TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Spain - Andalucia and Extremadura

13th - 24th April 2003


Leaders:
John Muddeman
Andy Smith

Daily Diary:

13th April - Overcast, windy and wet.

Our flight arrived more or less on time in Seville in the mid-afternoon and after meeting John and collecting our vehicles we began the drive south towards Cadiz and then south-east to Zahara. The overcast and wet conditions (such a far cry from the sunshine of southern England) encouraged us to keep our heads down and the only really notable roadside bird was a rather bedraggled migrant Roller a little short of Zahara. After settling in at the hotel we enjoyed a first dinner full of expectation of the days ahead.

14th April - Overcast, cool, stiff south-westerly wind and frequent heavy showers through to early-pm then brighter, warmer and dryer but still windy.

A couple of superb Montagu's Harriers hawking over some open fields a little outside Zahara started the day off well as we made our way eastwards to the Straights of Gibraltar. A first stop at one end of wind-blown Los Lances beach just east of Tarifa produced over 25 roosting Audouin's Gulls, several Kentish Plover and Sanderling, a skulking Tawny Pipit and a pair of engagingly industrious dung beetles. From here we proceeded to the Mirador del Estrecho where we enjoyed commanding views of the Straights and the distant coast of Morocco with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Behind us a Thekla Lark sang valiantly and several Griffon and three Egyptian Vultures battled with the wind and dodged ranks of wind-turbines as they made their way over the hills inland. Next we visited Huerta Grande Visitor Centre, part of the huge and impressive Parque Naturale de los Alcornocales. Here we strolled through lush oak woodland reminiscent of more northern regions and encountered a good range of typical birds including Iberian Chiffchaff, Bonelli's Warbler, Firecrest and Short-toed Treecreeper. As we walked the rain set in and so after a good look at an impressive Fire Salamander relaxing by the swimming pool we retired to the warmth and the dry of the visitor centre café and ate our lunch.

In the early afternoon we drove on past Algeciras to the Los Palmones estuary near Algeciras where the sun at last came out. A large flock of migrant White Storks circled high above the town and a Booted Eagle passed over, whilst two first-year Mediterranean Gulls loafed on a distant sandbank alongside a flock of terns which included several Sandwich and Little and a lone Gull-billed. Our last planned stop was a little inland at a hillside viewpoint known as El Agarrobo (the Carob Tree). From here we had another panoramic view of the straights that this time included all of Gibraltar and in a short space of time noted several Black Kites, another two Booted Eagles and, best of all, eight Black Storks which roared past us riding a strong tail wind and disappeared inland. Our journey back to Zahara was interrupted firstly by a spectacular rainbow near the village of Facinas that led us to some singing Calandra Larks and several migrant Yellow Wagtails, and then by a flock of roadside Collared Pratincoles near La Janda. Thus it was a satisfied if somewhat weather-beaten group that finally arrived back at Zahara in the early evening.

15th April - Overcast, frequent heavy showers and stiff south-westerly wind through to mid-pm then dry, sunny and warm with a slackening breeze.

A pre-dawn departure found us at historic Cape Trafalgar in a breezy, grey, first light. Standing in the lee of the lighthouse we squinted out to sea and adjusted our eyes and optics to the conditions and the task. After a slow start the birds began to appear and in an hour or so we had noted 30+ Cory's Shearwaters, 40+ Gannets, two Great and two Arctic Skuas and a Black Tern. Satisfied we returned to the vehicles and thus to Zahara and a late breakfast.

By mid-morning we were on the road again and visited another part of Los Lances beach. Battling with the wind and rain we managed to see more Audouin's Gulls, a range of waders, several Short-toed Larks, a couple of Tawny Pipits and a Northern Wheatear but ultimately the weather got the best of us and we retreated to a café in Tarifa to consider our options. With no imminent break in the weather we returned to Zahara for lunch and a siesta and then, in the middle of the afternoon, we drove around to the picturesquely positioned Roman ruins at Baelo Claudio. By the time we arrived the sun had come out and we spent an excellent couple of hours exploring the ruins and enjoying a string of notable birds that included several close Thekla Larks and Sardinian Warblers, a pair of smart Black-eared Wheatears, an impressive Alpine Swift and a Short-toed Eagle so close you could almost tweak its toes.

16th April - Sunny with scattered cloud, gentle south-westerly, warm.

After breakfast we left Zahara and headed northwest across the open, rolling Andalucian countryside. Our first stop was at the famous Laguna de Medina near Jerez. Melodious and Great Reed Warblers sang from the lush lakeside vegetation as we arrived and an Osprey coasted by high overhead, whilst out on the lake itself we found over 40 Red-crested Pochards, a few Black-necked Grebes and at least two Red-knobbed Coots lurking among the throngs of Common Coots. From the Laguna de Medina we drove through Jerez and labyrinthine Sanlucar to the village of Bonanza alongside the estuary of the Guadalquivir. Lunch was eaten in a shady Stone Pine woodland accompanied by Tree Sparrows and tinkling Serins and then we checked the nearby Laguna de Tarelo and found some more Black-necked Grebes and Red-crested Pochards, a Purple Swamphen and outstandingly, some 30 or so superb White-headed Ducks. These last were a real treat and the closest of them provided us with some really excellent views as they displayed to each other in the bright afternoon sunshine.

After this excitement we drove the short distance back down the road to Bonanza saltpans and enjoyed a pleasant hour and a half watching a wide range of wetland birds that included Greater Flamingos, Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stints, Little Terns and 40 or so pink breasted adult Slender-billed Gulls. From Bonanza we drove north to Seville and then west and south to El Rocio where we arrived in good time to settle in before dinner and explore a little of our new and interesting surroundings.

17th April - Misty at first then sunny with scattered cloud, still and very warm.

After the early mist the day brightened up nicely as we drove first through agricultural land and Stone Pine woodland and then along dirt tracks across the northern Doñana marshes. Our destination was the Jose Valverde Visitor Centre on the edge of the famous marismas. Among the many highlights during a memorable morning were Stone Curlews with chicks; a flock of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse flying in and landing near enough to be 'scoped on the ground; a pair of Marsh Harriers conducting a food pass with consummate elegance and skill and a large group of Bee-eaters and Collared Pratincoles hawking insects together over an area of rough grassland (a wonderful combination of form, colour and movement!). With so much to see and enjoy it wasn't surprising that the journey out to Jose Valverde took all morning.

