guided birding in the west of Spain
Birding in Spain’s Wild West (Ver Aves) are based in the south-eastern corner of Salamanca Province, about halfway between Madrid and Portugal, and within the Biosphere Reserve of the Sierras de Bejar and Francia.
This privileged position means that within a range of 70 miles we can experience five completely different habitats: The Gredos and Sierra de Bejar mountains of the Central System to the south; the cereal plains of the Campo de Alba area to the north-east; the luxuriant atlantic forests of the Sierra de Francia to the south-west; the deep Mediterranean valleys of the Arribes natural park to the North-west, and, in between, the hilly open woodland ‘Dehesas’ of ancient Holm Oaks, granite tors, and the River Tormes with it's vast lake-like reservoir.
This makes for an incredibly rich assortment of birdlife throughout the year, as well as summer and winter migrants and spring and autumn passage visitors.
Up in the Gredos or Bejar mountains you might see the Blue and Rufous-tailed Rock thrushes, or spot a Golden Eagle soaring high above.
A visit to the cereal plains of Campo de Alba is likely to reward you with the presence of the Great Bustard, or you may see Montague’s Harrier or the Black-bellied Sandgrouse. In the Sierra de Francia with its rich mix of sweet chestnut, oak, and strawberry trees and its pine forests higher up it’s possible to see a Crested Tit alongside the tiny Firecrest or the Egyptian Vulture circling overhead.
The Arribes natural park comes as a complete geographical surprise with its steep river valleys and terraced olive and orange groves. Bonelli’s Eagle breeds here as well as the Black Stork, and even in winter you can find the beautiful Hoopoe here.
Amongst the Holm oaks you can see flocks of Azure-winged Magpies; Dartford Warblers peeping from the scrub and, in summer, Bee-eaters and Black-winged Kites showing off their acrobatic skills. Between October and February, on the shores of the Santa Teresa reservoir hundreds of Cranes gather together every evening to pass the night.
Go to Tours to see the different itineraries.