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WILD SPAIN

Sunday 1st May - Thursday 12th May 2011

Simon Harrap

Lesser Kestrels and Crested Larks (Simon Harrap)

Lesser Kestrels and Crested Larks (Simon Harrap)

The 2011 Birdquest to Spain was another successful trip to one of the greatest birding areas in Europe. We recorded 151 species in the most delightful surroundings. In Extremadura we found both Great and Little Bustards, three species of vulture, Spanish Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle and the rare melanistic form of Montagu’s Harrier. Other highlights included good views of Eurasian Eagle Owl, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Black Wheatear and Orphean Warbler, and, at the local lakes, Little Bittern, Purple Heron and Savi’s Warbler. We also visited the Gredos, where we found Iberian Green Woodpecker, Water Pipit, Bluethroat, Bonelli’s and Dartford Warblers, Firecrest and Crested Tit. Moving north and east we encountered much heavy rain and consequently had frustrating views of Dupont’s Larks near Zaragoza, but in the Pyrenees the weather was perfect and amidst stunning scenery we found Lammergeier, a pair of lovely Wallcreepers, Iberian Chiffchaff and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush.