Where to bird

 NATURA INDÓMITA The Birding specialist in La Mancha & Sierra Morena (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, Red-Crestred Pochard, Gadwall, Garganey or the tinny Moustached Warbler. 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.
If you are looking for a deepest experience, pay a visit to the place called La Mancha Wetlands, 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, Garganey, Temmicks’ Stint to Gull Billed Tern or the scarce Glossy Ibis.
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.
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 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 still can 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 Curlews & Little Owls either in the morning or in the evening. The place is also excellent for Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse (called the Bird of La Mancha).
Other species to look out for are Black-Belied Sandgrouse, Golden Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Red-Billed Chough, Southern 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.
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 Spainsh 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”.
Among the various raptors that you should encounter in the open savanna like areas of the park (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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Moustached Warbler (a specie that is resident in the park and it’s only found here and in Mallorca), Sedge & Aquatic Warblers, common species seen on migration. 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.
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 & Spectacled Warblers) and the shrublands of the Cabañeros N.P., but any part of the huge Sierra Morena (Valle de Alcudia, Sierra de Andujar or Cardeña) can give you a good shot at Tablas de Daimiel’s full complement of birds.
Other birds & Iberian specialties
Every part of La Mancha & Sierra Morena are excellent for Iberian specialties such as Azure-Winged Magpie, Great-Spotted Cuckoo, Spanish Sparrow, Roller, Bee-Eater, Hoopoe 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.
Other interesting birds that can be seen in our territory are the scarces Wryneck & Bluethroat or the endangered Iberian race of Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus witherbyi). See the first ones on migration in the boardwalks of Tablas de Daimiel N.P., while the last one is a resident specie in the park.
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 & March.
While Sierra de Andujar is the most popular place for the Lynx, Sierras de Cardeña & Montoro is now offered as a new opening 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.

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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