Extremadura

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala ©William Haworth Website
Birding Extremadura

Extremadura remains, perhaps, one of the richest regions of all Europe. Of course we express richness not in economic terms, but in a healthy environment, traditions, gastronomy and cultural & historic heritage. Mixing features of Andalucía and the two Castillas regions in Spain with the Alentejo region in Portugal, is a land waiting to be discovered with huge and extremely important bird populations and an incredible variety of species. Extremadura and its wild and unspoilt nature covers 41,602Sq Kms of the Iberian Peninsula’s surface, of which more that 30,000Sq kms have been catalogued as IBAs (Important Bird Areas). More than 75% of the territory!

Extremadura has almost all the ecosystems represented in the Iberian Peninsula, except for coastline and seashores. High mountain ranges with altitudes above 8,000 feet, highlands, rice fields, wide steppe areas, isolated relict Mediterranean jungles and the most extensive Cork forests in the world. From North to South, or East to West, you will discover one of the richest places in Europe for birding. Thousands of Common Cranes and raptors know it, coming back every year to over-winter or breed. But which areas do they prefer? See the top sites below.

This page is sponsored by Vina Las Torres Guesthouse

Top Sites
  • Jerez de los Caballeros (Dehesa Woodlands)

    Satellite View
    Southern Extremadura, where villages climb up the hills, and impressive castles nestle on the peaks. Birdwatchers sitting here can explore the horizon with their binoculars, all you can see around are Dehesas. The Dehesa woodland is an open Oak tree forest where traditional human activities are still going on. It is so extensive that you would think that our old continent has no forestry problems at all! Miles and miles of Dehesas supporting extremely rich bird communities: Black Storks have their largest populations, a high density of forest raptors, Hawks and Kites all abound. Abandoned & collapsed houses are shelter for European Rollers, Hoopoes, Thrushes and Wheatears. And if you close your eyes and just listen, you will discover the flying calls of European Bee-eaters and the non-stop song of Red-necked Nightjars.
  • La Serena Steppes

    Some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Extremadura are the huge grassy plains and wide open steppes. These lands, apparently dead during the hot Iberian summer, sustain the most important breeding populations of Little and Great Bustards in Europe, the unforgettable silhouette of Montagu`s Harriers, Lesser Kestrels and hundreds of Collared Pranticoles, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse.
  • Monfragüe Natural Park

    InformationSatellite View
    What Doñana is to Andalusia, Monfragüe is to Extremadura...
  • Vegas Altas of the Guadiana River

    The third most extensive rice fields in Spain can be found here. A highly cultivated area, mixed with extenses open Oak woodlands or Dehesas, and huge reservoirs including Orellana
  • Villuercas Ranges

    Not far from Monfrag
Contributors
  • Jorge Garzón

    Andalucía - Extremadura - Portugal - Marruecos | nature@investnatura.org

Useful Reading

  • A Birdwatching Guide to Extremadura

    | By John Muddeman | Arlequin Press | 2000 | Paperback | 120 pages, 14 colour plates, line illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9781900159319 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Years Birding in Extremadura

    | (What to See and When to See It) | By Ian Parsons | Ian Parsons | 2015 | Paperback | 1130 pages, b/w photos, b/w maps | ISBN: 9781514391037 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birding Extremadura - Azure Wings in the dogs bowl

    | by Malcolm Rymer | Malcolm Rymer | DVD | All Region | Runtime 90 Minutes | ISBN: #174943 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Crossbill Guide: Extremadura, Spain

    | By Dirk Hilbers | KNNV Uitgeverij | 2013 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 224 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9789491648021 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Finding Birds in Extremadura

    | By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2013 | DVD | Region 2 | Runtime 86 Minutes | ISBN: 9781907316432 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Finding Birds in Extremadura

    | By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2013 | Paperback | 31 Pages | Black & White Maps | ISBN: 9781907316425 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birding Aps
  • Birding in Extremadura

    Apple iOS | Android
    | Dirección General de Turismo de Extremadura |

    From the Directorate General of Tourism, in a new commitment to improve the offer of Club Birding in Extremadura, we have developed this app to facilitate your visit to our region
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Extremadura Birdwatching Fair (FIO)

    Website
    The Extremadura Birdwatching Fair (FIO) will celebrate their 14th anniversary in 2019. Don’t miss this meeting point for professionals and nature enthusiasts in Monfragüe National Park from February 22th to 24th. The past twelve years of this event have put Extremadura on the European map of birdwatching and it has become the largest fair of its kind in southern Europe.
Organisations
  • ADENEX -Association for the Defence of the Nature and the Resources of Extremadura

    Website
    Amongst ADENEX`s best known campaigns, we should mention: campaign in defence of Extremaduran holm-oak woods; campaign against Valdecaballeros`s nuclear plant; establishment of a vulture`s feeding places network; campaign against Great Bustard hunting; campaign in defence of birds of prey; campaign for the rescue of the Montagu`s Harrier young; campaign in defence of White and Black Storks; campaign for the conservation of the Crane`s wintering habitats in Extremadura; campaign in defence of the Jerte Valley; campaign for the adaptation and re-arrangement of high-tension lines in Extremadura; campaign in defence of the International Tajo river; campaign for the rescue of Roman Forum of M
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • La Naturaleza de Extremadura

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    Extremadura has an especially rich and diverse natural heritage
  • NP Cornalvo Natural Park

    InformationSatellite View
    Interesting at any time of year, but spring is the best time to watch the birds associated with forests and dehesa. The reservoir has a greater diversity of species in winter and at the end of summer…
  • NP Monfrague

    InformationSatellite View
    El Parque Natural de Monfragüe, referencia obligada del bosque y matorral mediterráneo, se encuentra en la provincia de Cáceres, en el centro del triángulo formado por Navalmoral de la Mata, Plasencia y Trujillo…
  • NP Parque Natural de Monfragüe

    InformationSatellite View
    Monfragüe is roughly in the centre of the province of Cáceres, at the confluence of the rivers Tajo and Tiétar. It is at present the only National Park in Extremadura, with 18,118 ha under this protection…
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Audouin Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
  • Aviantours

    Tour Operator
    Aviantours promises to teach the art of bird photography & digiscoping as well as offering birdwatching tours in Spain, Morocco & Gibraltar
  • Birding Extremadura Center

    Tour Operator
    Hi, my name is Antonio Calvo, native, passionate about nature and photography, who also loves to share their local knowledge in ornithology with people who share the same passion. I consider myself with a great lucky to live in an environment where to be fond of ornithology is very easy.
  • Boletus - Josele J. Saiz

    Tour Operator
    Better known for his wonderful birder's guesthouse in the Pyrenees [Boletas]; Josele guides throughout Spain and Morocco
  • Extremadura Birding

    Tour Operator
    Visit with people who really know the area
  • Gone Birding

    Tour Operator
    This six day tour will be based close to Trujillo, centrally located to the plains, and close to Monfrague National Park. Accommodation will be in a converted farm, with bed, breakfast and evening meal supplied
  • Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays

    Tour Operator
    If you are looking for a quality natural history holiday, this is a great place to start. The Honeyguide programme offers a mix of the very best of wildlife in fascinating parts of Europe..
  • Iberia Nature

    Tour Operator
    Iberia Nature is an Extremadura-based company offering, through its nature guiding service the possibility of getting to know first hand the rich natural legacy of this Region. It arranges guided visits, nature photographing and much more. It guarantees a combination of top standards with a fully-committed respect for the natural medium
  • Iberian Wildlife Tours

    Tour Operator
    The combination of such diverse geography and habitats in the Extremadura region make it one of the best in Europe for wildlife, especially birds
  • Julian Sykes Wildlife Holidays

    Tour
    Extremadura is world famous amongst naturalists and birdwatchers with its incredible diversity, sheer numbers of raptor and steppe species, needs nointroduction
  • Spain Birds

    Tour Operator
    SPAINBIRDS is a small company which efforts are appointed to organize ornithology tours over all spanish geography. Its expert leader, Santiago Villa, has a deep knowledge about iberian birds. Natural Parks as Do
Trip Reports


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  • 2008 [04 April] - Cristian Jensen

