Great Bustard

Matachel Valley and Llerena Plains Birding Day Trip

raptors, steppe birds & cranes

The area we visit during this route is part of the Campiña Sur region, in the extreme south of Extremadura, near the border with Andalusia.

The main landscapes of the Campiña Sur are open agricultural fields and dehesas (open oak forest). It is known for being one of the most important areas in Extremadura for the steppeland birds and raptors, and during winter, the second area of importance for the wintering flocks of Common Crane.

This region is crossed by the Matachel River, one of the main tributaries of the Guadiana River. The surrounding hillsides are covered with Mediterranean woodland and rocky outcrops.

The whole area is a prime site for birding, with remarkable populations of steppe birds, raptors and cranes.

Among the steppe birds, the most outstanding ones are Great and Little Bustard and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Although they are all threatened species, this area still a good place to watch them.

As for the raptors, the 3 largest eagles can be seen (Spanish, Golden and Bonelli’s Eagle), as well as good numbers of Griffon and Cinereous vultures. There are also several Lesser Kestrel colonies, some of which, like the one in Llerena, are very numerous.

Between October and March, several thousand Common Cranes occupy the area, mainly visiting the dehesas to feed on acorns.

The list of birds in the area is extensive, but we can highlight the following ones: Iberian Magpie, Black Stork, Iberian Green WoodpeckerSouthern Grey Shrike, European Roller…

 Great opportunities to observe birds of prey and steppe birds.
During the winter amazing flocks of cranes.
Discover one of the least explored birding hotspots in Extremadura.

We will visit two main areas. On the one hand, the agricultural and dehesa areas to the north of Llerena. And on the other hand the valley of the river Matachel. The itinerary will be variable depending on your target species, time of the year and weather conditions.

We will drive mainly on secondary roads and tracks, to explore the extensive plains in search of the birds of your interest and to visit the most interesting birding hotspots.

No long walks are necessary for this route, as all the observations will be done from the car or close to it.

northern doñana - copy

Most wanted birds

RESIDENTS
spanish imperial eagle andalusian birds
Spanish Imperial Eagle
Black Vulture
Eurasian Black Vulture
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Little Bustard
Little Bustard
Great Bustard
Great Bustard
Iberian Magpie
Iberian Magpie

+

SUMMER
Black Stork
Black Stork
european bee-eater andalusian birds
Lesser Kestrel
European Roller
European Roller
Western Orphean Warbler
Western Orphean Warbler
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
Woodchat Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

+

WINTER
Common Crane
Common Crane
osprey andalusian birds
Osprey
Red Kite
Red Kite
Merlin
Merlin
Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl
Brambling
Brambling
MIGRATION
Egyptian Vulture
Egyptian Vulture
Tawny Pipit
Tawny Pipit
Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel
bonelli's warbler andalusian birds
Bonelli's Warbler
Ortolan Bunting
Ortolan Bunting

Red-necked Nightjar
Great Spotted Cuckoo
European Scops Owl
Pallid Swift
Red-rumped Swallow
Subalpine Warbler
Black-eared Wheatear

Black-shouldered Kite
Bonelli's Eagle
Golden Eagle
Eurasian Griffon Vulture
Southern Grey Shrike
Thekla Lark
Calandra Lark
Spotless Starling
Blue Rock Trush
Spanish Sparrow

 

   MAIN HABITATS

Open forest     Countryside

 

   TOP BIRDS

Spanish Imperial Eagle, Great Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse…

 

   LOCATION

Badajoz province. 125 km from Seville (1 hour 20 minutes) 

 

   DURATION

From Seville: ≈ 12 hours.
From Llerena: ≈ 9 hours.

 

   AVAILABILITY

All year round.

   Pick up service in Seville or close to destination point (Llerena area),  free of charge. For long distance pick up a supplement fee will be applied.

   Local guide fluent in English.

   Paper checklists of the birds to observe.

   Free access to identification guides and quality optical materials.

   All taxes.

   Doñana Wings is included in the Tourism Registry of the Andalusian Government as an Active Tourism company (AT/SE/00129) and holds a Liability Insurance (82168675) and Accidents Insurance (82164529) with AXA SEGUROS Company.

    Meals and drinks.

    Accomodation.

This is our cancellation policy:

– Cancellations at least 7 days before the tour: 100% of the amount will be refunded.

– Cancellation due meteorological conditions: 100% of the amount will be refunded.

– Cancellations from 7 days before the tour until 2 days before the tour: 50% of the amount will be refunded.

– Cancellations less than 48 hours before the tour or “No show”: 0% of the amount will be refunded.

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