stunning views of displaying males in the plains of Cáceres, Extremadura.
LITTLE BUSTARD (Tetrax tetrax)
The Little Bustard is now a rare and endangered species, unfortunately. However we found some displaying males in the same area where we saw the Sandgrouse.
GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO (Clamator glandarius)
We had several good views of this spectacular species.
COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus)
Nice to see the species that inspired the creator of the Cuckoo clock!
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba)
Huge swift with obvious white underparts.
COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus)
Widespread and very abundant at some towns like Trujillo.
PALLID SWIFT (Apus pallidus)
Not so common and widespread as the Common Swift. But we managed to distinguish them clearly.
WATER RAIL (Rallus aquaticus)
Surprisingly, the Bird of the Trip! We tried for a while to get to see the screaming Water Rail, but he stayed hidden in the reedbed which is normal in the case of a shy species like this. So, we gave up and walked back towards the bus when, suddenly, a Water Rail crossed the path and walked down to the water edge where he showed surprisingly well. We all enjoyed splendid views of this very obliging bird.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)
Present in small numbers in all wetlands visited.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra)
Present in most of the wetlands, especially in the area of Coto Doñana where we found over 700 individuals.
WESTERN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio)
Spectacular bird with bright colors. In La Mancha Húmeda we struggled to see one, but in the Doñana area we counted over 40 individuals.
EURASIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus oedicnemus)
Two flying birds from the bus ...
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)
Always delightful to see this extremely long-legged wader!
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Just black and white, hugely elegant though. Dozens in Coto Doñana area.
EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black, white, and red! We enjoyed seeing about 30 individuals at the beach of Matalascañas.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
Mostly in winter plumage but some showed already partly black bellies. About 30 during the beach safari.
NORTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus vanellus)
I am glad we saw this smart looking wader, although in small numbers, close to the dry lakes of La Mancha Húmeda.
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus)
We enjoyed the best views of this species at the beach along the National Park of Doñana.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)
Both in La Mancha Húmeda as well as in the Doñana area.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius)
We clearly saw the yellow eye-ring, the distinct and unmistakable feature for this species.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)
At the beach between Matalascañas and Sanlucar de Barrameda we found about 15 Bar-tailed Godwits.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa)
A group of about 50 birds was feeding in the marshland next to our hotel in El Rocío.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
Only seen in small numbers at the beach along Doñana National Park.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus)
About 20 Red Knots were recorded at the "wader-beach" of Doñana. Some of them showed already the rusty red colors of the breeding plumage.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax)
15 Ruffs were recorded at the lake next to Pedro Muñoz village and about 30 at the almost dry reservoir of Dehesa de Abajo. Some males showing already the colorful collars of the breeding plumage.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)
We discovered a group of dozens of Curlew Sandpiper at the Dehesa de Abajo reservoir.
TEMMINCK'S STINT (Calidris temminckii)
Small, gray and low-profile, however we found 2 of them in El Rocío marshes.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
Over 200 at the beach of Matalascañas.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina)
We recorded the biggest concentration in the Laguna de Pedro Muñoz in the area of La Mancha Húmeda.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)
Present in small numbers at the Laguna Larga and the Laguna de Pedro Muñoz.
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago)
¡A 0X bird according to Denis! :-)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
Present in almost all the wetlands that we visited during the tour.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus)
Two birds at the Laguna de Veguillas.
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus)
Most of them molting from the gray winter plumage to the black breeding plumage.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
One's and two's in the Doñana-area.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)
We found about 20 Wood Sandpipers at the Dehesa de Abajo reservoir. We were able to see all the distinctive features that distinguish them from the other sandpiper species.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)
10 birds at the Dehesa de Abajo next to Doñana National Park.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola)
In total, close to 100 Collared Pratincoles during the tour. Very attractive species!
GREAT SKUA (Stercorarius skua)
1 Great Skua above the sea near the Guadalquivir-river mouth surprised even the most experienced birders in the group!
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
They can be very noisy at their breeding colonies, as we experienced at the Veguillas lake.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
About 5 sub adult birds during the beach safari.
AUDOUIN'S GULL (Ichthyaetus audouinii)
Seeing these soft gray gulls with red bills at the beach was awesome.
YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis)
Numerous at the beach along Doñana National Park.
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus fuscus)
Small concentrations inland and common at the seashore.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons)
Lovely concentration of over 200 Little Terns close to the river mouth of the Guadalquivir.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
We observed Gull-billed Tern at La Mancha Húmeda, Coto Doñana and in Extremadura, always in fresh water environments.
