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A Report from

Extremadura (Spain), April 16th-26th 2003,


Lutz Lücker


16 April:  Geneva - Figueras/Catalunya- Aiguamolls de l'Emporda, sunny  700 km
17 April: Aiguamolls - Gerona - Vich - Lerida- Bujaraloz - Gelsa - Quinto (SE Zaragoza) - Codo - Belchite - Codo (Reserva La Lomaza). sunny, 400 km
18 April : Codo - Belchite - Calatayud - Almazan - Aranda de Duero - Valladolid - Tordesillas - Villalpando - Villafafila. Sunny and warm first, cloudy later, rain evening. 650km
19 April: Villafafila - Villalpando - Tordesillas - Avila - Plasencia - Malpartida de Plasencia. Cloudy, rain later.
20 April: Monfrague park (Portilla de Tietar). Cloudy, rain between the showers..
21 April: Monfrague and Malpartida area. Sunny and warm, a bit windy..
22 April: Monfrague (Mirador de la Bascula, Penafalcon, Monroy area, Sta Marta de Magasca).  Sunny, cloudy later and quite warm, showery evening.
23 April: Sta Marta area, Belen/ Trujillo, cloudy with SOMe sunshine..
24 April : Sta Marta area,Torreorgaz and Valdesalor, cloudy, little sun..
25 April: Sta Marta area then back to Madrid and Codo/Belchite, sunny, clouds + a few drops in the evening.
26 April: Codo - Quinto - Gelsa - Lerida, Vich - Gerona + back home.


First two nights camping rough , then Hotel Los Rosales in Malpartida. Had not booked anything in advance, so it was very difficult to find something else. But I've been there before and like it. Three nights with (very good) wine, dinner, room with shower/WC: 92 euros only, but noisy bar downstairs. Then Hotel Sta Marta de Magasca (2 stars). 3 nights with (very good) wine.. 123 euros !!! Not bad. Camping rough in Codo.


Guia Campsa 2000 (1: 300.000) has turned out to be the best. 20 euros for the whole of Spain is a good investment. Alas, the old 200.000 Firestone maps are out of print! But beware! There are (even yellow, numbered) roads on those maps that do either NOT exist, or else are only usable for jeeps, or which are private, fenced country tracks! Anyway, ALL species can be seen from asphalted roads; no need to trespass ! In the steppe areas many tracks that used to be feasible are in a rotten state, quite a few signs mentioned in birders' guides (La Calderuela, La Encinilla.) have disappeared. Rain made lots of roads unfeasible ...

Introductory remarks (same as in my report on 2001):

Having nothing special to "tick" off in the Extremadura area, my main aim was to get GOOD views of certain raptors and steppe birds. As 99% of the area is fenced in (NEVER cross a fence with cattle behind; bulls and sheepdogs can be VERY uncooperative!), many birds have a very short flight distance. Some Great bustards (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) were only 150 m from the road, whereas in Hungary, they will fly off when they spot an unknown car 500 m away. Sitting unobtrusively in the county for hours is often more rewarding than zigzagging around for a new tick. (I DID see the eye colour of a Black-shouldered Kite (Élanion blanc) (Gleitaar) !) I will not disclose precise locations when there is an accessible nest of an endangered species. One example: one day, there were some British birders picnicking beside their car in the Monroy area, virtually under a Black-shouldered Kite (Élanion blanc) (Gleitaar)'s nest, the exact location of which had been unwisely published on the internet. Unfortunately, the bird had the bad idea to build its nest in the only unfenced area of the whole district, not far from an unsurfaced but motorable country road. SUCH SENSITIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE WITHHELD ! There are plenty of other (fenced) places where one can see these birds ! Obviously, the birders had chased the Kite away and did not see it! Serves them right! During this week, sunrise was at 7.35 - 7.45 h, sunset 20.55 - 21.05 h, so "noon" at about 14.25 h. Few raptors fly before 10 a.m.

