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A Report from

Extremadura, Spain, 29 January - 4 February 2001,

Steve Rowland



Participants:  Steve Rowland (Titchwell RSPB), Jo Johnson (Titchwell), Chris Durdin (Norwich RSPB), Ian Barthorpe (Norwich RSPB), Jim Scott (Snettisham RSPB), Sarah Money (Titchwell RSPB), Tim Strudwick (Strumpshaw RSPB), Dave Brooks (Thornham), Tony Devenish (King's Lynn), John Badley (Frampton RSPB), Neale Hider (Hampshire)

Accommodation: Finca Santa Marta, Trujillo, Staff: Henri (owner), Marcella, Jorge and Edison.

Day 1: Monday 29 January - Stansted - Madrid - Embalse de Arrocampo - Finca Santa Marta, Trujillo

An early start for the flight from Stansted!  On arrival at Madrid, we collected three hire cars and departed at 12.45 for the drive to Trujillo. 

The journey allowed several interesting birds to be recorded early on: White Stork, Red Kite, Griffon Vulture, Crested Lark and Stonechat.  Those who stopped on route also had good views of a Fan-tailed Warbler and several Corn Buntings, while an adjacent pond held Shoveler, Teal and Little Grebe.

The first main stop was at Embalse de Arrocampo (Arroyocampo in Muddeman), in glorious afternoon sunshine.  Here the group were treated to extremely close views of Purple Gallinule, accompanied by their unusual calls, plus those of Water Rail.  A low Black Vulture gave superb views, and the first Hoopoe of the trip put in an appearance.  Disturbance amongst the Lapwings, Golden Plover and starling flocks led to the sighting of a Peregrine, while two separate Marsh Harriers also flew over.

Back on the water, Little and Great Crested Grebes, Coots and Cormorants showed, while a Kingfisher flew past.  A Snipe hid in the reed bed, which also held about 20 Grey HeronsLittle and Cattle Egrets flew over, and several White Storks bill-clapped nearby.  A Little Owl and Southern Grey Shrikes showed well.  Finally, amongst the passerines in the reeds were a Reed Bunting, Chiffchaffs, Fan-tailed Warbler, and probably the star birds here: two Penduline Tits.  At least one Common Starling fed nearby, and a Serin sang from the wires.  Dappled White butterflies were also notable.

Finca Santa Marta was reached with about an hour of daylight left: time enough for a quick walk.  Large numbers of Azure-winged Magpies fed in the surrounding olive groves, with a flock of at least 70 seen going to roost.  About 100 Song Thrushes flew over, with Blackbirds and at least one Redwing mixed in, while Woodlarks sang into the dusk.  Both Blackcap and Sardinian Warbler were heard, and Spotless Starlings were common.  Some group members saw and heard a Short-toed Treecreeper in nearby stone pines, while one lucky person (Tony) found an early Great Spotted Cuckoo and a male Spanish Sparrow.  At least one Black Redstart was around the buildings, and a pair of White Storks occupied a nest on the roof.

Day 2: Tuesday 30 January - Finca Santa Marta - Aldacentenara - Belén Plain - Embalse del Tozo - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

We awoke to a frost: perhaps not surprising given the clear skies.  A pre-breakfast walk was productive, with at least four Hawfinches in the grounds being a particular highlight.  Other species recorded included Serin, Hoopoe, Blackcap, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers (the latter drumming on a metal telegraph pole!), Woodlark and Black Redstart, while two Red Kites left their roost in a stork's nest.

After a leisurely breakfast, we left for the Belén Plain, but a navigational error took us through the dehesa first, en route to Aldacentenara.  This proved to be a worthwhile detour, as everyone had good views of Sardinian and Dartford Warblers, Southern Grey Shrikes, Woodlarks and Short-toed Treecreepers.  A Firecrest, Long-tailed Tits and a Cirl Bunting were also seen by some people, with Ravens flying overhead.  John reported a possible Iberian Chiffchaff, identified on call (though the rest were sceptical about the validity of this as a safe identification feature)!

