Trip report: Southern Spain: The Europe Introtour (April 2018)

Guided by Emma Juxon. This was a set-departure tour.

For European birders, there is nowhere better to take a birding trip than the Iberian Peninsula. A region that has appeared to have been largely overlooked by North American birders in the past, well not anymore. Boasting some of THE best birding on the continent, it’s certainly not to be missed.

We visit the outstanding regions of Extremadura and Andalucia on this tour, making our way through breathtaking mountainous landscapes, through rolling steppes and spectacular marismas. With many participants visiting the Old World for the first time, it promises a wealth of lifers, great food, fantastic people and an easy-going introduction to the Mediterranean way of life.
One of the many beauties of this tour is that we only have two bases. Starting in Madrid and making our way through the beautiful Spanish countryside, passing vineyards and castillos to get to our glorious rural hotel in wildflower-carpeted Extremadura. Here we enjoy the Belen Steppe, Caceres Plains and the exceptional Monfragüe National Park, encountering incredible birds such as Eurasian Griffon, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Bustard and Iberian Magpie. From here we head south to our next base in the picturesque pilgrimage town of El Rocío; I love this charming place, with it’s sandy roads, wonderful bird- filled marshes and fantastic people. We use this as our base for visiting the renowned Doñana National Park and its surrounds. This area produces some fantastic views of specialties such as Montagu’s Harrier, Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gull and White-headed Duck.

We accrued a list of 159 species during our tour with highlights including Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Great Bustard, Squacco Heron, Sardinian Warbler and of course our cover-boy and bird of the trip, White-headed Duck.

If Europe is on your list, this has to be the tour to get you there.

FULL Spain: The Europe Introtour Report April 2018 (pdf format; 3.2 MB file)