Highlights of the trip

Wed 16th:

On arriving at the modern sewage farm SE of Castello d'Empuries and the adjacent Estany d'europa pond of the Aiguamolls reserve, I immediately found 1 Purple Gallinule (Talève sultane) (Purpurhuhn), 2 Stone Curlew (Oedicnème criard) (Triel) ( on the sewage farm lawns.), 4 Night Heron (Bihoreau gris) (Nachtreiher), 1 Quail (Caille des blés) (Wachtel) AND 1 Feldegg ssp. Yellow Wagtail (Bergeronnette printanière) (Schafstelze). I had seen that bird already years ago just 2-3 miles further south. Night in car, being disturbed by many tree frogs, nightingale (Rossignol philomèle) (Nachtigall), Stone Curlew (Oedicnème criard) (Triel) and Scops Owl..

Thu 17th:

On the road to Gelsa (funnily) several Stock Dove (Pigeon colombin) (Hohltaube) and 1 Dartford Warbler (Fauvette pitchou) (Provencegrasmücke). First Black-eared Wheatear (Traquet oreillard) (Mittelmeer-Steinschmätzer) on Codo Rd., 16 Pintail (Canard pilet) (Spießente) Sandgrouse (PTSG) at the end of La Lomaza track (starts at a tiny 7 ft high building - bus shelter ? rubbish container ? - opposite a derelict stable, 3700 m after the car park at the little "pass" SW of Quinto), several Montagu's Harriers (Busard cendré) (Wiesenweihe) (1 melanistic), and 3-4 singing Dupont's Larks (Sirli de Dupont) (Dupontlerche) not far from the "Stone Curlew (Oedicnème criard) (Triel) car park", some starting at 4.30 pm, continuing until 7.45 pm! Black-bellied sandgrouse (Ganga unibande) (Sandflughuhn) (BBSG) overheard several times. Only one Griffon vulture (Vautour fauve) (Gänsegeier)! Calandra Lark (Alouette calandre) (Kalanderlerche), Short-toed Lark (Alouette calandrelle) (Kurzzehenlerche) and Lesser Short-toed Larks (Alouette pispolette) (Stummellerche) everywhere.

Fri 18th :

1 overflying BBSG + 2 PTSG at dawn, 2 Dupont's larks (Sirli de Dupont) (Dupontlerche) performing song flights from 9.45 to 10.55 am - just a glorious morning !!! (Talking about night time, dawn or "dusk" birds...)! 18 more Pintail (Canard pilet) (Spießente) sandgrouse. First Griffon vulture (Vautour fauve) (Gänsegeier) "kettle" near Almazan. Uneventful journey to Villafafila. Groups of up to 40 Great bustards (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) there. Succeeded a few good photographs of fighting males and observed a copula. Birds very shy, more than in late March 2002. Night in car, disturbed by heavy rain.

Sat 19th:

Most country tracks have been turned into a muddy desert, so no more bustard photography! Some good birds at the ponds include 4 Spoonbill (Spatule blanche) (Löffler), Grey plover (Pluvier argenté) (Kiebitzregenpfeifer), Spotted Redshank (Chevalier arlequin) (Dunkler Wasserläufer), Whiskered Tern (Guifette moustac) (Weißbart-Seeschwalbe), Black Tern (Guifette noire) (Trauerseeschwalbe), Avocet (Avocette élégante) (Säbelschnäbler) (lots), Whimbrel (Courlis corlieu) (Regenbrachvogel), Black-tailed Godwit (Barge à queue noire) (Uferschnepfe), Quail (Caille des blés) (Wachtel) (seen fly away after tape recorder luring), BBSG, and on ONE derelict house in Otero (E Villafafila) Lesser Kestrel (Faucon crécerellette) (Rötelfalke), Little Owl (Chevêche d'Athéna) (Steinkauz), Rock Sparrow (Moineau soulcie) (Steinsperling) and Spotless Starling (Étourneau unicolore) (Einfarbstar)!!! One of the many ducks was either a female White-headed duck (Erismature à tête blanche) (Weißkopf-Ruderente) or a Ruddy duck (Erismature rousse) (Schwarzkopf-Ruderente) hybrid (beak like WHD, face pattern rather like RD; but it did not seem MUCH smaller than the Shoveler (Souchet) (Löffelente) nearby.) Rain again, so I decided to go straight to Monfrague, arriving in Malpartida de Plasencia before 6 pm. No luck at the Black-winged Kite (Élanion blanc) (Gleitaar) place south of the town on the Monfrague park road (where the High power electricity lines cross the road), just a few Bee-eaters (Guêpier d'Europe) (Bienenfresser), Thekla Larks (Cochevis de Thékla) (Theklalerche) and Egyptian vultures (Vautour percnoptère) (Schmutzgeier). The whole Dehesa area is literally drenched; water everywhere, everything is lush green!

