Wild Warbler blog and news





Extremadura bird tour

Our 2nd tour to Extremadura, this time ran from 15th - 21st April and once again was great fun. The murky conditions and showers from the first afternoon gave way to pretty much wall to wall sunshine and nice hot afternoons reaching a peak of around 28 degrees. The birds were of course superb with 143 species recorded.

Griffon Vulture, Extremadura Bird Tour Griffon Vultures Egyptian Vulture, Bird Tour Extremadura

Vultures are common and often provide some excellent photographic opportunities whilst birds of prey appear to be all over the place indicating that the enviroment must still be healthy, to support so many predators.

Black Kite female Lesser Kestrel Lesser Kestrel, Extremadura Bird Tour

Bonelli's Eagle Booted Eagle Booted Eagle

Short-toed Eagle Spanish Imperial Eagle Spanish Imperial Eagle

Montagu's Harrier, 1st yr male male Montagu's Harrier male Montagu's Harrier

dark morph Montagu's Harrier Eagle Owl, Extremadura wildlife tour Little Owl

From top left to the bottom right: Black Kite, Lesser Kestrels, Bonelli's Eagle, Booted Eagles, Short-toed Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Eagle Owl and Little Owl. We also saw Black-shouldered Kite, Red Kite, Peregrine Falcon and of course Black Vulture amongst others.

Red-crested Pochard Egyptian Geese Black-winged Stilts

Cattle Egret Purple Heron Squacco Heron

It's not all about raptors either as some of the wetland sites add variety in the form of wildfowl, waders and herons. Above from left to right: Red-crested Pochard, Egyptian Geese, Black-winged Stilts, Cattle Egret, Purple Heron and Squacco Heron.

White Stork Gull-billed Tern Penduline Tit

Little Bustard Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

White Storks are everywhere whilst Gull-billed Terns and Penduline Tit are also linked with the wetter sites. The plains also have some good birds to offer and we got some great views of displaying Little Bustard and a flock of over 80 Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (photos above). Other birds out in the grasslands included Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great Bustard and masses of Calandra Larks.

Bee-eater Bee-eater Azure-winged Magpie

Roller, Western Isles Wildlife Roller, Extremadura bird tour Great Spotted Cuckoo

A splash of colour is supplied by Bee-eaters, Azure-winged Magpie and Rollers whilst Great Spotted Cuckoo also add to the Mediterranean feel. Other birds that are quite common in rocky areas and scrub inlcude Western Subalpine Warbler, Black Redstart and Rock Bunting (see below).

Western Subalpine Warbler Black Redstart Rock Bunting

It wasn't just birds as April sees Extremadura burst into flower and we managed to locate 9 species of orchid as well as many other spectacular flowers. From top left to bottom right: Mirror Orchid, Sawfly Orchid, Yellow Bee Orchid, Woodcock Orchid, Tongue Orchid, Early Spider Orchid, Champagne Orchid, Conical Orchid and Naked Man Orchid. Barbary Nut (an iris), Hoop Petticoat Daffodil and White Asphodel.

Mirror Orchid Sawfly Orchid Yellow Bee Orchid

Woodcock Orchid Tongue Orchid Early Spider Orchid

Champagne Orchid Conical Orchid Naked Man Orchid

Barbary Nut Hoop Petticote Daffodil White Asphodel

Finally we also encountered a few critters whilst out and about which always make life interesting. These included the following photographed below: Shovel-headed Dung Beetle, Hunstman Spider, Nettle-tree Butterfly, Green-underside Blue, Spanish Festoon and Western Dappled White. The remaining critters are European Tree Frog, Moorish Gecko and Large Psammodromus.

Shovel-headed Dung Beetle Huntsman Spider Nettle-tree Butterfly

Holly Blue Spanish Festoon Western Dappled White

European Tree Frog Moorish Gecko Large Psammadromus

In 2019 we're likely to be running the trip a bit later to avoid the late Easter and very busy time in Monfrague Park. The provisional dates would be late April / early May so there should be an even larger diversity of birds and more butterflies. If you're interested in joining the tour in 2019 please let me know at steveduffield70@gmail.com