Black Stork Ciconia nigra
© John Muddeman
Tailor-made and Custom Birding and Wildlife Tours
Apart from the ½-day and full-day options noted on the Birdwatching trips in central Spain page, working in collaboration with Spainbirds Nature Tours we can also offer any tailor-made birding or natural history package within Spain. This includes anything from individuals up to large groups, including clubs and associations. (For more details of possible dragonfly and butterfly watching and photography trips, please see the Madrid & Extremadura Dragonfly and Butterfly trips.)
With restricted time and budgets, travellers often want a birdwatching or wildlife tour orientated specifically to their needs. With personal guiding experiences covering the Strait of Gibraltar, the Doñana and Odiel Marshes areas, Extremadura, Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Picos de Europa, western and eastern Pyrenees, pre-Pyrenees, Ebro Delta, N Valencia, Murcia, Sierra de Andújar, Balearic Islands and Canary Islands, naturally I feel well-placed to be able to offer options to these areas! These have included such iconic sites and their surroundings such as the Alcornocales Natural Park, La Janda, Strait of Gibraltar, the Laguna de Fuentedepiedra, Coto Doñana and Guadalquivir marshes and rice fields, the Cáceres - Trujillo steppes, Monfragüe National Park, La Mancha lakes, Hoces del Duratón Natural Park (Segovia), Sierra de Gredos, Sierra de Guadarrama, El Pardo, Madrid's western sierras, Laguna de Gallocanta, Spanish Festoon Zerynthia rumina© John MuddemanDaimiel National Park, Cabañeros National Park, Somiedo Natural Park, Ordesa National Park, Riglos, Sierra de Guara and Llobregat Delta amongst others.
Please contact me by email here , providing as much detail as possible of when, where and what you like to see, and we will send you a detailed estimate and proposed itinerary as soon as possible, without any commitment on your part whatsoever.
For similar trips, please see my trip reports in the Iberian Wildlife Tours blog.
Please remember that if buying a package from a Spanish operator, this must be backed by a Travel Agent, otherwise it is illegal and you are not protected by law. Spainbirds Nature Tours is the first specialist birdwatching and wildlife-watching tour operator in Spain accredited by the Spanish Tourist Board.
[Extremadura - Madrid - Belchite - Pyrenees] "…what a great trip I (we) had with you in May. With your skilled, personable and knowledgeable guiding, we saw an incredible array of the "must see" birds of our itinerary. However, in addition to spotting the birds (often in difficult weather situations), you showed us some of the most spectacular scenery and habitat I have ever seen anywhere. You were also a gracious host, always insuring that our group was comfortable, and well-fed (perhaps too well :) ).
I would heartily recommend both you and Spainbirds to anyone wanting to visit Spain and I would heartily recommend Spain to anyone interested in birding in general. We all enjoyed your company, which only helped to make our trip more fun for all of us.
I hope to return to Spain soon and I will definitely contact Spainbirds as part of my future trips.
I have attached a picture of you in one of the beautiful fields of wildflowers we found in Extremadura. I think it is a good picture of a great guide in a beautiful country."
Anne K. (TX, USA) May 2013
DESTINATIONS FOR SINGLE & 2-DAY TRIPS - SOME IDEAS!
Remarkably, the excellent birdwatching opportunities in Madrid remain virtually unknown to many birders. However, during a full day's guiding one can see Great and Little Bustards in the agricultural areas of the North-East, Eurasian Black Vultures and Citril Finches in the Guadarrama mountains, or even Spanish Imperial Eagle in the huge El Pardo park, just to mention a few of the species which still survive no further than 45 minutes drive from a city of 3.5 million inhabitants! For those who are also keen on museums, local food and red wine, Madrid offers travellers a terrific variety of possibilities…
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster© John Muddeman
Two and a half hours from Madrid, the Sierra de Gredos mountains offer an excellent chance of locating some of the species most sought-after by foreign birders. In spring and summer these are some of the best mountains in Spain to see Bluethroat, Ortolan Bunting and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush amongst many other birds, plus Spanish Ibex and even a suite of endemic amphibians and reptiles! Citril Finches are also present all year round in the pinewoods while iberiae races of Pied Flycatcher and Green Woodpecker are regular breeding birds. In the grounds of our favoured hotel there, European Nightjars, Dartford Warbler and Rock Bunting all breed.
WETLANDS & AGI-STEPPES OF LA MANCHA
90 minutes south of the capital, between the provinces of Cuenca, Toledo and Ciudad Real extends a vast flat region known as La Mancha. Among the huge expanses of arable fields, vineyards and olive tree plantations lies a complex of wetlands where a remarkable variety of interesting birds still survive. In winter thousands of Common Cranes can be easily seen here, but spring is the most exciting season with Black-necked Grebe, Greater Flamingo, Purple Heron, Purple Swamp-hen and a range of wetland warblers at the lakes, and Great Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Collared Pratincole and Montagu's Harrier highlights among the agri-steppe dwelling species. But the flagship species of La Mancha is without doubt the White-headed Duck with several dozen pairs breeding and wintering in this region.
San Frutos Chapel in Segovia© John Muddeman
A journey of just over two hours by road takes you to the remarkable lands of Extremadura, quite simply one of the best areas for birding in Western Europe. Raptors abound and steppe specialities are the most representative birds here, including Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli's Eagle, Eurasian Black Vulture, Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpie, Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, all of which are present all year round. Far more is present of course and you'll want more than just one day…
HOCES DEL DURATÓN NATURAL PARK
It is impossible to speak about the Hoces del Duratón Natural Park without mentioning Dupont's Lark. As close as an hour and a half's drive from the city of Madrid we can take you to the best spot for the well-named "Diablo"! Here on the flat páramo and in nearby gorges of this fabulous reserve Egyptian Vulture, Tawny Pipit, Greater Short-toed Lark, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Western Orphean and Spectacled Warblers and Ortolan Bunting can be also seen in spring / summer, while Griffon Vultures, Golden Eagle, Red-billed Chough and Thekla Lark are present all year round.
Mouflon male Ovis orientalis© John Muddeman
SIERRA DE ANDÚJAR & IBERIAN LYNX
In just two days (at a push!) we can also reach as far S as the beautiful and rugged mountains of the Sierra de Andújar in search of the world's rarest feline, the Iberian lynx. Observations of "the bearded one" are never guaranteed, but there are plenty of other species to look for as we search, including Red and Fallow Deer, Spanish Ibex, Wild Boar and Mouflon amongst the large mammals, plus Spanish Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Black Vulture, Iberian Shrike and Iberian Magpie amongst a fine selection of birds. The reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies and butterflies are also richly represented in the area, though a couple of nights or more are far better than just one, of course!
Another option of course is to combine two or three of these areas together over a few days…
|Office phone:||(+34) 918 989195|
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28214 Fresnedillas de la Oliva,