Well done for reaching the top of the castle, TJ. and well worth the effort for those spectacular views. I like the vulture best. Those Griffons are magnificent birds seen close up (in a falconry centre I must add!) What a priviledge to see them in the wild - and the eagles. Magnificent.
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Nearly done - I'm afraid there's no remission for good behaviour.
Odds and ends from Extremadura
How could I not include the classic birds of southern Europe in Spring and Summer.
Here's a little curiosity. Like many countries Spain has it's fair share of introduced species. We we were constantly seeing a very small bird flitting about some of the reed beds. At first it was thought to be a Common Waxbill. When we got a decent view of it we decided (or rather our leader did) that it was a Red Adavat but probably a female or first winter male.
Crag Martin collecting mud. Just before this there was a Red-rumped Swallow but I was not quick enough.
We spent two days in the Gredos Mountains. They are not in Extremadura but are situated in the neighbouring region of Castilla y Leon northwest of Madrid. The main reason for going there was to see Bluethroat which only breeds at high altitude in this area.
En route to Gredos at a birding stop we were lucky to get a good sighting of a male Golden Oriole. These are quite common birds in Spain but they are quite shy so not always easy to photograph.
To see the Bluethroat we had to climb to the platanos - more lung-busting, heart-pumping exertion. Here's the habitat.
Still snow on the peaks as you can see.
We did see Bluethroat but too distant to photograph. However on the way up there were these little beauties.
Narcissus of some sort for the flower lovers.
Rock Buntings which were quite common and not shy.
And stunning Ortolan Buntings.
Anyone like to say what these are. It's a common or garden bird back home but here they live at high altitude which probably says something about their ancestry.
I'll sign off with this male Black Redstart which was hanging out by the local Parador. They were quite common in this area hopping about like Robins would back home.
Hope I haven't bored you too much with my tales. Of course , we saw many more species than I've mentioned. Probably in excess of 150 in total.
My abiding impression of Extremadura in particular is the sheer profusion of birds in all sorts of habitats. Do you know what the most common bird was? The Corn Bunting which I haven't even mentioned. They were singing absolutely everywhere. I wish we could say that about about the UK. Perhaps it's the lower intensity of farming and agriculture in this region compared with the UK but they are doing something right because the birdlife is amazing.
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A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. (Chinese proverb)
Not boring at all. Wonderful pictures from what must have been quite a memorable holiday. Obviously we're all a little disappointed for you that you had to struggle through the heat and dust while we were cool and damp, but we realise that you made the sacrifice to provide us with these pictures.Thanks again, really enjoyed seeing them.
Bob, happily retired(-:)
My Local Patch here
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Thanks Teejay for an amazing set of photos,
It looks a brilliant place for birdlife, i think the UK has alot to learn,
The hedge accentor is a close relative of the alpine accentor so that is probably why it does quite well high up. I did look twice just in case. Now the question is what do we normally call the hedge accentor.
Visiting the Cotswold Water Park. Have a look at http://cotswoldwaterpark.wordpress.com/
More wonderful shots. The Black Redstart does it for me :) Glad you had a good time, it really is a brilliant part of the world for birding.
psst, want to see my blog? http://mazzaswildside.blogspot.co.uk/
TJ what a brillliant report!! Its always great to hear about your foreign adventures + look at the fab pictures. The Golden Oriole is astonishing in its colour!! Love the storks up on the church + the purple heron. Well all of them + always great to see some of the scenery landscapes of these areas.
Fantastic TJ, thanks for taking me on holiday with you, I've really enjoyed it.
'In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks' John Muir.
Excuse wobbily dyslexic spelling!
Fantastic, TJ! Really enjoyed reading your report. It sounds like you had a great time. I'm really tempted to have a look down there myself now!
Brilliant photos, too!
'Fortitudine Vincimus' - By Endurance We Conquer. Sir Ernest Shackleton
Great shots Teejay. Just to join in here with you and SueC, looks like you both stayed in the same hotel near Trujillio as I did when I visited Extremadura in February! It was a lovely place, the food was superb. I want to go back in the spring, maybe next neat year.
Love nature? Visit one of our fantastic reserves, there really is something out there for everyone!
That's interesting, Kevin. I know the owner, Juan-Pedro, went to the Birdfair last August and seems to have picked up business from birding companies or even perhaps from DIY birders. He's obviously made a great effort and along with his wife we were made to feel most welcome and as you say the food was excellent. He even told us where we could see Red-necked Nightjars and one evening we did just that.
Thank you for such a wonderful report and even better photos.........beats Benidorm LOL
Enjoy the world around you and keep taking photographsSee all my photos here Cheers Judi
You saved the best till last TJ. Stunning birds and stunning photos. That Ortolan Bunting is beautiful - never actually heard of it before.
Fancy seeing dunnocks up there!!!
Thank you TJ for doing this report. I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.
Vultures, eagles, golden oriole and all
what beauties you displayed
we've loved the scenery and just need to know
where next pray :)
Lot to learn
Hi- you didnt mention which tour Co you went with
For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides, binoculars, scopes, tripods, etc - put 'Birding Tips' into the search box
seymouravesHi- you didnt mention which tour Co you went with
I thought it might be a breach of Terms and Conditions to name the company. I'll just say the leader was Gary Elton who guides for a company based in your home county.