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  • Photograph of Black-shouldered Kite

    Black-shouldered Kite in Extremadura by Steve Fletcher.

    EXTREMADURA, SPAIN

    Photograph of Great Bustards

    Great Bustards in Extremadura by Lars Petersson.


    Best Wildlife in Extremadura

    Mammals
    Spanish Ibex.

    Birds
    The lists below are for May unless otherwise mentioned.

    Specialities
    Black-shouldered Kite, Spanish Eagle, Great Bustard (most likely to be displaying mid-March to mid-April), Little Bustard (most likely to be displaying mid-March to mid-April), White-rumped Swift (from late May), (Iberian) Azure-winged Magpie, Black Wheatear (easiest at Alange Dam near Merida), Spotless Starling and Citril Finch. Also a chance of Red Kite, Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, and Red-necked Nightjar.

    Others
    Red-legged Partridge, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, White and Black Storks, (Eurasian) Black, Egyptian and (Eurasian) Griffon Vultures, Montagu's Harrier, Bonelli's, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Lesser Kestrel, Purple Swamphen, Common Crane (Nov-Feb), Stone Curlew (Eurasian Thick-knee), Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Alpine and Pallid Swifts, (Golden) European Bee-eater, (European) Roller, Hoopoe, (Iberian/Sharpe's) Green Woodpecker, (Iberian) Southern Grey and Woodchat Shrikes, (Eurasian) Golden Oriole, (Eurasian) Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Calandra, Crested, (Greater) Short-toed and Thekla Larks, Crested Tit, (White-throated) Dipper, Firecrest, Zitting Cisticola (Fan-tailed Warbler), (Western) Bonelli’s, Great Reed, (Western) Orphean, Sardinian, Savi’s and Subalpine Warblers, (Iberian) Pied Flycatcher, (Western) Black-eared Wheatear, (White-spotted) Bluethroat, Blue and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes, Rock Bunting, and Rock and Spanish Sparrows. Also a chance of Golden Eagle and (European) Scops Owl.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Extremadura

    Best Times for Wildlife in Extremadura

    Mid -March to mid-April is the peak time for displaying bustards although they do display later, mid-April is the peak time for flowers, and mid-April to early June, especially late April-early May, is the best time for most birds.

    Recommended Books etc. for Extremadura

    Collins Bird Guide by L Svensson et al. Collins, 2010 (Second Edition).

    Birds of Europe by L Jonsson. Helm, 1999.

    Finding Birds in Extremadura by D Gosney. Easybirder, 2013 (book and/or DVD).

    Crossbill Guides: Extremadura by D Hilbers. Crossbill Guides, 2013 (Second Edition).

    Where to watch Birds in Southern and Western Spain by E Garcia and A Paterson. Helm, 2008 (Third Edition).

    Where to watch Birds in Spain by J A Montero and SEO/Birdlife. Lynx Edicions, 2006.

    Collins Butterfly Guide by T Tolman and R Lewington. Collins, 2009 (Third Edition).

    Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide by H Aarnio et al. A & C Black Publishers, 2009.

    Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean by M Blamey and C Grey-Wilson. A & C Black, 2004.

    Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by S Aulagnier et al. Helm, 2009.

    Mammals of Britain and Europe by D McDonald and P Barrett. Collins, 2005.


    Apps etc.

    Collins Bird Guide.

    Where to watch birds in Europe & Russia by N Wheatley. Helm, 2000.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Europe? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Extremadura

    Many trip reports, some for Extremadura, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Extremadura. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Extremadura' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Extremadura

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.


    Accommodation in Extremadura

    Some Organized Tours to Extremadura

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Extremadura include the following.