Day 1 / 3 April: Madrid airport – Torrejón El Rubio (Extremadura)
Meet and welcome at Madrid Airport then travel into Extremadura with some birding on route. Stops will planned in the Arrocampo reservoir or Calera y Chozas plains to see the first Great Bustards of the trip. Transfer to Torrejón El Rubio where we will allocate rooms at Hospedería de Monfragüe ****.
Day 2 / 4 April: Torrejón El Rubio – Monfragüe National Park
Monfragüe will undoubtedly offer us some of the highlights of the trip. An impressive community of raptors breed within its almost 18,000 hectares. Although Griffon Vultures are the commonest bird of prey in the park with around 600 pairs breeding, we will also have good chances for watching Eurasian Black Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagles (maybe first arriving Short-toed and Booted Eagles), both Black and Red Kites, and the odd looking Egyptian Vulture.
Sylvia warblers are also well present in the woods and shrubby slopes of Monfragüe with four species: Subalpine (could be a bit early for seeing them!), Blackcap, Dartford and Sardinian Warblers. On the cliffs we will try our luck at finding Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Red-rumped Swallow, Crag Martin, the wary Black Stork and the impressive Eurasian Eagle Owl. Dinner and overnight at Torrejón El Rubio. Hospedería de Monfragüe.
Day 3 / 5 April: Torrejón El Rubio – Cáceres plains
Breakfast first, then we will travel to the plains. A vast flat region exists between Trujillo and Cáceres towns with isolated woodland patches suitable for a large community of steppic birds and raptors. This will be the best day to see some of the specialities of the steppe habitats such as Stone Curlew, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Montagu’s Harrier, Great and Little Bustards, Lesser Kestrel, Corn Buntings, Calandra Lark and maybe the first Black-eared Wheatears. Before ending our day we will surely have time to explore the Guadiloba reservoir where we might see Eurasian Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Spanish Sparrow, Crested Lark and Zitting Cisticola. Accommodation at Torrejón El Rubio. Hospedería de Monfragüe.
Day 4 / 6 April: Torrejón El Rubio – Alange reservoir – Villamanrique (Doñana Natural Park)
Transfer to Doñana in the early morning. Birding en route with excellent chances for seeing Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Great Spotted Cuckoo and Great Bustard amongst others. Accommodation near Villamanrique de la Condesa. Ardea Purpurea Lodge.
Day 5 / 7 April: Villamanrique – Doñana Natural Park
Breakfast at our hotel in El Rocio. Today we will go right into the heart of the Natural Park along a sandy road that leads to the visitor centre named in honour of the naturalist Jose Antonio Valverde. In the surrounding fields and wetlands, it is possible to watch species such as Purple Swamphen, Hen Harrier, Common Cranes, Glossy Ibis and perhaps the first Squacco and Purple Herons arriving from their winter headquarters. We will make several stops along the journey before reaching the visitor centre to see other typical species of the open fields such as Lesser Short-toed Larks, Stone Curlew or Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. Dinner and accommodation at Ardea Purpurea Lodge.
Day 6 / 8 April: Villamanrique – Odiel Marshes – Doñana Natural Park
Today we will visit the Odiel Marshes Nature Reserve. Placed next to the town of Huelva this reserve has become the first place where Ospreys have bred again in mainland Spain. The narrow road that leads to the lighthouse of the breakwater known as Juan Carlos I provides excellent opportunities for seeing different species of gulls and Audouin’s is surely the most attractive amongst them all . Additionally, we have good chances for Mediterranean Gull, Stone Curlew, Whimbrel, Caspian Tern and maybe some local rarities. If time allows we will explore the public areas near El Rocío visiting some of the most popular spots of the National Park: La Rocina, El Acebuche and El Acebrón all are well known places for birding locally. Apart from its rich bird life, Doñana is home to the second population of the most threatened feline in the world: the Iberian Lynx. Accommodation at Ardea Purpurea Lodge.
