MONFRAGÜE, TRUJILLO & STEPPES OF SERENA;
APRIL & MAY
A gorgeous trip to one of the best birding localities of Europe. Extremadura gives you an outstanding chance to see large quantities of raptors in a rough and beautiful terrain, and it offers great views of extraordinary bird species such as Great Bustard, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Stork, Eagle Owl, and Azure-winged Magpie. Other specialities such as the Spanish Sylvia warblers and both species of sandgrouse are also found in the area. Extremadura is wonderful in the springtime with lots of wild flowers and butterflies in addition to the birds, which are all busy with their nesting activities. We will visit Monfragüe, Trujillo, and the steppes of Serena, staying in hotels close to the best birding localities;
The trip begins and ends at the airport of Madrid.
Trip reports from our tours in Extremadura can be found HERE.
See wild life list from our Extremadura Tours
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DAY 1 - Rendezvous at the airport of Madrid. Any extended waiting time between arrivals will be spent birding at a nearby location. Transport to Monfragüe and check-in to our hotel. During transfer we may see our first vultures and eagles, and around the hotel we can expect birds such as Hoopoe, Crested Lark, and Mistle Thrush.
DAY 2 - Today we follow a birding route inside Monfragüe, part of it running along the Tajo River, and can expect excellent views of the many raptor species found in the area. Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Black Kite, and Red Kite, are all likely to be found here. We also have good chances of seeing Eagle Owl and Black Stork, which are nesting along the river. In the forested area around the hotel we will look for Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, and Short-toed Tree-creeper.
DAY 3 - This day's birding itinerary takes us on a round-trip east and south of Monfragüe itself. This route is laid out especially for the many Sylvia warblers of Extremadura, and we should see both Spectacled, Orphean, Subalpine, Dartford, and Sardinian Warbler. Also, we still have good chances of many raptors, as well as Bee-eater, Woodchat Shrike, and Wood Lark. We will enjoy our picnic lunch at the Arrocampo Reservoir, where we might see Penduline Tit and Savi's Warbler in addition to the many herons, egrets and shorebirds.
DAY 4 - In the morning we will visit the old castle, Castillo de Monfragüe, where we can find species such as Black Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, Rock Bunting, and Azure-winged Magpie. Also, the castle offers a great place to view the park's numerous raptors as they circle the sky. We have a chance of seeing the very rare White-rumped Swift here, although April is a bit too early for them. In the afternoon we will continue birdwatching in the southern region of Monfragüe, where we might find Crested Tit and other forest birds.
DAY 5 - This day we head towards Serena with stops in Trujillo, the steppes of Belen, and Embalse de Sierra Brava. In Trujillo we'll visit the town briefly to see White Stork, Lesser Kestrel and Pallid Swift, which all breed on the buildings of the old town. The steppes of Belen hold Great and Little Bustard, Short-toed Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Little Owl, Great Spotted Cuckoo, and Woodchat Shrike, and this place is always worth a stop. At the embalse we might see some terns and gulls, and with a bit of luck some of the newly arrived Collared Pratincoles. Check-in to our hotel in Quintana de la Serena.
DAY 6 - Birding in la Serena and Sierra de Tiros. The combination of mountains and steppes in this area allows for a great bird variety, and a large number of species can be found here. Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli's Eagle, Eagle Owl, Red-legged Partridge, and Black Wheatear can be found in Sierra de Tiros, while Great and Little Bustards, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouses, Stone Curlew and Montagu's Harrier can be found in the steppe areas. We also have a good chance of finding Spanish Sparrow here.
DAY 7 - In the morning we go birding along the Zujar River and around Serena. Along the river we might see Eagle Owl, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Grey Wagtail, Red-rumped Swallow, Bonelli's Warbler, and Great Reed Warbler. Red-crested Pochard and Little Grebe are also sometimes found in the area, along with any of migrating shorebirds. In Serena we will look for any steppe species that we may have missed so far, or for better looks at larks, sandgrouse, and bustards.
DAY 8 - Transfer to the airport of Madrid.
BOOK THIS TOUR
Kathy Buosi - Extremadura - April
Thank you so much for your company last week in Extremadura. Your guiding was first class. I really appreciated the extra explanation you gave us regarding bird distribution, behaviour etc. which adds greatly to the wonderful experience we had seeing great sights such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle perched for so long and the Otter eating a fish. The dark phase Monty's was of particular interest to me. Better views of raptors which I have seen in the past, but not as well, added to my knowledge. Above all, your courtesy and good humour was appreciated by all.
Alberto Galofré - Extremadura - April
Needless to say, I enjoyed this trip immensely. The combination of good birds, great organization, fantastic leaders, great company was simply amazing. I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Keith & Ann Powrie - Extremadura - April
Thank you very much for a such a wonderful and memorable trip to Extremadura. Your research into locating all the birds certainly paid off and everyone saw their target species, and, because of your perseverance, saw them well. I think we will have to return again next year and do it all over again. We enjoyed it so much it would be no problem!
Amelia Almeida & Rui Vilar - Extremadura - April
We had a great time with you in Spain and really hope to be able to meet you again, soon.
Mike & Julie Lockyear - Extremadura - April
We found our guide Cristian to be very pleasant, laid back and with a good sense of humor. But the main thing for us was that nothing was too much trouble, and he made sure everybody saw the birds they wanted to see. Above all, Cristian's enthusiasm and knowledge of birds made the trip a really good one. Hope to be back soon.
Itinerary in Extremadura - Click to enlarge
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