With good home cooking, this comfortable Hotel Rural will be our base for the first five nights and with more than 90 species of bird recorded within five minutes of the hotel, it can be hard to tear ourselves away from here.
Visits to magnificent Monfragüe National Park form the centrepiece of our stay in Extremadura – one of Limosa’s all-time favourite places. Birds of prey are more numerous here than anywhere else in Western Europe and we will be looking for the scarce Black-winged Kite, immense Cinerous (Black) and Griffon Vultures, and up to three species of eagle: Bonelli’s, Golden and the endemic Spanish Imperial.
Autumn is also an excellent time to see the solitary Iberian Grey Shrike and exotic Iberian (Azure-winged) Magpie, two Iberian specialities that make their home in the beautiful dehesa woodlands that ring this national park.
Out on the rolling plains, flocks of Calandra Larks and droves of bustards (both Great and Little) will already have come together for the winter and as we scan the fields for them, we will hope to find the secretive Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, as well as parties of Stone-curlews.
During our stay, we will pay a short visit to the historic hilltop town of Trujillo, enjoying far-reaching views from the medieval battlements and a refreshing beer at a cafe in the cobbled Plaza Mayor, watched over by the formidable statue of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru.
Leaving Extremadura, we will loop North and East beyond Toledo for a two-night stay in La Mancha where the lagunas (lakes) lie scattered like confetti across the rolling rural heartland of Spain. Nestling in a landscape made famous by Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote, these tucked away wetlands are important to the threatened White-headed Duck plus a fine array of wetland birds that can include hundreds of Greater Flamingos, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Western Swamphen and, with a little good fortune, Moustached Warbler.
Limosa has been operating a wide-ranging annual programme of birdwatching tours to Spain since 1990. Guide Fernando Enrique joined the Limosa team in 2014 and is our English-speaking Spanish specialist. He has excellent experience of Central Spain, having lived, birded and led tours in both Extremadura and La Mancha including our November 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 tours.
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