TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Extremadura in autumn

26 September – 3 October 2004


Leaders:
John Muddeman
Ray Nowicki


The week will be remembered due of the generous volume of high factor suntan cream used, plus gallons/litres of drinking water consumed, the lack of cloud cover, and the unforgettable wealth of wildlife seen. It is difficult to think of anywhere else to stay but the Finca Santa Marta; it has a special character, and amazing wildlife is always nearby.

On a more serious note, any sensitive species and site information is omitted from this report.

Trip Diary

Sunday 26 September.
John waited at Madrid airport to welcome Jean & Madeline from their French flight whilst Ray met the rest of the group at Heathrow airport. The view from the plane as we travelled over Spain gave us the strong impression that it was very dry and as we emerged from the aircraft, just after seeing our first Northern Wheatear, the heat greeted us.

We all gather but Jean & Madeline are waiting at a different terminal and have to wait for their lost luggage to appear. We collect both minibuses and load up before moving to the other terminal and wait for the luggage. It is not long before we all set off, complete with luggage, and head off southwest along the autovia towards Trujillo. During the journey we see numerous Spotless Starlings, Cattle Egrets, three Short-toed Eagles, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hoopoes and Little Grebe before we stop for a cool drink and a stretch of legs. Back to the autovia we clock up more kilometres before turning off towards Saucedilla to the west and here we find Corn Buntings, Southern Grey Shrike and Stonechat before stopping at Embalse de Arrocampo-Almaraz to explore.

It is difficult to know where to start as we try to see everything; Cattle & Little Egrets, Squacco & Grey Heron, Cormorants, Little & Great Crested Grebes, Yellow Wagtails, Marsh Harrier, Cetti’s & Willow Warbler, Moorhen, Coot, Purple Gallinule, Raven, Lapwing, Buzzard, Kingfisher, Barn Swallows and a distant Black Vulture. On the road once more for the final part of our long drive and we soon reach Trujillo and head off south-east to reach Finca Santa Marta as darkness began to fall, but we do see our first Iberian Azure-winged Magpie. Henri greets us and we quickly unload into our rooms before enjoying a great feast. As we eat the ever-present Moorish Gecko watches from a safe lookout whilst outside a small bat species is noted and a Little Owl is heard calling. And then a well earned sleep for us all….

Monday 27 September
.
A few people manage to get up early and enjoy a pre-breakfast walk around the Finca and see species like Iberian Azure-winged Magpie, Hoopoe, Rock Sparrows, Red-rumped Swallows, Sardinian Warblers and Grey Wagtail. After a few days of saying Iberian Azure-winged Magpie we decided to call them Az wags for short; it saved time!

After breakfast we make our own lunch and load up the minibuses before setting off southeast towards the Zorita steppes. Once out on the vast steppe area we stop to check out the surroundings and hear Black-bellied Sandgrouse but fail to locate them, although we do see Southern Grey Shrike, Northern Wheatear & distant Red Kite before moving on. Just as we near our turning in the road a Great Bustard is spotted flying across the road ahead; how can we miss it, but it lands the wrong side of a ridge, so we carry on and turn off towards Campo Lugar. We stop after a short distance to check the fields and among some large rocks we find 2 Great Bustards trying to hide, then a large group of Calandra Larks land near the Bustards but vanish into thin air as they hit the ground. This was followed by the amazing sight of 20+ Little Bustards landing in the field beyond; the sizeable amount of white in their wings is very evident as they settle. We then drive a short distance to check out a group of sheep as there appears to be a good mix of birds feeding amongst them, and here we see Yellow Wagtail, 12+ Ravens, Crested Lark. Nearby are Whinchat & Stonechat, Kestrel, Northern Wheatear and distant soaring Marsh Harriers.

We then drive to the Embalse Sierra Brava and as we exit the vehicles we enjoy close views of a Corn Bunting perched on a fence and a flock of 20+ Sand Martin on migration. On the water we see 4 Black-necked & 20 Great Crested Grebes, Lapwing, Gadwall, Common Sandpiper, 3+ Black & 20+ Griffon Vultures plus Marsh Harrier. At another viewpoint we add singing Thekla Lark, juv Little Ringed Plover, Little Egret and Red Kite. It is nearly lunchtime so we move to Madrigalejo to seek drinking water, but everywhere is closed, so we drive to Vegas Altas and find drink! We have a very productive lunch in the shade near Madrigalejo rice fields. Here we see Little Grebe, Hoopoe, Goldfinch, White Wagtail, Kingfisher & Red Signal Crayfish by the pool. During a busy lunch we enjoy seeing a friendly Wryneck, plus White Storks, Red Avadavat, male Marsh Harrier and Fan-tailed Warbler. With lunch over we take a short walk to a concrete water channel and find Iberian Water Frog, Mosquito Fish & a Montpellier Snake trying to climb out of the channel. We hear Common Tree Frog, see a good mix of Dragon & Damselflies plus Common Waxbill but have distant views of Ravens mobbing Black Vultures.

A short drive, and we stop near a bridge over the Rio Gargaligas and find 7+ Lesser Kestrels soaring overhead whilst at the bridge we see Kingfisher, Reed Warbler, 2 Whitethroats, Willow & Cetti’s Warbler, Spanish Sparrows and Marsh Harrier. A stunning Black-shouldered Kite is found perched on a nearby pylon but it does fly after a while allowing us to study its behaviour. Just as we leave a female Preying Mantis is found in the road and we see our first Violet Carpenter Bee. A short drive back to Vegas Altas and then on to a minor road to find hunting Marsh Harrier, plus Fan-tailed Warbler, Torrejon el Rubio and Snipe before we turn along a dirt track. It was not long before we found a group of 13+ Great Bustards but they were going away from us over a ridge so we move on. A distant group of 50+ White Storks are located feeding in a rice field that is being harvested, but we see good numbers of Northern Wheatear, Stonechat and a few Whinchats nearby.

Further on we flush a Little Bustard which lands out of view but then flush another which lands in view, so we are able study this bird. Two Tawny Pipits are seen but they are in the shade and are difficult to appreciate, we then return to tarmac. We drive along an elevated section of road giving us a grand view over the surrounding fields and stop when we find 3 Great Bustards walking in a field and we have prolonged views. We move back to Madrigalejo rice fields and take a short walk and see 7+ Tree Sparrows, 2 Southern Grey Shrikes and 3+ Clouded Yellow & Langs Short-tailed Blue butterflies before moving off. Our route back takes us along minor roads and we clock up over 100 Iberian Azure-winged Magpies, 60+ Yellow Wagtails in a wet field, a very dead Eagle Owl, and have good views of Cattle Egret and Spanish Sparrow before going back to the Finca.