    Report
    …On our way we stopped at a beautiful old town with a medieval castle with breeding Lesser Kestrels, White Storks, Jackdaws, and Crag Martins. From the castle we could enjoy the beautiful landscape of Extremadura. Our first Short-toed Eagle was spotted, together with Griffon Vultures and Black Kites. Barn Swallow, House Martin, Goldfinch, Spotless Starling and Common Swift were also spotted…
  • 2009 [03 March] - Honeyguide

    PDF Report
    Peter and Bill were up early with the hoopoes and corn buntings and Chris introduced them to the song of the resident short-toed treecreeper. It’s barely light until 7.30 so this allows for a morning routine of a quiet potter in the Finca’s lovely grounds before breakfast at 8.30.
  • 2010 [03 March] - Honeyguide

    PDF Report
    Pdf
  • 2010 [05 May] - Cristian Jensen

    Report
    …After dinner we already had the first contacts with nocturnal birds inhabiting the area. Several Nightingales were singing around the Hotel and a Red-necked Nightjar delighted us with its song, but we couldn’t spot it, no yet…
  • 2011 [03 March] - Honeyguide

    PDF Report
    …it was difficult to decide what to look at: a Spanish imperial eagle soaring, a calling peregrine, black storks (including a pair on their nest) and Egyptian vultures, as well numerous griffon vultures. Add to that black vulture, red and black kites and booted eagle…
  • 2012 [02 February] - Honeyguide

    PDF Report
    … we could see another line of cranes coming towards us, followed by another and yet another. We started to scan generally in that direction, and far in the distance we could see groups of cranes heading our way. We were witnessing the very start of the northward migration. The pattern was repeated and repeated: a line approached, broke up amidst a glorious sound of bugling from the birds as they circled, regrouped and then disappeared northwards. It was a moving experience and we all stood in silence and wonder as we took in this very special spectacle.
  • 2012 [11 November] - Pat & Judy Hayes

    Report
    …Although we have visited the area twice previously, we hadn’t visited in late autumn when all those special species of the region, sandgrouse, bustards, larks and cranes congregate in large flocks - hopefully making them a little easier to locate and photograph…
  • 2013 [03 March] - Bob Swann

    Report
    …Returned to Parador de Gredos and walked down through the fields on the west side of the hotel. Nice flock of 10+ Rock Bunting, with a pair of Cirl Bunting and a few Song Thrush. By the old stables a pair of Rock Sparrow. Quite a few Black Redstarts, with many in song, despite the weather. Checked the pinewoods fairly thoroughly, though much as yesterday. Found a flock of c30 Siskin, but no sign of citril finch. Perhaps with the cold weather they had not arrived on their breeding grounds….
  • 2013 [03 March] - Martin Kelsey & Chris Durdin

    PDF Report
    From the start of the walk various birds of prey were watched flying overhead: red and black kites, a common kestrel, and distant griffon and black vultures, but pride of place undoubtedly went to a pair of booted eagles. Against a clear blue sky, we stood rewarded by the sight of the male making perhaps ten or more deep dives as it sky-danced overhead in courtship, the female soaring close above it…
  • 2013 [03 March] - Martin Kelsey & Chris Durdin

    PDF Report
    From the start of the walk various birds of prey were watched flying overhead: red and black kites, a common kestrel, and distant griffon and black vultures, but pride of place undoubtedly went to a pair of booted eagles. Against a clear blue sky, we stood rewarded by the sight of the male making perhaps ten or more deep dives as it sky-danced overhead in courtship, the female soaring close above it….
  • 2013 [05 May] - Neil Gartshore

    PDF Report
    …After lunch we continued along the road through the park heading to the Portilla del Tietar, stopping occasionally along the way. Our first stop overlooked over an area of scrubland where there are usually Black-eared Wheatears – one bird was seen briefly in flight. Then it was on to the viewpoint looking over the Monfragüe Ridge and the Rio Tietar below where we saw three close Egyptian Vultures overhead and a singing Subalpine Warbler in the scrub….
  • 2013 [06 June] - Fraser Simpson