At the visitor centre we all had fantastic views of nesting Black-crowned Night and Purple Herons, Cattle and Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis. Meanwhile Whiskered Terns and Black Kites hawked overhead, Purple Swamp-hens skulked at the water's edge, Great Reed Warblers shouted from the reed beds and even a Little Bittern put in a welcome appearance. A short distance down the road we searched for Spectacled Warblers in the low saltmarsh scrub and succeeded in finding two singing males but both remained largely hidden. Rather better was a stunning trackside Squacco Heron, the first of three, that allowed a very close approach. On the way back to El Rocio Lesser Short-toed Larks finally gave us the views we wanted and a last stop at a small river bridge turned up a group of waders that included three Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank and five neat little Temminck's Stints. All in all a pretty good day!

18th April - Sunny with scattered cloud, still, warm.

After breakfast we drove the short distance to Acebron Palace, stopping on the heathland en-route where we found Thekla Larks, Dartford Warblers, Bee-eaters and several striking Woodchat Shrikes. At Acebron itself we spent an enjoyable morning walking along the delightful woodland trail. Nightingales seemed to be everywhere and the air was full of their song. Other notable birds included Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Garden Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff, Short-toed Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit, Tree Sparrow and Serin. Two Hoopoes posed beautifully for everyone and a Wild Boar was seen by a lucky few. At lunchtime we proceeded to the main Park centre at Acebushe where we ate our picnic and enjoyed some great views of Azure-winged Magpies coming down to the picnic area. After this we walked to some of the hides but in the afternoon heat everything was a little quiet and our most notable finds were another Pied Flycatcher, a pair of Crested Tits and a freshly emerged Spiny-footed Lizard, so after an hour or so we returned to El Rocio for a short siesta. In the late afternoon we popped across the road and explored the La Rocina nature trail where a singing Savi's Warbler sat in full view long enough to be seen by everyone and we had good views of Booted Eagle, Purple Swamp-hen, Red-crested Pochard, Whiskered Tern, Kingfisher and a range of other species.

19th April - Overcast with sunny spells, occasional light showers, fresh southwesterly wind, cool.

After an early morning session at El Rocio which turned up the usual Greater Flamingos, Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts and Whiskered Terns plus a range of waders including several moulting Ruff we left the Doñana area and headed north towards Extremadura. Our route took us past Bollullos to Valverde and then across the rugged Sierra de Aracena to the village of Jabugo where we had late morning coffee. Lunch was eaten in a picturesque river valley a little further on where avian interest included both Short-toed and Booted Eagles, Woodchat Shrikes and Red-rumped Swallows. From here we drove on through more wild countryside noting regular Black Kites and at least two Black Storks and then dropped down into the broad Guadiana valley. A little short of Merida we took a detour eastwards to the Embalse de Alange and at the dam itself enjoyed an excellent hour or so watching the spectacular roller coaster displays of a pair of Bonelli's Eagles and a range of other birds that included Alpine Swifts, Crag Martins and Blue Rock Thrush. Continuing towards Merida along the west bank of the Guadiana we made a brief stop to view a colony of White Storks in some roadside ruins and were treated to some real close-ups of these fabulous and evocative birds in various stages of their nesting cycle. At Merida itself we stopped to see the famous Roman bridge and then we continued on through the rolling Extramaduran landscape to Finca Santa Marta a little south of Trujillo, our comfortable and characterful base for the next four days.

20th April - Overcast with sunny breaks, frequent light showers, still, gentle breeze, cold.

The bulk of the morning was spent exploring the open steppe country along the famous Belen track northeast of Trujillo. Corn Buntings and Sonechats were dotted at regular intervals along the fence lines whilst Quail called unseen from the long grass and the jangling songs of Calandra Larks filled the air. Raptors included both Red and Black Kites, Montagu's Harrier and several beautiful Lesser Kestrels. Other notables included a brief Stone Curlew and a fine Southern Grey Shrike, but pride of place had to go to the several Great Bustards that we saw so well as they strutted grandly across the grassland, the lone Little Bustard rasping flatulently to itself and the superb immature Imperial Eagle that drifted over our heads towards the end of the morning.

Lunch was eaten in a café in Torrecillas and then we headed south and east through some excellent dehesa country making stops for Rock Sparrows, Woodlarks and a pair of mighty Black Vultures loafing with a group of Griffons in some low trees close to the road. Through the telescopes every detail of the two species' plumage and structure could be observed and compared, a treat indeed! After this excitement we continued up to the strategically positioned ridge-top village of Cabanas del Castillo and walked out to the crags at the edge of the settlement where we enjoyed the dramatic views and succeeded in seeing, albeit briefly, a smart male Black Wheatear. From here we drove back through more beautiful countryside to the welcoming warmth of Finca Santa Marta.

21st April - Sunny with scattered cloud, gentle breeze, warm.

After breakfast at the Finca we set of for the famous Parque Natural de Monfrague. En-route we were lucky enough to come across another group of birders who directed us to a pair of adult Spanish Imperial Eagles sitting in the crowns of some distant ridge top trees. Through the telescopes the eagles looked magnificent in the early morning sun and their huge size was apparent when they were mobbed by pair of Azure-winged Magpies. Flushed with this success and refreshed by coffee in the village of Torrejon el Rubio we continued into the park. Our intention to visit the crag-top Castillo was thwarted by a local Easter horse riding parade so we continued to the famous view point of Peñafalcon. From here you look across the dammed River Tagus to a huge crag that hosts a large Vulture colony and is always a centre of exciting avian activity. In a short space of time we had seen Griffon, Black and Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed and Booted Eagles and Black and Red Kites. For variety there were Black Storks, iridescent bronze and green in the sun, swooping past with red legs trailing, a melanistic Montagu's Harrier "just passing through" and a wealth of diverting passerines that included Red-rumped Swallows and Crag Martins, Black Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush and a pair of superb Rock Buntings. It really was a case of too much to look at all at once and it was with reluctance that we dragged ourselves away to our lunch spot.