Tuesday 28 September.
Straight after breakfast we head into Trujillo and stop to look at 2 Pallid Swift over the town. We then drive along the new Torrejon el Rubio road and stop part way along to look at singing Woodlarks and also find Long-tailed Tits and a distant Black Vulture before moving on. Passing through the town of Torrejon el Rubio we see Red Kite, Griffon Vulture and Sparrowhawk.

Just before the Monfrague Natural Park we stop to look at a hunting Short-toed Eagle and then find Nuthatch, Rock Sparrows and ‘Swift’ species! We quickly move to the castle area and park. As we walk up we see Pied Flycatcher & Hawfinch but few people see the Firecrest as most are heading up towards the castle. Once again very few see a fly-past pale phase Booted Eagle as it drifted away.

The view from the top of the castle is superb as we have Griffon Vultures drifting above & below us along with a mixture of Crag & House Martins, Red-rumped Swallow and at least 4 White-rumped Swift. On the way down to the vehicles we see 2 Spanish Psammodromus Lizards & Sardinian Warblers. Pena Falcon rock was the next stop, for lunch, the sky is busy with Griffon Vultures, but other birds are picked up, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Redstart race–aterrimus, Pied Flycatcher and a White-rumped Swift nest. After lunch we drive over the main bridge but stop to enjoy the sight and sound of 20+ Alpine Swift as they speed past calling as they go, some even drinking water from the lake whilst on the wing.

A welcome stop in Villarreal de San Carlos for drinks/ice cream before moving on towards the Rio Tietar. Soon after leaving Villarreal de San Carlos we stop to check the raptors nearby and find 2 juv & 1 sub-ad Golden Eagle along with a Red Kite. As we enter the pinewoods near the dam we have a quick look for birds and see 3 Crested Tits, brief Redstart and Great Spotted Woodpecker. On leaving the pinewood the terrain becomes more open and here we see Redstart, 2+ Subalpine Warblers and locate a Short-toed Eagle perched on a pylon, so we set up scopes and enjoy. The short drive to the cliff-face is eventful as Two-tailed Pasha drifts in front of the vehicle for a while. Griffon Vultures soar over the cliff face and as they drop on to the ledges we can clearly hear the air rushing through their feathers. At least 40 Great Cormorants are found sitting on numerous riverside perches, Jays call raucously in the trees and a Kingfisher settles opposite our viewpoint. A Blue Rock Thrush studies us from a high vantage point, and suddenly we hear someone call “Otter”. This is repeated by a second person, shapes are seen moving along the far bank but it takes a telescope to work out that these animals are in fact, Egyptian Mongoose, and there are four of them moving along the bank.

We eventually return to the Finca and find a ‘dead’ Viperine Snake in the pit, but more about that later! After another fine meal a few go out for a walk around the Finca grounds and Green Woodpecker is added to the growing list of species seen.


Wednesday 29 September.
We all enjoy a pre-breakfast walk around the Finca grounds during which we see at least 4 Woodlark, some in song, small numbers of Hawfinch flying over on a regular basis and hear several Sardinian Warblers but see only one clearly. After breakfast we set off towards Santa Marta de Magasca. We stop at a good viewpoint and scan for birds, not much to see for a change apart from Hoopoe, plus Crested and Thekla Lark. We move off and start to explore a dusty track. Suddenly a small flock of 7 Black-bellied Sandgrouse fly a short distance before landing in stubble, by the time everyone found the correct area the last bird is seen walking over the ridge. A good number of Calandra Larks are seen in that same area. We move to a raised area beside the track and try and relocate the Sandgrouse but with little success, however we find other birds to enliven us as an imm Golden Eagle starts soaring along with Red Kite and Buzzard, a few minutes later an imm Egyptian Vulture joins the group. The sight of two Black Vultures having a paddle in a nearby pond seemed rather strange but very funny; at least 50 Lapwing are also seen here.

Meanwhile in a pool close behind us a Green Sandpiper departs, leaving the pond empty apart from a Little Grebe and a few Mallard. After a short drive further along this track we stop to look at 3 Short-toed Larks close by in a field but they do not stay long and so we drive off to the town of Santa Marta de Magasca, seeing 15+ Red-legged Partridge on route. We stop in the town and enjoy a drink/ice cream stop before driving to the river to have lunch.

During lunch we are presented with a puzzle when we hear sub-song but do not recognise the bird/birds in question until 2 Blue Rock Thrush fly across the river. The area is explored before/after lunch and the search includes Green Sandpiper, White Wagtail, Kingfisher, Sardinian & Willow Warbler, singing Woodlark, Griffon Vultures, Corn Bunting, Serin and Spanish Terrapin, Red-eared Slider, Brown Rat and Otter spraints.

We then load up, and then head off to the Caceres Steppes and along the route see several Red Kites, Southern Grey Shrike, Northern Wheatear, Stonechat & a few Whinchats. We stop near the Embalse de Guadiloba to enjoy Swallowtail Butterflies beside the vehicles and also check out the water, distant Gadwall, Green Sandpiper and Great Crested Grebe are found before we return to the Finca. We enjoy afternoon tea whilst doing the checklist for the day and have time to walk around the grounds before our evening meal. Our walk is very productive and we see perched Hawfinch, 4+ Redstart, 6 Rock Sparrow, Treecreeper, White Wagtail, Pied Flycatcher, 2+ Sardinian Warbler and 65+ Cattle Egrets flying towards a roost.

As we return to the Finca a Treecreeper is seen landing on the side of a tree in the car park, where it promptly falls asleep. Then we enjoy another great meal! What about our ‘dead’ Viperine Snake in the pit? More about that later!

Thursday 30 September.
We are up and out by 07.30, the Treecreeper is still asleep: a very sensible bird as it is still dark. We drive off and re-trace our route from yesterday and head off along the road towards Santa Marta de Magasca. A fox is found quite close to the road and a Southern Grey Shrike is perched on a fence close by. Along the dusty track we see Hoopoe, Corn Bunting and once again we stop at the viewpoint.

The Green Sandpiper is still on the pool along with a few Mallard, only one Black Vulture remains in the field nearby but good numbers of Calandra Lark are still around and Red Kites are already on the wing. A Little Owl is found perched on a derelict building and a Southern Grey Shrike tries to sing. Then a distant group of 35-40 Pin-tailed Sandgrouse is spotted behind us flying against the sun and as they vanish over a ridge the flock appears to break up and birds drop to the ground. We load up and give chase, then stop at a suitable viewpoint, all we can see is a Fox and a Great Bustard and they vanish quickly from sight. We then hear the whistling wings of a male Little Bustard as it lands right in front of us, before it finally sees us and takes off again. Well over 100 Calandra Larks are busy in the fields near us as we walk and hope to find the Sandgrouse, we reach an obvious ridge of higher ground and start to scan for birds, 15+ Red-legged Partridge are found along with Kestrel before we hear and then see a flock of 8+ Pin-tailed Sandgrouse as they fly away, so views are far from perfect.

