Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birding in East Spain

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 12 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Friday 25th December 2015, 20:06   #51
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Birding in Costa Blanca

I have spent a wonderful day guiding a group of British birders around the mountains of Alcoi and the Costa Blanca.

Shortlist

Our first stop was in Alcoi:

Alpine accentors Click to see picture
Griffon Vultures
Crossbills
Bonelli's Eagle

Then we moved to the Salinas de Santa Pola

15 Audouin Gulls
27 Stone Curlew
Peregrin Falcon
40 Slender billed Gull
1 Water Pipit
2 Great White
15 Sanderlings
3 Hopooes
Shanks (Red, Spotted and Green)
2 Iberian Grey Shrike
40+ Little Stints and Dunlins
6 Balearic Shearwater

Our last stop was in el Fondo

50+ White-headed Ducks
10 Marsh Harriers
70+ Black-necked Grebe
Green and Wood Sandpiper
Shelducks
Red-crested and common pochard
3 Booted Eagles
20 Cranes
1 Merlin
40+ Corn Buntings
3 Grey Wagtail
4 Reed Bunting
10+ Kingfisher, many of them young birds which were very approachable. Great to take pictures.
And other common birds.

Fantastic birding all year around!!!

Have a nice Christmas full of birds

Birdwatching Spain
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 10th January 2016, 19:12   #52
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Spanish Sparrow in Santa Pola

Just a quick note regarding a very interesting sighting in Alicante. A colleague found over Christmas a colony of 190+ Spanish Sparrows!! I saw them yesterday in Santa Pola. There has been very few sightings in the region and the distribution of the specie is more located in W Spain.

This is another proof of the birding potencial of Alicante!!

Good birding
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 11th January 2016, 09:21   #53
lazza
Registered User
 
lazza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
Posts: 1,537
After 10 years visiting the area 2-3 times a year, I still have not seen Spanish Sparrows, so this is interesting!

Are they migratory birds (winter visitors)? If they will migrate, do you have a good idea when they will likely leave the area (we will visit again in March/April)? And finally, where in Santa Pola have they been seen?
__________________
World life list: 511 (Wryneck, El Hondo, Spain; April 2018)
UK life list: 224 (Red-necked Phalarope, Northumberland; Oct 2017)
Morpeth Garden list: 68 (Kestrel, January 2018)
2018 year list: 163 (Jay, Morpeth; April)
lazza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th February 2016, 09:55   #54
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Last Monday I took a couple from Switzerland to Monnegre to look for some specialities. As soon as we arrived we got 4 Trumpeted Finches in the same spot!! The last 2 years have been really bad for these guys but this spring seems more promising. The staff from University of Alicante have found 3 pairs so far.

Other interesting sightings included Golden Eagle, Bonellis Eagle, Rock Sparrow, Black wheatear, hundreds of Ballearic Shearwaters and Great Skua (the last two in Santa Pola).

On a s separate note, for anyone interested in mammals there is a fantastic place (inland of Valencia province) for watching and photographing wild genets. Yesterday, I had this incredible carnivorous just 1,5 m from me. More info

Nice birding
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 24th February 2016, 10:01   #55
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Sorry for my late reply but I have been really busy. They might be resident (but no proof so far) as there are many private states where no birders have been in. After my previous post I saw them once more but last Saturday they weren't around. They were located in the farmland NW of Santa Pola, in the boundaries of the park.

I will let you know if they are relocated.

Regards

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazza View Post
After 10 years visiting the area 2-3 times a year, I still have not seen Spanish Sparrows, so this is interesting!

Are they migratory birds (winter visitors)? If they will migrate, do you have a good idea when they will likely leave the area (we will visit again in March/April)? And finally, where in Santa Pola have they been seen?
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 20th April 2016, 08:34   #56
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Roseate tern and a pair of Elegant terns in Santa Pola

Yesterday, during a guided trip in Alicante I could relocated the Roseate Tern in Santa Pola (Photo attached). The elegant terns seeing last Monday are still among the Sandwich tern colony.

