We had the best day with Vega and her partner Alfonso - organised at short notice as we were in the area and wanted a guide with in-depth knowledge of the terrain and its possibilities. We could not have been luckier. Our hotel recommended Vega, and bingo!
Where do I start? To begin with, she is excellent company, and hugely knowledgeable about the area and its wildlife. It is something of a leap of faith, opting to spend a precious day in the company of people you don't know - and we felt by the end of the day that we'd made new friends. Our day began at 9.30 am at our hotel, and the official (brilliant) birdwatching day ended when we returned at almost 8 pm - but continued over drinks and discussion by the fire.
Vega made the most of the area in our day, taking us to four or five different places, making the most of the weather, the light, the vegetation, in order to let us see as many birds as turned up - and they did. Her approach is calm, quiet, and as already said, hugely knowledgeable. With us, she has one experienced birdwatcher, and one slightly less experienced but very interested one - and she made the day a magical one for us both.
Things we won't forget in a hurry - Vega's wonderful picnic, table and chairs erected under a convenient shelter while we watched a booted eagle and griffon vulture scanng the chilly hillside opposite. Crag martins flying round us by an old farm building where they were feeding madly, hoopoes appearing almost to order, beautiful subalpine warblers, a plethora of nuthatches (and noting such variations in their chest plumage).
The scenery here is absolutely wonderful. Hugely varied, from snowy mountain slopes to verdant valley floors, from pine forests, ancient oak woods, fields which were beautifully untouched.
We were moving south, on to Trujillo via Monfrague - Vega was kind enough to give us a few tips about birding in this area too. We really feel she enriched our trip enormously.
Thank you Vega, and thank you Alfonso, too... I do hope we have the opportunity to do this again.
Vanessa Gebbie, Sussex UK
'Today I spent most of the day with Vega and Alfonso as my guides.…..I had made a wish list of what I might want to see. It turned out that my preferred area, near the Embalse (Lake) Santa Teresa, is their "favorite place"....an area therefore very well known to them. A good part of the trip was just a slow walk... with rose and berry bushes... fields and hedges full of birds.... Though we had small expectations for the day, given the time of year--the major fall migration has yet to start…. and a windy day, the trip produced over 45 species of birds, including most on my list...including.....two species of Eagles, two species of Vultures with a large flock of the Griffon Vultures, Larks, Sparrows, two species of Shrikes, other raptors, flycatchers, warblers, and, to cap it off, a flock of 14 Spoonbills flying over the Presa (dam). Just as importantly, the two guides are excellent companions, and the countryside lovely.'
Alan L. Gallagher. USA