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Biggest Twitch
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Birding the Plains of Extremadura

Out very early to explore the plains of Extremadura but we didn't have to go far to find good birds with Azure-winged Magpies and Hawfinch right in the hotel garden!

Azure winged Magpie tree

Handsome Azure-winged Magpie

Not much further down the road we stopped to see if the Lesser Kestrel and Spotless Starlings were at home: they were! And a bonus Black Redstart showed off too.

Lesser Kestrel adj

Lesser Kestrel keeping a close eye on us

Spotless Starlings adj

Sharing the roof with Spotless Starlings

But it was the plains area, wide open spaces of rolling grassland, that we wanted to explore. We headed out into the open landscape and in the early morning sunshine were rewarded with more birds: Calandra Larks and plenty of beautiful Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. Gorgeous birds but still we wanted more so we carried on further, and were rewarded with the fabulous sight of our Number One target bird: Great Bustard. In fact, three male Great Bustards showing off giving great views!

Great Bustard adj

Great Bustard, star of the show!

What a handsome bird! Further on, we encountered 40 Black-bellied Sandgrouse and a flock Golden Plover, and perky Serins and plenty more Azure-winged Magpies in some trees - if only they were better at sitting still to be photographed!

Azure winged Magpie shadow

Azure-winged Magpies don't sit still for long!

And then a little further again on we encountered a flock of Rock Sparrows and added Cirl Bunting to our list. As the day warmed up, Black and Griffon Vultures started to move, and then, a wonderful moment as we saw Number Two target bird: Little Bustard!

That was cue for rain to start, and heavily too, but we didn't mind. Our quest for All Bustards Great and Small was successful!

Tempted to join us for some exciting Spanish birding, or fancy some birdwatching closer to home in the UK? Just email us on for information.


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