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Birding in Spain

19 April–8 May 2005

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Seven Coloradoans (Norm Erthal, George Armbrust, Gail Evans, Ira and Tammy Sanders, Margie Winters, and Kay Niyo) birded Spain and two of the Canary Islands. We flew from Madrid to Malaga and rented two cars. We saw slightly over 200 species. Our itinerary was as follows:

20–21 Apr: Driving from Malaga, we birded the Mediterranean coast, the Gibraltar area, the southwestern coast, and eventually made our way up to Parque Nacional de Doņana in Andalusia. We enjoyed delightful accommodations and delicious food and wine at Hotel La Torre in Tarifa on the southwestern coast of Spain.

22–24 Apr: In Hinojosa, we stayed at the delightful Hostal Pino Doņana and enjoyed the town square, old church, and lovely streets when we weren’t birding the amazing wetlands of Parque Nacional de Doņana and surrounding area.

25 Apr: On our way north, we detoured to Huevla to find the Andouin’s Gulls on the Atlantic coast near Portugal. We stayed in the very nice Hotel Zeus in Merida where we birding the surrounding area and toured the many Roman ruins within the city.

26–27 Apr: Trujillo, the home of Pizarro, was another unique historical town with the lovely Hostal Emilia where we enjoyed wonderful meals and wine. Birding was special with the discovery of a Spanish Imperial Eagle on a nest. Cork trees are common in Extremadura as in other areas of Spain.

28 Apr: We had no reservations for this night so we stayed in Benavente and then continued northeasterly to Picos de Europa.

29–30 Apr: We stayed at lovely Casa Cayo in the delightful town of Potes. The meals and wines were wonderful there too. We took the Fuente De cable-car in a 900-meter swoop to a trailhead just east of the highest peak in the Picos, Torre Cerredo (2,648 m). We hiked 11 km in a 1,080 m descent to Espinama over snow fields and alpine meadows in astoundingly beautiful scenery.

1 May: We headed to the Atlantic coast and birded the Cabo Quejo peninsula and along the Rio Veral in Valle de Anso on our way to the Pyrenees. We saw seven Lammergeiers in this valley. We stayed in a motel in Sabiņánigo before driving to Torla.

2 May: We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Torla at the lovely Villa de Torla in Basque country very near the Spain-France border. Again, the food and wine were delicious. We spent a day in the Parque Nacional de Ordesa with its soaring 5,000 ft cliffs.

3–5 May: We birded our way back to Madrid through Zaragoza where we stayed at the very nice downtown hotel Esperia Zaragosa on the 3rd. We flew to Tenerife, a lush western island in the Canary Islands, where we stayed in the amazing Hotel Orotava built in 1638!  It was delightful and the food and wines were wonderful. The chef fixed delicious paella for our last night there.

6–7 May: We flew to the arid Saharan-like landscape on the island of Fuerteventura where we found some of the endemic species. We flew from there to Madrid and home on 8 May.

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Gibraltar, 20 Apr, Spain


Lighthouse with Africa in background, 20 Apr, Spain


Windmills above Tarifa, great location for watching raptors migrating across strait from Africa, 21 Apr


Ferry from Africa arriving in Tarifa, 21 Apr


Griffon Vulture cruising over windmills, 21 Apr


Woodchat Shrike near Tarifa, 21 Apr


Gray Heron on pond near Mediterranian shore east of Gibraltar, 21 Apr


Goldfinch at pond near Mediterranian shore east of Gibraltar, 21 Apr


Common Nightingale along stream on Mediterranian shore near Gibraltar, 21 Apr


Blue Rock Thrush in cliff area near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Griffin Vulture near nest in cliff area near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Sand dunes on Gulf of Cadiz near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Sardinian Warbler above Gulf of Cadiz near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Cliffs above Gulf of Cadiz near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Griffon Vulture eating carrion above Gulf of Cadiz near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Egyptian Vulture eyeing carrion being eaten by Griffon Vulture, above Gulf of Cadiz near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Griffon Vulture checking out Egyptian Vulture who just repeatedly flew over eyeing the carrion, above Gulf of Cadiz near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Stonechat north of Tarifa, 22 Apr


Black-eared Wheatear near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Black-eared Wheatear near Tarifa, 22 Apr


Lovely Hotel La Torre, Tarifa, 22 Apr


Sardinian Warbler north of Tarifa, 22 Apr


Red-legged Partridge north of Tarifa, 22 Apr


Little Owl north of Tarifa, 22 Apr


Sedge Warbler at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 22 Apr


Barn Swallow collecting mud at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 22 Apr


