Little Bustard, Extremadura

 

Extremadura, Spain

Dates: 15th - 21st April 2018

Short-toed EagleGreat BustardBee-eater

This exciting new tour is timed so that we have the best chance of catching both the bustards in display as well as the majority of the summer visitors fresh in from Africa. Early morning visits to the plains should allow us close encounters with Great and Little Bustards as well as both Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse as well as masses of Calandra Larks. The plains are also home to Montagu's Harrier which nest semi-colonially and should be back in good numbers in time for our visit. Monfrague National Park also lies within easy reach of our base and is home to large numbers of nesting raptors. A visit to the castle in the morning provides superb opportunities to see vultures up close as they catch the early morning thermals from their roost sites. Griffon Vultures are virtually everywhere whilst Black Vultures are found in higher concentrations here than anywhere else in the World. Egyptian Vultures also occur and we're sure to pick them up at some point whilst in the park. The area is also home to the Spanish Imperial Eagle and Black Stork which can be found nesting on rocky outcrops visible from the road. Raptors are indeed everywhere and are a real feature of the trip with up to 18 species expected. It's not all big birds though and colourful passerines such as Bee-eater, Roller, Subalpine Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Hawfinch and Cirl Bunting should also be seen during the week.

By contrast we'll also be visiting a wetland site which although man made is an excellent location for picking up otherwise rare birds within the province. Arrocampa Reservoir is home to Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Purple Gallinule, Great Reed Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Gull-billed Tern and a whole host of other species associated with wetland habitats. It's also close to a great site for orchids and we'll spend a couple of hours looking around the groves for any specialities that might be in flower at the time. It also provides the more birdy minded amongst the group an opportunity to connect with Booted Eagle and perhaps a passing Short-toed Eagle.

Although this is not a photographic holiday there will be many opportunities to capture images as the pace is slow, the wildlife often close and the scenery stunning.

Lesser KestrelSardinian WarblerRollers

Short list of species: Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Black-winged Kite, Lesser Kestrel, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Gull-billed Tern, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eagle Owl, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Bee-eater, Roller, Calandra Lark, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Nightingale, Black-eared Wheatear, Black Wheatear, Orphean Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Iberian Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Spanish Sparrow, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting.

A full printable itinerary available here

Dates: 15th - 21st April 2018

Cost: £1,250 (not including flights) We can help arrange flights if required.

Price includes 6 nights accommodation, all meals and transport throughout the tour.

Accommodation: We'll be staying in a comfortable hotel near Trujillo

Group size: 8 (maximum)

Booking: Please email: steveduffield70@gmail.com

Where to meet: Meet in Madrid International airport

Trip reports: 2017