Day 7 / 9 April: Villamanrique – Eastern section of Doñana – Seville
On our last day of the tour we will visit the best spots to bird around the Eastern section of Doñana. Our targets will be here Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck, Purple Swamp Hen, Slender-billed Gull and a good variety of waders migrating towards their northern breeding sites. Transfer to Seville where the trip ends.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT THIS TOUR
Hi John… Just a note to thank you for a splendid holiday – lots of wonderful birds and flowers – and very well led.
R. Parker (UK), March 2017
Just to say a big thank you for an excellent holiday to Doñana and Extremadura which I very much enjoyed. Please pass my thanks on to John for being such a great leader and for showing us the wonderful variety of wildlife.
L. Davis (UK), March 2017
I really enjoyed the Doñana and Extremadura Bird tour last week. I will certainly speak highly of your company and this tour to my friends and hope to join you again in the future.
L. Sayer (Canada), March 2017
Many thanks for the excellent week with John Muddeman in the Doñana and Extremadura. Jackie and I saw so many birds and orchids that we had never seen before.
P. Jenkins (UK), March 2017
Santi, Just a quick note to say many thanks for the excellent trip you organised for RSPB south-east Hertfordshire Group. Good accomodation and meals (including catering for my vegetarian requirements!), quality transport and with superb birdwatching and guidance made it a trip to remember. I shall certainly recommend Spainbirds to other UK birdwatchers.
John Clark (UK), March 2008
Thank you for that absolutely wonderfully full report of our explorations with you and Jose of Extremadura and Donana. It brought it all back. At the December meeting of our local RSPB group, some of us will show our pictures and talk about our great Spanish tour.
June Crew (UK), March 2008
The trip report you sent me has brought back some very pleasant memories, and reminded me just what a superb country Spain is for wildlife. I look forward to joining you on another trip in the future.
Paul Coppi (UK), March 2008
Dear Santiago, just to thank you for a very enjoyable and successful trip. Your excellent field skills helped enormously to increase the number of species seen. Mary has been studying her trip and prior records and now calculates 162 seen, with more heard eg Quail.
Ian & Mary Johnston (UK), April 2007
I just wanted to say thank you again for a wonderful week. I saw and learnt so much. I also really enjoyed the rest of my trip around spain. You have a very beautiful country. I am hoping to go back again next year (maybe to the Pyrenees) so please let me know what trips you will be running next year.
Adam Denyier (UK), April 2006
Thanks for a really enjoyable trip to Extremadura and Doñana. All of the arrangements for the trip were excellent: the accommodation, the food, the transport – even the weather! And of course we saw some great birds. For me the highlights were probably the raptors in Monfragüe, but Great Spotted Cuckoo has to be bird of the trip for me. Thanks also for letting me practise my Spanish on you.
Pete Yendl (UK), May 2005
Never to be forgotten sight of 120 raptors all at once circling above us as we got out of the minibus in the mountains… and for me the fabulous collared pratincole that just sat there by the water on one of our stops as we drove from the airport to Trujillo enabling us to see every detail of its markings.
Audrey and Ronald Milner (UK), May 2005
Hope the trips you did in rest of May went well, still have fond memories of the time we spent in Spain and have shown lots of people the photos.
Stephanie K. (UK), May 2005
GUIDE: Ricardo Montero
What it is included:
– Ground transport from Madrid and to Seville airport in modern, fully seat-belted, air conditioned 5-seat vehicle
– 6 Nights accommodation with en suite bathroom (3 nights in Hospedería de Monfragüe and 3 nights in Ardea Purpurea Lodge)
– All meals inc breakfast, fantastic “tapas-raciones” lunches and evening meals + red wine in a moderate consumption
– Services of professional birding guides
– Basic travel insurance
– Bird checklist (revised edition 2016)
– All taxes
What it is NOT included:
– Air fare (Easyjet, Ryanair & other companies operate daily flights from several UK airports)
– Extra drinks and other items of a personal nature
Target species in this tour:
Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Black Stork, Eurasian Black Vulture, Black-shouldered Kite, Iberian Magpie, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Red-knobbed or Crested Coot, Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin’s Gull, Iberian Chiffchaff…
Spainbirds Nature Tours is a tour agent accredited by the Spanish Tourist Board with number CICMA 2517. This code allows us to operate under all international tourism regulations thus assuring all our clients the highest level of protection during their holidays.