Good birding
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Roseate tern3-foro.JPG
Views:	146
Size:	170.2 KB
ID:	581733  
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 13th May 2016, 04:49   #57
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Trumpeted Finches

Yesterday was an excellent birding day with Clive, Roger and Eldwyth in the Alicante province. Sightings included (to name few) over 10 Trumpeted finches, Black wheatears, Blue Rock Trush, Marbled Teals, Caspian Tern, Booted Eagle, Purple Sawamp-hen, Alpine Swift, Little Bittern, etc.

The last rains has helped a lot to the unstable population of Trumpeted Finches, increasing them up to 10 pairs. The first clutches have fledged and apparently they are going to try a second one. Great!

Some pictures in facebook, link
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th May 2016, 08:28   #58
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
birding in Alicante, Albacete and Marjal dels Moros

Today, I would like to mention Marjal dels Moros, a small but very interesting wetland just few km from Valencia. At the moment there are breeding 2 terns (elegant type) in a colony of Sandwich terns. Besides, good numbers of Patrincoles, Little Bittern and White headed Duck.

On Saturday, I took Hervé, Linda and Mike to the steppes of Albacete where we saw: Great Bustards, a superb male Little Bustard, Roller, Black, Whiskered and Gull-billed Tern, Calandra Lark, Black Kite, Kentish Plover, etc. Short trip report in the following link.

On Sunday, I guide Hervé from North to South of Alicante province seeing: Red-necked nightjars, Savi's Warbler, Purple and Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Trumpeted Finches, Black wheatear, Purple Swamp-hen, Marbled Teals (wild and from the restock programme), etc.



Some photos in the following link

Have a good birding day
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st November 2016, 10:43   #59
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Genet in Valencia and Steppes of Albacete

HOLIDAYS HIGHLIGHTS
Genet in Valencia and Steppes of Albacete
17-18 November 2016

Guide: Pau Lucio

Guests: Susan and Colin Groves

Day 1.
After greeting Susan and Colin at the Hotel in Gandia beach, we set off to Bicorp for the evening/night encounter with the Genet. After a coffee/facilities stop, we took the 10-kilometer track to reach the cottage where we would wait for the Genet. After parking the car, Pau spotted a couple of Spanish Ibex, one of them a nice male which allowed some distant pictures. We waited until Javi arrived from surveying Polecat near Villena and prepared everything to attract the Genet.

As soon as it was dark, the Genet ‘Algarrobo’ showed up! At the beginning was a bit shy but soon started to show more confidence and got closer. Pau and Javi followed him with the torch while everyone took pictures. Once the Genet was confident enough, we took few shoots with flash.
We decided to move few meters away to the olive tree orchard to have a different setting. There we got the genet climbing the trees and balancing with the tail. Just amazing! In the back we could hear Tawny owl and Common toad.

Once the genet left, we took the car and drove back to Gandia, arriving around 10:00. It was a perfect timing to enjoy some drinks and have a rest for tomorrow trip.

Day 2.

We left the hotel at 9:30 and approximately around 11:00 we were enjoying the first group of Great bustards in Higueruela. The fields were packed with Linnets, Skylarks and Crested Larks. We continued driving to the next stop finding on the way Marsh Harriers, Iberian Grey Shrike and a superb Golden Eagle! It was flying over the ridge and being bombed by a Kestrel.

This autumn has been very dry so instead of visiting the temporary lagoons, we headed off to a permanent lagoon near the railway. In a nearby field there was a Merlin on the ground which soon flew off. There were a very good numbers of birds in the lagoon: Showeler, Teal, Gadwall, Common Pochard and about 20 White-headed ducks.

We tucked into lunch in Pétrola before visiting the lagoon beside the village. There we got Corn Bunting, Greater Flamingo, Water Pipit, Sanderling, Ruff, Snipe and other waders. We headed back to the motorway following tracks and found 8 Great Bustards, a Little Owl on the top of a pile of stones and a Siskin feeding in a line of thistle.
Our last stop was in an old farm where we added Rock sparrow.

