Mary’s Blog – Extremadura

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12th May

Today we drove to Trujillo where we headed to the bull ring to look for Lesser Kestrels which used to breed there in large numbers. Today there was little sign of them until, after a while, just two birds flew above the area. It’s a pity there aren’t so many now but at least we were able to add them to our list.

We walked up to the lovely Plaza Major for a coffee. Sadly, they now allow parking in the square, which rather spoils it. White Storks were nesting on various towers as usual and several Swifts were in the air. A Black Kite flew overhead briefly and a Black Redstart was seen in one of the narrow streets.

We left Trujillo and set off on a new route for us, heading towards Madroñera. We passed this small town and followed the road towards Aldeacentenera, which began to climb and became winding. This was a lovely scenic route with a Dehesa landscape holding Woodchat Shrikes, Azure-winged Magpies, Spotless Starlings, Spanish Sparrows and more.

We found a quiet track to park in and enjoyed our picnic whilst watching, and listening to the burbling call of, Bee-eaters as they flew around the fields and perched in a nearby tree. A Corn Bunting also flew in and added it’s song to the soundtrack. The odd Azure-winged Magpie flew around in the dehesa but they never stayed still for long.

After lunch we continued on, passing Torrecilla de la Tiesa and crossing the main road towards Aldea de Obispo and the moors we had crossed yesterday. This is an amazing road with Black Kites all over the road, the fields and the sky once again. Two Short-toed Eagles were in the same place as yesterday, in the sky above a farm.

During a scan of the fields I spotted a well camouflaged bird hiding by some rocks, which we identified as a Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, in fact there were two of them, and another species for the list.

We continued in the direction of Monroy and then back to our accomodation tired but happy.

Species list – Grey Heron, White Stork, Mallard, Griffon Vulture, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Moorhen, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Calandra Lark, Swallow, House Martin, Crag Martin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Iberian Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling, Magpie, Azure-winged Magpie, House Sparrow, Spanish Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.