Eventually, we reached the Belén Plain, with large numbers of Griffon Vultures and Red Kites soaring overhead.  The fields were full of larks: mainly Skylarks with several Calandra Larks also present, along with Corn Buntings and Meadow PipitsBlack Vultures and Kestrels joined the raptor spectacle, and later a superb male Hen Harrier flew past - the first of several sightings on the plain.  The highlight at the first stop was a flock of 27 Little Bustards in flight.  Three very distant flocks were seen later, too.

Turning onto the Belén road, a Lesser Black-backed Gull settled on one of the pools.  Lunch was taken at a spot with a good vista, where a Black Vulture and several Red Kites settled on the ground close by.  Southern Grey Shrikes were prominent, and vocal, here and a flock of seven Stone-curlews were difficult to pick out amongst the stones.  Two Little Owls sat out on the rocks, too.

Farther along the plain, other highlights were a few Golden Plovers amongst the Lapwings and a party of nine Greylag Geese feeding in the feeds.  More Crested and Calandra Larks, various White Storks, and close views of Hen Harrier were also seen.

Following a suggestion from John Muddeman, we then stopped to walk to Embalse del Tozo, a small lake within the dehesa.  This was an excellent little site!  On arrival, a Green Sandpiper flew up from the river, and two were later seen around the lake.  A small flock of Common Cranes fed in the dehesa, but were very nervous and soon flew out towards the lake: a lovely sight and sound.  Also of interest was a large group of Griffon Vultures feeding on a dead cow, with several more soaring overhead. 

On the lake itself, four Wigeon, six Pochard and a few Teal and Gadwall mixed with the MallardsLittle Grebes, Cormorants and Grey Herons were also here, and three Snipe lazed on the island.  Several White Storks were also present.  The final birding highlight here was a flock of about 120 Stock Doves

For those present, however, an interesting creature found under a corrugated sheet caused one of the highlights of the trip.  Later identified as an Amphisbaenian (Blanus cinereus), or worm snake - a nocturnal, rarely seen species which looks like a legless lizard but is in an order of its own - that proceeded to bite Sarah while she held it for Steve to photograph, causing great hilarity; for Steve anyway.  

The day was rounded off nicely with drinks in a bar in Trujillo, before returning to the Finca for dinner.

Day 3: Wednesday 31 January - Finca Santa Marta - Torrejón el Rubio - Monroy road - Peña Falcon Rock - Monfragüe Natural Park - Finca Santa Marta

The pre-breakfast walk saw a similar list to the previous morning.  On the drive northwards, one group saw House Martins in Trujillo itself, another sign of how early spring arrives in Extremadura.  A stop on the banks of the Rio Almonte also allowed everyone their first sighting of Crag Martin on the trip: several were perched on the bridge parapet below.  One group also had good views of Thekla Lark here, singing close by.

Leaving Torrejón el Rubio on the Monroy road, the dehesa was being managed in places, with much brushwood on the roadside.  Several Red Kites were seen, but our real targets lay 21 kilometres down the road.  A group of stone pines with White Storks nesting in them marked the track, which was our next destination.  Here, without too much effort, everyone was able to enjoy good, albeit distant, views of a pair of Black-shouldered Kites, found after Dave suggested that Sarah "check that plastic bag in the tree".  These magnificent little raptors looked almost owl-like times as they moved between perches. 

A Hoopoe sat nearby, too, while the occupants of the first car to arrive were treated to an unexpected bonus when two Great Bustards flew out from the dehesa and away into the distance.  A Sparrowhawk was the other notable bird here.