We walk back to the minibuses and head back along the track but stop to watch a very obliging Little Owl on a fence post next to us before driving back to find a welcome breakfast. After our late breakfast we head into Trujillo and everyone has time out to do the retail part of the holiday. A Common Starling is found near the castle and two lucky guests manage to relocate the bird before we set off along the autovia heading northeast. We turn off and stop at the Embalse de Valdecanas. From our viewpoint we are just able to make out a Little Grebe but the 25+ Great Crested Grebes are much easier, we also see 12 + Great Cormorants, Yellow-legged & Lesser Black-backed Gulls. One or two of the group start to explore other areas and within minutes a pair of Black Wheatear are discovered but they prove to be very elusive and vanish. We spread ourselves along the road at various points but fail to relocate them again. As we gather back at the vehicles a Subalpine Warbler is seen but only briefly.

A short drive takes us to a river and we stop to have a good look around. We are hardly out of the minibuses when an imm Hobby is found drifting amongst a kettle of Griffon Vultures. Meanwhile a Sparrowhawk is seen dashing over the hillside followed by the discovery of a Dartford Warbler by the river. The riverside scrub proved quite productive with Sardinian Warbler, Whitethroat, and Wren whilst above us, passing groups of Hawfinch, Blue Rock Thrush on the cliff-face and two more Sparrowhawks overhead, one soaring with Griffon Vultures. So we return to the Finca and once again enjoy our customary afternoon tea and cakes as we go through the checklist for the day before we get ready for another evening feast. What about our ‘dead’ Viperine Snake in the pit? It was seen very much alive and moving well!

Friday 1 October
The bird list starts early as before we even leave the Finca after breakfast the group sees Serin, 2 Waxbill, Rock Sparrow and 5 Hawfinch. Then off to the autovia heading northeast once more before turning off and stopping at the Embalse de Arrocampo-Almaraz.

The variety of wildlife here is quite remarkable; we soon look and find Yellow Wagtail, Willow Warblers but the bloody sight of a Black-shouldered Kite eating prey is not to everyone’s taste. A Great Reed Warbler dashes from cover and crosses the road, birds on the open water include, Great Crested Grebes, Shoveler and Great Cormorant. A Stonechat calls from its high perch and a Common Sandpiper flies low over the car park and away. We cross the road to view another section of this wetland area and find Reed Warblers, Purple Gallinule, Marsh Harrier and Kingfisher. As we return to the car park we locate a stunning Band-winged Dragonfly which allows us prolonged close views.

A short drive to Saucedilla and we check out another area of this large wetland complex. Just a few yards from the car park we find a mixture of mainly Willow Warblers with a few Chiffchaff mixed in, as the Chiffchaff are not calling we cannot split them between Iberian or Common. As we walk nearer the wetlands we hear Water Rail & Purple Gallinule, then our attention turns to a flying Purple Gallinule, followed by flying Squacco Heron. A few duck are also restless, with both Shoveler and a group of Teal flying around. Another Squacco Heron appears and lands nearby, so we get nearer.

This bird is found sitting on the reed mace and stays there, allowing everyone to have good views, meanwhile 10+ Red Avadavat arrive to add colour. We also see Moorhen, Coot and 1 or 2 Distant Marsh Harriers floating around before we return to the vehicles. We drive to a third stop within this same wetland area to look at a potential wader site but the water level is too high for these. A Green Sandpiper is found sitting in a tree, other birds seen in & around here are Pied Flycatcher, Red Kite, Gadwall, and Little & Cattle Egrets. We drive north, then west before turning south towards the Monfrague Natural Park. We stop before the park boundary to check a few raptors, nothing new here but we do find Badger hair stuck on the fence, which confirms they are around somewhere.

We start to enter Dehesa habitat and stop to photograph the bright cinnamon trunks of the newly stripped Cork Oaks. An imm Black Stork is found soaring high overhead, both Great & Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are seen, although the Lesser is seen by one person only. On route to our lunch stop by the Rio Tietar we see 15-20 Red Deer. As we stop in the lay-by a 2nd yr Spanish Imperial Eagle is seen drifting with a group of Griffon Vultures, so we exit the vehicles rapidly and try to make sure that everyone sees the bird before it leaves.

During lunch we hear a Greenshank several times but never see it. Yet another Eagle arrives, this time a 2nd yr Golden and that too drifts slowly over our heads and away. A fly-by Cleopatra and 5+ Two-tailed Pasha butterflies keep us happy as we finish lunch. Two Rock Buntings are difficult to see in the vegetation and the same goes for Blackcap, Blue Rock Thrush and Black Redstart. We move to another viewpoint nearby and see Subalpine Warbler, Redstart and a dust-bathing Woodlark close to the minibus. Just before we reach the dam we stop to watch and enjoy our best view of Rock Bunting. The most important stop of the day is next at Villarreal de San Carlos, for drink/ice cream! The next move is a stop at Pena Falcon Rock and we watch and wait. A White-rumped Swift is seen but things get exciting as a male Bonelli’s Eagle is found displaying high above the soaring Griffon Vultures, then a female is found much lower down, thank goodness.

The 2 Bonelli’s drift away and are replaced by an adult pair of Golden Eagles moving east. A few birds are seen nearby including Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting and a rather elusive Black Redstart that runs rings around us until it allows one person to see it through a telescope, but only for a few seconds. We do have an interesting encounter with some other visitors to this spot that remark that it was good to see so many Buzzards (Griffon Vultures really) thank goodness we did not fall prey to their idea of Golden Eagles. It is time to go back to the Finca.


Saturday 2 October
As we leave the Finca after breakfast we pick up Hawfinch, Serin, Mistle Thrush and Rock Sparrow and head off a short distance and start to explore the nearby area around Madronera. We find a Little Owl perched on a wall in perfect light conditions and take time to study it. Moving along we find Hoopoe, Whitethroat, Whinchat, Corn Bunting but stop and get out to study ‘Crekla’ Larks, and the first one is a Crested, so we all go through the difficult ID features as to why it is a Crested. We also take time to watch Red Kite and Southern Grey Shrike.