    Report
    …Having last visited Extremadura in 2002, I was feeling drawn to return to Monfragüe and its surroundings, particularly the peaceful but magical dehesas. There was no real urge to rush around finding species I had seen well on previous visits. This time I was concentrating on sound recording whatever species I encountered with less emphasis on tabulating numbers of everything seen. As a result, this report concentrates on vocalisations and selected cuts are presented here in mp3 format. This was also Lisa's first visit to south-west Spain and we pitched all week at Camping Monfragüe on the edge of the national park…
  • 2014 [02 February] - Steve Round

    Report
    …We then moved on to the lagoons at La Albuera. Two hides overlook the main lagoon which is home to waterfowl. Amongst the more common birds here such as Pochard and Gadwall, of interest were Egyptian Goose, Red-crested Pochard and Black-necked Grebe. A pair of White Storks had taken up residence on top of a tower hide nearby, with more in the trees beyond. A Singing, Southern Grey Shrike was seen in a nearby tree and both Hen and Marsh Harrier were spotted here….
  • 2014 [03 March] - Chris Durdin

    PDF Report
    The Finca’s garden was alive with birds before breakfast, even though group members mostly weren’t out for long, given that dawn comes late here. Cuckoos and hoopoes called, azure-winged magpies moved through and hawfinches perched on tree tops. A one-minute diversion before breakfast was all it took to look at last year’s red-rumped swallows’ nest…
  • 2015 [01 January] - Simon Colenutt

    Report
    ...The first stop produced a field rammed with Spotless Starling, Corn Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Sky Lark and Crested Lark and as we drove it became apparent that these fields supported a large number of birds.
  • 2015 [02 February] - Chris Durdin

    PDF Report
    ...as first light was breaking. We enjoyed a superb ‘Extremadura moment’: a female lesser spotted woodpecker was drumming on a dead branch when a hawfinch landed close by, then a hoopoe landed, crest raised at first, in the same tree.
  • 2015 [05 May] - Neil Gartshore - Coto Donana & Extremadura

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [01 January] - Oriole Birding

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [03 March] - Birdwatching Spain

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [05 May] - Neil Gartshore - Coto Donana & Extremadura

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [09 September] - Chris Durdin

    PDF Report
    here were several dragonfly species, including broad scarlet and epaulet skimmer, but most exciting was a superb juvenile golden eagle which glided at quite low altitude upstream. We completed the day at the small Cabezuelas Lake, near Aldea del Obispo, where we managed to get excellent views of a violet dropwing dragonfly, a superb specimen.
  • 2017 [03 March] – Chris Durdin

    PDF Report
    Within minutes a boldly marked Spanish imperial eagle flew out from behind the cliffs, disappeared, re-appeared briefly and then again for an extended stay in the sky across the water then towards us. Altogether magnificent views of one eagle species, which remarkably was matched by equally good views of a short-toed eagle hanging in the air then coming to land.
  • 2017 [04 April] - Pat & Judy Hayes

    Report
    Having spent far too much time over the winter attempting to put a trip to several different African countries together we eventually gave up and decided to bumble around southern Spain in early spring...
  • 2017 [11 November] - Javi Elorriage

    PDF Report
    Our next stop was at El Salto del Gitano cliff (the “gypsy leap”), the most iconic landmark in Monfragüe. Here we took our time to enjoy the impressive views of Griffon Vultures and the second Blue Rock Thrush of the day. Next we stopped at Villarreal De San Carlos for a coffee, and a picnic lunch at La Tajadilla viewpoint.
  • 2017 [12 December] - Niki Williamson

    PDF Report
    Little Owls initially proved hard to find, but as the afternoon wore on we eventually found six or more, seemingly seeking our attention from perches on walls, rocks and telegraph poles. A magnificent young Spanish Imperial Eagle was also perched, not too far away, allowing prolonged views.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Andy Hannaford

    PDF Report
    First stop was the hide off the road to Santa Marta (39.4771, -6.19334). The bitter wind made observations difficult as it was driving straight into the hide. However got a brief glimpse of two Black-Bellied Sandgrouse before they disappearing leaving just Crested Lark, Corn Bunting and Calandra Lark to help pass the time.
  • 2018 [03 March] - SamBosenquet

    PDF Report
    There was no sign of Black Wheatear at the gorge, but 4 Chough and some wild-looking Rock Dove were there, and there were plenty more Choughs at the sierra
  • 2018 [04 April] - Jim Andrews

