Trip report: Southern Spain: The Europe Introtour (April 2019)

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 largely overlooked by North American birders in the past, it boasts some of THE best birding on the continent, it’s certainly not to be missed.
We visit the outstanding regions of Extremadura and Andalucía 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, we make our way through the beautiful Spanish countryside, passing vineyards and castillos to get to 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 its sandy roads, wonderful bird-filled marshes and charismatic 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 Black-winged Kite, Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gull and White-headed Duck.

We accrued a list of 146 species during our tour, with highlights including Spanish Eagle, Penduline Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Little Tern, White-headed Duck and our three birds of the trip, Iberian Magpie, Great Bustard and our cover-bird, European Bee-eater.
If Europe is on your list, this has to be the tour to get you there.

FULL Spain: The Europe Introtour Report April 2019 (pdf format; 4MB file)