Where to bird

 NATURA INDÓMITA The Birding specialist in La Mancha & Sierra Morena (SPAIN)  

Looking for Birds in La Mancha & Sierra Morena? This page will help you to organize your vacations in this unknown area of Central & South Spain.
 

Aquatic Birds

Start looking out for wildfowl in Tablas de Daimiel National Park, a haven for endangered birds such as White-Headed Duck, Marbled Teal, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-Crestred Pochard, Gadwall, Garganey or the remarkable Reed Bunting -witherby subspecies, the most scarce passerine bird nowadays in Spain-. Egrets, Storks & Aquatic Warblers are really common in Spring time, while, in Winter, the Park attracts thousands of wintering birds, including big flocks of Scandinavian Common Cranes and the precious Bluethroat. Combining visit of Tablas de Daimiel with the nearby Navaseca Lagoon can be considered as one of the most memorable birding experiences of the whole Spain.
 
Anochece en la Madre del Guadiana Natura Indomita
 
If you are looking for a deepest experience, pay a visit to the place called La Mancha Wetlands Biosphere Reserve, a plethora of lagoons (over 50) inside the flat lands of La Mancha where you can enjoy watching over one hundred different bird species, from Greater Flamingo, White-Headed Duck, Garganey, Temmicks’ Stint and Little Tern to Gull Billed Tern or the scarce Glossy Ibis.
 
Laguna de las Yeguas Natura Indomita
 
In the Campo de Calatrava fields, when the water level, very changeable, is high, you can enjoy the same species colonizing an important number of seasonal lagoons, from Greylag Goose to White-Headed Duck, from Squacco Heron to the very common in the area Night Heron.
Some of the Calatrava Lagoons where origined by volcanic activity, showing the visitors spaces uniques in Europe. A must for every birder is to pay a visit to the Vicario Reservoir, an amazing spot that can bring us great chances for seeing European Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Purple Gallinule & Collared Pratincole at the same time. Other gems of the spot are the mighty Golden Eagle, the King-Fisher, or the secretives Water Rail and Spotted Crake.
 
Vida en el Congosto Natura Indomita
 
Another excellent area in the Campo de Calatrava is the Jabalon Reservoir. Depending on the depth, if conditions are right, this reservoir can host thousands of aquatic birds, while in its surroundings there are good chances for finding steppe birds (Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse) and big raptors (Spanish Imperial, Golden Eagle, Short-Toed Eagle, Osprey)
 

Steppe Birds

SPA Campo de Calatrava protects one of the remaining areas in Southern Spain where these amazing birds can still be found in big numbers. Very close to Almagro, this area offers some great birding. Great & Little Bustards are readily seen, and it’s not rare to find Stone Curlew & Little Owl either in the morning or in the evening. The place is also excellent for Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse (called the Bird of La Mancha) and even for Black-Belied Sandgrouse.
 
Atardece en las estepas de Calatrava Natura Indomita
 
Other species to look out for are Golden Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Red-Billed Chough, Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis), Red-Legged Partridge, Skylark, Thekla, Greater Short-Toed Lark, Calandra & Crested Larks. Migrant species are present between April & August, and include Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Short-Toed Eagle & the elusive Quail.
 
Other sttepe areas in the Ciudad Real province, as the Guadiana Steppes near Tablas de Daimiel, can be another surprise for birders. Not in vain, the area still hosts healthy populations of these rare birds plus other icons such as Roller, Bee-Eater, Hoopoe, Turtle Dove, Imperial Eagle, Quail and, on migration, the uncommon Red-Footed Falcon.
 

Raptors

It is esencial that birdwatchers visit Cabañeros N.P. and its surroundings. Unspoiled, underwatched & huge, Cabañeros provides an ideal lookout for people interested in some of the most wanted species in Europe. Very well known for its Spanish Imperial Eagle pairs, this amazing park is also home of the second biggest population in all the world of Black Vulture with more than 210 breeding pairs in the small territory known as “la  Raña de Santiago”.
 
