Sunday, 20 March 2016

Monfrague

Another poor weather forecast with occasional bright spells interspersed with heavy rain, we headed from the beautiful town of Placencia to Monfrague.
With light rain falling we made our first stop at the Tajadilla picnic area where the Griffon Vultures were soon joined by Black and then a beautiful adult Egyptian Vulture.
Egyptian Vulture

There was a Cirl Bunting singing as we pulled in to the parking area and after we had been parked for 20 minutes there was a sudden influx of Azure-winged Magpies. Fortunately Pam had some bred so we managed to attract several of about 15 birds in to the picnic area.
Azure-winged Magpie

We moved on to the Portilla del Tietar mirador after a brief coffee break at the nearby hotel rural. We had only been parked a few minutes before a superb adult Spanish Imperial Eagle flew over.
Spanish Imperial Eagle
We could see the nest from the viewpoint and it wasn't long before the second bird of the pair flew past, landed and collected a branch and then returned to the nest. 
Spanish Imperial Eagle with nest material

Shortly afterwards a Black Vulture came past carrying some nesting material, although many of the Griffon Vulture nests had small young we were still at the start of the breeding season.
Black Vulture

In-between some torrential downpours we moved on to the famous Pana Falcon viewpoint, we had brief views of a male Subalpine Warbler on the way but it was the vultures which stole the show at Pena Falcon. After the rain they sat with wings outstretched to dry making a fine spectacle.
Griffon Vulture drying its wings

The Pena Falcon is famous for the Black Storks which nest there and we saw three or four birds whilst we were there.
Black Stork

On return to our hotel I finally caught up with a Serin, singing in the hotel garden.
Serin

An amazing day despite the poor weather.

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