Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza Trip Report, April 2023


12–27 APRIL 2023


Our 16-day tour of Spain began on the 12th of April 2023, in the ancient city of Seville, and concluded on the 27th of April 2023 in Barcelona. During the tour we visited many wonderful birding locations including Brazo del Este, Doñana National Park, Monfragüe National Park, Sierra de Gredos, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, and Delta del Llobregat.   

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

The views provided by the elusive Dupont’s Lark greatly exceeded our highest expectations.

Our trip around this beautiful country gave us many exciting species, including Marbled Duck, White-headed Duck, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Red-knobbed Coot, Audouin’s Gull, 25 species of raptor including Bearded Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Spanish Imperial Eagle, and Bonelli’s Eagle, Eurasian Eagle-Owl, European Roller, Iberian Magpie, Dupont’s Lark (stunning views), Black Wheatear, and Citril Finch, to name only a few. A total of 229 bird species were recorded during the tour (four of these were “heard only”). Species lists are at the end of this report. In addition, this tour allowed us to become familiar with the main habitats, natural sites and diverse culture of Spain. I would like to thank Mary and Gail for the wonderful days we shared exploring my country.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

The European Bee-eater is one of the most colourful birds in Europe, and each observation during our tour was celebrated.

Detailed Report

Day 1, 12th April 2023. Arrival in Seville

The first day of our tour kicked off with the excitement of arrival. Mary and Gail breezed into Seville airport from Madrid mid-afternoon, and were warmly greeted by Javi, the Spanish guide from Birding Ecotours. From the airport, we made a beeline for our nearby hotel.

Eager to dive into the world of Spanish birdwatching, we wasted no time. After a swift check-in, we embarked on an easy one-hour stroll through the streets and gardens surrounding our hotel. Nature did not disappoint – rewarding us with sightings of both Common and Pallid Swift, House Martin and Barn Swallow. Luckily, we detected a fall of migrants in the urban gardens, treating us to sights of Woodchat Shrike, Western Subalpine Warbler, Melodious Warbler, and European Robin. Among the resident bird population, we spotted European Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Common Linnet, Common Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, and Spotless Starling.

In the evening we enjoyed a welcome meal at the hotel, setting the stage for our thrilling itinerary which lay ahead.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

We were able to enjoy the brightly colored European Greenfinch during much of the tour.

Day 2, 13th April 2023. Birding Brazo del Este, Laguna Juncosa, Costa Ballena and Chipiona

Today, our first full day, we went south from Seville to the borderlands between the provinces of Seville and Cadiz. Our initial destination was Brazo del Este, a sprawling wetland and agricultural expanse adjacent to the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. This locale proved to be a remarkably fruitful birding haven, showcasing its richness, despite the severe drought conditions prevailing during our visit. During the morning, we were delighted to observe a total of 69 bird species, including Greater Flamingo, Western Swamphen, Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Collared Pratincole (100+), Whiskered Tern, Purple Heron, and Glossy Ibis. Notably, the morning brought us our first encounter with the celebrated European Bee-eater. Adding to the excitement, the usually elusive Western Olivaceous Warbler offered splendid views as it sang loudly from the dense reed beds.

At noon, while enjoying our picnic lunch in an urban park in the neighboring town of Pinzón, we were excited to come across a European Pied Flycatcher.

During the afternoon, now in the province of Cádiz, we visited the Laguna Juncosa lagoon. Here a gorgeous flock, totaling over 100 Greater Flamingos, absorbed our attention when we arrived. Next, we began discovering an interesting array of species, including Red-crested Pochard, Ruff, Black-necked Grebe, Black-winged Stilt, Red Kite and a Red Fox too. In the riverside grove, we encountered three Eurasian Hoopoes and a splendid Iberian Green Woodpecker which, fortunately, remained motionless on a dry trunk, allowing detailed scope views. In fact, this bird unanimously became the bird of the day. Our next stop was at the Costa Ballena ponds, which produced yet another bird of the day, the iconic White-headed Duck, along with some interesting gulls such as Audouin´s Gull, Slender-billed Gull and Mediterranean Gull. Afterwards, we journeyed to the neighboring town of Chipiona, where our comfortable hotel awaited. However, before officially concluding our day, we couldn’t resist the temptation to visit the sole breeding colony on the entire European continent of Little Swift. Our efforts were handsomely rewarded with exceptional views of this typically African species bathed in the warm glow of a delightful late afternoon.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