Some pics of the genet here


Mammals

Spanish Ibex
Genet

Birds

Mallard
Gadwall
Teal
Shoveler
Pochard
White-headed Duck
Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
Golden Eagle
Common Kestrel
Merlin
Moorhen
Coot
Great Bustard
Little Ringed Plover
Lapwing
Common Sandpiper
Sanderling
Ruff
Common Snipe
Western Yellow-legged Gull
Black-headed Gull
Feral Pigeon
Common Wood Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
Tawny Owl (heard)
Little Owl
Crested Lark
Skylark
Eurasian Crag Martin
White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Water Pipit
Eurasian Blackbird
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
Cetti’s Warbler (heard)
European Robin
Black Redstart
Common Stonechat
Long-tailed Tit
Coal Tit
Crested Tit (heard)
Great Tit
Penduline Tit (heard)
Iberian Grey Shrike
Eurasian Magpie
Carrion crow
Spotless Starling
House Sparrow
Rock Sparrow
Chaffinch
European Goldfinch
Eurasian Linnet
Siskin
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 25th December 2016, 20:50   #60
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Birding day in El Fondo and Salinas de Santa Pola

Hi guys,

Yesterday I had a fantastic day guiding in the wetlands of South Alicante. It could have been better if the Siberian Scoter would have remained in la Marina but sadly the last sighting was 3 days ago.

Short bird list

Spotted Eagle. Adult. 3 birds at the moment and 1 possible hybrid
Booted Eagle
Marsh Harrier
Bluethroat
Glossy Ibis 300
Sociable Plover mixed in a flock of 500 Lapwing. I am attaching a poor shoot
Little Bittern
Spoonbills (4)
Red-knobbed Coots (4) from the restocking programme
Common Cranes (14)
Hoopoe
Kingfisher
Darford Warbler (2)
Red-crested Pochard (2)
Other common species..... Sanderling, Dunlins, Stint, Stilts, etc

After the heavy and abundant rain the marshes and rivers are full of water. I expect we will have an excellent breeding season not only for birds but also for butterflies and orchids.


Merry Christmas

--
Pau Lucio
Web site Birdwatching Spain
Twitter: @BirdSpain
Find us in Facebook
Phone: (+34) 676.721.763
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	sociable plover.jpg
Views:	136
Size:	176.9 KB
ID:	609442  
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th January 2017, 08:26   #61
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Alicante Mountais and Monnegre

Second day guiding my good friends Vernon and Lynne. After a successful day birding in el Fondo and Santa Pola, we set off to Monnegre and Alicante mountains. By the way, a Jack Snipe is still present in el Fondo, allowing great views.

Short list of birds

Griffon Vultures
Goshawk
Iberian Green Woodpecker
Woodlark
Thekla Lark
Rock Sparrow (h)
Crag martin
Black wheatear
Blue Rock Thrush
Dartford Warbler
Crested Tit
Iberian Grey Shrike
Choughs
Crossbills
Rock Bunting
Spotless Starlings and a good bunch of common birds.

Sadly, the Wallcreeper haven't been seen during the last week in Alcoi.

Good birding

--
Pau Lucio
Web site Birdwatching Spain
Twitter: @BirdSpain
Find us in Facebook
Phone: (+34) 676.721.763
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 14th March 2017, 16:43   #62
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Butterflies, birds and orchids in Costa Blanca

9th March 2017

I have prepared for Jan and Robert an interesting itinerary which combines wetland birds, with butterflies and orchids in Costa Blanca. The last weeks has been very warm for March (max, temperature of 31ºC!) and butterflies are already very active. In addition, we are at the peak of the Mediterranean orchids so I expect to see a good number and variety of them.

After picking Jan and Robert up in Jávea we set off to Pego marshes. The paddy fields are being drying out and the number of birds is amazing. There are thousands of Little and Cattle Egret, White Wagtails, Pipits, Gulls, etc. Very soon we find 19 Common Cranes feeding in a field and Pau spots a couple of Little Ringed Plover and a Bluethroat popping out from the reeds. As we drive around, we find a stunning male Hen Harrier. It is probably the same bird seen last week by Pau. Other common birds seen include Hoopoe, Serins and Tree Sparrows.

In the North part of the park, we spot 2 Booted Eagles, several Marsh Harrier and 5 Common Buzzard migrating above the Montanyeta verda. Later, we find over 100 Audouin’s Gulls, joined by few Mediterranean Gulls feeding on the invasive american crayfish in a paddy field.