Retracing our steps before continuing north, the next stop was Peña Falcon Rock on the edge of Monfragüe Natural Park.  This imposing rock outcrop is home to many Griffon Vultures, which both sat on the ledges and soared overhead.  A magnificent site!  Crag Martins were numerous, and Black Redstarts were easy to find.  Other passerines here included a superb Blue Rock Thrush surveying all around him from the top of a crag, and several Rock Buntings, which eventually allowed close approach.  At least two Golden Eagles, two Peregrines and several Black Vultures (including one with half its flight feathers missing!) joined the Griffons in the raptor parade, but sadly, we were still too early for the breeding Black Storks.

We continued on to Villarreal de San Carlos, the Natural Park Visitor Centre, for lunch, with Swallows overhead enjoying the sun.  Here the group split for the afternoon.

Half of the group set out on a pleasant afternoon walk along the Cerro Gimio trail.  The view across the gorge from the top of Cerro Gimio was certainly worthwhile, with vultures soaring well below.  Bird life on the trail was limited, but there were some notable sightings.  Chiffchaffs, Firecrests and Short-toed Treecreepers were all singing, and at least two Crested Tits were seen - the first of the trip.  Two Thekla Larks showed well, too.  Grey Wagtail, several Red-legged Partridges and a lone Lesser Black-backed Gull were also seen, while Cleopatra butterflies were relatively common.  Common and Natterjack Toads and a species of tree frog were also seen, along with some interesting plants.

The remaining group members explored the park by car, stopping at various viewpoints to scan for raptors.  They saw further Golden Eagles and vultures, but the undoubted stars were the Spanish Imperial Eagles!  One was seen early in the afternoon, while later on they were treated to the superb sight of two flying along the ridge at Portilla del Tiétar. 

This final viewpoint was where the two groups met up again to look for Eagle Owls, sadly to no avail.  All was not lost, though, as along with the raptors there were further interesting sightings.  A Common Sandpiper and Cetti's Warbler were both heard along the river, and a Bullfinch flew over.  Other passerines included flocks of Linnet and Goldfinch, plus a flock above the ridge that Tim identified on call as Rock Sparrows: these were to prove to be only record of the trip.  A Red Deer was noted here.

Day 4: Thursday 1 February - Finca Santa Marta - Embalse de Orellana - Guadalupe - Ermita del Humilladero or Sierra de Villuercas - Finca Santa Marta

Another sunny morning, and so plans were made for a trip to the plains of La Serena in search of bustards and cranes.   After the usual birds on the pre-breakfast walk around the Finca, we headed south towards La Serena.  As we headed through Zorita, Sarah made the optimistic comments that the fog in the valley made "an impressive sight," and "should lift soon."  However, it seemed to get thicker!

Peering through the murk, it was perhaps surprising that amongst the Corn Buntings, Stonechats and larks on the fences at the roadside, it was possible to find a Cirl Bunting, and Collared Dove, plus Crag Martins over a river.  The fog made it impossible to scan the rice fields for passerines, but a few Cranes were seen in roadside fields. 

We stopped at Embalse de Orellana to discuss our options.  Great Crested Grebes and Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the reservoir and a Spotless Starling doing a perfect impression of a Common Sandpiper were all that could be seen here, and as it was decided that the fog was unlikely to clear, a change of plans saw us retrace our steps and head for Guadalupe.

On the way we stopped on the roadside to watch a few hundred Cranes feeding nearby, while a flock Long-tailed Tits contained at least one calling Firecrest.  The first Carrion Crow of the trip was seen on the journey, too, while another brief stop to check the map produced Dunnock (another trip first!) and Sardinian Warbler.  Eventually, after a tour of Cañamero, we stopped in Guadalupe for a lunchtime drink and a visit to the Tourist Information Centre.  The numbers of Crag Martins around the monastery were impressive here.  Once again, some people decided on a walk, while others chose to tour the nearby Sierra looking for raptors.  Meanwhile, Chris stayed in the town for a bit of sightseeing.

The walkers headed for the Ermita del Humilladero, and a walk to the summit.  A Golden Eagle and Black Vultures were the raptor highlights, with other notable sightings including Green Woodpecker and Cirl Bunting.  A Nuthatch and a Tawny Owl were also heard, the latter a good record for mid afternoon.