We move to an area of scattered Broom and 'pish' a Dartford Warbler into the open and have good views. We then stop by a small water hole and flush Yellow Wagtail and see Willow Warbler. Another ‘Crekla’ moment only this time we have both Larks, as long as the Thekla Lark stays in the telescope all is well. It takes time but it does happen and most of us get the hang of these confusion species. As we drive back along the track one vehicle has a miraculously close encounter with a Thekla Lark sitting on a fence. We head off northeast from Madronera and pass a small pond partly hidden by trees but with careful looking we see White Wagtail, Grey Heron and Little Grebe. Further along this road we find a dead Red-necked Nightjar. We then have another stop after a while and see 3+ Hoopoe, Redstart, Chaffinch and Griffon Vulture overhead. As we turn at a junction we stop and find 2+ Spotted Flycatcher feeding in suitable habitat. A soaring female Sparrowhawk makes us stop to enjoy prolonged views as it drifts away slowly. It is time to stop for lunch and we find a quiet spot by a river.

As we have lunch a good mix of birds turn up; Grey & White Wagtail, Short-toed Treecreeper, Red-rumped Swallow, Crag Martin, Iberian Azure-winged Magpies and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker. After our exciting lunch we drive on and eventually get to Cabanas del Castillo and as we step from the vehicles a Large Tortoiseshell Butterfly is found drinking from a water trough. We walk towards the castle and see a Raven and a Mallow Skipper Butterfly. Once at the castle we set about looking for and finding Blue Rock Thrush, Black Redstart and roosting Peregrine nearby. Almost everyone walks to the top of the castle but a few are left on guard to check a very distant perched eagle, in case it takes off. Crag & House Martin drift by and a hunting Short-toed Eagle is found in the heat haze. Rock Bunting and Linnet are also seen before the party return to eagle watchers. After an eternity the eagle slowly turns around to face us and despite the distance the white front confirms a Bonelli’s Eagle.

It is time for us to head back to the Finca and our route will takes us via the Belen Plain. As we travel over the plain we see numerous Red Kite, Northern Wheatear, Stonechat, Whinchat, and Common Kestrel before stopping to view something more interesting. 3 Tawny Pipit along a fence line, meanwhile on the other side an adult Golden Eagle is hunting and so is a female Merlin, dashing across the plain in the other direction. It all happens at once and few see a Lesser Kestrel drifting away. A little further along this road and we stop near a small pond to see 2 Redshank, Meadow Pipit, and White & 6 Yellow Wagtail. As we near Belen we have good views of a Great Bustard close to the road and 2 more further on. We return to the Finca but travel to Trujillo later and view the bats leaving the Castle roost and have a giant buffet style meal together at La Troya before returning to the Finca.


Sunday 3 October
Our last breakfast at the Finca is followed by the amusing sight of our entire combined luggage fitting into the vehicles. We bid fond farewell to Henri and his team, then its back to the autovia heading towards Madrid. The only bird of note during this part of the journey is a Black-shouldered Kite sitting next to the autovia. We stop by the river near the Embalse de Valdecanas and see a great selection of birds. Two Blue Rock Thrush, Griffon & Black Vulture, Hawfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Black Wheatear, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Jay, Iberian Azure-winged Magpie and juv Rock Thrush. The singing Cirl Bunting and calling Firecrest are not seen, only heard. The final leg to Madrid and we stop to re-fuel before moving to the Monte de El Pardo to have lunch. During lunch a Cetti’s Warbler calls along the river and a friendly Pied Flycatcher perches close by.

The airport beckons and we arrive on time to check-in, say our goodbyes to John and fly home to be greeted by rain for those that landed at Heathrow.

SPECIES LISTS
* Species seen for the first time on our 'Extremadura in autumn' trips.

BIRDS

This is the combined list for the whole group. H = heard only; Emb. = Embalse (reservoir); Finca Sta. Marta = Finca Santa Marta; R. = río (river).

Little Grebe (T. ruficollis): Seen on 6 days: 2 on a pond en route and 2+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 3+ Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, singles Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th and Emb. de Valdecañas on 30th, 2 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st and 3 en route on 2nd.

Great Crested Grebe (P. cristatus): Noted daily except on 2nd and 3rd: 7+ at Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 17 there on 1st, 20+ Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 6+ Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 1 Emb. del Guadiloba on 29th and 25+ Emb. de Valdecañas on 30th.

Black-necked [Eared] Grebe (P. nigricollis): Only seen at the Emb. de Sierra Brava, where 4 on 27th.

[Great] Cormorant (P. carbo sinensis): Seen daily except on 29th and 2nd and in good number: 10+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th and 20 there on 1st, 1 Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 40+ at various sites in Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and 60+ there on 1st and 12+Emb. de Valdecañas on 30th. Plenty of adults of the strikingly white- headed and thighed subspecies sinensis seen.

Grey Heron (A. cinerea): Seen daily in small – moderate number: with maxima of 15+ at Emb de Arrocampo on 26th, and 8 on 1st.

*Squacco Heron (A. ralloides): One, probably an adult flying at Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, and two adults there on 1st.

Cattle Egret (B. ibis): Only relatively small numbers noted daily, though max. 40+ in various flocks on 26th, 30-50 past Finca Sta. Marta on 29th and 30th, and 100+ at various sites on 1st.

Little Egret (E. garzetta): Seen on 5 days: 2 Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 3 Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 1 en route on 28th, 1 over steppe at Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th and 2 Emb. de Arrocampo and 1 en route on 1st.

Black Stork (C. nigra): One immature high over the N of Monfragüe on 1st.

White Stork (C. ciconia): 10 Madrigalejo rice fields and 60+ Vegas Altas rice fields on 27th, feeding on harvested rice fields, .

Gadwall (A. strepera): 3+ at the Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 5 Emb. del Guadiloba on 29th and 2 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

[Common] Teal (A. crecca): Just 8 at the Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Mallard (A. platyrhynchos): 6 Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th and plenty there on 1st, just one in the irrigation channel of Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th, 15 Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th and 10+ there on 30th.

[Northern] Shoveler (A. clypeata): Just 3 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Black-winged Kite (E. caeruleus): One superb bird near the Río Gargáligas on 27th, 1 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st and 1 on a roadside post N of Trujillo on 1st.

Red Kite (M. milvus): Singles on the Zorita steppes and Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, singles en route and in Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 10+ on 29th, 11+ at various sites on 30th, 3 on 1st, 16 at various sites on 2nd and 3+ en route on 3rd.

Eurasian Black / Monk Vulture (A. monachus): Seen daily in moderate number: one distantly from the Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 5+ at various sites on 27th, 10+ Monfragüe on 28th and 13+ there on 1st, 10+ various sites on 29th, 8+ on 30th, 6+ on 2nd and 10+ on 3rd.