Little Swift, a recent colonizer of the European continent from Africa, was seen at Chipiona

Day 3, 14th April 2023. From the Guadalquivir mouth in Cádiz to Doñana National Park

Today we began with an early morning walk from the hotel, along the sea promenade of Chipiona. The sight of an adult Peregrine elegantly perched on a ledge of the lighthouse signaled the beginning of a fresh day of birdwatching. Next, we visited the beach at Playa de Montijo, which proved to be a festival of shorebirds (waders) with Kentish Plover, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Rudy Turnstone, Eurasian Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, and many others. Also present were a good number of Little Tern, plus singles of Sandwich Tern and Osprey.

At midmorning we visited La Algaida Stone Pine Woodland, where Booted Eagle, Eurasian Spoonbill, White Stork and Grey Heron share the treetops, creating a vivid mixed colony, locally referred to as “pajareras”.  We walked amongst the trees until we spotted a Western Bonelli’s Warbler.  Not much further, at El Tarelo lagoon, we were fortunate to observe a Little Bittern. Additionally, we managed to find four more White-headed Duck and a group of Common Waxbill.

At noon we headed to the fantastic Salinas de Bonanza. Interesting species found here included Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, over a hundred stunning Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, vast numbers of Greater Flamingo and one of the recently reclassified Mediterranean Short-toed Lark.  Subsequently, we ventured to the unassuming Lagunas de Camino Colorado, affectionately known as the Stinky Pools. Our visit yielded excellent views of our primary target, Red-knobbed Coot, along with six additional White-headed Duck and seven Red-crested Pochard, amidst a diverse assortment of other waterbirds.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

The third day of the tour turned out to be particularly successful when it came to observing White-headed Duck.

In the afternoon we crossed the Guadalquivir River, using the same small ferry utilized by traditional pilgrims during the Rocío pilgrimage. On the way to the hotel, we made a strategic stop to enjoy a colourful colony of European Bee-eater right on the roadside embankment.

After checking into the hotel and before dinner, at sunset, we visited the open woodland of Dehesa Tornero, in the core of Coto Doñana National Park. This area is well known as a stronghold of Iberian Lynx, but despite extensive searching we were not able to locate any of these extremely rare big cats. However, good birds were aplenty here. Indeed, we enjoyed our first Azure-winged Magpie of the trip. On the way back to the hotel, in complete darkness, the car’s headlights allowed us to enjoy a complete family of five Tawny Owl, the bird of the day!

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

We enjoyed this family group of Tawny Owl with recently fledged offspring.

Day 4, 15th April 2023. El Rocío and Doñana National Park: La Rocina and El Acebrón

Today was entirely dedicated to birdwatching in the diverse habitats of Doñana National Park. Our day began with a dawn visit to Dehesa Tornero, where a Common Cuckoo and two Eurasian Hoopoe treated us to a delightful spectacle. After breakfast, we took a leisurely stroll around the hotel surroundings, spotting the first Eurasian Tree Sparrows of the trip and enjoying excellent views of Iberian Magpie.

Towards the end of the morning, we explored El Rocío and the adjacent “La Madre” Lagoon, the park’s most iconic location. Despite the low water levels, we observed a variety of birds, including Graylag Goose, Greater Flamingo, Eurasian Spoonbill, White Stork, Collared Pratincole, Eurasian Coot, and Common Shelduck. Notably, we were fortunate to spot a Temminck’s Stint, a scarce migrant in Spain.

In the afternoon, we ventured to the La Rocina area, where we had an outdoor picnic while observing Short-toed Treecreeper, Savi’s Warbler and many others. Not far from here, at El Acebrón riparian forest, we easily spotted a local highlight, the Iberian Chiffchaff, and we delighted in the melodious song of the nightingale.

In the early afternoon we returned to our comfortable hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

El Rocío is a picturesque village in the heart of Doñana National Park, characterized by its sandy streets and whitewashed houses that evoke a traditional Andalusian atmosphere.

Day 5, 16th April 2023. El Rocio to Extremadura

We started the day in a relaxed manner, before bidding farewell to Andalusia and heading north to Extremadura. At noon, we arrived at the Chozos de Llera, where we were greeted by two majestic immature Spanish Imperial Eagle!

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

Iberian Magpie is one of the most sought-after species on any birding trip to Spain. We had great encounters with this iconic species while birding in Doñana National Park.