We ate lunch by the Tagus bridge with chittering Alpine Swifts for company, stopped briefly at the information centre and shop in Vilareal de San Carlos and then continued to the far end of the park and another viewpoint overlooking another smaller crag. Here we could see adult Griffons attending chicks in their nests and watch a pair of Bonelli's Eagles displaying overhead, but most captivating were the two half-grown Eagle Owl chicks that were visible in their nest scrape among a jumble of boulders on the cliff face. One of "the moments" of the trip happened here when a Serin landed in a small shrub just above the owls' nest and both chicks craned their necks in unison and stared intently at this object of curiosity in a highly amusing manner. From here we drove out of the northern end of the park and back to Trujillo through more splendid Extremaduran countryside and arrived back at the Finca reflecting on another excellent day.

22nd April - Sunny with scattered cloud, showers pm, slack breeze, mild.

In the morning we drove out over the steppe grassland beyond Madronera to the south-east of Trujillo. The first piece of excitement was a Great Spotted Cuckoo that gave us some tantalising views as it sat in a distant tree. Then as we drove and walked further we encountered a range of other exciting species including Little Bustard, Montagu's Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Southern Grey Shrike and a couple of stunning Black-eared Wheatears. On the ground we found several ungainly Oil Beetles and under rocks some large Scolopendra centipedes and a fat little Natterjack Toad.

In the late morning we drove south towards the Guadiana valley. Our first stop was along a track near the valley of Madrigalejo where we were treated to the wonderful sight and sound of a flock of over 40 immaculate Gull-billed Terns hawking over some wet grassland alongside a few Black-headed Gulls and Collared Pratincoles. We ate our Lunch by the nearby Rio Gargalaga. Great Reed Warblers sang noisily and tiny Red Avadavats flicked through the reeds, whilst out over the fields a Booted Eagle stooped and nearly took a Mallard in mid air. After lunch we drove out onto an area of open arable fields and rough grassland behind the village of Vegas Altas. Dodging the showers we saw a couple of Red-legged Partridges and a Stone Curlew and managed to get some brief flight views of several Black-bellied Sandgrouse. On one patch of scrubby grassland we came across a flock of six Rollers sitting out the rain and enjoyed some wonderful views of these spectacular birds. At one point one was joined on a fence wire by male Lesser Kestrel providing a lovely comparison. Finally, on our way back we stopped again on the track behind Madrijalego and although the hoped for Black-shouldered Kites didn't show up we did see another Little Owl, several Turtle Doves and the only Iberian Hare of the trip.

After dark, back at the Finca, a huge female Common Toad was found in the garden, a Scops Owl called from somewhere nearby and a superb Giant Peacock Moth (Europe's largest moth species) came to one of the lamps and remained through to the following morning to be enjoyed by everyone.

23rd April - Overcast with sunny spells, gentle breeze, mild.

With breakfast completed we set off along the road to Santa Marta de Magasca through a beautiful mixture of dehesa and open grassland. Highlights here included some reasonable views of a couple of small flocks of Black-bellied Sandgrouse on the ground, Little and Great Bustards, Red Kite, Black Vulture, Great Spotted Cuckoo and a neat little Viperine Snake lurking under a stone. Best of all though were the outstanding views of Montagu's Harriers: rarely out of view throughout the morning, at one spot we could see at least 15 of these supremely elegant birds in the air together displaying and making food passes - fantastic! We ate our picnic by the pretty Rio Magasca with a couple of Large Psammodromus Lizards, freshly emerged from hibernation sunning themselves on the rocks around us. As we ate a Cuckoo flew across the valley and as we returned to the vehicles a fine Bonelli's Eagle soared along the skyline.

After a short break back at the Finca we went into Trujillo town. At the old bullring we admired the many Lesser Kestrels and found several neat Little Ringed Plovers on some nearby floods. In the town itself we explored the historic square and the hilltop castle above. This was a fitting finale to our time in Extramadura: fine old buildings, panoramic views of beautiful countryside, a sky full of Pallid Swifts and House Martins, White Storks nesting on every available rooftop, Serins twittering in the gardens and a distant Short-toed Eagle circling on the breezeÖ..

24th April - Overcast, mild and still.

After a last breakfast at Finca Santa Marta we said our goodbyes and began the journey to Madrid. On the way we made a last birding stop near the Embalse de Arrocampo where, in a mosaic of grassland, arable fields, pools and marshland we found an interesting range of birds including a Purple Heron, a Great Egret, two Great Spotted Cuckoos and, finally, a Black-shouldered Kite hovering in the distance. On that note we hurtled on to Madrid Airport, the check-in desks and our various flights home.

Thanks to John for his local knowledge and expertise and to the Tilley Girls and the rest of the gang who helped to make the trip so enjoyable.

Andy Smith, Chilling, May 2003.

SPECIES LISTS

Birds

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis): The first was one at El Algaida on 16th, then plenty in the Doñana area on 17th and 18th, 4 on the Belén plain on 20th.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus): Three+ Laguna de Medina and 1 at El Algaida on 16th, six in the Doñana area on 17th.

Black-necked (Eared) Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis): Six+ Laguna de Medina and 7+ at El Algaida on 16th, two in the Doñana area on 17th.

Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea): 30+ off Cabo de Trafalgar on 15th.

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus): A few off Zahara de los Atunes on 14th and lots off Cabo de Trafalgar and a few off Claudia Baelo on 15th.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): One imm. bird over the Río Palmones on 14th, another immature bird over the picnic site en route on 19th.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): In the Doñana area, 15+ on 17th and 6 on 18th, with a few El Rocío early on 19th, one near Trujillo on 20th, then daily Extremadura in small number.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea): 60+ in the Doñana marshes on 17th, just one at La Rocina on 18th, one or two at Embalse de Arrocampo en route on 24th.

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis): Common and seen daily; first 20+ on 13th, max. several hundred in colonies at Doñana on 17th, one at La Rocina on 18th, then daily in Extremadura, including a large colony at Mérida on 19th, and another split colony alongside the NV N of Trujillo on 21st and 24th.