Barn Swallow flying off to nest with mud at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 22 Apr


Common Ringed Plover at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 22 Apr


Black-winged Stilt at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Common Sandpiper at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Curlew Sandpipers at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Common Ringed Plover at Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Church and wetlands, El Rocio, Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr

 
Shorebirds at Doņana, 23 Apr


El Rocio sand streets and horses, 23 Apr


White Storks on nest near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


White Storks on nest near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Dung Beetle near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


European Bee-eaters near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


European Bee-eaters near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Azure-winged Magpie at Parque Nacional de Doņana Visitor Center, 23 Apr


Azure-winged Magpie at Parque Nacional de Doņana Visitor Center, 23 Apr


White Stork greetings on nest at Parque Nacional de Doņana Visitor Center roof, 23 Apr


Typical greetings by White Stork pair on nest at Parque Nacional de Doņana Visitor Center roof, 23 Apr


Typical greetings by White Stork pair on nest at Parque Nacional de Doņana Visitor Center roof, 23 Apr


Squacco Heron at wetlands near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Squacco Heron at wetlands near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Squacco Heron at wetlands near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Lovely Hosta Pino Doņana, Hinojosa, 23 Apr


Hosta Pino Parque Doņana, Hinojosa, 24 Apr


Old church and Hinojosa town square, 24 Apr


Clock on old church, Hinojosa, 24 Apr


George, Tammy, Gail, Margie relaxing in Hinojosa town square, 24 Apr


Kay in front of statue in Hinojosa town square, 24 Apr


Hinojosa street and homes, 24 Apr


House Martin in nest above wires on home in Hinojosa, 24 Apr


Caracoles snails, delicacy harvested by people, 23 Apr


Cattle Egret with Spanish cattle, near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


European Bee-eater near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 23 Apr


Poppies near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 24 Apr


Poppies near Parque Nacional de Doņana, 24 Apr


Cork trees north of Parque Nacional de Doņana, 24 Apr


Cork tree north of Parque Nacional de Doņana, 24 Apr


Spotted Redshank in pond north of Parque Nacional de Doņana, 25 Apr


Tammy, Ira, Norm on breakwater for port of Huevla, 25 Apr


George on breakwater looking over port of Huevla, 25 Apr


Siberian Chifchaff on breakwater for port of Huevla, 25 Apr


Andouin's Gulls, the target bird for the port of Huevla, 25 Apr


Andouin's Gulls, the target bird for the port of Huevla, 25 Apr


Temple to Diana, Roman Ruins, Merida, 25 Apr


Statue in the Temple to Diana, Roman Ruins, Merida, 25 Apr


Roman bridge, Roman Ruins, Merida, 25 Apr


Roman Ruins lighted at night, Merida, 25 Apr


Castle in Extremadura, 26  Apr


Fruit and vegetables (our lunch for a couple days!) at morning market in Extremadura village, 26 Apr


Meat, sausage, and cheese (our lunch for a couple days!) at morning market in Extremadura village, 26 Apr


White Storks nest everywhere, even on ruins! 26 Apr


Eurasian Collared Dove on ruins near Merida, 26 Apr


Roman colliseum ruins in Merida, 26 Apr


Gail in Roman colliseum ruins in Merida, 26 Apr


Roman theater ruins in Merida, 26 Apr


Statue in Roman theater ruins in Merida, 26 Apr


Archway in Roman theater ruins in Merida, 26 Apr


Preserved Basilica tile floor in Roman ruins in Merida, 26 Apr


Lovely Hostel Emilia, Trujillo, 27 Apr


Spanish Sparrow, Arroyo de La Vid near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Butterfly, Arroyo de La Vid near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Blue Rock Thrush, Arroyo de La Vid near Trujillo, 27 Apr


French Lavendar, Arroyo de La Vid near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Poppy, Arroyo de La Vid near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Green frog, Arroyo de La Vid near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Castillo de Monfrague near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Castillo de Monfrague near Trujillo, 27 Apr


View from Castillo de Monfrague near Trujillo, 27 Apr


View from Castillo de Monfrague near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Norm, Ira, George on Castillo de Monfrague near Trujillo, 27 Apr


Rock Bunting north of Caceres, 27 Apr


Large Griffon Vulture roost and nest site, Rio Tejo north of Caceres, 27 Apr


Spanish Imperial Eagle on nest above Rio Tejo north of Caceres, 27 Apr


Horse and buggy leaving Trujillo town square, 27 Apr

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