After a rewarding coffee stop in Pego, we continue driving to the near valleys to look for butterflies and orchids in Costa Blanca. In our fist stop, Pau show us 3 spikes of Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum) and a couple Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera). Our next stop is on the shade of a stone oak to have lunch. Soon we have to stand up to see a nice Firecrest and a stunning Moroccan orange tip butterfly. Once we finish and pack up the picnic table and chairs back in the boot, we drive few km more. A short walk reveals few tens of Early purple orchids (Orchis olbiensis). We find from white ones to magenta, a nice variety of colours!

Later we drive to an area near Vall d’Ebo where Pau has found previously orchids and his favourite butterfly, the Spanish festoon. There, we see lots of spikes and basal rosettes of two species: Sombre-bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca) and the endemic Ophrys dianica. Regarding butterflies, we have superb views of Spanish festoon, Bath white and Provence Hairstreak among others. Along the road, we find a Cirl Bunting.


Finally, on the way back to Jávea we make a quick stop to add some cracking orchids: Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertianum) and Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax). Furthermore, we add two hybrids Ophrys x castroviejoi (O. scolopax x O. speculum) and Ophrys x pielteri (O. scolopax x O. tenthredinifera).

All in all, a fantastic general wildlife day out with many birds, butterflies and orchids in Costa Blanca, Spain.

Pictures of the butterflies can be found here and orchids here
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 27th March 2017, 16:04   #63
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
El Fondo and the Salinas de Santa Pola

Interesting day birding with Len and Neil in Costa Blanca

Birds list

Zitting Cisticola,
(Common) Stonechat,
Whiskered Tern, 30+
Green Sandpiper,
Sardinian Warbler,
Red-crested Pochard,
Collared Pratincole, 20
(Eurasian) Teal,
Marbled Duck, 6 most/all from the restocking programme
Kentish Plover,
Little Gull (local rarerity)
(Common) Snipe,
(Common) Moorhen,
Water Pipit,
(Common) Sand Martin,
White-headed Duck, 15+
Ferruginous Duck,
Tufted Duck,
(Common) Kingfisher,
Black-necked Grebe,
(Northern) Shoveler,
White Wagtail,
Black-tailed Godwit,
Mallard,
(Eurasian) Spoonbill, 12
Glossy Ibis,
Yellow Wagtail,
Great Egret,
(Ruddy) Turnstone,
House Sparrow,
Little Grebe,
Red-crested Pochard,
Little Egret,
(Greater) Flamingo,
(Eurasian) Coot,
(Eurasian) Curlew,
(Common) Shelduck,
(Pied) Avocet,
(Common) Chiffchaff,
Sanderling,
Dunlin,
Mediterranean Gull,
(Common) Redshank,
Little Ringed Plover,
Black-winged Stilt,
Audouin’s Gull,
(Great) Cormorant,
Slender-billed Gull,
Black-headed Gull,
Sandwich Tern,
(Common) House Martin,
Spotless Starling,
Common Buzzard,
Red-rumped Swallow,
(Common) Magpie,
(Common) Swift,
Corn Bunting,
Booted Eagle,
(European) Serin,
Meadow Pipit,
(Common) Reed Bunting,
(European) Reed Warbler,
Grey Heron,
Crested Lark,
(Common) Kestrel,
Green Sandpiper,
Iberian Grey Shrike,

--
Pau Lucio
Web site Birdwatching Spain
Twitter: @BirdSpain
Find us in Facebook
Phone: (+34) 676.721.763
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 23rd June 2017, 07:10   #64
Tony Knight
Registered User
 
Tony Knight's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Kings Langley, Herts
Posts: 552
Hi Pau. Thanks for the quick tour around Albufera a couple of weeks ago. I've now loaded the photos of the birds and insects we saw (mixed with Extremadura and Sierra de Gredos, sorted alphabetically ) here in case you were interested. Very happy with the pratincole photos, well found ! https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums

Tony
__________________
Tony Knight
photos at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/
Tony Knight is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 26th June 2017, 11:52   #65
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Knight View Post
Hi Pau. Thanks for the quick tour around Albufera a couple of weeks ago. I've now loaded the photos of the birds and insects we saw (mixed with Extremadura and Sierra de Gredos, sorted alphabetically ) here in case you were interested. Very happy with the pratincole photos, well found ! https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums

Tony
Hi Tony!

