The aim of this report is simply to update the vast amount of information available for this superb birding region. This will include sightings, favoured sites, access (including road conditions) and other factors that might help give you a current picture of the area. This was my first visit having concentrated on the States for the last 10 years and I was particularly looking forward to seeing the Bustards and Raptors…who wouldn’t be! I’d been a bit rough with a virus for quite a while and am still recovering, so the idea was to take it easy and not charge around, letting the birds come to us as much as us to them. Virtually all sites visited are to be found either in Muddeman, Gosney and/or Garcia and Patterson.
We all have different aims/targets and mine were fairly specific. I had a small number of LIFE birds to aim for plus “better views desired” of other quality species. This is obviously VERY subjective, you might even disagree! There will unfortunately be some self-indulgence, but you can soon dissect/ignore what you want or don't want from it. I will mention other "good” bird I see at the sites I visited. I’ve included a few passable images to give a flavour of the trip – photography is not a priority for me. This was a very green year due to the winter rains and as a result the flowers were spectacular.
Lifers in BOLD
Noteworthy Birds (subjective) seen in CAPITALS
We left our Madrid hotel early at 5.30am after negotiating a side road full of all-night revellers! The reason for the early departure was to try for DUPONT’S LARK at the well known site of Hoces del Rio Duraton near Sepulveda. The actual area I tried was the (very poor) road to Ermita de San Frutos from Villaseca (details in Rebane and Garcia p.179). No problems here, birds found easily at dawn towards the far end of the road approaching the car park…very chilly!
Drove south from here towards Extremadura. Decided to go via the Gredos mountains (Rebane and Garcia p176/Muddeman p17) as the weather was fantastic to try for CITRIL FINCH. Arrived for lunch at the Parador de Gredos around 2pm. Took a little time but eventually had great views of 2 birds on the ground at the western end of the hotel. SERIN is also present.
We then drove up to La Plataforma. We didn’t bird along the road due to time constraints. There was snow on the ground as we arrived at the car park but this did not hamper our progress up the excellent track. No sign of Bluethroat but ROCK BUNTING seen well around car park (glad I came here as this was the only place I saw this species…maybe I stopped trying!). Local birds included DIPPER, DUNNOCK, SKYLARK!
Sightseeing trip into Trujillo square in the morning plus time spent getting our bearings. Fantastic spot with WHITE STORK nests and PALLID SWIFTS and LESSER KESTRELS zooming around a superb medieval type square. HOOPOE and RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS were also easily seen here. The information regarding the Bullring is spot on, photographers dream for the LESSER KESTRELS.
Spent the afternoon along the Santa Marta de Magasca road cc57 (this road can be accessed from the new motorway. The old Trujillo/Caceres road N521 is still there and would be good for leisurely birding). Weather very hot (for me) and bird activity low. Briefly checked out a MONTAGUE’S HARRIER colony (at least 20 birds) at the junction of the road north of Santa Marta de Magasca cc99 and the Monroy rd cc128. They like barley fields and although the farmers rotate the crops they are seen in this area each year. Obviously do not enter the fields please, there are keen wardens apparently. A wonderful spectacle. Also tried a couple of road bridges in my quest for Rock Sparrow…no luck.
Time to get serious! This was Montfrague day! I had looked forward to experiencing this special place for a long time and with perfect weather, we set off. After studying the info’ I decided it made sense to start west and work east. Two main reasons 1) The light would be better for viewing Pena Falcon from the Castillo and 2) We could end up at Portilla del Tietar in the evening for EAGLE OWL. We drove up to the top car park at the Castillo de Montfrague (hard walk from the bottom one!). We were the first people up there (about 9.30) and I set up my ‘scope facing west across to Pena Falcon. Unbelievably the first bird I focussed on perched in a dead tree on top of the cliff was a SPANISH IMPERIAL EAGLE. Not a bad start!! We spent around three hours here enjoying stunning views in glorious sunshine of many species including all three Vultures some at close eye level. One BLACK VULTURE in particular floated past so close you could see into its eyes without bins!!
We then moved down to the viewpoint at El Salto del Gitano another superb location. Here we had further great close views of many species with particularly close views of GRIFFON VULTURES (100+), BLACK STORK (4) and BLUE ROCK THRUSH. Having been used to seeing Turkey and American Black Vultures in the States I was very impressed with the GRIFFONS…smart birds…for vultures!