Great (White) Egret (Ardea alba): One Doñana marshes on 17th, and two near the Embalse de Arrocampo en route on 24th.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta): Widespread and seen daily from 13th to 22nd; inc. c.10 at various sites on 14th, lots in the Doñana marshes on 17th, c.10 at various sites in the Doñana area on 18th, a few El Rocío on 19th, one on the Belén Plain on 20th and three near Madrigalejo on 22nd.

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides): Two perched and another two in flight in the Doñana marshes on 17th.

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax): Six+ in the heronry in the Doñana marshes on 17th, one juv. + six adults El Acebrón on 18th, 1 juv. + 1 ad. at El Rocío on 19th.

Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus): Just one female in front of the visitor's centre at Doñana on 17th.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber): 50+ in the Cadiz bay salinas en route on 13th, 30+ in the Bonanza salinas and lots El Rocío on 16th, 100s in the Doñana area on 17th, 18th and early on 19th.

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra): Two flocks of four each moving N over El Algarrobo viewpoint on 14th, two high over the Doñana marshes on 17th, two en route on 19th, c.7 Monfragüe on 21st.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia): Common and seen daily; max. 100+ around the Strait of Gibraltar on 14th, 50+ in the Doñana area on 17th, 100+ including a superb colony S of Mérida on 19th, and plenty on 20th to 24th.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus): 20 in the colony in the Doñana marshes on 17th.

Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia): 10 over the Bonanza salinas on 16th, c.10 daily in the Doñana area on 17th to 19th.

White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala): 30+ on the lake at El Algaida on 16th.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser): Three or four at La Rocina on 18th.

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna): A pair in the Bonanza salinas on 16th.

Gadwall (Anas strepera): Four+ at Laguna de Medina on 16th, then daily in small number in the Doñana area from 17th to 19th.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos): A few daily (except on 21st) at widely scattered sites, though c.300 near Madrigalejo on 22nd was very unusual.

Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata): 30 in the DM on 17th, two at El Rocío on 19th.

Marbled Duck / Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris): One briefly in flight in the Doñana marshes on 17th.

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina): About 40 Laguna de Medina and 10 El Algaida on 16th, then daily in good numbers (up to 50) in the Doñana area from 17th to 19th.

Common Pochard (Aythya ferina): Five+ El Algaida on 16th, then daily in good numbers (up to 30) in the Doñana area from 17th to 19th.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus): Just one over the Laguna de Medina on 16th.

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus): One distantly at the Embalse de Arrocampo on 24th.

Black Kite (Milvus migrans): A total of nine moving N over the Strait of Gibraltar on 14th, then daily (up to 40) in good number from 16th.

Red Kite (Milvus milvus): Two en route on 19th, five at different places around Belén on 20th, 6+ on 21st, two on 22nd and 7+ on 23rd.

Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus): Apart from several very distant birds, two close perched in dehesa near Cabañas del Castillo on 20th, 10+ in and around Monfragüe on 21st and 6 in the Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 23rd.

Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus): A total of c.15 on 14th and 25+ on 15th at various sites in the Strait of Gibraltar, c.80 in the Doñana marshes on 17th, 50+ in the Belén and Cabañas del Castillo area on 20th, 100+ Monfragüe and area on 21st, a few on 22nd and c.15 on 23rd.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus): Two adults and an immature in the Strait of Gibraltar on 14th, an adult from Claudia Baelo on 15th, 6 in and around Monfragüe on 21st and one adult on 22nd.

Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus): One at Zahara de los Atunes, two at Facinas and one at Claudia Baelo on 15th, two over the Doñana marshes on 17th, a pair at lunch and another en route on 19th, one at Monfragüe on 21st, singles Madroñera and en route on 22nd, and two near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus): A male near Vejer de la Frontera on 13th, 5+ at various sites on 14th and a male near Zahara de los Atunes on 15th, 3+ at various sites en route on 16th, 2 in the Doñana marshes on 17th, a male near Mérida en route on 19th, a female over the Belén plain on 20th, a melanistic (dark form) male over Peñafalcón, Monfragüe on 21st, 7 at various sites on 22nd and c.25 near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus): A single female over fields by La Janda en route on 15th, one distantly over the Bonanza salinas on 16th, a total of c.15 in the Doñana marshes on 17th, one at El Acebuche on 18th, and two females and a male at various sites on 22nd.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus): One briefly over Monfragüe on 21st.

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo): One over fields by La Janda en route on 15th, then one to six+ daily from 16th at numerous sites.

Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti): A juvenile over the Belén plain on 20th, and a superb pair in trees near Monfragüe on 21st.

Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus): A superb displaying pair near Alange en route on 19th, a displaying pair in Monfragüe on 21st and a sub-adult over the Río Magasca on 23rd.

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus): Three at various sites in the Strait of Gibraltar on 14th, one over fields by La Janda en route on 15th, then two to eight daily at numerous sites until 22nd.

Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni): 30+ in the Belén plains area on 20th, 40+ at various sites on 22nd, 10+ at various sites on 23rd and c.6 en route on 24th.

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus): Seen widely though in small number daily, except on 18th.

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa): Heard at Laguna de Medina on 16th and en route on 17th, a pair near Cabañas del Castillo on 20th, 2 Finca Santa Marta and one heard Monfragüe on 21st, two Vegas Altas on 22nd and 6 near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix): Heard in the Doñana marshes on 17th and El Acebrón on 18th, 6 heard Belén plain on 20th, 4 heard at various sites on 22nd and one heard Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus): A male by the roadside near Vejer de la Frontera en route on 13th.

Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus): One watched half-hidden and two others heard Doñana marshes on 17th, heard La Rocina on 18th, two heard Río Gargáligas on 22nd.

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus): Seen daily in small to moderate number from 16th to 24th except on 21st.

Purple Swamp-hen (Porphyrio porphyrio): One at El Algaida on 16th, three+ heard and seen in the DM on 17th, 3+ La Rocina on 18th, one+ at the Embalse de Arrocampo en route on 24th.

Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata): Two rather distant, but 'knobbed' birds at Laguna de Medina on 16th.