From a picnic table on a beautiful promontory, we also had the pleasure of enjoying the first (of many) Cinereous Vulture, while Thekla’s Lark displayed all round. Unfortunately, Gail began to experience stomach discomfort, so we set course for the hotel, with the memory of the iconic and endangered eagles in our minds.

As European raptors go, it’s hard to find one more iconic than Spanish Imperial Eagle. Here is one of the two juveniles we saw together, being harassed by two Western Marsh Harriers.

Day 6, 17th April 2023. Monfragüe National Park and surrounds

Today we took the short journey into the beautiful Monfragüe National Park, with a first stop at the famous “Salto del Gitano”.  As usual in this extraordinary area, the targets gradually appeared, providing excellent views, including Blue Rock Thrush, Black Redstart, Rock Bunting, Black Stork at their nests, and Cinereous, Egyptian and Griffon Vulture, these last ones seen in every possible way. Remarkably, despite the distance, we managed to see a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle on their nesting platform on a eucalyptus tree. Not much further, between Fuente del Frances and Las Corchuelas, we found the always impressive Alpine Swift, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Western Subalpine Warbler, Dartford Warbler and Western Black-eared Wheatear. Our outstanding sighting of a breeding pair of Lesser-spotted Woodpecker deserves special mention.

We finished the day visiting a breeding colony of Lesser Kestrel, beautifully placed at a Romanesque chapel in the town of Saucedilla.

We still had time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of our hotel, where Eurasian Crag Martin, House Martin and Spanish Sparrow were fully engaged in their breeding activities.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

“El Salto del Gitano” stands as a prominent landmark in Monfragüe National Park and holds a large colony of Griffon Vultures and several pairs of Black Stork, all surrounded by a pristine “dehesas” and Mediterranean forest.

Day 7, 18th April 2023. Santa Marta Steppes, Trujillo and Gredos Mountains

Today, we woke early to reach the steppes of Santa Marta with the first light of day. Undoubtedly, this was a very wise decision, as we were able to observe at our leisure the elaborate courtship display of a male Great Bustard to a group of females.

We couldn’t believe our luck as we witnessed the so-called foam bath intricate performance of the male, capturing the attention of a group of females. This captivating display involved the majestic bird puffing up its feathers, gracefully raising and lowering its wings. All of this was enhanced, if possible, by the beautiful morning light. This turned out to be one of the most remarkable moments of the trip. As if this were not enough, just a few hundred feet ahead, another group of naturalists kindly directed us to a male Little Bustard, also in courtship! A great encounter with a Little Owl was another highly celebrated moment.

Our next stop was at the old town of Trujillo, hometown of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador known for his exploration and conquests in South America during the early 16th century. Our reason for visiting the town was mainly to observe, at very close range, a Eurasian Scops Owl in its usual day roost in a beautiful horse chestnut tree in an urban park.

In the early afternoon, we hit the road again, to Gredos Mountains. At the roadside, we managed great views of a Greater Spotted Cuckoo and an immature Bonelli’s Eagle.

We received a warm welcome at Hotel Almanzor from our friends, Luis Alfonso and Loli. Once settled into our cosy rooms, we had an opportunity to enjoy an initial visit to the excellent bird feeder and hide, right at the hotel.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

During the tour, we particularly enjoyed the owls, such as this Little Owl in its nest box in the Plains of Caceres, Extremadura.

Day 8, 19th April 2023. Sierra Gredos: Plataforma de Gredos and Pine Woodland

Today was spent exploring the beautiful Sierra Gredos. Before heading out, we searched the area around our hotel, including the excellent bird feeder. This gave us unbeatable views of a striking Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Wren, European Robin and Rock Sparrow.

During our exploration of the stunning La Plataforma high mountain area, we saw Booted Eagle, Woodlark, Common Whitethroat, Northern Wheatear and Water Pipit. However, the most remarkable sightings were Ortolan Bunting, two Common (Rufous-tailed) Rock Thrush and plenty of Dunnock (the mabbotti subspecies, a recently touted potential split as “Iberian Dunnock”).

The close encounters with numerous Spanish Ibex, some with impressive antlers, also provided immense enjoyment and great photographic opportunities.

