Spain: Extremadura & Gredos May 2022

Now in its 30th year, this hugely enjoyable birdwatching tour to Central Spain remains one of Limosa’s all-time favourite trips. After seeking a host of rare and spectacular breeding birds amid the rolling steppe grasslands and oak woodlands of Extremadura, we climb high into the beautiful Sierra de Gredos in search of alpine specialities.

The bird list for this Spain birding tour is exceptional, including both Great and Little Bustards, Great Spotted Cuckoo, White-rumped Swift, Iberian Magpie, Bluethroat and Citril Finch. Add Spanish Imperial Eagle, among more than a dozen different birds of prey, plus wonderfully situated hotels and this trip unquestionably offers some of the best birding in all Iberia at the very best time of year!

 

Our tour starts in Madrid, from where we head west to Extremadura, the ‘wild heart of Spain’, and the fabulous Spanish steppes. We spend the first four nights of our trip staying at a wonderfully situated Hospederia, right on the approach to beautiful Monfragüe National Park and with great birding on the doorstep.

 

While Little Bustards and Great Bustards display amidst the flower-filled grasslands, Black Stork, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Calandra Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, Southern Grey Shrike, Spanish Sparrow and Rock Bunting are amongst the many other possible treats in store.

 

Monfragüe is a magnificent and spectacular landscape with hordes of Griffon Vultures, which throng the dramatic rocky cliffs. Black and Egyptian Vultures also breed here, along with Red and Black Kites, and all five Iberian eagles: Bonelli’s, Booted, Short-toed, Golden and Spanish Imperial. We will also seek the elusive Black-winged Kite, scan for the secretive Eurasian Eagle Owl and pay a visit to the historic old town of Trujillo, with its splendid medieval architecture adorned by numerous Lesser Kestrels, Pallid Swifts and bill-clattering White Storks.

 

We conclude our holiday with two nights at a characterful and comfortable hotel set high in the Sierra de Gredos. With views out over the pinewoods and a chance of Citril Finch on the lawn outside, these lovely mountains are another of Spain’s best-kept secrets! Melodious and Western Bonelli’s Warblers, Firecrest and Pied Flycatcher frequent the forests and Ortolan Buntings serenade us from alpine slopes heavy with the scent of yellow-flowering broom.

 

As the road winds higher and rare and imposing Spanish Ibex gaze down from the ridges above, we enter the realm of the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Water Pipit and Bluethroat. It should all make for a thrilling finale to this wonderful holiday – our best-loved European tour.

 

Limosa has been operating a wide-ranging annual programme of birdwatching tours to Spain since 1990, including dozens of trips to Central Spain. Led by our highly rated English-speaking Spanish specialist Fernando Enrique, who has lived in Extremadura and knows the area well, this small group tour will introduce you to the very best birdwatching in all Iberia and can be combined with our tour to the Ebro Delta and Spanish Steppes to give a highly comprehensive trip.

 

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Limosa Holidays and WildWings are trading names of Birds and Wildlife Limited