Very glad you both enjoyed the trip in Spain and specially the Albufera de Valencia. You got nice shoots!

Keep in touch

Kind regards
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 16:29   #66
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Good birding day in the Albufera de Valencia + Albufera Bird Fair

The last days has been particularly great in the Albufera de Valencia (3er largest wetlands in Spain). The West wind blew good number of migrants to the coast. In addition, we visited a restricted area (Tancat de Milia), one of the best birding spots in Spain.

birding day with Mark and Helen

Black necked Grebe
Little Grebe
Crested Grebe
Night heron
Great white
Cattle
Little Egret
Grey heron
Glossy Ibis 600+
Greater Flamingo
Shelduck
White-headed Ducks 4
Mallard
Gadwall
Shoveler
Common teal
Common Pochard
Osprey2
Booted Eagles 4
Bonelli's Eagle juv
Red Kite
Marsh Harriers
Honey Buzzards 2
Kestrel
Morheen
Coot
Purple swamp hen
Avocet
Black-winged Stilt
Little Ringed plover
Reinged plover
Kentish plover
Grey plover
Temmick Stint's 2
Lapwing
Sanderling
Dunlin
Turnstone
Curlew Sandpiper
Wood Sanpiper
Common Sandpiper
Redshank
Spotted Redshank
Greenshank
Black T Godwit
Snipe
Ruff 65+
B H Gull
Y L Gull
Audouin's Gull
L B Back Gull
Sandwich tern
Caspian Terns 8
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Common Swift
Hoppoe
Kingfisher
Crested Lark
Sand Martin
R R Swallow
Barn Swallow
House Martin
Yellow Wagtail 50
Bluethroath
Northern wheatear
Black bird
Sardinian Warbler
Willow Warbler
Fan tailed Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Long tailed Tit
Magpie
Starlin
Spotless Starlin
House Sparrow
Greenfinch
Serin
Golfinch


From October 6 to 8, we have organized the Albufera Bird fair. There will be lots of activities, guided walks, birding marathons, lectures, workshop for children etc. Please find the programme attached. See you there!

Have a nice birding day

--
Pau Lucio
Web site Birdwatching Spain
Twitter: @BirdSpain
Find us in Facebook
Phone: (+34) 676.721.763
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PROGRAMA L'ALBUFERA DE LES AUS 2017 INGLES.pdf (968.0 KB, 97 views)
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 8th October 2017, 15:40   #67
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Rupell's Vulture in Alcoi

Since early August, there has been a Rupell's vulture near the feeding station in Alcoi. A couple of days ago it was captured and a GPS was tagged. More info about its movements soon!
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 17th October 2017, 10:32   #68
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Up to 3 different Rupell's vultures seen in Alcoi

Last week we were lucky to be able to film one of the 3 Rupell's vultures that have been wandering around the feeding station in Alcoi.

A short footage is available on our Facebook website

Good birding
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 07:09   #69
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
Trip report-Birding in East Spain 15th-19th November 2017

HOLIDAYS HIGHLIGHTS
Birding in East Spain
From 15th to 19th November 2017

Guide: Pau Lucio

Guests: Deidre A., Tonny O. and Bob B.

Day 1. Albufera de Valencia

We start the itinerary with strong winds. After picking Deidre up from her hotel in Valencia, we set off to the 3rd largest wetland of Spain: the Albufera de Valencia. Our first stop is in the boarding walks and hides where we get a good number of Ruffs, Black-tailed Godwits, Black-winged Stilts, Greater Flamingos and other shorebirds. We notice that one of the Godwits has colour and flag rings and Pau points out that it must be a bird from Netherlands. Hundreds of these birds overwinter in the Albufera. In addition, along the track we manage to see 3 gorgeous Firecrests, Chaffinch and other common birds.