Finally, we explored the pine forests at lower altitudes, where we enjoyed good views of White-throated Dipper, Crested Tit, Citril Finch and Common Firecrest, Goldcrest, Coal Tit and Red Crossbill, to name but a few. In part, all of this happened while we remained comfortably seated on two chairs by a beautiful clearing in the forest. With all the day’s goals more than achieved, we decided to return to the hotel, with plenty of time to enjoy another session at the bird feeders.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

The Spanish Ibex stands as one of Spain’s most iconic mammals, exemplified by this spectacular male in full display, for the delight of the group.

Day 9, 20th April 2022. From Gredos to Pamplona: Steppes of Ablitas and Pitillas Lagoon

Before bidding farewell to the Gredos mountains, we woke up early to search for our last major objective in the area, the Bluethroat, in its pristine mountain breeding grounds. Fortunately, we managed to see two specimens, one of them particularly well.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

To get a good look at the mythical Bluethroat we had to wake up early and engage in a pre-breakfast birding session in the high plateaus of Gredos Mountains in central Spain.

Next, we returned to our hotel for breakfast and to say our goodbyes. Then we headed north, on a rather long journey to the steppes of Ablitas in Navarra. Upon arrival, we enjoyed an excellent sighting of perched European Bee-eater. With great effort and perseverance, we managed to find one of the most challenging objectives of the trip and Iberian birdlife, Dupont’s Lark. As is usual with this elusive species, initially we only managed to hear its plaintive call. Happily, and without prior notice, an adult, followed by a chick, appeared just a few feet from our car, allowing us to enjoy their presence at our leisure. It was a dreamlike observation!

Our next destination was Pitillas Lagoon, which proved to be quieter than usual for this time of year. Nevertheless, we saw Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Skylark, and a group of baby Wild Boar on our path. We then drove to our hotel in downtown Pamplona, a city globally renowned for the running of the bulls.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

This striking Dupont´s Lark showed up exceptionally well, accompanied by a recently fledged chick.

Day 10, 21st April 2023. From Pamplona to the Western Pyrenees

Firstly, we visited Quinto Real, a transboundary (with France) forest area, a deciduous forest composed primarily of beeches, chestnuts, oaks, and alders. This is a purely Atlantic environment, markedly different from the Mediterranean setting of the first half of the tour. We took a gentle and leisurely walk, paying attention to every song and movement in the treetops, and found Eurasian Jay, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, and we detected the first Song Thrush and Eurasian Treecreeper of the trip.

Next, we visited some high mountain passes, but the bothersome wind made us give up and continue our route towards the east. We had our picnic in the stunning Foz de Arbayún, the gateway to the Pyrenees. Here we saw our first distant Bearded Vulture soaring high over the deep gorge. These were sharing the sky with a group of Alpine Swifts and two Egyptian Vultures.

In the afternoon, we crossed the Pyrenean valley of Larra and Belagua. Here, the most notable observations were the elegant Chamois. We ended the day enjoying a craft beer next to the fireplace at our hotel, located in an idyllic setting in the mountains of the Hecho Valley.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

This obliging Common Firecrest enlivened our picnic lunch in the woods.

Day 11, 22nd April 2023. Pyrenees between Aragón and Navarra.

The day dawned partially cloudy with showers. We started the day by visiting the surroundings of the Refugio de Gabardito shelter. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us from completing the route through a limestone massif, a prime area for observing Wallcreeper. In turn, we had no less than seven (!) Egyptian Vulture perched on the ground in a farm, several Roe Deer and wonderful views of Mistle Thrush. At this point, we made a short detour to get some medicine.

We spent the rest of the day visiting the most attractive locations in the adjacent valleys between Aragon and Navarra. A remarkable sight was a pair of Golden Eagle gliding over the head of a glacial cirque and perched on the snow. In the same area, a large mixed flock of hundreds of Red-billed and Alpine Choughs showed up.

We also saw Bearded Vulture, Yellowhammer and White-throated Dipper. We were driving, and had almost lost hope of finding it, when an unexpected Black Woodpecker appeared briefly, perched at the base of a trunk on the roadside!

As a result of the storms, we found the road in one of the valleys blocked due to the overflowing of a river with red ferruginous waters, creating a beautiful scene.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

We found this splendid adult Egyptian Vulture on the roadside in northern Spain.

Day 12, 23rd April 2023. From Hecho to Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park with a brief foray into France

Dawn was rainy and we made a final, unsuccessful, attempt to locate the elusive wallcreeper in a gorge very close to our hotel. Seeing that the weather wasn’t improving, we decided to descend to lower altitudes and set course for our next destination in the Central Pyrenees. Along the way, we had multiple encounters with Red Kite, one of the best-represented raptors of the trip.