Sun 20th:

First Rock Sparrows (Moineau soulcie) (Steinsperling) in the oak trees on the way to the park, lots of Bee-eaters (Guêpier d'Europe) (Bienenfresser). Nice surprise at the Portilla de Tietar viewpoint. A pair of Bonelli's eagles (Aigle de Bonelli) (Habichtsadler) nest by (behind) the Griffon vulture (Vautour fauve) (Gänsegeier) colony and both birds show well. The male is MUCH smaller than its spouse and still has immature plumage. 1 Black Vulture (Vautour moine) (Mönchsgeier) stays by the colony and the Black Storks (Cigogne noire) (Schwarzstorch) and Egyptian vultures (Vautour percnoptère) (Schmutzgeier) still breed above the river 400 m /200m to the left. Another EV breeds at the Salto de Torrejon dam after Mirador de la Bascula. I succeed in finding the nest tree of a Black-winged Kite (Élanion blanc) (Gleitaar) family, not the one in the Monroy area but another pair near Malpartida, the locations of which have again (sadly) been published on the internet. The male was still feeding last year's young birds so I had 4 KITES IN THE SAME TREE !!! Oh joy, oh rapture! Sorry for not disclosing the precise location.. Took my torch at 9 pm to get a glimpse of the 3-4 Scops owls (Petit-duc scops) (Zwergohreule) in Malpartida public park just opposite Hotel Rosales. It worked well + I had nice views of the female.

Mon 21st:

Sunny and warm! It spent the whole day 500 yds from the Kite's nest and made a few photos when the male was sitting on the electricity lines by the road. In the Dehesa there were more Rock and Spanish Sparrows (Moineau espagnol) (Weidensperling), Southern Grey Shrike (Pie-grièche méridionale) (Raubwürger Unterart meridionalis), Montagu's Harrier (Busard cendré) (Wiesenweihe), Common + Honey Buzzard (Bondrée apivore) (Wespenbussard), Booted Eagles (Aigle botté) (Zwergadler), Lesser Kestrel (Faucon crécerellette) (Rötelfalke), (all the raptors you WON'T see at Mirador de la Bascula.) , Golden oriole (Loriot d'Europe) (Pirol), Woodlark (Alouette lulu) (Heidelerche) and 24 Cattle Egret (Héron garde-boufs) (Kuhreiher). Before driving home, back to Portilla de Tietar where the Eurasian Eagle owl (Grand-duc d'Europe) (Uhu) is sitting outside its den, and both juveniles caper around and show well! Red-rumped Swallow (Hirondelle rousseline) (Rötelschwalbe), Rock Bunting (Bruant fou) (Zippammer) and Blue Rock Thrush (Monticole bleu) (Blaumerle) are quite visible, too.

