Apr 20, 2023

A short trip to Spain

 From 12th-16th of April I made a short trip to Spain with Enno Ebels and Eric Koops. The goals were some typical Iberian species, such as Lilford's Woodpecker, Iberian Dunnock, Dupont's Lark and Spanish Imperial Eagle. We hired a car at the Madrid airport and had three full days and two half days. Lots of driving, birding from dawn to dusk and very successful.

We visited the area around Ablitas for larks. Still dark (and cold) we listened to a morning chorus of ca ten Dupont's Larks (we saw only one). In the Pyrenees White-backed Woodpecker lilfordi was the target. In cold weather and rain (not unlike Bergen during winter) we found a male (already) after two hours. The same bird was still present in the same part of the area the next day. The other target in the Pyrenees was Iberian Dunnock Prunella mabotti, a recent split by the CSNA. We saw a pair which behaved secretly, suggesting breeding (also singing, listen below). The next few days were spent around Madrid. El Pardo is a good spot for raptors and vultures. We were there twice and saw lots of Griffons, some four or five Cinereous Vultures and four or five Spanish Imperial Eagles, of which one was calling (listen below).

At El Escorial the target was Iberian Pied Flycatcher. In bosque de Herreria we saw five singing males. A very easy spot for this taxon with several nesting boxes. Further we visited some other sites around Madrid for Great Bustard, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Iberian Magpie and Southern Grey Shrike (the last one we saw only at a great distance without finding it back)

Common species during the trip were both Red- and Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Calandra Lark, Serin and White Stork among others.

Sound recordings best with headphones of course.



Dupont's Lark

flying Dupont's, not often shot like this (photo Eric Koops)

🎤 Dupont's Lark dawn chorus

🎤 Dupont's Lark song

🎤 Calandra Lark song

male Lilford's Woodpecker


Iberian Dunnock (photo Eric Koops)

🎤 Iberian Dunnock song






Iberian Pied Flycatcher

🎤 Iberian Pied Flycatcher song





Spanish Imperial Eagle, upper two young, lower adult bird



Cinereous Vulture

Griffon Vulture



male Iberian Green Woodpecker

🎤 Iberian Green Woodpecker call

Iberian Magpie



Woodchat Shrike

🎤Cetti's Warbler song


Mistle Thrush