Moving east down the gorge we had lunch at Villareal de San Carlos, a strange patchwork of buildings which included a couple of cafes and an information centre. After eating we took the yellow trail (clearly signposted and marked) east down the river. My target here was ORPHEAN WARBLER. After a mile or so the path splits at a rise, with a left turn back to Villareal or right to continue to La Tajadilla. It was in this area especially the stream area to the left as we approached the junction that I had great views of my target bird.
Orphean Warbler © Alan Whitehead
NIGHTINGALES were very common along this track. BEE-EATERS were also seen well.
The evening was spent …you guessed it… at the EAGLE OWL site at Portilla del Tietar. A healthy crowd (70+) had assembled by dusk with all optics trained on the nest site. However, by 9pm on a starry night still nothing? After having read about well grown young and active adults feeding, I was obviously disappointed. However about 9.20pm a few birders reckoned they could here a bird calling (I couldn’t!), a few minutes later we were all treated to an impressive silhouette view of an EAGLE OWL flying across the gorge right above our heads.
Also got fantastic views of SPANISH IMPERIAL EAGLE hanging in the wind above the ridge in the evening sun…magic!
Bustards…I hoped! Having spoken to a birder last night about a good current site for these two species (LITTLE wasn’t a Lifer as I saw the Cornish bird!) I decided to try Torreorgaz, south-east of Caceres (again it’s in WWB). Take the track north from the village centre opposite the café with the Great Bustard mural on the wall! Drive as far as you can (believe me you will know when that is!) and scan the hillside to the North. I had three figures GREAT BUSTARDS here including a large lek on the hillside (see below) and several close displaying males…DREAMLANDOS!!! Only saw 2 Little Bustards briefly in flight. No Sandgrouse. Close views of CALANDRA LARKS were obtained here…cracking birds! Spent four hours here could have stayed all day. Louise made excellent progress with her Spanish novel!
Spent the afternoon checking out various sites for ROCK SPARROW finally fluking a pair by the roadside near the Rio Almonte bridge north-east of Caceres on the EX390 (excellent road). We then went and spent some more time with the ‘ HARRIERS. Seeing so many birds so close and displaying was a real treat for me. This relaxed time paid off when into view came a cracking LITTLE BUSTARD at fairly close range. The bird performed well for over an hour. This bird was in the field opposite i.e. north of the cc128 Monroy rd just east of it’s junction with the cc99 Santa Marta de Magasca rd.
We then moved east birding along the cc128 until it meets the EX208. We stopped at the stream which goes under the road for a while again looking in vain for Rock Sparrow! (they had been seen here recently). Just before the end of this road we came across an amazing SPANISH SPARROW colony. The birds were hyperactive and the noise was tremendous (almost like a swarm of giant bees!)…quite an experience!
Early start this morning as I left Louise in bed to relax and titivate! Drove again to the famed Santa Marta de Mascara (sorry Magasca) rd. Decided to try the first main track on the right after the ‘corner’ (the sharp left-hand bend on the edge of the Dehesa is obvious). Pretty sure this track is referred to as Cordel de Ganado in trip reports (there was no signpost). Met two other British birders here on a three day jaunt (they’d slept in the car…I remember it well – just!) and we proceeded down the track. Had flight views of both BUSTARDS here plus good views of BLACK-BELLIED SANDGROUSE in flight and on the ground. CALANDRA LARKS were common. No luck with PIN-TAILED. This road was also good for GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO due to numbers of their host species Black-billed Magpie.
Great Spotted Cuckoo © Alan Whitehead
I like to find my own birds but sometimes a little nudge in the right direction can help, especially when time us running out! I had arranged to meet a birder tomorrow further south to try for Rufous Bush Chat so today was my last chance for PIN-TAILED SANDGROUSE (or so I thought!). So I succumbed and asked Martin for help. He gave me excellent directions…again take the Santa Marta de Magasca road and continue past the sharp left hand bend at the edge of the dehesa. The road rises to it’s highest point after approx’ 300yds. Park here and view the large field to the North. I had 70+ birds here just after dawn and they were still present at 9am. Great views through the ‘scope on the ground and in flight…very vocal.