[Eurasian] Griffon Vulture (G. fulvus): Seen daily except on 26th: 20+ at various sites on 27th, 150+ at Monfragüe on 28th and 1st, 15+ various sites on 29th, 30 Valdecañas dam and 15+ Finca Sta. Marta on 30th, 25+ on 2nd and 20+ en route on 3rd.

*Egyptian Vulture (N. percnopterus): A juvenile over the Sta. Marta de Magasca steppes on 29th was a very late bird!

Short-toed Eagle (C. gallicus): Two perched and another flying en route on 26th, singles flying and perched in Monfragüe on 28th, 1 en route near Berzocana on 1st and 1 Cabañas del Castillo distantly on 2nd.

[Eurasian] Marsh Harrier (C. aeruginosus): Seen on 3 days: an imm. male and a juvenile at the Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 10+ in the Zorita steppes, Emb. de Sierra Brava, Madrigalejo rice fields and Vegas Altas areas on 27th, and at least 4 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (A. nisus): One circling by the road works at Torrejón el Rubio on 28th, three singles Valdecañas dam on 30th, and 2 en route and 2 from Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.

Common Buzzard (B. buteo): Small - moderate numbers seen daily, especially on posts in river valleys or over the dehesa; max. 4-5 en route on 26th, c. 10 in total on 27th, 6+ on 29th and 4+ on 30th, 2nd and 3rd.

Spanish Imperial Eagle (A. adalberti): Two juveniles at one site on 2 dates and a second-year bird at Tiétar cliffs on 21st.

Golden Eagle (A. chrysaetos): An amazing total of 8! Two juveniles and a sub-adult Monfragüe on 28th, a superb juvenile over the Sta. Marta de Magasca steppes on 29th, 1 juvenile over Tiétar cliffs and an adult pair Peña Falcón on 1st and 1 adult over the Belén plain on 2nd.

Bonelli's Eagle (H. fasciatus): An adult pair at Peña Falcón on 1st and a perched adult seen from Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.

Booted Eagle (H. pennatus): Just 1 brief pale phase adult over the castle, Monfragüe N.P. on 28th.

*Lesser Kestrel (F. naumanni): A flock of 7+ catching insects carried up in smoke from a small fire at Río Gargáligas on 27th and a female / juvenile over the Belén plain on 2nd.

Common Kestrel (F. tinnunculus): Quite common and widespread; plenty en route on 26th and at scattered sites on 27th, 1 - 4 daily from 28th – 1st and on 3rd and 11 on 2nd.

*Hobby (F. subbuteo): A juvenile high over Valdecañas dam on 30th.

*Merlin (F. columbarius): A female hunting over the Belén plain on 2nd was an early migrant.

Peregrine Falcon (F. peregrinus): An adult perched on cliffs at Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.

Red-legged Partridge (A. rufa): One + three Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 15+ Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 28th and 29th, 6 Tiétar cliffs on 1st and 20 Madroñera on 2nd.

Water Rail (R. aquaticus): One bird calling at the Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th and 1st.

Common Moorhen (G. chloropus): A flock in a small flooded field near the A5 en route, plus a couple Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, heard in the Río Gargáligas on 27th and 6 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Purple Gallinule [Swamp-hen] (P. porphyrio): One heard and another seen briefly Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, and 3 seen and others heard there on 1st.

Common Coot (F. atra): Several at the Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, lots at the Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 1 Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 2 Emb. del Guadiloba on 29th, 1 Emb. de Valdecañas on 30th and 3+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Little Bustard (T. tetrax): 20+ in flight and then on the ground Zorita steppes, then two singles Vegas Altas on 27th and a single male Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th.

Great Bustard (O. tarda): Two singles in flight plus 2 on the ground Zorita steppes and groups of 13 and 3 Vegas Altas on 27th and 3 on the Belén plain on 2nd.

[Northern] Lapwing (V. vanellus): Good numbers arriving for the winter: 10+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 2 Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 50+ Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th an 12+ there on 30th, 6 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st and 1 near Trujillo on 2nd.

Little Ringed Plover (C. dubius): Just one juvenile Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th.

Common Redshank (T. totanus): Two juveniles in a pool on the Belén plain were a surprise on 2nd.

Green Sandpiper (T. ochropus): Singles at Río Magasca, Sta. Marta de Magasca and Emb. del Guadiloba on 29th, 1 Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th and 1 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Common Sandpiper (A. hypoleuca): Two singles at the Emb. de Sierra Brava 27th, 1 Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and 1 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

[Common] Snipe (G. gallinago): Two at the Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 2 Vegas Altas on 27th and 3 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Yellow-legged Gull (L. cachinnans michahellis): Two fine adults Emb. de Valdecañas on 30th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (L. fuscus): One Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 2+ Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, very distant birds Emb. del Guadiloba on 29th, 1 adult Emb. de Valdecañas on 30th.

Black-headed Gull (L. ridibundus): 30+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, plenty Emb. de Sierra Brava and Río Gargáligas on 27th, a few Emb. del Guadiloba on 29th, c. 10 Valdecañas dam on 30th and 1 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (P. alchata): Only seen rather poorly: 35 distantly in flight, then 8 closer calling and flying off Sta. Marta de Magasca steppes on 30th.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (P. orientalis): Just 7 in flight and briefly on the ground near Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th.

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon (C. livia): Noted daily in variable number, all were Feral Pigeons of some type, except for some at Valdecañas dam on 30th.

Wood Pigeon (C. palumbus): A few en route near Madrid on 26th, 10+ en route on 28th, 6+ on 29th, 2 singles on 30th, 3-4 on 2nd and several en route on 3rd.

*[European] Turtle Dove (S. turtur): One by the Río Gargáligas on 27th was a notably late migrant.

[Eurasian] Collared Dove (S. decaocto): Noted daily in small moderate number at numerous sites.

*Eurasian Eagle Owl (B. bubo): A long-dead individual by the roadside in the Madrigalejo rice fields was a surprise on 27th.

*Eurasian Scops Owl (O. scops): One heard calling Finca Sta. Marta on the evening of 1st.

Little Owl (A. noctua): One calling Finca Sta. Marta on evening of 26th, one distantly, but then one very close at Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th and one quite close Madroñera on 2nd.

Alpine Swift (A. melba): A fabulous flock of 20+ flying and calling under the main bridge Monfragüe N.P. on 28th.

*Pallid Swift (A. apus): Two Trujillo on 28th were quite late.

[African] White-rumped Swift (A. caffer): A minimum of 4 together at Monfragüe N.P. on 28th were terrific, and the nest reused this year, with one there also on 1st. We also discovered another breeding bird at a nest in a new area.

