‘Twas the day before Christmas…

  …and all through Huerta Grande, The creatures were stirring cos the weather was dandy. Dozens of vultures float high in the air As Katrin is hanging her baubles with care! The Chiffchaffs are busy and Crested Tits sing As Blackcaps and Firecrests enjoy ‘second spring’ At 15 degrees with bright sun in the skyContinue reading “‘Twas the day before Christmas…”

Cranes, plains and automobiles with @urbanbirder

Extremadura is a real Spanish Mecca for many a birder, but there’s plenty to see without going anywhere near the usual honeypots.  We spent this weekend exploring some of these lesser known hotspots with our friend David Lindo, aka The Urban Birder. Without so much as whispering the word “Monfrague” we jammed into avian delightsContinue reading “Cranes, plains and automobiles with @urbanbirder”

What have the Romans ever done for us?!

Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, it seems we can add ‘fish sauce’ and ‘great places to go birding’. The well-preserved ruins of a Roman town, Baelo Claudia, are a mere stone’s throw from our base at the eco-lodge of Huerta Grande, and theContinue reading “What have the Romans ever done for us?!”

Foraging wild at Huerta Grande…

As the long, hot autumn season draws to a close at our base of Huerta Grande eco-resort, the rains have finally arrived, clearing the air, refreshing the ground and filling the streams.  They bring with them the region’s ‘second spring’, as the parched soils are brought back to life with fresh water and lingering summerContinue reading “Foraging wild at Huerta Grande…”

Time to build an Ark ?

When a third of a region’s expected annual rainfall comes pouring down in under 12 hours, we could be forgiven for thinking that the apocalypse is coming to Spain.  As a wet front coming in from the Mediterranean hits the mountains of the Alcornacales Natural Park, it is being forced to unceremoniously dump its moistureContinue reading “Time to build an Ark

Birding Off-piste in Extremadura – Part Two…

After a day’s birding amongst the crags and cliffs of Monfragüe National Park, the jewel in Cáceres department’s crown, most people move on to other areas of Extremadura.  But there are many less-birded gems to discover.  My group – consisting of seasoned journalists, budding young bloggers and, er, me – had had a fantastic introductionContinue reading “Birding Off-piste in Extremadura – Part Two…”

Birding Off-piste in Extremadura – Part One…

      Think of a birding trip to Extremadura and you’ll undoubtedly think of Monfragüe National Park.   This 18,000 hectare jewel in the region’s crown has become one of the most important birdwatching destinations in Spain. And with good reason.  As well as a wealth of mountain passerines, this protected area is internationally importantContinue reading “Birding Off-piste in Extremadura – Part One…”

Q. What do @urbanbirder , 20,000+ Honey Buzzards, Short-toed and Booted Eagles, White Storks, Black Kites, and the Inglorious Bustards have in common?

A. We all chose to pass through Tarifa’s Cazalla raptor watchpoint on the same day! Several days of strong easterly crosswinds (known locally as the Levante or ‘sunrise wind’) had stopped the migrating raptors in their tracks. Now, the gentle Poniente or ‘sunset wind’ prevailed, with a slight southerly direction giving the birds the liftContinue reading “Q. What do @urbanbirder , 20,000+ Honey Buzzards, Short-toed and Booted Eagles, White Storks, Black Kites, and the Inglorious Bustards have in common?”