The first highlight of the drive around the Sierra de Villuercas (north from Guadalupe) was a Large Tortoiseshell butterfly seen at our lunch stop.  After turning west at Castañar de Ibor, we stopped on the bridge over the Rio Ibor itself to look for Dippers.  No luck there, but Grey Wagtail on the river, Siskins in the alders and Firecrests in the roadside bushes were all notable sightings.  John claimed another Iberian Chiffchaff on call, too.

A little farther on we stopped at a site recommended by Muddeman as good for Bonelli's Eagle.  This proved to be a very good spot for raptors, with the ubiquitous Griffon Vultures joined by a displaying pair of Golden Eagles, with a further two seen later.  A Peregrine and Ravens were also seen, before Dave found our target directly overhead.  A superb adult Bonelli's Eagle flew over and disappeared over the nearest ridge, only to reappear later in company with two Golden Eagles.  Magic!  Swallows and House Martins overhead only added to the experience.

After unsuccessful stops to look for Black Wheatear and Rock Sparrow in the various rocky valleys, we parked below a castle and village situated high up on a ridge above the dehesa.  Griffon Vultures abounded, whilst the ridge held both Blue Rock Thrush and Black Redstart and a Redwing flying over reminded us that despite the weather and summer migrants, we were still in the Spanish winter.

Returning via Berzocana (where all three cars managed to get lost in the maze of streets) and Garciaz, Sparrowhawk and Black Vultures were also seen.  The sunset over the ridges was impressive, too.  Tony, John and Neale had a real bonus on their return journey when they found a Black Stork on a roadside telegraph pole - the only one of the trip!  They also discovered a flock of 70 Chough, another species that had eluded us until then.

Back at the Finca, the day was not yet complete!  As darkness descended, and half of the group stood outside chatting, Jim spotted a huge shape flying directly over the buildings.  For the lucky few, this proved to be the real bonus from the whole trip: an Eagle Owl!  A totally unexpected bird, especially to have one fly over the accommodation.

Day 5: Friday 2 February -
a) Finca Santa Marta - Peña Falcon Rock - Monfragüe Natural Park - Monroy - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta
b) Finca Santa Marta - Cáceres Plain area - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

All three cars had different itineries today.  One left at first light and returned to the Natural Park while the others followed various roads west of Trujillo in the Cáceres Plain area. 

Those who toured the Cáceres Plain area had a successful day.  Each car followed different routes, with one spending some time in Cáceres itself so that John could visit the hospital to receive treatment for an ear infection.  As the author travelled to Monfragüe, the details of this part of the trip are brief.

Highlights around the plain were numerous.  As well as vultures and Red Kites, raptors included Hen Harrier and Peregrine.  On a good day for steppe birds, five Cranes, two flocks of Little Bustards (7 and 30), several groups of Great Bustards totalling about 20, large numbers of Golden Plover, two Black-bellied Sandgrouse (flushed from beside the car), two flocks of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (8 and 4), and a flock of ten unidentified sandgrouse were seen.  Other waders included about ten Green Sandpipers and a Common Sandpiper.  Five lark species were seen, including Calandra and Thekla Larks, plus another Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owls, Hoopoes, Swallows, Grey Wagtail, Fan-tailed Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Short-toed Treecreepers and a flock of at least 20 Spanish Sparrows

A mid morning walk around the Finca had also added a flock of 40 Spanish Sparrows in one of the stork nests, and a Blue Rock Thrush, as well as the usual species.  These groups also added two Lesser Kestrels in Trujillo, bringing the total to 15 species of raptor for the trip.  Six House Martins were also there.

The Monfragüe trip was also successful.  The first highlight was a flock of about 30 House Martins around Torrejón el Rubio when we stopped to buy breakfast (once the shops finally opened!). 

On arrival at Peña Falcon rock, it was still too early for the thermals to be rising, so most of the raptors remained on the rock.  The sight of almost 200 Griffon Vultures crammed onto narrow ledges, and flapping slowly across to sunnier spots was almost surreal.  Black Redstarts, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Buntings and an obliging Firecrest were other highlights here.

From here, we moved on to the visitor centre for another walk, this time along the Fuente Tres Caños trail.  Woodlarks and Serins were everywhere, with Sardinian Warblers and Chiffchaffs also singing, and several Red-legged Partridges calling.  A distant eagle unfortunately defied identification.

As the temperature rose, we set off further into the park in search of raptors.  Several Black Vultures again joined the Griffons, and a pair of Golden Eagles displayed over one ridge. 

We stopped for lunch at a viewpoint from which Steve had unsuccessfully searched for breeding Spanish Imperial Eagles on a previous visit.  This spot gave superb views over several ridges, and was an excellent spot for a picnic.  Golden Eagles and Black Vultures were again seen, the latter noted landing in a nest in a distant tree.  A Crested Tit was heard here, too, but our quarry still eluded us.

After the others' earlier success, we headed to Portilla del Tiétar for our next stop.  Yet more vultures, but still no Eagle Owl, then finally Jim spotted an eagle.  Better still, it was immediately obvious that it wore a transmitter, and despite flying away from us, we were able to see the pale head and shoulders: a Spanish Imperial Eagle.  What a relief!  A flock of about 20 large white birds with long outstretched necks flying high above the valley could only have been Spoonbills, one of the most unexpected species on the trip.  Oh, and a Cetti's Warbler sang just as we were leaving.

Returning through the park, with Swallows around the Visitor Centre, we stopped briefly back at Peña Falcon Rock where a Peregrine was noted once more.  Then up to Monfragüe Castle for superb views of Griffon Vultures at eye-level (and below us!).  A distant Golden Eagle capped a fine view, and we all decided that sunset up here would be the best way to finish the holiday tomorrow.

We decided to return via the Monroy Road, and were again rewarded with views of a pair of Black-shouldered Kites.  Being less windy, they obliged with some hovering this time - lovely.  Corn Buntings, Hoopoes and Southern Grey Shrikes were numerous, too. 

Continuing through Monroy and doubling back towards Trujillo, we finally tracked down a Spanish Sparrow in a large flock of House Sparrows around a farm where they were obviously breeding bulls for fighting.  These were seriously mean-looking beasts!  Carrion Crow, Little Owls, and a pair of Hen Harriers were further highlights, before ending the day with drinks in Trujillo at dusk.

Day 6: Saturday 3 February - a) Finca Santa Marta - Cáceres Plain - Embalse del Tozo - Monfragüe Castle - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

        b) Finca Santa Marta - Cáceres Plain - Monroy - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

        c) Finca Santa Marta - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta - Obando - Casa de Valdepalacios - Finca Santa Marta

Being the last day, everyone had different target birds left; so all three cars went different ways once more. 

Tim, Dave and Chris spent a leisurely morning in Trujillo and around the Finca, with up to three male Lesser Kestrels in the town and five Black-bellied Sandgrouse flying over the Finca being the major highlights. 

During the afternoon, they headed south once more, and found that the fog had completely gone.  The fields around Obando and Casa de Valdepalacios contained several large flocks of Cranes, with the total estimate put at 3000, which must have been quite spectacular!  Several waterfowl were seen in the various pools and flooded fields, including over 300 Shoveler, two Pochard, Gadwall, Greylag Goose, Great Crested Grebe and the usual egrets.

Other highlights in this area were two Golden Eagles, three Fan-tailed Warblers, Dartford Warblers and Calandra Larks.

John, Tony and Neale toured the Cáceres Plain area, before heading on around the Monroy road.  The steppe birds were all found, as reported in more detail later, with the added bonus of two very close Great Bustards and the only flock of Little Bustards of the day: about 30.  Around Monroy, they also had good views of Black-shouldered Kite, and just to complete the list had four Lesser Kestrels, a second Bonelli's Eagle and a Golden Eagle.  Five Great Spotted Cuckoos were seen, too.  However, their efforts to find Black Wheatear and Rock Sparrow again went unrewarded.