Common Kingfisher (A. atthis): 1 at Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, singles Madrigalejo rice fields and Río Gargáligas on 27th, 1M on 28th, 1 Río Magasca on 29th and 1 seen Emb. de Arrocampo and one heard Monfragüe N.P. on 1st.

[Eurasian] Hoopoe (U. epops): Common and widespread: two singles en route on 26th, 8+ at various sites on 27th, 4 en route and 2 Finca Sta. Marta on 28th, 15+ on 29th, 10 on 30th, 3 en route on 1st, 8 on 2nd and a few on 3rd.

*Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (D. minor): One heard and the seen very briefly N of Monfragüe N.P. on 1st.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (D. major): 2 seen and another heard Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, a male there on 1st, and 2 heard near Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.

Green Woodpecker (P. viridis): One Finca Sta. Marta on 28th.

*Wryneck (J. torquilla): One in the Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th was a pleasant surprise.

Calandra Lark (M. calandra): 15+ in the Zorita steppes on 27th, 40+ Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th and 100+ there on 30th.

Greater Short-toed Lark (C. brachydactyla): Three Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th were quite late migrants.

Crested Lark (G. cristata): Common and widespread; seen daily in variable number, especially on roadsides and in arable and steppe areas.

Thekla Lark (G. theklae): One singing beside the Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 4+ Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, several on 29th and 5+ seen well near Madroñera on 2nd.

Wood Lark (L. arborea): Two en route on 28th, 4 Finca Sta. Marta and 1+ Río Magasca on 29th and 1 Monfragüe N.P. and 2 Finca Sta. Marta on 1st.

[Eurasian] Sky Lark (A. arvensis): Just one on passage over the Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

European Sand Martin (R. riparia): 15+ at the Emb. de Sierra Brava and c.5 Vegas Altas on 27th.

[Eurasian] Crag Martin (H. rupestris): 25 Monfragüe and 10+ en route on 28th, c. 50 in the Valdecañas dam area on 30th, lots Monfragüe N.P. on 1st, 20+ Cabañas del Castillo area on 2nd and plenty Valdecañas dam area on 3rd.

Barn Swallow (H. rustica): 15+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th and 2+ there on 1st.

Red-rumped Swallow (H. daurica): Common and widespread. Seen daily in moderate - large number from 27th.

[Common] House Martin (D. urbica): Common and widespread. Seen daily in moderate - large number from 27th.

Yellow Wagtail (M. flava): Plenty passing over Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 60+ in a wet field Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th were apparently mostly ssp. flava, 4 – 5 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st and 3 Monfragüe N.P. and 5 Belén plain on 2nd.

White Wagtail (M. alba): One Monfragüe N.P. on 26th, 4 in the Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th, 1 Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 1 Río Magasca on 29th, 2 Valdecañas dam on 30th, 2 Tiétar cliffs on 1st and singles along the Río Almonte and on the Belén plain on 2nd. All were ssp. alba.

Grey Wagtail (M. cinerea): Notably common: at Finca Sta. Marta, 1 on 27th, 4 on 28th, 2 on 29th and 30th and singles on 1st and 2nd, and singles Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th and Río Magasca on 29th, 3+ Río Almonte on 2nd and 2+ Madrid on 3rd.

Tawny Pipit (A. campestris): Two Vegas Altas on 27th were rather elusive, but one of the three on the Belén plain on 2nd was much better.

Meadow Pipit (A. pratensis): Two+ in the Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th and 1 Belén plain on 2nd.

Southern Grey Shrike (L. meridionalis): Widely scattered birds on all days; max. plenty on 27th, 10 on 29th and 15+ on 2nd.

[Winter] Wren (T. troglodytes): One – two seen Finca Sta. Marta daily from 27th, plus singles Valdecañas dam on 30th and Río Almonte on 2nd.

Blue Rock Thrush (M. solitarius): Two males Monfragüe on 28th, 2 males Río Magasca and 1 male elsewhere on 29th, a male Valdecañas dam on 30th, two males seen and another heard Monfragüe N.P. on 1st, 2 males Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd and 3 males and a female Valdecañas dam area on 3rd.

[Common] Blackbird (T. merula): Noted daily in moderate-large number from 27th, especially on the lawns at Finca Sta. Marta.

Mistle Thrush (T. viscivorus): One at Finca Sta. Marta on 27th, 2 there on 28th, 5 there on 29th, and 1 en route on 29th, and 4 en route and one by the Río Almonte on 2nd.

[European] Robin (E. rubecula): Two singles Finca Sta. Marta on 27th and 28th, 3+ Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, several at various sites from 29th - 3rd.

Black Redstart (P. ochruros): Just 1 male and a female type at Peña Falcón on 1st and 5 in the Cabañas del Castillo area on 2nd.

Common Redstart (P. phoenicurus): One at Finca Sta. Marta evening of 27th, 4 males plus 1 unknown Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 4+ Finca Sta. Marta and 1 Trujillo on 29th, 2 Valdecañas dam and 1 Finca Sta. Marta on 30th, 2 Monfragüe N.P. on 1st and 1 en route on 2nd.

Whinchat (S. rubetra): One Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 3-4 various sites on 27th, 4-5 various sites on 29th and 6+ at various sites on 2nd.

[Common] Stonechat (S. torquata): Two+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 10+ various sites on 27th, 20+ Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, lots on 29th, a few on 30th, several Emb. de Arrocampo area on 1st and lots on 2nd.

Black Wheatear (O. leucura): Two (probably a pair) briefly in the Valdecañas dam area on 30th and a single nearby on 3rd.

Northern Wheatear (O. oenanthe): Remarkably common: one Madrid airport on 26th, 15+ various sites on 27th, 1 Monfragüe N.P. and 2 en route on 28th, ?50+ on 29th, 20+ Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th, 3-4 on 1st and 50+ on the Belén plain on 22nd.

Fan-tailed Warbler [Zitting Cisticola] (C. juncidis): 6+ in and around rice fields and on Zorita steppes on 27th, 3-4 at various sites on 29th, 2 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st and 1 Madroñera on 2nd.

Cetti's Warbler (C. cetti): Two+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 2 Río Gargáligas on 27th, 1 heard Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 2 Emb. de Arrocampo and 1 heard Monfragüe N.P. on 1st, and 4 Madrid on 3rd.

[Eurasian] Reed Warbler (A. scirpaceus): 3 Río Gargáligas on 27th, and 2 plus several heard Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Great Reed Warbler (A. arundinaceus): One Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Willow Warbler (P. trochilus): 7+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, c. 10 various sites on 27th, singles Río Magasca on 29th and Valdecañas dam on 30th, 20+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st and 3+ various sites on 3rd.