After breakfast we decided to head south for the day. Checked out a few sites that are again mentioned in the guides. Tried the Campo Lugar rd…not good…the road that is! Birding wise it was also quiet although the weather was poor. Again bumped into a British pair who were looking at what I thought would be Bustards on the Steppe. Turned out to be a cracking ROLLER (The very nice non-birding chap insisted on showing us his picture of the “Rolo”!!!). We decided to retrace our tracks to the 378 and continue south towards Madrgalejo.
Next we tried a road that went east just before Madrigalejo. The road is site F in Garcia and Paterson. We tried a tip from Martin regarding the elusive ROCK SPARROW. He had seen one in a Bee-eater hole the previous week. This was the worst road we went on and that’s saying something!! No sign of the Sparrow or any Bee-eaters but a good set of gravel pits which looked good for birds. We had LITTLE RINGED PLOVER here. Again we retraced our steps while we still had suspension. Maybe we didn’t go far enough? Apparently Bee-eaters nest VERY low to the ground in these holes.
My main reason for visiting this area was to try for the two introduced birds RED AVADAVAT and COMMON WAXBILL. I tried sites recommended around Madrigalejo but had no luck, so we moved on to Vegas Atlas. We skirted the road south of the village and came across the expected rice paddies complete with burnt reed edges. Within 15 minutes I had located and obtained good views of both species despite their constant movement. Not the most satisfying additions to be honest.
The weather was deteriorating so we decided to leave the area and travel (hopefully) through the rain. We headed towards the Sierras de las Villuercas. To cut it short we ended up driving anti-clockwise around the range but saw little due to the poor weather. We did drive to the summit (site A in G&P) hoping it would clear and I would see Rock Thrush, it and I didn’t.
Also hoped to visit Cabanas del Castillo for Black Wheatear but the light and weather beat us.
As previously mentioned I had arranged to meet Fergus Crystal, a Brit birder now living in Spain, in Villafranca de los Barros south of Merida. I had e-mailed Fergus as a Birdingpal and he had kindly offered to help me try for an early Rufous Bush Chat. He had seen one on this date the previous year. We visited a few suitable sites i.e. olive groves but unfortunately had no luck. We spent the early afternoon with Fergus and we managed a nice singing MELODIOUS WARBLER.
Just before we split up he gave us a few good sites for birds in the area. We first tried Hornachos (G&P BA4) for Black Wheatear above the church. Gave it 30mins but no luck. Next tried a spot for Bonelli’s and Golden Eagle (site A). Again no joy. The weather again deteriorated so we moved on towards Alange which is just SE of Merida. The weather was still poor so this stop involved a quick check of the dam. Great views of ALPINE SWIFTS and CRAG MARTINS at very close quarters here. Birders staying at our place had Black Wheatear here on the path up the crag.
***We were aware of the Volcanic activity in Iceland but definitely weren’t aware of the problems it was causing!! It soon became clear we were not flying back today. Luckily (for us) the “new lot” couldn’t get here either which meant we could stay in our room. So we managed to book another flight for Thursday and continued our holiday. I COULD THINK OF WORSE PLACES TO BE STUCK!***
These unforeseen events allowed us to try again to find the Belen Plains. I hadn’t been that bothered before as I’d seen all my targets well (except ROCK SPARROW!). However as we now had extra-time I was determined to access this area. Confession time…writing this report I’ve just realized I’d misread the WWB book taking exit 253 instead of 250 which I presume does access the Belen Plains? (obviously didn’t try it). You can also access the plains by heading into Trujillo from Pago de San Clemente on the EX208, you will pass the Bullring on your left. At the first junction turn right and follow this road out of Trujillo. You will eventually see a sign to turn right for Belen. This road goes under the motorway. In hindsight exit 250 might/does though!?
Once we weaved our way (eventually) through Belen we stretched out onto the plains and enjoyed a superb few hours in great weather. Got further great views of both BUSTARDS (K5.4 from Belen) and stunning views of confiding RED-RUMPED SWALLOWS that were prospecting a nest site under a bridge (K10.3 from Belen). Three SHORT-TOED and a couple of BOOTED EAGLES were also seen.
