Spain - Mammls and Birds in Valencia - November 2016

Published by Pau Lucio (info AT

Participants: Pau Lucio, Colin and Susan Groves


Day 1

After greeting Susan and Colin at the Hotel in Gandia beach, we set off to Bicorp for the evening/night encounter with the Genet. After a coffee/facilities stop, we took the 10-kilometer track to reach the cottage where we would wait for the Genet. After parking the car, Pau spotted a couple of Spanish Ibex, one of them a nice male which allowed some distant pictures. We waited until Javi arrived from surveying Polecat near Villena and prepared everything to attract the Genet.

As soon as it was dark, the Genet ‘Algarrobo’ showed up! At the beginning was a bit shy but soon started to show more confidence and got closer. Pau and Javi followed him with the torch while everyone took pictures. Once the Genet was confident enough, we took few shoots with flash.

We decided to move few meters away to the olive tree orchard to have a different setting. There we got the genet climbing the trees and balancing with the tail. Just amazing! In the back we could hear Tawny owl and Common toad.

Once the genet left, we took the car and drove back to Gandia, arriving around 10:00. It was a perfect timing to enjoy some drinks and have a rest for tomorrow trip.

Day 2

We left the hotel at 9:30 and approximately around 11:00 we were enjoying the first group of Great bustards in Higueruela. The fields were packed with Linnets, Skylarks and Crested Larks. We continued driving to the next stop finding on the way Marsh Harriers, Iberian Grey Shrike and a superb Golden Eagle! It was flying over the ridge and being bombed by a Kestrel.

This autumn has been very dry so instead of visiting the temporary lagoons, we headed off to a permanent lagoon near the railway. In a nearby field there was a Merlin on the ground which soon flew off. There were a very good numbers of birds in the lagoon: Showeler, Teal, Gadwall, Common Pochard and about 20 White-headed ducks.

We tucked into lunch in Pétrola before visiting the lagoon beside the village. There we got Corn Bunting, Greater Flamingo, Water Pipit, Sanderling, Ruff, Snipe and other waders. We headed back to the motorway following tracks and found 8 Great Bustards, a Little Owl on the top of a pile of stones and a Siskin feeding in a line of thistle.

Our last stop was in an old farm where we added Rock sparrow.

Many thanks to Susan and Colin for such a wonderful day. Guys see you in few weeks in the Lynx quest!

Species Lists


Spanish Ibex


White-headed Duck
Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
Golden Eagle
Common Kestrel
Great Bustard
Little Ringed Plover
Common Sandpiper
Common Snipe
Western Yellow-legged Gull
Black-headed Gull
Feral Pigeon
Common Wood Pigeon
Eurasian Collared Dove
Tawny Owl (heard)
Little Owl
Crested Lark
Eurasian Crag Martin
White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Water Pipit
Eurasian Blackbird
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
Cetti’s Warbler (heard)
European Robin
Black Redstart
Common Stonechat
Long-tailed Tit
Coal Tit
Crested Tit (heard)
Great Tit
Penduline Tit (heard)
Iberian Grey Shrike
Eurasian Magpie
Carrion crow
Spotless Starling
House Sparrow
Rock Sparrow
European Goldfinch
Eurasian Linnet