In early spring I spend a few very productive days in Extermadura, Spain – together with Marc Guyt. AGAMI was invited by Sociedad de Gestión Pública de Extremadura for a few days at the extremadura birdfair. A great way to escape the Dutch winter weather for a couple of days. The weather was very nice, in the morning a bit chilly (minus 5 °C) but around noon it became a pleasant 17 °C.
Despite the fact that it was only February, the swallows are already flying around here, which immediately gives a real spring feeling.
But also the early spring flowers, such as sand crocus (Romulea columnae), Narcissus triandrus and Narcissus bulbocodiu gives that feeling. All beautiful wild bulbous plants that would give some colour in the Dutch gardens in the otherwise colourless spring.
Narcissus bulbocodium subsp. bulbocodium
During our stay in Extremadura we visit several places, including the beautiful town of Trujillo and El Castillo de Monfragüe, where the Griffon and Cinereous Vultures sometimes fly by very close and at eye-level against a stunning background.
Birders in the field
Trujillo city view
Trujillo city view
The romaic church tower from the XIII century
kasteel Abeza de Zorro
It is also possible to rent photo-hides in Extremadura. We visited two of these hides via photo-raptors. The first hide where we stayed, early in the morning with first light, was the vulture hide. After our guide had deposited the rejected Iberico hams and had left the place with his car, it was party time within two minutes. The imposing vultures came flying from all directions. The hierarchy was immediately clear, the Cinereous Vulture were the boss and with outstretched wings they impressed the Griffon Vultures, who where waiting at a proper distance for their turn. Some eary and endangered Egyptian Vultures also arrived later in the morning. It was a real spectacle to have all those vultures so close to the hide and many pictures were taken.
After a well-deserved lunch with Jamon Iberico, we sat in the songbird hide nearby. There were plenty of Dunnocks, Sardinian Warbler, European Stonechat and the Long-tailed Tit of the subspecies irbii to keep us very happy – and busy.
It was my first visit to Extremadura but certainly not the last. This part of Spain has much to offer for nature lovers: many birds, butterflies, dragonflies, plants and all this in a beautiful landscape.
Some impressions included with this blog of pictures taken during the short trip.
Wil Leurs and Marc Guyt