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger)
At least 8 individuals feeding above the shoreline of the Guadalquivir river mouth.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
Lovely marsh tern with white cheeks, present in small numbers in La Mancha Húmeda and Doñana.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)
Some birds were seen resting on the beach between Matalascañas and Sanlucar de Barrameda, joining other species of terns.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
It was nice to see the mixed groups of terns resting at the beach. The Sandwich Tern stands out because of his size and long bill.
BLACK STORK (Ciconia nigra)
Black Storks are much scarcer and more shy than the White Stork. It was great to manage good views of the Black Stork especially in the Monfragüe NP.
WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia)
Lovely to see them in abundance nesting so close to humans!
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus)
3 Northern Gannets were registered rather far away, flying above the Atlantic.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Most of them seen at reservoirs in Extremadura.
LITTLE BITTERN (Ixobrychus minutus)
Heard only, unfortunately... They just stayed hidden in the reeds.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)
Recorded in small numbers at many places.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)
We managed terrific views of this slender heron at the Veguillas lagoon.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
We recorded just 1 Great Egret at the Arrocampo reservoir in Extremadura.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
We first saw them at the Roman bridge in Córdoba. Afterwards we would enjoy good views of them at the Dehesa de Abajo reservoir.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
Always close to sheep, horses, cows or ... fighting bulls.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Fantastic views at the Roman bridge over the Guadalquivir river in Córdoba.
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
The adult birds in breeding plumage are really glossy. In total we registered close to 200 individuals.
EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia)
Lovely to watch them feeding, zigzagging through the water with their spoon-bill.
EGYPTIAN VULTURE (Neophron percnopterus)
At least 6 different Egyptian Vultures were observed at Monfragüe National Park.
CINEREOUS VULTURE (Aegypius monachus)
Almost every day bird. It was great to see these massive vultures so frequently and from close range, especially in Extremadura.
EURASIAN GRIFFON (Gyps fulvus)
Every day bird, we must have seen hundreds! Huge and impressive birds and so cute to see the chicks on the nest at the mighty Peña Falcón/Salto del Gitano.
SHORT-TOED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus gallicus)
Splendid views of both flying and perched birds!
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus)
Observed in flight on many occasions, both morphs, handsome small eagle.
SPANISH EAGLE (Aquila adalberti)
We clearly saw the white leading edge of the wing which is one the main features of the adults. But we also saw young birds, which don't look like the dark adults at all, with their straw colored plumage. Awesome views of this endemic eagle!
GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)
Finally, on the the last day, 2 gorgeous Golden Eagles appeared high up in the sky above the might Gredos mountains.
BONELLI'S EAGLE (Aquila fasciata)
Seen on two occasions, flying rather high but the key features were clearly visible.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus)
At least 4 pairs breeding at the Veguillas lake next to our hotel in Alcazar de San Juan. We saw males and females on many occasions.
MONTAGU'S HARRIER (Circus pygargus)
We found just 1 male "Monty's", but what a gorgeous bird! Pity that this species is suffering a dramatic decline in Spain!
EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter nisus)
Two birds showed up during a walk through the pine woodland in the Sierra de Gredos.
RED KITE (Milvus milvus)
We enjoyed watching this attractive raptor at several places, mainly in the Sierra de Gredos.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans)
Every day bird! By far the most numerous raptor in the area. We found the largest concentration in the Mediterranean woodland of Doñana National Park.
COMMON BUZZARD (Buteo buteo)
One's and two's here and there in Extremadura, but small numbers overall.
BARN OWL (Tyto alba)
We were very lucky to find very close to the dirt road, two roosting Barn Owls in the National Park of Doñana.
EURASIAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus scops)
A lovely, little Eurasian Scops-Owl roosted next to our hotel in the medieval town of Trujillo. First we only heard it but eventually we found him merged in a tree. Splendid views!
LITTLE OWL (Athene noctua)
Seen very well, both in Sierra de Andújar and in Doñana National Park.
TAWNY OWL (Strix aluco)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops)
Colorful birds like Bee-eaters, Rollers and Hoopoes are always amongst the favorite birds of the trip. During this trip the Eurasian Hoopoe resulted as the third most attractive bird of the trip.
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis)
The Common Kingfisher has become rare in this time of year. We were lucky to see one flying over a small stream in Extremadura. It was a brief view but without any doubt a blue kingfisher.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster)
Wowwww, awesome bird with all those bright colors, always a treat for the eyes.
EUROPEAN ROLLER (Coracias garrulus)
Splendid views of this spectacular species, thanks to the nest boxes.
EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla)
Surprisingly long and good view in Doñana NP of this extremely well camouflaged and shy bird. Top bird!
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Dendrocopos major)
Seen well in Madrid, Sierra de Andújar, Coto Doñana and in the Gredos mountains.
LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Dryobates minor buturlini)
Superb sighting in Monfragüe National Park!
IBERIAN GREEN WOODPECKER (Picus sharpei)
Lovely to see them feeding on the ground of the Retiro Park in Madrid, while joggers and bicyclers were passing by.
LESSER KESTREL (Falco naumanni)
Recorded in several occasions and places. The best observation was in Trujillo at a breeding colony with lots of nest boxes.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus)
More solitary than the Lesser Kestrel. Seen as one's and two's on route.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
The best observation was at the famous vulture rock of Peña Falcón/Salto del Gitano where one couple is breeding.
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) [I]
This African species is colonizing the Iberian Peninsula. We saw 1 bird in Mérida, Extremadura.
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) [I]
This South American species has settled in Madrid and other towns of Spain.
EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus oriolus)
We heard them more often than we did actually see it. But when you see a male with his bright yellow and jet black colors, there is no doubt.
IBERIAN GRAY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis)
Good views, both in Coto Doñana and in Extremadura.
WOODCHAT SHRIKE (Lanius senator)
More abundant than the Iberian Gray Shrike, and more colorful.
EURASIAN JAY (Garrulus glandarius)
Splendid sightings of this surprisingly attractive species in the mountains of Sierra de Gredos. He showed best while we were having our picnic next to the Tormes river.
IBERIAN MAGPIE (Cyanopica cooki)
This azure-winged beauty is widespread and sometimes even numerous in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula. We enjoyed lovely views of this endemic species in the Sierra de Andújar.
EURASIAN MAGPIE (Pica pica)
Present from the start till the end of the tour. Seen sometimes chasing Great-spotted Cuckoo which parasites on the nests of the Eurasian Magpie.
RED-BILLED CHOUGH (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Seen in Sierra de Andújar and in the Gredos mountains.
EURASIAN JACKDAW (Corvus monedula)
This small and social corvid was recorded frequently during our tour.
CARRION CROW (Corvus corone)
We had good views of this solitary corvid in the Gredos mountains.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
COAL TIT (Periparus ater)
The most numerous tit species around the Parador de Gredos hotel. It was singing continuously.
CRESTED TIT (Lophophanes cristatus)
Lovely bird! Seen well at the Sierra de Gredos.
EURASIAN BLUE TIT (Cyanistes caeruleus)
An always welcome appearance.
GREAT TIT (Parus major)
Every day bird. Always nice to see this colorful and neat passerine.
EURASIAN PENDULINE-TIT (Remiz pendulinus)
We had a good look at this beautiful tiny little bird at the Veguillas lagoon.
GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella brachydactyla)
Seen in Doñana NP while searching for Mediterranean Short-toed Lark. Did you see the short toes?
CALANDRA LARK (Melanocorypha calandra)
Very numerous at the plains of Trujillo and Cáceres in Extremadura. Their larky concert was marvelous!
MEDITERRANEAN SHORT-TOED LARK (Alaudala rufescens)
Good example of a LBJ. Seen in Doñana NP.
WOOD LARK (Lullula arborea)
Seen and heard on several occasions. Best views in Monfragüe National Park.
EURASIAN SKYLARK (Alauda arvensis)
We had to climb high up into the Gredos mountains to see and hear the famous Skylark. And so we did!
THEKLA'S LARK (Galerida theklae)
Alrighty then! ;-)
CRESTED LARK (Galerida cristata)
Common and widespread.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis)
Thanks to one of our guests, we all managed a good second look at this brave and funny LBJ.
WESTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (Iduna opaca)
MELODIOUS WARBLER (Hippolais polyglotta)
Singing in the marsh woodland next to the Palacio del Acebrón in Doñana NP.
COMMON REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Present in all reedy areas.
GREAT REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)
Climbs high up in the reed showing very well when singing.
SAVI'S WARBLER (Locustella luscinioides)
We heard him singing continuously and finally we managed to see him with this rather undefined appearance. Still nice though!
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
In La Mancha Húmeda and in Doñana NP.