Our visit to the beach is not a very productive one. It seems that the strong wind has encouraged some people to practise Kitesurf and that must have put the shorebirds off. Nevertheless, we see some interesting birds in the surrounding forest and meadows: Spotless Starlings, Booted Eagles, Serins and Meadow Pipits. After that, we move to the lagoon in la Devesa where we get a dozen Black-necked grebes, Dunlins, Little Stints, Greenshanks and Shelducks. On the way back to the car, Deidre finds 2 approachable Hoopoes.

We drive towards flooded paddy fields seeing thousands of gulls (Black-headed, Lesser black backed and Yellow legged), Snipes, Green Sandpiper and Marsh Harriers. Later, we search the stubble fields and find 4 Bramblings among thousands of Chaffinches and a group of Tree Sparrows.


Day 2. The Steppes of Albacete


Today we join forces with Bob and his colleague. After a quick coffee to wake us up, we start birding in this superb area. Our first birds are a group of Spotless Starlings with a Staling perched in the church’s vane. Few minutes later, we get Rock sparrows and Corn buntings perched on a wire. Before we take the first track, Bob spots some large birds which turn out to be 3 Great Bustards. Later, we take a stroll adding Dartford Warbler, Sylarks, Crested, Thekla lark a far distant female Hen Harrier which is sadly just seen by Pau. On a second track, we find a Little Owl hiding in a pile of rocks. No wonder that Deidre is delighted as owls are her favourite birds.

Unfortunately, this year has been very dry and many of the temporary lagoons that are scattered among the steppes are completely dry. Pau suggests visiting a lagoon which has water to look for some specialities but before reaching it, he has to pull over so everyone can get out of the car and see a wonderful immature Golden Eagle. Fantastic! Finally we reach the lagoon to have our lunch and to add some new birds such as Water Pipit, Wigeon and Lapwings. Bob and Deidre spot 3 Red Kites which disappear behind the hills.

Our last stop today is in another lagoon where we enjoy 15 globally threatened White-headed ducks, Red-crested and Common Pochards, Ferruginous ducks and other species of wildfowl. Before we get into the car, a Sparrowhawk flies in front of us chasing the numerous finches that are feeding in the fields.

Day 3. Pego marshes and Alicante mountains


A lovely clear day followed. We meet with Tonny in Oliva and drive to Pego marshes. The paddy fields are flooded and there are great numbers of Cattle, Little and Great White Egrets. After playing hide and seek with some warblers, we get nice views of Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola and a gorgeous Bluethroat in the reeds. We are delighted by a group of 4 Common Cranes flying over us.

After a coffee stop we move to the mountains. Soon we get a cloud of 200 Red billed Chough, a Raven, a Hawfinch and a Sardenian warbler. Later, as we drive towards Alcoi, we make a second stop to take a panoramic photography of these beautiful and rugged mountains. Pau finds a Crested Tit and a Dartford Warbler which keep moving and making difficult to get a clear view of these nice birds. We carry on towards Alcoi to see the Griffon’s vultures and Crag martins in the ravines. Although it is a bit late, Pau suggests a last stop in the Mariola mountains. It proves to be a good decision as we find a couple of Woodlarks next to the track, followed by Blue tit (uncommon specie in this part of Spain), Fieldfare, Short-toed Treecreeper, Siskins and a group of 6 Common Crossbills.

Day 4. El Fondo and Santa Pola Salt Pans

Our first stop is in the hills near el Fondo where soon we find Black wheatear, Thekla lark and a beautiful male Blue Rock thrush singing from the top of a pole. While we walk back towards the car, Pau calls “there is a raptor soaring” and there it is, a magnificent Bonelli’s Eagle which is followed later by another. This sight fills us with joy! After a coffee stop near el Fondo, we head off to the hides. A Red-rumped swallow stands among the Crag Martins and a group of 15 Common Kestrels hunting together dragonflies as if they were Lesser Kestrel. Along the boardwalk we get fantastic views of Purple swamp hens, Glossy Ibises and a couple of Red-knob Coots.

We move back to the coast to our last stop in the Salinas, where we add some new species: Audouin’s and Slender billed Gulls, Sanderlings, Redshanks and a fantastic Water rail walking along the shore.