Common Coot (Fulica atra): Noted daily in good number (up to c.100) in the Doñana area on 16th to 19th, two on the Belén plain on 20th.

Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax): One male on the Belén plain on 20th, three males and a female Vegas Altas on 22nd and 6 males Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Great Bustard (Otis tarda): Eight+ on the Belén plain on 20th, two Vegas Altas on 22nd and 3 Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus): A couple in the Cadiz bay salinas on 13th, 10+ in the Barbate salinas en route on 15th, a number of birds at various locations en route on 16th and then daily in the Doñana area in good number until 19th, a few on a roadside pool en route on 24th.

European Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta): A few in the Cadiz bay salinas on 13th, four+ in the Bonanza salinas on 16th, daily in the Doñana area until 19th, with a max. c.100 El Rocío on latter date.

Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus): Three pairs, at least two of which had chicks in the Doñana area on 17th, one on the Belén plain on 20th, 2 Vegas Altas on 22nd.

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola): A flock of c.20 in fields by La Janda en route on 14th, five over the Bonanza salinas on 16th, c. 300 in the Doñana area on 17th, 200 El Rocío early on 19th, 10 Madrigalejo and 15 Río Gargáligas on 22nd.

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus): Three very distant birds in the Doñana area on 17th.

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola): Seven on Playa de los Lances on 15th, two in the Bonanza salinas on 16th.

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula): Singles at Cabo de Trafalgar and Playa de los Lances on 15th, 12+ in the Bonanza salinas on 16th and at least one El Rocío on 19th.

Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius): Surprisingly, just two fly-over singles en route on 16th and 19th, though five near Trujillo bull ring on 23rd.

Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus): One en route on 13th, lots Playa de los Lances on 14th, and a few there and a pair at Cabo de Trafalgar on 15th, 30+ Bonanza salinas on 16th and at least one El Rocío on 19th.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa): A distant flock of 200+ El Rocío on 19th.

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus): Four Playa de los Lances and two Río Palmones on 14th, 3 + 25 over Claudia Baelo on 15th, two at Bonanza salinas on 16th and 6 in the Doñana area on 17th.

Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus): One in a river channel en route in the Doñana area on 17th.

Common Redshank (Tringa totanus): Three+ at Bonanza salinas on 16th, 6+ various sites in the Doñana area on 17th and 5+ El Rocío on 19th.

Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia): Singles seen and heard Bonanza salinas on 16th and 3 in a river channel en route in the Doñana area on 17th.

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos): One seen by the first bus in the Cadiz bay salinas on 13th, singles en route and at El Rocío on 17th, 20+ in total at El Rocío and El Acebrón on 18th and 20+ El Rocío on 19th.

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres): One Playa de los Lances on 15th.

Sanderling (Calidris alba): Plenty Playa de los Lances on 14th, plenty Cabo de Trafalgar and Playa de los Lances on 15th, six+ BS on 16th.

Little Stint (Calidris minuta): Six+ BS on 16th and 20+ El Rocío on 19th.

Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii): Five in a stream en route in the Doñana area on 17th.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina): A few in the Cadiz bay salinas en route on 13th, a few Playa de los Lances on 14th, 10+ BS on 16th, 40+ El Rocío on 19th.

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea): 20+ BS on 16th and 20+ El Rocío on 19th.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax): 60+ El Rocío on 19th.

Great Skua (Catharacta skua): Two to N and one S at Cabo de Trafalgar on 15th.

Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus): Two to N and one S at Cabo de Trafalgar on 15th.

Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii): About 40 Playa de los Lances on 14th and one Cabo de Trafalgar, 50+ Playa de los Lances and 20+ Claudia Baelo on 15th.

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus (cachinnans) michahellis): Seen daily on the coast from 13th to 15th and in the Bonanza salinas on 16th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus (fuscus) intermedius / graelsii): Six+ Playa de los Lances on 15th, several Laguna de Medina on 16th, one adult Doñana area on 17th and two El Rocío on 19th.

Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephala): Two first-winter birds at Río Palmones on 14th.

Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei): About 40, mostly adults at BS on 16th.

(Common) Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus): A few en route on 13th, six Río Palmones on 14th, one or two in the Doñana area on 17th, 3-4 in different spots on 22nd.

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus): 6+ El Rocío on 16th, lots in the Doñana area on 17th, 50+ El Rocío on 18th and 19th and three near Madrigalejo on 22nd.

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger): Three Laguna de Medina on 16th and 3 Doñana area on 17th.

Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica): One Río Palmones on 14th, five+ Doñana area on 17th, 6 El Rocío on 19th and 50+ Madrigalejo area on 22nd.

Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis): Noted daily on the coast at various sites 13th to 15th, with a max. 25 Playa de los Lances on 15th.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo): One adult at Río Palmones on 14th.

Little Tern (Sterna albifrons): Eleven Río Palmones on 14th and 10 BS on 16th.

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata): A super flock of eight in the Doñana area on 17th.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis): After flight views only in rain of a total of 22 in the Vegas Altas area on 22nd, at least 23 on the ground near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon (Columba livia): Noted daily in variable number except on 17th and 18th; all were feral pigeons.

Common Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus): Noted in small number at various sites on 7 days, especially in Extremadura.

European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur): One in the Doñana area on 17th, 10 in a flock at Madroñera and c.10 in total near Madrigalejo on 22nd.

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto): Noted daily in variable number at numerous sites, max. 40+ Madrigalejo on 22nd.

Great Spotted Cuckoo (Clamator glandarius): One briefly near Madroñera on 22nd, one on the ground near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd and two in flight near Embalse de Arrocampo en route on 24th.

Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus): Seen and / or heard on eight days in small number at various sites, max. 4+ heard on 23rd.

European Scops Owl (Otus scops): Only heard at Finca Santa Marta, where nightly from 20th to 23rd.

Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo): Two wonderful chicks in a nest in Monfragüe on 21st.

Little Owl (Athene noctua): One en route on 19th, two Madroñera, one Madrigalejo and one en route on 22nd and two Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 23rd.

Alpine Swift (Apus melba): One over the ruins at Baelo Claudia on 15th, 10+ Alange on 19th and c.25 Monfragüe on 21st.