Iberian Chiffchaff (P. ibericus): One – two probably this species mixed with Willow Warblers at Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Common Chiffchaff (P. collybita): Two Finca Sta. Marta on 1st and 1 Valdecañas dam on 3rd.

Blackcap (S. atricapilla): Four Valdecañas dam on 30th and 2 Tiétar cliffs and 2 Finca Sta. Marta on 1st.

Common Whitethroat (S. communis): Two Río Gargáligas on 27th, 1 Valdecañas dam on 30th and 1 Madroñera on 2nd.

Sardinian Warbler (S. melanocephala): Two Finca Sta. Marta on 27th, 3 Monfragüe N.P. and 1 Finca Sta. Marta on 28th, 3+ Finca Sta. Marta on 29th, 3 various sites on 30th, seen and heard Monfragüe N.P. on 1st, plenty at various sites on 2nd and a few on 3rd.

Subalpine Warbler (S. cantillans): Two Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and 1 there on 1st, and 1 briefly Valdecañas dam on 30th.

Dartford Warbler (S. undata): One briefly Valdecañas dam on 30th, one en route which nearly got hit by first bus and another Monfragüe N.P. on 1st, and a fine male Madroñera on 2nd.

Firecrest (R. ignicapillus): Just one very elusive bird at Monfragüe on 28th.

Spotted Flycatcher (M. striata): One Finca Sta. Marta on 27th, and two en route on 2nd.

Pied Flycatcher (F. hypoleuca): Common and seen daily in small – moderate number at widely scattered sites from 27th, especially at Finca Sta. Marta.

Long-tailed Tit (A. caudatus): Common and quite widespread, being seen daily from 27th: 15+ Monfragüe N.P. and Finca Sta. Marta on 28th, 8+ various sites on 29th, 10+ Valdecañas dam on 30th, plenty Monfragüe N.P. on 1st, 3-4 on 2nd and several Finca Sta. Marta on 3rd.

Crested Tit (P. cristatus): Three in pines at Monfragüe on 28th.

Great Tit (P. major): Quite common and ones and twos at various sites on each full day except 27th.

Blue Tit (P. caeruleus): Also quite common and ones and twos at various sites on each full day except 27th.

Eurasian Nuthatch (S. europaea): One Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and one heard there on 1st.

Short-toed Treecreeper (C. brachydactyla): Singles Finca Sta. Marta on 27th, 28th, 30th, 1st and 2nd and heard Río Almonte on 2nd.

Eurasian Jay (G. glandarius): 3 at Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and 2+ there on 1st, 2 heard Valdecañas dam area on 30th, 3+ en route on 2nd and 5+ Valdecañas dam area on 3rd.

Iberian Azure-winged Magpie (C. cooki): Common in EX and seen daily in variable number, max. 100+ on 27th.

[Black-billed] Magpie (P. pica): Noted daily in small - moderate number.

[Western] Jackdaw (C. monedula) : 30+ Trujillo on 28th, and 29th, a few between Finca Sta. Marta and Trujillo on 30th and 1st and several Madrid on 3rd.

[Common] Raven (C. corax): Two Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 15-20 Zorita steppes and Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 2 Finca Sta. Marta on 28th, 6 Sta. Marta de Magasca area on 29th, 7+ Sta. Marta de Magasca and 2 Valdecañas dam on 30th and one Cabañas del Castillo and 2 on the Belén plain on 2nd.

[Eurasian] Starling (S. vulgaris): One in Trujillo on 30th.

Spotless Starling (S. unicolor): Seen daily in small-moderate number at numerous sites; max. 500+ Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Corn Bunting (M. calandra): Two Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 1 Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, 5-6 Río Magasca on 29th, lots Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th and 15+ Madroñera and Belén plain on 2nd.

Rock Bunting (E. cia): One briefly at Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 4 there on 1st and 1 Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.

Cirl Bunting (E. cirlus): Just one heard singing Finca Sta. Marta on 27th.

[Common] Chaffinch (F. coelebs): Small numbers noted daily from 27th, though with plenty en route on 2nd.

[European] Serin (S. serinus): 5 Finca Sta. Marta and 1 Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 10+ Finca Sta. Marta and 2 Río Magasca on 29th, 1 Finca Sta. Marta and 2 Valdecañas dam on 30th, 6 Finca Sta. Marta on 1st, 7+ there on 2nd and plenty there on 3rd.

[European] Greenfinch (C. chloris): Just 2 Río Magasca on 29th and 3 Valdecañas dam on 30th.

[European] Goldfinch (C. carduelis): A few small groups at a few sites on 27th, 2 Río Magasca on 29th, 2 Valdecañas dam on 30th, a few Ea on 1st and singles Madroñera and Río Almonte on 2nd.

[Common] Linnet (C. cannabina): A few Finca Sta. Marta on 27th and 3 there on 29th, heard in Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and 4 seen there on 1st, 2 Río Magasca on 29th and 6 Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.

Hawfinch (C. coccothraustes): One+ Finca Sta. Marta on 27th, 3 – 5 there on 29th – 3rd, 6+ Valdecañas dam on 30th and 3rd.

Common Waxbill (E. astrild): Family groups totalling 12+ at Madrigalejo rice fields and Río Gargáligas on 27th, 6 Finca Sta. Marta on 1st and 2 there on 3rd.

Red Avadavat (A. amandava): 10+ at various sites, including red males, on 27th, 9 – 10 Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

House Sparrow (P. domesticus): Noted every day and generally common, even well away from occupied buildings.

Spanish Sparrow (P. hispaniolensis): Large numbers in the rice fields by the Río Gargáligas on 27th, one seen briefly but dozens heard Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (P. montanus): An excellent flock of 8+ in the Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th and 1 Emb. de Arrocampo and heard Monfragüe N.P. on 1st.

Rock Sparrow (P. petronia): Three Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 6 Finca Sta. Marta on 29th, and 1 there on 1st, 4+ on 2nd and 1+ there on 3rd.


MAMMALS

*Wild Boar (Sus scrofa): Hair in a fence N of Monfragüe N.P. on 1st showed a well-used run.
Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus): A few Finca Sta. Marta on 26th – 29th.
Soprano Pipistrelle (P. pygmaeus): One Finca Sta. Marta on 29th.
Noctule (Nyctalus noctula): One, apparently this species by Trujillo castle on 2nd.
Greater Noctule (Nyctalus lasiopterus): At least 5 seen leaving Trujillo castle on 2nd.
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes): One dead on road CS on 29th, then 1 Finca Sta. Marta and two singles Sta. Marta de Magasca on 30th.
*Egyptian Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon): 4 Monfragüe N.P. on 28th were a terrific sight.
*Badger (Meles meles): Hair in a fence N of Monfragüe N.P. on 1st showed a well-used run.
European Otter (Lutra lutra): Spraints by the Río Magasca on 29th.
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): A total of 4+ Monfragüe N.P. on 28th and 20+ there on 1st.
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus): One Río Magasca on 29th.
Iberian Hare (Lepus granatensis): One dead on the Cáceres steppes on 29th.
European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus): Two Sta. Marta de Magasca on 29th and one there on 30th.