Tue 22nd:

After saying goodbye to "my" Kites, long stopover at Mirador de la Bascula. 2 Bonelli's Eagles (Aigle de Bonelli) (Habichtsadler) (both adult birds) sit on a rock not too far away, 1 Black Vulture (Vautour moine) (Mönchsgeier) breeds about 500 yds away, and at 12.10 pm, the pair of Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aigle ibérique) (Spanischer Kaiseradler) land on their nest in the distance, the male coming then towards us, soaring at less than half a mile away. Several Short-toed eagle (Circaète Jean-le-Blanc) (Schlangenadler) hover in the air. 1 Peregrine (Faucon pèlerin) (Wanderfalke) by the main bridge E of Penafalcon rock. A singing Subalpine warbler (Fauvette passerinette) (Weißbart-Grasmücke) there. N of the Arroyo de la Vid, where the road climbs onto the plateau, I hear and catch a glimpse of 1 Orphean warbler (Fauvette orphée) (Orpheusgrasmücke). Lots of cars parked near the Black-winged Kite (Élanion blanc) (Gleitaar) area near Monroy so I am too disgusted to try my luck. I'd already had my share of those birds! Night in Sta Marta de Magasca (SMDM) hotel (between Monroy and Trujillo). Sadly, no trace of sandgrouse at km 22 of the road leading from SMdM to Monroy. The grass seems to be too long in the places I found very favourable in March 2002.

Wed 23rd

Back to km 22 at dawn. 3 Great Bustards (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) and 10 PTSG fly over but do not land. I discover to my surprise a pair of Ortolan Bunting (Bruant ortolan) (Ortolan), the male singing less than 10 yds away from me!!!!!!! 2 Tawny pipits (Pipit rousseline) (Brachpieper) and lots of Little Bustards (Outarde canepetière) (Zwergtrappe) in the high grass. Luckily, I very quickly find another sandgrouse stakeout N of SMdM. (.sorry, precise location withheld.). I get good views of up to 13+16 grounded Pintail (Canard pilet) (Spießente) sandgrouse and 27 Black-bellied sandgrouse (Ganga unibande) (Sandflughuhn). They are finally disturbed by a (3rd !) pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aigle de Bonelli) (Habichtsadler) and an immature Golden Eagle (Aigle royal) (Steinadler)! At km 15, I see 2 Pallid Swifts (Martinet pâle) (Fahlsegler) with lots of Common swifts (Martinet noir) (Mauersegler), 3 more "large and dark" eagles in the distance which might have been Spanish Imperial or Golden, and lots of vultures. 1 Ortolan Bunting (Bruant ortolan) (Ortolan) on a fence W Aldea, later, SW Torrecillas, a mixed colony of White Stork (Cigogne blanche) (Weißstorch), Jackdaw (Choucas des tours) (Dohle), Spanish Sparrow (Moineau espagnol) (Weidensperling), Little Egret (Aigrette garzette) (Seidenreiher) and Cattle Egret (Héron garde-boufs) (Kuhreiher), and further on, 5+4 Great Bustard (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) near the road NE Belén, 4 more SW of SMdM near Corral Blanquillo with 8 Montagu's Harriers (Busard cendré) (Wiesenweihe) roosting on poles neat the T-Junction. The only Great Spotted Cuckoo (Coucou geai) (Häherkuckuck) in a Eucalyptus copse there.

Thu 24th

At the sandgrouse stakeout in short grass with lots of flowers and thistles 18 Black-bellied sandgrouse (Ganga unibande) (Sandflughuhn) and up to 38 pintail (Canard pilet) (Spießente) sandgrouse. Crouching behind the remnants of some old wall, I can stay in their company until 2 pm and make some decent photographs. They get surprisingly confident and after a few hours, I even have to wave to make them look into the camera! When it was getting too hot I managed to leave the place without disturbing them. A great experience, getting excellent views of both species and sexes. At the T-junction north of SMdM one more Bonelli's eagle (Aigle de Bonelli) (Habichtsadler) AND the imm. Golden Eagle (Aigle royal) (Steinadler), N of the Rio Magasca (N of the village) a pair of Rollers (Rollier d'Europe) (Blauracke) on the electricity lines. By the T-junction 10 km SW of SMdM, a Short-toed eagle (Circaète Jean-le-Blanc) (Schlangenadler), a minimum of 18 great Bustard (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) NE Torreorgaz, but roads in an appalling state, no way getting any closer!... W Valdesalor 11 more Great Bustard (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe), a colony of about 65 White Stork (Cigogne blanche) (Weißstorch) tree nests, sadly NO Otter on the big rock in the lake upstream of Valdesalor dam. SE of Caceres near the UEE Deposito, 2 miles from the main road, 5 Great Bustard (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) and a grounded Black Vulture (Vautour moine) (Mönchsgeier). Probably a Short-toed Eagle (Circaète Jean-le-Blanc) (Schlangenadler)'s nest on a faraway tree SE of Corral Blanquillo.