At noon, we visited the beautiful surroundings of San Juan de la Peña, including a territory of the Black Woodpecker, which unfortunately did not makean appearance.

We enjoyed watching Griffon Vultures in their nests perched on impressive cliffs.

We made a brief detour into France to visit Le Portalet area, to enjoy the impressive mountain landscapes. We then spent the rest of the day getting to our hotel in the Central Pyrenees.

Day 13, 24th April 2023. Torla and Ordesa National Park

Today was planned to be one of the most special of the tour. On the one hand, we had the extra assistance of Juan Carlos, a professional biologist and one of the most experienced ornithologists in the area. On the other hand, due to the unusual lack of snow at the higher altitudes of the park, we had the rare opportunity to access the high meadows in April, something truly uncommon. To do this, we used a private vehicle expressly authorized to travel on a restricted track and access Cuello Gordo area. Next, we hiked a couple of miles on a rather challenging path, to reach an extremely impressive viewpoint overlooking the main canyon in Ordesa National Park. In doing so, we saw Marmot, Water Pipit, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Skylark, Red-billed and Alpine Choughs, plenty of Griffon and a Bearded Vulture.  Unfortunately, probably also due to the lack of snow, we didn’t manage to find other typical species, such as the Wallcreeper. Fortunately, we did get great views of an Alpine Accentor.

During the afternoon, still in the company of Juan Carlos, we visited several key locations in the lower area of the national park. Firstly, we visited a Bearded Vulture breeding area. While we waited and enjoyed a picnic, we spotted an adult bird in the far distance. Fortunately, the bird visited its nest, flying over the area where we were located. In the same area, we also saw a Golden Eagle.

To finish the birding journey, we explored several forest areas where we had a very good view of a Marsh Tit and a Eurasian Treecreeper. While driving back to Torla, a male Eurasian Bullfinch crossed the road in front of us.

We then left the high Pyrenees, with the most dramatic landscapes of the journey, to continue east towards our next destination in Lleida, Catalonia.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

The glacial valley of Ordesa National Park, in the central Pyrenees, is the realm of the Wallcreeper and one of the most spectacular landscapes in Spain.

Day 14, 25th April 2023. Outskirts of Lleida

Today we were accompanied by Jose, a local expert on birding in the Lleida area. Jose’s deep knowledge of his local area proved invaluable, and thanks to him we enjoyed a very varied array of species. In fact, as soon as we arrived at the first birdwatching area, we could clearly hear the distinctive song of Dupont’s Lark. It’s worth noting how unusual it is to detect this threatened and elusive species in two different populations on the same tour.

Other remarkable sightings included Red-crested Pochard, Red-legged Partridge, Whinchat, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, European Turtle Dove, and Stock Dove. The remarkable observations of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Little Bustard, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Stone-curlew and Black Wheatear stood out!

As if this were not enough, Jose still had many surprises in store for us and took us to his secret spots to enjoy a Long-eared Owl and a family of four Eurasian Eagle-Owls! We also had time to visit a colony of Lesser Kestrel and Red-billed Chough in an old building.

As a final touch, before returning to the hotel, Jose took us to our last great objective, Eurasian Hobby. We then said a warm goodbye to Jose and thanked him for his friendliness and for providing us with one of the most fruitful birding days of the trip.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

Obtaining convincing views of the Eurasian Treecreeper required a considerable effort, but it was undoubtedly worth it.

Day 15, 26th April 2023. Lleida to Barcelona: Delta del Llobregat

This was to be our last full day of birdwatching, and we still had many possible targets, so we decided to wake up early to make the most of it. This way, we arrived at the Utxesa reservoir at dawn and rather easily managed to find two Common Kingfisher, three Eurasian Penduline Tit, about six Bearded Reedling, three Great Reed Warbler and two Moustached Warbler. However, the most unexpected thing was hearing a Common Grasshopper Warbler.

In another nearby wetland, on our way to Barcelona, we added Great Crested Grebe and Northern Lapwing to the trip list.