EURASIAN CRAG-MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
Very nice views in Extremadura and Sierra de Gredos.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Common and widespread.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica)
We were lucky to have many encounters with this colorful swallow.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum)
Huge colonies with hundreds of nests under bridges and dams especially in Extremadura.
WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus bonelli)
Common breeding bird in the Sierra de Gredos.
WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus)
We recorded 1 Willow Warbler, probably a late migrant, on the very first day.
IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (Phylloscopus ibericus)
We saw and heard 1 singing individual in the woodlands around the Palacio del Acebrón, Doñana NP.
CETTI'S WARBLER (Cettia cetti)
Common and widespread, often heard, rarely seen.
LONG-TAILED TIT (Aegithalos caudatus)
Very close-by encounter at the Sierra de Andújar.
EURASIAN BLACKCAP (Sylvia atricapilla)
Good views of males and females.
GARDEN WARBLER (Sylvia borin)
Another stunning old world warbler ;-)
WESTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER (Curruca hortensis)
Shy bird but we even managed to see the distinctive feature of the pale iris.
SARDINIAN WARBLER (Curruca melanocephala)
Another common but shy skulker. Eventually we all did see the red eye-ring.
WESTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER (Curruca iberiae)
We enjoyed lovely views of this curruca-warbler in Monfragüe NP.
GREATER WHITETHROAT (Curruca communis)
Common breeding bird in the Gredos mountains. Good views!
DARTFORD WARBLER (Curruca undata)
Dark and long-tailed curruca-warbler with a Bordeaux-red chest. Good views in Monfragüe NP.
GOLDCREST (Regulus regulus)
Showed well and right next to a Firecrest. Lovely to see them together and be able to compare!
COMMON FIRECREST (Regulus ignicapilla)
More colorful than the Goldcrest and with a distinctive supercilium. Seen well in Sierra de Gredos.
EURASIAN NUTHATCH (Sitta europaea)
Good observation during the warm walk along the Jandula river in the Sierra de Andújar.
SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (Certhia brachydactyla)
Seen and heard in various occasions.
EURASIAN WREN (Troglodytes troglodytes)
The only wren of Europe sings often and very loud, so we heard it many times. Fortunately we also managed to get a proper view of it.
WHITE-THROATED DIPPER (Cinclus cinclus)
Second best bird of the trip! After some flyby's higher up in the Gredos mountains, we tried in the lower and calmer Tormes river. And there they were, a couple of stunning and kindly cooperative White-throated Dippers, allowing fantastic views.
SPOTLESS STARLING (Sturnus unicolor)
Every day bird, common and widespread. There was a night roost just next to the hotel in Trujillo, Extremadura.
MISTLE THRUSH (Turdus viscivorus)
During a pre-breakfast walk from our hotel in Gredos, we found one singing Mistle Thrush high up in a pine tree.
SONG THRUSH (Turdus philomelos)
Heard only in the Retiro Park in Madrid.
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula)
We saw the famous Blackbird of the Beatles song every day of the trip.
EUROPEAN ROBIN (Erithacus rubecula)
We encountered this Christmas Card bird in Madrid and in the Gredos mountains.
COMMON NIGHTINGALE (Luscinia megarhynchos)
The loud, varied and melodious song of this bird inspired many composers, song writers and poets. We had plenty of opportunities to enjoy his concert.
BLUETHROAT (Luscinia svecica)
High up in the Gredos mountains we found 1 singing male. It was worth the hike up hill.
EUROPEAN PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hypoleuca)
In the Sierra de Gredos we found the black-and-white males on their breeding grounds.
COMMON REDSTART (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
A beautiful male was discovered in the gardens of the restaurant next to the Tablas de Daimiel NP while we were having lunch.
BLACK REDSTART (Phoenicurus ochruros)
On and around the lovely Parador de Gredos hotel.
RUFOUS-TAILED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola saxatilis)
Another species that we only saw high up in the Sierra de Gredos. Good one!
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius)
We enjoyed the best views at the Salto del Gitano in Monfragüe NP.
WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra)
Spotted during the excursion with Javi in Doñana National Park.
EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola rubicola)
Seen every day in Extremadura and Gredos area.
NORTHERN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe oenanthe)
The breeding population in the Gredos mountains is numerous. We had some close encounters with them during our hike.
WESTERN BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe hispanica)
We struggled to see this species, eventually we managed to see a far away female.
BLACK WHEATEAR (Oenanthe leucura)
Unmistakable, totally jet black with snowy white rump.
BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus) [I]
This African species is settling in Doñana NP and surroundings.