Day 5. Gandia harbour and Marjal del Moro

Sadly it is our last day in this wonderful region. After check-out, we take a stroll in Gandia’s harbour seing Sadwich Terns, Mediterranean Gulls and few Balearic Shearwaters. Then, we set off to Gandia’s mountains trying to see some of the wintering Alpine accentors. After some search, we find 3 shy birds, not being able to see if they are ringed. They are part of a project run (by Pau’s colleagues) which aim is to know more about this population in Valencia and Alicante mountains.

Finally, the last stop is made in Marjal del Moro where Pau wants to show Deidre a Barn Owl roosting. Our last new birds are a couple of Kingfishers.

Many thanks to Deidre, Tonny and Bob for joining this adventure. Guys see you in the Pyrenees trip in May!


Bird list

Shelduck
Mallard
Gadwall
Shoveler
Wigeon
Teal
Pochard
Red-crested Pochard
White-headed Duck
Ferruginous Duck
Tufted Duck
Red-legged Partridge
Black-necked Grebe
Little Grebe
Great crested Grebe
Balearic Shearwater
Gannet
Cormorant
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
Grey Heron
Great White Egret
Glossy Ibis
Greater Flamingo
Griffon Vulture
Golden Eagle
Booted Eagle
Bonelli's Eagle
Common Buzzard
Red Kite
Marsh Harrier
Hen Harrier
Sparrowhawk
Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Water Rail
Moorhen
Coot
Red-knobbed Coot
Purple-swamp hen
Common Crane
Great Bustard
Avocet
Black-winged Stilt
Little ringed Plover
Ringed Plover
Lapwing
Sanderling
Dunlin
Little Stint
Green Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Redshank
Greenshank
Black-tailed Godwit
Snipe
Ruff
Black-headed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Lesser black-backed Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Audouin’s Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Sandwich Tern
Feral Pigeon
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Little Owl
Barn Owl
Hoopoe
Kingfisher
Iberian Green Woodpecker (h)
Skylark
Crested Lark
Thekla Lark
Woodlark
Barn Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Crag Martin
Medow Pipit
Water Pipit
White Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Dunnock
Alpine Accentor
Robin
Bluethroat
Black Redstart
Stonechat
Black Wheatear
Song Thrush
Fieldfare
Blackbird
Blue Rock Thrush
Blackcap
Sardinian warbler
Dartford Warbler
Cetti's Warbler
Zitting Cisticola
Firecrest
Chiffchaff
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
Crested Tit
Short-toed Treecreeper
Magpie
Chough
Raven
Carrion Crow
Starling
Spotless Starling
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Rock Sparrow
Chaffinch
Brambling
Linnet
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
Serin
Siskin (h)
Hawfinch
Common Crossbill
Corn Bunting

For download this trip report and another ones, please visit our trip report section

Have a nice day
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 8th December 2017, 07:10   #70
Pau Lucio
Birdwarching Spain: Top wildlife and bird watching tours in Spain www.birdwatchingspain.***

 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Valencia-Spain
Posts: 245
influx of wintering birds

We are having a wonderful (cold but very dry) winter! There has been a huge influx of birds escaping plummeting Scandinavian conditions, and probably no much food around. Thus, this year there are good numbers of Fieldfares, Hawfinches, Ring Ouzels and surprisingly even Citril Finches! We saw this gorgeous male a couple of days ago in Sierra Mariola.

--
Pau Lucio
Web site Birdwatching Spain
Twitter: @BirdSpain
Find us in Facebook
Phone: (+34) 676.721.763
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_8609.JPG
Views:	95
Size:	248.4 KB
ID:	648211  
Pau Lucio is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wader - south east Spain Barry Boswell Bird Identification Q&A 1 Wednesday 9th October 2013 07:18
La Huerta - East Spain - Apr 2012 Cruidín Bird Identification Q&A 3 Saturday 14th April 2012 12:21
Waders - East Spain - Apr 2012 Cruidín Bird Identification Q&A 5 Tuesday 10th April 2012 14:33
Advice on North-East Spain Birding AshWarne Spain including the Canary & Balearic Isles 4 Friday 16th January 2009 16:43
Cervera, North-east Spain Ondara Bird Identification Q&A 4 Sunday 11th May 2008 19:11

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.26986289 seconds with 33 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 19:09.