Buitres empanzorraos Natura Indomita
 
Among the various raptors that you should encounter in the open savanna like areas of the park (Black & Griffon Vulture, Black & Red Kite, Short-Toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Montagu’s Harrier, etc.) there is one specie that focuses the interest of all birdwatchers: Black-Shouldered Kite. Look for it in the large plains of Cabaneros. In May, birds migrating from the South can surprise the park’s visitors with the presence of the rare Red-Footed Falcon.
 
El Senor de las Carronas Natura Indomita
 
Along with the neighbouring Cabañeros, the Campo de Calatrava offers superb birding experiences in mixed areas of Mediterranean Forest and Farms, with very high chances to find magnificent raptors such as Golden Eagle (over 14 pairs) and Spanish Imperial Eagle (10 pairs). Very close to our city home, Almagro, this historical territory is home of a nice plethora of birds of prey, with some very good spots for Marsh, Montagu’s and Hen Harrier in the appropriate season, Lesser & Common Kestrel, Griffon Vulture and even the very elusive Black-Shouldered Kite, a bird that can be found in big numbers in the Western side of the Campo de Calatrava.
 
Calatrava La Vieja 1 Natura Indómita
 
Near Campo de Calatrava, in just an hour by car, the visitor can reach the area called Campo de Montiel, and excellent place for raptor-watching. The biggest density of Spanish Imperial Eagle in all Spain (over 40 pairs), along with great numbers of big raptors like Golden, Bonelli’s, Short-Toed & Booted Eagles, make this amazing and underwatched place a must if you are really interested in those top animals.
 
El nuevo reino de la Imperial Natura Indomita
 
The Valle de Alcudia Natural Park is difficult to get to, but resolute travelers may find tempting to explore this area of Sierra Morena: the most impressive set of raptors of Spain, with Golden & Spanish Imperial Eagle, Griffon, Black & Egyptian Vultures, Short-Toed & Booted Eagles, Red-Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk and, the star of the the park, the Bonelli’s Eagle, are reasons enough to discover one of the most beautiful and huge natural places of Spain. Overall, the Sierra de Andujar, the Sierras de Cardeña & Montoro, Despeñaperros Natural Park and the Valle de Alcudia are the greatest of all protected territories of Spain, an unique space where travellers can enjoy with high opportunities to find, in addition, Black Stork, Great Spotted Woodpecker and wintering flocks of Common Cranes.
 
Viaducto de La Garganta Natura Indomita
 
Solitary Osprey is commonly seen fishing in Tablas de Daimiel National Park & Campo de Calatrava on the migrating season, from April to May and from September to October.
 

Owls & other Nocturnal Birds

There is no other place in La Mancha & Sierra Morena for watching the majestic Eagle Owl like the Campo de Calatrava around Almagro. Dozens of this amazing raptor can be easily found in the Calatrava mountains. By dusk Eagle Owls are active and sometimes are visible one hour before sunset, but at night, in their element, the hunting flight of the Lord of La Mancha can be an ultimate experience for any nature lover.
 
Buho Real Natura Indomita
 
Little Owl is a common sight in the evenings in every farm landscape of Calatrava, whilst Tawny & Scops Owl thrilling hoot can be heard in the heart of the Calatrava mountains near riversides.
 
Cada Mochuelo a su olivo Natura Indomita
 
Red-Neck Nightjar is a fairly common companion of the traveller who passes through the dusty roads of this unique shire of La Mancha. Keen birdwatchers will also want to find the elusive Long-Eared Owl, in this case, Tablas de Daimiel N.P. and its surroundings are the places where to look for it.
 