We arrived at our magnificent hotel in Barcelona in the early afternoon. We had time to settle in and rest briefly before heading out for our last birding session at the famous Delta del Llobregat, a wetland area near Barcelona airport. From the comfort of well-designed wooden observatories, we managed to enjoy a wide variety of waterfowl species, such as Northern Pintail, Greater Flamingo, Western Swamphen, Black-winged Stilt, Common Snipe, Ruff, and Curlew Sandpiper. Walking among the observatories, we also found some interesting migrants including Garden Warbler, Common Redstart, Willow Warbler, and Sand Martin.

Spain: Spring Birding Extravaganza

Finding this Eurasian Scops Owl day-roosting in the dense foliage was not an easy task.

Our final stop of the day, and the tour, was on a beach near the hotel, from where we carried out a short sea-watching session. Despite the considerable distance to the birds, we managed to conclude the tour with two species of great interest, Cory’s Shearwater and the Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwater.

After another productive day, we headed to our hotel for the final meal and discussed the ‘Bird of the Trip’. After careful consideration, we chose the courtship display of the Great Bustards in Extremadura. Undoubtedly, a very fair and wise decision!

Day 16, 27th April 2023. Tour conclusion in Barcelona

On the very last day of the tour, we rose early to arrive at the airport at first light, a task we executed rapidly and uneventfully. There, Javi bid farewell to Mary and Gail, and each of us proceeded homeward, our minds still brimming with the beautiful scenes of the birdlife in Spain.

Bird ListFollowing IOC (12.1)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen.