Fri 25th

Only about 20 Black-bellied sandgrouse (Ganga unibande) (Sandflughuhn) at "my" place, no PTSG! Can't wait until the favourable hour (10.30 am), have to drive back to Madrid (terrible traffic jams., best way to get round the city is on the M30 or M40 via the northern, NOT the southern ring road.!) The Rio Jalon valley (between Lodares, Jubera and Somaén, about 40 km SW Calatayud, along the motorway) proves to be scenic and holds 2 Golden Eagle (Aigle royal) (Steinadler), 2 Chough (Crave à bec rouge) (Alpenkrähe), Griffon Vultures (Vautour fauve) (Gänsegeier) and Rock Bunting (Bruant fou) (Zippammer). But the wind is much too strong to hope for any Black Wheatear (Traquet rieur) (Trauersteinschmätzer) or the like.. Arrive at La Lomaza/Belchite at 8 pm to see 2 more Chough (Crave à bec rouge) (Alpenkrähe) and hear one lonely Dupont's lark (Sirli de Dupont) (Dupontlerche). More birds singing at night after moonrise.

Sat 26th

Only one Dupont's lark (Sirli de Dupont) (Dupontlerche) sings in the distance. After dawn, I spot a somewhat large Marsh Harrier (Busard des roseaux) (Rohrweihe) sitting on the ground in the desert, not very far from the car park. I am not very surprised because there is a pond with thousands of frogs and/or toads nearby and I have more urgent things to do. A Black-Bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga unibande) (Sandflughuhn) darts overhead. When I come back to the car, the bird of prey is still there. I have a careless look through the telescope. and realize that it is a (very "fair-haired" adult) bleeding Golden Eagle (Aigle royal) (Steinadler) (which had been watching me all the time)!!! I manage to make the best eagle photos of my life before it finally fixes its eyes on some potential prey and flies away to settle down again after half a mile. Since the Dupont's Devil Birds do not increase their performance and remain invisible, I decide to head home, not knowing that I will have a 2 ¼ hrs wait at the French border because of a stupid non- manned road building site (and NO warnings on the local traffic radio stations)!!! Weekend in France! But just before the village of Quinto, there is ANOTHER Golden Eagle (Aigle royal) (Steinadler) sitting on a hill, but with less patience than its colleague by the car park. After making close-up pictures of Short-toed Lark (Alouette calandrelle) (Kurzzehenlerche) and Spotless Starlings (Étourneau unicolore) (Einfarbstar) I feel the end of my Birding trip is coming near. I can't wait until I return to that extraordinary country.

Observed Species

This list is not complete - so I did not number the species !

Little Grebe (Grèbe castagneux) (Zwergtaucher) (Tachybaptus ruficollis) -- The winter having been very wet, I observed those even on little ponds in the heart of the steppes !

White-headed Duck (Erismature à tête blanche)(Weisskopf-Ruderente): 1 female on Villafafila lake, maybe a hybrid, but size and beak form OK.

Cattle Egret (Héron garde-boufs) (Kuhreiher) (Bubulcus ibis) -- frequently seen, a great sighting were the +50 birds in a colony on the Belen Road.  

Black Stork (Cigogne noire) (Schwarzstorch) (Ciconia nigra) --2 pairs nesting at the well-known places: Peñafalcon, Portilla del Tietar, the 3rd nest being occupied by vultures.