Chotacabras Cuellirrojo en Calatrava Natura Indomita
 

Warblers

Famous for high numbers of ducks and other aquactic birds, Tablas de Daimiel N.P. hosts most of the European species of Reed Warblers. Great numbers of breeding Reed, Great Reed & Savi’s Warblers coexist with the most wanted Western Olivacious Warbler and the tinny Moustached Warbler (a specie that is resident in the park and it’s only found here and in Mallorca). Sedge & Aquatic Warblers are species seen only on migration. Melodious, Fan-Tailed & Cetti’s Warblers are other resident species that can be easily found into this beautiful park.
Another good option for these birds is La Mancha Wetlands. While not as accesible as Tablas de Daimiel, in La Mancha Wetlands the visitor can enjoy exciting opportunities to find these bird species and a huge variety of waterfowl.
 
Buitrón Natura Indomita
 
For Sylvia Warblers, the visitor must pay a visit to any of the innumerable Sierras of the region. Particularly good are the Campo de Calatrava Sierras (good chances for Sardinian, Subalpine, Datford & Western Orphean Warblers) and the shrublands of the Cabañeros N.P., but any part of the huge Sierra Morena (Valle de Alcudia, Sierra de Andujar) can give you a good shot at Tablas de Daimiel’s full complement of birds.
 
Hoz del Fresneda Natura Indomita
 
Specially mention for the very rare Spectacled Warbler, with just a few of localized populations in the heart of the Campo de Calatrava shire.
 

Other birds & Iberian specialties

Every part of La Mancha & Sierra Morena are excellent for Iberian specialties such as Azure-Winged Magpie, Iberian Woodpecker -both endemics birds of the Iberian Peninsula-, Iberian Grey & Woodchat Shrikes, Great-Spotted Cuckoo, Wood Lark, Nightingale, Black-Eared & Black Wheatears, Blue-Rock Thrush, Spanish, Tree & Rock Sparrow, Roller, Bee-Eater, Hoopoe, Hawfinch or the gorgeous Golden Oriole. Look for them in Cabañeros or Tablas de Daimiel National Parks, or enjoy a beautiful morning in the Campo de Calatrava fields to enjoy some of the most exciting birds of Europe.
 
El Crialo Natura Indomita
 
Enjoy the migration peaks -from late April to mid May, or from late August till mid September- watching hords of Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wheatear, Winchat, Redstart, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Willow & Bonelli's Warbler, Pied & Spotted Flycatcher and even the very cryptic Wryneck. The best place? No doubt, go to Tablas de Daimiel National Park.
 
Finally, if you are interested in typical mediterranean forest species, like Crested & Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Short-Toed Treecreeper, or even the very rare in the area and endemic species Iberian Chiff-Chaff, go inside the deepest forests of Despeñaperros Natural Park, a place where birders could find lots of jewels that would include the sought after White-Rumped Swift.
 
Capuchino con merienda Natura Indomita
 

Iberian Lynx

As every nature lover knows, Iberian Lynx is becoming rare to find in Sierra de Andujar, but, without any doubt, this is still THE PLACE to see this endangered animal in the wild. The popular Sierra can be traversed from north to south and from east to west in search of the greatest jewel of the Iberian Wildlife, with very good chances if done between November & February.
 
Lince Galo en Andujar 3 Natura Indomita
 
While Sierra de Andujar is the most popular place for the Lynx, Campo de Calatrava (in the Sierra Morena area) is now offered as a new opening place for those interested not only in the cat. A fresh window to the luxuriant nature of Sierra Morena.
 

Iberian Ibex

Above 1.000m the Valle de Alcudia mountains brings excellent chances to locate small herds of the endemic race of the very sought Ibex. Solitarire and very shy males might be spotlighted in the high cliffs of the Valley. Sierra de Andujar is another option for those interested in this endemic mammal of the Iberian Peninsula.
 
Cabra Montes en la sierra Natura Indomita
 
Vicente Malagón. Revised 2017.

Contact

C/ Ejido de San Juan, 39
13720 - Almagro (Ciudad Real)
Phone: 926-860806
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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