The rest of us spent the morning in search of steppe birds.  A disappointing start had yielded three Stone-curlews, at least 20 Spanish Sparrows and several Calandra Larks in addition to the more regular species.  Then between Santa Marta de Magasca and Cáceres, we spotted the others parked at the roadside having clearly found something.  What a stroke of fortune!  On one side of the road were six Great Bustards amongst a herd of cows, while on the other were five Black-bellied Sandgrouse.  Three Cranes flew past, then, as we were leaving, another two Great Bustards flew low across the road.

Following up information from the others, we retraced our steps for a short distance in search of two more species that had previously eluded us.  The first was sat prominently on a telegraph wire beside the road: a superb male Lesser Kestrel.  The second was more difficult until it too sat out on a fence: Great Spotted Cuckoo

Turning north across the steppe along an incredibly bumpy road, we had high hopes of our final target species, as the others had seen them along here yesterday.  Steve spotted a terrapin in a roadside ditch, so we stopped for a better look, but it had disappeared below the water.  However, scanning the adjacent field Steve spotted our quarry: a flock of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse.  There were 29 in all, including a small flock flying over.  Wonderful!  Farther along this road, we once more caught up with the others who were also watching a similar sized flock.

Happy that we had now seen all of the expected species, the rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying some of the more spectacular sights in the area.  First, we returned to Embalse del Tozo, where about 400 Cranes fed beside the lake, alongside several White Storks.  A magical sight on the ground, they later flew off and circled high into the sky, calling as they went, and we were left with a memory that will long remain.  Gadwall and Teal on the lake and a large flock of Stock Doves (again) could not quite compare.

Following our experience the previous evening, we then returned to Monfragüe Castle for the sunset.  By the time we arrived, many of the vultures were already on the ledges, but several still soared below us.  Two or three Chough which arrived late in the evening were the major birding highlight here, but by now we were no longer birdwatching.  The sunset was magical, as the light changed by the second, and there can few better ways to 'chill out'.  I was even inspired to sketch (badly).  The accompanying beat of bongos and didgeridoo were actually easy to ignore - perhaps this site would be quieter during the week.

The day was completed with a meal in Trujillo, although the vegetarians in the group found that they had virtually no choice on the menu.

The final log call was completed, and the total for the trip was 122 species (123 if we count John's Iberian Chiffchaffs!).  I was nominated 'Tart of the Week', having achieved the most new species: 24 in all!

Day 7: Sunday 4 February - Finca Santa Marta - Embalse de Arrocampo - Madrid Airport - Stansted

An early start again for the return journey!  Not wishing to get lost again, we headed straight to the airport, so saw very little on route.  One car did stop, however.  They called in at Arrocampo again at first light and saw more Purple Gallinules and Water Rails.  They also had the bonus of a final sighting of Black-shouldered Kite here.  Then it was back to the airport and the flight home to a damp, dreary Stansted.


Report compiled by Ian Barthorpe

Extremadura Bird Checklist

Monday 29 January - Sunday 4 June

Day 1 - Stansted - Madrid - Embalse de Arrocampo - Finca Santa Marta, Trujillo

Day 2 - Finca Santa Marta - Aldacentenara - Belén Plain - Embalse del Tozo - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

Day 3 - Finca Santa Marta - Torrejón el Rubio - Monroy road - Peña Falcon Rock - Monfragüe Natural Park - Finca Santa Marta

Day 4 - Finca Santa Marta - Embalse de Orellana - Guadalupe - Ermita del Humilladero - Sierra de Villuercas - Finca Santa Marta

Day 5a - Finca Santa Marta - Peña Falcon Rock - Monfragüe Natural Park - Monroy - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