Common Swift (Apus apus): Five+ at El Algarrobo on 14th, then almost daily in increasing numbers at numerous sites, especially Trujillo on 23rd.

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus): A few at Seville on 13th, c.25 El Algarrobo on 14th, 50+ at various sites on 15th, lots on 16th, a few daily in the Trujillo and Finca Santa Marta area on 21st to 23rd.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis): Singles El Rocío on 17th, La Rocina on 18th, en route near Sta. Cruz de la Sierra on 19th and on the Río Magasca on 23rd.

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster): After three en route on 16th, seen daily in moderate to large number, until 24th, including max. 50+ on 17th and 18th in the Doñana area.

European Roller (Coracias garrulus): One on the outskirts of Barbate on the 13th was almost the first species for most, with singles seen from the buses en route on 16th and 19th, and a superb group of 6 and a later single in the Madrigalejo area on 22nd.

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops): One briefly over the Playa de Los Lances on 14th, then daily in roughly increasing number from 16th, max. 10+ on 22nd to 24th.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major): Remarkably, only heard at El Acebrón on 18th.

European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis): Remarkably, only heard at El Acebrón on 18th with one seen briefly over Finca Santa Marta on 23rd.

Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra): About 12 near Facinas on 14th, c.10 between the Playa de los Lances and La Janda on 15th, a few on 16th, 17th and 19th at various sites, lots on the Belén Plain on 20th, 4+ on 22nd and 12 in the Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 23rd.

Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla): About 10 at the Playa de los Lances and La Janda on 15th and plentiful out in the Doñana area marshes on 17th.

Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens): A total of c.20 in the Doñana area marshes on 17th.

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata): Common and widespread in moderate number at numerous sites; seen daily.

Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae): One singing high over the Mirador del Estrecho on 14th, one at Cabo de Trafalgar and 6+ Baelo Claudia on 15th, 15+ in total in the Doñana area on 18th, a few en route on 19th, and two en route 21st.

Wood Lark (Lullula arborea): Two at Finca Santa Marta and two more Cabañas del Castillo on 20th, 3+ en route on 21st and several in the Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 23rd.

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia): Six in the Doñana area on 17th, and at El Rocío one on 18th and 6 on 19th.

Eurasian Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris): A dozen at Alange on 19th, 5+ over the Almonte on 20th, 30+ Monfragüe on 21st and 6 Río Magasca on 22nd.

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica): Common and widespread; seen daily.

Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica): After the first 2 briefly at El Acebuche on 18th, seen daily, with max. 15+ en route on 19th, and 20+ Monfragüe on 21st.

Common House Martin (Delichon urbica): Common and widespread; seen daily.

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava): Two male iberiae near Facinas on 14th, one Playa de los Lances on 15th, a few at the Bonanza salinas on 16th, several in the Doñana area marshes on 17th, c.10 in the Vegas Altas area on 22nd, apparently all migrants and ssp. flava.

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba): Two Playa de los Lances on 15th, singles en route on 17th, Almonte on 20th and Monfragüe on 21st, with 3 in the Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 23rd.

Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea): Just two singles en route on 19th and one briefly at the Río Almonte on 20th.

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris): One Playa de los Lances on 14th and two there on 15th, and one in the Doñana area marshes on 17th.

Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis): One briefly Playa de los Lances on 14th.

Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis): Seen widely and daily in Extremadura, with max. 20 on 22nd.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator): After one seen en route on 15th, noted daily with max. 10+ on 18th and 12 on 22nd.

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes): Heard near Barbate on 13th, several heard at various sites on 14th, three+ at El Acebrón on 18th and noted daily in small number in Extremadura, including a resident male at Finca Santa Marta.

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius): Three+ at Alange on 19th, two Cabañas del Castillo on 20th and 6+ Monfragüe on 21st.

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula): Common; one to several daily from 14th at various sites.

Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus): One near Sta. Cruz de la Sierra on 19th, singles heard and seen near Cabañas del Castillo on 20th, 3 en route on 21st and 3 near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula): Two at Huerta Grande on 14th, one at Monfragüe on 21st.

Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos): Common; heard daily and seen at several sites, including Valdevaqueros, La Rocina, etc., max. 40+ on 18th.

Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros): Two at Cabañas del Castillo on 20th and two Monfragüe on 21st.

Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata rubicola): Widespread and fairly common; seen daily except on 17th, with max. 20+ on 20th and 30+ on 22nd.

Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura): A single male at Cabañas del Castillo on 20th.

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe): Single male and female on the Playa de los Lances on 15th, singles at different sites in Extremadura on 20th, 21st and 23rd, with 7 in the Madroñera area on 22nd.

Western Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe h. hispanica): A superb pair at Claudia Baelo and a male en route back from there on 15th, one briefly on the Belén Plain on 20th, a pair + male near Madroñera on 22nd and a superb pair near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Zitting Cisticola (Fan-tailed Warbler) (Cisticola juncidis): Fairly common and widespread; seen and / or heard daily from 13th to 20th and on 21st and 22nd and en route on 24th.

Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti): Fairly common and widespread; heard daily except on 15th, 20th and 23rd, but only seen briefly at La Rocina and the Río Gargáligas.

Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides): One in the Doñana area marshes on 17th, 6+ La Rocina on 18th and one singing Embalse de Arrocampo en route on 24th.

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus): One El Rocío on 17th, and heard Doñana area marshes on 18th.

European Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus): Heard and / or seen in small number on 17th - 19th, 22nd and 24th.

Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus): Two+ Laguna de Medina on 16th, 8 Doñana area marshes on 17th, 5+ Río Gargáligas on 22nd and two+ Embalse de Arrocampo on 24th.

Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta): Three+ Laguna de Medina on 16th and heard en route on 17th.

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus): Heard Finca Santa Marta on 21st and two there on 23rd.

Eurasian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita): Heard Finca Santa Marta on 19th and one there on 23rd.

Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus): Two heard and seen at HG on 14th, two El Acebrón and one La Rocina on 18th.

Western Bonelli's Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli): One heard and seen well at HG on 14th, one singing at Monfragüe on 21st.

