THIS TOUR CAN BE LINKED WITH MOROCCO ATLAS AND DESERTS 8 – 16 APRIL
Day 1: Madrid airport – Calera y Chozas Plains – Torrejón El Rubio
Meet and welcome at Madrid airport and transfer to Extremadura. We will do our first birding on route in the Calera y Chozas plains looking for Great and Little Bustards with very good chances for Black-shouldered Kite and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. This is a nice spot for Great Spotted Cuckoo, Sardinian Warbler, Lesser Kestrel and White Stork as well, whereas in some seasonal ponds we might see Black-winged Stilt and some common species of ducks and other waders. Dinner and accommodation at Torrejón El Rubio.
Day 2: Torrejón El Rubio – Monfragüe Natural Park
Our first breakfast in Extremadura and then head to the probably the best place for watching raptors in the Western Palearctic. One never forgets that first time that visit to Monfragüe! We will see Griffon, Eurasian Black and Egyptian Vultures, Black Stork, Short-toed Eagle and with a bit of luck Eurasian Eagle Owl. Golden, Spanish Imperial and Bonelli’s Eagle are all present. Along the banks of the rivers Tagus and Tiétar we will look for small passerines such as Subalpine, Western Orphean and Sardinian Warblers, European Serin and Hawfinch. In the cliffs of Monfragüe we should also see Black Redstart, Blue-Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Red-rumped Swallow, Crag Martin and maybe Red-billed Chough. Dinner and accommodation.
Day 3: Torrejón El Rubio – Villuercas Mountains *
Another good breakfast at Torrejón El Rubio! Driving through nice “dehesas” (wood -pasture areas with scattered Holm oaks) we will arrive at the region known as “Comarca de las Villuercas”. We will explore rocky slopes trying to see Black Wheatear, Rock Bunting and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (more likely on the second tour). This is also a traditional place where Golden and Bonelli’s Eagles still breed in good numbers , and we enjoy the close fly-bys of the abundant Griffon Vultures. In the lowlands Wood, Thekla and Crested Larks are present in good number while raptors are almost everywhere: Black and Red Kites are guaranteed! . Dinner and accommodation.
* If the weather is not good in the mountains we might alternatively visit the Jerte Valley
Day 4:Torrejón El Rubio – Cáceres Plains
This is usually one of the top days of the week providing some of the highlights of this tour. The Trujillo-Caceres plains lie between these two Medieval towns. The community of steppe birds and raptors here is just amazing… We will have here our best chances for 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 Black-eared Wheatears. If time allows we will dedicate some time to exploring the Guadiloba reservoir trying for Eurasian Spoonbill, Little Ringed Plover and Collared Pratincole. Spanish Sparrow, Crested Lark and Fan-tailed Warbler are very common here. Dinner and accommodation at our rural hotel.
Day 5: Torrejón El Rubio – Trujillo – Arrocampo Reservoir or Belén Plains
Today we will spend part of the day exploring the historic city of Trujillo. We will enjoy walking around Palaces and Churches built mostly in times of the conquistadors (XV – XVI centuries!). Amongst all of them Pizarro, who conquered Peru, is the town symbol, including a fine bronze statue in the main and nicest square. One does not need to go far to see wildlife in Trujillo either, as in the old quarter itself it is possible to see hundreds of Common and Pallid Swifts, Lesser Kestrel and White Storks, which all nest up on the roofs of the buildings.
The surrounding fields around the tiny village of Belén are fantastic for finding Great and Little Bustards, Little Owl, Stone Curlew and Calandra Lark. On the other hand the Arrocampo reservoir is the only place in Extremadura where Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Savi’s Warbler, Purple Swamphen and Purple Heron all breed. A tiny population of Bearded Reedling has also recently been discovered.
Day 6: Torrejón El Rubio – Vegas Altas rice fields – Sierra Brava
Today we will visit the rice paddies and dry steppes south of Trujillo. Amongst the most interesting species present here are Great and Little Bustards, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Black-shouldered Kite, Little Bittern, Gull-billed Tern, Spanish Sparrow and two introduced species, Red Avadavat and Common Waxbill. This is one of the best sites in Extremadura to find waders, including Kentish Plover and Collared Pratincole. Back to Torrejón El Rubio for our last evening meal in Extremadura.
Day 7: Torrejón El Rubio – Madrid
Time for loading up our luggage and heading to the airport of Madrid in time for the flight back home after this unforgettable tour through the heart of Extremadura.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT THIS TOUR
John, thank you for making the bird watching wonderful. Your expert knowledge and guidance was great. We saw many birds and some beautiful countryside. Next stop – Germany.
Indra & Heiko (Australia), October 2013
We have most pleasant memories of our week-long tour with you, and we have been enjoying photographs, videos, and recordings we made during the tour.
David & Tadd Ottman (USA), Extremadura, May 2011
Many thanks for your expert help on a great birding tour. Both Dave and yourself made this trip me an unforgettable experience. I recorded 55 new sightings!!!!!! One of the best for me was the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush. Hope to see you at the Bird Fair in August. All the very best for 2008.
Deryck Leivers (UK), April 2008
Great few days. Birds were stunning – quantity and quality. Santi’s ability to locate different species to order was incredible, even allowing for his knowledge of the area. Organisation and customer care were outstanding.
Lady Bay Birders (UK), April 2008
Can I say (yet again) how much I enjoyed the trip to Extremadura. Thank you for all you did for us. You were superb! Very best wishes to you.
Alan Birchall (UK), April 2008
Just a quick e-mail to thank you for such a good holiday. Fantastic birds, great company, excellent food and accommodation, plenty to drink – just fantastic. I found the whole break thoroughly enjoyable. Your ability to spot birds never ceases to amaze me.
Nick Dalton (UK), May 2006
Many thanks for all your superb efforts last week in making my first trip to Extremadura so successful and truly memorable. I am sure all in the party will retain those very special birding moments for ever.
Peter Thorpe (UK), March 2006
Just a quick line to thank you so much for all your efforts last week to ensure our trip was such a success. It far outweighed my expectations. I hope you enjoyed it even though it must have been tiring with all the long days and driving. I really enjoyed your company and look forward to seeing you soon.
Nick Dalton (UK), April 2005
All in all, the week was a memorable one and one I would wish to repeat. I learnt a lot about birds and birding (and birders). Last, and by no means least, Spain is a wonderful country and the Extremadura region is extra special. Thank you to Paul and Santi.
John Gibson (UK), April 2005
Rates per person sharing:
€ 1,400 / £ 1,190 / USD 1,550
Single suplement: € 175 / £ 150 / USD 195
Group size: Min. 4 – Max. 7 participants
* Pounds Sterling and US Dollars are given as an estimate based on 7th July 2016 exchange rates. All prices have to be paid in Euros to Spainbirds Nature Tours S.L.
GUIDE: Santi Villa
What it is included:
– Ground transport from Madrid airport in modern, fully seat-belted, air conditioned 9-seat vehicles
– 6 Nights accommodation with en suite bathroom (country inn or nice quality hotel)
– All meals inc breakfast, fantastic “tapas-raciones” lunches and evening meals + red wine in a moderate consumption
– Services of professional birding guide
– Basic travel insurance
– Bird checklist (revised edition 2016)
– All taxes
What it is NOT included:
– Air fare (Easyjet, Ryanair and other companies operate daily flights to Madrid from several UK airports)
– Extra drinks and other items of a personal nature
Target species in this tour:
Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Black-shouldered Kite, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Black Wheatear, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Purple Swamphen, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Great Spotted Cuckoo, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (only likely if visiting Villuercas Mountains), Western Orphean Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Iberian Magpie…
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.