Tag Archives: Lesser Kestrel

Extremadura, a paradise for birders

WiesenweiheThe steppes and extensive dehesas of Caceres and Trujillo are famous for their steppe bird life. Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Montagu’s Harrier (Circus pygargus), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), Great Bustard (Otis tarda), Eurasian Thick-knee (Burhinus oedicnemus), Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyana) and Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) share the fruits of the holm oak with the black Iberian domestic pigs. Many birds that have rarely or completely disappeared in the rest of Europe can still be observed very well in this almost deserted area.

The Extremadura in southwestern Spain has always been a magical attraction for nature lovers. Nowhere else in Europe you can find a higher biodiversity of plants and especially birds. A particularly large number of birds of prey circle in the thermals above the mountain ranges and plains, which are covered with evergreen oak and cork oaks and are particularly reminiscent of the African savannah in summer. Over 80,000 Common Crane (Grus grus) spend the winter Continue reading Extremadura, a paradise for birders

Steppengebiet La Serena/ Spanien

ZwergtrappeWeite, trockene Landschaft so weit das Auge reicht. Wer weite Steppenlandschaften liebt und das im Blog über die Steppen um Belchite beschriebene Gebiet nicht besuchen kann oder auf dem Weg nach Portugal, einen fotografischen Zwischenstopp in der Estremadura einlegen will, dem bietet sich ein kürzerer oder längerer Aufenthalt in einem der größten Steppengebiete Spaniens mit einer erstaunlichen Artenvielfalt an. Dieses Gebiet heißt La Serena. In der Nähe der Stadt Merida kann man in Dörfern mit dem Name Castuera, Cabeza del Buey oder Puebla de Alcocer schön übernachten und von da aus die Vögel und die Landschaft erkunden. Nicht immer steht der Name Estremadura für grüne Steineichenwälder bis zum Horizont. Im Osten der spanischen Provinz Badajoz findet man eine kontrastreiche Landschaft, deren besonderer Reiz in dem Wechsel zwischen steppenartigen Gebieten und locker bewaldeten Flächen liegt. La Serena ist ein Steppengebiet, das für Naturfotografen ein sehr lohnendes Fotoziel mit exzellenten Aufnahmemöglichkeiten darstellt.

Die Steppen von La Serena sind berühmt für ihre Steppenvogelwelt. Spiessflughuhn (Pterocles alchata), Sandflughuhn (Pterocles orientalis), Kalanderlerche (Melanocorypha calandra) und dann erst Continue reading Steppengebiet La Serena/ Spanien

The Dupont‘s Lark at Las Almoladeras in Spain

Dupont's Lark on a stoneAlthough recent research and an action plan by SEO regards the Dupont‘s Lark (Chersophilus duponti) as highly on risk in Almeria, this area is still worth a try.  This Lark is probably one of the highly thought-after bird species if travelling to and birdwatching in southern Spain. I photographed it in mid May 2002. First choice for this lark in southern Spain probably is Cabo de Gata. This is a Parque Natural with almost 50,000 ha (exactly 49,696 ha). Cabo de Gata comprises a Biosphere Reserve of the UNESCO. In general this large area extends from the western side of Cabo de Gata around to the eastern coast as far north as Carboneras. For birdwatchers the best sites are the sierra of Cabo de Gata, the salinas of Cabo de Gata, and a series of steppe areas, of which I tried Las Amoladeras which is Continue reading The Dupont‘s Lark at Las Almoladeras in Spain

Spring migration and birds of prey in Extremadura – April 2013

In spring 2013, there will be an ornithological study tour to the region of Extremadura, southwesternSpain. It includes the provinces ofBadajozand Cáceres east of the border withPortugal, and is not only famous for the best-preserved medieval monuments inSpainbut among nature lovers for its unique combination of oak woodlands, grasslands, agricultural landscapes, lakes and rocky regions. Accordingly, the avifauna is highly diverse (about 340 spp.), with many species having their distribution centers for the Iberian Peninsula and southwestern Europe in that region. The spectrum ranges from common birds like the Lesser Kestrel, Azure-winged Magpie and Thekla Lark to outspoken rarities, such as White-headed Duck, Little and Great Bustard, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Black-shouldered (or Black-winged) Kite, (European) Roller and Great Spotted Cuckoo – species which are only distributed here and/or are already gone at most other places in Europe. The list of remarkable sightings is growing continuously; in spring of 2012, for the first time Lesser Crested Tern and Little Swift were recorded for the Extremadura.
A highlight of the tour will be a visit to the Monfragüe National Park north of Trujillo, which has been established

Continue reading Spring migration and birds of prey in Extremadura – April 2013