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SPAIN 2003

The four full days spent in the Coto Doñana area gave us all the expected specialities: Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night-heron, Squacco Heron, White-headed Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Booted Eagle and Short-toed Snake-eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Western Swamphen, Collared Pratincole, Slender-billed Gull, Red-necked Nightjar, Pallid Swift, Calandra, Crested and Lesser Short-toed Larks, Short-toed Treecreeper, Crested Tit, Woodchat and Southern Grey Shrikes, Iberian Magpie, Melodious Warbler and Spanish Sparrow. But the real surprises were Marbled Duck and Red-knobbed Coot, both extreme rarities in Spain.

Heading up into the central plains for two nights gave a completely different range of habitat and species. Here we found Black Stork, Eurasian Griffon, Black and Egyptian Vultures, Bonelli's, Golden and Spanish Eagles, Eurasian Eagle-owl, Eurasian Crag-martin, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock-thrush, Rock Petronia and Rock Bunting all around the magnificent Peña Halcón in Monfragüe National Park. Lesser Kestrel and White Stork were breeding in the old walled town close to our traditional Spanish hotel. Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Great and Little Bustards, European Roller and Black-eared Wheatear on the endless Rio Salor plains and Black-winged Kite and Great Spotted Cuckoo around the Cork Oak plantations.

Iberian Magpie

Iberian Magpie