White Stork (Cigogne blanche) (Weißstorch) (Ciconia ciconia) -- everywhere even on signposts along the highway to/from Madrid

Black-shouldered Kite (Élanion blanc) (Gleitaar) (Elanus caerulus) -- One pair with 2 young near Malpartida, other birds were seen in the Monroy area.

Black Kite (Milan noir) (Schwarzmilan) (Milvus migrans) -- the most abundant bird of prey in Extremadura...

Red Kite (Milan royal) (Rotmilan) (Milvus milvus) -- daily seen, but in smaller numbers

Egyptian Vulture (Vautour percnoptère) (Schmutzgeier) (Neophron percnopterus) -- breeding at Peñafalcon, Mirador de la Tajadilla; 1 pair  at Portilla de Tiétar, 2 S Malpartida.

Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Vautour fauve) (Gänsegeier) (Gyps fulvus) -- breeding at the Salto del Gitano, Mirador de la Tajadilla, Portilla del Tietar; abundant around Trujillo and Santa Marta.

Black Vulture (Vautour moine) (Mönchsgeier) (Aegypius monachus) -- breeding observed at Mirador de la Bascula; up to 4 birds in steppe areas, often with Griffons (Belen, Sta Marta areas).

Short-toed Eagle (Circaète Jean-le-Blanc) (Schlangenadler) Circaetus gallicus) --  near Mirador de la Bascula;  and Sta Marta, area.

Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Busard des roseaux) (Rohrweihe) (Circus aeruginosus) - only seen in Aiguamolls

Montagu's Harrier (Busard cendré) (Wiesenweihe) (Circus pygargus) -- numerous in the steppes from Belén, Sta. Marta, La Serena ; up to 10 birds at a time ! 2 dark phase birds near Belen and in La Serena!

Hen Harrier (Busard St.-Martin) (Kornweihe): just 1 near Quinto.

Common Buzzard (Buse variable) (Mäusebussard) (Buteo buteo) -- daily observed in small numbers, mainly between steppe and dehesa

Honey Buzzard (Bondrée apivore) (Wespenbussard): A few in agricultural country, e.g. E Malpartida.

Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aigle ibérique) (Spanischer Kaiseradler) (Aquila heliaca adalberti) -- breeding at the Mirador de la Bascula; probably 1-3 more near km 15 between Monroy and Aldea.

Golden Eagle (Aigle royal) (Steinadler) (Aquila chrysaetos) -- 2 BIRDS IN La Lomaza/Quinto(ESE from Zaragoza), one in plains N Sta Marta, 2 near Somaén/Rio Jalon valley.

Booted Eagle (Aigle botté) (Zwergadler) (Hieraaetus pennatus) - only few birds, both phases, best places: La Bascula, Portilla Tietar, Tietar bridge SE Malpartida.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aigle de Bonelli) (Habichtsadler) (Hieraaetus fasciatus) -- 1 couple breeding at La Tietar colony, one at La Bascula, one hunting NE Sta Marta, km 15.

Lesser Kestrel (Faucon crécerellette) (Rötelfalke) (Falco naumanni) -- frequently seen, especially on Malpartida church and low uninhabited buildings in steppe areas (Villafafila, Otero; Belén)

Common Kestrel (Faucon crécerelle) (Turmfalke) (Falco tinnunculus) -- frequently seen, in limited numbers

Peregrine (Faucon Pèlerin) (Wanderfalk): one at the bridge E Penafalcon.

Sparrowhawk (Epervier) (Sperber) . a few in wooded areas (Dehesa).

. that makes it 20 raptor species!!!

Red-legged Partridge (Perdrix rouge) (Rothuhn) (Alectoris rufa) -- some observations in dehesa and steppe areas

Common Quail (Caille des blés) (Wachtel) (Coturnix coturnix) -- calling birds in the plains of Belén, Sta Marta, Villafàfila (one bird seen there) ...

Little Bustard (Outarde canepetière) (Zwergtrappe) (Tetrax tetrax) -- high numbers in the steppes of Belén, Sta. Marta..