AMPHIBIANS
Common Tree Frog
(Hyla arborea): A few heard Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th.
Iberian Water Frog (Rana perezi): Plenty Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th, 12+ Finca Sta. Marta and 2 Río Magasca on 29th and 3-4 Finca Sta. Marta on 1st.

REPTILES
Moorish Gecko
(Tarentola mauretanica): One Finca Sta. Marta from 27th – 1st, 3 there on 2nd and 1 Río Magasca on 29th.
Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus): An adult and a 'baby' Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 2 there on 1st, 2 Río Magasca on 29th, 2 Valdecañas dam on 30th and 1 Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.
Iberian Wall Lizard (Podarcis hispanicus): One Río Magasca on 29th and 4 Trujillo on 30th.
*Iberian Three-toed Skink (Chalcides striatus): One Río Almonte on 2nd.
Spanish Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa): Two Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, 1 Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th, plenty Río Magasca on 29th, 1 Valdecañas dam on 30th and 1 Río Almonte on 2nd.
*Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta): One Río Magasca on 29th.
Viperine Snake (Natrix maura): One in the Finca Sta. Marta 'well' on 28th, 29th and 2 on 1st.
*Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanum): A small adult in a water channel in Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th.

FISH
Mosquito Fish
(Gambusia affinis): Lots in channels in the Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th, 1000s Río Magasca on 29th.
Common Carp (Carpus carpio): plenty Emb. de Arrocampo and Monfragüe N.P. on 1st.


BUTTERFLIES
Swallowtail
(Papilio machaon): Two near the Emb. del Guadiloba and 1 Finca Sta. Marta on 29th, 3 Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.
Small White (Artogeia rapae): Small numbers at a few sites on 27th - 2nd.
Western Bath White (Pontia daplidice): The commonest white, present in small-moderate number at plenty of sites daily from 27th – 29th and 1st and 2nd.
Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus): A few males at scattered sites on 27th 28th 29th, 1st and 2nd.
*Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni): A male Valdecañas dam on 30th and 1 female Río Almonte on 2nd.
*Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra): A few at Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 1 Trujillo on 30th and a few on 2nd.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas): A few at Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 1 Trujillo on 30th and a few on 2nd.
*Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus): One – two on a couple of days at Finca Sta. Marta.
*Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous): One – four daily from 27th – 2nd.
*Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli): One Trujillo on 30th.
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus): One Finca Sta. Marta on 29th.
[Spanish] Brown Argus (Aricia [agestis] cramera): Lots Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, a few Río Magasca on 29th, 1 Trujillo on 30th and several on both 1st and 2nd.
*Nettle-tree Butterfly (Libythea celtis): One in Monfragüe N.P. on 28th.
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius): 5 in flight in Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 4+ Valdecañas dam area on 30th, 12 – 15 Monfragüe N.P. on 1st and 1 Cabañas del Castillo and 1 Río Almonte on 2nd.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta): One Finca Sta. Marta on 30th.
*Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychloros): One drinking in a trough Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.
*Comma (Polygonum c-album): One Monfragüe N.P. on 1st.
Cardinal (Pandoriana pandora): One+ Cabañas del Castillo on 2nd.
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina): A few daily at numerous sites; the commonest butterfly overall.
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera): Two in Monfragüe N.P. on 28th, 1 Trujillo on 30th, a few on 1st and 2nd.
*Mallow / Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / boeticus): One Finca Sta. Marta on 1st and 1 Cabañas del Castillo on 2 2nd.


MOTHS
Hummingbird Hawk-moth
(Macroglossum stellatarum): One daily at Finca Sta. Marta from 28th – 1st.
Tiger Moth sp. (Cymbalophora pudica): Singles Finca Sta. Marta on 27th and 28th.
Cinnabar Moth (Callimorpha jacobaeae): One in Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th.


DRAGONFLIES
Waisted Skimmer
(Orthetrum chrysostigma): Three+ various sites on 27th and several Río Magasca on 29th.
Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum): A male Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th.
Skimmer sp. (Orthetrum trinacria): Three Emb. de Arrocampo on 26th, a male and a female there on 1st.
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea): A female rescued at Finca Sta. Marta on 28th.
Migrant Hawker (A. mixta): One Emb. de Sierra Brava on 27th, plenty on 29th, 30th and 1st at various sites.
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator): One Río Magasca on 29th.
*Lesser Emperor Dragonfly (Anax parthenope): Four - five Emb. de Arrocampo on 27th, and 1 – 2 there on 1st.
Scarlet Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea): Lots at Emb. de Sierra Brava, Madrigalejo rice fields and Vegas Altas on 27th, a few Río Magasca on 29th.
Band-winged Dragonfly (Brachythemis leucosticta): A superb male Emb. de Arrocampo on 1st.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombei): Several daily from 27th – 29th.
Iberian Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura graelsii): A few in rice fields on 27th.
Emerald Damselfly sp. (Lestes barbarus): Singles Río Magasca on 29th and Madroñera on 2nd.


OTHER INSECTS

Red-winged Grasshopper (?Oedipoda germanica): A few Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th and a few on 30th.
Blue-winged Grasshopper (?Oedipoda caerulescens): A few daily from 27th – 2nd.
Egyptian Grasshopper (Acridium aegyptiacum): Two in the Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th.
Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa): A female Río Gargáligas on 27th, a male Trujillo on 29th, 2 Finca Sta. Marta on 1st and 1 Río Almonte on 2nd.
Praying Mantis sp. (Ameles spallanziana): A female Valdecañas dam on 30th.
‘Fire Bug’ sp. (Lygaeus sp.): A few on 30th and 1 Cabañas del Castillo area on 2nd.
Hornet (Vespa crabro): One Valdecañas dam on 30th, 1 on 1st and 3+ Cabañas del Castillo area on 2nd.
Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea): One Río Gargáligas on 27th, 1 – 2 Finca Sta. Marta from 30th – 2nd.


OTHER TAXA
Centipede
(Scolopendra cingulatus): One Finca Sta. Marta on 1st.
Red Signal Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii): Lots Madrigalejo rice fields on 27th and plenty (mainly dead) Río Magasca on 29th.


© The Travelling Naturalist 2004