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla): Four+ at HG on 14th, a pair El Algaida on 16th, and one - two from 18th to 21st.

Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin): Two at El Acebrón on 18th and one by the Río Gargáligas on 22nd.

Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala): Fairly common and widespread; seen and / or heard daily from 14th at various sites, except on 17th and 22nd.

Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans): Just one, heard then seen very briefly at Monfragüe on 21st.

Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata): Two singing males rather briefly or distantly at Doñana on 17th.

Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata): Five+ in the El Acebrón area on 18th.

Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus): Four+ at HG on 14th.

European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca): Two tricky-to-see birds at El Acebrón and one very good bird at El Acebuche on 18th.

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus irbii): Five+ at El Acebrón on 18th., 4+ at various sites on 21st and 3+ en route on 23rd.

Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus): One heard calling on the Río Guadiana at Mérida en route on 19th.

Crested Tit (Parus cristatus): Singles at El Acebrón and El Acebuche on 18th.

Great Tit (Parus major): Seen and / or heard in small number on at least 8 days at various sites.

Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus): Two+ at HG on 14th, a few on 18th and a few daily from 20th to 24th.

Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla): Two+ at HG on 14th, then daily from 18th, especially at Finca Santa Marta.

Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius): Two briefly crossed the road near the Río Almonte on 20th.

Iberian Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cooki): After one en route on 16th, seen daily in moderate to high number thereafter, especially in Extremadura.

Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica): The first 3+ at El Acebuche on 18th, then daily in moderate to high number thereafter.

Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula): Six+ under Vejer de la Frontera en route on 13th and 50+ there on 16th, one El Acebuche on 18th, and also noted in moderate number en route on 19th, at Finca Santa Marta on 20th and around Trujillo on 23rd.

Common Raven (Corvus corax): Two over Claudia Baelo on 15th, then daily afterwards with max. 15+ en route on 19th and 10 on 23rd.

Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus): Heard at El Acebuche on 18th, 2 fly-overs en route on 19th, 2 heard Finca Santa Marta on 20th, three at various sites on 22nd and heard again at Finca Santa Marta on 23rd.

Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor): Common and widespread; seen daily and widely.

Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra): Common and widespread; seen daily and widely, though often in small number.

Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia): Two by the Río Almonte on 19th, 2 at Cabañas del Castillo on 20th and 3+ Monfragüe on 21st.

Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus): One seen and another heard at El Acebrón on 18th, one singing at the picnic spot en route on 19th and a pair at Finca Santa Marta and 2 Cabañas del Castillo on 20th.

Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs): Six+ HG on 14th, then daily in Extremadura from 18th to 23rd except for 22nd.

European Serin (Serinus serinus): Common and widespread; noted each full day

European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris): Quite common and widespread; seen daily from 14th.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis): Common and widespread; seen daily.

Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina): Relatively uncommon; only noted in small to moderate number from 14th to 17th, plus 3+ at Monfragüe on 21st.

Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild): One seen by Graham & Sheila at Finca Santa Marta on 23rd.

Red Avadavat (Amandava amandava): A total of 30+ at the Río Gargáligas and area on 22nd.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): Abundant and widespread; seen daily.

Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis): Several noted by various people in the stork's nests at Finca Santa Marta on 22nd and 23rd, and also at the Finca on the latter date.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus): Two at El Algaida on 16th, 12 El Acebuche on 17th and one Vegas Altas on 22nd.

Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia): One on a wire and 5+ heard in dehesa near Cabañas del Castillo on 20th.

A very healthy 186 spp.

Mammals

Western Hedgehog (or "ejog"?!) (Erinaceus europaeus): Singles dead on the roads on 13th, 14th, 16th, 19th (2) and 22nd.

Iberian Mole (Talpa occidentalis): Hills at Finca Santa Marta on 20th.

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes): Singles seen at the Finca by Graham and by all at Monfragüe on 21st.

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa): One seen briefly by a few of the group at El Acebrón on 18th.

Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): At El Rocío, three on 18th and 7 on 19th.

Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus): One dead on the road en route on 13th.

Iberian Hare (Lepus granatensis): One adult near Madrigalejo on 22nd.

Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus): One - three on 14th - 16th, 18th and 22nd, with 12+ in the Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 23rd.

Amphibians

Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra): One at Huerta Grande on 14th.

Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita): One near Madroñera on 22nd.

Western Spadefoot Toad (Pelobates cultripes): Plenty of tadpoles in roadside pools near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Common Tree Frog (Hyla arborea): Heard calling by the Río Gargáligas on 22nd.

Iberian Pool Frog (Rana perezi): One at Huerta Grande on 14th, lots at various sites on 17th and 18th, and heard on the Belén plain on 20th, Finca Santa Marta on 22nd and Río Magasca on 23rd.

Reptiles

Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauretanica): Four on a lamp post in the Doñana marshes on 17th and one at Finca Santa Marta on 21st.

Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus): One at La Rocina on 18th and two by the Río Magasca on 23rd.

Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus): One dull individual at El Acebuche on 18th.

Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida): A moderately large individual under rocks near Trujillo on 23rd.

Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa): One at Monfragüe on 21st and 30+ in the Río Magasca on 23rd.

Red-eared Slider (Pseudemys scripta): One introduced individual at El Acebuche on 18th.

Fish

Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio): Several at La Rocina on 18th.

Grey Mullet sp. (Mugil sp.): Several in the Doñana marshes on 17th.

Butterflies

Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina): Just one at Monfragüe on 21st.

Large White (Pieris brassicae): Noted at various sites on 16th - 18th, and 21st to 23rd.

Small White (Artogeia rapae): Noted at various sites on 15th - 18th, and 21st to 23rd.

Western Dappled White (Euchloe simplonia): One at El Algaida on 16th, a couple on 17th in the Doñana marshes area.

Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus): Ones or twos from 14th - 18th and on 21st.

Brimstone / Cleopatra (Gonepteryx rhamni / cleopatra): A female in flight at El Acebrón on 18th.

Nettle-tree Butterfly (Libythea celtis): One in Monfragüe on 21st.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta): About 6 at the Bonanza salinas on 16th.

Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui): Noted in small number daily from 14th, except on 20th.

Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines): Two at Alange on 19th.

