I hope you find useful our Bird watching La Mancha and Serrania de Cuenca trip report in November 2013.
Our recent trip has been a complete success despite the difficulties of doing the tour at this time of the year. This tour is flexible and it is designed to offer different alternatives depending on the clients’ preferences. Not only the area offers an incredible variety of birds, but also butterflies, plants and an important cultural background.
It has been an unusual dry autumn in East Spain and many temporary lagoons are dry in La Mancha, but no Manjavacas where we start our bird watching and nature tour in La Mancha. It is late afternoon and we are welcomed by Marsh Harriers and Meadow Pipits. In the middle of the lagoon there is a large number of Mallards, Shovelers, Shelduck and Teals. As we continue driving around the lagoon, Zitting Cisticola flies off the reeds, and Dunlins and Little Stints feed intensively in the shore. The background sound of Cranes, reminds us the importance of La Mancha as a wintering area for this superb birds.
We continue driving until the last viewing point where we observe Song Thrush, Crested Lark and 250+ Cranes.
Today we will spend the day in the National Park of Tablas de Daimiel and surroundings. As we arrived, a Little Owl looks at us from a cottage in a vineyard and ten minutes later we are lucky enough to see 5 Marbled ducks swimming close to us. What a beautiful bird!! There are very few places in Europe where this endangered bird can be seen and one of these places is Las Tablas. Cranes fly over us and also insects such as the Clouded Yellow, Small and Large White butterflies and Common Darter dragonflies. Along the path, Little Egret, Chiffchaff, Flamingo, Great Crested Grebe, Red-legged Partridge, Snipe, Grey Wagtail, Spotless Starling, Crested Lark, Marsh Harriers and a good number of song birds are seen.
We move to another lagoon located outside the National Park to continue our bird watching La Mancha tour. There we find Greylags, Gadwall, Black-winged Stilt, Lapwing, Cattle Egret and Reed Bunting. Water Rail and Purple Swamphen call from the reeds.
We spend the morning in the rich farmland area of La Mancha before moving to the Serrania de Cuenca. In a few hours we are able to see large flocks of Linnet, Skylark, Rock Sparrow and Corn Bunting. As we drive to the fields we watch a pair of Little Owls and Stonechats, Kestrels, Common Buzzards, a Hoopoe and a solitary Great Bustard. Black Redstarts and Carrion Crows are constantly seen.
Twenty minutes later, we find in a farmhouse a juvenile male Spanish Sparrow perch in a wire. Then, three Red Kites join together and 40+ Tree Sparrows hide behind the pines.
Half an hour later we are in an open oak tree forest surrounded by Thekla Larks, Sardinian Warblers, Long Tailed Tits, a Iberian Grey Shrike and Red Admiral Butterflies.
We get at dusk at the Serrania de Cuenca, with time to see the first Griffon Vultures and Red billed Choughs.
Our first stop is in the Uña lagoon, a beautiful mountain lagoon surrounded by stunning cliffs. Blue and Great Tit, Little Grebe, Teals, Shovelers, Grey Herons, Ravens, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jays, Cetti’s Warbler, Jay, Black Cap, Jackdaws, Red Wings and Mistle Thrushes are seen. Kingfisher is heard.
Later, we continue driving up to the mountains to stop near the river where can be observed Firecrest, Rock Bunting, Dunnock, Coal, Long-tailed and Crested Tits. A group of Red Deer graze near the dam and crossbills are seen everywhere.
As we search the sky for raptors, the Iberian subspecie of Green Woodpecker flies in front of us and a Yellowhammer stands from a bush.
Have a nice day
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