Red-rumped Swallow © Alan Whitehead
Another site that I had originally planned to visit was the heathland above Jaraicejo. This area is easily found by taking the road NE from the village and turned out to be Sylvia warbler heaven. As you level out you will see a wide track that crosses the road on both sides (further details in Muddeman). We took the left track (west) and had DARTFORD, SUBALPINE and SARDINIAN WARBLERS within 30 mins. No luck with Spectacled here however.
We then moved on to Arrocampo. We had difficulties again with navigating this area. Also some of the roads were decidedly dodgy! Through trial and error I’m sure you’ll find the spots you want, but it may take time. A good spot as mentioned in the literature is the road between Almaraz and Saucedilla. There are pull offs on this road were the reservoir crosses the road, giving good open viewpoints. There are also a series of hides that are accessible with keys obtained from the information centre at Saucedilla (easily seen as you enter the village). Many people just view from the hide ramps.
Birds here were typical of the habitat. PURPLE HERON and LITTLE BITTERN being the stars for me.
Spent most of the day cruising around La Serena to the south. This area supposedly has the largest concentrations of steppe birds. As we had extra days we just took our time enjoying the landscape. The northern part was more scenic. Generally disappointed with what we saw or rather didn’t! Only saw 3 female GREAT BUSTARDS at the northern end of the ‘old military rd’, no Little or Sandgrouse!?
In the evening on the way back we again passed through Madrigalejo. We tried various tracks and found rice paddies but no waders! Eventually we tried a road which actually had a name!...Ferdanand 5th. This road is about a mile north of Madrigalejo (just keep looking for the road sign). You will turn left (west) along a tarmac rd…excellent quality. Along here we had great flight views of COLLARED PRATINCOLE…thanks again Martin! We also saw 3 CRANES which was surprising? Eventually we came to a pipeline over the road, here we had good views of 2/3 GREAT REED WARBLERS. Also in this area we saw several GULL-BILLED TERNS.
As the weather was excellent we then decided to make the trip to the Valle del Jerte. We fancied a drive up to Puerto de Honduras with the key bird being Rock Thrush. The east slope approach is a truly beautiful drive through Pyrenean Oaks just coming into leaf and thousands of Cherry trees in blossom. In this habitat we had WESTERN BONELLI’S WARBLER and NUTHATCH. As we approached the pass we eventually had good views of an ORTOLAN BUNTING.
When we reached the car park at the pass we got our gear on and went in search of Rock Thrush. Unfortunately we were not successful but the scenery was spectacular.
Mop up day! On information from our fellow castaway birders in our digs we returned to Jaraicejo, this time taking the “right” track (east). After around 200 yds there is a track to the left (north). Here we had great views almost immediately of SPECTACLED WARBLER.
Next we revisited Arrocampo and checked out a few other spots but although we saw some good stuff we didn’t add anything significant to our tally.
We then headed west again driving the cc53 Casatejada to Serrejon road where we lucked in on a superb BLACK-WINGED KITE which allowed us close and prolonged views…Nice!
We then approached Montfrague again but this time from the east. The weather had been poor in the morning but it was brightening up now as we continued over the dam for a picnic lunch at La Tajadilla. We had briefly visited this site on our way to Portilla del Tietar last week, but our time here was minimal due to the appearance of two Spanish teenage girls who had got lost!! Eventually overcoming the language barrier we ended up taking them back to Villareal de San Carlos where they were staying!
Anyway, we had more time now and the sun was shining. Within 5 minutes I was enjoying stunning views of a pair of BONELLI’S EAGLES over the ridge to the north. This was indeed a major bonus due to our extended stay.
We finished off at the top car park at Castillo de Montfrague…again looking for Rock Sparrow…again no joy. They had been seen here recently. We did have great views of CRESTED TIT. Also our closest GRIFFON VULTURE nest.
Our extended stay finally produced the hoped for LIFER whilst looking for another bird! We had finally got around to looking for the local Owls in Pago de San Clemente (should have done this earlier) and had been given a site in the village for LONG-EARED again by Martin. We walked at dusk to the spot…no Owls, but flying over, surely not?…RED-NECKED NIGHJAR!!! A great ending to a superb trip.
Casa Rural El Recuerdo at Pago de San Clemente ran by Martin and Claudia Kelsey. The atmosphere is very relaxed. Martin is an excellent birder and guide and very helpful. For further details see their website. Strongly recommended. www.birdingextremadura.com
A Birdwatching Guide to Extremadura – John Muddeman
Where to watch birds in Northern and Eastern Spain (second edition) – Rebane and Garcia
Where to watch birds in Southern and Western Spain (third edition) – Garcia and Patterson
Countless trip reports!
E-mail contacts including www.Birdingpal.com
Can’t thank Martin and Claudia enough for their help during the Volcano situation. It would have been far more hassle without there help. Also thanks to Martin for the bird info’. Thanks to John Muddeman for his help and advice.
Thanks to all the other birders who provided help in the form of trip reports and e-mails etc (far too many to mention individually).
Special mention as always to my wonderful partner Louise for her limitless patience and understanding. Also for being my driver while I navigated and planned our route. This was especially helpful on this trip due to my reduced energy levels.
That’s it then! Feel free to contact me for further information, clarification or just to point out errors!
Selective Species List
I have included key birds seen and not seen plus local Spanish birds
Mute Swan Cygnus olor – Didn’t expect this one! Seen on a pool while driving the cc162 north-west of Serrejon
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus – seen well in flight at Embalse de Arrocampo
Cattle Egret Bulbulcus ibis – large group seen at Vegas Atlas (100+)
Little Egret Egretta garzetta - Moderate numbers c20 at Embalse de Arrocampo
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea - Present in good numbers at Embalse de Arrocampo
Black Stork Ciconia nigra - Frequent sightings and superb views in Monfrague with two occupied nests at Penafalcon
White Stork Ciconia ciconia - Common away from Monfrague and the Sierra de Gredos…those NESTS!!! Never got tired of seeing these birds.
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus – Only one bird seen but seen well for an extended time west of Arrocampo on the cc53 Casatejada – Serrejon rd
Red Kite Milvus milvus - Present in small numbers at Monfrague
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus – Seen well at Castillo de Montfrague and Portillo del Tietar
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus – Impressive birds. Very common with several nesting colonies in Monfrague (particularly close views at Penafalcon and the Castillo early and late in the day).
Large circling group (50+) above Jaraicejo and generally widespread on the plains.
Black Vulture Aegypius monachus – Flying beds! Common in Monfrague
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus - Seen in small numbers at most sites.
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus – Great close views and numbers of these superb birds in the barley fields at the junction of the road north of Santa Marta de Magasca and the cc128 Monroy rd. Seen elsewhere in suitable habitat.
Spanish Imperial Eagle Aquila adalberti – Birds seen at Penafalcon and Portillo del Tietar.
Golden Eagle Aquila chrystaetos – Not seen…unfortunately
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus - Seen at most sites but in just small numbers, having apparently declined in recent years.
Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus – Spectacular views of a pair at La Tajadilla
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni - Widespread in small numbers with tremendous close views at Trujillo Bullring
Quail Coturnix coturnix - Heard at Torreorgaz
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio porphyrio – Poor views obtained at Arrocampo in bad weather
Common Crane – Suprising record. Three birds, adult and two immatures. Thought they would have all gone by now?
Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax – Suprisingly few good views (long grass?) but seen and heard! very well on one occasion – see account. Also seen well on the Belen plains at 5.4K from the village.
Great Bustard Otis tarda – Large numbers (c100) and superb ‘scope views at Torreorgaz (core population area). Fairly close displaying males on the Belen plains at 5.4K from the village. Three females seen at 3k from the northern end of the old military road at La Serena.
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus - Small numbers at wetland sites.
Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus – Not seen
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola – Four birds seen well in flight on the Ferdinand 5th rd north of Madrigalejo
Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica – Several birds seen along Ferdinand 5th road
Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis – Seen well in flight and on the ground along the first obvious track north on the Santa Marta de Magasca rd (Cordel de Ganado?)
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles – 70+ birds seen well and heard on the Santa Marta de Magasca rd – see account
Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius – Great close views on fence wires at dawn on the
Santa Marta de Magasca rd – Sandgrouse area. Also seen around Trujillo. Look where there are
Black-billed Magpies (host species)
Eagle Owl Bubo bubo - Portilla del Tietar – see account. Birders at El Recuerdo surmising the young may have fledged the nest early this year?