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus): Only noted on 22nd.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria): A few of the southern orange-spotted form on 18th and 21st.

Moths

Giant Peacock (Saturnia pyri): Singles at Finca Santa Marta on 22nd and 23rd.

Cream-spot Tiger (Arctia villica): One at Finca Santa Marta on 22nd.

Silver Y (Autographa gamma): One at lunch en route on 19th.

Other Insects

Lesser Emperor Dragonfly (Anax parthenope): Two+ at El Algaida on 16th and several at La Rocina on 18th.

Field Cricket (Gryllus campestris): Heard trilling on 19th, 22nd and 23rd.

Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea): One at La Rocina on 18th.

Dung Beetle (Scarabaeus semipunctatus): Two at Playa de los Lances on 14th.

Rhinoceros Beetle (Copris lunaris): Singles at Zahara de los Atunes on 14th, El Rocío on 18th and Torrecillas de la Tiesa on 20th.

Oil Beetle (Meloe sp.): One Laguna de Medina on 16th, 3+ Madroñera on 22nd.

Fire Bug (?Lygaeidae sp.): One photographed by Susan on 23rd.

Other taxa

Centipede (Scolopendra cingulatus): Three+ near Madroñera on 22nd and two Sta. Marta de Magasca on 23rd.

Wolf Spider (Pisauridae sp.): Three at lunch on 19th with a herring-bone pattern on the abdomen.

SELECTED PLANTS

This (perhaps surprisingly long) list has been drawn up after some post-trip work using Blamey & Grey-Wilson's Mediterranean Wild Flowers, García Rollán's "Atlas clasificatorio de la flora de España peninsular y balear" and the 'Flora y vegetación de Extremadura'.

[Nos. on the right refer to Grey-Wilson & Blamey, Mediterranean Wild Flowers]

Pinaceae: Pinus pinea Stone / Umbrella Pine (3)

Fagaceae: Quercus rotundifolia Evergreen / Holm Oak (26)

Quercus suber Cork Oak (27)

Quercus pyrenaica Pyrenean Oak (c. 31)

Ulmaceae: Ulmus minor Elm sp. (c. 38)

Celtis australis Southern Nettle Tree (39)

Caryophyllaceae: Paronychia argentea Papery Paronychia (136)

Spergularia purpurea Purple Spurrey (148)

Silene colorata Catchfly sp. (180)

Ranunculaceae: Ranunculus sp. Water Crowfoot sp.

Fumariaceae: Fumaria capreolata Ramping Fumitory (prob. this sp.) (303)

Crassulaceae: Umbilicus rupestris Navelwort (396)

Rosaceae: Rosa canina Common Dog-rose (c. 404)

Leguminosae: Cercis siliquastrum Judas Tree (430)

Lygos sphaerocarpa Lygos (common broom-like plant) (478)

Spartium junceum Spanish Broom (481)

Adenocarpus argyrophyllus Spanish Adenocarpus (482)

Lupinus luteus Yellow Lupin (483)

Lupinus angustifolius Narrow-leaved Lupin (486)

Trifolium stellatum Starry Clover (662)

Hedysarum coronarium Italian Sainfoin / French Honeysuckle (710)

Onobrychis humilis Milk-vetch sp. (c. 717)

Oxalidaceae: Oxalis pes-caprae Bermuda Buttercup (735)

Geraniaceae: Geranium molle Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (741)

Erodium botrys Storks-bill sp. (758)

Thymelaeaceae: Daphne gnidium Mediterranean Daphne (936)

Cistaceae: Cistus albidus Grey-leaved Cistus (big pink fls) (961)

Cistus salviifolius Sage-leaved Cistus (small white) (965)

Cistus monspeliensis Narrow-leaved Cistus (966)

Cistus ladanifer Gum Cistus (big white fls) (971)

Tuberaria guttata Spotted Rockrose (small yellow) (985)

Cactaceae: Opuntia maxima (=ficus-indica) Prickly Pear (1040)

Umbelliferae: Scandix pecten-veneris Shepherd's Needle (1097)

Ferula communis Giant Fennel (1141)

Ericaceae: Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree (1176)

Erica arborea Tree Heath (1178)

Oleaceae: Phillyrea angustifolia (1245)

Olea europaea Olive (1248)

Boraginaceae: Cerinthe major var. purpurascens Honeywort (1367)

Cerinthe ?minor Lesser Honeywort (1368)

Echium plantagineum Purple Viper's Bugloss (1383)

Anchusa azurea Large Blue Alkanet (1409)

Labiatae: Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary (1526)

Lavandula stoechas French Lavender (1528)

Solanaceae: Hyosciamus albus White Henbane (1555)

Scrophularicaea: Verbascum sp. Mullein sp. (1601)

Linaria spartea Yellow-flowered Toadflax (c. 1614)

Linaria amethystea Amethyst Toadflax (c. 1614)

Parentucellia latifolia Bartsia sp. (1652)

Orobancaceae: Orobanche cf. minor Common Broomrape (1664)

Orobanche amethystea 'Amethyst' Broomrape (1667)

Orobanche rapum-genistae Greater Broomrape (1670)

Compositae: Bellis annua Annual Daisy (1791)

Santolina rosmarinifolia Lavender Cotton sp. (1856)

Chrysanthemum coronarium Crown Daisy (1895)

Galactites tomentosum Galactites (1971)

Silybum marianum Milk Thistle (1982)

Liliaceae: Asphodelus fistulosus Hollow-leaved Asphodel (2087)

Asphodelus aestivus Common Asphodel (2089)

Dipcadi serotinum Dipcadi / Brown Bluebell (2178)

Muscari comosum Tassel Hyacinth (2201)

Allium neopolitanum Round-headed Leek (2241)

Iridaceae: Gynandriris sisyrinchium Barbary Nut Iris (2305)

Palmae: Chamaerops humilis Dwarf Fan Palm (2357)

Orchidaceae: Orchis papilionacea grandiflora Pink Butterfly Orchid (2401)

Orchis champagneuxii Champagne Orchid (2405)

Gramineae: Lamarckia aurea Golden Dog's-tail (2459)


© The Travelling Naturalist 2003