    PDF Report
    We started the morning for those who wanted to with a morning walk near to the hotel, where Wild Gladiola and Champagne Orchid were mixed in the flowering meadows and Olive groves. Cuckoos were singing, a few Sardinian Warblers flitted amongst the bushes and we also picked up on a Golden Oriole in the Oak trees. We returned to the hotel for breakfast before heading out for the day.
  • 2018 [05 May] - Michael Zieger

    PDF Report
    ...And then we were witnesses how a Common Kestrel grabbed a Spotless Starling...
  • 2018 [11 November] - Simon Tonkin

    PDF Report
    Together we experienced skies full of lark song, with five different species competing for the airwaves, as masses of both Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse circled overhead. The plains were filled with huge Great Bustards and we had several encounters with Little Bustards.
  • 2019 [04 April] - Pay & Judy Hayes

    PDF Report
    Having spent more time in airports and in the air than we care to remember last year, this year we opted for a short haul flight so we decided to return to southern central Spain.
Places to Stay


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  • Casa Rural El Recuerdo

    Accommodation
    Run by birders, for birders…
  • Casa Rural Las Canteras - Trujillo

    Accommodation
    Casa Rural La Canteras is an old manor house, dating back to the late 19th Century. It is located 12 km by road from Trujillo, within a Special Protection Area for Birds, a paradise for birdwatchers. Its privileged situation makes it an ideal place to explore Extremadura
  • Cielo Abierto

    Accommodation
    We want to share this treasure offering you our knowledge of the area, dedication and the “finca” Cielo Abierto, a land close to the small village of Berzocana, with the comfort, environment and privacy you look for your accommodation in functional apartments (max. 2 people) or 2 bedroom cottages. Our best value is the location and the posibilities of the area: enjoy the views from the terrace, relax in the swimming pool, take a picnic to one of our “secret places”, bbq after climbing the closer crags, birding...
  • El Elanio Rural House

    Accommodation
    Rural House El Elanio is an accommodation place located in the hearth of Extremadura, so you can visit from here all the places more important of the region. Our house is located to 20 minutes from Trujillo, 35 minutes from Guadalupe, 40 minutes from Merida and 45 minutes from Caceres.
  • El Tenado

    Accommodation
    Casa Rural con encanto en Extremadura Para disfrutar de la naturaleza y los placeres rurales
  • Finca Al Manzil

    Accommodation
    Finca Al-manzil is 22 hectare finca on the S.W. slope of the Sierra de Montanchez. One approaches the finca along a winding lane, part of the ancient system of communication that link even the most remote parts of the sierra
  • Finca Las Abubilla - Self catering chalets

    Accommodation
    Renting a holiday-home via the Internet is not that difficult, but finding a comfortable and cosy one is much more difficult. We offer four one-bedroom and one two-bedroom holiday-homes. Your stay on our “Finca Las Abubillas” will be a very pleasant one, for sure!
  • Vaquería CantaElGallo

    Accommodation
    The Vaqueria CantaElGallo offers a natural retreat. Spend a few days here enjoying the many outdoor activities or simple relaxing and you will discover the pleasure of being surrounded by the peace and tranquility of nature
  • Vina las Torres

    Accommodation
    You could not wish for a better base for exploring Extremadura - Vina las Torres is a comfortable, family run, rural hotel situated in the heart of the Lagares Mountains, in the province of Caceres, Extremadura, just 10 km. outside Trujillo - what an unexpected and delightful surprise. It is a stately home, which has been carefully restored to provide a warm and comfortable environment
Other Links
  • Birds of Extramadura

    Website
    The combination of such diverse geography and habitats in the Extremadura region make it one of the best in Europe for wildlife, especially birds
  • Extremadura Birds

    Information
    Extremadura is very popular with bird lovers all over Europe, for it has a very divers population of interesting species of birds. All the year round one can enjoy particular species of birds that are difficult to be found anywhere else in Europe
  • Extremadura Birds

    Website
    Extremadura is very popular with bird lovers all over Europe, for it has a very divers population of interesting species of birds. All the year round one can enjoy particular species of birds that are difficult to be found anywhere else in Europe
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Lluis Sogorb

    Gallery
    Artistic BLOG

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