Common NameScientific Name
Anatidae – Ducks and Geese
Graylag GooseAnser anser
Mute SwanCygnus olor
Egyptian GooseAlopochen aegyptiaca
Common ShelduckTadorna tadorna
Northern ShovelerSpatula clypeata
GadwallMareca strepera
MallardAnas platyrhynchos
Northern PintailAnas acuta
Marbled TealMarmaronetta angustirostris
Red-crested PochardNetta rufina
Common PochardAythya ferina
Tufted DuckAythya fuligula
White-headed DuckOxyura leucocephala
Phasianidae – Quails and Partridges
Common Quail (H)Coturnix coturnix
Red-legged PartridgeAlectoris rufa
Podicipedidae – Grebes
Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
Horned GrebePodiceps auritus
Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus
Phoenicopteridae – Flamingoes
Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus roseus
Procellariidae – Shearwaters and Petrels
Cory’s ShearwaterCalonectris borealis
Balearic ShearwaterPuffinus mauretanicus
Ciconiidae – Storks
Black StorkCiconia nigra
White StorkCiconia ciconia
Phalacrocoracidae – Cormorants
Great CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo
Ardeidae – Herons and Egrets
Little BitternIxobrychus minutus
Grey HeronArdea cinerea
Purple HeronArdea purpurea
Great EgretArdea alba
Little EgretEgretta garzetta
Western Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
Squacco HeronArdeola ralloides
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax
Threskiornithidae – Ibises and Spoonbills
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
Eurasian SpoonbillPlatalea leucorodia
Pandionidae – Ospreys
OspreyPandion haliaetus
Accipitridae – Vultures, Eagles and Kites
Bearded VultureGypaetus barbatus
Egyptian VultureNeophron percnopterus
Cinereous VultureAegypius monachus
Eurasian GriffonGyps fulvus
Short-toed Snake EagleCircaetus gallicus
Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatus
Spanish Imperial EagleAquila adalberti
Golden EagleAquila chrysaetos
Bonelli’s EagleAquila fasciata
Western Marsh HarrierCircus aeruginosus
Montagu’s HarrierCircus pygargus
Northern Goshawk (H)Accipiter gentilis
Red KiteMilvus milvus
Black KiteMilvus migrans
Common BuzzardButeo buteo
Otididae – Bustards
Great BustardOtis tarda
Little BustardTetrax tetrax
Rallidae – Crakes and Moorhens
Water Rail (H)Rallus aquaticus
Western SwamphenPorphyrio porphyrio
Eurasian MoorhenGallinula chloropus
Red-knobbed CootFulica cristata
Eurasian CootFulica atra
Burhinidae – Thick-knees
Eurasian Stone-curlewBurhinus oedicnemus
Recurvirostridae – Stilts and Avocets
Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosetta
Haematopodidae – Oystercatchers
Eurasian OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegus
Charadriidae – Plovers and Lapwings
Grey PloverPluvialis squatarola
Northern LapwingVanellus vanellus
Kentish PloverCharadrius alexandrinus
Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubius
Scolopacidae – Sandpipers and Godwits
Eurasian WhimbrelNumenius phaeopus
Eurasian CurlewNumenius arquata
Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponica
Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosa
Ruddy TurnstoneArenaria interpres
RuffCalidris pugnax
Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferruginea
Temminck’s StintCalidris temminckii
SanderlingCalidris alba
DunlinCalidris alpina
Common SnipeGallinago gallinago
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
Green SandpiperTringa ochropus
Spotted RedshankTringa erythropus
Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
Common RedshankTringa totanus
Glareolidae – Coursers and Pratincoles
Collared PratincoleGlareola pratincola
Laridae – Gulls and Terns
Slender-billed GullChroicocephalus genei
Black-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus
Mediterranean GullIchthyaetus melanocephalus
Audouin’s GullIchthyaetus audouinii
Yellow-legged GullLarus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed GullLarus fuscus
Little TernSternula albifrons
Gull-billed TernGelochelidon nilotica
Caspian TernHydroprogne caspia
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybrida
Sandwich TernThalasseus sandvicensis
Pteroclidae – Sandgrouses
Pin-tailed SandgrousePterocles alchata
Columbidae – Pigeons and Doves
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)Columba livia
Stock DoveColumba oenas
Common Wood PigeonColumba palumbus
European Turtle DoveStreptopelia turtur
Eurasian Collared DoveStreptopelia decaocto
Cuculidae – Cuckoos
Great Spotted CuckooClamator glandarius
Common CuckooCuculus canorus
Strigidae – Owls
European Scops OwlOtus scops
Eurasian Eagle-OwlBubo bubo
Little OwlAthene noctua
Tawny OwlStrix aluco
Long-eared OwlAsio otus
Apodidae – Swifts
Alpine SwiftApus melba
Common SwiftApus apus
Pallid SwiftApus pallidus
Little SwiftApus affinis
Upudidae – Hoopoes
Eurasian HoopoeUpupa epops
Alcedinidae – Kingfishers
Common KingfisherAlcedo atthis
Meropidae – Bee-eaters
European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster
Coraciidae – Rollers
European RollerCoracias garrulus
Picidae – Woodpeckers
Eurasian WryneckJynx torquilla
Lesser Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos minor
Great Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos major
Black WoodpeckerDryocopus martius
Iberian Green WoodpeckerPicus sharpei
Falconidae – Falcons
Lesser KestrelFalco naumanni
Eurasian KestrelFalco tinnunculus
