Saturday, June 6, 2009

Extremadura, Spain - 26th May - 4th June 2009




A long time coming after many weeks embedded behind Hackney lines (with memorable results this spring), late May and early June was spent in the avian and meteorological nirvana of Extremadura and its neighbouring regions, in central-western Spain.
Full trip report to follow; in the meantime, some of the photographic highlights, roughly in chronological order.




Black-shouldered Kite, western Toledo province. Just out of the car after the drive from Madrid, and the first bird photographed.




Marsh Harrier, same area





Short-toed Eagle and Griffon Vulture, Rio Almonte bridge (just south of Monfrague)






juvenile and adult Rock Buntings, Monfrague castle




Blue Rock Thrush, Monfrague castle





Hoopoe, Three Bridges, near Monfrague




Avocet, small roadside pool a few km from our first base (Aldeacentenera) on the Belen Plains





Monty's, near Aldeacentenera





Bee-eaters, near Aldeacentenera





White Storks, near Aldeacentenera




Woodchat Shrike, near Aldeacentenera




juvenile Subalpine Warbler, near Aldeacentenera




Booted Eagle, Trujillo fish ponds




Little Ringed Plover, Trujillo fish ponds




Black Kite, Trujillo fish ponds








Lesser Kestrels, Trujillo bull-ring




Black Kites, near Aldeacentenera




Hoopoe, near Aldeacentenera







Monty's, near Aldeacentenera




Lesser Kestrel, Raven, Cattle Egret, Spotless Starlings, Great Bustards and Jackdaw - Belen Plains, near aldeacentenera





Great Bustards, Belen Plains, near Aldeacentenera





Cattle Egrets, Belen Plains, near aldeacentenera







Red-rumped Swallows, near Aldeacentenera






Egyptian (& Black) Vultures, Belen Plains, near Aldeacentenera







Black and Griffon Vultures, near aldeacentenera




singing male Spanish Sparrow, Rio Almonte bridge (c8km NE of Aldeacentenera)





Crag Martins, Rio Almonte bridge (c8km NE of Aldeacentenera)






Black Kite, near Aldeacentenera




Bee-eater, near Aldeacentenera










sub-adult Spanish Imperial Eagle, south of Monfrague




adult male Black Redstart, Monfrague




Azure-winged Magpie, everywhere




Rock Sparrow, Monfrague





juvenile Hawfinch, Monfrague





Eagle Owl, Monfrague




Black Stork, Monfrague






adult male Golden Oriole, by the villa, Valle Del Jerte





Dipper, by the villa




Bonelli's Eagle, Monfrague




Red Deer, Monfrague





Spanish Wagtails, Sierra Del Gredos







Rock Bunting on territory, Sierra Del Gredos





about a kilometre from the peak of the Sierras - breeding Bluethroats, Spanish Wagtails, Ortolan and Rock Buntings in the scrub, Black Redstarts and Crag Martins under the bridge, and Bonelli's Warblers in the pine plantation - hence very satisfied Pearsons senior and junior






Ortolan Bunting on Territory, Sierra Del Gredos




Ortolan & Rock Buntings on the same boulder near the peak of the Sierras





Photographing the above little beauties, guerrilla-style




just-fledged Black Redstart, Sierra Del Gredos





Common Whitethroat and Northern Wheatear, both trans-Saharan singers with territories overlooking snow cover in the Sierra Del Gredos





the ubiquitous and always accommodating Golden Orioles around the villa





Nightingale and White Wagtail, ditto





Short-toed Treecreeper and Nuthatch, Valle Del Jerte






Black-eared Wheatear, Wood- and Thekla Larks, Valle Del Jerte









Western Bonelli's Warbler, Valle Del Jerte - taken shortly after being dive-bombed to within inches after a short blast of an MP3




Altitudinal delirium from the female contingent





Booted Eagles, everywhere




Birders Wives June 2009 cover shoot, Valle Del Jerte




the dirty photographer




Cirl Bunting






Melodious Warbler, outcompeting the iPod impressively






Yet more BE's




male Marsh Harrier, somewhere on the way back to Madrid