Little Owl Athene noctua – Seen well on a wall at the beginning of the track north from Torreorgaz
Scops Owl – At least three birds around El Recuerdo. One bird calling in garden as we left for the airport!
Long-eared Owl – Three birds in trees near El Recuerdo – not seen by us
Barn Owl – Present in Pago de San Clemente – not seen by us
RED-NECKED NIGHTJAR – Lovely volcanic bonus on last evening at Pago de San Clemente!
Pallid Swift Apus Pallidus – Great views around Trujillo square. Amazing close and low views at Cabezuela del Valle in the Valle de Jerte
Alpine Swift Apus melba – Love the dams. Best views at Alange dam SE of Merida - an amazing close display
Bee-eater Merops apiaster – Increasing sightings as trip progressed. Several parties flying high overhead calling (migrating?). Great views in village on last morning pre-breakfast constitutional
Roller Coracias garrulous – Campo Lugar rd. Never got round to visiting some nest box sites…should have
Hoopoe Upupa epops - Common but elusive. Mainly seen in flight
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis sharpie - A bird seen in the middle of a Madrid park by
Louise who thought it was a parrot!
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra – Smart birds common on the plains.
Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla - Relatively small numbers seen on the plains.
DUPONT’S LARK Chersophilus duponti –Way north but worth the effort!
Skylark Alauda arvensis – La Plataforma
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica - Common and superb
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta – La Plataforma
Dipper (Black-bellied) Cinclus cinclus – Louise picked a bird up by the car park at La Plataforma
Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos - Common and singing superbly in suitable habitat. Notable on the Yellow Trail in Montfrague
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe - Small numbers at La Plataforma
Black-eared Wheatear – Oenanthe hispanica Superb views at La Plataforma and at Turegano north-east of Segovia on the way to the Gredos Mnts
Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucura – Not a lifer but would have loved to see one again. Tried a few reliable spots but alas it wasn’t to be. Seen by other birders at Alange and Rio Almonte bridge nr Caceres– see account
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius – great close views at Pena Falcon
Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis – Not seen…unfortunately!
Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides – Seen well at Arrocampo
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus – Seen and heard! At Arrocampo and Ferdinand the 5th road just beyond the pipeline
Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta – Bird seen with Fergus Crystal near Villafranca…no idea where!
Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata - Seen well at Jaraicejo (west track)
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata – Great views at Jaraicejo (east track)
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans - Seen well at Jaraicejo (west track) perched on wire fence! Also seen at Castillo del Monfrague (top car park)
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala - Seen well at Jaraicejo and Ferdinand 5th road by cycle track
ORPHEAN WARBLERSylvia hortensis- Spend a very happy 30 mins with a bird on the yellow trail at Monfrague (see account)
Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli – Single bird seen on higher reaches of road to Puerto de Honduras
Crested Tit Parus cristatus - Castillo del Monfrague (top car park)
Nuthatch Sitta europaea – Single bird seen on higher reaches of road to Puerto de Honduras
Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla – seen easily in Pago de San Clemente
Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus – Not seen
Jay Garrulus glandarius - 2 birds seen on the road to the summit of the Sierra de Villuercas
AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE Cyanopica cyana – Common and gregarious. Seen easily in Pago de San Clemente and yellow trail in Monfrague
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax - Two at Penafalcon
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis – Tremendously energetic colony at the east end of the cc128 Monroy rd
ROCK SPARROW Petronia petronia – Americans have a term “Nemesis bird” i.e. Bogey bird. This bird in my experience was the hardest to see. I tried many sites listed in guides and reports. I only managed brief, conclusive views on one occasion – see report. Seen by others at 1) Castillo de Monfrague – top car park 2) Stream bridge at east end of cc128 north-west of Trujillo 3) West end of Logrosan rd just north of Madrigalejo – in Bee-eater hole. GOOD LUCK!
Red Avadavat Amandava amandava – seen well at Vegas Atlas
Common Waxbill - seen well at Vegas Atlas
CITRIL FINCH Serinus citrinella – Seen well at the west side of the Parador de Gredos
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes – Not seen!
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus – We only saw this bird in Madrid at El Pardo
Rock Bunting Emberiza cia - Seen well at La Plataforma car park and not subsequently looked for specifically
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana – Upper slopes of road to Puerto de Honduras
Total Species - 134