Birdwatching Spain Trips
Birding in Spain’s Wild West is a small specialist tour operator eager to share a passion for Spanish birds and nature in general.
Based in the foothills of the Gredos and Bejar mountains in southern Salamanca – within the Biosphere reserve of Sierras de Bejar and Francia – guides Vega and Alfonso have acquired in-depth knowledge of their surroundings, the fauna within as well as the cultural history. A guided birdwatching Spain trip or tour involves not only seeing a large variety of bird and wildlife but an overall appreciation of the area and everything encountered: an ancient tree; a lizard or a dragonfly; the peculiar traditional architecture; the relationship between rural communities and the land. They specialise in one day birding trips available throughout the year.
Rock thrush and Iberian Emerald lizard in Alpine mountains; Black vulture, Golden Eagle and Bee-eater in Holm oak ‘dehesas’ – grazed by cattle for millennia; Great bustard, Short-toed lark and Montagu’s harrier in rolling cereal ‘steppelands’; European pond terrapin, Black stork and Egyptian vulture in the Sierra de Francia; Sardinian warbler, Alpine Swift and Bonelli’s eagle in the Mediterranean scrubland and canyons of Arribes National park; are just some examples of what you might see with Birding in Spain’s Wild West.
Birding Ecotourism Guides
Trained as birding ecotourism guides, Vega and Alfonso have also studied animal tracks and have a good knowledge of amphibian, reptile and mammal residents. Included in their tours are sumptuous picnics, using local food products and catering for special diets.
They can help find friendly accommodation and tailor their Birding in Spain tours to match requirements for all ages and abilities. Birding in Spain’s Wild West has recently joined ‘Tourism is for Everybody’ and is working on providing tour facilities for disabled visitors.
Between them Vega and Alfonso speak English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, and are always happy to try another language!
Many of their customers have returned over the years: what better recommendation than that!
River Tormes & Sierra Ventosa
Candelario & Sierra de Bejar
Steppes and Lagoons
Sierra de Francia & Batuecas
Arribes Natural Park
Please note Birding in Spain’s Wild West reserves the right to change listed pricing anytime at their discretion. Please contact them directly to confirm.
Pied Flycatcher Iberian
Blue Rock Thrush
Other Spanish Wildlife
Birds of interest include Crag martin, Cirl bunting, Rock Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Corn Bunting, Serin, Iberian grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Cuckoo, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Wryneck, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Woodlark, Calandria Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Short-toed Treecreeper, Azure-winged Magpie, Turtle Dove, Black-eared Wheatear, Red-rumped swallow, Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Crag Martin, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Great White Egret, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Snipe, Jack snipe, Bluethroat, Crossbill, Crested Tit, Firecrest, Zitting Cisticola, Montagu’s Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, Golden Eagle, Booted Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Black kite, Red Kite, Black-winged Kite, Honey Buzzard, Goshawk, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Great bustard, Black-bellied sandgrouse, Avocet, Shelduck, Spoonbill, common Crane, Penduline tit, Sardinian warbler, Dartford warbler, Western Orphean Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Rock Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Spotless Starling.
In the area, especially at dusk, it is possible to encounter various mammals: stone marten, genet, fox, badger and wild boar. During the year Spanish Ibex Capra and Roe deer can be seen in the mountains and valleys of the Sierra de Francia.
Also present but less visible are Egyptian mongoose, Wild cat and Wolf.
Lizards frequently come across include Iberian Emerald lizard, Ocelated lizard and Iberian Rock Lizard, and two Skinks: Bedriaga’s and Western Three-toed Skinks. Amphibians sometimes present in stone drinking troughs and ponds are the giant Sharp-ribbed Salamander and the Marbled and Pygmy Newts, and occasionally the Fire Salamander including a local subspecies can be seen found in humid areas.
Be it the coconuty smell of the bright yellow Broom Cytisus oromediterraneus in the high mountains or the wonderful sticky-leafed flowering shrub Cistus ladanifer and the wild Lavender, Thyme and Rosemary of the lower hills, there is always a gorgeous scent in the air. Significant trees include centuries old Holm Oak, Ash and Sweet Chestnut, forests of Strawberry tree Arbutus and Hackberry Celtis australis and in Spring and early summer masses of flowers including wild Peony, Lupin and Foxglove growing on roadsides, fields and valleys.
Birding in Spain’s Wild West participate in the Harrier Conservation Project with the local Spanish Ornithological Society by helping to locate and protect Harrier nests within cultivated cereal crops.
The farmers are contacted and asked to respect this portion of land without harvesting so that the chicks can be safely reared and fledged. This usually involves staking a circular protective chicken wire fence around the nest and returning at intervals to check on the birds. Birding in Spain’s Wild West also collaborate with local hotels, restaurants and other businesses on joint ventures to encourage tourism in the area and thus provide work as well as environmental consciousness-raising for a generally depressed and underpopulated socio-economic region.
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The Blue Sky Wildlife Team