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Vilafafila - Great Bustard (1 Viewer)

yves0071

Well-known member
Dear Colleagues/ Hola companeros,
I may plan a trip near Vilafafila this spring. Of course the aim is to see some great bustard (and other birds). What is the recomended period?
Any tips welcome about surrounding places.
Thanks in advance and best regards
Yves
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
 
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john-henry

Well-known member
Dear Colleagues/ Hola companeros,
I may plan a trip near Vilafafila this spring. Of course the aim is to see some great bustard (and other birds). What is the recomended period?
Any tips welcome about surrounding places.
Thanks in advance and best regards
Yves
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Hi Yves,
here's part of a trip I made there a few years ago, I can't imagine the area changing very much so the info should still be good.
Have a look on Google Earth and you'll see the road I'm referring to.
If you need any more info etc just get back to me.

regards
John

6th May. Left for Villafafila about 8.30am via the E5/A1 to Aranda de Duero, the 122 to Valladolid, the E80 to Tordesillas and the A6 as far as Villalpando, where I picked up the minor road to Villafafila.
Most of the best birding areas are along, or off, this road including a couple of hides and several good tracks and lagoons, this combined with a short trip down the road to Otero de Sariegos gave plenty to see including a colony of Lesser Kestrels breeding on the houses there.
A drive down the first track I came to produced 6 Great Bustards, one standing on the track itself, several Montagu’s Harriers, a Short-eared Owl hunting over the cereal fields – this was at mid-day so feel sure it must be breeding here, 2 Booted Eagles and a Black Kite overhead.
Back on the main road again more Great Bustards were soon seen, (50 + by the time I’d reached Villafafila), several more Montagu’s, 70+ White Storks, another Short-eared Owl, Red and Black Kites, Booted Eagles, Calandra and Crested Larks, Northern Wheatears, Corn Buntings, Yellow and White Wagtails, Spotless Starlings, House, Tree and Rock Sparrows (all three side by side on one of the hides), Fan-tailed Warbler, Turtle Doves, Hoopoe, Red-legged Partridge, Quail, Raven, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Kestrel, several Lesser Kestrels, Swifts, Swallows and House Martins, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Coot, Dunlin, Knot, Sanderling, Ringed and Grey Plovers, Lapwings, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, 15+Whimbrel, Gull-billed Terns, Black-headed, Yellow-legged and one adult/sub-adult Audouin’s Gull – which I think must be unusual for the area.
A short drive back along the main road in the evening looking to get some photos of Great Bustards was great, they were everywhere you looked, singles displaying, small groups of young males fighting, females watching the older well-whiskered males in full display and others just feeding in the cereal fields, some coming quite close to the road, this was what I’d been looking for the past few years, somewhere where you’re at least in with a chance of getting a picture, so I rigged the tripod up in the car and just sat quietly waiting for one or two to come closer, and they did.
 

john-henry

Well-known member
Thanks John for this information.
I hope to be Lucky as you!
Best regards
Yves

You're more than welcome Yves,
just a tip that might help - if you don't have any luck along the main road try the couple of tracks off to the right near the turn for Villafafila village, especially in the mornings, the Bustards seem to stay more in this area at that time of day, but if it has been very wet these tracks can become like a skid pan so be careful.

Good luck
John
 

yves0071

Well-known member
Hi,
I may have opportunities to travel in Vllafafilla: 20-25 april, or mid may or end June.
What is the best period you will recommend (to see great bustard?)
Thanks in advance for your help
Yves
 
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john-henry

Well-known member
Hi,
I may have opportunities to travel in Vllafafilla: 20-25 april, or mid may or end June.
What is the best period you will recommend (to see great bustard?)
Thanks in advance for your help
Yves

Hi Yves,
I've always been there in the first week of May, mainly because it's in the north of Spain and the weather is more unsettled than further south so I would say go in May.

Good luck

John
 

yves0071

Well-known member
Dear Colleagues, Companeros!
Now I have a date!!!! I will be around Villafalfila next week from 22 to 26 april.
Is there anyboby who have recent news from birds around the lagunas and particularly the great Bustard?
Thanks in advance and best regards
Yves
 

yves0071

Well-known member
Hi,
I am just back from trip in Villafafila.
a lot of great bustard seen! + other species
several places are interesting: tracks west of Villarrin de campos and also (more and "closer") in Villafafila, on Tapioles road, after the interpretation center and stop at dry laguna hide. Look around: a lot are visible! Including at paring exhibition!
Thansk to all of you for giving me details
Regards
Yves
PS: photo taken manually with IPhone above scope ocular
 

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john-henry

Well-known member
Hi,
I am just back from trip in Villafafila.
a lot of great bustard seen! + other species
several places are interesting: tracks west of Villarrin de campos and also (more and "closer") in Villafafila, on Tapioles road, after the interpretation center and stop at dry laguna hide. Look around: a lot are visible! Including at paring exhibition!
Thansk to all of you for giving me details
Regards
Yves
PS: photo taken manually with IPhone above scope ocular

Hi Yves,
Very pleased to hear you had a great time, how about doing a short trip report for Villafafilla fans.

regards
John
 
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