DUNNOCK (Prunella modularis)
Common in the Gredos mountains.
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)
Every day bird but not so numerous anymore as they used to be.
SPANISH SPARROW (Passer hispaniolensis)
Good views of this attractive sparrow in Extremadura.
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus)
Good population at the Veguillas lake in La Mancha Húmeda.
ROCK SPARROW (Petronia petronia)
We had a good view of two Rock Sparrows in Sierra de Gredos.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea)
Close encounters when searching for White-throated Dippers.
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (FLAVISSIMA) (Motacilla flava flavissima)
The British subspecies of this species, which lacks the grayish-blue head, was feeding on bugs close to horses and cows in the marshland of El Rocío, Coto Doñana.
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (IBERIAE) (Motacilla flava iberiae)
We managed to see all the features of this endemic, Iberian subspecies.
WHITE WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba)
Seen in small numbers on most of the days.
TAWNY PIPIT (Anthus campestris)
One unexpected encounter high up in the Gredos mountains, when searching for Water Pipit.
WATER PIPIT (Anthus spinoletta)
In breeding plumage with pink flush on the breast.
COMMON CHAFFINCH (Fringilla coelebs)
Seen and heard regularly during the tour.
EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris)
Common and widespread.
EURASIAN LINNET (Linaria cannabina)
We saw the first Linnets at Tablas de Daimiel National Park.
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra)
Perched in the pine trees around the Parador de Gredos hotel.
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis)
Lovely, colorful every day bird. What a treat!
CITRIL FINCH (Carduelis citrinella)
There was a pair of this rare species perched on the top terrace of the Parador hotel. Some of us managed a good view. Others had to be satisfied with some flybys.
EUROPEAN SERIN (Serinus serinus)
Widespread and very vocal liitle finch.
CORN BUNTING (Emberiza calandra)
Good numbers in the open plains of Extremadura. The less colorfull of the buntings.
ROCK BUNTING (Emberiza cia)
Pretty bunting of rocky habitats. Splendid views at the Salto del Gitano viewpoint in Monfragüe NP.
CIRL BUNTING (Emberiza cirlus)
Good views of singing males in Sierra de Andújar and in Sierra de Gredos.
ORTOLAN BUNTING (Emberiza hortulana)
Lovely, subtle colored bunting with a small pink beak. We observed them from close range in the Gredos mountains.
OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Very abundant around Alcázar de San Juan, and less numerous in Sierra de Andújar and Coto Doñana.
GRANADA HARE (Lepus granatensis)
A.k.a. Iberian Hare: endemic for the Iberian Peninsula.
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes)
We registered the Red Fox on Day 3.
EUROPEAN RIVER OTTER (Lutra lutra)
We saw this European River Otter in a small pool for cattle on the plains near Cáceres, Extremadura. It was surprising to see this aquatic mammal in such a arid habitat.
IBERIAN LYNX (Lynx pardinus)
Some of us had the luck to see an Iberian Lynx while driving back from our pre-breakfast walk at the Palacio del Acebrón to have breakfast at our hotel. The lynx wanted to cross the road but disappeared rapidly in the bushes when we stopped.
FALLOW DEER (Dama dama)
Seen in Sierra de Andújar and in Coto Doñana.
RED DEER (Cervus elaphus)
Many Red Deer in Doñana National Park. We enjoyed close views during our safari excursion with our excellent local guide, Javi.
ROE DEER (Capreolus capreolus)
One brief view in the Sierra de Gredos.
SPANISH IBEX (Capra pyrenaica)
Not less than 30 Spanish Ibex showed very well in the Gredos mountains, including some big males with huge horns.
MOUFLON (Ovis musimon) [I]
It was introduced for big game hunting in some regions of Europe. We observed Mouflon in the Sierra de Andújar. This primitive sheep is supposed to be the ancestor of all domestic sheep breeds.
I want to thank you all for this fantastic and fun birding trip, your patience, good vibes, jokes, conversations and interest!
I also want to thank Ruth Kuhl and our ground agent for getting the logistics lined up and just right. It worked all perfectly well! A huge THANK YOU as well for our local guides and drivers!
And I did my best to show you the best places and birds (inclusive these spectacular, bright and colorful old-world warblers), and make the trip as enjoyable as possible. I certainly enjoyed it thoroughly and I hope to see you again in the near future on a new birding adventure with Field Guides.
Godfried Schreur “Godwit”
Totals for the tour: 211 bird taxa and 10 mammal taxa