Eurasian HobbyFalco subbuteo
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus
Psittaculidae – Parrots and Lovebirds
Rose-ringed ParakeetPsittacula krameri
Psittacidae – New World and African Parrots
Monk ParakeetMyiopsitta monachus
Laniidae – Shrikes
Iberian Grey ShrikeLanius meridionalis
Woodchat ShrikeLanius senator
Oriolidae – Orioles
Eurasian Golden Oriole (H)Oriolus oriolus
Corvidae – Corvids
Eurasian JayGarrulus glandarius
Iberian MagpieCyanopica cooki
Eurasian MagpiePica pica
Red-billed ChoughPyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Yellow-billed ChoughPyrrhocorax graculus
Eurasian JackdawCorvus monedula
Carrion CrowCorvus corone
Common RavenCorvus corax
Panuridae – Bearded reedling
Bearded ReedlingPanurus biarmicus
Alaudidae – Larks
Greater Short-toed LarkCalandrella brachydactyla
Calandra LarkMelanocorypha calandra
Dupont’s LarkChersophilus duponti
Mediterranean Short-toed LarkAlaudala rufescens
WoodlarkLullula arborea
Eurasian SkylarkAlauda arvensis
Thekla’s LarkGalerida theklae
Crested LarkGalerida cristata
Hirundinidae – Swallows and Martins
Sand MartinRiparia riparia
Eurasian Crag MartinPtyonoprogne rupestris
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Red-rumped SwallowCecropis daurica
Common House MartinDelichon urbicum
Paridae, Remizidae, Aegithalidae – Tits
Coal TitPeriparus ater
Crested TitLophophanes cristatus
Marsh TitPoecile palustris
Eurasian Blue TitCyanistes caeruleus
Great TitParus major
Remizidae – Penduline Tits
Eurasian Penduline TitRemiz pendulinus
Aegithalidae – Long-tailed Tits
Long-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus
Sittidae – Nuthatches
Eurasian NuthatchSitta europaea
Certhiidae – Treecreepers
Eurasian TreecreeperCerthia familiaris
Short-toed TreecreeperCerthia brachydactyla
Troglodytidae – Wrens
Eurasian WrenTroglodytes troglodytes
Cinclidae – Dippers
White-throated DipperCinclus cinclus
Regulidae – Kinglets
GoldcrestRegulus regulus
FirecrestRegulus ignicapilla
Cettiidae – Cettiid Warblers
Cetti’s WarblerCettia cetti
Phylloscopidae – Leaf Warblers
Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus
Common ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita
Iberian ChiffchaffPhylloscopus ibericus
Western Bonelli’s WarblerPhylloscopus bonelli
Acrocephalidae – Reed Warblers
Western Olivaceous WarblerIduna opaca
Melodious WarblerHippolais polyglotta
Moustached WarblerAcrocephalus melanopogon
Eurasian Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus
Great Reed WarblerAcrocephalus arundinaceus
Locustellidae – Grass Warblers
Savi’s WarblerLocustella luscinioides
Common Grasshopper WarblerLocustella naevia
Cisticolidae – Cisticolas
Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidis
Sylviidae – Sylvia Warblers
Eurasian BlackcapSylvia atricapilla
Garden WarblerSylvia borin
Western Subalpine WarblerSylvia iberiae
Sardinian WarblerSylvia melanocephala
Greater WhitethroatSylvia communis
Dartford WarblerSylvia undata
Muscicapidae – Flycatchers
European RobinErithacus rubecula
Common NightingaleLuscinia megarhynchos
BluethroatLuscinia svecica
European Pied FlycatcherFicedula hypoleuca
Common RedstartPhoenicurus phoenicurus
Black RedstartPhoenicurus ochruros
Common Rock ThrushMonticola saxatilis
Blue Rock ThrushMonticola solitarius
WhinchatSaxicola rubetra
European StonechatSaxicola rubicola
Black WheatearOenanthe leucura
Northern WheatearOenanthe oenanthe
Western Black-eared WheatearOenanthe hispanica
Turdidae – Thrushes
Common BlackbirdTurdus merula
Song ThrushTurdus philomelos
Mistle ThrushTurdus viscivorus
Sturnidae – Starlings
Common StarlingSturnus vulgaris
Spotless StarlingSturnus unicolor
Prunellidae – Accentors
Alpine AccentorPrunella collaris
DunnockPrunella modularis
Motacillidae – Pipits and Wagtails
Western Yellow WagtailMotacilla flava
White WagtailMotacilla alba
Grey WagtailMotacilla cinerea
Tawny PipitAnthus campestris
Tree PipitAnthus trivialis
Water PipitAnthus spinoletta
Emberizidae – Buntings
YellowhammerEmberiza citrinella
Cirl BuntingEmberiza cirlus
Rock BuntingEmberiza cia
Ortolan BuntingEmberiza hortulana
Corn BuntingEmberiza calandra
Fringillidae – Finches
Common ChaffinchFringilla coelebs
Eurasian BullfinchPyrrhula pyrrhula
European GreenfinchChloris chloris
Eurasian LinnetLinaria cannabina
Red CrossbillLoxia curvirostra
European GoldfinchCarduelis carduelis
Citril FinchCarduelis citrinella
European SerinSerinus serinus
Passeridae – Sparrows
House SparrowPasser domesticus
Spanish SparrowPasser hispaniolensis
Eurasian Tree SparrowPasser montanus
Rock PetroniaPetronia petronia
Ploceidae – Weavers
Black-headed WeaverPloceus melanocephalus
Estrildidae – Estrildid Finches
Common WaxbillEstrilda astrild
Total seen225
Total heard only4
Total recorded229

Mammal List

Common NameScientific Name
Dogs (Canidae)
Red FoxVulpes vulpes
Rabbits and Hares (Leporidae)
European RabbitOryctolagus cuniculus
Deer (Cervidae)
(Spanish) Red DeerCervus elaphus hispanicus
Roe DeerCapreolus capreolus
Bovids (Bovidae)
Iberian Ibex (Gredos)Capra pyrenaica victoriae
ChamoisRupicapra rupicapra
Pigs and hogs (Suyidae)
Wild BoarSus scrofa
Squirrels (Sciuridae)
MarmotMarmota marmota
Total seen8


Please see the downloadable PDF above with the full species lists included. This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

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