Even More Vultures And Oh So Much More Wild Spain 28 April 2022



Griffon Vultures Group 5

An early start from Trujillo and we drove north to meet friends of ours that operate a bird hide near the Monfrague National Park – a very special place indeed. Once inside the hide we barely had time to sit down before the “show” began in stark contrast to our visit a few weeks ago when we waited a long time for birds to appear.

The area right in front of the hide was a giant bird table with meat scattered on the bare earth and it attracted a lot of birds! Massive Griffon Vultures fell from the sky onto the meat and were quickly joined by even bigger Cinereous Vultures and all this just a few yards in front of us totally amazing! It was not for the faint-hearted as the vultures don’t do table manners it resembled a disorderly rugby scrum as the birds ripped into their breakfast. Both Red and Black Kites tried to grab scraps and surprisingly a White Stork waded right in there to grab food. The vultures fought and pushed and shoved to get the best bits of meat it was a fantastic and equally gruesome sight and cameras were working hard to capture the spectacle. It was hard to know just where to focus the camera as so much was happening all at once – two Cinereous Vultures bounced into the flowers with a chunk of meat making a great photo, a Griffon Vulture was on a dead tree feasting on a rabbit carcass, a Raven swooped in and grabbed an egg it found in the grass, Black Kites were in the oak trees lit up by the morning sun – what a place!

As the food was eaten the scene became calmer with smaller numbers of birds present and at this point in came an Egyptian Vulture! This wonderful adult bird with a bright yellow face picked up scraps left by the bigger vultures and again cameras were busy capturing this wonderful bird. But there was, even more now the vultures had mostly gone an unexpected thing happened birds came to collect feathers discarded in the scrum of feeding birds! Both Barn and Red-rumped Swallows, House and Spanish Sparrows all collected these nest materials. Then even better Rock Sparrows arrived to join in the collection of feathers, and we enjoyed wonderful views of these tricky to find birds. We all agreed it had been an amazing experience and so many photos had been taken!

Even as we walked back to the minibus from the hide, we had another great bird – a singing Western Orphean Warbler! This big warbler sang from some cork oaks though tricky to get good views of. Just down the road was a lovely bar where drinks and lunch went down very well indeed after a fantastic morning in the hide.

After a lovely lunch we headed into the nearby Monfrague National Park and enjoyed even more vultures! Amazingly even more photos were taken of Griffon Vultures, just how many do we need? But of course, there was much more and we watched Blue Rock Thrushes, Rock Buntings, Black Redstarts, Crag Martins, Western Subalpine Warblers, Black Storks and more!

What a bird filled day and all not far from our perfect base in Trujillo.

Another wonderful day on our custom-made Wild Spain tour! We would love to arrange a custom Birdwatching Trips tour for you or you and a small group, maximum of six guests, anywhere you would love to enjoy great birds. Just drop us a line here and we can do the rest…

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We have run our special custom tours to many destinations here in the UK and overseas including Spain, Finland, Borneo, Ecuador, South Africa so just ask us and we can help.



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