Great Bustard (Outarde barbue) (Großtrappe) (Otis tarda) --  in the plains near Villafàfila, between Belén and Torrecillas de la Tiesa, Torreorgaz, Valdesalor and near the road from Trujillo to Caceres SW of Sta Marta; generally isolated males; groups of max. 6 birds in Extremadura.

Purple Gallinule (Talève Sultane) (Purpurhuhn): just 1 at Estany Europa/Aigumolls/Castello d'Empuries.

Black-winged Stilt (Échasse blanche) (Stelzenläufer) (Himantopus himantopus) - lots of birds in Aiguamolls (and La Lomaza pond).

Whimbrel (Courlis corlieu) (Regenbrachvogel) (Numenius phaeopus): 1 in Villafàfila.

Stone-Curlew (Oedicnème criard) (Triel) (Burhinus Oedicnemus) -- some birds in the steppes of Belén, Sta. Marta, La Lomaza and Aiguamolls.

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga cata) (Spießflughuhn) (Pterocles alchata) -- flocks of up to 38 between Sta. Marta de Magasca, Aldea and Monroy, up to16 in La Lomaza.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga unibande) (Sandflughuhn) (Pterocles orientalis) - flocks of up to 27, same places as above, only a few in La Lomaza.

Rock Pigeon (Pigeon biset) (Felsentaube) (Columba livia) -- several birds in Monfragüe, together with domestic birds

Stock Dove ( Pigeon colombin) (Hohltaube): strange, but a few birds in La Lomaza area and near Gelsa and Quinto.

European Turtle Dove (Tourterelle des bois) (Turteltaube) (Streptopelia turtur) - common in small numbers in the Dehesa

Great Spotted Cuckoo (Coucou geai) (Häherkuckuck) (Clamator glandarius) - only one seen in the Sta Marta/Hocino de Arriba area.

Common Cuckoo (Coucou gris) (Kuckuck) (Cuculus canorus) -- frequently seen and heard in small numbers

Eurasian Scops Owl (Petit-duc scops) (Zwergohreule) (Otus scops) -- 2 singing males by the hotel in Malpartida +1  female.

Eagle Owl (Grand-duc d'Europe) (Uhu) (Bubo bubo) -- 1 adult + 2 juv. at the Portilla del

Little Owl (Chevêche d'Athéna) (Steinkauz) (Athena noctua) --common, in the steppes on walls or near old buildings

Common Swift (Martinet noir) (Mauersegler) (Apus apus) - only a few groups, not every day.

Pallid Swift (Martinet à pâle) (Fahlsegler) (Apus pallidus) - two at km 15, E Monroy..

European Bee-eater (Guêpier d'Europe) (Bienenfresser) (Merops apiaster) -- daily seen, mainly in or near the park and Sta Marta.

European Roller (Rollier d'Europe) (Blauracke) (Coracias garrulus) - 1 pair N Rio Magasca (N Sta Marta).

Hoopoe (Huppe fasciée) (Wiedehopf) (Upupa epops) -- daily seen, high numbers

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pic épeiche) (Buntspecht) (Dendrocopos major) - only few birds in oaks or Eucalyptus trees.

Calandra Lark (Alouette calandre) (Kalanderlerche) (Melanocorypha calandra) -- frequent in the plains near Belén and Sta Marta + La Lomaza and Villafàfila.

Greater Short-toed Lark (Alouette calandrelle) (Kurzzehenlerche) (Calandrella brachydactyla) - locally common, especially in La Lomaza.

Lesser short-toed Lark (Alouette pispolette) (Stummellerche): locally common, mainly in La Lomaza.

Crested Lark (Cochevis huppé) (Haubenlerche) (Galerida cristata) -- abundant

Thekla Lark (Cochevis de Thékla) (Theklalerche) (Galerida theklae) - quite common, but often in more rocky areas than above.

Wood Lark (Alouette lulu) (Heidelerche) (Lullula arborea) -- some singing birds in Monfragüe and Sta Marta area.

