Thursday 2 May 2019

Castillo de Monfrague, Salto Del Gitano, Mirador La Tajadilla, Mirador de la portilla del Tietar, Arroyo de Valbueno and Embalse de Arrocampo, Extremadura.

Leicester Ladies tour of Extremadura.
Full days Birding, Day Six.
Mountains, Woodlands and back to the Embalse to finish the day.

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We set off towards the Monfrague area and as we were quite early drove up to the parking area by the steps up to the Castle dropping Jane W, Jan and Sue at the bottom to walk up. Rona and Jane H headed off up to the Castillo whilst I waited for the others.
Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri).
In the sky over head and below us by the time we reached the fort we could see Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), European Black (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian Vultures (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) and on the buildings and in the woods around the castillo we saw Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and in the air House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica),  Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), as she walked down to the Van Sue had a Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) in the Oaks and we all saw a tree climbing
The Ladies up at the Castle.
Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri), on the drive back down we heard Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis).
On the walk down the track from the Castillo.
Our next stop was down at the main Salto Del Gitano where we parked and watched the Pena Falcon crags, we were quickly put on to a distant Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) which was up with large numbers of Griffon Vultures and other raptors.
Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra) sat on nest.
In the same area we had a couple of Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra) one which was sat on a nest below us and another stood on the rocks higher up, a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), plent of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), a
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
 Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) which came in close, Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), a flying Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus).
We returned to Van and then drove to Mirador La Tajadilla where we had views of a sitting Egyptian Vulture, a flying Black Stork, Small White (Pieris rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Black Stork (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra).
Mirador de la portilla del Tietar was the next stop where we had a great views of a adult Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) which flew out over the river and away, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), lots of Griffon and a couple of Black Vultures and as we walked back to the Van we caught up with a male Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), a singing Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and a couple of Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) which flew along the banks of the river below us.
Adult Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).
Just up the road from here we stopped by the Arroyo de Valbueno and had our lunch before finding a smart singing Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), more Nightingales, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), a fly through Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) which went through eaqually as fast.
Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta).
We moved on east finding a nice colony of Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) on the way and at a spot near Embalse de Arrocampo where we had really nice views of a stunning adult Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) which was sat in a dead tree in a field. In the same area we had European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora).
Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).
We drove to the reserve at the Embalse where we went straight out to hide 2 where we stood on the ramp up again and had good views of a group of 5 Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Purple (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Great (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos),a calling Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which some of the ladies heard and as we were driving out a nice group of Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) which posed well for us.
Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) female.
We moved on round to hide 4 where we heard a calling Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) several time but we did not find it, we also had Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), a calling Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), a noisy but elusive Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and several male and 1 female Banded Groundlings (Brachythemis impartita).
Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) male.

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