Our main destinations for 1 or 2-day private trips
Remarkably, the excellent birdwatching opportunities in Madrid remain virtually unknown to many birders. However, during a full day’s guiding one can see Great and Little Bustards in the agricultural areas of the North-East, Eurasian Black Vultures and Citril Finches in the Guadarrama mountains, or even Spanish Imperial Eagle in the huge El Pardo park, just to mention a few of the species which still survive no further than 45 minutes drive from a city of 3.5 million inhabitants! For those who are also keen on museums, local food and red wine, Madrid offers travellers a terrific variety of possibilities…
Two and a half hours from Madrid, the Sierra de Gredos mountains offer an excellent chance of locating some of the species most sought-after by foreign birders. In spring and summer these are some of the best mountains in Spain to see Bluethroat, Ortolan Bunting and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush amongst many other birds, plus Spanish Ibex and even a suite of endemic amphibians and reptiles! Citril Finches are also present all year round in the pinewoods while the Iberian races of Pied Flycatcher and Green Woodpecker are regular breeding birds. In the grounds of our favoured hotel there, European Nightjars, Dartford Warbler and Rock Bunting all breed.
90 minutes south of the capital, between the provinces of Cuenca, Toledo and Ciudad Real extends a vast flat region known as La Mancha. Among the huge expanses of arable fields, vineyards and olive tree plantations lies a complex of wetlands where a remarkable variety of interesting birds still survive. In winter thousands of Common Cranes can be easily seen here, but spring is the most exciting season with Black-necked Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Purple Heron, Purple Swamp-hen and a range of wetland warblers at the lakes, and Great Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Collared Pratincole and Montagu’s Harrier highlights among the agri-steppe dwelling species. But the flagship species of La Mancha is without doubt the White-headed Duck with several dozen pairs breeding and wintering in this region.
A journey of just over two hours by road takes you to the remarkable lands of Extremadura, quite simply one of the best areas for birding in Western Europe. Raptors abound and steppe specialities are the most representative birds here, including Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Eurasian Black Vulture, Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpie, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, all of which are present all year round. Far more is present of course and you’ll want more than just one day…
Hoces del Duratón Natural Park
It is impossible to speak about the Hoces del Duratón Natural Park without mentioning Dupont’s Lark. As close as an hour and a half’s drive from the city of Madrid we can take you to the best spot for the well-named “Diablo”! Here on the flat páramo and in nearby gorges of this fabulous reserve Egyptian Vulture, Tawny Pipit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Western Orphean and Spectacled Warblers and Ortolan Bunting can be also seen in spring / summer, while Griffon Vultures, Golden Eagle, Red-billed Chough and Thekla Lark are present all year round.
Tablas de Daimiel National Park (Ciudad Real)
In spite of its everlasting threat of drought because the many illegal wells extracting water continously from its main aquifer to irrigate the nearby crops, the National Park of Las Tablas de Daimiel is still one of the main wetlands of Central Spain. During the colder months, after the Autumn rains, and in the Spring time the Park is at its best with plenty different wildfowl species including the rare Marbled Teal and the White-headed Duck. Red-crested Pochards and Garganeys are also often recorded. The well preserved reedbeds which surround the different lagoons of the wetland complex hold populations of Bearded Tit, Moustached Warbler (extremely wary here!) and Purple Swamphen.
Cabañeros National Park (Ciudad Real)
Cabañeros was declared a National Park in 1995 and holds an interesting variety of around 200 species of birds. Amongst the most attractive must be the Iberian endemic Spanish Imperial Eagle, which shares the skies with the huge Eurasian Black Vulture and the enigmatic Black-shouldered Kite, all three being resident all year round in the Park. In addition in Spring a few migrants arrive to breed in this corner of the Ciudad Real province such as Western Orphean and Subalpine Warblers, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Booted Eagle and Short-toed Eagle. Azure-winged Magpies are fairly common and we have recorded recently the presence of the rare White-rumped Swift. Cabañeros National Park is also one of the best locations in Spain to enjoy Red Deer roaring during their rutting season in the Autumn.
Tours for individuals & groups
As well as the organised trips shown in our Tours section, Spainbirds Nature Tours offers its private guide services (from a half day to several days); it can also draw up tailor-made guided and self-guided packages for individuals, groups, clubs and associations.
All you have to do is fill out the FORM and explain what type of trip you’re interested in. In a few hours we’ll send you a detailed estimate without any commitment on your part whatsoever.
Rates for one traveler:
One-day guided trip: 180 €
Half day guided trip: 100 €
Two-day guided trip: 330 €
Rates for two travelers:
One-day guided trip: 210 €
Half day guided trip: 120 €
Two-day guided trip: 390 €
Rates for three travelers:
One-day guided trip: 240 €
Half day guided trip: 150 €
Two-day guided trip: 450 €
What it is included:
– Travel to and from airport or your hotel in air conditioned vehicles
– Fuel (only in Madrid trips)
– Bird & Nature guide services fluent in English
– Bird checklist (revised edition 2012)
– All taxes
What it is NOT included:
– Any accommodation or meals
– Travel or medical insurance
– Drinks and other items or personal nature
– FOR ALL TRIPS LEAVING FROM MADRID, EXCEPT THOSE TAKEN PLACE WITHIN MADRID REGION, A SUPPLEMENT FOR EXTRA PETROL WILL BE APPLIED.