Dupont's Lark (Cersophilus duponti) - 2-3 birds seen and 3-4 heard in La Lomaza reserve (itinerary 2) near Codo /SE Zaragoza.

Eurasian Crag Martin (Hirondelle de rochers) (Felsenschwalbe) (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) -- frequently observed (near bridges.)

Barn Swallow (Hirondelle rustique) (Rauchschwalbe) (Hirundo rustica) -- very common

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirondelle rousseline) (Rötelschwalbe) (Hirundo daurica) -- unexpected numbers in all visited spots, most of all rocky places (Penafalcon..) but also in flat cultivated Dehesa, often near bridges (Rio Magasca).

House Martin (Hirondelle de fenêtre) (Mehlschwalbe) (Delichon urbica) -- very common .

Tawny Pipit (Pipit rousseline) (Brachpieper) (Anthus campestris) - 2-3 birds along Monroy - Aldea road.

Black-headed Yellow Wagtail (Bergeronnette printaière ssp Feldegg) (Masken-Schafstelze). 1 ad male, Estany Europa sewage farm, Aiguamolls.

Black-eared Wheatear (Traquet oreillard) (Mittelmeer-Steinschmätzer) (Oenanthe hispanica) -- irregularly seen in Codo/Zaragoza  and Sta. Marta area.

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticole bleu) (Blaumerle) (Monticola solitarius) -- very common, certainly in Monfragüe (Portilla Tietar.)

Cetti's Warbler (Bouscarle de Cetti) (Seidensänger) (Cettia cetti) -- frequently heard, mainly near embalses (Tietar).

Zitting Cisticola (Cisticole des joncs) (Cistensänger) (Cisticola juncidis) -- regularly heard and seen, mostly on  irrigated farmland.

Sardinian Warbler (Fauvette mélanocéphale) (Samtkopf-Grasmücke) (Sylvia melanocephala) -- very regularly heard in dehesa locations, seen at Tietar.

Orphean Warbler (Fauvette orphée) (Orpheusgrasmücke) (Sylvia hortensis): 1 seen N of Arroyo de la Vid in Dehesa.

Short-toed Treecreeper (Grimpereau des jardins) (Gartenbaumläufer) (Certhia brachydactyla) -- irregularly heard in small numbers on Oak trees.

Southern Grey Shrike (Pie-grièche méridionale) (Raubwürger Unterart meridionalis) (Lanius excubitor meridionalis) -- very common.

Woodchat Shrike (Pie-grièche à tête rousse) (Rotkopfwürger) (Lanius senator) -- very common in different habitats

Azure-winged Magpie (Pie bleue) (Blauelster) (Cyanopica cyana) -- very common in Dehesa and even steppes!

Red-billed Chough (Crave à bec rouge) (Alpenkrähe) (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). Only 1 pair in Rio Jalon valley and La Lomaza.

Eurasian Jackdaw (Choucas des tours) (Dohle) (Corvus monedula) -- irregularly seen in very small numbers

Common Raven (Grand Corbeau) (Kolkrabe) (Corvus corax) -- frequently seen in the visited areas

Spotless Starling (Étourneau unicolore) (Einfarbstar) (Sturnus unicolor) -- very common

Spanish Sparrow (Moineau espagnol) (Weidensperling) (Passer hispaniolensis) --  numerous in the plains near Eucalyptus copses and a few in Dehesas but less visible than in March.

Rock Sparrow (Moineau soulcie) (Steinsperling) (Petronia petronia) - flocks of up to 10 in Dehesas. 2-3 on a house in Otero/Villafàfila.

Rock Bunting (Bruant fou) (Zippammer) (Emberiza cia) -- observed near Portilla de Tietar and Salto del Gitano /Penafalcon and in Jalon valley.

Some of Lutz's photos

Sorry for my French and German speaking friends, but English was the obvious solution!

Lutz Lücker - 5, Fort-Ecluse - Ch-1213 Petit-Lancy/Geneva - Switzerland Tel/fax 0041-22-792.84.62


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