Day 5b - Finca Santa Marta - Cáceres Plain area - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

Day 6a - Finca Santa Marta - Cáceres Plain - Embalse del Tozo - Monfragüe Castle - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

Day 6b - Finca Santa Marta - Cáceres Plain - Monroy - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta

Day 6c - Finca Santa Marta - Trujillo - Finca Santa Marta - Obando - Casa de Valdepalacios - Finca Santa Marta

Day 7 - Finca Santa Marta - Embalse de Arrocampo - Madrid - Stansted (excluded from list as only a few species reported - see main report)

Species List

English Name

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe


Cattle Egret

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Black Stork

White Stork


Greylag Goose







Tufted Duck

Black-shouldered Kite

Red Kite

Griffon Vulture

Black Vulture

Marsh Harrier

Hen Harrier



Spanish Imperial Eagle

Golden Eagle

Bonelli's Eagle

Lesser Kestrel




Red-legged Partridge

Water Rail


Purple Gallinule



Little Bustard

Great Bustard


Golden Plover



Green Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Black-headed Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon

Stock Dove


 Collared Dove

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Eagle Owl

Little Owl

Tawny Owl



Green Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Calandra Lark

Crested Lark

Thekla Lark



Crag Martin


House Martin

Meadow Pipit

Grey Wagtail

White Wagtail




Black Redstart


Blue Rock Thrush


Song Thrush


Mistle Thrush

Cetti's Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Sardinian Warbler



Iberian Chiffchaff


Long-tailed Tit

Crested Tit

Blue Tit

Great Tit


Short-toed Treecreeper

Penduline Tit

Southern Grey Shrike


Azure-winged Magpie




Carrion Crow



Spotless Starling

House Sparrow

Spanish Sparrow

Rock Sparrow









Cirl Bunting

Rock Bunting

Reed Bunting

Corn Bunting

Other Fauna





Common Toad


Brown Hare

Natterjack Toad

Painted Lady

Red Fox

Common Frog

Red Admiral

Red Deer

Tree-frog sp. - either Common or Stripeless.

possible Southern Small White

Bat sp. - probably Noctule and others.

Terrapin sp - probably Stripe-necked

Large White

Wood Mouse

Lizard sp. - either Wall or Common

probable Dappled White

Mouse sp. (not wood)

Amphisbaenian (worm lizard)

Holly Blue

Large Tortoiseshell



(contributed by Chris Durdin)

The following is a list of the wild flowers seen in flower during the course of this late winter holiday.  It therefore excludes those seen just in leaf, however abundant (e.g. navelwort) or distinctive (e.g. milk thistle).  Most are ruderal species.  Please excuse that these are not put in a strict botanical order. 

Similarly, trees were not noted.  Almonds were in flower.  Holm oak dominates the dehesa; cork oaks were occasionally noted, including at Finca Santa Marta; also at FSM, at Monroy (with nesting storks) and elsewhere were the distinctive stone or umbrella pines.

Stinking mayweed
Annual daisy
Southern daisy Bellis sylvestis
Field marigold
Many fields were covered in a small  yellow crucifer, not identified
Shepherd's purse
Dove's-foot crane's-bill
Common stork's-bill
Stork's-bill Erodium chium
Henbit dead nettle
Annual nettle
Water crowfoot sp.  Coming into flower in the many seasonal water bodies.
Spanish heath Erica australis with pinky flowers
Astragalus lusitanicus.  Lots of this large, pale, robust pea on the roadside verges near the black-shouldered kite site at Monroy.
White Spanish broom.  Just the first few flowers here and there.
Yellow oxalis
Bermuda buttercup
Common mallow
Ivy-leaved speedwell
Fumitory sp.
Meadow gagea.  By the road at Tiétar cliffs.
Hoop petticoat narcissus.  Seen in sheets of many hundreds in the rocky area between Valdesalor and Trujillo.
Angel's tears Narcissus triandrus in scores under the scrub at Tiétar cliff.


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