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Sunday 3rd May - Thursday 14th May 2009

Simon Harrap

The 2009 Birdquest to Spain was another very successful trip to one of the greatest birding areas in Europe. We recorded 162 species in the most delightful surroundings. In Extremadura we found both Great and Little Bustards, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, three species of vulture, Spanish Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite 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 and Great Reed Warblers. We also visited the Gredos, where Iberian Green Woodpecker, Water Pipit, Bluethroat, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Bonelli’s and Dartford Warblers, Citril Finch and Ortolan Bunting were complemented by the great weather and fantastic scenery. Moving north and east we had good views of Dupont’s Larks near Zaragoza and in the Pyrenees we found Lammergeier, Black Woodpecker, a stunning male Wallcreeper, Iberian Chiffchaff and Alpine Accentor.