Birding In Spain’s November is Wallcreeper month tours 2023

Wallcreepers again!

        November is Wallcreeper Month tour

After last year’s runaway success (6 wallcreepers on one tour, 4 on another; more than 100 species on both 4-day tours) we are giving you – the keen birder – another chance if you missed this superb tour the first time round. Our advice: don’t miss it!

We’ve changed the itinerary of the Wallcreeper Tour a little, adding an extra day to take in some great birding in the Ebro Delta. That means there’ll be even more birds to look forward to!

Take note of the November is Wallcreeper Month tour dates:
1. Tour 1 November 5th to November 9th
2. Tour 2 November 12th to November 16th

See all the details, including the price, by clicking November wallcreeper month tour info 2023.

Spring 2023 reports 4: Pallid Swifts, Little Bustards and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

Jacob and Daniel – two keen and well-traveled birders from the USA –  contacted us at short notice for 3 days of birding between Barcelona and Lleida.

They were wise, and took our advice (Hey – we’re Birding In Spain and we know a fair bit about the birds in Spain – we’ve been creating, organizing and leading birding tours here since the last millenium; and we live here), so we had one day around Barcelona and almost two days around Lleida.

Birds of Barcelona – Pallid Swift, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Bittern, Blue Rock Thrush, Audouin’s Gull, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Western Subalpine Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher …

Western Subalpine Warbler

Birds of Lleida day 1: Red-footed Falcon, Little Bustard, Roller, Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Eurasian Hobby, Golden Oriole, Western Orphean Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow, Sardinian Warbler …

Red-footed Falcon in flight

Great Spotted Cuckoo – noisy!

Birds of Lleida day 2: Eagle Owl, Black-eared Wheatear, Tawny Pipit, Rock Sparrow, Red-billed Chough, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Penduline Tit, Turtle Dove… then it was time to take the early afternoon train back to Barcelona from Lleida.

Eagle Owl on perch

It was quite an intense 3-day birding tour, but an incredibly successful one too!

  • Note: all photos worked from originals by Dave Bassey

Spring 2023 reports 2: Imperial Eagles, bustards and Bluethroats

Walking with the lavender in Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura

A quick look at Kath and Mick’s Easy Extremadura Tour

Dates: 10th to 25th April

  • 8 nights Hospedería de Monfragüe, Torrejón el Rubio
  • 6 nights Trocha de Hoyorredondo

This was the UK couple’s third tour with Birding In Spain. We enjoy each other’s company!

The good points of Hospedería de Monfragüe include:

  • The Monfragüe National Park on the doorstep
  • Great Spotted Cuckoo on the edge of Torrejón el Rubio on one morning’s pre-breakfast walk
  • Local birds include Spanish Sparrow, Hoopoe, Red-rumped Swallow, Bee-eater, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Booted Eagle, Iberian Magpie and more
  • Large, spacious hotel with bar and places to enjoy your beer, good service, reasonable food in the restaurant
  • The possibility to meet up with other birders and birding groups

The good points of the Trocha del Hoyorredondo are quite distinct

  • Small, delightful, secluded rural hotel
  • Personal service by the owner, and excellent food
  • Easy access to great birding areas around the Sierra de Gredos and the plains to the north
  • Local birds include Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, Iberian Magpie, Golden Oriole, Red-rumped Swallow, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Rock Sparrow

Birding hotel for the Sierra de Gredos: Trocha de Hoyorredondo

Extremadura sites visited:

Arrocampo – Well-known wetland area with reedbeds and hides. Highlight birds for us here were Savi’s Warbler (6+), Little Bittern (6), Purple Swamphen, Penduline Tit, Purple Heron, Spoonbill, Gull-billed Tern and Iberian Grey Shrike.

Monfragüe National Park – Two visits here enabled us to see birds such as Eagle Owl (adult and chicks), Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Stork, Cinereous (Black) Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Alpine Swift, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Western Black-eared Wheatear, Western Orphean Warbler, Western Subalpine Warbler, Rock Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Egyptian Goose and Peregrine Falcon.

Alcollarín, Sierra Brava and nearby plains – Two visits to this area gave us a small selection of waders including Wood Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank, a beautiful male Pied Flycatcher, Spoonbill, Eurasian Wigeon, Collared Pratincole, a melanistic Montagu’s Harrier, Greater Short-toed Lark and an Otter.

The Cáceres-Trujillo plains – excellent views of Great Bustards and Little Bustards on both visits, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Little Owl, Lesser Kestrel, European Roller. Pallid Swift in Trujillo.

Other sites: Sierra San Pedro, Villuercas, Almonte river, N-IV

Oh yes! We stumbled across a Great Snipe on the Almonte River on 13th April

Gredos was the second leg of our tour

Bluethroat (oh, delightful Bluethroats!), Common Rock Thrush, Water Pipit, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, White-throated Dipper, Crested Tit, Firecrest, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck …

Little Bittern: we saw about 6 of these one morning at Arrocampo reservoir. Photo by Dave Bassey

The plains to the north treated us to Great Bustards, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, and more. Well worth the visit!

There were mammals and butterflies too – quite a few!-  but maybe we can keep that until later.

Spring 2023 tour reports 1: Dupont’s Larks and Lammergeiers

This is a brief tour summary of an early spring birding tour in northeast Spain.

Peter and Sue came from the UK for a private spring tour in northeastern Spain, from 20th March to 4th April. The birding tour started and finished at Barcelona.

We spent the first 5 nights at the homely and welcoming Rincon del Cierzo just south of Belchite. As Birding In Spain we have been staying at this hotel, ideally located for the Dupont’s Lark, for about 15 years now.

Staying at the Rincon del Cierzo included 5 Little Owls and a ride in one of Alejandro’s vintage cars!

Then we spent 5 nights at Hosteria de Guara, in Bierge, Sierra de Guara Natural Park. This hotel is another of those that Birding In Spain has been staying at for longer than we care to remember. It’s faultless!

We spent the last 4 nights at a 4-star hotel near Puigcerdà, in the Catalan Pyrenees, and within easy reach of the Cadí-Moixero Natural Park.

Pedraforca in the Cadí Natural Park, Catalan Pyrenees. Superb scenery, but what about the birds?

Some birding highlights of the tour:

En-route from Barcelona on day 1 we birded near Lleida, observing Little Bustards, an Eagle Owl on the nest, Mediterranean Short-toed Larks, Calandra Larks, and Rock Sparrows.

On our daily excursions from our first base at the Rincón del Cierzo we encountered …

Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Northern Goshawk, Golden Eagle (6), Lesser Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Montagu’s Harrier, Red-billed Chough, Stone Curlew, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush, Penduline Tit, Iberian Grey Shrike, Alpine Swift, Black Wheatear, Western Black-eared Wheatear, Spectacled Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Little Owl (5 at one time behind the hotel!), Night Heron, Water Pipit, Wryneck, Greater Flamingo (What? Where?) …

And of course the larks! Dupont’s Lark eventually gave us an excellent show running, perched and singing and songflight, but we worked hard for it! Then there were bucket-loads of Mediterranean Short-toed Larks, Calandra Larks, Thekla’s and Crested Larks, and Woodlarks.

That’s the way to do it! Yep, just like that it was, the Dupont’s Lark. But it made us sweat…

Next, with Hosteria de Guara as our base we enjoyed the marvellous scenery of the Sierra de Guara Natural Park and some good birds too …

Lammergeier, Peregrine Falcon, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Western Subalpine Warbler, Firecrest, Alpine Chough, Hawfinch, Rock Bunting, and others

En-route to our hotel near Puigcerdà we caught up with a pair of Bonelli’s Eagles – what a bird!

Daily excursions from the mountain hotel brought us close to birds such as Citril Finch, Ring Ouzel, White-throated Dipper, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wryneck, Common Redstart, and more.

The tour ended at Barcelona, but the spring had just begun …

Gekko Art is … getting noticed?

Thanks for the few but very encouraging comments we received about our arty offerings.

Now, without wanting to milk the cow dry, I’m going to publish one more batch of Gekko Art before moving on to something else. Hope you like it!

Goshawk, by Adam

The Goshawk is mean. You wouldn’t want to be that poor pigeon held captive under its claws looking up into that cruel orange eye as the beast plucks your feathers without a smear of pity for you in your death throes … but that’s nature too folks.

Lammergeier, by Jan

The original didn’t quite manage to get the whole bird in the frame, a fact which was scoffed at by other bird photographers, in part motivated by their jealousy of the photographer’s commercial success I daresay. I was a direct witness to that. On a different note there’s beauty all over the Lammergeier, and I don’t think that you need to see the wing tips to know that they are there, so I zoomed in on the bird even more.

Narcissi are not birds

Is it a coincidence that this, a work with flowers and not birds, is Florinda’s favourite? I like it too, mind you, as I fancifully imagine that it takes me closer to another being’s vision: perhaps that of an insect?

Tell me you want to see more, and I’ll keep them coming!