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birding in Barcelona 4-Days Itineraries Birding in Los Monegros

Birding in Los Monegros

Birding from Barcelona. Los Monegros is an inmense, dry plain where all Iberian steppe specialities can be found all year round. Although most of the original steppe lands are now extensive wheat fields surrounded by small pine woods and other farmlands some authentic steppes can be found. All the area is in fact a huge mosaic of landscapes and despite irrigation plans Los Monegros is still a 1st class birding destination hosting some of the biggest populations of Dupont's Lark in the world and one of the highest densities of Black-bellied Sandgrouse in Spain (more).

Day 1. This first day we would explore extensive wheat fields expecting to good sightings of Lesser Kestrel and Roller. Here we would find our firsts larks; Calandra and Crested. The area is also noted for Pin-tailed Sandgrouse and Stone Curlew. During the afternoon we would visit some wetlands in the middle of the dry landscape, incredible places for birding as they attract numbers of winter birds (ducks, Common Crane, etc.), passage birds (Red-footed Falcon, waders, passerines, etc.) and a fine selection of nesting specialities (Cetti's Warbler, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, etc). 

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In the afternoon we'll explore cereal steppes to have a first look to Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Great Spotted Cuckoo or Lesser Short-toed Lark. Raptors here are common and may include Griffon Vulture, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Booted Eagle and Golden Eagle depending on the season.

Day 2. An early start to explore the large, praries near Bujaraloz expecting to find the scarce Great Bustard. The area supports good numbers of Hoopoes, Rollers, Red-billed Choughs, Dartford & Spectacled Warblers as well as Thekla & Calandra Larks. Little Bustards nest here and their "chrreck" notes are easily heard in the quietness of the plain. Sandgrouses may be not so easy to find out, but their calls are a commonplace sound over the never-ending praries.

In the afternoon we'll visit the Sariñena lagoon, a large fresh water wetland that hosts large number of waterfowls all year round. Bearded Reedling, Water Rail and Greater Bittern (biggest population in Spain) may appear.

Day 3. Another early start to explore the awesome Thyme salt plats around Bujaraloz. The area hosts high densities of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Tawny Pipit, Lesser Short-toed Lark and Stone Curlew. No promises, but this is the kingdom of Dupont's Lark!!

In the afternoon we'll explore limestone cliffs; Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle and Eurasian Eagle Owl all nest among these cliffs. Raptors share the rocky cavities and ravines with smaller species such as Red-billed Chough, Alpine Swift, Rock Sparrow, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting and the sombre but smart Black Wheatear.

Day 4. Last early start this time to explore some wheat fields hosting Little Bustard. The low bush areas around support strong populations of Orphean Warbler, Ortolan Bunting, Subalpine Warbler and Thekla Lark. During the day we will visit excellent points for Bonelli's Eagle, Montagu's Harrier and Lesser Kestrel. Final transfer to Barcelona.
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Even though this day planning schedule contains references to some winter birds, the itinerary above describes a standard mid-spring tour. This itinerary may have slight variations depending on the season. Please contact us for a seasonally updated tour schedule.

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+ steppes

  • Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting again in Lleida Steppes. Matings recorded in one of our tours (6th May)

  • NEW population of Dupont's Lark (Chersophilus duponti) found by BBP in Los Monegros! At least 2 males near Candasnos. 12th April

28th May last updated

Little Owl (Athene noctua), a common view in the steppes
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